Monday, March 24, 2008

Japan Culture + Hyperculture: Genius Party

Not only was I lucky enough to get tickets to the world premiere of Genius Party, a film by Atsuko Fukushima which kicked off a festival of original projects animated by STUDIO 4C, but I also found myself sitting directly behind Shinichiro Watanabe, the MC for the event. The playbill was a virtual who’s who of Anime legends: Shoji Kawamura, Shinji Kimura, Yoji Fukuyama, Hideki Futamura, Masaaki Yuasa, and Shinichiro Watanabe bringing up the rear with an emotional short story titled Baby Blue.

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Each work was a visual odyssey through epic landscapes, nightmarish and beautiful storylines, and touching fantasies. We have only begun to experience the tip of the anime iceberg in the US, and beyond its applications as a form of entertainment, anime presents a powerful emotional vehicle to connect people with ideas in ways regular film could never imagine. I predict that 2008 will be bring increasing interest from brands using this medium to connect with consumers in original and memorable ways.

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Thanks to Event Curator, Taeko Baba, of New York – Tokyo LLC, I was able to access artists and performers that would be virtually impossible to meet in Japan. Taeko - I tip my hat off to you. Be sure to look out for future blog posts as I continue to search out the unusual, the remarkable, and the most interesting Japanese trends and connections on behalf of Street Attack!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Warning Virus!

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) just issued a medical alert about a highly contagious and potentially dangerous virus that can be transmitted orally, by hand, or even electronically. It is called Weary Overload Recreational Killer (WORK).

If you get WORK from your boss, or a colleague, or anyone else, DO NOT TOUCH IT. This virus can wipe out your personal life!

If you come into contact with WORK you should immediately leave the premises. Take two good friends to the nearest supermarket and purchase one or both of the two known antidotes: Work Isolating Neutralizer Extract (WINE) or Bothersome Employer Elimination Reeboter (BEER). Take the antidote repeatedly until WORK has been completely eliminated from your system.

Share this alert with your circle of friends. If you do not have five friends, you have already been infected and WORK is controlling your life.

Taken from a friendly newsletter by Dan Millman. Just for the record, we at Street Attack do not spread the WORK virus. Instead, we’ve been known to foster People Loving Advertising Year-round (PLAY) and Friends Utilizing Networking (FUN). Enjoy!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Japan Culture + Hyper Culture Part II: Asimo

Meet the future: Assimo is a humanoid robot built by engineers at Honda. He can run, walk up and down stairs, play soccer, and oh can he dance. With hundreds of onboard sensors, Assimo can balance just like us. Standing about four feet tall and speaking in a child’s voice, Assimo was the undisputed crowd favorite at the exhibition.

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Future applications are mind-boggling. One Honda spokesperson discussed Assimo's possible role as an in-house helper for seniors. With an aging population that is not only outpacing the birthrate in Japan, but also representing the largest market with the highest expendable income, it seems the cards are in line for Honda. I have a feeling we will be seeing a whole fleet of Assimos engaged in marketing campaigns soon, which leads me to ponder, are robots the street teams of the future?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Japan Culture + Hyperculture: Part I Nonsense Machines

Fresh off the trail of the Japan culture + hyperculture event at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., I am armed with a new appreciation for Japanese inventors, engineers, and visionaries. The event featured over 450 artists, 40 performances, and an endless array of exhibitions celebrating Japanese art, technology, and culture.

To celebrate their ingenuity, the following is part I in a three-part series of what I found to be the most interesting and eye-opening exhibits.

The Maywa Denki:

Maywa Denki is an art and performance troupe founded by Nobumichi Tosa. Behind the performances are original instruments or “nonsense machines” engineered and built by the team out of discarded electrical items. Each creation is built to produce sound by knocking, rubbing, or slapping components fueled by a 100-volt charge. To say that Maywa Denki makes industrial music would be to understate the real genius of their art form; a symphony of sound, light, and motion converge at each performance in an outpouring of truly “electric” energy.

The group is currently looking for ways to promote their unique techno-art outside of Japan--enter Street Attack. It isn’t hard to envision an epic stunt featuring nonsense-machines to stop pedestrians at high-traffic locations. I have been invited to visit the Maywa Denki factory in Japan in March, and I'll be sure to keep you updated.

Monday, March 10, 2008


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Thursday, March 6, 2008

Quality and the Order of Things

I was in Madrid a few weeks back and stumbled upon a really cool shopping area. As I was walking around, I saw a space with a bunch of fliers, stickers and such, so I took a closer look. In this spread of typical promotional materials was a stand-out piece from Don't Panic.

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Inside the package were a number of cool items including an awesome poster by Chris Gray, a designer out of the UK. I did a little digging and got in touch with Chris, who turned me onto his blogs: We Shall See and .The Amazing Shape The poster is now hanging on my office wall.

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Couple points:
(1) Quality, uniqueness and added value for your audience go a long way. Why spend money on a bland promotional piece when you can create something that will stand out and give people a reason to spread the buzz.

(2) Discovery spurs buzz. Let your audience find your message in their own environment on their own terms. Surprise them with something unexpected.

(3) Connect the dots. Living in a flat world, a door in Madrid may lead to a connection in London which may lead to a new Word-of-Mouth circle in New York. Dig deep. Good things will come.