Tag Archives: blog

rebranding phase 1: trying a new look

As y’all know, I’m going through a ‘rebranding’ process. So i’ll be trying out a few new look & feels, messaging, tone, etc over the next few weeks. My first experimental hypothesis is: Should I speak about people as if they are animals, and where possible, make them wear animal masks around me? This would be a strategic move on my behalf that would create a key differentiating factor between this blog & other advertising blogs. After all, ‘we are just animals anyway’. Plus animals are generally ‘genuine at heart’ and without any ‘personal agenda’ which results in their being ‘highly accessible and well-liked’ by a variety of demographics, regardless of the confusing fact that I ‘own a sewing machine yet am not LSM 9′. What y’ulz thank?

Portrait of the author as a horse.

Portrait of the copywriter as a 'horse'.

The Production dept shall be known from now on as the elephant parade.

The Production dept shall be known from now on as 'the elephant parade'.

Designer shall henceforth be referred to as Budgies, or, Budgerigars.

Designers shall henceforth be referred to as 'Budgies', or, 'Budgerigars'.

The head of production, while an elephant, is able to speak horse to get through to the copywriters.

The head of production, while an elephant, is able to 'speak horse' to get through to the copywriters.

The director of Operations is a sheep, because it is ironic, and heaven forbid there not be some form of irony in this post.

The director of Operations is a sheep, because it is ironic, and heaven forbid there not be some form of irony in this post.

From the Couch Episode 176

Check out this banging video of us 27 Dinner bros riding dirty in our Limo (if you’re wondering when I’m going to stop ‘going on about this’, it won’t be any time soon). Filmed by Marc and Dave, the boys at From The Couch, a very funny online talk show on all things 2.0, it’s worth checking our the rest of their site for their amiable banter and good happy Hout Bay times. I have a good story to tell about Marc. We once had a ‘twitter fight’ over whether Follow Friday sucked or not (it sucks). He #FFed me just to annoy me. I told him to do it one more time ‘at his Perel’ (his surname is Perel). Then he #FFed me again, so I twitter punched him, and then we both called for peace and that was that.

new world order etc.

i almost left the office now and went home without blogging about barack obama getting elected president. and then i thought about how my kids would feel (if i ever decide to download some kids) when they ask me one day:

“Mommy where were you when B.O. was elected president? Mommy, what’s it like to have a human president? Mommy, what’s it like to have a president who doesn’t wear sponsored clothing? Mommy, what was the official sponsor of the Electionz Oh-Eight? Mommy, will you gift me a facebook cookie pleeeeeeeze?”

And my answer would go something like:

“I was in Chicago, standing in the crowd, feeling the pulse of the anticipation, palpable, real, filled with hope that light may come to this great country at last,” which is totally true since the HDTVs in the change rooms at gym are pretty much like being there for real, only i was able to stand naked, skin glowing from a 20 minute stint in the sauna, appreciating my personal space.

LOVE you barack. wish we were pals b4 you got all famous for being pres.

LOVE you barack. wish we were pals b4 you got all famous for being pres.

like many other people around the world, i am happy, grateful, bleeding from relief that McCain got the indifference he deserved (dude, Palin. WTF?) I feel like a miracle has happened, but i am also selfish and have a short attention span for good things that happen to other people, and i want to know where the southafricanland version of barack is. do we know any kenyans? or do we know anyone who went to harvard? srsly even if its your cousin, you should put him forward to the ANC or the Shikota party (ANC’s new rival) or we can just start small and put his face up around the Spar on Derry. Not fussed, just want to find a good candidate, and give him/her exposure.

YES WE CAN. Except not this chick because she might give the wrong message to teens and men who like teens (paeds).

YES WE CAN. Except not this chick because she might give the wrong message to teens and men who like teens (paeds).

if i drank (still can’t decide on my brand of choice, life’s hard yo) i would raise a toast to my new home (unless they find an Obama for southafricanland). LOVE being part of the brain drain. makes me feel like an elf fleeing to wherever the elves fled to at the end of Lord of the Rings. taking my magic and giving it to Obama, and he didn’t even ask. might go to Royale tonight and get a milkshake to mark this whole special occasion. happy new world order everyone. still super busy adjusting and recovering from vida e caffe scuffle injuries but promise will be back to blogging full speed soon. with my left hand, upside down.

attention cool people with taste everywhere

yes, yes, YES. shall i compare these to an interior design orgasm? introducing tetris tiles. need.i.say.more.

when i look at these, something warm comes over me. it spreads through my body and makes me think about settling down and building a home of my own. moving swiftly along.

Q&A Tuesday: What is liberal? What is cool?

Occasionally my readers write in with some seriously existential questions that make me look long and hard at myself in the mirror that is my blog. Such an exchange occurred today when I received an email from Jabu, who wanted to know what the trendwatching company I used to work for measured its scouts against in order for them to be “cool enough”. The following exchange ensued, and I feel its educational worth transcends my inbox:


On 9/16/08 11:46 AM, “Jabulani” wrote:

Hey, how’s it going Alexandra? I trust life is going alright that side of the world and stuff. Just a quick question I wanted to ask you… What was the mechanism and criteria you used when recruiting trendscouts? I mean, how did you decide who was cooler then whom?


From: Alex [mybrandedlife@gmail.com]
Sent: 16 September 2008 12:08 PM
To: Jabulani
Subject: Re: Heita hola

Because it’s market research, it’s a question of covering all demographic / genre bases. Often we’d meet amazing people but we’d already know similar people, and it would be a question of – we have so MANY young interesting black peeps who dig Manga from Langa, we need more Black peeps who drink whisky from Soweto – or – we have tons of Tiger Tiger chicks and we need more Melrose Arch preppies. That’s all. Eventually everyone gets their turn, you know? Just a question of timing and keeping a fairly balanced spread of different types of young people from around the country.

When it comes to the individual, ‘cool’ was largely determined by who our clients are at the time, and whether that person would feed in relevant info on a regular proactive schedule.

Lastly, apart from the word ‘liberal’, ‘cool’ is the most misunderstood and misused descriptor out there – ESPECIALLY by trendwatching companies and their clients.
What they mean is something more like ‘early adopters’.
There is no such thing as ‘cool’, nor criteria for such.
‘Cool’ kids look the same in every part of the world.

It’s just another life phase, to be remembered by most as ‘That time I convinced myself that skinny jeans are actually “cool”. Shame.’

Hope it answers your question,

A

does it really exist? Trick question. One mans Converse is another mans Buffalos.

Cool: does it really exist? Trick question. One man's Converse is another man's Buffalos.

On 9/16/08 12:47 PM, “Jabulani” wrote:

Thanks, that helps quite a bit.

So… how is the word “liberal” misunderstood and misused? What is a liberal exactly? Would you consider yourself a liberal? Am I a liberal – or am I counter-revolutionary?


From: Alex [mybrandedlife@gmail.com]
Sent: 16 September 2008 12:08 PM
To: Jabulani
Subject: Re: Heita hola


Ways people misinterpret and misuse the word ‘liberal':

1. Describe yourself as having a ‘liberal nature’ when the truth is that you just have a drinking problem
2. Put your ‘liberal nature’ down to your parents being ‘liberals’, who were really only people with drinking problems
3. Describe yourself as a ‘liberal’ to excuse your sexually promiscuous behaviour with most of your friends (and pretty much anyone, since you have a drinking problem)
4. Describing your political point of view as being ‘liberal’ because you believe in equality (reality check: being liberal means believing in communism, in not having to work for what you get, in endless government handouts and in being okay with other people taking your stuff).

If I were to pick a side I’d probably say that I am conservative, that I am educated and believe in educated leaders, that I value intellect over popularity, that I will support someone DOING good as opposed to someone who’s DONE good, that I will fucking kill you if you touch my Merc, that if you want a Merc, you should work as hard as me to get it and not expect it to fall into your lap. Okay, I drive a Yaris, but it will be a Merc one day, since I believe in work. Do you think it’s some sort of a coincidence that Merc rhymes with work?

You, however, strike me as being a bit of a fence-sitter, which is probably a smart place for a young emerging market Dark Carbon Allotrope (c) (BlAcK DiAmOnD) like yourself.
Aligning your personal brand with the ANC at this point isn’t very sexy, since they keep kicking each other in the bum like battery chickens.
You could be described as a “Revolutionary Counter”, because it’s a smart twist on your question without being too blatant a dodge of the issue.

I hope this answers your question, young D.C.A.

P.S. I’m blogging this, FYI

P.P.S. Props for the K.D. reference, though I know you think I missed it. Peace.

******************************************************************************

This is all very deep for a Tuesday.

What you find when you dig deep. Stay shallow, stay cool.

What you find when you dig deep. Stay shallow, stay cool.

Review: Fork Restaurant, 84 Long Street, Cape Town

Last night my man and I decided to hit up Fork in Long Street for a long overdue kind-of celebratory 6 month-ish anniversary dinner (kind of, we aren’t good with dates) paid for by his company because they have been working him so hard and interrupting our quality time. Please note this is not standard advertising agency behaviour. Normally you sign your quality time away in that nice clause that says ‘Employee undertakes that they will work pretty much every weekend, evening and lunch break for the duration of their time here – and probably for the duration of their lives – and if employee has a problem with this we will just give employee’s job to someone more desperate, and P.S. we’ve clamped your car,”.

After an aperitif or 2 at Planet Bar, where we like to go to work up a bit of a sweat by the fire without actually doing much but winking back at old couples who seem to think we look like a respectable couple of kids (do we? Here’s us last night – no doubt we remind them of their own hotblooded youth)

Looking good for datenight. We fit right in at Planet Bar.

Looking good for datenight. We fit right in at Planet Bar.

we stumbled onto the pavement to be greeted by a very agreeable carguard. I know the likelihood of writing that is akin to the likelihood of writing ‘we stumbled onto the pavement to be greeted by a chocolate horsecow’, but there you have it. There is such a thing as a congenial auto-protector. And he works outside Fork.

Because both the man and I lead busy lives and are constantly being hustled by new venues wanting us to check them out, we’ve got ignorant apathy down to a fine art and thus knew very little about Fork apart from the fact that they served Tapas. Expecting the usual pots of hummus and dolmades, we were seated upstairs in the no-smoking section (rather stressful for us both coming to terms with our non-smoking identities).

The menu, while varied and comprehensive, is still pretty pricey. There are 3 levels of tapas – R35, R45 and R55. We decided to order 2 from each. From tier 1 we got Puff Pastry with sautéed mushroom and parmesan, and the Raclette Fondue with Chorizo and Crostini. The puff pastries divine and I got the ‘wish we’d ordered 2 of these rather’ feeling. The crostini weren’t bad, but they didn’t melt in your mouth and remind of you of a happier time you’ve never actually experienced.

From tier 2 we got the mini kudu fillets on chilli mash – truly, something you must experience at some point in your life. I am now going in search of bigger kudu fillets. The other dish we ordered was the pasta rolls with emmenthal, aubergines, mushrooms, rocket and béchamel sauce – average. Pasta is pasta hey.

From tier 3 we got grilled tiger prawns wrapped with pancetta, which were tasty, but I also got the ‘wish we’d ordered 2 of the other dish’, namely the quail served with butternut and thyme mash and a beetroot glaze – WOW. If the quail dish were a brand it would be the AppleMac of entrees. Small, not very practical but so freaking delicious you’ll pay stupid amounts of money for it. Blasted tiger prawns.

No free meal is complete without dessert, so we went for the apple and vanilla cream shortcakes and some cappuccinos. Nice and tasty, but very biscuity. The shortcake could have been a little less crisp. That said, I ate mine and the boyfriend ate his and then we pondered our futures on the balcony and patted the lions they have out there, while having a conversation about how people always pat statues of lions if they are within reaching height.

All in all, I’d give Fork 4 stars, especially if you’re in the mood ‘for something different’ and god knows how many times we hear Capetonians say that. And if I were to do it all over again, i’d order 4 x quail and 2 times puff pastries, for what it’s worth.

Fork 84 Long Street, Cape Town

Dinner for 2 including a shared dessert and 2 glasses of house red: R500 incl tip

to book call  021 424 6334 to peruse their menu click here.

weekly round up in pictures

I can haz medal.

I can haz medal.

Kathi, Paige and I did the Virgin Active Indoor Triathlon last weekend. This is the first triathlon I have ever done, which is why I am impressed by my 25 min 41 second timing for 2km running, 5km cycling and 125m swimming. The event was really well put together and loads of fun – I’ll definitely be doing the next one.

James and the Giant Penis.

James and the Giant Penis.

Last Friday’s drinks at the agency was themed ‘Cool as Ice’ and featured Vanilla Ice being blared over the loudspeaker, as well as the carving of a giant penis. The penis was carved live in front of everyone in about 30 minutes, and a clear hole runs through the middle of it so you can pour tequila down the top and put your mouth at the bottom. It kind of made everyone look like hamsters licking at their water bottle. I stress ‘kind of’.

Enough glee to last a week.

Enough glee to last a week.

childhood friend of mine, Sam King, stopped over to spend the weekend with me before she headed back to Korea where she is teaching English. she brought me this Polaroid One600 and 2 packs of film to get me going – which made me so excited I basically couldn’t blog for a week. she also got me some other cool things, namely:

The latest installment in the Choo Choo stationary series - La La La Mona Lisa Choo Choo journal. LOVES it!

The latest installment in the Choo Choo stationary series - La La La Mona Lisa Choo Choo journal. LOVES it!

Korean cigarettes - lovely to look at since am no longer smoking.

Korean cigarettes - lovely to look at since am no longer smoking.

then we bade a sad farewell to longtime designer here and dear friend of mine, Carla Kreuser, who heads off to Coley Porter Bell (the S. African branch, still very new). we went to Col’Caccio and ate pizza and drank tequila in the sunshine.

Carla looking more sober and composed than she is.

Carla looking more sober and composed than she is.

The design department shares my hair. From left, VonBrandis, me, Carla and Mallix

The design department shares my hair. From left, VonBrandis, me, Carla and Mallix

Natalie (left) was also leaving so the girls felt it appropriate to kiss, while Mallix felt it appropriate to get a really good shot. For later.

Natalie (left) was also leaving so the girls felt it appropriate to kiss, while Mallix felt it appropriate to get a really good shot. For later.

It wouldnt be a party without a Jason Head around. Jo happily holds the fort.

It wouldn't be a party without a Jason Head around. Jo happily holds the fort.

i’ll be back in July

i’m fortunate enough to have a 3 week holiday ahead of me, during which i shall do all sorts of things except be on my computer. until then, have a good one.

superheroes

a day of lists

first one being South African Twitter users wiki.

and then second being number 1638 on the Million Blog List experiment.

cool things found on the internets

i spend so much time online, and the more time i spend online the more cool stuff i find, and the more cool stuff i find the more fragmented my time spent in any given place becomes. i’ve resolved to make a concerted effort to document more of the things that inspire me, for whatever reason. starting with this rad sofa box i found at swissmiss:

ffffound.com is an image bookmarking site i like to frequent for sheer viewing pleasure, or what i call a Brain Massage. some gems include:

and then i see that Courvoisier is kicking their latest branding efforts up a notch by collaborating with urban/skate / hip hop brand LRG this (USA) spring. some of the awesomeness includes these branded gadgets – iPhone and BlackBerry. mmm, me please.

thanks NotCot.

i also came across this article on a speech given by Bill Cosby on how to combat racism, and i find it pretty inspiring. as someone who lives in a racially charged country, it’s refreshing to hear someone speak from a rational place on the topic.

african fashion blog of the month: Bella Naija

bellanaija

i’ve been doing some work on fashion trends in Nigeria and Ghana over the past month and Bella Naija has been one of my favourite blogs to hit. always on the look out for fellow African bloggers – this is my shout out to her.

interesting stuffs

Time magazine’s first ever Blog Index.

Damien Hirst + Andy Warhol + Levi’s Pop-up Retail store at Fred Segal in the states. eerie and cool.

warholhirstlevi

Friends of mine Jen and Cuan won a trip to Zanzibar in a design-off at Design Indaba this year (old news but at last i have found a picture of the ad):

jencuanad

a record of youth apathy / blatant bid for attention: 90dayjane

90dayjane

“About Me: I am going to kill myself in 90 days. What else should i say? This blog is not a cry for help or even to get attention. It’s simply a public record of my last 90 days in existence. I’m not depressed and nothing extremely horrible has lead me to this decision… My generation has had no great depression, no great war and our biggest obstacle is beating Halo 3. So, if I feel like saying “game over”, why can’t I? … Please don’t attempt to “help” me. If you want to truly help, please send me ideas on how to do the deed. thx-Jane”

she may do it, she may not. ‘she’ may not even be real. but the blog is.

****Update: Blogger seems to have removed the site. Ah well.

garsh! we actually have a fashion industry. now who’s gonna invest in these guys?

i found this great resource for some young graduates from fedisa. some choice extracts:

fediasgrad1

fediasgrad2

fediasgrad3

fediasgrad4

fediasgrad5

fediasgrad6

fediasgrad7

fediasgrad8

fediasgrad9

found via ultimate sa online fashion resource ifashion.co.za

street marketing: mother city queer party

on the wall of the venue, cape town high school.

mcqp

mcqp2