It's good in some ways. The telly is a massive, communal screen that everyone knows how to use and knows the social conventions around it. A PDF is a common format and useful enough to most people for sharing information. The car thing simply reads what was last "playing" on my phone, which connects automatically through Bluetooth.
But it's all happening by accident. Or as a workaround. Bits of technology that talk to each other, but weren't meant to talk to each other in this way. And the UI is terrible. You can fight your way through it, but it makes little sense unless you know the tech behind it.
It's certainly not explaining itself like good UI should. And I can't help thinking it should just be html in a browser. A missed opportunity.
I was watching the telly the other night and for the first time in ages I noticed some ads. Turns out it was a special thing where they put all the Bond product placement ads in one ad break in Homeland. (I only know this googling after the fact.) That link has a pretty good description of what happened, "people jumping out of planes (Gillette), extreme water skiing (Heineken) and the creation of the perfect martini (Belvedere)."
I was struck by three things:
1. All the ads were rubbish. Clunky, every single one trying too hard.
2. What a tough brief that is.
3. For the first time in ages I not only noticed the ads, I watched them and I looked forward to the next one. Because it was interesting.
I have no idea if this worked or not. But I noticed it.
Review for Russell: Nine miles from home, a little exhibition, but you should still go.
Review for everyone else: MC Escher at the Dulwich Picture Gallery is very good. Slightly outside of central London, it's worth the trip because they haven't held back. It has all the famous ones and some early sketches which are fascinating. Chronologically laid out, it's small like these things often are but it's packed and covers pretty much all the Eschers you need. He's a great artist and an amazing draftsman. You should go.
If you can get past some of the conferencey language there's lots to like in this speech by the PepsiCo President. (President, Executive, CMO - job titles are so strange these days.)
"My particular peeve is pre-roll. I hate it. What is even worse is that I know the people who are making it know that I'm going to hate it. Why do I know that? Because they tell me how long I am going to have to endure it -- 30 seconds, 20 seconds, 15 seconds. You only have to watch this crap for another 10 seconds and then you are going to get to the content that you really wanted to see."
"I am sick and tired as a client of sitting in agency meetings with a whole bunch of white straight males talking to me about how we are going to sell our brands that are bought 85% by women. Innovation and disruption does not come from homogeneous groups of people."
"There is no such thing as digital marketing. There is marketing - most of which happens to be digital. We 'ghettoize' digital as though it's the life raft tethered to the big ocean liner. And we have to move on from that."
This is a nice idea. Spotted in an art gallery the other day. I should have taken a bigger picture of the gallery, because it's not a fancy wall they've put advertising on. It's just a normal wall that happens to tell you what paint it is.
I actually thought 'that's a nice colour' as I walked past, then saw the signs afterwards. But that might just be me.
Last week was the 10th cross government design meeting and my last. We set this community up from scratch and now there are over 200 digital designers in government and about 100 of them, from over 10 depts gather every six weeks to share ideas, problems and solutions.
We always have a guest speaker and I was honoured last week that it was Michael Bierut. I've known Michael a while now and he very kindly dropped in as part of his UK book tour.