Right Brain, Left Brain Blog

87 posts categorized "Product design"

20 November 2012

How do brands choose a design for sustainable living?

By Ian Birkett, Corporate Culture 

The likes of Unilever and Marks & Spencer are amongst the ranks of blue-chip brands looking to bring sustainability firmly into the centre of their long-term business plans.

Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan and Marks & Spencer’s Plan A set out their visions for helping consumers live more sustainable lives. Furthermore, these blueprints highlight how they are more responsibly using vital resources such as water and energy in their manufacturing processes.

Continue reading "How do brands choose a design for sustainable living?" »

16 May 2012

Video of the Week: The Story of Send

By Mike Woods, Framestore

Ever wondered what happens when you send an email? Google shows you here. (This is not quite a video, but a lovely linear journey, nonetheless.)


Screen Shot 2012-05-16 at 9.26.30 AM

15 February 2012

Unveiling the BRAVES, by Noma Bar

Superheroes, like science fiction, are now acceptable to like in public. This trend can be attributed to a number of events: the cult series Heroes, the popularity of the DVD box-set that helped cult TV go mainstream and the new maturity of superhero representations on the big screen. The corny comic-book adaptations of the 1980s are now cult cinema curios compared to the superhero films that will hit screens in 2012; Christopher Reeve's square-jawed Superman would get a proper kicking from Christian Bale's Dark Knight. Confirmation of the hero concept as trend, if any were needed, arrives in form of the new Lego Superhero series that hits shops soon.

When we were working on the branding concept for the BRAVES, superheroes became part of the imagery very early on. An award that celebrated the heroes of video, needed to have some heroic figures to represent them. Eventually, the perfect amount of caffeine and lively discussion created a brief for the characters who would become The BRAVES, and this brief was brought to life by the brilliant artist, Noma Bar

Bar is famous for his deceptively complex graphic illustrations. Using blocks of colour and simple shapes, the man is a master of negative space and efficient graphic style. In short, he's a bit of a genius, and it's a bit of a coup for the BRAVES that he agreed to produce our characters.

Introducing: TEAM BRAVES

Braves_Team Braves




Smart and strategic, Campaign BRAVE has a plan and is in control. A master of innovation and insight, his mission is to promote the best use of video in advertising campaigns. The Campaign BRAVES category promotes the best in video campaign innovation and creative planning. 




Content BRAVE is an artist, always looking to capture that moving image and experiment with new techniques and aesthetics. The Content BRAVES celebrate the art in video and specifically reward the role of branded video content where there brand has been involved from the outset. 



Braves_Tech Craft

Nobody knows where he came from. With tools for platforms, players, analytics and distribution, strong, silent Technical BRAVE is essential to the video ecosystem. His best work often goes unnoticed, so the Technical BRAVES are designed to recognise the best technical contributions and innovations to the video landscape.

Information about the BRAVES.

Video-based case studies found on Cream.

An interview with Noma Bar.  

29 September 2011

The roots of Nordic creativity

Cream dissects the roots of creativity in the Nordics and showcases some of the cleverest media campaigns that have hit the right note with their target audience.

Playtype_01_pressThe Playtype concept store in Copenhagen, a pop-up shop selling fonts from brand consultancy e-Types

Modern Nordic aesthetics are an amalgamation of Danish neo-classicism, Finnish craftsmanship, Norwegian folk art and the Swedish social approach to design. The result is a cool, blonde, refined look. Compared to other cultural centres in modern Europe, urbanisation and industrialisation came relatively late to the Nordics. This meant that values from a more agrarian culture were transferred directly into the new industrial setting, translating into an aesthetic movement rooted in a social setting.

Art and design had a responsibility to help create a world that was clean and functional. Influences of the British arts and craft movement found particular resonance in Sweden, and the style we today recognise as Nordic is easily identifiable. So much is design a part of the region's consciousness, that it is even possible to visit a font shop (pictured) in Copenhagen, run by a local brand consultancy. 

This design ethic is mirrored in the region’s media. A largely moderate political climate with social democratic leanings has created a culture of cooperation between individuals, which has enabled creative media industries to thrive. 

Sweden, in particular, has secured its place in the industry as a hub for digital excellence, with the work of Hyper Island, Prime and Perfect Fools winning plaudits and accolades at a global level. Sweden secured seven out of 80 Cyber Lions at this year’s Cannes festival, accounting for nearly 10% of the category. But digital excellence in one market hasn’t eclipsed the innovation and popularity of more traditional media channels. As recently as 2010, a newspaper-based campaign in Norway walked off with the ‘Award for Media Bravery’ at the Festival of Media Awards in Valencia. Print media enjoys a relatively healthy existence in the Nordics, particularly in Finland, which ranks third in the world for newspaper consumption with 31 seven-day dailies in circulation. At the first signs of contraction in the channel, Finnish print media has been quick to respond, launching campaigns to gently remind Finns that reading is a national pastime.

Karkimedia Finland

Subtle nuances make it difficult to generalise about the creative characteristics of a region, but there is a phrase on 358 Helsinki agency’s website that neatly sums up the creative pragmatism that is  present throughout Nordic media: “When Finnish old folks see something that’s good for someone they say, “that’s good advertising... Idea one: Anything that helps people like a company more is an ad”.


A quick tour of Nordic creativity

Norway: Heartbreaker (Starcom)

Norway Heartbreaker

Since the birth of services like Napster, the traditional business model of phased single and album releases has died a slow death. Kaizers Orchestra decided, therefore, to shun CD, mp3 and vinyl formats and release its new single, Hjerteknuser, on paper. Before the song was heard was anywhere on the radio, the band made the sheet music available on posters,  forums and torrent download sites. The only way to hear it was to play it yourself. Fans started posting their covers in different styles and genres. As word spread, the band became a popular topic for bloggers on twitter and in the press.

Sweden: Chocography (Prime)

Sweden Chocography

To learn where Marabou chocolates fitted the values and interests of Swedish consumers, the brand conducted a survey which identified a number of different ‘chocolate profiles’. The results revealed some chocolate truths; Fruit & Almond was the perfect gift for cultural city women, while a woman with a shoe fetish would love a Swiss Almond. The idea of ‘chocography’ was seeded among the blog community. TV, online and in-store advertising directed fans to the campaign site, which shared functionality with social networks.

Denmark: Extra summer (PHD)

Denmark Somersby

Danish summers are very short and the winter dark. The 2009/2010 was the longest in 14 years and by February the Danes were craving light.By changing to daylight saving time (summer time) on 21 March instead of 28 March, Somersby could deliver an extra week of summer time to Denmark.From a pop-up campaign office in Copenhagen, it led the national rally for an extra week of summer, kick-started by a TV commercial introducing the ‘mission’ and running across multiple platforms to spur group involvement.

Finland: Burn (Helsinki 358)

Finland Burn

When the Cancer Society of Finland wanted to communicate its non-smoking message to teenagers, it knew that talking to this audience required subtlety. So Cancer Society tapped into the teenage obsession with celebrity. The result was Burn, a magazine emulating popular lifestyle magazines, with celebrity gossip, showbiz news and light-hearted features. The difference in Burn was that all the content was related to smoking issues. Response has been positive. Initially intended as a one-off project, interest in the title has seen a steady increase and issue four is now due to be published. 

31 August 2011

Pringles in Asia: Same but different

Pringles were featured on Cream recently for an excellent European campaign that allowed consumers to collect on-pack coupons and exchange them for some nifty speakers. But the stroke of genius that got the case study into Cream was the idea that the speaker could be attached to the famous Pringles tube, creating a ersatz speaker system that can be connected to an MP3 player - perfect for groups of friends enjoying music outdoors. 

Read the full case study and watch the video on Cream here. (This case study is free to view for a limited time only)

Continue reading "Pringles in Asia: Same but different" »

19 June 2011

3D? No thanks


A recent poll conducted by entertainment news site Digital Spy has revealled that the vast majority of cinema visitors prefer their films in 2D format. 

When asked to vote on their favourite format, 77% of readers preferred standard 2D films, citing the high ticket price and poor 3D conversions as the reasons for preferring the traditional format. 

There are several high profile 3D films due to be released in 2011, including Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2.

14 June 2011

Playboy speaks!

Talking playboy
There have been lots of attempts to bring sound into print, but not all these experiments could be described as 100% successful. While VW in India has experimented with bringing sound to newspapers, Playboy in Brazil has gone one step further.

Continue reading "Playboy speaks!" »

29 March 2011

New Government cigarette plans will add fuel to fire

The news that the Government is now planning to ban the display of cigarettes in-store, whilst a natural progression from the plain packaging it has demanded, is further proof that they do not understand the dynamics at play here.


The introduction of plain packaging removes the ability of consumers to make an informed choice. The removal of the packages from sight altogether is, to be frank, ridiculous and is likely to cost the economy more than it saves.

Tobacco has been a consistent force in the UK economy over the past fifty years. Removing branding from the packaging and trying to remove the product from the public conscious could dramatically impact on our ability to export tobacco goods and, therefore, the economy.

In addition to cutting potential export revenues, the Government’s proposals could see UK retailers having to pay for custom made drawers to store cigarettes away from the public eye. This will see retailers incur huge costs and, for many of the smaller independent stores, potential loses that cannot be recovered elsewhere. Tobacconists may well disappear from the UK and yet, because of duty free, smoking levels could remain high.

The Government has clearly not done their homework. Putting products you are trying to defer attention from below the counter in bland packaging only serves to make them appear illicit and, therefore, more appealing. If you need a proof-point here, you only need to look at drug popularity; illegal drugs are never branded, or indeed packaged in many cases, and are not on display but they are still desired and seen as ‘cool’ by many young people.

The saying actions speak louder than words couldn’t be further from the truth here. If the Government continues to invest in educating consumers here, they would not need to take this extreme action. Isn’t it time the Government stopped thinking of restrictions to put in place and started spearheading the innovative thinking that will solve problems such as this?

SEE ALSO: The cigarette brand blackout

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  • Right Brain, Left Brain sums up the dichotomy of a media business that’s constantly battling with the challenge of delivering a profit and discovering new ways to communicate to consumers. The Cream editorial team combined with a dream team of industry pioneers from around the world share their expert opinions.

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