Tag Archive | rihanna

Internet Obsessions: pets (not only cats!), money, and Beyoncé & Jay-Z.

“Four legs good, two legs bad.”

― George Orwell, Animal Farm

 

The Internet is a strange place where strange things happen. But it looks like three trends are going strong, nowadays: money, animals, and the Carter Family (i.e. Beyoncé, Jay-Z, and their kids).

Animals

Animals have always been big on the Internet, but there seems to be a shift, from mostly cats and (some) dogs, to other kinds of zoological creatures.

So, while online cats are “so everywhere” Vice even made a documentary about them – see below – non-cat owners too are trying to cash in on their pets.

http://www.vice.com/en_uk/lilbub/lil-bub–friendz-full-length

Remember “Maddie on things”? The latest evolution of the concept is “Stuff On My Rabbit”. Are rabbits the new cats? We don’t know, let’s see what happens next. it’s not clear why would you put a wrench on your rabbit’s head, though.

maddieonthings

rabbit

Money

We’ve been talking about this for a while – see previous posts – as the “Yo yo I’m mothaf***in’ rich and you ain’t” thing still seems to go strong, despite poverty, famines and the global recession. Here’s the latest Guru of this movement, @itslavishbitch, AKA the most hated human being on the planet right now, AKA the man who comes up with inspiring quotes such as “More money on my chest than in yo bank account”, “These peasants keep hating while my money keep calculating” and “You made your bed so sleep in it, peasant”. Even Rihanna told him to stop. He replied: “Broke bitch ur net worth only 80m.”

itslavishbitch

itslavishbitch2

itslavishbitch3

itslavishbitch4

And here’s how 50 Cent explains what it’s like to be filthy rich.

50cent

The Carter Family

There is something weird going on: people worshipping Beyoncé, Jay-Z and the rest of the family are now giving the whole thing a twist that puts these individuals in the most iconic paintings in history, something that sounds like a Beatification.

Here’s “The Carter Family Portrait Gallery

Photo by Julia Pelish Photography

And “Beyoncé Art History

beyonceartvangogh

 

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.

Photo sources: see links

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.

cp

cp1

cp2

cp3

Fireplace porn, a Pinterest board by Eva Lichner.

fireplaces

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.

designoberver

Seduce me.

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

http://vimeo.com/7809605#

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 Beauty Brands 2.0 / How to look classy online, feat. “Snooki” Polizzi, L’Occitane en Provence, The Sanctuary and Josie Maran.

I don’t have a TV set. The last time I had one I was at uni. It was 1997. The other day I went to visit a friend; he’s got a TV set, and suddenly I found myself channel surfing like a young Leroy “The Masochist” Smith in Big Wednesday.

After a little while, I sat and wondered:

snooki

It looks like there are way more Snookis, WAGs, Tulisas, Geordie Shorettes, TOWIE-sque beauties out there than Carole Bouquets, Audrey Hepburns and Zooey Deschanels.

Moreover, brands often – even plush ones – when it comes to social media, tend to adapt their image to the latest trend, which means that several times they end up looking like a chav, i.e. a not very classy individual with an expensive Burberry cap.

It’s true, thanks to gangsta rappers and Reality TV stars now luxury brands are much more ‘street’ than before, LOL and YOLO and the rest, but still, a luxury brand should stay true to its roots and perpetuate the purest ideals of beauty, elegance, and excellence (that means Coco Chanel is a good style icon, Nicki Minaj is not).

So, if you really need to give it a twist, use your brain.

Want to depict immortal beauty and allure? Ask Ellen von Unwerth to take care of the photoshoot, just like The Sanctuary did (and yes, you are right, we created their website ;)).

sanctuary

Want to engage your customers and keep them coming back for more? Choose culture, nature, healthy recipes and Vintage Posters of Provence, instead of OMG-scandal-scoop-unseen-footage-blah-blah-bloody-blah.

Look at L’Occitane en Provence on Pinterest, for instance.

occitane

Want to use Instagram in a different way? Stop posting pictures of parties with Rihanna and Drake, and give us some real pictures, like Josie Maran. She’s a mom and a business woman, and found a way to make these traits live together; moreover, her Instagram images show a brand’s human face, and the real deal, i.e. how to look cool and well-groomed even if you have to take care of a wild 1-year-old baby.

josiemaran

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 2 / Less Tavor, More Tumblr. Or, Think Outside the (Pill) Box.

I was having a “Sunday Roast Social Media Conversation” the other day, trying to explain to a friend my views on the beauty of medicine, and the importance of aesthetics in life; he said “a pill is a pill, mate”, to which I replied “Ceci n’est pas une pill”, paraphrasing René Magritte’s The Treachery of Images.

He didn’t get it. Neither did I.

The nitty-gritty, anyway, is that a pipe is a pipe but also something else, and pills are pills but are also something else – something beautiful to look at, with all their colours and shapes – and once again art and medicine found themselves sharing a compartment on a train, and once more we should try to think outside the (pill) box, and realise a pharmaceutical company should have a social presence that goes beyond the mere link-news-functional-post-done-ciao.

Nothing new here – Sir Henry Solomon Wellcome, the American-British pharmaceutical entrepreneur who co-founded Burroughs Wellcome & Company, was also a philanthropist and an art lover. According to Wikipedia “Wellcome had a passion for collecting medically related artefacts, aiming to create a Museum of Man. He bought very widely anything related to medicine, including Napoleon’s toothbrush, currently on display at the Wellcome Collection. By the time of his death there were 125,000 medical objects in the collection, of over one million total.”

If you leave in London, go see the Wellcome Collection TOMORROW. If you don’t leave in London, come down here and visit the Collection instead of Primark and other “cheap and unchic” attractions. Here’s the Collection’s website: http://www.wellcomecollection.org/

How to turn this into digital matter, then? A few suggestions will follow.
Anyway, once again, remember the dogma: INFORM AND ENTERTAIN.

Pinterest
In 2009, I went to the Wellcome Collection to see “Exquisite Bodies: or the Curious and Grotesque History of the Anatomical Model”, an astonishing collection of anatomical models. From the bearded lady to Damien Hirst’s Hymn, how cool would they look on a Pinterest board?

L0051902 Bearded Lady

hirst_hymn_miniprint_12970_large

Wax Anatomical Model

You can’t avoid Facebook
Yep, that’s true – Facebook is like Rihanna: wherever you go, you can’t avoid it. Therefore, make the most of it.
Pfizer is doing a good job on the social network, posting inspiring things, vintage photographs and beautiful etchings.

(From the Pfizer Photo Archives: An etching, circa 1915, of Pfizer’s manufacturing plant in Brooklyn, New York)

pfizer

Use Tumblr!
As you probably know, I’m a big fan of Tumblr. How to use it, when it comes to medicine-related stuff? Look at Medical School (http://medicalschool.tumblr.com/). Brilliant.

Is this one of Yves Klein’s monochrome works from The Blue Epoch? Nope, it’s the human spinal cord in cross section.

human_spinal_chord

 

Abstract painting or colourised SEM of anthrax bacteria?

Colorized SEM of Anthrax Bacteria

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.

On Beauty, #menswear, video, and the meaning of art / A movie starring T-Michael, A. Sauvage, Philip Lim and Mr Porter.

“If you can’t convince them, confuse them.”

Harry S. Truman

The Internet is so bottomless and lawless and structureless and ruleless, you’d think it’s Show Time, with brands going all arty and psychedelic, coming up with new things every day, things that will help change our Weltanschauung and open our minds, just like when you watch a movie directed by Terry Gilliam or enjoy a pièce de theatre written by Samuel Beckett or you look at Francis Bacon’s Study after Velázquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X.  

Paradoxically, it doesn’t work that way.

The majority of brands online still behave in a surprisingly unsurprising way. Same old story, same old tricks, same old copy, same old content. Social media should work as the lab in which revolutionary experiments get conducted, in order to find the cure to boredom, and to finally synthesise the ultimate recreational and mind-expanding pill. In fact, most of the times we see things about cats, BUY THIS, LIKE THAT, SHARE THIS, REPIN THAT, Rihanna and a couple of photographs with a caption that says something grandma-friendly, but with some sort of rebellious twist. What happened to Beauty? What happen to the motto “Ars gratia artis”, AKA “L’art pour l’art”, AKA “Art for art’s sake”, which inspired Edgar Allan Poe, Théophile Gautier, Victor Cousin and Walter Benjamin? What happened to David Lynch and a bunch of scary, silent bunnies? Where is John Cage, making music with a piano, a few bolts and screws, and a hammer? Moreover, as video is still the dark horse of social media, it allows the inspired one to go even more creative and experimental. But few brands truly exploit the medium, and, when they do, they tend to be quite conservative.

Storytelling through video, then, how should it be done? It’s all about Beauty. GIVE US BEAUTY. Please.

Look at the following examples. Pure Beauty. Art. Cool stuff. Less garments, more message. Quality over quantity. Focus on the story rather than sales. And Vimeo instead of YouTube. Win.

From FASHION AND MASH – ‘Philip Lim turns to “Trickers” for SS13 menswear video’

‘Phillip Lim has proved an early addition to the onslaught of spring/summer 2013 campaign videos, with a beautiful spot for its menswear line that demonstrates martial arts tricking.’

 

THIS IS NOT A SUIT (2010) — A FILM BY A. SAUVAGE

A stunning homage to Jørgen Leth’s The Perfect Human.

FEATURE FILM: THE REINVENTION

From Mr Porter – ‘One Sunday evening in April 2004, 32-year-old professional gambler Mr Ashley Revell walked into Las Vegas’ Plaza Hotel & Casino in a black tuxedo. His aim? To take the $135,300 he’d made the previous month selling everything he owned – including the clothes off his back – and place it on the roulette table in one gigantic, double-or-nothing bet. Pick right between black and red and he’d be twice as rich; wrong, and he’d walk away with nothing. Literally.’

ART COMES FIRST

About: ‘Fashion maybe suffers from a reputation as art’s most shallow valued cousin, but that is only because its power is often corrupted and abused.

The A.C.F. is not about fashion in that way. It is about something else entirely. The nobility of the striving and nature mandate that we fulfill our responsibility to inspire one another.’ 

The video has been ‘Written & Directed by Finn-Erik Rognan and T-Michael’. I met the latter when I was living in Norway: a true gentleman, always impeccably dressed, a Über-stylish dandy, way before the #menswear thing became a mainstream trend. A pioneer. He even came to one of our exhibitions, held in a squatted wooden house, close to his studio, in the most beautiful – and somehow hidden – part of Bergen. Bless.

What will the future bring? Hopefully, more Beauty.

Among some interesting new brands devoted to menswear, elegance, and the Beauty of art, there’s one that looks especially enlightened: the name’s Curieux, stay tuned for more.

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.

3 Things Fashion Brands Should STOP Doing on Facebook.

DOGS, RIHANNA, LOL, ONE DIRECTION, CAT, CAT, CAT, ROFL, OMG, MEME,  SPAM, SPAM, CAT, NICE QUOTE SUCH AS “LIFE IS JUST A BOWL OF CHERRIES”, LOL, CAT, DOG, OTHER KIND OF PET, TAG, SPAM, RIHANNA, JAY-Z, BEYONCE’, JUSTIN BIEBER, POLITICS, LUV, CAT, CAT, LOL, RIHANNA, STUFF REPOSTED FROM A PAGE CALLED “GETTING SO DRUNK, THE PARAMEDICS FIND BOOD IN YOUR ALCOHOL STREAM”, CAT, RIHANNA, LOL, SWAG, SOME KIND OF ARMCHAIR REVOLUTIONARY STATEMENT AGAINST GREEDY BANKERS, NEW WORLD ORDER AND WALL STREET, RIHANNA, LOL.

That was Facebook in 83 words.

A noisy, lawless souk in which everybody screams, blah blahs around, listens to Rihanna and lols at cats.

In this quasi-apocalyptic scenario, do we really need fashion brands to pump up the volume knobs up to 11? I don’t think so.

They should tell stories, instead of going for cheap tricks and loud sirens in order to attract the attention – and ultimately the loyalty – of users and (existing or potential) fans.

Quality, not quantiy.

Therefore, dear fashion brands, STOP doing the following things, and give us something intriguing, interesting, and content worth sharing.

1. STOP exaggerating things.

We have been talking about the use (or misuse) of language on Facebook, when it comes to Luxury Brands. That was about the lack of vocabulary, this is about using the right words in the right contest.

Look the image below. The expressions “To dye/die for”, “LOVE” and “obsessed” compare in this post. You might think this is Sophocles’ Antigone; you are wrong, they are talking about shoes. Yes, shoes.

You should die for freedom, not for a pair of shoes, you must love the planet and its inhabitants, not high heels, you need affection, not a 800 quid pair of pumps, you can be obsessed with Francis Bacon’s painting, not with slippers.

Seriously, let’s get real.

obsession

2. STOP telling unbelievable and ridiculous lies.

When I see a post like “FACEBOOK EXCLUSIVE. For our fans ONLY, blah blah”, I shiver. To put the words “Exclusive” and “Facebook”, together, in the same sentence, is like saying “bespoke Primark dress”.

Or think about the “Behind the scenes” photos. Just because you can see a spotlight and an intern that fixes something in the background doesn’t make it real.

Everybody’s posing, that’s not a behind the scenes, that’s a “Let’s pretend you are unaware of the camera and pull an intense face, and you, intern, what’s your name again? yeah, whatever, you go there and act like you were fixing stuff, chop chop!” kind of situation (This one is taken from Cesare Paciotti’s Facebook page)

fake_behind_the_scenes

3. Stop asking me to SHARE and LIKE your posts if your posts are rubbish, and, most of all, stop using ALL CAPS, cos they don’t hypnotise people, they just bother them.

Yes, I used them in the word STOP, and when describing Facebook, you’re right, I’m guilty, mea culpa, but that was just because I wanted to reproduce the noise, not because I think people on social networks are a bunch of brainless Cercopithecuses that could buy anything is promoted using all caps.

Posts such as ‘SHARE this if you ______.’, ‘LIKE us if you think ______.’ should disappear. If you want me to share your posts, make them shareable, and come up with decent content. Simple, right?

Or, if you really have to use them, at least come up with something like this. Smart, uh?

hit_like

(source: Bike EXIF)

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 Weird World of Luxury Brands / feat. Elephants draped in LV, Prada Frankestein-esque platforms and M.I.A.

It took three people to write the following song. Seriously.

Worldwide, the song has sold more than 6.6 million copies, making it one of the best selling singles of all time. Seriously.

Here are the lyrics. Seriously.

 

‘Ahuh Ahuh (Yea Rihanna)

Ahuh Ahuh (Good girl gone bad)

Ahuh Ahuh (Take three… Action)

Ahuh Ahuh

 

You have my heart

And we’ll never be worlds apart

May be in magazines

But you’ll still be my star

Baby cause in the dark

You can’t see shiny cars

And that’s when you need me there

With you I’ll always share

Because

 

[Chorus]

When the sun shines, we’ll shine together

Told you I’ll be here forever

Said I’ll always be a friend

Took an oath I’ma stick it out till the end

Now that it’s raining more than ever

Know that we’ll still have each other

You can stand under my umbrella

You can stand under my umbrella

(Ella ella eh eh eh)

Under my umbrella

(Ella ella eh eh eh)

Under my umbrella

(Ella ella eh eh eh)

Under my umbrella

(Ella ella eh eh eh eh eh eh)

 

[Chorus]

When the sun shines, we’ll shine together

Told you I’ll be here forever

Said I’ll always be a friend

Took an oath I’ma stick it out till the end

Now that it’s raining more than ever

Know that we’ll still have each other

You can stand under my umbrella

You can stand under my umbrella

(Ella ella eh eh eh)

Under my umbrella

(Ella ella eh eh eh)

Under my umbrella

(Ella ella eh eh eh)

Under my umbrella

(Ella ella eh eh eh eh eh eh)

 

You can run into my arms

It’s OK don’t be alarmed

Come here to me

There’s no distance in between our love

So go on and let the rain pour

I’ll be all you need and more

Because

 

[Chorus]

When the sun shines, we’ll shine together

Told you I’ll be here forever

Said I’ll always be a friend

Took an oath I’ma stick it out till the end

Now that it’s raining more than ever

Know that we’ll still have each other

You can stand under my umbrella

You can stand under my umbrella

(Ella ella eh eh eh)

Under my umbrella

(Ella ella eh eh eh)

Under my umbrella

(Ella ella eh eh eh)

Under my umbrella

(Ella ella eh eh eh eh eh eh)

 

It’s raining

Ooh baby it’s raining

Baby come here to me

Come here to me

It’s raining

Oh baby it’s raining’

 

Now, this tells us the world is going slightly crazy, right?

Luxury brands have to adapt and monetise, then. So the go like: “Is the world going mad? Let’s go madder!”

 

Et Voilà!

In Paris, an elephant draped in Louis Vuitton switched on the Christmas Lights at Galleries Lafayette.

Versace, AKA the brand that last year ‘revoked free publishing rights to its Facebook Page after activists covered its Wall with messages protesting the Italian fashion house’s use of sandblasting’ a technique that is ‘highly dangerous to workers, says Change.org’ and that ‘requires firing sand under high pressure, and has been known to kill workers in Turkey and Bangladesh. (Turkey banned sandblasting in 2009.) Anyone who inhales large amounts of silica dust can contract a lethal pulmonary disease called silicosis’ teamed up with M.I.A., AKA the artist, activist and refugee icon who, according to Wikipedia ‘has used networking sites such as Twitter and MySpace to discuss and highlight the human rights abuses and war crimes that Sri Lanka is accused of perpetrating against Tamils, citing news articles, human rights group reports, government reports, her own experiences as a child and on her return to the island in 2001 to support calls for a ceasefire.’ and, in a recent conference said she wanted to ‘”go around the world and look at the ugliness,” she said. “You weren’t gonna fix it, but I sort of believed you could through art.” The song “20 Dollers” [sic] began as a photo she took of a Madonna-stickered car in Liberia, then scrawled across in Photoshop, a singular example of the interconnectivity between her visual art, her music, and her sensitivity towards global inequity.’ for some new cool collections. Stay tuned! Read More…

Tattoos, marketing, and social media / Marc Jacobs GOOD, Chris Brown BAD.

“Tattoos are like stories – they’re symbolic of the important moments in your life. Sitting down, talking about where you got each tattoo and what it symbolizes, is really beautiful.”

Pamela Anderson, actress, model, thinker.

Back in the day, tattoos were for nameless sailors, Polish jailbrids and Millwall fans. Now they don’t scare old ladies anymore, and are taking over the stage, catwalks and Vogue’s cover.

Tattoos sell. As usual, some do things the right way, others just make everybody go “WTF?” Read More…