Points of Interest #29

October 4th, 2016 

Points of Interest is a weekly recap of ideas and innovations we are following at Plannerzone.


(Image via Colossal)

Architect turned pastry chef? Yes—it’s a decorative and decadent combination that works. If you don’t believe us, look at the boundary-pushing cakes that Ukranian pastry chef Dinara Kasko is turning out.

If you’re interested in something more substanstial, check out another innovative—and definitely unusual—food design. I would gladly pay you Tuesday, for a hamdog today:

In an interview with the Drum Martin Sorrell discusses the migration of advertising dollars to the ‘walled gardens’ of Facebook and Google. He notes that Verizon, with its rapid consumption of advertising platforms like Yahoo and AOL, could become another key player in this space.


Since hacking is such a big part of the hit TV show ‘Mr Robot’ the writers put a lot of effort on getting the details right. Find out how hacking your coworkers computer, in the pursuit of donuts, could get you a technical consulting job.

A set of new ads by Sonnet Insurance seeks to align the insurance category (typically linked with difficult negative life experiences) to the positive and ambitious outlook shared by many Millennials. The spots are narrated by Michael J. Fox—what’s not to like.



Wiki of the Week: Garden of Earthly Delights

The Garden of Earthly Delights is the modern title given to a triptych painted by the Early Netherlandish master Hieronymus Bosch, housed in the Museo del Prado in Madrid since 1939. It dates from between 1490 and 1510, when Bosch was between about 40 and 60 years old, and is his best-known and most ambitious surviving work.


Points of Interest #21

July 11th, 2016 

Slow connection, I choose you!

Surging to first place in the App Store, Pokemon Go has become an overnight sensation. Actually, that’s something of an understatement—in fact, it only took 4.5 hours for the game to reach the top spot in Games, surpassing Tinder in total installations. The innovative app brings together an augmented reality interface with a classic—and classically addictive—Nintendo franchise. The catch is that the game has become so popular that users now have trouble logging on. Even in its early days, glitches aside, it’s clear that this app has serious potential to reshape in-game advertising. I definitely expect to see branded retail tie-ins in the near future.


This fun and interesting behind-the-scenes video, brought to us by Vox, describes how Snapchat filters work. Turns out it’s a bunch of data, numbers, pixels to find your face, and lots of processing speed. Thanks for the detective work!


The phrase ‘Like learning how to ride a bike’ takes on new meaning in a this advocacy campaign for MS Australia. “This Bike Has MS” was developed by a team consisting of a paralympian with MS, people living with MS, neurologists, physiotherapists, and bike mechanics. They engineered a bike that is deliberately off balance as a way to show the public what it’s like to live with MS. This idea helped raise over $1 million, and now more of these bikes are being built all over the world. Check it out for yourself, it’s a powerful embodiment of the challenges facing people with MS.


What does Made in China mean to you? To many it indicates cheaply made products made en mass for across-the-seas consumers like us. Tiger Trading Co. wanted to break the stereotype by showing off bespoke creations coming out of Asia today. Tiger Beer sponsored a New York pop up on Canal Street with an innovative floor design, showcasing  more than 700 designer goods. Search #uncageasia to check out all the swag on Instagram.


Richard Shotton delivers a thorough critique of Jim Stengel’s research on brand purpose. Brand purpose has remained a compelling idea in business because it’s positive, and seems intuitively true. But the data fails to support Stengel’s case for it as a business strategy. Marketers, and their consultants, need to come to grips with the reality that customers have more important things to think about.



Wiki of the week: Andrew S.C. Ehrenberg 

“Andrew Ehrenberg was a statistician and marketing scientist. For over half a century, he made contributions to the methodology of data collection, analysis and presentation, and to understanding buyer behaviour and how advertising works.”



May 27th, 2016 

Points of Interest is a recap of ideas and innovations we are following at Plannerzone.

Pomakis, Keith (2003)

Pomakis, Keith (2003)

I know that as you read this, your interest in smart, pithy marketing news is outweighed by anticipation for the holiday weekend. No hard feelings, I get it. Who wants marketing ideas when beef and beer are on deck. I didn’t expect this week’s post to compete with holiday revelry, nor should it. Instead, this roundup looks at the magic of booze, brats, TV,  and summer vacations.

First off, I’m a big fan of this packaging innovation from Saltwater Brewery:

Addressing negatives associated with a product category, or its byproducts, is a great way to support a brand’s growth. All brands share customers with competitors: most purchases are repeat purchases, and most customers use multiple brands. But marketers often focus on image attributes and adding positive values to their brands, rather than addressing negatives that make a brand (or category) less likable or desirable. Saltwater Brewery did a great job with this packaging concept. It suggests a valuable opportunity for other brands: fixing things that have a net negative impact on your customer, or the environment, can create news about the brand, and make it more likable.

If you’re looking for something with more kick than beer, have a margarita. “Drinking tequila is good for your bones!” Meh, no it’s not.

It turns out that this is just another trumped up headline based on unreplicated results from a small study. Thankfully, the folks at On The Media created a breaking news consumer handbook to help you spot dubious claims in health news articles.

We enjoyed this hilarious campaign by Droga5 for Johnsonville:

The creative was developed through interviews with Johnsonville employees. “Over the past three months, we interviewed almost 100 Johnsonville members, the people making the sausage, and had them pitch ideas.” 



If you’re looking for a room with a view, HomeAway is giving tourists the chance to spend a night in the Eiffel Tower.


Aug 15, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; General view of golden NFL shield logo in the end zone to commemorate Super Bowl 50 during the preseason NFL game between San Francisco 49ers and the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Although, it’s not directly applicable to our theme of summer sun and fun, Twitter’s foray into live broadcasting is a trend that we’re following closely. Seeing TV’s most valuable content delivered through a social network has to be a wake up call for traditional broadcasters.

When you aren’t watching live TV on a social network, you can catch up on your regularly scheduled streaming. Findings from a recent study suggest that video streaming in the U.S. is approaching saturation.



Wiki of the week: Agave

“Agave tequilana, commonly called blue agave (agave azul) or tequila agave, is an agave plant that is an important economic product of Jalisco, Mexico, due to its role as the base ingredient of tequila, a popular distilled beverage.”




A bit of news:

Next week Plannerzone is launching its book club, a monthly highlight of the most informative and inspiring books on marketing, advertising, and business strategy. Each month we’ll be highlighting a different book, and discussing a few of its important ideas. We hope that you read along, and soak up the big ideas.

Making Art From Money

June 11th, 2013 

This video from the New Yorker looks into the gilder’s craft: a practice where fragile pages of gold are worked into delicate decadence.

Watching Beth Fishman talk about her work brings to mind the strange commonality between money and art.

To go beyond the mere value of what we can see and touch, art and money both require an act of faith, an acceptance of the essential qualities that make a thing unique, beautiful, valuable, or rare.

When this act of faith if challenged we call it a counterfeit, or a forgery.

I’ve been thinking about these kinds of things a lot lately as Bitcoin has become more popular.

Currency, in the way I’ve always thought about it, seems to suggest a going concern, a kind of collective circulatory system of a particular society that’s fixed in time and place.

Money was rare.

Money was authoritative (or even authoritarian).

Yet a digital currency that only exist as the output of an algorithm is totally separate from that.

Yes, Bitcoin can be spent for computers, or coffee, or drugs—but can it gild? Can it succeed as cultural, as well as economic currency?

I suppose building cultural value is the sort of things brands are trying to do all the time. The evolution of the Bitcoin brand promises to be an interesting one.

Wearable Tech for Activists

June 4th, 2013 
high-tech alert bracelet for activists

Alert bracelet for civil and human rights activists via PSFK

A wonderful product design concept (as seen in PSFK).

The design caters to what product developers refer to as lead users: consumers who, due to their exposure to more extreme use cases, are highly sensitive to emerging market needs and product opportunities.

“The Natalia Project is a GPS and GMS-equipped alarm system for human rights workers that connects to various social media channels. The bulky bracelet aims to protect human rights defenders, and users are notified of any alarm from a fellow defender at risk. When a distress signal is sent out, human rights group Civil Rights Defenders validates the signal, takes action, and keeps the user-base updated.”

This brings to mind some interesting questions:

What other kinds of wearable and consumer tech products could be adapted to the activist market? Vice versa?

What types of products or services meet the unique needs of citizens practicing civil disobedience?

Only questions, for now.