June 8th, 2011
Superbrands: It’s a Battle of Hearts of Minds

Lately, we seem to be hearing a lot about brands being a bit like religions: Apple store openings have been likened to evangelical prayer meetings. And only recently we learnt that our brains recognise our favourite brands the same way we recognise close friends and relatives.

So if brands are becoming such an integral part of how we function as human beings, what exactly are these superbrands doing to achieve this?  Alex Riley is the man with the answers, as he goes on the trail of the world’s biggest brands and comes up with some fascinating insights.

Perhaps most obviously, the one thing superbrands seem to have in common is longevity. But that aside, the forefathers of these global brands display a startling ability to market their businesses at a time when even the term ‘marketing’ had yet to be coined. Their brand strategies were way ahead and whether you’re a big fan of fast food and soft drinks or a fully fledged fruitarian – 1.5billion servings of Coke a day can’t be wrong.

Riley’s documentary also surprisingly illustrates what a pivotal time for developing brand loyalty World War II was: Heinz became known as an affordable and nutritious staple food during rationing while Coke shipped its bottles to troops overseas for a dime a bottle.

Then there’s Red Bull, which is one of the most unique branding models around. Forget sponsorship – Red Bull weren’t playing second fiddle to anyone. They own their own sporting teams for Formula 1, they also own Salzburg football team and even invented the now famous Red Bull Air Races.

They’re all impressive examples. But ethical? That’s for you to decide. With Coke aiming to double their marketing share by targeting teenagers, and Red Bull erasing the historical culture of their football team, some might argue that they’re ruthless industry machines. But then business ethics are a whole different blog post…

If you didn’t catch it the first time, check out Alex Riley’s ‘Secrets of the Superbrands’ here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b011fjbp


September 1st, 2010
arcade fire

Arcade Fire release an interactive HTML 5 video and website for their new single release.

A very creative and imaginative Google Chrome experiment. Choreographed windows open and close with the music, maps are rendered throughout the film and 3D birds flock throughout. Really creative outcome and design! Check out the website here.


August 13th, 2010
the dba pen


July 26th, 2010

The coolest cards/badges I have seen in a while. There just brilliant. Check out more of their designs here and why not buy a few.


July 5th, 2010
resource furniture

Resource Furniture. Some amazing furniture design concepts. I never knew so much could fit into such a small space.

Check out their website here http://www.resourcefurniture.com/space-savers


July 4th, 2010
light bulbs

Brilliant hand-painted light bulbs. Get a mural on your wall without having to paint it, then easily change when you want.

Painted by Felicia Renaud, a Californian artist. Buy them here. Found via holy-cool.


June 30th, 2010
quirky, pivot power

Quirky is a collaborative based industrial design website. Think you have a great idea get on here and load it up. The quirky community votes for the best ideas and the winners get to see their design created, and get a big percentage of the profit.

Here is one such product that leaves me thinking ‘why has this not been done before?’


May 25th, 2010
dulux viral


Local people enrolled with Dulux to transform their community. This took one month to create and was filmed in London, Brazil, France and India.


May 12th, 2010
iPhone credit card reader

You can pretty much do everything on the iPhone now including making credit card payments. I can see this taking off in a big way, mainly due to the fact a small business will no longer need a merchant account from their bank.


April 14th, 2010


March 24th, 2010
the 8-bit hanger. every graphics studio should have one.

The awesome 8-bit hanger. Just brilliant. This would be at home in any design agency or studio!

Buy it from the website http://www.meninos.us/products.php?product=8%252dBit-hanger


February 24th, 2010
wrangler. graphic user interface design

You can control this guy. Nice idea, really fluid movement. The website is designed to sell jeans but its just a cool idea, and a nice use of flash and interactivity.

Not sure what agency did this. But Im starting to like the repetitive music too.

Check out the website here: http://eu.wrangler.com/bluebell/#/collection


February 23rd, 2010
nuit blanche. creative motion designers

Really haunting video. Every shot in this piece is well considered. It oozes style, created in black and white, fantastic graphic style.

You can read more about this post on the Motionographer website here


February 23rd, 2010
mr. memory. creative advertising.

Awesome advert!


February 17th, 2010
the happiness machine. viral advertising.

…because its such a fun and genuine idea. We need one of these machines in Birmingham!


February 15th, 2010
living climate change

A nice web site encouraging graphic designers to make videos about the effects of climate change. As a branding agency based in Birmingham we try to reduce the amount of paper waste we create. We do encourage anybody out the o do the same.

Check out the website here http://livingclimatechange.com/videochallenge/