What fun stickers are these! My house will totally be a happier place with them around.
Yes, like Robin Hood of Sherwood Forest, only this is a group of Robins (“creative outlaws”, they call themselves) and they’re based in that London ‘hood of creativity, Shoreditch (of course). If you’re still wondering what this is about, Robin of Shoreditch have decided that as their first project they want to help the people of Haiti. They’ve sent an invoice to the top 100 brands in the Brandz Top 100 Brands report, for 1/10,000,000 (one ten-millionth) of the value of the brand, along with a creative idea that will help the brand get ahead in the race for people’s attention. The amount collected will go to Haiti relief efforts.
The good news? Well, just that they exist, I suppose! I think it’s a super creative idea and it’s for a good cause, so I’m all for what they’re doing. You can see all the ideas here.
The bad news? If you look at the collections page, none of the brands approached so far (they’re sending their ideas to a set of brands every week in different batches) has paid up. Those approached so far include T-Mobile, Ariel, UPS, HSBC, Tesco, McDonald’s, Morgan Stanley, Nike and Blackberry.
I really like their most recent one, for Blackberry:
So go on, ye merry men (and women!). Spread the word.
I am keen to know how Viv get on. A consumer and sustainability-focussed company, their premise is that if consumers take a green sticker they create and stick it on the front of their debit or credit cards, participating retailers will agree to go green based on the take-up of the scheme. People can look at the progress of these retailers on the site. I think it is interesting because it motivates businesses to take action based on something they can see coming through the door, or the number of concerned patrons rather – something concrete. Ideally of course all businesses should switch to sustainable practices ASAP, but this is the real world and since that’s not going to happen tomorrow, I think this initiative is a great way for people to physically make a difference to places that they frequent – and cause the owners of those establishments to change too.
Set up by a San Francisco-based team from Stanford, its reach is currently limited to the San Francisco area, but hopefully that will change. I’d target university and school students first, then businesses with a clear mission to be sustainable – or even a company like Google, whose employees, from what I hear, are the sort to champion a cause like this.
[Via Josh Spear]
I’ve been reading quite a few magazines in the flesh recently. (I must say it’s a bit strange that I’ve reached the stage where I feel the need to distinguish between online and offline publications). In Wired UK, I noticed half-way into an article in the middle of the magazine, the names of a few people in a tiny-sized font right at the bottom of the page, which, judging by the arrows on either end of the line were part of a larger list. My curiosity aroused, I flipped around to find out where it began, and found it a few pages from the beginning in the same place. There was an element of discovery about the whole process, as if it was a secret thing meant to be read only by a select few.
I then got to thinking about how that couldn’t have happened if I was reading the same article on the internet. Amidst the hoo-ha about the death of publishing, the tactile nature of my experience made me feel as if there’s hope yet. The audience may be small – but it exists all the same. It’s why places like the Newspaper Club have come into existence.
Perhaps one way for a magazine or newspaper to succeed is to build a tribe around a unique value proposition that can only be accessed if you read a hard copy. The reward is membership to a unique club – like the Harry Potter Alliance, which is a real-life group that came together because of the fictional character. I’m sure those of us with the tiniest love of mystery will willingly succumb.
I was watching Friends for the umpteenth time on TV the other day and there was this bit where Joey mentioned ‘word of the day toilet paper’. And then I thought, what a brilliant idea is that! You’re stuck in one place, a captive audience, and most people usually look around for something to read then. How come we can’t buy something like that in a regular department store? Do toilet paper manufacturers have any idea how rolls that have interesting stuff printed on them would fly off the shelves?
Then I did some research. Apparently, it’s not just the ever-inventive Japanese that have it already. The option to order custom-made toilet paper does exist in the Western world. I’m certain though, that from a business point of view, making it easily available in a department store is not the same as having to order it online. You order gifts, mugs, cards even online, if they’re custom-made. Who orders toilet-paper?!!