200 Countries, 200 Years, 120,000 Numbers – in 4 Minutes

Hans Rosling’s famous lectures combine enormous quantities of public data with a sport’s commentator’s style to reveal the story of the world’s past, present and future development.

Now he explores stats in a way he has never done before for the BBC – using augmented reality. In this section of ‘The Joy of Stats‘ he tells the story of the world in 200 countries over 200 years using 120,000 numbers – in just four minutes.

Internet + TV = The Battle for the Living Room

This month we’ve been thinking about how 2011 is shaping up for that 42” screen sitting quietly in the corner of your living room. Because when the likes of YouTube, Vimeo, Apple, and Google start focusing on delivering services for the tv… know something’s going on.

It’s not just the digital big boys either. A consortium of the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Five and BT have developed YouView. A service that brings Freeview, and Internet catch-up and video on-demand services like BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD, Demand Five and SeeSaw, to your TV.

Don’t panic though. Here’s the blaggers guide.

YouTube ‘LeanBack’ and Vimeo ‘CouchMode’ lets anyone with a connected TV or modern web browser view and navigate web content using a simple interface with search functionality. They’re designed to start playing a personalised feed of videos in full screen mode and high definition as soon as you launch them.

Apple TV, Boxee, and YouView all offer services through an external box that you connect to the back of your TV. The services vary, but the general gist is the same. You rent and watch films and TV shows, stream content, watch YouTube videos, enjoy photos, music, and more.

Last up is Google TV which is available through an external box, but is also comes built-in as part of the new Sony Internet TV range. Google TV lets you find and record shows, run apps, and search and use the full web.

Obviously it opens up LOTS of questions and LOTS of opportunities for media owners and brands. It’ll be fascinating to watch this unfold over the next 6-12months. But one thing’s for sure. Your TV is about to get a monster kick up the arse. Exciting times.

YouTube Leanback – http://www.youtube.com/leanback
Vimeo Couchmode – http://vimeo.com/couchmode
YouView – http://www.youview.com/
Boxee – http://www.boxee.tv/
Apple TV – http://www.apple.com/appletv/
Google TV – http://www.google.com/tv

(A version of this comment first appeared in glue Isobar October Newsletter.)

Star Wars ad for Currys & PC World Megastores – The Dark Side of Advertising

This Star Wars ad for ‘Currys & PC World Megastores’ broke last night during the X-Factor.

Created by M&C Saatchi for the Dixons group. It’s gorgeously shot and clearly it’s been created with fanboy love and attention to detail. They even got David Bailey to shoot the posters too. But I hate it.

These were magical characters from my youth. Timeless creations that battle evil in a universe far far away. I don’t want to see them bumbling around a retail superstore.

“R2D2, where are you?”

“Bo-Beep-Beep”

Ah he’s thinking about buying those Remington Hair Straighteners for Princess Leia.

What next..? Superman selling Santogen. The Wonder Women Tampax ad?

Maybe I’m taking it all too seriously, but I’m having my favourite childhood memories used against me to sell hairdryers and washing machines. This is a step too far.

I don’t even hold Graham Fink and the creative team (Orlando Warner and Steve Paskin) at M&C Saatchi responsible here. It’s their job to make this sort of thing happen. They were thinking big and they got away with it.

I hold Lucas Licensing fully responsible for protecting the magic of Star Wars and they have just destroyed any last bit of magic and credibility the franchise had.

Star Wars. You have jumped the shark. You are DEAD TO ME.

EDIT

After reading a few comments I want to make it clear that I don’t hate the execution of the ad itself. As I said it’s beautifully shot and the care and attention to detail shows. The music works and there’s more humour in there than Lucas managed in his most recent efforts. It’s about these once magical characters being used to sell tv’s and vacuum cleaners.

New distorted ads from Sony + Honda

A couple of new pieces of work from 2 agencies that I really admire. Can’t decide about these. What do you think?

Sony 3D by Anomaly

Credits:

Agency: Anomaly, London
Creative Director: Mike Byrne
Director: Frank Budgen
Production: Gorgeous Enterprises
Producer: Rupert Smythe

Honda CR-Z by Wieden + Kennedy

Credits:

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy London
Creatives: Sam Heath, Chris Groom
Production company: Gorgeous Enterprises
Director: Frank Budgen
Post: The Mill

Style over substance? Technique over message? Or fuck it, they’re interesting, people will notice them and if it grabs their attention job done?

Both directed by Frank Budgen.

Would love to know your thoughts.