Three cool things

This week’s showcase of 3 cool and inspiring creative campaigns I came across from around the web:

3. Slow Down GPS – If Insurance

Once again, another genius idea coming from Sweden. And from that agency that now everyone knows for the famous “Epic Split” ad with Jean-Claude Van Damme.

This is the first ever Child voice navigation system.

The GPS switches to a child voice when in the vicinity of a school or childcare. So simple, yet brilliant. Hopefully all the major GPS manufacturers in the world will adopt this technology. So far, the feature is available in Sweden, Finland and Norway. And you can download the app for free in the App Store and on Google Play.

2. Air New Zealand’s new safety video – Men in Black

Air New Zealand are undoubtedly one of the most creative airlines in the whole world. And one of my favourite ones as well!

After the epic Hobbit safety video they are now back with another smart production where the main actors are their own All Black, yes… the real kiwi rugby heroes!

This is the proof that the best team in the world can perform on ANY stage.

‘They’re try-line defenders. They’re champion contenders. They’re the Men In Black.’

1. The Hateful Eight – Quentin Tarantino’s new movie

Well, it’s only the trailer… but we are all already excited about it and counting down for Xmas.

The trailer has only been up on YouTube for less than 2 days, and it has already reached 7.5M views. Why am I not surprised?


Three cool things

This week’s showcase – after a very very long break, ooops… sorry I was on the road for quite a while – of 3 cool and inspiring creative campaigns I came across from around the web:

3. Canon‘s Pixma printers

With this clever and super funny series of ads, Canon reminds us that is still cool to use a printer for our photos, maps, tickets…

2. Dancing traffic lights – Smart

Not sure how many more cars they sold with this ad at Smart, but the whole idea is pretty cool: it’s all about being disruptive, and creating a totally unexpected experience to people. In this case, red traffic light manikin starts dancing to make people wait and watch rather than walk through the red light. Watch the results at the end of the video: it worked!

1. Shark diving in the Australian desert – Samsung Gear VR

For the campaign, Samsung’s creative agency Leo Burnett Sydney teamed up with surf director Taylor Steele to capture underwater footage of great white sharks in South Australia. The footage resulted in a 360-degree film called The Dive, create specifically for Samsung Gear VR.

To celebrate the film, Samsung then opened a Dive Shop in Alice Springs (in the middle of the Australian desert, where not much happens and where there is not trace of water!), inviting locals to experience the shark drive using the Gear VR.

The result is pretty amazing, just by looking at people’s reaction to the immersive visual experience.

Three cool things

This week’s showcase of 3 cool and inspiring creative campaigns I came across from around the web:

3. The IKEA Breakfast in Bed Café


The brand new Ikea cafe is now serving breakfast in BED in the hipster borough of Shoreditch, London. The initiative is part of a marketing campaign to promote their bedding options, that’s why the IKEA Breakfast in Bed Café showcases how the Swedish brand can make their beds and bedrooms an oasis of serenity, whilst serving a typical Scandinavian breakfast.

The pop-up cafe will also feature relaxing music, sleep-inducing teas, and information about IKEA’s bedding options. According to a post on IKEA U.K.’s Facebook page, they allocated 64 people per sitting and guests were also assured of the cleanliness of the beds as the beddings will be changed each time.

THE CURIOSITY: the inspiration came after the retailer found 50% of people had never had breakfast in bed (I clearly fall in the other half!).

Curious to see more creative campaigns from IKEA? Have a look here.

2. 10 Years of YouTube Ads

You can now vote for your favourite YouTube ads of the last 10 years. Just head here and have your say.

In 2014, four of the top ten most-watched videos on YouTube were ads. As YouTube celebrate their tenth birthday, you can now review the greatest brand moments from the past decade and vote.

My vote went to Duvall Guillaume, an amazing creative agency from Belgium that I had the immense pleasure to meet at my time working at Google London.

And, of course, make sure you share your vote on your social networks using the hashtag #10YearsofYouTubeAds.

1. LEGO Dimensions

The new Lego spot is dedicated to all of us, kids who grew up watching (and re-watching all over again) ‘Back to the Future’. In the new ad, a very paranoid Doc Brown discovers a portal to the Lego world and worries about the space-time continuum (as you do, of course!).

Lego Dimensions will be launched in September on the main gaming consoles and will let fans use real-world toys in the virtual game world.

Three cool things

This week’s showcase of 3 cool and inspiring creative campaigns I came across from around the web:

3. Follow Your Nola – New Orleans Tourism Ads

The beauty of this series of ads is in the voiceover. These three TV spots all use the same voiceover script, but completely different characters and locations, to cleverly communicate the point that you can have all sorts of diverse experiences in the city.

The insight: New Orleans has an incredible range of experiences and attractions for people of all mindsets and interests.

The challenge: to bring this to life with stories that live up to the beauty and creative spirit of the city itself.

The result: an integrated campaign with digital at the core. The videos illustrate visitors’ top interests discovered through social listening; the mobile site showcases itineraries featured in the spots; social influencers bring their own NOLA trips to life online; display and mobile ads target the right people at the right time; and the events bring the NOLA experience to life across the country. Nailed.

‘Everyone’s NOLA is different. Follow yours.’


CLIENT: Tourism New Orleans

CAMPAIGN: Follow your NOLA

2. The Message from the Lungs

This is a bit of a dark one, literally. To help people quit smoking, BBDO Proximity Thailand wrote a message to smokers using an ink made from diseased lungs. The black ink was made from materials extracted from lungs donated after death by longtime smokers and it was distributed it at public events, which received a lot of PR.

The results? Increased signups in the foundation’s cessation program by 500% compared to the previous year.

CREATIVE AGENCY: BBDO Proximity Thailand

CLIENT: Thai Health Promotion Foundation

CAMPAIGN: The Message from the Lungs

1. Lily – a new kind of Drone

Lily is the the drone that you can throw up in the air or into the water, and it catches and orients itself. Then it follows you, always keeping the camera focused on you. Now we don’t have to be professional film-makers to create cinematic footages. Lily is waterproof, ultra-portable, and shoots stunning HD pictures and videos.

The real question is: can we Periscope or Meerkat from it yet? I’m sure developers will figure it out soon!

Pre-order Lily here.

Branden Harvey: the photographer who is using social media for good

This is Branden Harvey.

Branden Harvey is pretty much a modern-day superman. He is young (’20-something’ he claims). And he is armed only with his camera and the words in his head.

He goes out there to tell stories and shoot photos for brands, dreamers and world changers.

Forget about pictures of beautiful cakes, perfect raw recipes, and superficial fashion shots on your Instagram feed. Here we are talking about real people, about the hope in African women’s eyes, about mothers and children united to change the world.

Branden works with nonprofit organisations that pay him to travel to Africa (mainly) and to amplify their work using his social network. This way, Branden is left free to tell the story in his own way (and images), with his own words, which makes this approach much more powerful than normal PR.

One of his latest projects is with These Numbers Have Faces, a nonprofit organisation that takes the best and brightest students from Rwanda, Uganda and South Africa and helps put them through school.

But the young Oregon-based story teller also writes about other topics: places, love, relationships, portraits… all equally inspiring projects. Read them about them here.

He has even started an official hashtag on Instagram that is very popular among users, those being professional photographers or not (just like me and you): #storyportrait. So far over 31,000 photos have been submitted to the #storyportrait tag, which Branden created to encourage people to ‘share the stories of the people in your life. Authentically. Genuinely. Lovingly.’

Mashable has recently defined him ‘The Instagrammer who’s on a mission to change the world, one picture at a time’, which is the article that inspired me to write this blog post. Plus, being myself an absolute lover of Africa and its people, I really could not resist.

From today, my Instagram feed has a new look. Thank you for the inspiration, Branden.


Twitter @BrandenHarvey

Instagram brandenharvey: join me and other 101k followers!

Snapchat ‘brandenharvey’: Branden creates daily Snapchat stories that are seen by thousands of people all over the world. He’s created Snapchat stories in Uganda, Zimbabwe, Dubai and the latest one from the White House.

Facebook Branden Harvey

My selection of the best free travel apps

This post could be the longest one on my blog, but I will keep it nice and short and just share with you my favourite travel apps that I actually use on a weekly basis – which is pretty much how often I travel. For some of them, I also share some vouchers that you can use straight away to get a discount on your first booking!

Those are the basics you should absolutely have on your phone/tablet if you – like me – live constantly on the road… or if you like giving a real shape to your day-dreaming! Plus, they are free.


Because they will all equally inspire you to escape, to leave your comfort zone and book those plane tickets or a place to stay at your next destination.



SIMPLY PUT: Although you need a Wifi connection to use this service, Uber is a great way to navigate a country that is not known for trustworthy transportation options. Check out the cities that the app is available here and see if you can use it for your upcoming vacation. Editor tip- a lot of international airports now feature free Wifi, so this could be a great way to secure a ride from the airport, without having to wait in a long line or risk being hustled upon arrival.

ELEVATOR PITCH: ‘Your ride, on demand.’

VOUCHER: download the app here and use this promo code to get a discount on your first ride: zocu9.



SIMPLY PUT: This app will help you book a last-minute hotel in case you missed a flight, stayed out too late, or want a staycation in your own city. At discounted rates! I use it a lot when I need a place to stay on the same day or for the following night. Their selection of luxurious hotels – as well some 3 stars hotels – is great. I recently stayed at the Tryp Hotel in Brisbane, which was super quirky and located in a very vibrant part of town, with the most amazing roof top bar! Bonus.

ELEVATOR PITCH: ‘The best 3 to 5 star hotels, available on average 28% cheaper!’

VOUCHER: download the free app here and get a $30 voucher that you can use straight away at your first booking using the code PPICC.



SIMPLY PUT: Airbnb is by far my favourite way of travelling and experience local cultures. If you haven’t Airbnbed before, I can guarantee that once you start, you will be hooked! They were the first one to play a role in the sharing economy, where people just open up their properties (the entire place or just a room) to perfect strangers. It is cool. And much more personal than a dry hotel. You will get to know what the local area really offers, where the locals go, and the properties on the site are stunning! Worth a try, in any country you live/travel in.

ELEVATOR PITCH: ‘Belong Anywhere’

VOUCHER: create an account for free and use this link to get AU$31 voucher on your first Airbnb booking.



SIMPLY PUT: Wotif will be one of your favourite apps if you are a frequent traveller. It is easy to use, it makes easy to compare the prices of the hotel deals. And after booking, you can view past, current and future confirmations as well as present your booking confirmation from your iPhone on check-in. You can even use the ‘near me’ or near a landmark option if you want to stay near a specific attraction. Little gem.

ELEVATOR PITCH: ‘We believe that travel changes lives, and that exploring the world should be simple and accessible to everyone’



SIMPLY PUT: Dubbed “the baby of Instagram and Trip Advisor”, this app encourages users to upload photos and then submit recommendations for those spots. That being said, as with any crowd sourced application or service, the information is not necessarily 100% accurate. So before quoting Trover facts, check the old fashioned guidebook.

ELEVATOR PITCH: ‘Join fellow travellers and share your stories’



SIMPLY PUT: A super easy-to-use flight-booking app on all your devices. Skyscanner does everything you’d ever need it to: aggregating fares from airlines all in one place and giving you the best deal. Skyscanner helps you find the best flights based on your budget and schedule by scanning millions of flights from more than 500 airlines around the world and comparing their prices. If all you are looking for is a bit of inspiration, then my favourite search is: FROM any destination TO EVERYWHERE to see the cheapest options! No jokes, this option really does exist in the drop down menu. Pure genius.



SIMPLY PUT: This popular social media platform just surpassed the 300 million user mark, which means there are a lot of jealous eyeballs to gaze at the stunning photos of your travels (and food, of course!). I also use this app as a source of inspiration, as a lot of travel bloggers and tourism brands showcase their adventures on Instagram. Watch this space for my list of best travel Instagrammers to follow!

ELEVATOR PITCH: ‘A fast, beautiful and fun way to share your life with friends through a series of pictures’



SIMPLY PUT: XE Currency helps you track exchange rates so that you’re aware of how much money you’re shelling out for all your travel expenses. This app covers virtually every currency in the world and lets you monitor exchange rates for up to 10 currencies, which should be more than enough for any moment during your trip. XE Currency keeps track of all currencies you monitor so that you still get updated exchange rates for these currencies even when you’re offline.

Three cool things

This week’s showcase of 3 cool and inspiring creative campaigns I came across from around the web:

3. Unforgettable Post-it Proposal

Probably the most uplifting advert for stationery ever:

2. Lisbon crowdsources new ways of seeing the Portuguese city

This is dedicated to Lisbon, one of my favourite cities in the world. For a lot of reasons: its people, its beaches and narrow streets, its delicious pastel de nata and bacalao (and ridiculously huge portions!), its music and its literature talents: I grew up reading Jose Saramago and Fernando Pessoa’s books, and they shaped the way I think and act today.

The Portuguese capital has 16 official viewpoints that people can visit to get a better glimpse of their beautiful city.

Now, with the help of Leo Burnett Lisbon, Lisbon City Council has released a video which challenges people to increase the count by revealing their own hidden spots among the seven hills and narrow streets.

Viewers are directed to a designated webpage where they are invited to share their own personal snaps, or adopt the hashtag #LXup to document their hidden viewpoints on Instagram.

Visit the website here. And if you are in Lisbon, share your favourite view spot with the community!

1. Anti-Littering Campaign Put Faces on Ads

This one-of-a-kind anti-littering campaign uses DNA to identify litterbugs in Hong Kong and put their faces on ads.

The campaign is from Ogilvy & Mather Hong Kong and it’s interactive and innovative. They are using this science experiment to create social change. Litter is such a major problem in Hong Kong, and thanks to technology, it’s possible now to put a face to this anonymous crime and get people to think twice about littering. Let’s hope so.

Three cool things

This week’s showcase of 3 cool and inspiring creative campaigns I came across from around the web:

3. Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week – #alwaystrending

This year the Fashion Week’s main sponsor Mercedes-Benz has used a pretty sleek Stackla execution to visualise data in a very compelling way. The website’s homepage lets you surf through all the content that has been produced from 1996 to 2015 around the Fashion Week globally, with the aim to expand the event ‘beyond the catwalk’ and take fashionistas back in time.

Try it yourself: click on any year from 1995 and today to unfold content from that year’s show which has been posted on social media using the #alwaystrending hashtag.


Data visualisation from Stackla – Fashion Week 2015 homepage

2. Ford – “Speed Dating’

In February, Ford was a big winner with its ‘Speed Dating’ video. The car-maker set up “unsuspecting guys” with a blond female stunt driver, who took each guy for a ride in her Mustang. There’s been a lot of noise on the web, arguing that the guys were actually actors, but it didn’t stop the ad from getting viral.

1. Knorr – The Greatest Flavour on Earth

This is my absolute favourite content piece of the week: Knorr talks to the hearts of all the people who – like me – are (far far) away from home. Be prepared, there could be tears… I wonder whether Knorr will think to launch a whole series of those films. Perhaps one per each continent? In that case, Mr Knorr, please bring to Australia my mum’s parmigiana from the South of Italy!

Advertising and optical illusions: brands that can hypnotise us

If you – like me – love the hypnotising drawings that the Dutch genius Escher created, then you will be blown away by these commercials.

Here is a selection of brands that used creativity – and technology – to play with our senses and to challenge our perceptions.


This ad makes the point that things are not always as they appear. And it does it in exceptionally eye-opening fashion. With a series of illusions whilst the car goes through a surreal landscape of complex and cool visual effects.

Agency: mcgarrybowen London


Inspired by the previous award winning spot, Honda does it again: it uses optical illusions to launch the new CR-V.

In this case, the automotive brand chooses an ad that never ends to communicate performance, longevity and a never-ending commitment to quality.

The Curiosity: when you watch the ‘Endless Road’ on YouTube, the ad uses real-time data to visually reflect the time of the day and weather of your location, wherever you are in the world. Pretty awesome. Watch your personalised location-specific version of the spot here!

Agency: mcgarrybowen London


Optical-illusion masters Brusspup teamed up with Ray-Ban for this anamorphic illusion video to show off a new line of sunglasses. Anamorphic illusions are made with objects or images that have skewed perspectives but look correctly proportioned from certain angles, and the effect works especially well with round objects.

A magic hand: Seb Lester’s doodles


Seb Lester, logos.

I have been following Seb Lester on Instagram for awhile now, and his time-lapsed videos showing his magic and very calm hand ‘simply’ drawing logos does not stop surprising me.

And because I do love sharing beautiful things I come across in my life, here I am sharing my selection of his Instagram creations with you.


Sebastian Lester is a gifted calligrapher and designer from England who has a particular fascination for the Latin alphabet. This passion led him to start a series of drawings of famous and iconic brands and marks, like Google, Led Zeppelin, ESPN, Star Wars, Adidas, Nike…

All he uses is a pen and ink. And a very steady hand!

Have a look at his recent doodles and do make sure you follow him on Instagram for more absolutely mesmerising videos:

More doodling.

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Doodle. Slower version on my 'Seb Lester' Facebook page.

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I doodle a lot. Slower version on my 'Seb Lester' Facebook page.

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More doodling. Slower version on my 'Seb Lester' Facebook page.

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Latest doodle. Slower version on my 'Seb Lester' Facebook page.

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