When the rains descended upon Rockefeller Center, it just seemed fitting for the fans and for the lady herself. With over 20,000 people (most of who spent the entire night) squeezed into every nook and cranny, the place pulsated with life while the rest of NYC was fast asleep. Gaga: an icon, a brand, among many other things.
Be forewarned: look out for The Claw!
On June 29th, the new Lego store in Manhattan’s Rockefeller Center opened its doors to the public. In hopes of catching the tail end of the Grand Opening festivities (held over the course of the first three days), we took a trip over to Rockefeller Center on Thursday to explore the new Lego store and witness the exciting outdoor activities.
Here are some of the sights and sounds of what went on that morning:
We’ve all heard of BP’s Deepwater Horizon by now. It’s the underwater oil rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010, spewing up to 2.5 million gallons of crude oil into the gulf every day — leading to what may be one of the most dire environmental disasters in U.S. history.
Needless to say, the oil spill has not been a boon to BP’s public image. But how exactly has Deepwater Horizon affected their brand, and what measures have they taken to defend it? We took our cameras and notebooks to the streets of New York to get a sense of what people know about the spill, and how that knowledge has affected how they think of BP. In our interviews, we presented people with the following questions and images:
Not surprisingly, BP has not been very successful in their attempts to minimize the damage to their brand by the Deepwater Horizon spill. Here’s what one interviewee had to say: ”Why don’t they show this (points to images of oil soaked wildlife) and say we’re gonna fix this instead of showing pretty images (points to BP’s NYTimes ad) and saying it’s not that bad?”
A few clips of my interviews:
Has the Deepwater Horizon spill permanently damaged BP’s reputation? Exxon may have recovered their image following the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster, but that spill (previously the largest oil spill in U.S. history) has been utterly eclipsed by Deepwater Horizon. Exxon may have been able to help us forget about their 11 million gallons of spilled oil, but will BP be able to pull off the same feat with their 120 million (and counting)?
Perhaps at some point in the future — months, years or decades from now — BP will ultimately wipe this gigantic black stain off their record. But would that be a triumph of marketing, or a failure of human memory?
You’ve seen them on billboards and bus stops, in magazines, and on the subway: advice that would make your grandfolks shudder.
Launched by Anomaly London, Diesel’s “Be Stupid” ad campaign spans print, outdoor ads, and the internet. Most of the ads in the campaign feature photos of attractive young models engaging in various stupid behaviors, all supported by an array of catchy slogans pitting smartness against stupidity:
It’s clear which of the two sides Diesel takes. But when I first saw the ads, I wondered, does “stupid” mean spontaneous and creative, or reckless and inappropriate?
I set out on the streets of Manhattan to ask the general public about their opinions of the Be Stupid campaign. One elderly gentleman railed against the immorality of the campaign and its celebration of the obscene. “This is…it’s immoral. They’re taking chances with photographs. What do they think they’re doing? You can’t do this and then be shocked at, you know, a wife beating or something.” he told me.
But not everyone was so opposed to the idea of “being stupid.” “I think it’s more about opening yourself to new styles or something like that,” said one young woman in her early twenties–right in the bullseye of Diesel’s target audience.
The target audience for this ad campaign doesn’t seem confined only to age groups–other young people I interviewed just didn’t get Diesel’s philosophy at all. “I guess I don’t really get it,” said another young woman.
Apparently, being stupid means different things to different people. Individual factors, such as age, gender, cultural values, and socio-economic status surely play a part in how these ads are interpreted. For some, “stupid” can mean idiotic, irrational or a lack of intelligence. For others, it can mean to be funky or fresh, outrageous, or to act crazy and have a good time. It’s also interesting to note that both the ad agency that created this campaign, Anomaly London, and Diesel’s Creative Director, Wilbert Das, are both European.
A few clips of my interviews:
For Diesel’s target audience, it means living life without regrets and giving in to a sense of freedom and creativity. For others, it means, well, being stupid.
In the eyes of the latter group, the campaign’s accompanying video ad might seem particularly set on preaching a gospel of stupidity. Is Big Brother commanding you to BE STUPID?
One blogger in Europe picked apart the campaign in an insightful analysis. Based on Diesel’s ad campaign, would you rather be SMART or STUPID?