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

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, ,

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,

THE DARK SIDE OF DISNEY

Goths, ghouls and zombies, the dark side has most definitely returned – but this time it looks like it may well stick around a while longer than Halloween.  From the surprise UK TV hit Dead Set to the packed-out launch of fabulous new book Hell Bound: New Gothic Art by Francesca Gavin (visual arts editor at Dazed & Confused), our love for the macabre has re-emerged, and apparently it’s women who are growing a hunger for horror. A perfect time then to invest in a wickedly luxurious cashmere jumper from London Denim’s collaboration with Disney. The collection features three of the most evil Disney characters created: Cruella DeVille, Sleeping Beauty’s Maleficent, and Snow White’s wicked stepmother, each recreated in Swarovski crystals to be “evilly alluring”. Because the dark side is the new black!

London Denim’s Disney Queens collection is available at Harrods and online

Filed under: brand extensions, worth buying, ,

TED BAKER OFFERS THE SERVICES OF ‘FRIENDS’

picture-22High-street clothing brand Ted Baker have opened a new concept store in the heart of London’s financial district to appeal to local time-poor, bonus-rich trader boys. The store aims to be a one-stop-shop for the modern man, offering an array of services alongside their clothing ranges including an in-store barber courtesy of King of Shaves Pro, a tailor for any immediate alterations, a pay-as-you-go concierge service from Cushion The Impact available through the phone boxes dotted around the store, and a shoe shine service from social enterprise Street Shine which gives people who have experienced homelessness a chance to earn a regular income. A partnership with Carphone Warehouse also sees the inclusion of ‘The Laboratory’ technology lounge displaying Ted Baker branded phones in antique luggage cases.picture-31

With the signature quirky take on Old-English design, the store holds an interesting combination of additional extras: although services to aid consumer beautification are nothing new, an immediate and affordable concierge is a genius addition, as is involving a social mission that sits so comfortably alongside the brand identity.

via GQ Style Spy

Filed under: brand extensions, ,

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,

DAMIEN HIRST TO OPEN HIGH STREET ART STORE

hirstAccording to the London Evening Standard, Damian Hirst is planning to ‘democratize’ art by taking it to the high street. The original YBA has signed a 10 year lease on a shop in Marylebone that he plans to open this spring, selling artwork, T-shirts, postcards, plates and books featuring his work, as well as pieces from up-and-coming artists including Michael Joo, Matt Collishaw and Thomas Scheibitz.

The store, to be called Other Criteria– the same name as Hirst’s publishing company- will be stocking pieces such as an 18-carat gold pill-charm bracelet costing £250,000, a set of 12 plates decorated by the artist for £10,000, and a roll of Pharmacy wallpaper, featuring rows of brightly coloured pills and tablets, on sale for a mere £1,000.

Hugh Allan, one of the directors of Other Criteria, said: “Art has to be experienced and the shop is where people can experience it in a democratic atmosphere rather than a West End gallery.”

Shopping as a creative experience? Whether you see it as democratizing or selling out, he is the first artist to make use of the sales structure that luxury brands have been using for years, and with plans to open a chain of these stores, Hirst apparently expects great enthusiasm for these diffusion products.

Filed under: arts & culture, brand extensions

VIRGIN UNVEILS SPACESHIP TWO

VIRGIN GALACTIC

Virgin held a press conference today for the unveiling of SpaceShipTwo, their first official space tourism vehicle specially designed by veteran aerospace designer Burt Rutan. Whilst the original concept design, SpaceShipOne, was launched over a year ago, this final refined model is now apparently 60% completed and due to start taking its first travelers next year.

As well as touting the exciting potential of galactic tourism and describing 2008 as ‘the Year of the Spaceship’, Richard Branson used the event to highlight his vision for space as a solution for the future of the planet:

“Our population is now heading to 9 billion people by the middle of this century — that’s three times more than when I was born. With the end of the oil era approaching, and climate change progressing faster than most models have been predicting, the utilisation of space is essential not only for communications but also for the logistics of survival through things such as weather satellites, agricultural monitoring, GPS and climate science.

I also believe that someday we will be able to use space as a source of energy for the planet, through solar power satellites, using the most sustainable source available – our Sun.”

Read the full transcript and see more pics at Virgin Galactic

Filed under: brand extensions, visions of the future, ,

Vans ‘Finger Fracture’ Touch-Screen Gaming for the iPhone

A brand that’s quick off the mark when it comes to new media formats, it looks like Vans have teamed up with the Miami Ad School to create a very cool-looking skateboarding game for the iPhone and iTouch that challenges finger dexterity using Apple’s touch screen technology.

vans iphone

Game Description:

‘Vans Finger Fracture is a swift skateboard game. In arcade style the user explores different levels and jumps over obstacles, always going for the best trick.

iPhone’s touch screen allows you to steer the skateboard in an intuitive way, as we know it from finger boards. Through special combinations and movements, like in the real World; a huge range of tricks can be performed. but you won’t break your neck doing it, rather your fingers’

You choose a rider by selecting one of the shoe models, each of which is loaded with a different specialism such as airtime, speed and balance then control, steer and perform special tricks using different finger movements. Definitely the coolest mobile gaming idea so far, ‘Finger Fracture’ even uploads your scores to a worldwide ranking list- bring on the global battles! No word on whether this is still a concept or due to be launched, anyone in the know?

vans iphone game

[via Trendwatch]

Filed under: brand extensions, , ,

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