Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Veggie Bus

We’re proud to announce that we just completed the conversion of our new bus to run on 100% Waste Vegetable Oil (WVO). This is the first phase in a series of modifications that we are doing to the bus, but a pinnacle one none the less. The conversion was completed by our great friend, Aaron Stuart, from Angel City Motorworks who is known for his "axe-shredding" (i.e "guitar playing" for less rock-show inclined) in Piebald.

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The next phase is to install our light projection turret. I don’t want to spill the beans too much at this point, so keep checking in for updates on this ‘soon to take over the world’ project.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Chase The Rising Sun

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Chase the Rising Sun is a social mission that sprouted from a desire to travel around the world. Lauren and Michael Crigler are giving up everything that defines their personal lives to combine their dreams of traveling with their passion for improving the quality of life of others. Driven by their intense respect for the environment and their appreciation of cultural diversity, they'll be traveling to various destinations around the world, volunteering their skills and knowledge, and lending helping hands.

Through Chasetherisingsun.com you can follow Michael and Lauren on their journey and read about their travels and experiences. You can even get involved yourself by staying updated and interested or giving a small donation to one of the groups they are working with.

Cheers to that!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Integrated marketing in Japan

Check out this great example of integrated marketing in Asia. The effort was to promote the alliance of Goo and Google. It’s a clever take on the function of search engines and brings a good concept to life in real time.

Although this campaign is from a couple years ago in Japan, it recently caught our attention and we applaud the effort.

Friday, November 30, 2007

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2007 was an exciting year for creative retail spaces. Two in particular that rang true for us were Bodega (Boston) and Grand Opening (NYC).

Grand Opening (NYC): Located in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Grand Opening charted out a path in 2007 as one of the most creative store fronts in New York City. When we first became aware of the space back in the Spring, it hosted a single ping pong table, monitored 24/7 via web cam. Video streams and reservations were available through their website, and although we didn’t get to check it out first hand, we were able to sponsor a little party in the space. To add to the mystique and cool factor, Grand Opening changed its scenery in late September to become a “drive-in” movie theatre. If you want to take your sweetheart to the show, just log onto
http://www.139norfolk.com/ and book your reservation ($75 for 6 people max).

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Bodega (Boston): From the detergent and kitty litter in the window, you would have no clue that Bodega was one of 2007’s hottest clothing stores (yeah yeah, we know it opened in 2006). Even when you walk in the front door, there is no tell that you’re not in a convenience store. It is only when you walk to the back of the store and the vending machine slides away that you realize you’re not in Kansas anymore. Bodega (http://www.bdgastore.com/) not only brought fresh kicks and gear to a city that desperately needed trendsetting fashion, but it also exemplified the trend of discovery and elitism – giving fashion hunters a unique hideaway to call their own.

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Watch out for: more pop-up shops and creative uses for retail/warehouse space in 2008.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

If You Can’t Beat ‘Em… Join ‘Em.

Recently, I’ve seen a number of snarky commentaries on the rise and overtake of social media. This includes videos and blog entries from both social media users and industry experts.

It seems that both of these groups have realized the impact of web 2.0 and the implications for the future and decided to take a light-hearted jab at themselves. Check ‘em out for yourself:

Facebook Network News – Posted by a sketch comedy group:

New Media Douchebags – This sketch was found on a marketing industry video blog:

Although these are quite playful, I wouldn’t be surprised if we start seeing the emergence of a small movement for the demise of social media. The powerful hold social media has on society is undeniable, and with every rise to power there is always opposition. And I’m not just talking about a “Down with Facebook!” club. I’m talking about a real throwback to the old ways… think knitting circles. Evidently, the movement is already taking form:

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

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Birdhead has been merging the gap between art and fashion since 2002, connecting like-minded people and providing an alternative to the norm. Their thought provoking designs subtly comment on social, environmental and cultural issues without sacrificing style. With those roots in mind, Birdhead has always printed locally on sweatshop-free shirts with water based inks. Also, next season every shirt will be printed on organic cotton.

For the month of December, in celebration of giving back, Birdhead is kicking it up a notch. All the sales from
http://www.birdheaddesign.com/ will be donated to fund volunteer opportunities abroad for social and environmental change. They are calling this project "Chase the Rising Sun.” It was conceived with the vision of spreading awareness and taking initiative for the betterment of the world.

To launch this mission there will be an exhibition at
LAB gallery on December 15 in Boston featuring new work by Michael Crigler, founder of Birdhead, Art Director of Street Attack, and owner of Prank Design. Check out some of their designs and invest your holiday spending cash into some cool shirts for a great cause.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

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Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be posting snippets from our upcoming yearly review publication, Choice. The publication covers trends that surfaced in 2007, opinions and commentary on hot topics of the year, and predictions for 2008. If you’d like to be included on the distribution list for Choice, please email jess@streetattack.com. If you have any specific requests of topics you’d like us to cover, let us know and we’ll see what we can do.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Thinking Outside the Bin

I received a call from a newspaper reporter in Florida the other day, asking my thoughts on a new ad space in airports – security bins. Is this considered alternative media advertising? Is there any merit to these ads?

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My response: One of the reasons that Street Attack is in the business of alternative marketing is because we believe that people have become desensitized to traditional marketing in traditional spaces. In my opinion, security bin ads would fall under the category of what people have become desensitized to. It was really only a matter of time before “traditional” media advertising took this bin space over. Realistically, the bin ad is no different than the grocery cart ad, except that people spend even less time interacting with airport bins.

My suggestion: take a step back from traditional thought and traditional placements for ads. You can only be so creative within that space. The future of advertising is in creative uses of the environment, giving value to your audience, and letting your audience experience and discover your brand/product. I’ve included a few examples of creative ad placements that piqued my attention.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Death Subject

I’m a big Coen Brothers fan. And after seeing No Country for Old Men the other night, I’m an even bigger fan. A terrific movie to add to the long list of classics – Raising Arizona, Fargo, Big Lebowski...

So, what does the latest Coen Brothers movie have to do with non-traditional marketing? This:

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Wait, no… that’s a picture of me, dead.
How about this:

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Two words: freakin’ awesome! What’s cooler than a viral game (turned Facebook application) that lets you toss a coin for the chance to win your life? Other than the actual movie itself (obviously). How about being able to download a picture of you with a bloody hole in your head and being able to pass that along to your friends… or mother.

Great movies like No Country for Old Men are viral in nature. But, giving fans a really cool online application to extend their experience with the film, is a great way to fan the flames and empower people to spread the buzz. I sent this game to a few friends with the tagline, “you’ve GOT to see this (movie/game)!” And I know they’ll be passing along bloody pictures of themselves within the hour to their friends. Not to mention, spending $10 a pop to see the movie this weekend.

The Other Mini

Light projections have been a topic of conversation in this office for quite some time. In my research I found a light projection that deserves a tip of the hat. Using four projectors and spanning a height of 10 stories, Mini projected an ad revealing their new model, the Mini Clubman. Impressive indeed!

As if an enormous ad wasn’t enough, they followed up with guerilla street tactics (my personal favorite). Sure altering crosswalks and posting clings on other cars is a step away from defacement but Mini has always prided itself on using non-tradition media to stir heads. Kudos to Mini.

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Monday, October 29, 2007

Halloween 07, Flight of the Imposter and the inexpensive light projection

Carving Pumpkins is underrated. This year, I really took the initiative to create a work of art out of what I had always considered a pastime for children. My inspiration for this was my newly acquired kitten appropriately named, Tofu.

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I had to use professional pumpkin carving miniature saws and a power drill. Not only does this bad boy look great lit up with a candle, but it also projects the image nicely onto a wall. Being in the business of light projections (among many other things), I figured I’d share this tip with party throwers across the globe.
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Now, onto my costume. Over the past few months, it's become apparent that I have an uncanny resemble to Bret from Flight of the Conchords (HBO hit series and New Zealand's fourth most popular digi-folk paradists). Check out their performance of "Business Time" here. I soon realized this would be the perfect Halloween costume. I went out dressed like this, and a total of 1 person knew exactly who I was, which was exactly the response I was hoping to get. Safe and easy, and I only had to go to 2 websites to find this exact sweatshirt.

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Comcastic Is Not So Fantastic

These days I feel I can - to be overly general - classify marketing into two types: the forced and finessed. Consider television commercials. When you're watching your favorite show on a DVR, when was the last time you actually watched all or any of the commercials? Now think about the last 10 YouTube links you got... I'd bet at least one or two of them were a funny or interesting commercial. So why do you avoid television ads during your shows like the plague but embrace them when they're on YouTube? The answer, my friends, is finesse.

For the amount of money being spent on clever marketing campaigns these
days, I don't see how you could afford to utilize the forced approach at all. I would go as far as to say I specifically DO NOT buy a product if the marketing ploy annoyed me. Maybe I'm a little extreme.

Case in point: Comcast's channel guide. Notice the amazingly large advertisement section at the bottom that is completely obstructing the view of more channels and even more annoying, as you scroll down, it actually gets selected. So not only is it minimizing the useful information I can get on one screen, it is wasting my time by making me use an additional click to scroll down.

For shame, Comcast. Not only do I completely ignore this advertisement, it has actually caused me to resent Comcast for implementing it and I have since canceled my subscription.

Now this ad on a restroom mirror has a little "wow" factor for its uniqueness. It also actively targets the right demographic. That, my friends, is a finesse play.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Livin' the High Life

I met Wendell (the featured comedian in Miller High Life’s 2007 commercial series) at the Miller distributor conference in Vegas this year. He was as brilliant in person as he is on TV. Wendell is what I like to call the perfect ambassador – always staying in character, always livin’ the High Life.

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If you haven’t seen the commercial series yet, (a) you’ve probably been living in a box, and (b) you should immediately go check them out.

As an advocate of non-traditional media, it’s hard for me to admit that these commercials are some of the best marketing efforts a beer company has put forth recently. But, it appears as though sales figures for this classic American brand are climbing, and I truly believe that MBCO has hit their market on the head with these commercials.

But, also, as an advocate of non-traditional media, I’m itching to see how Miller takes these ads into the experiential and online viral space. Only two of the ads are on Youtube. And what about experiential activation? I want to see Wendell’s army in honest bars all over this country – making sure everyone is livin’ the High Life.

So, c’mon Miller. Let’s see you flex your non-traditional muscle. Let’s get Wendell’s message out there, and bring this great brand back to the front!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Higher Veg-ucation

Last Spring, Michael Crigler from Birdhead Design was teaching a class at the Art Institute of Boston called, ‘Design Can Change the World?’ You’ll notice that the title of the class is a question, leading us to ask, “can the visuals that represent brands and products influence the choices we make as individuals?”

To really grasp his teachings, you would have had to attended one of his classes. I had the fortune of attending one, not as a student, but as a guest lecturer. He wanted to show his students examples of alternative ways of living that people were practicing in the real world. My purpose as the guest lecturer was to educate people on the history of fossil fuel use in the world and to show the class my 1991 300D Turbo Diesel Mercedes Benz that has been converted to run on B100, or more commonly known as Straight Vegetable Oil (SVO).

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The Students of this class were generally amazed at what I had to say and even more impressed that the vehicle we had converted actually worked and was achieving better gas mileage than when I was burning common Diesel fuel.

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I couldn’t reiterate enough to them that what I was doing was just an example of how there are alternatives to almost every facet in our everyday lives, and in NO way are was this the way of the future. Hopefully the children of today can learn from this and make the appropriate changes for their future. Please watch the video below for highlights from the class. For more information on the use of vegetable oil as fuel, please visit:
Grease Not Gas.

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Monday, October 1, 2007

Dove and the Rise of the Anti-Ad

When I was nine it was cool to play with Barbie, but it was also cool to wear huge t-shirts and spandex (ah yes, my glory days). Now I see ten-year-olds with blond extensions and booty shorts. Today there is a constant pressure to be hotter, sexier, thinner and for some reason, always ingesting food on a long stick.
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Enter anti-advertising, the reaction to this push for unobtainable goals. On the forefront of this movement is Dove, whose newest campaign advocates the importance of realistic beauty and healthy self-esteem. Click on the picture below to check out their latest video:

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

This sure beats my Civil War project in 3rd grade…

What do you get when you put together the game franchise that reached the highest grossing media opening day in history ($125 million) and a creative team of marketing super-brains? The diorama of the CENTURY… While many of you have already seen the partnerships with Mountain Dew, 7-Eleven, and channel sales commercials from Gamestop, you may not have seen this piece of eyecandy.

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Why am I so excited about this? Because it is one of the most original, exciting, interactive, and just freaking cool pieces of viral marketing I have seen in a while. The level of detail alone is enough to make any creative type stare and drool. But the story gets better in that not only can I watch, I can interact (click on the blue dots whenever you see one) and get an even deeper level of the story taking place around me.

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In my opinion this will accomplish two rather monumental goals:
1) It will generate the viral interest they are hoping for among current Halo fans as well as non-current fans due to its sheer amazing-ness
2) The hype around
this game is already at a fanatical frothing frenzy, and with stunts like this, the hype is staying strong even among the already dedicated Halo-lovers (How do I know? Well, I’m one of them!)

Some of the interactive elements even have a “date of release”—a nice ploy to keep me coming back for more.

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One thing is for sure: the “Halo” franchise marketing train is definitely gaining speed…

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Two Words: Nathan Freakin Barley...okay make that three

Another gem to come out of the UK last year poking fun at new media and consumer culture is a great ode to the rise of web stars and the infatuation with web 2.0.

In this clip aptly titled "The Rise of the Idiots," we see a commentary on the vestiges of hipster culture and the palpitations felt by all those witness to idiots expressing themselves.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Kid Suites with Uncle Bad Touch

I came upon this ad on a trash can outside of a Holiday Inn. Before I realized that it was for specialized rooms that cater to children’s needs, a number of amazing yet horrifying thoughts went through my head. Look at this thing:
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Now, think about the message they are trying to get across with this: we have made efforts to accommodate our customers traveling with kids. But their way to advertise this is to…ummm, use ‘uncle bad touch’ as the mascot? I mean, seriously… look at this guy. Long hair, goatee, handle bar mustache, mouth hanging open with his tongue pressed up to the edge of his mouth...not to mention that uniform. He looks like some sort of Civil War general. And did you notice the one big hand, one little hand thing he’s got going on? I believe that’s some sort of Michael Jackson syndrome.

Anyway, yes folks…the Holiday Inn would like to invite your children to enjoy their newly fashioned kid suites. For your sake, I sincerely hope this guy will not be there.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Environmental Advertising

In environments where ad space is sold on almost anything, it’s a breath of fresh air to see something new and creative like these Hurley ads:

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This custom ad can be seen at a venue in southern California called Chain Reaction. Chain Reaction is ‘Southern California’s coolest all ages venue,’ at least according to their web site. This staple to the southern California pop-punk/indie/emo scene has hosted such acts as Saves the Day and Fall Out Boy.

This ad caught my attention, because not only was it customized to fit right into the space on the outside of the sound board, but it was also completely manufactured just for this spot. The whole thing was made from stitched together fabric giving it a very personal touch. The location of the sound booth faces right into the main floor in front of the stage, where on a sold out night 500+ attendees can be found. This niche advertisement is the perfect way for Hurley to reach its target audience in an environment with high loyalty to a lifestyle directly related to Hurley’s products. Hats off to them.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Chocolate Rain: Some stay dry and others feel the pain

It never ceases to amaze me how some online videos can take off into the vast reaches of our universe without powerful marketing machines or production budgets behind them. It's one of the beautiful ironies of the online viral world. Those that wish to go big, struggle to find the path; while those that wish nothing more than to record their favorite karaoke song on home video and show it to their friends will inevitably become Internet superstars.

Tay Zonday is the most recent in this notorious line of unsuspecting Internet heroes. A few months ago, Tay was a no-name musician, writing and recording cheesy covers and the occasional original song in the comfort of his home. Today, Tay Zonday is Chocolate Rain! The man behind the myth behind the online video that I've now watched at least 30 times in two weeks.

When I first saw it, Chocolate Rain was at the 500,000 views level - hardly something to scoff at. Now, just a couple weeks later, this video has climbed to over 2 million views. I personally have sent this link to over 20 people and shown it via light projection at our most recent Street Attack office party (to another 30 or 40 people). Some look at me with quizzical stare going, "huh?" While others, like me, laugh hysterically and think, "Oh my God, this is the most amazing thing I have ever seen in my life!"

So what makes an online video explode? That is the million dollar question that every company is asking every ad agency in the country. Unfortunately, if you are in the position of creating a video for the purpose of spreading a brand message, answering the million dollar question is only half the battle. The other half is figuring out how to incorporate your brand without creating a commercial. Something our good friend Tay didn't have to concern himself with.

So, while you're pondering these questions for the next month, I highly recommend you check out Tay Zonday, and his unbelievably catchy rendition of Chocolate Rain. You may just find yourself skipping to a whole new beat over the next week.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Arts-Music-Culture: Finding the Gold in Pirating

A few weeks ago I sold band merch for a local Boston band called The Information. They just created a new album, but did not release a CD. Weird? Not really. These days, artists are finding new ways to attract consumers who might normally download music illegally.

The Information produced flash drives for fans to purchase. Then, they could simply upload all the songs into their computers legally. The band extended their gimmick merchandise by putting new labels on old 8-Track discs with a download code. Fans who chose to buy the 8-Track (which could have anything on it from the Dooby Brothers to Anita Ward) could type in the code and upload the songs that way.

A similar case is with the Canadian band Stars (Arts&Crafts). The band just wrapped up recording their new album and it’s official release date is September 25th. From now until the fall, promotional CDs will be sent out to radio stations, PR people, Music magazines, etc. The CD will inevitably be leaked. So, the band has opted to have a “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” attitude. They have released their album on iTunes for fans to purchase before the official release date months later.

It’s a natural occurrence for things to change. The music industry is no exception. While artists are finding it tougher to keep their fans from buying their music, reliance on marketing is becoming even more essential. It’s forcing the industry to be more creative with their approach to make new albums stand out.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Graffiti Under Attack!: Big brother is spending

I just read a disturbing article about the expensive GPS technology being used to track graffiti and locate graffiti vandals. With so many problems facing humanity - global warming, terrorism, and genocide to name a few - is this seriously our priority?

While graffiti can be intrusive, it should be nowhere near the top of our governments' monetary priorities. Here in Boston, our under-staffed police can't seem to stem the rising unsolved murder rate, yet we still have a division in charge of seeking out, arresting and prosecuting local graffiti artists.

Graffiti is, in essence, a form of rebellion. At its worst, it's just vandalism with no rhyme or reason other than to ruin something, but at its best it is public art and a creative outlet. It's also, in essence, advertising. It's all about visibility and brand building.

But thanks to the media, graffiti is always associated with destruction of property instead of the art form it can be. The actual term for a graffiti artist, a "writer," has for the most part been replaced by criminal.

The stark reality is that police have much higher priorities to attend to than graffiti. The powers that be should think about where they want to spend our tax dollars, and they should be focused on issues much larger than supposedly misled "vandals". As a taxpayer, I welcome public art, commissioned or not. I would much rather my money be going to national health-care, social security, national security and contingents for a greener and cleaner globe.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

iHype and the Art of Connection

Never has technology received so much media coverage since the current launch of the iPhone, and yes, I'm going to go ahead and add to it. You might have thought curing world hunger was one of its features with all the publicity. Sure the iPhone can stream videos and has Wi-Fi capabilities, but does it live up to all the hype? Here are some of the pro’s and con’s of the iPhone to help you make an educated opinion.


  • Trees everywhere can rejoice because the iPhone can hold addresses, maps, notes, calendars, events, and readily assess email, which means Post Its are a thing of the past.
  • You are always connected. The Wi-Fi capabilities and Bluetooth help you keep a constant watch on your Facebook profile. Not to mention you can watch Youtube videos.
  • It can multitask. You might want to download a song while you write an email and with the iPhone that is possible.
  • Its sexy…come on admit it. Sleek, sophisticated, lean lines - it's enough to cause tingles. It’s like the Bentley of the mobile industry. The screen also adapts to how you hold it, which makes it very functionable.


  • You have to really like AT&T because that is the network provider, and it does not come cheap. Unlike the iPod, once you buy the iPhone there are still more bills to pay.
  • Without WiFi service, the internet connection is rather slow.
  • The virtual keypad can be a bit daunting...move your finger incorrectly and you are dialing your Grandmother instead of your friend.
  • It’s the 1st gen version. Sure it is really amazing, but it still is the first generation iPhone, which means shortly hereafter a newer, better, more reliable version will be out….which brings me to the price.
  • You have to remember when it all comes down to it you are paying $600 for a phone... a ridiculously nice phone….but still, you could get a cheap trip to Vegas or pay a month's rent with that money.

My real question is what is next after the iPhone? For that I have a wonderful suggestion:

The iSee: Reality is so 2050, with the iSee you can party in Second Life and balance your bills online through the comfort of your contact lens. Who needs the real world anyway?

Monday, July 2, 2007

Social Media: All that and a Bag of Nuts

This viral video spread through offices like chicken pox in a kindergarten. But I must say, this epidemic was much more fun. A few nights later I saw it on prime time news... just another example of how mainstream media is picking up what's going on in the Web 2.0 world.

And, to any Web 2.0 critic out there, this 5 second video received more than 1.1 million hits on Youtube. If you do some quick math, that's 38 work weeks spent watching this clip - the majority of a year (and that doesn't include any other site that it was on)! I'm not saying that social media is the only answer for marketers, but this goes to show that it deserves time and attention to figure out if it is one of the answers for a client or your brand.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Arts-Music-Culture: T-shirt Lovers Rejoice

In the 90s, it was Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, and Chanel.  Now... well it's Harry, Nick and Greg. Their clothing line, Peg Leg, has exploded onto the fashion scene. The company is completely run by these three boys who simply “love t-shirts.” These guys aren’t pretentious designers and they don't even think their stuff is cooler than yours - but trust me, it is. And, when they aren’t designing shirts or doing homework, they are interviewing random people in the city and creating content for their website (pegleg nyc).

Oh, and about that website of theirs… it’s not for those with a weak stomach. What pissing on pizzas or sunburned asses have to do with selling t-shirts is beyond me. Johnny Knoxville beware - these kids are crazy and talented.

And if that's not enough, they do advertising too. The trio was recently asked to produce a video representing Canal Street. The video was showcased at Barney’s, collaborating with the release of Jack Spade X New Era collaboration.

Other cool NYC fashion:

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Graphic Takeover

In the advertising frenzy that is corporate America, nothing is harder than standing out.  This is why in the fall of 2006, when my good buddy Aaron from Alphabet Arm Design contacted us about his Graphic Takeover exhibit at the Paradise Lounge, we knew we had out work cut out.

Wild posting is something that has been happening since the invention of the poster. But a once free-roaming, eye-catching beast, wild-posting has been confined to designated spots.  Individuals posters are now lost among the sea of promotions, all that effort to stand out, wasted.

So here's where our creativity came in. Our goal was to create a stand-alone wild-posting that would grab attention immediately and take a split second to digest, and that’s just what we did. On that fateful night back in September, our stealth team took over the streets of Boston.  We pieced together giant Graphic Takeover logos on street furniture throughout the city.  Add an online marketing campaign and we were in business.  Check it out:


Weeks later, friends of mine forwarded pictures on Flickr that other people had taken and posted online:
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Image and video hosting by TinyPic

pictures here, and here

Monday, June 25, 2007


If you’re reading this right now, then you are harnessing the power of the web and your power to choose which information you consume and when.

It’s no secret that this power has shaken things up in the advertising and marketing industry and has paved new paths for how we communicate and obtain information. It’s because of this change in climate that Street Attack exists, and it’s the intention of our blog to share with you our credo and to feature voices and opinions of those within our network.

Street Attack exists as a channel to unite cultures, to combine parties, to connect brands with a relevant audience. We’re switchboard operators - we tie strings, form bonds, compound interests, we act as marketing architects.

We believe in discovery vs. intrusion, authenticity and validity. This blog is to alert, report, inform and inspire all who read it. We hope you enjoy it and encourage your contribution.

There are many exciting things on the horizon.  We're truly at a turning point in marketing history and we invite you to join us.  So, sign up and stay updated as we spread information from our network to yours.