Posts tagged “authentic”

You show us everything you got


When you’ve already really, really, really sold out a long, long, long time ago (see previous posts about KISS Kondoms and Kasket and KISS Coffeehouse for just a few examples), where do you go next? Perhaps KISS is such a wholly inauthentic brand (note brand not band – this has long ceased to be about the music) that they are therefore actually authentic in their own Seussian-logic-justified way. They were always cartoons, now they are candy-coated cartoons.

Thought exercise: Is there a product or brand that KISS shouldn’t endorse/brand/co-brand? Or wouldn’t?

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • A thoughtful consideration (that could have so easily gone curmudgeonly) on the changes in how (and how much) we consume art – Cameras replaced sketching by the last century; convenience trumped engagement, the viewfinder afforded emotional distance and many people no longer felt the same urgency to look. It became possible to imagine that because a reproduction of an image was safely squirreled away in a camera or cell phone, or because it was eternally available on the Web, dawdling before an original was a waste of time, especially with so much ground to cover.
  • Michael Pollan on the cultural shifts revealed by themes in food-related TV entertainment – The historical drift of cooking programs — from a genuine interest in producing food yourself to the spectacle of merely consuming it — surely owes a lot to the decline of cooking in our culture, but it also has something to do with the gravitational field that eventually overtakes anything in television’s orbit…Buying, not making, is what cooking shows are mostly now about — that and, increasingly, cooking shows themselves: the whole self-perpetuating spectacle of competition, success and celebrity that, with “The Next Food Network Star,” appears to have entered its baroque phase. The Food Network has figured out that we care much less about what’s cooking than who’s cooking.
  • Nine Reasons RadioShack Shouldn’t Change Its Name – Best one is " RadioShack has problems beyond any issues with its name." Also they did already change name from Radio Shack to RadioShack.
  • Radio Shack: Our friends call us The Shack – Do they really now? More proof that you can't simply declare yourself cool. Promo or overall rebranding, it reeks of inauthenticity.
  • Understand My Needs – a multicultural perspective – A Japanese usability professional compares the norms of service that retailers provide in Japan with those elsewhere (say, his experience living in Canada), and then contrasts that to the common usability problems found in Japanese websites. Culture is a powerful lens to see what causes these differences, and how usability people can help improve the experience.

Florida Faux, part 1

While in Florida last week I had the chance to learn a bit of history and realized that the manufactured experiences intended to evoke another time/place go back to the earliest days of Florida land booms.

In Orlando, I stayed at the Lowes Portofino Bay, meant to evoke a resort on the Italian Riviera.

Some faux touches included the scooters parked – well, installed, actually – around the grounds…

…and the made-to-look Old Country stair details.

But getting around the place was a nightmare.

In order to convey some sense of authenticity, the architects echoed bits of a townscape, with limited ability to see what was ahead. Although what you could see was devoid of any actual real details – no people, no commerce, no mess, nothing that would help you located yourself or make a decision about what direction you might want to go into. It felt like a rendered videogame background before the branding, characters, and gameplay was added. I just found it frustrating trying to get around, with a very small amount of triumph when I succeeded or found an alternative; but I wasn’t there to work on getting un-lost and I wanted the hotel’s precious Portofino-ness to get out of my way so I could perform basic wayfinding tasks.



Also: Orlando pictures; Miami pictures.


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