Oct 31, 2008

It's Friday, It's HALLOWEEN!

So Happy Halloween to you my readers and enjoy these ads! This first one from Levi's Argentina has been with me for a while and it's one of those postcards that you can get for free at any bar or restaurant. The copy reads: "There are clothes that can improve anyone's image"

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All the other ones are related to alcohol consume. For or against it, each one makes its point.

1. Heineken:

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The copy reads "The beer drunk most on Halloween". The same ad run in Italy with a copy reading "Heineken, the official sponsor of Halloween" and it was part of a bigger campaign with all the dark creatures having a beer, as you can see in the one below.

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But Guiness also had a great ad for Halloween:

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Now, after so much beer, check out this great campaign from Guatemala. In Spanish Halloween is also called "Witches' Day" and this campaign was made to remind people to not drink and drive on that day. The small sign over the little witch reads: "On this witches' day do not drink and drive". I find it extremely creative and it's one of those things that are impossible to overlook!

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PS: I have to confess that when I was trying to select some good Halloween's ad for this post I was really tempted of scanning all the ones that we have recently received from the McPalin campaign. They seem to have been sent for Halloween -we got like 5 this week- and they suit perfectly for the occasion as they are all about scaring people with stories that just 5 years old (or equivalent IQs) could buy into.

But I changed my mind mostly because the idea was to post a GOOD Halloween ad and none of those ads match that description: they are all full of tricks but no treats.


Oct 29, 2008

Furniture Made of... Sound!

We all know that music can be inspirational and can help you to get in a mood and a state of mind conducive to creation. But in this case I am not talking about that type of relationship between music and inspiration. I am talking about a piece of furniture literally built based on sounds.

How so? This sofa/chair is an exact replica of a soundwave graph. As simple and complex as that. This is how this piece of furniture looks like:

When you see it in a close up (below) the music waves and patterns are more clear to the eye. Prototypes of the chair were exhibited in Milan 2007, and the final product was launched at the London Design Festival in September and was in sale -since September 2008 and for the duration of 6 weeks-, at Selfridges (UK) at the price of £3950. The chair has also been exhibited in Tokyo and Birmingham.

Close ups:

Created by Matthew Plummer-Fernandez, a London-based designer of British and Colombian nationality and the designer of the "London Igloos", these chairs are "the initial stage of a project exploring the translation of furniture into sound and sound into furniture."

Couple of interesting facts about this work:

- 719 sounds were made to finally reach the one produced as a chair.

- The designer made his own programming to graph the sounds.

- They are made of polyethylene foam, water-jet cut, but the first prototype was hand-cut expanded polystyrene.

This is another good example of how by intertwining ideas, concepts or objects that at first glance may seem impossible to "cross" creativity can flow and produce innovation. This project in particular involved sounds, design, math and programming but more important so the idea the original idea that sound could be translated into furniture (and the other way around).

Link to Plummer-Fernandez


Oct 27, 2008

I Am Not Voting for Obama, I Simply Can't

First, let’s get this straight. I can’t vote. I am not a convicted felon and there is no mismatch between my ID’s and my registration. I can’t vote because I am a legal resident but not a citizen. So there is nothing wrong with me, my status or the voting system when it comes to why I can’t vote.

Now, I have been living in the US for a bit more than 5 years –always legally-, I am married to an US citizen and as anyone else living here I am concerned about where this country is going. I don’t vote and I do understand the reasons why I can’t.

But if I could, this is how I would vote...

- If I could vote I would vote for someone who has based his campaign on hope and not on fear.

- If I could vote I would not vote for someone who labels himself as something that in fact means “no labels” but rather for someone that seldom labels himself at all.

- If I could vote I wouldn’t care if his second name sounds Arab (Hussein) or sounds girly (Sidney) because I know that names are not your fault and what sounds good in one place may sound horrible in another, but it is still not your fault.

- If I could vote I would vote for someone who is listened to by the most diverse group of people, white, black, young, old, Christians or Jews, because they want to put their differences aside to build together something bigger, bolder, better.

- If I could vote I would vote for someone that also wants to listen to the most diverse group of people because he knows that by hearing diverse voices you learn more, you understand more, and you can do more.

- If I could vote I would vote for someone who wants to support the troops by not sending them to wars against who we don’t like but against people that in fact attack us.

- If I could vote I would vote for someone who understands that sometimes there is more honor in admitting there was a mistake to start with, than someone that wants to continue to shed blood just to be able to say “we won”.

- If I could vote I would vote for someone who acknowledges that depending on who gets a tax cut, who doesn’t and how taxes are used is always a way of “spreading the wealth” that wealth being good schools, good hospitals and a better standard of living for everyone.

- If I could vote, I would vote for someone who believes that everyone should be given the benefit of the doubt first, and should be allowed to speak in his defense at least once without preconditions instead of for someone that believes that they know everything there is to know and would bomb first and talk later.

- If I could vote, I would not take in consideration the color of his skin, because technically speaking it just means more or less melanin.

- But if I could vote I would consider age, because technically speaking it may mean slower reactions, less understanding of how the world has changed and is changing and the hazard of bringing more uncertainty to the country if he dies.

- If I could vote I would vote for someone who knows how the younger generations communicate among themselves, who is comfortable around new technologies and therefore can understand more about its potential for good or for bad.

- If I could vote I would vote for someone who “suffered” the daily and common tribulations of being raised by a single mother, of needing a loan to study, of having just one house to lose instead of someone who had suffered the horrible but uncommon tribulation of being a prisoner of war and can lose one house because has several.

- If I could vote I would vote for someone who believes that to start changing anything you need a teammate that will bring balance and another type of experience to his way of thinking instead of someone that believes that two mavericks on the loose can be good for anyone.

- If I could vote I would vote for someone who inspires people.

- If I could vote I would vote for someone who may lack experience because of his age but learns fast rather than for someone that has plenty of bad experiences to share and learns slowly.

- If I could vote I would vote for someone who believes that a country that was able to put a man in the moon should be able to come up with new ideas when it comes to energy and not for a man who’s main idea is “drill, baby, drill” without acknowledging that it’s not a new route and that it can’t bring any real relief in the short and the long term.

- If I could vote I would vote for someone who is interested in showing his skills as a diplomat instead of someone who is interested in showing his skills as a warrior.

- If I could vote I would vote for someone interested in restoring the good name of this country by bringing back what made it the most admired one: freedom; freedom of speech, freedom of beliefs and the freedom to think differently but never for someone who seems concerned just for the freedom of the market.

- If I could vote I would vote for someone who understands that he should be a president for everyone, the ones that believe in Christ and the non believers too, because this country has them all.

- If I could vote I would vote for someone who can unite.

- If I could vote I would vote for someone who inspires people to gather, work and to mobilize; someone that can create a movement instead of needing a political machine to get things on the move.

- If I could vote I would vote for someone who had the courage to vote against a “popular war” because he thought it was a wrong war even if that decision didn't make him popular at the time.

- If I could vote I would vote for someone that who has the courage to choose a teammate that has criticized him before because he really puts the country first, instead of someone who has chosen a teammate just because he needs some cheerleaders.

- If I could vote I would vote for someone that I may not be sure how much good can actually do rather than for someone that I know how much damage can do.

- If I could vote I would vote for someone who would not call me “Sandra the Business Consultant” and that instead understands that under those shallow labels there are people that think different no matter what they do for a living.

- If I could vote I would vote for someone that uses the words “we” and “you” more than “me” and “I”.

- If I could vote I would rather vote for someone who is accused of having an “elite education” that he got it through scholarships and was a good student than for someone who got an elite education because of his family history but that finished near the bottom of his graduating class.

- If I could vote I would vote for someone that who has shown restraint and that can smile while receiving punches, instead of someone who gets all railed up for anything and everything and is known for his bad temper.

- If I could vote I would vote for someone who wants us to know more about the unknown instead of someone that wants us to fear what we don’t know.

- If I could vote I would vote for someone who has raised most of his money through small donations from people like you and me than for someone who has raised his money from fundraising dinners. They “owe” their campaign to very different people.

- If I could vote I would vote for someone who talks to his opponent looking straight into his eyes.

- If I could vote I would vote for someone who was able to get people to “change” their minds and their historic vote, because that makes it clear that he could in fact be an agent of change.

- If I could vote I would vote for someone who also understands that life is unpredictable and therefore has chosen a running mate that has the knowledge and the experience to lead the country.

- If I could vote I would vote for someone who shows honor instead of talking about it.

- If I could vote, I would vote for someone that wants to lead us instead of someone that wants to “teach” us.

- If I could vote I would vote for someone who can make people feel and believe that “we can” because it gives the power back to the people.

- Last but not least, if I could vote I would never vote for whoever George W. Bush is voting for. He has given us plenty examples that show clearly that he is not a good decision maker.

I am not voting for Obama, because I can’t.

But I hope that you can and I hope that you will. And I hope you will do it today.


JFK and the Call for a (R)Evolution

If JFK was still alive, would he be calling for a revolution? We can argue long about the hypothesis but I guess he would. And that was also the bet of Greenpeace worlwide.

This video is the launch of their new Energy [R]evolution campaign that outlines a global plan for a sustainable renewable economic future. It shows us how we can get from where we are now, to where we need to be to avoid a climate change disaster. Developed with specialists from the Institute of Technical Thermodynamics at the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) and more than 30 scientists and engineers from universities, institutes and the renewable energy industry around the world, it is also a call to action for our near future. Something JFK was good about.

I want to thanks Osocio, the best blog about non-profits campaigns for the heads up. They got the premiere of this campaign and they make sure we help spread the world... and BTW, Osocio has also been nominated for "Best Blog in English" for the Bob's Awards so if you like what you see, vote for them. Believe me, they deserve the vote!


Ads from the Past - Live in Florida!

I was really surprised to find this box of matches among my father's things at his office in Argentina. As far as I know he didn't visit the US until the 70's and this ad seems to be older than that but of course I may be wrong.

As you can see, the box is in pretty good sahpe -maybe one match is missing- and I simply LOVE the ad on it, from a time when a lot in Florida was just $195 and you could buy it by spending $5 a month. With all the financial crisis going around, who knows, maybe this becomes true again..., but I doubt it!

Take a look to the rest of it:

Front Cover


A couple of highlights from the text are:

- In the inside fold (not possible to scan without damaging the box) after explaining how you can get your free booklet and photos, it reads: "It is understood that no salesman will call". Something you will never find nowadays..., if you ask for any brochure for free it is understood that you will get a call or an email from a salesman!

- At the very very end of the inside, in a place that you will see once the matches are gone, there is a warning "Do not mail matches". In that sense, it seems that nothing has changed at all and companies still have to give obvious warnings because you never know who may read the ad and make a stupid decision.

The company maker of the matches is "Match Corp. of America - Chicago" and the more I read the more it seems to be from the sixties or older, but I guess someone out there may know exactly when the 441-27 became a "new 4 lanes highway" and that can help established from what decade this is. If you have any clue, please let me know!

Soon more to come from my excursion into my father's office... born in 1915 (we just celebrate his 93rd birthday) and a pack rat like me, going to his office was like traveling in time, a travel from where I got lots and lots of antique and unexpected stuff. Stay tuned for more!


Oct 24, 2008

Pepsi For Obama?

Pepsi just disclosed the new look for their logo as part of a radical $1.2-billion global brand revamp ahead of plans to launch some of its US brands in the UK. According to the company, the idea is to "display emotions", so the new logos portray a series of "smiles" on the packaging across the portfolio. PepsiCo says that the Diet Pepsi logo has a "slight grin", regular Pepsi a "full smile" and that the one for Pepsi Max (up left) expresses "laughter". That's according to them, of course.

I have to say I have a hard time seeing those emotions on the logos. Of course, if you tell me to look for them, yeah, I can find them, but my very first impressions were pretty different...

As with the redesign of the WalMart logo, I am not sure why they are fixing something that wasn't really broke and it makes me go back to the same equation I talked about when analyzing that change. How powerful is the new logo? And more important so, how clear is it when it comes to deliver the idea behind it?

In this case it seems that all the new logos are very open to interpretation.

To start with, the Pepsi Max one looks more near to a martial art sign or to a redesign of the South Korean flag than to a laugh.

But the ones that really suprised me were the other two logos. Maybe it is because we are going through such a political time, but when I saw them and I saw the Obama logo. Check them out:

Now let's take the Regular Pepsi and make a 180º rotation. Then another one, this time a 45º rotation. Aren't we damn close to the Obama Logo?

Bad timming I guess. I am sure this redesign took some time and several rounds to get approved and maybe the Pepsi board has no clue of who Obama is and they were clearly seeing laughs and smiles. Or maybe they wanted to jump in the bandwagon of a campaign that was recently named Advertising Age's marketer of the year for 2008?

Of course we do have to give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe with a good online and TV campaign we can see the logos "acting", laughing, smiling and expressing joy.

Now, if you think I am the only one "seeing things" here, check what The Denver Egotist has found. In this other case, the first impression may not be related to Obama but to "Joe the Plumber"!

PS: If you want to see the new logos for Mountain Dew and Gatorade, you can find them at Brand New.


Oct 23, 2008

This is Not a Tribute to Magritte!

It is very interesting to see how the relationship between art, marketing and advertising keeps evolving.

There was a time in advertising (in Argentina was between the 60's and the 70's) when the ones working in advertising where in fact, artists. Writers, pop artists, painters, you named it, most of them were involved with advertising because it was like a "second job" that in most cases was paying more than their job as an artist, or just because it was a job where they could be free to create and be paid for it.

Then advertising became more "professional" and titles as graphic designer and copywriter started to popup more as the required background to work in the industry. In some way it made all the sense in the world: while advertising uses many "arts" it has a goal that art per se does not have.

But lately, the industry is having a comeback to those roots and more and more advertising and art are intertwining. It is, no doubt, a win-win situation. To make things more interesting it is not anymore just about big, expensive campaigns counting with big, well-known artists. Check out this example from an Argentinian University (UCES): as part of their marketing/advertising efforts they organized a contest of "live statues".

To get the contest going, during a weekend in September one street was closed to the traffic for just one block in front of the university's headquarters and more than 30live statues were in the street -some were inside the UCES buildings- for people to enjoy the spectacle and to vote for the "best of" (categories being "classic" or "performing" statue).

It was in a centric part of the city and just one street of where I was staying so I went to take a look and I was surprised by all the attention they got. Normally I am not fond of live statues at all, but to see so many in just one block was an unusual spectacle. A large crowd gathered during the 3 hours -with kids and grown ups enjoying it equally-, and everyone was taking pictures (me included, of course.)

This is just a small part of what was available:



Fountain Lady (very real indeed)

One of my favorites, the "Gaucho"

The Justice Lady

... and my favorite overall: "Magritte"...

This last one was wearing the ribbon that you can see at the beginning of this posting with the sentence "Ceci n'est pas un hommage à Magritte" that is also the title of this posting.

How this spectacle was also marketing? Simple, people were handed fliers to vote for the best statue and while doing that they were asked some personal data. At the same time they were asked simple questions about this University (what degrees were offered, etc.) and because some of the statues were inside their building -as well as the voting place-, more people -specially neighbours- visit the place and became aware of all the degrees offered in their nearbies.

Prizes were given to the statues but also there were prizes for the voters, what encouraged people to fill out the form and vote.

Not an extremely expensive event, it gathered a lot of attention that was possible by making of it an "artistic event" even if we are talking working with not so well known street artists. A very interesting and successful event from the marketing point of view!


Oct 22, 2008

Atheist Advertising

The first serious attempt from atheists to do advertising (the same way that religious groups do) launched yesterday in the UK. As far as I know this is the first time that atheists come together to express their own "believe" with advertising.

The original idea was to raise at least £ 11,000 to be able to run this ad in some of the London buses. Professor Richard Dawkins, bestselling author of The God Delusion, is officially supporting the Atheist Bus Campaign, and has generously agreed to match all donations up to a maximum of £5,500 to help the cmapaign hit the target soon. But today at 10:06 am the target was reached and at this point £ 73,000 has been raised through Just Giving.

Of course I think this is a GREAT idea for several reasons. To start with, because "Religion is accustomed to getting a free ride - automatic tax breaks, unearned 'respect' and the right not to be 'offended', the right to brainwash children," as Professor Dawkins said.

But that is not all. With SO much advertising from different religions, it seems like God has been universally accepted as a truth, the only thing dividing people and getting them into wars is the name of that God and what his/her real policies are.

Atheists, non believers and agnostics do not have a voice just because we are not organized (as George Carlin brillantly put it, “Atheism is a non-prophet organisation”.) No prophet, no Pope, no "head", no dogma... no organization, no weight to counteract all the advertising out there for some God and his threats and promises.

Finally something is being done and I do have to applaud the effort. Sadly for now it done just in the UK, when it seems to me that if a country needs such advertsing and organization is the US, a country where according to a Gallup Poll findings a majority of the population (53%) say they would not vote for a presidential candidate who is an atheist.

While the goal was reached already, they are still receiving donations as more money means either a longer campaign or the usage of other media. If you want to donate of know more about the campaign, here is the link.

This is how the ads will look soon on the English buses:

If you are guessing why the word "probably" in the ad, there are very good reasons for that; and if you are curious on how all this started, it was with just a clever article in the Guardian.

Finally God will not be the only one "spreading his word" with ad agencies and outdoor campaigns!

PS: And if you want to see first hand how racist, intolerant and hateful God can be in the US, just watch this clip....


Oct 21, 2008

Take a Seat and Read With Me

I am back in the US and I found a huge pile of magazines waiting for me. My first thought was "it's time to read, let me find the perfect spot to sit comfortably and spend a couple of hours just doing that!".

Two seconds later, the same thought remind me of a chair I found some days ago. Probably not the most comfortable one, but it is nonetheless very special and directly related to the art of reading: I am talking about the "Alphabet Chair" a gorgeous chair/sculpture made in bronze by with the whole alphabet, with each letter having a different texture.

It was commissioned by the owner of Eight Cousin's Children's Bookstore in Falmouth, Massachusetts, to celebrate the bookstore twentieth anniversary. To honor the occasion, the owner, Carol Chittenden, decided to give a sculpture to the town, one that would leave a lasting impression and "celebrate the community of readers". The result is a unique piece (but part of a limited edition so you may get one like this) that is designed to seat two adults, three kids, or any combination of readers and art lovers.

According to their website "Children can't help but climb on it. The textures work as a puzzle that most people find irresistible. Passersby will even come into the bookstore because they can't figure out what that last letter is".

Here is a shot of the complete chair:

...and here they are some of the textures in used for the letters, from onions to elephant skin!

The sculptor behind this work of art is Sarah Peterson and at her site you can see all the textures that were used in the chair.

But stay tuned, there is more to come in the "sitting and reading" section... While visiting Argentina, I find out some other chairs worth to talk about. Just not now, I still have to find my perfect spot and start going through my pile of magazines (and a couple of books too!)


10 Business Lessons in Less than 2'

This is a gem, from Family Guy. The same way that the "Stop" video should be used in any workshop about design, creativity or communications, this video should be used in any business training session. It doesn't matter the industry.

As you can see the video is very funny per se, but watch it with your business in mind and you will find at least 8 or 10 very common mistakes that you have probably seen also in most business meetings... Some of them are:

1. Nothing is undestructible (or totally perfect, or the ultimate power or any other superlative)
2. If someone says it is undestructible, ask for more information.
3. If you are making an overstatement do not hesitate (still is better to NOT overstate the facts)
4. Make sure the aesthetic (or personal) choices do not become a liability.
5. There will not be "a good resell price" if the product blows up.
6. Beware of "faith" (or intuition or having a feeling) when it comes to investments.

I can find at least 5 more common mistakesbut I leave it up to you my readers to continue with the list!

Thanks Dani for the video!


Oct 17, 2008

It's Friday, Have a Drink!

My last Friday in Buenos Aires (sigh). I guess I will go out and have some drinks with my friends as a sort of farewell party. The good thing is that we will not need to remember any phone number to get a cab home: among many other wonderful things if there is something BA is plenty of, is taxis. At any hour in almost any neighborhood.

But I am going back home -to Florida-, where that is not the norm. One more reason to LOVE this campaign from Kaos Advertising. Very creative, easy to remember, and to the point. And it has the perfect "media" choice: coasters! A guerrilla coaster campaign is perfect for South Florida, where going out for some drinks it's almost the only thing you have to do at night!

Take a look to some other versions...

After seeing this... Would you forget the number?


Oct 15, 2008

Poverty = Pobreza; Zero = Cero

Today is Blog Action Day and the issue is "Poverty". As my blog is mostly about creative communications, I just want to share with my readers some "communications" around the issue that I personally like.

Two of them are street paintings. They are both in Spanish and they should make anyone think twice after reading them. The first one, shown here at the left reads:

"Why isn't hunger privatized?"

The second one is a bit more direct and at a time when the word "terrorism" is being so used and misused, it makes a terrible but valid point...

The translation is (more or less): "Poverty and hunger are forms of terrorism created by capitalism". It may sound exaggerated at first but when you think about it, it is pretty accurate. If it was up to me I would just change the end to "...by capitalism running wild", but I guess the general idea is there anyway.

Last but not least, a good flyer from "Pobreza Cero" the Spanish branch of an international campaign that aims to reach the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals for 2015. This specific campaign reunites more than 400 Spanish ONG's trying to fight poverty.

The translation of the title is: "Against Poverty, Press!" and the names nearby the buttons are Berlusconi, Bush, Putin, Zapatero, etc. You can get your own copy at a bigger size (in .PDF) here.

There is much more to say about poverty and why we need not just to have the issue in mind but to act upon it..., but thanks to Blog Action Day -hopefully- many, many more voices will raise the issue today!

Meanwhile you can do something. My personal suggestion is lend U$ 25 through Kiva but here you can find other things that you can do.

Photos from and from.


Oct 12, 2008

Fear, the Enemy of Freedom

We all know that lately time seems to be moving backwards and we are living in a moment that it is eerily similar to George Orwell's "1984". For that reason alone, when I saw a banner of something called "Freedom, Not Fear" I jumped to read about it immediately.

Sadly, I arrived late to the call, as the international event took place yesterday (October 11) and mostly in European cities. Buenos Aires -where I am now-, was also listed as a city with an event, but I am not sure if something was accomplished considering it was raining badly most of the day.

Nevertheless something was accomplished in the UK, where a "Big-Brother-esque photo of Gordon Brown looking over Parliament Square against a background of barbed wire, handcuffs and double helices" was made as a mosaic, using for that the pictures of surveillance state ephemera that people have been uploading during a couple of weeks.

Here, the results...

The idea behind this call, was to demonstrate against the total retention of telecommunication data and other instruments of surveillance and recall the remembrance of the historical achievement of civil rights and liberties as a heritage of the Age of Enlightenment.

If you want to read more about the idea, there is something here and to see more pictures of the event in the UK check the last link in this article from the Open Rights Group.


Oct 11, 2008

Fur That Doesn't Kill

Some time ago I received from a friend (as a joke) a link to a book titled: Knitting With Dog Hair: Better A Sweater From A Dog You Know and Love Than From A Sheep You'll Never Meet

We both suffer from "dog and cat hair surplus" a common disease among pet owners that makes it almost impossible to wear black without looking at least "weird". If you have pets, you know what I am talking about...

Of course I never bought the book, as I am not the knitting type anyway. But yesterday, browsing the site of Erwan Fichou -a french photographer- I came across his "Dogwool series" with pictures of people wearing things done with their pets hair/fur. I have to say that I was pretty impressed by what can be done with dog hair!

Here more samples...

I look online and it seems the news have spread already among bloggers and DIY. But what I find funny and sad at the same time is how some people find it "gross" or "disgusting". When you think about it, there is no killing involved, it is in some way recycling, and my guess is that it has to be pretty soft and warm at the same time.

I found at least one place that takes care of transforming the hair into yarn, but I am sure there are more. The more I think about it, the more I like the idea. If I was into knitting I would probably start a business around this and the mutts will be finally paying for their own food..., sadly I hate knitting and live in Florida, where a sweater is something you need twice a year!


Oct 9, 2008

Determination Will Take You Places

There is a lot to say about determination. Most of the time people believe that with determination you can accomplish anything.

IMHO that is half true. Determination mixed with idiocy can be a very, very bad combination (and I am not pointing fingers to any politician in charge but you do have some good examples right there.)

Determination needs to go hand-in-hand with either some intelligence and/or some knowledge of thyself (where you are standing, what are you trying to do, what are your weakness and your strengths). With at least one of those two, then it is true that determination will take you places.

In case you still have doubts about how determination can help to achieve your goals, just watch this incredible video:

Personally, what I love the most is how (at the very end) two of the other dogs look to the one that got his way out. I almost can hear one of them saying "Can you now open the door for us?"

Thanks Len for the video!


Oct 7, 2008

Reminder to my Fellow Bloggers

The date for the 2008 edition of "Blog Action Day" is approaching. For those that do not know what this is about, I am talking about an annual nonprofit event that aims to unite the world’s bloggers, podcasters and videocasters, to post about the same issue on the same day. Under the motto of "One day, one issue, thousand of voices", last year the issue was environment, this year the issue is poverty.

You don't need to change the general topic of your blog to participate. You just need to talk about the issue on the chosen date (October 15th) from the perspective of your own blog topic. For example if you are about Arts & Crafts you may let the world know about artists and craftmen involved in helping poor communities.

Check out their video to learn more about this event:

Being my thing creativity I have to say first that in fact, I find the idea of "Blog Action Day" very creative...

For some it may be just words, but thousands of words in thousand of places can help to boost the discussion about the topic as well as to create more awareness. Just that, is already a lot.

So if you have a blog, get involved by registering your blog and then on October 15th post something about the issue... We are talking the same day of the last McCain-Obama debate what makes it a perfect moment to talk about poverty.

The 15th is around the corner, so go ahead and register your blog now!

Hey, I almost forgot! You can also help by translating their main page from English to some other language.


Oct 5, 2008

A Bed and Breakfast with Design

Doing some research for a conference that I will be giving next week, I came across the "first designed Bed & Breakfast" of Buenos Aires, situated in the heart of Palermo Viejo, a neighborhood with a lot of history that has become more and more trendy and now is know as "Palermo SoHo".

What makes the place more interesting is the fact that it was originally a convent, built on a property donated by a French noblewoman to the Santo Domingo Church. It opened at the end of the XIX century and now -almost one century later-, it was remodeled to become a very charming bed & breakfast, named "Malabia House".

The original building is from 1896 and as you can see in the following pictures, the spirit of the building was maintained: tranquility and peace seem to surround the place.

The Interior Garden

Look Up


To the Rooms

Old and New

Living Room

I do have my own apartment in BA but if I ever need a Bed & Breakfast I would probably try this one first. With something like 11 or 15 rooms, nice design and a serene atmosphere (and internet connection, of course) seems like a place I would enjoy for sure!



Oct 3, 2008

It's Friday, Be a Tourist in Your Own City

Since I moved to the US, I have been visiting my native country (Argentina) at least once a year. I am a die-hard "porteña" -as people from Buenos Aires are known- and I enjoy this city no matter what. Yeah, it can be messy and chaotic but that is what I like about it. It is the perfect ground for creativity and creativity has in fact flourish, in part thanks to the crisis we had in 2001.

Some days ago, I found this stencil near my old neighborhood. I can't express in words how I felt when I saw it!

For someone that still knows the shopkeepers around the neighborhood but that has become in some way "a tourist" -specially when I visit with my other half that wants to see all the touristic attractions and can take more pictures than a japanese on crack-, this stencil is a gem. Just the fact that it is in English makes it more special (reminder to some: our official language is Spanish.)

Buenos Aires has become a big tourist attraction in the last years I guess that in part because of the rate exchange, in part because it is really an amazing city to discover. But even when I was living here I always liked to check it out as if I was a tourist.

It is in some way a creative experience. You need to change your mindset but it is a great experiment and now it is easier to do. Just search blogs from tourists that have visited your city and read what they have to say, how they look at it. Then check your neighborhood again with that in mind. You may discover so many new things and details that you have never seen before!


Oct 1, 2008

It's Time to Visit Granma in Florida!

I love the irreverent humor of Sarah Silverman. I live in Florida and I am not really a big fan of the place, but she has a good argument to visit the Sunshine State and your grandparents!

If you have part of your family in FL and want to become "a schlepper" just visit the siteand join others!