Posts tagged “aesthetic”


Miami Beach construction, June 2008

Visitors to Miami Beach encounter hotels (and other architecture) that is old and new Art Deco, as well as various modernist and post-modernist successors (see examples here). This construction site with its orange and stainless look fit nicely with the finished aesthetic seen in the area (note the similarly colored building in the left corner).


More Miami photos here.

The Cute Factor – New York Times

The New York Times offers an analysis of cute and a helpful infographic

Sales of petite, willfully cute cars like the Toyota Prius and the Mini Cooper soared, while those of noncute sport utility vehicles tanked.

King Kong’s newly reissued face has a squashed baby-doll appeal, and his passion for Naomi Watts ultimately feels like a serious case of puppy love – hopeless, heartbreaking, cute.

Scientists who study the evolution of visual signaling have identified a wide and still expanding assortment of features and behaviors that make something look cute: bright forward-facing eyes set low on a big round face, a pair of big round ears, floppy limbs and a side-to-side, teeter-totter gait, among many others.

Real Women, Real Beauty, Fake Ethnography


Dove has been making a big splash with its recent advertising campaign based on showing Real Women with all their flaws (i.e., a range of body tapes and ages that aren’t typical hair/skin care models), so it’s not surprising that a recent ad for Dove used the aesthetic of ethnographic interviews. This has been done a zillion times, especially in the last few years as ethnography becomes a more common touch point in our culture (and as the producer and the consumer collapse further). I’ve written about this many times, but I’m still struck whenever I see an ad doing this.

The Dove ad involved women being interviewed while they were bathing, and it cut between lower-quality video clips of several different women, with half of the clips being about the product, and half being about the process of being interviewed: “Oh, I’m in the tub, isn’t this a bit awkward?!”; “You’re all up in my armpit now.” were two examples.

I know a fair amount of research does get done in seemingly impossible settings such as the bathroom, but I’ve never been directly involved in such a study myself. I did see a Whirlpool presentation many years ago about how they did such a study (i.e., people wear bathing suits) but overall it sounds pretty fun just for the added challenges of establishing a comfortable rapport in such a socially awkward setting.


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