for what it’s worth

stories and stimulus from a consumer insight consultant

PAY-PER-VIEW FUNERALS BRING MOURNERS ONLINE

From tomorrow Southampton Crematorium will be offering a “pay-per-view funerals” service, allowing family members who are unable to make it in person the chance to watch the service online. The Guardian reports that for £75 a family will be able to purchase a password that will give them access to a live webcast of the ceremony.

Critics believe the webcasting of ceremonies from a suburban crematorium in the UK to the world is macabre. But from tomorrow, Southampton crematorium will begin the £75-per-family service.

The crematorium manager’s, Trevor Mathieson, said he was keen to lay to rest the pay-per-view label. He said: “It’s not as if we’re Sky and broadcasting Premier League football. We’re not putting the services on to the internet for anyone to watch. Security is very important. It’s all about offering a better service to people who are bereaved.”

A digital camera discreetly set up in a corner of the crematorium’s east chapel captures the service. For £75 a family is given a user name and password.

These can be passed on to people who cannot get to the ceremony and they can watch the service as it takes place. DVDs of funerals are also being offered for £50 and audio recordings for £25.

The Guardian: Pay-per-view service at crematorium

Filed under: life online

POT NOODLE GOES POSH WITH THE HELP OF HARRODS

Pot Noodle, the instant noodle snack known for it’s dirt cheap price and cheeky advertising campaigns including the line ‘The Slag of all Snacks’, is aiming for the luxury market with a limited edition ‘ Poulet et Champignon’ version in association with over-priced department store Harrods. Adding an extra £29 to the usual price, the £29.95 dish will come in a limited-edition case complete with your very own fork and table linen, with all proceeds from the sale of the 100 Harrods-branded bargains will go to Action Against Hunger– if there’s anything left after the hand-flocked and gold-leafed pot is paid for that is.

According to Brand Republic:

Pot Noodle is made in the Welsh town of Crumlin in South Wales where 155 million pots a year are produced. Last year the brand was voted the most hated brand in Marketing magazine and Joshua G2’s Brand We Love and Hate survey.

The unlikely partnership is part of a range of unique and limited edition products which have been created as part of a ‘Design Icon’ initiative at the store which has been launched to celebrate innovation in design.

via: Brand Republic

Filed under: brand extensions, products with a purpose

DIESEL AIMS TO CREATE LARGEST OUTDOOR GALLERY

Deisel wall

As the outdoor advertising backlash rages and cities look to ban billboards, Diesel are stepping up their outdoor art campaign with the launch this year of Diesel Wall in four new destinations: Manchester, Barcelona, Zurich and NY. An art competition on a monumental scale, the company offers budding artists and designers from all over the world the chance to exhibit their work on the side of buildings and giant walls in the city centers. Their manifesto states:

In any given moment in our daily lives we are bombarded by messages we didn’t ask to see. A never ending stream of mass produced cerebral pollution offering at absolute best nothing more than needless want. Diesel Wall was born out of a need to salvage what precious public space is left and to fill it with something worth saying. We will take your powers of disuasion; your ability to disrupt; incite; excite; inspire and intrigue; to make comment; to make beautiful; to make real; to make people think again.

The ultimate goal of Diesel Wall is to create a fusion between the private space of galleries/institutions and the open space of the city…to drive new direction in urban landscapes and recharge them with creativity.

Unlike other art competitions, this one focuses on creating site-specific art specifically for the chosen walls, all of which can be seen in their naked state on the website alongside background information, technical specifications and a location map. Designs can be submitted from 31st March and if you’re in Manchester or Manhattan watch out for the winning creations arriving in mid May.

Diesel Wall

Filed under: arts & culture, brand extensions,

FRANK GEHRY TO DESIGN SERPENTINE PAVILION

London’s Serpentine Gallery has finally disclosed the name of the architect for this year’s Summer Pavilion. Following on from last year’s highly successful collaboration by Olafur Eliasson and Kjetil Thorsen, Frank Gehry will be building his first ever structure in the UK, and keeping the collaboration in the family he will be working alongside his son, Samuel Gehry.

The gallery explains more about the intended structure:

The Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2008 will give London the first example of Frank Gehry’s spectacular architecture. The highly articulated structure – designed and engineered in collaboration with Arup – comprises large timber planks and multiple glass planes that soar and swoop at different angles to create a dramatic multi-dimensional space. Part-amphitheatre, part-promenade, these seemingly random elements will make a transformative place for reflection and relaxation by day, and discussion and performance by night.

Frank Gehry said: “The Pavilion is designed as a wooden timber structure that acts as an urban street running from the park to the existing Gallery. Inside the Pavilion, glass canopies are hung from the wooden structure to protect the interior from wind and rain and provide for shade during sunny days. The Pavilion is much like an amphitheatre, designed to serve as a place for live events, music, performance, discussion and debate. As the visitor walks through the Pavilion they have access to terraced seating on both sides of the urban street. In addition to the terraced seating there are five elevated seating pods, which are accessed around the perimeter of the Pavilion. These pods serve as visual markers enclosing the street and can be used as stages, private viewing platforms and dining areas.”

Serpentine Gallery Summer Pavilion

Filed under: arts & culture, worth seeing,

ADVERTISMENT VS REALITY

pundo3000

Advertisement Vs Reality is the name of a project by Pundo3000 that has photographed and compared the images on food packaging with the actual products inside. It’s no surprise to anyone to find blatant mis-advertising on food, and this site created by German journalist Samuel Mueller shows 100 of the worst in what he explains is a true light, with no additions or alterations to add effect. See some of the most unappealing items on this video.

via: Consumerist

Filed under: Uncategorized, ,

GUERRILLA RESTAURANT OPERATES ONE DAY A WEEK ONLY

one-day-a-week

Jean Snow points us on his blog to what may be the next step in guerrilla retail extremes: restaurants serving on one day only. Vegie Shokudou is open for lunch and dinner – but only on a Wednesday:

Néojaponisme contributor Dwayne Dixon and amazing vegan chefs Yoyo and Yuka offer up the tastiest vegan lunch in Tokyo on Wednesdays at Vegie Shokudou, a renegade restaurant inside of a bar in Koenji. Note that the restaurant operates ONLY ON WEDNESDAYS. There is a break period from 3pm-5pm, and the restaurant will be closed. Eats start at 1PM.

Jean Snow.net: Vegie Shokudou

Filed under: Uncategorized, ,

FORGET SUPERYACHTS, HERE COME GIGAYACHTS

GIGAYACHT

Ever wanted your own floating estate? The perfect toy for those in the billionaires club, the newest design from Monaco based Wally Yachts is in a class of it’s own- the newly termed ‘gigayacht’. For roughly £100 million the lucky buyer will surpass the league of the mere megayacht to become the exclusive owner of the largest private vessel known to man. At 59ft across and 2,730 tons at half load, the aptly named WallyIsland will have everything the super-rich could ever dream of (a tennis court, pool and five accommodation decks including a main saloon, dining room, library, cinema, spa and fitness area) and even a growing garden with shrubbery and flower beds that will be fed by an irrigation system. With fuel tanks big enough to enable five years of cruising, and space for 40 crew and 24 guests, two 45ft motor yachts, two 27ft sailing yachts, two cars and water-toys including six jetskis, the design company expect it to fulfil the dream of someone who wants to “live comfortably on board fulltime, like on their own estate”.

gigayachts

According to Wally Yachts:” This is a yacht where you have a piece of land that you can use to play your favourite sport, to grow your favourite plants, to enjoy your favourite outdoor activity. This will appeal to someone who wants to be completely independent”.

Before you scoff at the idea of this ever being built, know that the company are already in negotiations with a potential buyer, and with only 946 people in the category to be able to afford such a ridiculous extreme, any guesses as to who the over-indulgent individual might be?

via Daily Mail: On board the world’s first ‘Gigayacht’

Filed under: Luxury,

WORLD PILLOW FIGHT DAY!

pillowfight

I’ve covered pillow fights and urban events before, but had to mention the official World Pillow Fight Day this Saturday with feathered fights taking place in over 25 cities around the world. Conceived by The Urban Playground Movement, a loose network of urban events organisers across the globe who all share the same mission of injecting fun and play into the urban architecture, the event will spread from Beijing to Seattle across the course of the day making it’s presence felt by taking over key landmarks including Union Square, Sydney Opera House, and the Arts Institute of Chicago.

“One of our goals is to make these unique happenings in public space become a significant part of popular culture, partially replacing passive, non-social, branded consumption experiences like watching television, and consciously rejecting the blight on our cities caused by the endless creep of advertising into public space. The result, we hope, will be a global community of participants, not consumers, in a world where people are constantly organizing and attending these happenings in every major city in the world.

Looks like there might be some pretty big gatherings- the facebook group for the NYC event has 11,405 confirmed guests already! In the UK it is being hosted by Mobile Clubbing who will be found in Leicester Square from 3.03pm, pillows at the ready.

Filed under: stuff on the streets,

COMMUNITY REGENERATION THROUGH CREATIVITY

the public


The Public is a new creative centre designed by Alsop architects and due to open this summer – in West Bromwich. Not the first place you would expect to find one of Britain’s largest cultural buildings, the £40 million space encompassing a gallery, theatre, event space and cafe on the outskirts of Birmingham hopes that by becoming a creative landmark it will inspire the local community and encourage social and economic regeneration.

According to the architects:

The Public represents a radical gesture for community architecture, born from the conviction that architecture can be a catalyst for regeneration and renewal.

The scheme uses an ‘H’ frame which supports both roof and curtain wall, which is clad in black and pink sinusoidal steel. ‘Jelly Bean’ windows punctuate this wall, with pink glazing, and cluster around a ‘mother Jelly Bean’ window which marks and lights the main entrance. A pink glass skirt surrounds the box at ground level drawing the public into and through the space, reclaiming the ground plane.

Beyond the skirt two large zinc-clad sculptural elements, the ‘Rock’ and the ‘Sock’ and a third cushioned element, create an extraordinary spatial and visual experience. Linked by a snaking ramp and topped by a series of hung Lily Pads, the interior, whilst meeting the functional requirements of the building, enlivens the visitor experience with dramatic and exceptional interventions. These elements variously contain event spaces, workshop space, services, toilets and a gallery for local exhibitors.

The Public represents both a starting point and an opportunity for the people of West Bromwich, reinforcing the towns eroded sense of identity.

th public-alsop

Public Gallery

Filed under: arts & culture, creative ideas,

PACEMAKER DJ SYSTEM: ON AND OFFLINE MUSIC SHARING

pacemaker

Tonium, makers of the as yet to be released Pacemaker portable DJ MP3 player, have just unveiled their new online community DJ mix portal along with a free Mac/PC music editor.

The new site allows anyone to create DJ mixes of their own music collection using the Pacemaker music editor software, and then upload the mix to the Pacemaker online community, where the mix can be streamed by anyone. If the Legal section of the Pacemaker Web site is any indication, Tonium have taken great pains in making sure the music sharing service is airtight. Along with agreements Tonium has struck with international music publishing houses, the Pacemaker music editor has some built-in safety measures that prevent users from using too many tracks by any single artist. Mixes also require a minimum amount of songs before they can be uploaded.

At first glance, the free DJ music editor offered by Pacemaker is a pretty fun application on its own. Tacks can be dragged into an editing pane and then manipulated with DJ effects such as filters, delays, crossfades, and backspins. The Pacemaker audio editor supports MP3 (16Kbps to 320Kbps), AAC (8Kbps to 256Kbps), MP3 VBR, FLAC, WAV, and Ogg-Vorbis, and can calculate the song’s beats per minute automatically, to make beat-matching less of a guessing game.

“Pacemaker.net is a meeting place, a hotspot, a centrifuge and melting pot for music inspiration. By sharing our music taste with each other, we hope to bring us all closer to the music we love and closer to the music we don’t yet know we can’t live without. Let’s hear it, let’s mix!”

Once the Pacemaker hardware is released later this month, it’ll be exciting to see how the hardware, software, and Web site all integrate.

Pacemaker

Filed under: creative ideas, , ,

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