• ( egoistic ) • activistic • architectural • audible • cinematic • conceptual • graphic • strategic • surface • urban • wireless
Posted by Sebastian on Jan 21, 2007
The Danish brewery Tuborg has joined the personalization-trend and launched the service "Your Tuborg" (Din Tuborg), which invites people to customize the beer label when ordering a minimum of 30 bottles of Tuborg.
The beer+label is delivered directly to the customer within 4 weeks of placing an order. The service is available in Denmark only.
It has been around for a long time but it seems that charity is increasingly being built into consumer products, services and interfaces.
Perhaps, a sign that materialism is no longer an aim in itself - consumer lifestyle must also match our increasing need for holistic meaning.
Apple's special edition iPod RED (a part of the joinRED business model) is an example reflecting the trend. It's cleverly designed to let consumers support a good cause, while making a fashion statement about it.
At the other end of the scale are the bottle-recycling machines in Sweden (image). Bottle deposits are relatively high in some parts of Europe and the machines simply lets you decide between donating the money to charity (yellow button) or cashing it in yourself (green button).
As of February 2007 you can also get yourself a climate conscious credit card, which align your consumer behavior with a compensation mechanism. Dutch bank Rabobank is about to launch the 'climate card', which will look at the type of purchase you make (consumer goods, petrol etc.) and channel a proportionate sum into projects run by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
The more you sin, the more you pay.
In addition to the tons of other things you can already do or buy at Schiphol Airport, now you can tank up your mp3 player or telephone with digital content.
Fuel for Travel is a new store where passengers in transit can buy and download music, audio books and videos for almost any mobile device.
The store is finansed by Samsung but apparently they happily tank up other platforms as well.
On a side note, the concept reminds me of a research project that I carried out with Fiat Centro Stile in Turin in 2001 which investigated how to stimulate Fiat travellers by offering them mental fuel shaped as a social highway service.
Posted by Sebastian on Dec 03, 2006
Most of today's services - from public to the private sector - are designed to exclude human-to-human (h2h) interaction in order to make things more efficient and keep costs down to a minimum.
One of the consequences of this ongoing self-service trend is that the human interface has become a luxury feature.
So today, if you want to create a luxurious service concept, all you need to do is to look back +20 years and see how they did it back then.
Apparently, that is what Q8 in Belgium recently did. In a PR campaign at a gas-station they simply introduced dressed-up, pump-operating attendants just like in the old days when full-service was the norm.
Posted by Sebastian on Nov 12, 2006
Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport recently launched a wedding service for those interested in kickstarting their marriage with tax free shopping and a flight.
The service is called 'Schiphol Weddings' and they are currently offering four different ceremony options ranging from a very simple wedding to an exclusive one, which includes hiring an entire plane.
The service-minded airport already hosts a casino, a meditation centre for all religions and a chair-massage service. A few years ago a Dutch brothel called Yum Yum Caviar Club even planned to open a branch at the airport to cater stressed travelers in transit - but despite the high level of Dutch tolerance they failed to get a permission.
Posted by Sebastian on Nov 11, 2006
If you're in the Netherlands and want to delight or impress your friends with an authentic Japanese dinner but don't know how to prepare it, you just have to call Yukari.
Yukari is a Japanse woman who quit a job at a car company in order to pursue her life-long dream of making people happy through her cooking.
Based on your wishes, budget and kitchen facilities Yukari will put together a menu and prepare the food in your own kitchen, where after she leaves before the guests arrive.
Posted by Sebastian on Sep 19, 2006
Dutch airliner KLM recently launched an online community service, which is available for passengers who do business in China.
The service is called Club China and just like most other online communities, members can create a social network by interacting with each other via friends, contacts, interests etc.
Furthermore, Club China also encourages its members to share calendar and travel information in order to make it easier for them to meet up in China.
During the summer, French political activists representing the conservative UMP party toured the beaches to attract new voters.
Besides handing out conventional marketing stuff such as leaflets, t-shirts etc., the activists also gave away condoms and flip flops.
While there seem to be no bright conceptual idea behind the condoms (safe politics?), the flip-flops were cleverly designed to leave the UMP initials imprinted in the sand.
Posted by Sebastian on Sep 14, 2006
The sign on the back of this 4 wheel scooter was spotted in Amsterdam while riding a bike.
The text says "Sponsor Wanted" (Sponsor Gezocht) and the URL leads to the website of Dini Kemperman, a 74 year old woman who use the site to explain about her life and difficulties as a disabled person living in Amsterdam.
The website is in Dutch but donations are most likely welcome from anyone/anywhere.
Posted by Sebastian on Aug 27, 2006
The annual gay-pride parade in Amsterdam, which takes place on the canals, is a happy and colorful event attracting thousands of spectators and thus, also the interest of sponsors.
Traditionally, the parade-boats are sponsored and peopled by members of the gay-community (such as gay clubs/affiliations/organisations etc) but the event is getting increasingly mixed up with non-gay particpants.
This year set new standards. Under the slogan "Personal Pride = Company Pride", a handful of large companies such as IBM and SHELL took part in the parade - not as passive sponsors but as active participants.
See images below.
Nb: IBM's banner, "IBMsterdam", is a clever little rip-off of Amsterdams slogan "I AMsterdam".