for what it’s worth

stories and stimulus from a consumer insight consultant

Coraline: so much more than 3D

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while so whilst I’m in the confessing mood I really should announce how excited I am about Coraline, the new movie from the ‘Nightmare before Christmas’ director, Henry Selick. Everything about the 3D stop-motion film looks amazing – from the brilliant puppetry to the fifty fantastical sets, all painstakingly made by hand utilising crafts and skills that are rarely promoted these days. The talent is astounding, with over 250 technicians and designers involved, including people like Althea Crome who knits in miniature and created all the clothes used on the puppets, at some points using knitting needles that are “almost the dimension of a human hair”. And that’s before we even get on to the story itself, based on the book by Neil Gaiman, which sounds like a thrilling alternate-reality fantasy horror- the type that engages the imaginations of all ages.

coraline website

The website with its eerily beautiful music is an adventure of its own, full of engaging behind-the-scenes content, fascinating videos about the skills involved in the film, downloadable posters, and interactive activities such as ‘Button your eyes’ that are a pleasure to use.


Even better, all of the film’s marketing was just as carefully and creatively thought out and included the sending of 50 handmade boxes to select – and very lucky – bloggers (including the guys at Coolhunting, BoingBoing, and NotCot), that were filled with sections of the screenplay, a selection of props and exclusive corresponding stills from shooting – plus personalised letters relevant to each blog.

coraline box

coraline box2

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(Notcot has a great post with images of almost all 50 boxes here)

And then there are the Nike Coraline Dunks – two differently packaged, specially designed ranges including the 100 pairs in the Movie Props edition given to streetwear bloggers such as freshnessmag, and the even more exclusive Wooden Box Edition of which only 15 pairs were produced, packaged in a special key-locked wooden box, and given to the world’s best sneaker boutiques.

coraline dunks

The clip below shows a brief overview of the marketing strategy employed, all of which is pretty darn impressive, so big props to a fantastic campaign by Wieden+Kennedy:

The film is apparently not released in the UK till May 5th (boo), but there’s plenty of content around to keep you intrigued for now…


I realise I forgot to include this great video about the making of the movie. Enjoy

Filed under: clever promotion, entertainment

I <3 Siftables

I’m a HUGE fan of this idea from MIT grad student David Merrill and really hope these go into production soon. I tweeted a link to this the other week but have only just come across the video of his presentation at TED earlier this month. No point me explaining more- just watch the video below or here, or read more about the project here

Vodpod videos no longer available.

David’s last thought at the end of his presentation: “My passion is for making new human computer interfaces that are a better match to the ways our brains and bodies work… We are on the cusp of this new generation of tools for interacting with digital media, that are going to bring information into our world, on our terms”

Filed under: talent worth watching, technology, Uncategorized, visions of the future

Desperate times call for extreme measures…


Filed under: ads that caught my eye

Crisis takes homelessness to the streets


This is a fantastic piece of advertising – simple, hard hitting, and perfectly positioned. Just goes to show that you don’t need to spend loads on building apps and viral games to get your message across. The cheaper the campaign, the more money the charity has to actually do good.

Crisis is taking advantage of the freezing conditions with a short ad campaign to drive home the message that  rough sleeping is not acceptable in the UK in the 21st century.

Donations from the campaign will help Crisis to deliver its year round services, helping people off the streets with education, links to vital services, housing and employment

Having helped out at the Crisis Christmas shelter this is a charity close to my heart, and one that I hope people will support both financially and vocally – find out more at and add your name to the petition to put rough sleeping to bed for good

Filed under: clever promotion, good,

Inventive fun in the snow

snow fun3

Alongside the snowboards and expensive looking sledges, makeshift toboggans seen in Primrose hill today included: pizza boxes, road signs, ironing boards, inflatable mattresses, paddling pools, lilos, and even a toilet seat! We were very kindly offered the use of some bin liners, which was a much better option than removing the very last marking on the surrounding roadworks!

snow fun1

snow fun2

snow fun4

Filed under: stuff, ,