Archive | March 2013

Luxury property developers online / Here’s why a stock photo of a cute young lady barefoot on an expensive sofa in an over-the-top living room is not enough.

So, you’ve got your cool new user-friendly website, designed by the hip agency in East London. It features Young Beautiful Woman Smiling To Herself In Mirror Stock Photos ©, and top-of-the-line SEO-boosting content, all groomed with terms such as “passionate”, “inspirational”, “visionary”, “forward-thinking”, “multi-award winning”, “hands-on-approach”, “in-house expertise” and “exceptional end results”. You also have a “creative” section, a real must-have, nowadays. One of your clients is the Saudi Arabian Royal family – perfect. Moreover, you have a Facebook page in which you paste relevant links, five times a week, and a Twitter account, because your PR lady told you it’s MANDATORY to have one.


Is it enough?
Nope, because you still missing one, simple, but crucial point: you sell experiences, not just an expensive bunch of bricks.

Therefore, remember: LIFESTYLE is the key concept.
Here’s a few things you might want to consider.

You should have a blog
First of all, a blog is better than a Facebook page for SEO, offers better conversion tracking, and a longer shelf life. A well-written blog really shows that expertise you are bragging about. It proves you know the score, and that you are an authority in your industry. It can even be a good read, for the potential client, the aspirational one, and even for the one who doesn’t have two pennies to rub together, but still likes to snoop around grand mansions.
Here is a good example of a sweet blog that features music, street art and other interesting topics, and doesn’t just talk about ‘why you should choose us’ (link:

Gimme lifestyle!

Pinterest, what a great tool! Use it well, and it will help you create and communicate a complex message. Global luxury asset broker and concierge service provider GC Privé have a seriously cool Pinterest account, featuring lifestyle-centred boards – such as this one, in which you’ll find useful tips for a swell night out in the Big Smoke.


Instagram the Hell out of it!
Yes, put your expensive iPhone to good use: download Instagram, take a gazillion pictures, and share them everywhere. Once again, it’s not just about bedrooms and kitchens, it’s about LIFESTYLE. Therefore, I expect to see places, food, travels and cocktails. The guys at Adelto are doing a good job, get inspired by their snapshots.


What do you think?
London Web Agency Appnova – keep following us on Twitter @appnova and “like” us on Facebook for useful news and tasteful digressions about geeky stuff.

Social Media in the Pharmaceutical Industry, Part 1 / If Damien Hirst turned an art gallery into a pharmacy, why shouldn’t we turn a Facebook page into an arty pharmacy?

“Medicine is my lawful wife and literature my mistress; when I get tired of one, I spend the night with the other.”
Anton Chekhov

“Inform and entertain”, recites the social media mantra; whatever you do, follow this simple rule and you will eventually produce something good.
And yes, even if it is not about football or girls or LOLs or cats, your Facebook page / Tumblr / Pinterest can attract a strong community. And yes, even if you are a pharmaceutical company.

How? Here’s the recipe:
Useful links and info + practical advices + healthy recipes and tips for a healthier lifestyle + a forum-like place in which the company and the consumers converse + YOUR PERSONAL TWIST

What about the twist? Think for instance about medicine in art. Even more specific: let’s consider the concept of pharmacy in art.
Here’s a just a few examples:

Readymades of Marcel Duchamp / Pharmacy (Pharmacie) / 1914
‘Gouache on chromolithograph of a scene with bare trees and a winding stream to which he added two dots of watercolor, red and green, like the colored liquids in a pharmacy.’
Joseph Cornell / Pharmacy
‘Lot Description
Joseph Cornell (1903-1972) 
typed and dated ‘Joseph Cornell 1943’ (on a paper label affixed to the inside)
wood box construction — printed paper, colored sand, colored foil, sulfur, feathers, seashells, butterfly, aluminum foil, fiber, wood shavings, copper wire, fruit pits, water, gold paint, cork, water, dried leaves and found objects
15¼ x 12 x 3 1/8 in. (38.7 x 30.5 x 7.9 cm.) 
Executed in 1943.’

If you have a spare $4 million in your right pocket, head here to buy it:
Joseph Cornell
Damien Hirst / Pharmacy / 1992
From the Tate’s website: ‘For Hirst medicine, like art, provides a belief system which is both seductive and illusory. He has commented: ‘I can’t understand why some people believe completely in medicine and not in art, without questioning either’ (quoted in Damien Hirst, p.9). By reproducing the area of a pharmacy the public is normally denied access to in a highly aestheticised context, Hirst has created a kind of temple to modern medicine, ironically centred around an agent of death (the insect-o-cutor). Offering endless rows of palliative hopes for a diseased cultural body, Hirst’s Pharmacy could be seen as a representation of the multiple range of philosophies, theories and belief systems available as possible means of structuring and redeeming a life. Like medicine, however, these attempts to think a way around death are eternally doomed to failure.’
Pharmacy 1992 by Damien Hirst born 1965


WARNING! The following example should be taken as a mere case of pharmacy-themed art, and it shouldn’t be used, for obvious reasons (customers looking for medicines online don’t really want to see posts about drug abuse, addiction and sad stories of troubled pop stars).

Jason Mecier / Pill Portraits

Pharmacy: From Old French farmacie (modern French pharmacie), from Medieval Latin pharmacia, from Ancient Greek φαρμακεία (pharmakeia, “the use of drugs”), from φάρμακον (pharmakon, “a drug, charm, enchantment”), from Ancient Greek φαρμακίς (pharmakis, “witch”).
Lots of celebrities have problems with drugs. Everybody knows it. American artist Jason Mecier created a series of interesting celebrity mosaic-portraits using coloured prescription pills.

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Stay tuned for Part 2.

What do you think?
London Web Agency Appnova – keep following us on Twitter @appnova and “like” us on Facebook for useful news and tasteful digressions about geeky stuff.

Luxury Brands on Pinterest / Battle of the B(r)ands: The Punk (Leighton Koizumi) Vs the Posh Kid (Loewe).

“Be interesting, be enthusiastic… and don’t talk too much.”

Norman Vincent Peale

This smart quote neatly sums up Pinterest: show me something interesting, be enthusiastic, use images to tell a story.

So, Pinterest is a great tool for brands, blah blah blah, lots of users blah blah blah, repin and engage blah blah, and so on and so forth, we all know the story. Still, it looks like the majority of brands still struggle with it, and often use it in a rather unexciting way.

At the end of the day, the secret is in the name: it’s called PINTEREST for a reason, right?


Loewe: BAD

First of all, we would like to remind you that Loewe is a luxury fashion house owned by the LVMH Group, not a Lebanese restaurant on Holloway Road.

Moreover, as we said elsewhere, their marketing moves sound a bit weird, sometimes.

We are now ready to dissect the brand’s Pinterest account; easy, as the whole point is: what is interesting, fascinating, entertaining, enamouring, alluring, catchy, enchanting, in a brand whose boards on Pinterest are called:

Loewe Winter 2013 Looks, Loewe Made To Order Collection 2013, I Loewe Madrid / Barcelona, Loewe ‘Leo’ Bag: 7 Bloggers, 7 Colours, 7 Days, Loewe Spring Summer 2013 Campaign, Loewe Spring Summer 2013, Loewe ‘Paseo’ Bag, Loewe Fragrances, Loewe Heritage, Loewe Leather Expertise, Loewe ‘Amazona’ Bag, Loewe ‘Flamenco’ Bag, Loewe ‘Oro’, Loewe Gift Season 2012, Loewe Fragrances Dreamlike Sensations, Loewe ‘Granada’ Bag, Loewe Autumn Winter 2012 Campaign, Loewe Best Hands of Spain: The Espadrilles.


It sounds like a six-syllabled Sanskrit mantra particularly associated with the four-armed Shadakshari form of Avalokiteshvara, isn’t it?

Apart from three boards – the one with the nice illustrations, the one called “Loewe ‘Leo’ Bag: 7 Bloggers, 7 Colours, 7 Days” and the rather cool one featuring photos of real people making real things with real hands – the rest is frankly dull, boring, soulless and rather abnormally self-centred.

Leighton Koizumi: GOOD

This is for the ones who said Pinterest is for yummy mummies with too much time on their hands.

Who’s Leighton Koizumi? He’s a legend, the Pope of garage rock, the Emperor of dirty punk, the Diego Velázquez of Easy Listening For The Underachiever.

More info here, anyway:

Here’s a picture of the Man himself. Not quite the pinner you’d expect, right?


Well, the guy’s account is simply great: inspiring, cool, and, more importantly, he knows how to build narrative through images. Koizumi’s Pinterest is telling a story whose main characters are a crying Nina Simone, a Skipper Alan Hale in a Roman Orgy, Iggy Pop becoming Iggy Pope, The Primates, Bela Lugosi, Orson Welles, vintage Playmates, William Seward Burroughs II, The smallest man in the world dancing with his cat, MIERDA, freaks that come out at night, Batman riding an elephant, politically incorrect and armed monks, a mythological creature half-Mickey Mouse half-Lenin, Kate Moss and Sophia Loren.

A few boards, with a clear name; you choose where you want to get lost, you open the board, and, hey presto, you are floating in space, surfing the waves of Nuestra Señora de la Psychedelia.



What do you think?

London Web Agency Appnova – keep following us on Twitter @appnova and “like” us on Facebook for useful news and tasteful digressions about geeky stuff.

International Women’s Day / Social Media / Italy / FAIL

From Wikipedia: ‘International Women’s Day (IWD), originally called International Working Women’s Day, is marked on March 8 every year. In different regions the focus of the celebrations ranges from general celebration of respect, appreciation and love towards women to a celebration for women’s economic, political and social achievements.’

Before we continue, a clarification: I’m Italian, therefore I have the legal right to say bad things about Italy and Italians.

In Italy, International Women’s Day is very popular. In Italy, the “men vs women” thing is pretty popular, too. In Italy, to mess things up is really popular, as well.

Here’s a selection of FAILS:


This is going viral. I wonder why?

“A chocolate rose for every woman blah blah”



Fiat claims they are “celebrating women: today only parking sensors kit is included in the price!”

The comments:

Girl “Italian shame”



LBi Italy.

Oi, these guys won the MARKETING AGENCY OF THE YEAR 2012 award, they are supposed to be the SUPER DUPER FLYING GURUS & GENIUSES OF SOCIAL MEDIA, right? Wrong.

(If you are not Italian, here’s the thing: the hand gesture in the picture means “vagina”)

The comments, again, can be labeled as follows:

Girls “Macho bulls*t, very offensive.”



And, finally, a good one. Durex: “Goodbye flowers!”


What do you think?

London Web Agency Appnova – keep following us on Twitter @appnova and “like” us on Facebook for useful news and tasteful digressions about geeky stuff.

Justin O’Shea, the man who stole the limelight at Paris Fashion Week.

It’s Paris Fashion Week. Everybody knows it. La Ville-Lumière shows its immortal beauty and allure, the designers are showing their pieces of art, the most beautiful models show off, the bloggers are simply showing up, for no apparent reason. Paparazzi, limos, celebrities, glamour, and rivers of champagne. C’est tout simplement magnifique.

But there is a man everybody’s talking about, more than the weather, the traffic, Carmen Kass, Stella McCartney’s polar mission, and Hollywood stars, put together: Mr. Justin O’Shea, Buying Director of the luxury online store Our friend Sennait, international account executive at Matthew Williamson, in Paris for the event, told me the other day: “Every girl is going crazy over him, at #PFW!”

So here he is, the man himself.








What do you think?

London Web Agency Appnova – keep following us on Twitter @appnova and “like” us on Facebook for useful news and tasteful digressions about geeky stuff.