image, font and copy.. cohering around an engaging and targeted message..

harley_davidson_tattoo kids


Words fail.. Nissan’s renowned campaign for the Z..

Black and white, no voice over, and still photography. The campaign planner at Nissan got a lot of resistance internally but it turned out to be a triumph and then everybody insisted that they had always liked the idea..! Thanks to Kohei Noguchi for sharing this and the background to it in the Nissan Corporate Case Study in SILS a few years back.

The Japanese version, which more explicitly references the antecedents of the Z in the past Nissan product line-up, and the ‘DNA’ of which is carried over to the modern Z. (unfortunately not a clean copy of the video)

And with a model update the same aesthetic was continued in the advertising campaign, for the US market introducing some more practical statements about technical features while still avoiding a voice over. Colour is selectively used to effect.

So many want a Z but are confronted with the problem of it being a 2-seater. Nissan has responded in the US to that..

And a trip down ‘memory lane’ via a 1972 CM for Nissan’s Skyline with the famous ‘Ken and Mary’ characters; so popular that the styling is referred to as the ‘kenmeri’ look (which was partly a gag as it was a reversal of the US-oriented styling ‘a-meri-ken’). For the great backstory see this profile of the American woman, then a school girl, who played Mary. The Japanese guy, Jimmy Zinnai, was half-Russian and died tragically in a motorbike accident.

Japanese patriotism ‘made in China’?

nihonjin de yokattaA A rather bizarre development: the national association of Shinto shrines has sponsored the production of posters that effectively translate as ‘I’m glad I am Japanese/was born Japanese’ with a picture of a young woman. Yet it turns out that the woman featured is Chinese and that the image was available for use on Getty Images‘ commercial photobank, upon payment of a license fee. The BBC has a print story on it. The posters started appearing around Kyoto, without attribution, and attracted some criticism for nationalism. The Shinto association has defended the posters, saying that the objective is to encourage the flying of the national flag.

high heels as persuasion (with men only)

An interesting study that shows the profound difference wearing high heels made to men’s preparedness to cooperate with a woman’s request; although also to be approached at a bar when alone (astonishingly soon but the study was conducted in France..) To quote a little..

“The study found if a woman drops a glove on the street while wearing heels, she’s almost 50 percent more likely to have a man pick it up for her than if she’s wearing flats. Another finding: A woman wearing heels is twice as likely to persuade men to stop and answer survey questions on the street. And a high-heeled woman in a bar waits half the time to get picked up by a man, compared to when her heel is nearer to the ground.”

perils of auto-translation

Microsoft’s Bing caused considerable embarrassment with an auto-translation error from colloquial Hebrew into English when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted congrulations to Netta Barzilai for winning the Eurovision song contest.

Here, by the way, is Netta’s song Toy, which comes at the right time (not just coincidentally!) of the #MeToo movement and fellow Israeli Gal Gadot’s success playing Wonder Woman..

tyranny of 20th century mass communications

The notorious propaganda film for the nazis directed by Leni Riefenstahl that further aestheticised, for a wide audience, the 1934 Nuremberg rally that was itself a dramatic designed mass event.

Data visualisation helps make sense of probabilities & your situation

This data visualisation looks at relationships across countries, based on several data sources ..

breakup visualisation



two snaps around Tokyo..

From a friend with an interest in this course…


Air France pitch to those craving indulgence

We will look at the quite successful France is in the Air campaign in class. Here is a snap of signage in Shinagawa station as part of the ongoing campaign in Japan..


sound and psychology of tension..

A very insightful short account of how film-maker Christopher Nolan, with composer Hans Zimmer. uses a compositional device to create such a tense atmosphere in the film Dunkirk:


A sample of the effect in the film..


And the transcript of the interview with Christopher Nolan that is mentioned at the end of the short video.