[from wstarosta] A Retrospective View of 50 Years of Advertising Research) [ARF.org] – The Advertising Research Foundation is celebrating its 75th year of being in the business of marketing research. When asked about some of the industry's advances in the previous 50 years, chairman Gian Fulgoni owes many of them to technology that allows marketers to more effectively communicate their message and measure it's impact. His sentiments and even the industry terminology he uses highlight the fundamental differences between market research and design research.] In the 1980s, for example, the availability of point-of-sale scanner data provided a much-needed solution for Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) and other industries. For the first time, marketers had the tools needed to quickly and accurately measure the impact of price, promotions and print / TV advertising on brand sales, develop sophisticated market mix models, and link sales lift to various promotional and advertising levers.
[from wstarosta] PSFK Asks the Purple List, What are the Limits of Digital? [PSFK] – [The next time you are brainstorming and you come up with an idea to make an analog object, action or experience better by digitizing it, pause and consider this fact that I just learned: Your brain can recognize the time faster on an analog watch than a digital one! More about the trade-offs of going digital here…] There’s another way to approach this question, by venturing to guess that there’s nothing un-digitizable, rather there are deeply human things that will just be conveyed in different forms. For example, our need for feedback as in the above is one representation of a “deeply human thing,” but another interesting manifestation comes up when you start thinking about digital books. There’s a lot of social data encoded into the act of carrying a physical book. If I see you on the metro and you’re carrying a book I’ve read, it makes me want to talk to you. And if I don’t, I’m at least subtly comforted knowing that I’m in the company of someone likeminded.
[from julienorvaisas] Plastics News Executive Forum: Human behavior holds clues to design [Plastics News] – [Is it possible to avoid a reference to The Graduate? I'll try. We often see design thinking methodology applied to development efforts of end-products and services, of consumable things. When it's already soup. Here the plastics industry is having a dialogue about inspiring innovation at the "ingredient" level. Interesting question about where the responsibility for innovation lies.] It may be tempting to think of concepts like “design thinking” or “open innovation” like they’re just new business buzzwords. But designers and many OEMs have embraced the ideas for years, and plastics firms would be smart to join the party, experts said at the Plastics News Executive Forum. One molder in attendance pointed out that, in his experience, some OEMs are bad at innovation. “Many of our customers come up … with new designs that are horribly flawed. What’s the fundamental breakdown organizationally, where companies [that] are supposed to do this for a living are really bad at it?” he asked.
[from steve_portigal] R2-D2 makers an attraction at WonderCon in S.F. [SFGate] – [The devotion of fans is a constant source of wonder and delight.] A fully functional droid can cost as much as a Toyota Corolla, and takes half a decade or more to complete…R2 builders study the movies frame by frame to mine the tiniest details for their droids. Builders say they get asked two questions all the time: "Can it fly?" and "Does it project a hologram of Princess Leia?" Neither of those visual-effects-enhanced features from the movies is practical or possible because the technology doesn't exist. Builders also get frequent requests to sell their droids, and to perform at parties. That answer is "no," too. The R2 Builders Club operates with the blessing of Lucasfilm, with the understanding that the droids are not produced for sale. There's also a Jedi-like code among the builders, who consider profiting from the droids a trip to the Dark Side.
[from steve_portigal] Laptops Look like Race Cars — And Not in a Good Way [NYTimes.com] – [Pogue on the ridiculous sticker-on-laptops package] As A.M.D. points out, it’s like buying a new, luxury car and discovering that it comes with non-removable bumper stickers that promote the motor oil, the floor mat maker, the windshield-fluid company and the pine tree air freshener you have no intention of ever using….A.M.D.’s research shows that consumers hate the stickers (duh). But they’re not going away, for one simple reason: There’s big money involved. I(Apple famously refuses to put Intel stickers on its computers, even though there’s Intel inside. In doing so, it leaves millions of dollars a year on the table.)…In 2011, A.M.D. will switch to new stickers that peel off easily, leaving no residue; after that, it’s considering eliminating the sticker program altogether. In the meanwhile, it’s going to make affixing its stickers optional. If a computer company chooses not to use the A.M.D. stickers, A.M.D. will still pay it the same marketing dollars to use in other ways.
[from steve_portigal] DROID DOES – [Of course this advertising copy is at least partly tongue-in-cheek but I really have to wonder why – even as a joke – this is the sort of thing that we supposedly want out of our devices. The radio ad goes even further, giving voice to the implicit message here by promising to turn you into a machine. Verizon's raison d'etre is to sell phones, I know, but ulp, people, ulp. As we grapple with where we're at with this digi-firehose, Droid is putting a mecha-stake in the ground for us] Turns your eyes into captivated apertures of ecstasy. Its web-busting speed turns your arms into blistering, churning pistons. It’s power, intelligence and intuition. It’s not a better phone. It’s a better you….Its power, ability, brains and skill turn you into a web-rocketing, message-crafting super-you…with web-browsing speed that shoots you from zero to sixty in nanoseconds. It has an intuitive QWERTY keyboard that turns your thumbs into twin, text turbines and steaming diesel email engines.
[from steve_portigal] Robert Krulwich on Wondering [Frank Chimero] – Noticing is tough, yet rewarding work, and it begs to be documented. We’ve more tools than ever to do so…Maybe if the noticing started to arrange into larger patterns or there got to be a lot of documentation, I could maybe even print up a book of all the things I had noticed. And wouldn’t that be a nice thing to have on the bookshelf? My Year of Noticing and Wondering — 2010. As a person constantly in a position to produce words or designs or ideas, or whatever it may be, it feels good to give myself permission to kick back and inquisitively absorb things as they come. Part of noticing isn’t seeking, it’s highly reliant on serendipity and unexpected relevancy.