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Is McDonald’s trying to become a luxury brand? Capitalism, minimalism, decadence and French fries.

What is happening to McDonald’s? Is the brand going bananas, or is it about to make the smartest move ever?


The facts:

From RocketNews24: ‘McDonald’s Japan recently unveiled the Quarter Pounder Jewelry series of premium high-class burgers, laughing at your conventional definition of fast food. But at 1,000 yen (US$9.93) without fries or soda, and including quality ingredients such as truffle sauce, pineapple, or chorizo, these fancy burgers are unusual menu items for a fast food chain.’

TAXI – The Global Creative Network reportsTo match up to the quality of the premium burgers, the fast-food giant also packed them in exquisite-looking minimalistic packaging.

As opposed to its brown paper bags, McDonald’s used glossy white paper bags—much like those you’d receive when you shop at fancy branded outlets—that were printed with “golden arches” in gold foil on the front.

Each burger was also wrapped with a gold-colored paper sleeve, and placed in a luxury-watch-box-packaging lookalike of a glossy white paper box.

Would you pay more for McDonald’s if they used quality ingredients and posh packaging? Or is this just decadent?’

Here’s one of the comments left by the users: ‘This is a prime example of putting lipstick on a pig…’

And a collection of pictures of said luxury junk delicacies.

1 2 3 4

This is what they look like in real life, anyway.


Meanwhile, in France, the new ad campaign features close-up photos of chips, a Big Mac, a Filet-o-Fish, and other products. No text. No copy. No logo. Nothing but the product.

mcdonalds-france-big-mac mcdonalds-france-french-fries

“Minimalistic” is the word.

A concept that is growing popular, recently, especially when it comes to luxury brands. As a great article – ‘the Rise of the Unbrand’ – on the Harvard Business Review puts it, ‘Today, some major mainstream brands are even removing their logos voluntarily. Take Selfridges & Co. The UK-based company was voted Best Department Store in the World at the Global Department Store Summit in 2012. With stores in London, Birmingham and the Manchester region, they are experimenting (and succeeding) with a very counter-intuitive brand strategy of creating silence. As part of their “No Noise” initiative, they’ve launched something called The Quiet Shop, a store-within-a-store for which some of the world’s most respected brands have actually removed their logos. These “de-branded products” includes the very-well-known brands Levi’s, Creme de la Mer and Beats by Dre — just without their signature logos.’

So, is McDonald’s trying to appeal to Gen Y – which, as we said elsewhere, lives and loves the paradox of the concepts of luxury and junk, sort of Apollonian and Dionysian dichotomy – and reinvent itself as a thoughtful and decadent luxury brand, or have they just lost the plot?

Talking about junk food, Japan and decadent stuff, this photo was posted by a Burger King employee, who was fired after it went viral. There is the allure of capitalism, a crucifixion that reminds us of Mantegna and Guido Reni, the sadness of post-Marxism, and a bucket full of God knows what, here.


And here’s the good old junk approach: no vain ambitions, no frills, no exotic dreams of luxury and pineapple in burgers, just the ultimate Call to Action – “Got a couple of bucks? Good, come here and give it to us.”


Photo sources: TAXI – The Global Creative Network PR Daily RocketNews24

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.

Covent Garden: 17th century sandwiches, Mick Jagger’s hair, the market, and more.

Appnova’s new HQ is in Covert Garden. We absolutely love it. Covent Garden is like ice cream – you’ll never get tired of it.


Here’s a series of interesting and unusual facts about Covent Garden.

In 1632 the 4th Earl of Bedford, Francis Russell, commissioned the renowned architect Inigo Jones to develop the area into a luxury neighborhood. Heavily influenced by Italian piazzas, Jones created London’s first public square, surrounded by arcaded buildings and dominated by the church of St. Paul.

The first sandwich ever eaten by that name is claimed to have been consumed in the Shakespeare’s Head in Covent Garden by the Earl of Sandwich, in 1762. Sandwich was a keen gambler who when snacking at the gaming tables had his meats put between slices of bread to keep his fingers (and the cards) free from grease.

Eliza Doolittle, the central character in George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, is a Covent Garden flower seller.

A lock of Mick Jagger’s hair is up for sale at auction house Bonhams next month with a guide price of between $2,400 and $3,000. Mick Jagger’s hair was snipped from his mane in the early 1960s and kept by relatives of one of his first girlfriends, Chrissie Shrimpton, a Covent Garden secretary he famously dated while a student at the London School of Economics.


And here’s a series of great images, nicked from “Old Covent Garden: The Fruit, Vegetable and Flower Markets” and “Covent Garden Then & Now”, both by Clive Boursnell.


About this photo, Clive Boursnell says: “Everything was on the move: the ever-changing colour of the light, the kaleidoscope of shapes…Then a blast from a truck’s horn, a voice from a cab window: ‘Out the fuckin’ way, dreamer boy.'”

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Photo sources: Retronaut Time Out / All photos © Clive Boursnell.

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.

9 gadgets we would like to have in our office RIGHT NOW / Feat. trans-floor slides, Ferrari chairs, and more.

We have compiled a list of things we would like to have in our new office in Covent Garden.

Since there are too many options to choose from and bars and pubs and restaurants offering foods and drinks from all over the world, we thought this What’s For Lunch? Decision Spinner would help us overcome the “lunchtime panic attack”.


Trans-floor slide, as seen at Red Bull office, here in London. Quality.

Trans-Floor Slide @ Red Bull Office

Slot car racing!



Possibly operated from this Ferrari Scuderia chair. Looks pretty cool, isn’t it?

Ferrari Scuderia 16M Office Chair

Volkswagen van desk.


This is for all the social media ringmasters and friends often coming to visit us. We are trying to work, here!


Fusion table – when the meeting is over, the game is on.


Last but not least, the “Ice Cold Whisky Dispenser”. Win.


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.

Ad campaigns / Everybody is talking about the Andy Warhol Museum, a hot dog full of worms, and firecracker Speedos.

“Summer’s Different Here”, claims the new ad campaign for the Warhol Museum’s summer exhibits, the brainchild of MARC USA, Pittsburgh. By using traditional summertime symbols and imagery and giving it a macabre and provocative twist, the campaign promotes exhibitions of artists including Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, Caldwell Linker and Nick Bubash.

“In looking at what unites all these very different artists, we quickly understood that their works are meant to provoke and make you uncomfortable,” says MARC USA creative director Josh Blasingame. “Our campaign built on that idea by looking at ordinary icons of summer and showing how they could be made more than a little uncomfortable.”

It all makes sense now.

More news and info here:





Photo sources: Adweek

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.

The dark side of the luxury dream / The abandoned, sad and lonely supercars of Dubai.

‘Show me a hero and I’ll write you a tragedy.’ – F. Scott Fitzgerald

There is something weird going on in Dubai – thousands of luxury cars sleep in the streets, collecting dust, victims of the decadence of a society in which money stones more than any other psychotropic substance.


(Ferrari F40, 1,315 were manufactured in total)

Jon Moy explains – with rather strong words – the situation: ‘Evidently even Dubai, a city I thought was literally dripping in wealth, has been hit hard by the economic downturn. And by “hit hard,” I mean rich motherfuckers are abandoning their cars to avoid defaulting on their loans. Defaulting or even bouncing a check is a criminal offense in Dubai, so mad people are just driving their cars to the airport or wherever and leaving them there indefinitely before skipping town.’


(DeLorean DMC-12, as seen in the Back to the Future trilogy)


(Jaguar XJ220. Just 275 cars were produced)

Another article, published by The Daily Mail, titled ‘Dumped in Dubai: The luxury high performance cars left abandoned by British expats who fear being jailed because of debts’ reports that more than 3,000 cars were found abandoned last year.

Why does this happen? As Business Insider puts it: ‘Under Sharia law which is observed across the Middle East, non-payment of debt is a criminal offence. As the UAE has no bankruptcy laws, there is no protection for those slipping into debt, even accidentally. There have been cases of foreigners being prevented from leaving the Emirates after being blacklisted for simply missing a credit card payment or bouncing a cheque.’



The saddest of them all is a $1.6 million Enzo Ferrari, one of only 349 made. The owner had racked up fines and speeding tickets that ended up being thirty thousand bucks. Instead of paying, he fled the country. Legend.


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.

Digitise property development / Here’s how to inspire, inform and seduce your audience.

We work with property developers, architects and interior designers. Funnily enough, even though they are not accountants, sometimes our clients struggle to find inspiring things to post on their blogs, Pinterest boards and Facebook pages.

There are a couple of bad things about the Internet – too many cats and Rihanna wannabes – but there is this great, mind-blowing thing: anything you can think of (and beyond) is online.

Therefore stop saying you are short of ideas, and focus on the following tasks:

  • Inspire me
  • Inform and entertain
  • Seduce me

Inspire me.

And show you know what you are talking about. Are you an architect? Go on Tumblr, click on “Find blogs” and get lost in a sea of blogs dedicated to any kind of porn, from cabins to bricks. Or just type “fireplace” on Pinterest, and see where it will bring you.

Cabin porn, on Tumblr.





Fireplace porn, a Pinterest board by Eva Lichner.


Inform and entertain.

Images are powerful, but reading about architects, buildings and typography and “collections of collections” is pretty cool, too.

Check Design Oberver’s blog, and their Facebook page.


Seduce me.

Do it with photography, or, even better, video. Like this one. Pure architecture porn. Oh Lord, it’s getting hot in here…

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.

End of the World Survival Kits / feat. Chuck Norris, Guns, Activated Charcoal, and Lots of Booze.

The end of the world is nigh. Ten days to go.

Many songs have been written about it, many artists sung about the Apocalypse: The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Metallica, Peter Gabriel, Jethro Tull, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Hawkwind, The Misfits, King Crimson, The Cure and Black Sabbath, among many others.


But when McFly (see picture below) sing about “The End” it means this is getting seriously scary.


‘Everybody knows the end

When the curtain hits the floor

Everybody knows the end

Don’t wanna get there wishing that you’d given more

It’s not over, till it’s over

So how do we begin?

When everybody knows the end.’



Although the guys at NASA debunk the end-of-the-world myths on “Beyond 2012: Why the World Won’t End” many are getting ready for the worst.

Don’t worry pal, the Internet offers several kits that can help you go through your final days.


What would Chuck Norris do?






Price: $475.00

found here:



In case you prefer to get tipsy rather than armed, here are some kits you will find useful.

“Just in Case” End of the world survival kit (seen here:

‘The full list includes:

  1. Chocolate Abuelita ® : Dark chocolate laced with cinnamon and covered in sugar. With more than 70 years in the market, this classic delight will make you feel well under any circumstances.
  2. Doméstica Yellow Notebook ® : A design classic from Monterrey. Tell the story, write like John, draw like el Bosco, or use it to start a fire.
  3. Simple Knife ® : Clean affordable design, a minimal hunting tool for animals or zombies.
  4. 40 Emergency Black Matches ® : Start a fire, get warm, light your way with style. Black is beautiful.
  5. Xtabentun D’aristi ® : Original Mayan liqueur from Casa D’aristi in Yucatan, one of our favorite brands of 2011. Celebrate like the old times!
  6. Basic Water ® : Drink wisely, survive up to ten days with one liter.’

“Just in Case”


The Russian Way.

From The Siberian Times: ‘Doomsday kits go on sale in Siberia as ‘end of the world’ looms…’

‘In the kit are medications like bandages, activated charcoal (against food poisoning), validol (a heart drug) and Valeriana (sedative drops or pills).

Other essentials include a package of buckwheat grain (a favourite Russian grain for  porridges and garnishes) and a tin of preserved fish.

Most important perhaps is  and a little bottle of vodka.

Also in the kit is a notepad to record your impressions of the world’s end, a pencil, candles, matches box, soap and string.

Salesmen say that they are ready to post the kit anywhere in the world – for some 890 roubles (minus delivery fee), which is £17,88 or $28,66.’




“End of the World Survival Kit” custom wood crate.

‘It’s the end of the world per the Mayan calendar and Shock Top beer!  A new Shock Top brand called End of the World Midnight Wheat was released in October 2012.   We helped create a custom wood crate Survival Kit that was shipped out to the media to launch their latest brand.  Roughed up and battered was the objective.  It’s the end of the world you know!  Shock Top’s orange slice logo and other copy were hot branded into the wood while the corners of the crate were burnt with a blow torch.  The piece turned out hot.  Literally!!’

Found here:



What if it’s the end of the world AND zombies appear in the streets of Balham, Streatham and Wandsworth?

 No prob. Here you go.




‘Lotsa freaking zombies. Prepare thyself with the Zombie Survival Kit ($80), an essential arsenal of goodies to beat down the baddies, including the SOG Tactical Tomahawk, Zombie Jerky, Zombie Crime Scene Tape, and more. With these tools, you’ll likely survive the undead assault, only to face the final stage of the apocalypse: Celine Dion clones. (shudder)’



Other solutions.

If all else fails, well, here’s a Sardine Can Survival Kit.


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