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January 19, 2015 - No Comments!

Jai Paul – Unintended Untitled Release

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As someone who appreciates the traditional means of releasing music in an album format, it is rare for me to fall head over heels for an artist who hasn't put out much material. That said, Jai Paul has to be the biggest exception to that personal guideline. Ever. When I first heard his single BTSU, I knew he was on to something HUGE. He's like the ideal mix of Prince and Stevie Wonder, with 90's Timbaland-like hip-hop production, but Daft-Punk-esque vocal and synth aesthetics. That's a lot to swallow but this guy is seriously going to be a major thing. Drake rapped over Jai Paul's song "BTSU" for his song "Dreams Money Can Buy", and brought him some slight internet buzz, but nothing worthy of the pure talent of Mr. Paul.

       16 tracks were mysteriously uploaded to Jai Paul's Bandcamp, and his loyal followers declared it his much-anticipated debut album. The tracks have since been declared by Jai Paul himself as demos, and not part of his actual album. Nevertheless, these tracks are INCREDIBLE, and are guaranteed to make your day better, make you think about life in a new life, and all the other great shit that great music does to humans.

Stream the full 16-track album here.

December 19, 2014 - No Comments!

If This Then That – Interconnect Yo’ Self

As the amount of social media channels we regularly use continues to grow, so do their user bases. Age groups and demographics who laughed off Myspace as a teenage-trend are now glued to their mobile devices to see the latest Instagram post. Successful new channels bring an incredible new way to interact, share and stay connected to our ever-growing human networks.

     Our generation understands the connectivity that these networks enable, however it was not until last week that a new service opened my eyes to the vast power that comes from interconnectivity between the diverse social media channels. IFTTT, which stands for If This Then That, allows users to create simple input/output equations that connect different feeds and channels in unprecedented ways. In other words, you can designate that if some action happens on one feed then something automatically happens to a completely different feed as a result.

Example 1: If I post a new photo to Instagram automatically post it to my tumblr and personal website.

Example 2: If someone posts an ad on craigslist for a 2 BDRM apartment in Williamsburg automatically send me an email and a text with the link and contact information.

     The potential that this service wields is seemingly endless. This is going to change the way we manage our digital presences and various online creative outlets. I have already gotten lost in the thousands of user created "recipes" that can make digital life incredibly more efficient and sensical. If this kind of thing excites you, IFTTT may be the cure to your case of the mondays. Ok, ok, I'm done nerding out for now.

September 19, 2014 - No Comments!

New Yorker Interactive Graphic – Inequality & NYC Subways

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Though this graphic by Larry Buchanan for The New Yorker speaks for itself, there are so many tidbits of info that specifically caught my eye. The disparities between Manhattan are astonishing, but not as surprising as the disparities between the West and East sides of Manhattan. Take a look below, click one of the subway lines, and enjoy this UI that makes income inequality fun to play with!

INEQUALITY AND NEW YORK'S SUBWAYS

Side Note: A great addition to this piece would be to show how these income disparities have shifted and widened over history. Many of these lines have existed for over a century and chronicling their history with regards to relative incomes would be a powerful statement.

February 19, 2015 - No Comments!

Slicing Through the Clutter

There is so much clutter and noise constantly bombarding our senses that an advertisement really has but a fraction of a second to attract our generation's infamously hyperactive attention span. This may be why I tend to be drawn to Ad agencies and brands that are willing to take a unique and risky creative direction.
Last week a friend sent me a video advertisement for K-Mart that his agency had helped work on. The spot is called "Ship My Pants" and very simply cycles through a diverse set of customers shocked by the slogan for K-Mart's new in-store shipping service.

This advertisement represents one of the genre of video spots that a successful campaign needs in order to cut through the clutter of media. Viewers instantly pay attention as they can't believe that their TV just said "Sh!t My Pants", only to find out by the end of the commercial that they are watching a K-Mart shipping promotion. The shock value of this spot ended up doing wonders for the campaign. The video went viral and within two weeks, had tens of millions of views on youtube. The ultimate indication of a successful viral campaign? My mother sent me a link to it asking if I had seen it. Winning.

February 19, 2015 - No Comments!

Horror-ble Advertising

I have had a love/hate relationship with horror movies since I was a wee lad watching Goosebumps over my older sibling's shoulder. Though it often feels like my conflicted sentiments towards horror are unique, I'm well aware that this type of relationship is common with this genre.
Perhaps the affinity for the climatic buildups that define horror narratives is what makes this Dirt Devil spot one of my all-time favorite TV Advertisements. Check it out below.

This incredibly creative, thorough, and immersive advertisement is exactly the type of content that draws me to the industry. Combining horror with comedy in film has a historically proven propensity for failure, yet this minute-and-a-half long Ad manages to nail it. Though this Ad was made for a German audience, it is universal in its delivery and substance. I can not get enough of this spot, and through it Dirt Devil achieves an entirely new level of cool.

Check out a related Dirt Devil Ad that drops the horror and sticks to comedic relief:

February 19, 2015 - No Comments!

Social Media #Detectives vs. Their Traditional Counterparts

The tragic bombings at the Boston Marathon last week created international shock as details of the attack poured out via digital, social, and mainstream media outlets. Mainstream media was initially lauded for their extensive coverage and immediate updates on the investigation, while social and digital media offered their own forms of a helping hand. Aside from initial photos posted by users to Twitter and Instagram of the post-bombing scenes of mayhem, Reddit snatched the spotlight as the most influential social media outlet, especially as the investigation progressed.

Reddit, which calls itself the “Front Page of the Internet,” became a location for users to aggregate photos, videos, and any other potentially useful information in identifying the subjects.  Harmless and Noble right? Their intentions surely were. The reality, however, became muddled by false leads gone viral. As assumptions of subjects jumped to {all} other social social media channels, innocent marathon bystanders instantly became public enemies.

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What happened next is a little confusing. Mainstream media attacked Reddit for their role in spreading the false accusations made on their site. The users and moderators of the Reddit Forum denied their responsibility, however insisted that users stop posting on the men proven innocent.  The forum also blamed mainstream media for dispersing the innocent photos and making them go viral. The New York Post, the mainstream outlet that Reddit moderators were likely referring to, published an issue with a cover photo of the falsely accused innocent young men. They stand by their choice to publish the issue to this day.

More here at Slate

February 19, 2014 - No Comments!

Daft Punk Makes Social Media Dance

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The lead up to Daft Punk's new album release Random Access Memories has been a work of art in it's own right. Over the past week they have gone from 5 years of hibernation to trending topic on effectively every social media and culture outlet. Yes, we've seen crazier things than this on the internet, but what's interesting is how they did it.

        Instead of launching a traditional album promotional campaign(I'm sure one will come as the release date grows nearer), they decided to pin-point their target audience when they would be most receptive: at a music festival. On the enormous video screens of the main stage at the two-weekend-long Coachella Valley Music Festival a short clip played of both members of Daft Punk dancing with "Mr. Cool" himself Pharrell Williams to their collaborative single "Get Lucky" from the upcoming album.  The clip was perfectly timed in between major acts. The crowd was huge. The Crowd was in obsessive music festival social media mode. The internet exploded.

        Everywhere you turned was someone talking about Daft Punk at Coachella. Two days later, they allowed streaming of the aforementioned single online. The social media takeover continued. I want to give their PR/Strategy team a High-Five.

        What the next move in their strategic plan will be is unclear. According to a recent RollingStone interview, they are going to use a couple well-crafted 15-second TV spots during Saturday NIght Live commercial breaks. Judging by their tactics so far I'd wager they have some more tricks up their sleeves.

        As for the actual album itself, Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, the two members of Daft Punk, are known for their mysteriously secretive creative process, so the wait continues for eager fans and critics alike.