for what it’s worth

stories and stimulus from a consumer insight consultant

Little Chef gets a mighty makeover

little chef

I knew Heston was giving the Little Chef menu a revamp, but I had no idea they also had the fantastic Ab Rogers design in for a complete overhaul. Created for a Channel 4 documentary ‘Big Chef Takes on Little Chef‘ as part of the broadcaster’s hefty season of British food programs, the newly designed Popham restaurant (somewhere near Basingstoke apparently) opened it’s doors in November, but these are the first pictures i’ve come across.

little chef2

Not only does it look fun, light and welcoming, but extra attention has been paid to the toilets to encourage drivers who are just stopping off to use the facilities to stay for some food. From the press release:

The new scheme incorporates a unique and unforgettable experience: Cooking tips screen-printed on the walls, the ambient sounds of the kitchen in the lobby, the aroma of coffee passing through the space, and an interactive extract sound, all about food, which triggers when the customer enters the toilets.

Even though that does just sound like more marketing, at least it would make your motorway stop more enjoyable – and informative, and if Heston’s worked his magic then it’ll probably be a meal worth pulling over for anyway.

images via dezeen

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Filed under: brand extensions, entertainment, food n drink,

ADIDAS BUYS UP WEARABLE TECH COMPANY

textronicsAccording to my sources Adidas international have just aquired Textronics, a leader in the development of wearable textile sensors – in particular heart-monitoring sportswear which is sold under the brand name NuMetrex. The purchase may be an indicator that the sportwear market is ready for wearable monitoring to go mainstream, and Adidas may be the first ones to do it…

Filed under: brand extensions, industry news, products with a purpose, ,

THE PINK AND BLUE PROJECT

pink things

These amazing pictures are part of an ongoing series by Korean artist JeongMee Yoon, who since 2005 has been photographing girls and boys around the world surrounded by the pink and blue items they own as the topic for a thesis on gender sterotypes and global consumption. I’m pretty late to the party as the project has been in the press a fair bit, however it’s definitely still worth a mention – both for the subject and for the beauty of the images themselves. Currently on display in NYC, 2009 will see an exhibition of the images touring Beijing, several galleries in California, and the artist’s native Seoul.

blue stuff

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Filed under: arts & culture, worth seeing,

NAKED FUN WITH TOE JAM VIDEO!

This is a brilliant video that’s been doing the rounds for a bit but I kept forgeting to put it up. Thanks to futureshorts for reminding me of one of the funniest music videos i’ve seen in ages – and a great song too! Look out for fatboy slim making a sneaky appearance.

Filed under: creative ideas, entertainment, ,

BAGS NOT BAUBLES

rubbish-pin

These pins are a fantastic visual reminder of your own consumption – making statements out of your daily detritus. And they look pretty good too. From Designboom:

The ‘garbage pin’ by portuguese designer ana cardim turns your daily bits of trash into jewelry.
‘a metallic silver structure that holds a tiny, transparent plastic bag (the garbage bag). this bag, once full, can be removed, closed with a wire and kept as a outcome of the experience. the piece is sold as a kit that includes spare plastic bags and wires.’

ana cardim jewellery

more over at Ana Cardim‘s website:

Garbage Pin is born of a definitely urban concept, the appropriation and reinterpretation of a daily use object: the garbage bin.

Being one of the most common typologies of urban equipment in the cosmopolitan network, the garbage bag belongs without any doubt to the collective imagery, present in every urbanite life’s day as a reflection of a culture involved with the accelerated and growing consumism, as is ours.

It is a call to reflect on the current social paradigm that confronts notions such as “waste” and “valuable”, both relative and subjective concepts. It is a call as well for the innumerable problems that derive from a society of consumers; those of environmental and ecologic sort that lead us today to a future break with the current ecosystem.

Filed under: creative ideas, products with a purpose, ,

Awareness Test: Whodunnit for TFL

I’m a big fan of this campaign, and personally think this is a fantastic follow-up to the ‘moonwalking bear’ TV ad. Created by WCRS as part of Transport for London’s cycling awareness campaign, with the strapline “it’s easy to miss something you’re not loooking for” the ad is very cleverly shot in one take, and makes for repetitive viewing – whilst also appealing to my love of all things Agatha Christie.

check out dothetest for all the awareness ads

Filed under: ads that caught my eye

CALL CUTTA IN A BOX

call cuttaIf I was in NYC right now I would be getting myself a ticket to this; an innovative theatre experience described as “an intercontinental phone play” which is showing as part of Under the Radar Festival 2009. The creators, Helgard Haug, Stefan Kaegi, and Daniel Wetzel of Rimini Protokoll, have collaborated with a call-center in Calcutta to produce a unique event, the outcome of which is an exclusive performance for each member of the audience. Sounds amazing.

From Rimini Protokoll’s website:

Imagine you are buying a ticket at the box office for an individual show on a specific day, but are not led to the auditorium of the theatre. Instead, you get the key for a room and a sketch of how to get there. It might be a room in the theatre, an office, or an apartment somewhere close by. You open the door and you find a phone ringing. You pick up the phone and a person with a strange accent strikes up a conversation with you. The person seems to know the room you are sitting in, even though he is about 10.000 km away. The voice belongs to a call centre agent from Calcutta, India. He and his colleagues usually sell credit cards and insurance on the phone to people on the other side of the globe or provide navigational help in cities that they have never been to themselves. But this time you are not supposed to buy anything. By now, you are standing at the window and your transcontinental conversation partner is pointing some curious people in the opposite building out to you. On the notebook desktop in your room images and videos are opening up out of nowhere. A story is about to develop and you realize that the call centre agent and you and your city are the very first protagonists of the plot.

Call Cutta in a Box – on till 18th Jan

Filed under: arts & culture, creative ideas, worth seeing

‘BUTCHER IDOL’ TO RUN ON BBC THREE

picture from flickr, mdanys photostream

Looking for a way to create social value from the fascination with reality talent shows, BBC’s youth-focused digital channel BBC Three are launching a programme called Britain’s Young Butcher Of The Year, that aims to celebrate the “the unsung young heroes of professions that don’t tend to attract public recognition”.

According to the press release:

The search is on for the UK’s top young butcher in this ambitious new format which celebrates the millions of young British workers whose skills aren’t the kind to win them a million-pound recording contract.

Borrowing from the conventions of glossy TV talent shows, the series aims to find the best the UK has to offer by staging big entertaining events that home in on one industry or profession in each episode.

Along with Young Butcher, other episodes will include the hunt for Britain’s Young Hairdresser and Young Chef of the year.

The hopefuls are put through a series of tough elimination rounds designed to test their skills to the limit – until the final two go head-to-head in one last, brutally hard challenge to claim the title of Young … of the Year 2009.

(picture from flickr)

Filed under: entertainment, ,

LEGO GETS DIGITAL

Globally loved toymaker LEGO has joined forces with Digital Blue to create a line of classic brick-themed electronic products for kids including digital cameras, MP3 players, walkie talkies and USB drives, as well as Boom boxes and alarm clock radios that feature over-sized LEGO elements. Due out this summer in both the U.S and Europe, the range looks as though it could be fresh out of a kit box. Unfortunately it is only a design theme and the products do not come apart, although enabling kids to build – and rebuild – their own gadgets would be the ultimate in customization, as well as offering a fantastic learning tool. Maybe that’s coming next…

via KidsTechReview

Filed under: brand extensions, for the children,

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