Spotted this stunner of a new ad from Audi at the always awesome Stash ~ “Imagination Meets Engineering” advert for the new Audi A7 Sportback. It’s like an xray kaleidoscope of nature meets engineering madness that is absolutely mesmerizingly set to Basement Jaxx’s ‘Dracula’. I just watched it a few times over! See the video on the next page, as well as screenshots of some of my favorite moments.
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Kahlúa hosted an incredible dinner at Zarela in NYC to announce the launch of their new campaign celebrating its Veracruz heritage, and Sean from Sub-Studio went to experience it for us! He came back with some amazing photos of the event, and it sounds like some serious wanderlust for Veracruz! Which is in turn making me crave mexican food and a Veracruz adventure as well! The cocktails, decor, and new Kahlúa adverts look so beautiful and delicious! Take a peek on the next page to see (and read!) more of Sean’s adventures with Kahlúa!
P.s. the new Delicioso ads are pretty hilarious… they’re embedded on the next page for you!
PORTAL 2 is coming!!! I’m a little excited. The trailer is gorgeous (check it out on the next page), and looks incredibly fun! Valve’s Portal was not only stunning visually, but conceptually innovative (part FPS part puzzle game), gave us “the cake is a lie”, and Still Alive still gets stuck in my head… So, can they do it again? Take it further? We’ll find out soon… but how awesome is the trailer? See the trailer and more pics on the next page!
Gucci’s latest ad just dropped ~ and it’s stunning! Even frame by frame, its incredibly beautiful ~ and unmistakeably Frank Miller! With a Metropolis/Gotham style… mind blowing vintage jag/city scenes… heels to die for… it stars Evan Rachel Wood and Chris Evans and Gucci Guilty “the new fragrance for her” with soundtrack by Friendly Fires. It’s really stunning, i think i just watched it a half dozen times… see the new ad as well as my favorite frames on the next page!
p.s. you won’t be able to stop drooling over the 1953 Jaguar C-Type or those sky high stilettos…
Have you been as mesmerized with the Spinning Top Totem in Inception as i have? Separate the object from any meaning the movie may have added to it… and don’t think about the plot frustrations (though the movie was incredibly stunning!)… bottom line, its a gorgeous object! Incredibly iconic ~ and beautiful! (Ok, so in the recent year, i’ve also been a bit spinning top obsessed - see here and here) So in a little random research burst ~ i was surprised (though in retrospect it’s SO obvious) ~ to find so many replica tops popping up on the internet/ebay, that the cast and crew all received special ones, keychains, totem kits, shirts, animated gif icons, and more are all popping up all over… even guesses that future DVD releases may include one… And then of course, there’s also the college humor video mocking the top spinning finale… see it all on the next page!
p.s. So curious who actually designed this… any ideas?
p.p.s. looking at all the images together ~ it looks like the one in the film is the prettiest ~ with a nice sleek, slimmer top and better proportions? ~ all the replicas look… bloated?
A bit ad happy lately ~ so many inspiring, creative ads lately! Latest are these new Blank Canvases ads from American Express for their Zync Card! Lovely idea that ANYTHING can be a blank canvas ~ opening things up to unlimited possibilities ~ particularly in art, music, food, and fashion! And the three spots have different musicians… so see the spots from The Passion Pit, The Antlers, and Andrew Bird on the next page!
You’d think it’d be hard to top the “I’m on a horse” he’s the man our man could smell like ad. You’d think most wouldn’t even try. But leave it to Weiden + Kennedy to take it above and beyond and still have us in stitches laughing so hard. Who doesn’t love a bubble bath foam axe and birds? From t-shirts, to new ads, to hilarious online ad takeovers (that even make me a little jealous we’re not running them here!), and fun graphic design we’re loving on the sites too… See the new ads and more on the next page.
Crossroads by Garvin Nolte “The video installation “crossroads (what to do)” deals with the influence of others onto one’s own path of life in an abstract way.” Ever feel like everyone is pulling you in so many different directions? or telling you where to go and what to do? Is your technology dictating your life… literally? Lovely video/installation piece! See the video on the next page!
On geeking out at the Nike Golf Oven ~ i love their Putting Lab! (You saw the rest of the Nike Golf Oven Testing facilities in the last post!) A super lit platform to test putters ~ surrounded by video cameras from above, beside, in front all capturing every moment as the striped ball rolls from the moment of impact… determining the exact amount of skid, rotation speeds, and more. The physics lessons learned during Nike Golf were so fun, if only someone had explained it to me in those terms when i was younger, understanding how putters differed would have made far more sense! (The gist of it ~ minimize skid, to get it rolling faster, faster it’s rolling the more stable it is.) So take a peek on the next page of the multiple camera set up, as well as the custom software made in collaboration with Vertex Golf to handle and process the various feeds. Thanks to Dusty from Gear Patrol who is the putting model in all of the shots and footage (and yes, the putt did go in)! So check out pics of the set up, the UI, and close ups of the Nike Golf Method Putters on the next page!
Had the pleasure of visiting ad agency, RPA, to see a friend today ~ and amidst the creative spaces, and many pics i couldn’t resist taking, firstly, i have to share their murals in the Acura team’s office that have inspired me to want to take a sharpie to my white walls… Jump over to the next page to see how beautiful these murals by Sainty and David Whittle are on the next page!!! Apparently they made these murals in the rp& offices (a division of RPA) while working with them on the insane Acura RDX advertisement where they spent 10 days on 1 wall with 17 painters and used 455 gallons of paint… to make a hand painted 30 second animated spot. WOW. So check out the close ups of the murals, as well as the actual ad spot and the making of! Beautiful stuff!
p.s. love that they are rp& ~ part of me wishes they were secretly behind The Ampersand blog! Or at least ON it more!
“I’m on a horse.” Hahaha. Ok, i’m sorry, i’ve been watching this one over and over for days and sharing it with people and it just cracks me up every time. So just in case you haven’t already seen the Old Spice “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” ad… watch it above. If you have? Watch it again!
Now even more fascinating, i love the interview embedded after the jump where “Leo Laporte interviews Craig Allen and Eric Kallman of Wieden + Kennedy to find out how Old Spice “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” was made.” ~ And it just gets MORE amazing. They did it in practically one shot on a 3 day shoot… building half a boat on the beach at the waters edge ~ having a shower set that gets crane lifted away ~ and as he sits down on a mechanism that rolls him onto a real horse! The only CG stuff ~ they painted out the device… and they superimposed the overflowing diamonds that were coming out of a fake hand…
I think i fell in love with the video installations of Jennifer West at the Calvin Klein Collection + LAND art event tonight… or perhaps, it’s the way people interacted with it. a large open space, multiple spastic video projections pulling you in ~ colorful, intriguing, and apparently the perfect thing to make stunning shadows as people passed in front of them. While i can’t seem to find a website for her, i did find this fun interview on Flash Art Online about these pieces! Turns out she’s a topangan! And the way she works with and physically manipulates real film fascinates me in this digital age… her love of and experimentation with abstraction and representation is beautiful! Beautiful and fun enough it certainly needed a post of its own! So take a peek at some of my favorite pics involving her projections from the night ~ as well as a video! That really gives you a good feel for the experience… i suggest playing it full screen in HD mode!
So many adventures today! So many firsts! And finally met so many incredible people i’ve talked to for years digitally… but even with all the Altitude Summit madness underway, i couldn’t resist hopping in a car to check out the Absolut Vodka filmmakers of the first ever Sundance Opening Shorts Program party at Easy Street’s The Sky Lodge in Park City presenting “I’m Here: A Love Story In An Absolut World”, a short film directed by Spike Jonze. And while it may be 2:30am… and i’m freshly curled up in a hotel room robe photoshopping into the night as usual… and needing to put the finishing touches on the 8am keynote panel presentation i’m doing with the lovely Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge, Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan of Apartment Therapy, and Heather Armstrong of Dooce… how could i pass up sharing the magical snowy wonderland i crossed the mountains to experience before my nap? From ice furniture (made by Newport Beach’s Ice Bulb) out in the patio, in the snow, with heat lamps and a fire going… to the first cosmo i’ve had made with SNOW… and peppar-y icey shots with salted cherry tomatoes to keep me warm… and some of the biggest Absolut bottles beautifully lit from below and glowing like lavalamps… and endless beautiful hors d’œuvres circulating… I know i’ve stated on twitter that i nearly avoided real “winter” all together this year, but i’m really glad Altitude Summit and Absolut brought me out to Utah this weekend and let me experience what i hear will be some of the most incredible powder of the season. So take a peek at the next page for how fun it was… and i guess i should go take a little nap before the talk!
p.s. The Icebar was one thing… but the Ice Furniture outdoors with fire in the snow… were dare i say, even more unforgettable?
Leave it to Banksy to branch out once again… this time with a feature film launching here at Sundance! Exit Through The Gift Shop is apparently coming in the spring, check out the trailer on the next page…
Last night popped over to the Beverly Hills Anthropologie down the street to celebrate the launch of the new Sundance Channel Show Man Shops Globe ~ and some late night shopping, some Stella Artois and Ferrero Rocher too of course... While normally not so much a reality TV person, this one is pretty fun! I love Anthropologie, and global shopping, and in this show you get to explore the world with Keith Johnson, buyer-at-large for Anthropologie, as he scopes out everything from St. Ouen Flea Market in Paris, the Kapalicarsi Grand Bazaar in Istanbul and Piet Botha's Craft Shop in Cape Town... it's a shopaholics dream. Did you know they actually shop for all the one offs strewn across the stores... and absolutely anything you see in a store (furniture, displays, etc) are ALL for sale?!?!?! I had no idea... on that note, take a peek at a preview vid as well as some pics of the very cute (and huge!) beverly hills store ~ the succulent and bromeliad displays were my favorite of course...
Oh, BMW. Haha. Nothing like a hilarious new video from BMW, for BMW.tv, which manages to poke fun at Audi while simultaneously making you giggle and inspire you to want to leap into your car as you take off for work this monday morning. While their first Jump For Joy video launched two days ago ~ its the twist that got added in this latest version that will really make you gasp... then giggle. Watch it on the next page!
Ok on aspects of this trip that i shamelessy geeked out on... did you know that's how champagne corks start? Before they get mushroomed? And the machine that mushroomifies them and puts the cage on is really cool? (Cool enough i had to make a video to share with you of course!) Also, there was definitely a warm fuzzy feeling that overcame me as Veuve Clicquot brought us to visit a tiny (relatively speaking!) grand cru champagne maker ~ Gatinois, a family-run business located in Aÿ since 1696, at the foot of the Montagne de Reims. While they have been selling half their crop to neighbor, Bollinger, they are producing more and more of their own label. It was infectious how passionate Pierre Cheval-Gatinois was as he shared his company's story and history and process with us (his son is starting to step in as the 12th generation!)... perhaps the biggest contrast was visiting his cellars compared to les creyeres of Veuve Clicquot... the shift in scale was amazing, and you must check out the exposed wires running the lighting (to fry yourself, just reach up and grab one in each hand)... Oh, and also, the amber blush tone of the champagne is gorgeous and it is extremely delicious... but unfortunately it they don't have a distributor in LA! Anyhow, on the next page you can see lots of pics, and the video of how the corks transform to magically to the mushrooms we associate with champagne!
There's something so fun about the juxtaposition of animation running around the real world ~ adorable campaign by the Swedish Tourism board aimed at brits - Dave Goes To Skåne. When i first saw this over at CPLuv i had to go watch them all! Dave is a cheeky cartoon londoner running around mouthing off in some gorgeous swedish spots ~ and you cant help but laugh, then wish you too were lying on the beach, or climbing about designer goodness in the woods... see the 4 videos on the next page!
So, you may have heard Mark Hoppus (yes, of Blink 182) ~ loves him some Octopus... it's even his personal logo that a family friend (Sacha, screen writer by day, artist by... amusement?) made for him... and its quickly spreading to stickers, shirts, vinyl toys, and now a limited edition laser engraved USB key. Actually only 100 USB keys... and on even more amazing things, apparently Mark is a long time NOTCOT reader, and was kind enough to toss one my way to give away to one of you!!! (Also he is an avid twitterer, and those who follow me may have noticed when i found out he was a reader.)
As for this limited edition USB key ~ 100 were made by Mojo Laboratories to promote the Mark Hoppus remix of Fall Out Boy's "America's Sweethearts". On the keys are the remix mp3, music video, a special Hoppus/Octopus pic, and a behind the photoshoot video... and a special code to get a Tshirt!
THE GIVEAWAY: Here's the deal ~ to win the key ~ leave a comment with your favorite Blink 182 or Fall Out Boy lyrics and which song they are from. And Friday midnight 5/15 EST (i'll be in NY) ~ i'll pick a random winner from the comments!
Now, if you're ready, head to the next page to see the tons of pics and Octopus info and closeups of the tiny adorable drive (yes, i'm having a hard time giving it up!) and sneak peeks at some of the contents you'll find on the drive...
Samsung has their new LED TVs out ~ you've probably seen the ads just starting here at NOTCOT, and i have a new surprise to show you related to that soon (more to come when i can share!)... but all you need to know for now is that Linhchi and i have been closely getting to know the hummingbird in their ads the last week, and i kind of love it, even as much as it spreads quickly from tv ads to our online ads to magazine spreads and more... I just spotted the advert at FEED and they highlighted that the CG was produced by NY based 1st Ave Machine who has done some very awesome work worth checking out. So, happy saturday, and enjoy this gorgeous CG spot ~ its like a crazy iridescent hummingbird with insect like wings and a mesmerizingly drippy gooey quetzal like tail?
On impressive structures and interactivity that had to be videoed ~ the bamboo installations of Bamboo DNA (known for massive bamboo sculptures at music festivals all over the world!) at Lucent L'amour were stunning, and the fire-y flamebots that responded to the music around were mesmerizing as well! Check out the video below and the pictures on the next page to make sense of them!
As you know by now, there is nothing standard about The Standard ~ their logo likes to be upside down, their decor unexpected, their store schwag designer... is it any surprise that their Staff Calendar this year resembles a retro yearbook? Well, a yearbook where everyone is incredibly attractive and calling out all the stereotypes... from the prom queen and the stoner to the jocks and nerds... which were you?
Well while you ponder that ~ jump over to the next page where you can watch a fun little video where all the characters unfold ~ followed by a candid "making of" the video and calendar shoot!
There are only 500 copies of this 4th annual calendar available, and while traditionally they were only sent to say thank you to their most regular guests... this year and they can be found in The Standard Shop! "Shot at on location at The Standard, Downtown LA by Michael Elins, this year's is perhaps our favorite yet. Staff flew to LA from each of the Standards' home towns after being cast for the shoot. Designed as a desktop or bookshelf calendar, it measures 7.5" tall by 3" wide when folded, and about 6" wide when assembled."
Today's the last chance to send me your info if you're interested in visiting the Aston Martin Gaydon Factory for NOTCOT!
And i just got another semi-exclusive (well, they said 5 sites get access?) video about the design and history behind this handmade, gorgeous Aston Martin One-77... see the video and more stills on the next page!
The internet is a buzz with rumors on the latest "viral" video of Dan Aykroyd showing us his new Crystal Head Vodka in a gorgeous glass skull. Rumors include this being a video for the new Ghostbusters or some Indiana Jones... but i guess lesson to be learned here is ~ just because it's going viral, doesn't mean it's not real!
I actually bought a few bottles today ~ lots of pics on the next page! Not the smooooothest thing i've tasted, but it's not bad, and i'm totally in love with the glass skull bottle made by Bruni Glass in Milan, Italy. Apparently it is made by Diamond Estates Wines & Spirits Ltd, out of Newfoundland water triple crystal filtered through herkimer diamonds (aka double-terminated quartz crystals)! Really the story is just great though, and the video and bottle make the experience priceless ~ here are excerpts from the box: "In reverence of those enlightened after touching any of the thirteen crystal heads unearthed around our globe we offer this pure spirit"... "One of the most compelling archeological mysteries is the story of the 13 Crystal Heads. These heads are believed to be between 5,000 and 35,000 years old and were carved over a period of several hundred years but without any tool marks. In fact their very construction defies the laws of physics and common logic. They are believed to offer spiritual power to those who hold or possess them."
See the pictures of the real thing and the video on the next page!
UPDATE: Dan did some crazy internet researching for us and here are some fun facts: Dan Aykroyd is not only an actor, but co-founder of the House of Blues, part owner of Diamond Estates Wines & Spirits Ltd (which distributes Patron in Canada), and is building his own winery, Dan Aykroyd Wines (which uses 100% snob free grapes!). There is a great interview with him on delish before the vodka release where he exposes how serious he is about wine, Crystal Skulls, UFOs, and "pure spirit from Newfoundland glacial pool water, and peaches and cream corn mash"!
I'm sure by now you've heard about Esquire's 75th Anniversary Cover ~ limited edition of 100,000 ~ with real E-Ink embedded in the cover. Over at Esquire, they've even opened up the discussion about whether you can hack it... and even show you where it all came from... So as a random Sunday amusement, couldn't help picking it up from the newsstand, and as much as i resisted, i lasted a few minutes before i HAD to rip it apart and poke at the digital guts. So on the next page you can see video of it before and after, pictures of how it works, and scans as well!