While You Were Steeping

By Tom Ran

Published: March 3, 2014 under Advertising

Geoff McFetridge and Bigelow tea.

Photo: Bigelow

Bigelow, the 70 year old American tea brand, approached IDEO to update its much needed identity. In the now crowded market, Bigelow sought to expand their reach to younger tea drinkers. After rolling out its new branding and packaging late last year they decided to release a series of digital shorts. While You Were Steeping is a collection of films that asks the question “what can be created, imagined, or crafted in the time it takes to steep a cup of tea?” They enlisted Geoff McFetridge and director Bucky Fukamoto (a Girl and Chocolate Skateboard vet) in the first of the series. McFetridge is seen effortlessly paining his familiar line illustrations on a dining table in real-time. The video is about two and a half minutes long, approximately the amount of time it takes for one to steep their tea.

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Main Street Matters

By Tom Ran

Published: June 27, 2013 under Advertising

Benjamin Moore's Main Street Matters Campaign

Photo: Benjamin Moore

Benjamin Moore’s television spot “Main Street Matters” caught our attention last weekend during the season finale of Mad Men. The thirty second spot rolls through a series of storefronts highlighting old and quaint barber shops, drug stores, bakeries, and movie theaters. Storefronts that have lasted through decades and loved by locals but have weathered through time. The paint company has launched a campaign to preserve these beloved storefronts by offering to repaint twenty throughout North America. The initiative calls on the public to vote for their favorites. There’s only four days left, go now to Main Street Matters to cast your vote.

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Sharper Stuff

By Tom Ran

Published: September 21, 2012 under Advertising

American Dreamers a new book coming out from Sharper Stuff, a division of W+K.

Photo: Sharper Stuff

Advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy has a lot of sub divisions. WK12, Attack, Tokyo Lab, The Kennedys and many others. It’s the company’s various research and development programs, working on disparate projects that may or may not have to do with their client list. Their latest division, Sharp/Stuff caught our attention. The unit is labeled as a “rapid release content shop that hacks current formats to create new forms.” It’s vague and wide open, which makes for unrestricted creative freedom. Their first project, American Dreamers is particularly interesting to us. It’s about discovering individuals doing positive work to better the lives of many. The outcome of this project will be published as a book, possibly a coffee table book reports Fast Co., and is due out in November.

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Waffle House Billboard

By Tom Ran

Published: April 19, 2012 under Advertising

Submitted by Celestine Maddy of Wilder Quarterly.

Photo: Waffle Shop Billboard

In 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono purchased billboard spaces across the country including one in Times Square that read: “WAR IS OVER! (If You Want It).” One can only imagine what the cost was even at that time. Forty years later, an organization CAPITALISM IS OVER IF YOU WANT IT purchases billboard space in Pittsburgh with their slogan. Only this time, it cost the group $100 for the week. The billboard is run by The Waffle Shop, an experimental restaurant that serves what else? Waffles. But the format is extraordinarily unconventional, it produces and broadcasts a live-streaming talk show with its customers and is only open in the evening with hours from 8pm to 12am. But don’t go sending any marriage proposals, it’s doubtful that it’ll be accepted. Its purpose is an interchangeable device for story telling, thoughts and ideas. Thank you Celestine Maddy for the info.

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Sofia Coppola for Dior

By Tom Ran

Published: February 22, 2011 under Advertising

Natalie Portman stars in Sofia Coppola's latest spot for Miss Dior Cherie

Photo: Dior

After watching the :30 second Miss Dior spot directed by Sofia Coppola, we had to wonder whether an extended version exists. Possibly in a French cinema before a midnight screening of Breathless, or maybe on its official site. Given that the last commercial Coppola directed for the fragrance had a lengthier version, we suspect one will show up for this one as well. Though it appears that a thirty second spot seemed long enough for Dior, too much in fact. Shortly after the commercial was posted on Tatler (via Playlist post is back up), it was taken down. Of course we are dealing with the internet here and it has reappeared on YouTube. Watch now.

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Le Apartomatic

By Tom Ran

Published: October 7, 2010 under Advertising

"Le Apartomatic" co-directed by Wes Anderson and Coppola

Photo: Stella Artois

Mother London has been rolling out the “She is a thing of beauty” campaign for Stella Artois since July. Billboards, bus shelters posters and print ads have been spotted throughout the city. They recently added a commercial titled “Le Apartomatic” into the mix co-directed by Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola. The commercial features everything you would expect from the duo, references to French pop culture, 60’s fashion and design, and sweet gadgets. More CQ than Hotel Chevalier it’s a campy and amusing ad.

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Alya Kazakevich

By Raven Keller
Alya Kazakevich in her shop in the Lower East Side

Photo: Rose Callahan

On a damp and muggy summer morning on the Lower East Side, Alya Kazakevich slowly stitched up the edges of a leather coin purse and recalled her childhood in Eastern…

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By Tom Ran
Partners Robert Highsmith and Stefanie Brechbuehler

Photo: Samuel Bristow

Stefanie Brechbuehler and Robert Highsmith, are the partners behind Workstead. The two met at Rhode Island School of Design while studying architecture and opened their studio in 2009,…

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M.Nii John Moore

By Tom Ran
M.Nii Tailor, Waianae, Hawaii 1959

Photo: Tom McBride

The photo is one of the few relics that remain of M.Nii’s history. An image that recalls the golden age of American surf culture. Three friends in front…

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