Posts tagged “exercise”

Pumping For Thrills

The other day, my car on fumes, I stopped at a 76 station. While I was filling up, I noticed some amusing signs. One was a taxonomy of bugs, as seen post-windshield. The other suggested some stretches to do while you waited. Master shot and details, below.

I guess they’ve had this campaign for a while now, but as an infrequent 76 customer, this was my first time seeing it. The tone confuses me: I can’t tell if they are wry or serious. I guess, yeah, it would be good to stretch during a long drive. But why are the names of the exercise all smart-ass driving jokes? And it would be good to learn about the bugs around us, but smushed ones? It seems like something BoingBoing would link to, but not something a mainstream American corporation would post next to the pumps. I’m all for brands unstodgying themselves, but they aren’t taking a holistic approach to the experience (go figure). Other than seeing those signs, everything about my gas station experience was like every other time I’ve filled up at every other station. Except the buyers remorse when I found gas cheaper elsewhere an hour later. If you want to reframe your commodity as a destination, you have to think a little bigger than just swapping out the credit card ads for bug posters.

ChittahChattah Quickies

Hollandia Produce Launches Squircle Packaging [The Packer] – I was thrilled to come across the term squircle the other day, in the context of this packaging redesign. Of course, Wikipedia has something to say about it and the name has found its way to content and design firms, too.

Hollandia Produce LLC is launching a clamshell redesign – called the Squircle – for its Living Butter Lettuce. The design incorporates features of both a square and a circle, optimizing space and enabling automated packaging systems. On the shipping side, it gives a 20% increase in units per pallet…Consumer and frequent-user focus group studies showed the new design maintains brand recognition while attracting first-time buyers.

Thirteen movie poster trends that are here to stay and what they say about their movies [Oh No They Didn’t!] – Compilations of visually similar, to put it gently, movie posters. In the way that the entertainment industry has created tropes within the content of the film that engage us in actively creating the plot at the same time as are following it, the marketing of film has established its own set of visual memes and cultural cues. Repetition and familiarity establish shorthand, and while we may decry the lack of originality, the predictability seems to work financially. Bonus from All This ChittahChattah years ago: Good ideas never go out of style.

Run For Your Life – Apparently all action heroes run through the same blue-lit, narrow alleyway when trying to escape/catch the bad guys. It’s also possible that graphic designers just re-use the same stock image of the running guy over and over again. The movies themselves are pretty similar to the Black/Orange ones except that all the explosions have been replaced with angst.

Hunk Gets Chunky: Personal Trainer Vows to Get Fat [ABC News] – While at one point in the article this is dismissed as a publicity stunt, the idea of producers experiencing what their consumers experience is compelling. From Black Like Me to Patricia Moore and now Fat Like Me. It seems unlikely that this trainer can replicate the motivational, cognitive, emotional, gustatory and many other issues that affect body image, diet, and exercise, but at least mechanically trying to lose weight as his clients are should be revelatory. I hope he does something with this experience.

The 32-year-old former underwear model has ballooned from about 180 pounds to 233 since last month. He has given himself until the end of March to get to his goal of 265 pounds, a weight he intends to keep for a few months. “A lot of my clients have been skipping classes,” he said of the motivation behind his burgeoning pudge. “I decided I really didn’t understand what they were feeling and their emotions.”

Dinosaur bones an untapped market for luxury set [SF Chronicle] – The recent story about the blinged-out iPad made with crushed dinosaur bones is obviously part of a larger trend towards dino luxe. I really love days when you can’t tell the real news from the fake news.

“Market value comes down to what a person is willing to shell out for a dinosaur,” says the 60-year-old dino dealer, who has been in the business since 1985, selling Jurassic ribs for $350 each, Cretaceous toes at $295 a digit and a 16-foot-long Camarasaurus tail for $20,000. Wall Street recognition will be fast and furious once he can supply the market with dinosaur genitalia, says Prandi…Hollywood stars Nicolas Cage and Leonardo DiCaprio in 2007 entered into a spirited bidding war at I.M. Chait auctioneers in Beverly Hills over who would go home with a 67 million-year-old T. rex skull. Cage’s $276,000 bid won the day. “Whether a Brontosaurus looks good in your salon is a matter of taste, Lajotte-Robaglia says, “but these customers are young wealthy people who grew up mesmerized by Spielberg’s ‘Jurassic Park’ and find the aesthetics of a dinosaur more interesting than a Picasso.” Prandi says confirming a dinosaur’s provenance is just as tricky as verifying the authenticity of a work by the Spanish master. “A lot of people call me up from all over the country and say, ‘I found a dinosaur in my backyard,’ but it turns out to be a rock that looks like a dinosaur,” Prandi says. Even so, the United States remains the world leader in mining luxury dinosaurs.

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • UX guy complains about being crap and UX guy from responds – UX guy reprints email and then attempts to address corporate culture issue; strong opinions follow but most compelling part is the insight from the UX guy himself (known as Mr. X)

    "But—and I guess here’s the thing I most wanted to get across—simply doing a home page redesign is a piece of cake. You want a redesign? I’ve got six of them in my archives. It only takes a few hours to put together a really good-looking one, as you demonstrated in your post. But doing the design isn’t the hard part, and I think that’s what a lot of outsiders don’t really get, probably because many of them actually do belong to small, just-get-it-done organizations. But those of us who work in enterprise-level situations realize the momentum even a simple redesign must overcome, and not many, I’ll bet, are jumping on this same bandwagon. They know what it’s like."

  • Health management goes for ethnic marketing/customization: Asians and diabetes – Rice is a carbohydrate that is particularly unhealthy in large quantities for people with diabetes. That's why doctors and other health care providers are increasingly trying to develop culturally sensitive ways to treat Asians with diabetes – programs that take into account Asian diets, exercise preferences and even personality traits. "Diabetes is primarily a self-managed disease, and you have to try multiple approaches with different patients. But many of those are not culturally appropriate for Asians."

Reframe as healthy

Here’s our latest breakfast cereal freebie…a pedometer (referred to as a step counter, since Kellogg’s probably doesn’t want to offer pedo-anything). They’ve associated their cereal with healthfulness. Not exercise, of course, because that isn’t really what they’d want to tell young kids to do, but they’ve now associated themselves with mindfulness of activity. It’s an interesting move that I can’t help both admire and feel cynical towards.

newspaper ad synchronicity/This Week In God

Click to enlarge
Two items across the gutter (in the business section of the SF Chron, of all places) that use similar exercising imagery. One is literally for exercise gear; the other is a metaphor.

The left-hand ad is for a Soloflex gizmo that vibrates. And you stand it on and lose weight.


Sounds like something from The Museum of Questionable Medical Devices! Soloflex, supposedly a brand we’re familiar with (the first TV infomercials on film, the earliest users of infomercials for exercise equipment), offering ridiculous quackery!

The perhaps ironic/perhaps not references to God are also strange.


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