Über to pull out of Hamburg, Germany

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This is actually bad news for me. In Singapore, many commuters find it daunting to flag a cab during peak hours, rainy days as well as being in obscure locations where cabs simply do not wish to come. Then came a solution. Über, a transport service provider who had the idea of letting the public choose the driver of their choice, by marrying a willing driver to a happy passenger. A win win situation where people can now commute easily and efficiently without being frustrated by cab rejections or boorish driver attitudes. This change has naturally brought good commuting experience for the general public but is definitely bound to receive extreme resistance from the licensed cab drivers.

Cab drivers view this new transport service, which also features a private driver option for anyone to join its programme as a part time driver, to be a threat for their livelihood. Maybe from a rather more individualistic perspective, I do see Über as a ‘check’ for arrogant and complacent drivers to reflect why they would have lost. I am not generalising the entire cab population here, but more often than not, have I heard cases of exasperated passengers complain about cabbies for their behaviours and attitudes. Hence, Über provided a solution for most of the people.

Now, it is apparent that the company is facing a pullout in Hamburg, Germany, because of the tedious process to obtain registration for an independent rental car enterprise. However, Über is still receiving major support in areas like Berlin and Munich but is likely to pull out from Düsseldorf and Frankfurt.  Über provided the ideal solution for the public, be it a passenger or an average joe looking to moonlight as a part time driver. It provided a service through the use of technology at our fingertips. Anyone can easily get a cab at any hour, without much waiting time, through the use of the Über mobile app. I do not wish to see the end of such brilliant service end here in Singapore. The amount of resistance from licensed cab companies here have also place immersive amount of strain on the company’s operations. But I believe those who truly stood for this service should hold their stand and let the company continue its operations.

The dash

Extreme is the word! Check out this awesome marketing effort from The North Face, Korea. I love how they build suspense and anticipation! Innored, South Korea, had a pop-up activation in Seoul where they position in the middle of a mall, a south pole camp set up. The experience first start off with the user being given a visual teaser with a VR glasses as they sit on a dog sled. This gave them an assuring impression that they were merely just simulating a virtual tour. Before you know it, the action starts off with the huskies literally pulling the sled, slamming through those snow walls! The ride gets really fast as the user now dashes across the mall and is given the opportunity to grab an awesome jacket from The North Face! Just check their facial expressions! Excellent!

Heritage and beyond

Design solves solutions for our clients. At the same time, we designers infuse our understanding of the brand and its heritage into our work. We blend in different perspective of the product while blanching out the unnecessary elements. A packaging that resembles an old school pharmaceutical bottle, the Tsikoudia, is a distillate from the marc of Roussanne grapes by Manousakis Winery. Premium yet mysterious, this is the epitome of a drink with healing abilities. From the design of the label, the illustrations portrays a Minotaur working in a vineyard cladded in traditional Cretan costume. Very epic and interesting. Packaging is significant as the brand’s first layer of communication to its consumers. See more amazing design works by designer, Marios Karystios here.

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The power of PAPER

Do not underestimate the power of traditional media. If used correctly, the impact it generates can be extremely viral. Honda recently curated this very cool animation which documents their long heritage of innovation. With almost six decades worth of history to cast, the automotive brand calls upon a huge pool of recognised animators to whip out a truly awesome animation comprising copious amount of illustrations. This video project, “Paper”, is the work of 3,000 hand-drawn illustrations being stitched together by stop-motion. It documents the long heritage of Honda by bringing the audience through a journey of their technology and products from the beginning to now. Very captivating.

Check out the making of this video:

Every Single Day

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Under Armour produces some of the most durable yet comfortable sports apparels. Their campaigns and ads features famous sportsmen and celebrities all the time. I remembered back in my university days, we had to study Under Armour and how it strategically expand its business through innovation and branding. A company robust in not just its internal processes but determined in marketing with a vision. Their current campaign by Droga5, the “Rule Yourself Campaign”, features Tom Brady in his relentless spirit to be the best. Brady is probably one of the finest specimen who showed great talent from where he was to a four-time Super Bowl champion. I like how the advertisement showed Brady repeating “Every single day”, focusing on the importance of building your success bit by bit towards your eventual goal. Very cool ad.

Check my ride!

I have seen engaging billboards that moves and interacts with the public. But this one beats the roaming food trucks or mobile advertising trucks. This is actually one hell of a truck from Kagulu, a Taiwanese company in the automotive business. Their truck parks beside you and scans your vehicle. A huge projection screen then reveals your vehicle’s manufacturing date and its current price! So it either prompts you to change to a new ride or post a positive comment on your current one! While some people might find this a rather sensitive data to reveal, its actually a rather innovative and creative execution. Nice idea but we really do need to consider business practicalities and ground sentiments. With these factored in, it would definitely be a brilliant initiative.

Design Pepsi

I find art by Piet Mondrain to be extremely fascinating. To see it being applied on our everyday life can be rather interesting. Designer, Andrea Salamino created an almost new Pepsi can that is clad in traditional Modrian print style. I love how he craft style into the iconic Pepsi can, converting the predominant blue into a new unique identity. Design is integral to our lives and at times we can bring forward a difference by stimulating the way we see and feel things around us. Especially things that we consumed frequently, a well conceived execution brings forward a strong statement. More of his work can be viewed here.

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Smash Smash Smash

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People are way too stressed these days. The undisputed pleasure derived from deliberate smashing and trashing might just be the solution for them. The successful inauguration of the Break Club in Buenos Aires, Argentina, back in 2013 have got people going in a room where they destroy items like shattering bottles, punching and breaking the environment. Now in Toronto, a new concept- the Rage Room, offers a similar concept with a basic package of five ceramic plates and a weapon of your choice. Expect to fray off all your anger and anxiety with this awesome setup!

Print that house

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You gotta to be kidding. Assembling a house in 3 hours from 3D printing? Check out this ridiculously amazing technology from China. The Zhuoda Group managed to create a 200 square feet home from scratch in merely 3 hours. Although they have been very lip tight on the materials and technology for the built, it is nonetheless a display of awesome work from the Chinese company. It actually took the company only 10 days to concept and finish the project. With six printed modules consisting fractions like the living room, kitchen, bedroom, toilets and more, the house is not only quick to fix, but also enduring in nature. It is said to supposedly withstand fire, water and even earthquakes. Now that is something to reckon with. Not only is the cost of the project extremely manageable, it also bring 3D printing to a whole new level. Im starting to see more of how 3D printing will influence our future.

Talk the walk

Couldn’t agree anymore that this is one fxxking brilliant execution! Good work here by Graubünden tourism. I mentioned before a number of times the importance of having an engaging platform to communicate your message and this is clearly another example of how unique stunts can be effectively pulled off. Imagine a talking billboard that corresponds with you LIVE and actually invites you on a trip! Through the use of an interactive screen, Graubünden tourism was able to capture the attention of the public. By having a man in the mountains, they load up a real time camera and had him interact with the public. He invites them to a challenge and the person with the best yodel gets a free ticket to the mountains. Truly amazing.