When you use another company’s or person’s branding or their phrasing or their tag line, you’re immediately making your thoughts and ideas a subproduct of that other brand. If I write a blog post called “The Tipping Point of Professional Baseball,” then I’ve invoked Malcolm Gladwell. If I write about “Purple Cows Make Better Hamburgers,” I’m lighting up Seth Godin’s branding. Now, while this isn’t bad or wrong, it does push your idea into their frame.
Marketers do this all the time. They use the current reigning champ’s language and write counterpoint to it. Lesser brands draft off the bigger brands’ positioning. We take (whether consciously or not) from the value of what we’re doing when we phrase it in other people’s language.
And yet (and this is a big “and yet”), there’s something lovely about when phrases and words catch on. I love that people are using terms like trust agents in the wild. I love that people talk about workshifting as a verb that makes sense to them. When we talk about things like the tipping point and purple cows, it’s a shared language.
So now what? My thought: there’s a time to use the term we all understand and there’s a time where your words should be free of other people’s “logos.” Understanding when might be a mix for you. What do you think about it?
photo credit kevin dooley
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It’s Strange & Wonderful Wednesday, and as I was perusing the offerings of the Internet I came upon Gerard Vlemmings’ – aka The Presurfer – link to an article on blogbits about weird cameras. They were weird alright: there was an 18-carat gold plated Pentax LX and even a pistol-shaped camera. But the article promised that the last ones on the list would leave me stunned. And man was I stu-freakin-nned. The last cameras on the list were made by American artist Wayne Martin Belger. The aesthetics of the cameras are no doubt unique, but what cranks up the weird to 11 are the materials that they’re made of. So what were those cameras? See for yourself:
That’s the Third Eye camera. Belger says that he made it “to study the beauty of decay.” It’s made of Aluminium, Titanium, Brass, Silver, and gem stones. And a 150 year old skull of a 13 year old girl.
Next up we have the Untouchable. Belger used it to take pictures of people suffering from HIV. Like the Third Eye, the Untouchable is made of several metals, plus HIV positive blood. The uh, blood serves as his red filter. Can’t make this stuff up.
The last camera that I’m sharing with you isn’t on the blogbits list; it’s called the Heart. Belger says that he designed it to take pictures of pregnant women who are at least 8 months pregnant, as well as to study his “relationship” with his twin brother, who unfortunately died at birth. So of course the camera is made of Aluminium, Titanium, Acrylic, Formaldehyde and an infant human heart.
Those of you who know their Photography may have deduced from the pictures that Belger’s creations are all pinhole cameras. Belger says that he prefers pinhole photography because of the unadulterated interaction between the camera and the subject. He designs his cameras with this same goal in mind, of wanting to study and relate to his subject.
Check out Belger’s site for more of his wonderfully weird artwork, along with sample photographs taken using each camera; read Belger’s statement regarding his work if you want to get a better grasp of his art. Me, I think I’m going to have to watch SpongeBob or something, or I might have trouble sleeping.
Audiophiles listen up: pimp up and pamper your headphones with these leather covers from Berlin-based design agency BLESS. The covers come in black or anthracite – that’s gray for us common folk.
As you can see each headphone sock cover has an extra compartment, perfect for placing spare coins, or even an extra pair of earphones. Hell an iPod shuffle would fit in there. Stylish and functional. Sold yet? That’ll be € 475.00 please.
Yes, that’s no typo: almost $700 (USD) for a pair of leather coin purse/earmuff thingies. High quality leather coin purse/earmuff thingies, but still. Actually if you look at the product page, you’ll see… nothing. No relevant information aside from the designers’ names. Which means that there’s a good chance that the Sony headphones are included with the purchase, as absurd as that sounds. Or not. I’m not familiar with the value system of rich people. Is $700 to them like $100 is to me?
Lest you accuse me of ignoring the needs of a minority, moneyed peoples should tell their servants to hit up colette and snag the leather covers. Again it’s €475.00 ($693), VAT included. Thank goodness.