WATCH OF THE WEEK
No this isn’t some weird baseball nightmare: it’s a promotional stunt for Sadako vs. Kayako, a new Japanese horror film featuring characters from classics The Ring and The Grudge. In the video, a pre-game cheerleading performance at a Nippon-Ham Fighters baseball game is interrupted by the jumbotron, which shows Sadoko—better known as the girl from The Ring—in her infamous coming-out-of-the-TV maneuver. The brilliant and entertaining marketing move then has the characters emerge onto the field and put a twisted spin on the ceremonial first pitch. The interesting but disturbing display shows Sadoko pitching to Kayako, staying in character the whole time. Though, Kayako only made it to third, we’re calling this one a home run.
This week, there has been an interesting development in the increasingly catty and competitive world of cellphone carriers. Paul Marcarellia—better known as the Verizon guy who repeatedly asked “Can you hear me now?—has re-entered the commercial spotlight, but for a different team. In his new Sprint spot, Marcarellia leverages his established position as a cellular expert to explain that the superiority that networks have been touting is negligible and that Sprint offers competitive savings for customers. He even has a Twitter, @thatwirelessguy, where he tweets things like: “Look, I appreciate all #Verizon did for me. But @Sprint costs me less. #RealTalk.” Shots fired!
We’ve seen countless campaigns that aim to incentivize proper garbage disposal by making it a rewarding experience, but KesselsKramer is taking the opposite approach. The Amsterdam-based agency is attempting to encourage students at Koning Willem I College to throw away their trash simply by making it nearly impossible… after all who doesn’t love a good challenge? Their “How Hard Can It Be?” campaign includes posters, a video and, most notably, strategically designed trashcans such as one with an extremely heavy lid, another in a cage, and even a bin that you need to climb up a ladder to reach. By tapping into the competitive aspect of human nature, the agency hopes to compel people to throw away their trash, or at least start a dialogue around the issue.
IN OUR CARTS
Hands-On! is a “digital design shop” that lets shoppers dip their toes into graphic design by offering affordable, fully-customizable templates that can be opened and edited in Adobe Illustrator. Founded by designers Emma Brooks and Chelsea Jones, the website is built on the belief that everyone, from recent grads to small-business owners, should have access to good design and the ability to start developing design skills. From graphics and typography to Instagram and brand identity, Hands-On!’s offerings cater to all your design needs, and come with helpful tools like a video tour, guidelines, and access to a Customer Resources web page.
A new app called Magnus is building buzz thanks to its mission to bring transparency to a high-brow, and often mysterious, industry. Described as “Shazam for the art world,” Magnus allows art lovers to track, discover, and share their artistic experiences. At the core of the app is its comprehensive database that allows users to take a photo of a piece of art on their smartphone and instantly receive information about the artist, gallery price, past dealer and auction prices of other works, and the artist’s exhibition history. The app also shows nearby galleries and museums with current shows and hours. Currently only available in New York, London, and Berlin, Magnus is a promising tool for democratizing and spreading art appreciation.
Everybody knows The Sims, but the classic life-simulation game still has a few surprises up its sleeve. Electric Arts Inc. has announced a free update to The Sims 4 that will expand the game’s “Create A Sim” mode by giving players a new range of gender customization options. In response to the increasing rejection of gender binaries amongst consumers, the game now lets users give their Sim any type of physique, voice, clothing, hair, and accessories regardless of their gender (previously, male and female Sims had separate options). The update even allows players to go back and change their Sim’s original gender. Rock on EA, for empowering players with the potential to create characters they can relate to.