September 1, 2009

notes on office art

recessions0909.jpg
[This could make a nice print, one day...]

Recently on Twitter, I wrote:

Art that brightens up the office vs Art that brightens up the home. Two different vibes altogether. I prefer making the former.
To which my friend, Kathy Sierra replied:
Good! Homes are less likely to *need* brightening the way offices do. I can brighten my home just by making toast.
Whether we're talking wee cube grenade laser copies or something much larger, like The Purple Cow Print, when I launched the gapingvoid gallery earlier this year, that was my intention- to make art for the workspace.

This desire goes back to my early years working as an advertising creative. There was always cool stuff- fine art, posters, graphic design, cartoons- hanging up everywhere. Stuff to amuse and inspire us, stuff to tweak our brains in the right direction. And though its effect on the agency's bottom line would've been hard to measure, somehow it worked- or at least, helped.

Why can't all offices be more like this? Is there some law that requires certain types of businesses to maintain a dull, gray, machine-like, life-sucking visual environment? You could ague that maybe for some companies, sure, but that's not a world I've ever aspired to belong to.

"Office Art" tends to come in two main categories: 1. REALLY expensive. 2. REALLY cheesy.

I wanted to make office art that was neither...

[Afterthought:] Of course, a lot of my collectors work from home, therefore their offices are in the house, not in an office building. But the prints were made with the workspace in mind, not the "living" space, regardless.



[Backstory: About Hugh. E-mail Hugh. Twitter. Newsletter. Book. Interview One. Interview Two. EVIL PLANS. Limited Edition Prints. Private Commissions. Cube Grenades.]

Posted by hugh macleod at 11:13 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

August 17, 2009

"ignore everybody" portfolio series number two: signed and numbered, 11"x14", $300.00 pre-order, $50 deposit

mistakenly%20001A%20jpeg.jpg
["Mistakenly"]

nobody%20cares%20001%20jpeg.jpg
["Nobody Cares"]

vanished%20001%20jpeg1.jpg
["Vanished"]

cfa%20001%20jpeg.jpg
["CFA'}

[Click on images to enlarge etc.]

[UPDATE: These prints are now also for sale individually. Go check out gapingvoidgallery.com to see more....]


After the very successful launch of Portfolio Series Number One, we're happy to announce the launch of Portfolio Series Number Two.

After consulting with y'all recently about what designs to use, we narrowed it down to the four designs you see above.

Same deal as last time: They measure 11"x14", and can be framed and hung, or kept in a portfolio to view or use for meetings and then put away etc. They are all hand-pulled serigraphs, and printed on Rives-Arches paper. All four are taken from cartoons that appeared in my book, IGNORE EVERYBODY.

You can pre-order them for $300 for the set of four, by just leaving a $50.00 deposit using the PayPal button below. We'll send you an invoice for the remainder when they're printed an ready to ship.







[$50.00 deposit/pre-order PayPal button etc.]

Portfolio One used black and red. This time we used mainly a black and blue theme. This group of cartoons I selected comes out of my New York days, when my tone was less about business- more personal- and more about being sardonic and hanging out in bars too much. Blue is the perfect color for that...

They came out looking well. I'm excited! Hope you like. Rock on.

Posted by hugh macleod at 7:54 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 10, 2009

coming soon: portfolio number two

cfa2.jpg
[One of the cartoons from the book etc....]

After the great success of the "Portfolio Number One" launch, we've decided to do another one i.e. Portfolio Number Two.

And like last time, all images chosen will be taken from my book, IGNORE EVERYBODY.

So if you've read the book already, I'd love to hear your feedback. Which cartoon(s) from the book do you think would make good "cube grenades"? Please feel free to leave a comment below, Thanks!

[Visit my print gallery here.]

[Backstory: About Hugh. Twitter. Newsletter. Book. Interview One. Interview Two. EVIL PLANS. Limited Edition Prints. Private Commissions. Cube Grenades.]




Posted by hugh macleod at 4:09 PM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

July 27, 2009

the dinoasaur print

dinosaur001jpeg800-thumb.jpg

The "Dinosaur" print is now for sale up on gapingvoidgallery...

Derived from the old maxim, "Never try to teach a pig to sing, it wastes your time and annoys the pig."

Limited edition, signed and numbered, printed with the same high-quality inks and papers as the larger stuff etc.

A nice cube grenade for any office. Rock on.

[Backstory: About Hugh. Twitter. Newsletter. Book. Interview One. Interview Two. Limited Edition Prints. Private Commissions. Cube Grenades."EVIL PLANS".]

Posted by hugh macleod at 1:03 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 8, 2009

the "hughtrain" cube grenade

hughtrain001Bjpeg.jpg

[Buy the "Hughtrain" print individually here.]


Another "Cube Grenade", Hurrah!

A while ago, I announced that we'd be making smaller prints available, based on the cartoons found in IGNORE EVERYBODY.

On June 11th, the same day the book came out, we announced our first efforts: The "Ignore Everybody" Portfolio Series Number One.

Four silkscreens, 11"x14", limited edition of 100, signed and numbered, $320 for the set.

So again, I'm delighted to report that we've just made the "Hughtrain" print available for purchase individually. $100, plus S&H. Here's the blurb on the gallery website:

It's probably my most famous cartoon. It pretty sums up my marketing philosophy. Like my friend, Seth Godin said:
"You can’t drink any more bottled water than you already do. Or buy more wine. Or more tea. You can’t wear more than one pair of shoes at a time. You can’t get two massages at once..."

So, what grows? What do marketers sell that scales?

I’ll tell you what: Belief. Belonging. Mattering. Making a difference. We have an unlimited need for this."

I hope you'll check it out. Thanks!

[Backstory: About Hugh. Twitter. Newsletter. Book. Interview One. Interview Two. Limited Edition Prints. Private Commissions. Cube Grenades."EVIL PLANS".]


Posted by hugh macleod at 7:46 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 6, 2009

June 23, 2009

the "quality" print now available individually

quality005jpeg.jpg

[Buy the "Quality" print individually here.]


If this doesn't make a good good "cube grenade", I don't know what will...

A while ago, I announced that we'd be making smaller prints available, based on the cartoons found in IGNORE EVERYBODY.

On June 11th, the same day the book came out, we announced our first efforts: The "Ignore Everybody" Portfolio Series Number One.

Four silkscreens, 11"x14", limited edition of 100, signed and numbered, $320 for the set.

I'm delighted to report, that we've just made the "Quality" print available for purchase individually. $100, plus S&H. Here's the blurb on the gallery website:

A couple of decades ago, Ford had a tagline for its car commercials: "Quality is Job One".

Well, that may be fine if you're a big, old car company, but it never quite grabbed my imagination. I figured if you're a young, small company, or a person wanting to make a difference on a tiny shoestring budget (like I was), stronger words might be more appropriate. Events proved me right- this ended up being one of my favorite cartoons of my blog readers.

I hope you'll check it out. Thanks!

[etc: About Hugh. Interview. Newsletter. Book. Limited Edition Prints. Private Commissions. Cube Grenades. Hughtrain.]


Posted by hugh macleod at 4:00 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 18, 2009

the creative bug

creativebug002.jpg

[This quote was an excerpt from my last CDF Newsletter.]

[etc: About Hugh. Book. Limited Edition Prints. Private Commissions. Cube Grenades. Hughtrain.]




Posted by hugh macleod at 11:54 AM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

June 17, 2009

cube grenade poster

11584776.jpg

One of my Twitter followers sent me this photo.

He had just started working at a new job, was walking around the office to get familiar with his new home, and saw this...

One of his colleagues had used my cartoons to make a big ol' cube grenade, about blogging and social media.

Now if I can only get these people to start buying the real thing... Heh.


Posted by hugh macleod at 4:37 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

June 11, 2009

"ignore everybody" portfolio series number one: signed and numbered, 11"x14", $300.00

P6120001.JPG
[The printer's proofs. Click on image to enlarge etc.]

dinosaur001jpeg800.jpg
["Dinosaur"]

hughtrain001Bjpeg.jpg
["Hughtrain"]

quality005jpeg.jpg
["Quality"]

talkedjpeg002.jpg
["Talked"]

[Update:] You can purchase the Portfolio here.



Last week I blogged about a series of small prints I was working on, based on the cartoons in the new book, "IGNORE EVERYBODY", which as y'all know, launched today.

These cartoons above are some of the most viewed, and have collectively been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times. I know they adorn lots of cube walls, been made into stickers and of course, blogcards.

These four reflect a lot about what I was feeling at the time I drew them, three or four years ago. How we all have a need to find "purpose", and the stuff we do and the people we interact with each day, in order to find "it".

So today, being a day that for me is a lot about finding my own purpose, I've decided that it would be a poignant moment to make these available for people to own. You can throw away your yellow'd download and own the real thing instead, signed and numbered by me. An edition of 100, sold as a set in a portfolio, for $300 [Plus Shipping & Handling]. In a few days we'll be offering the individual prints for about $100 each.

These are smaller versions of what we have been doing up until now. They measure 11"x14", and can be framed and hung, or kept in a portfolio to view or use for meetings and then put away etc.

They are all hand-pulled serigraphs, and printed on Rives-Arches paper. For those of you thinking about collecting the work long-term, this is a good, affordable, and fun place to start. I hope to be making lots more of these portfolio editions in the future. Thanks.

Posted by hugh macleod at 4:03 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

June 7, 2009

surrounded

surrounded112.jpg

[Hat tip to Kilgore Trout, of course....]

[etc: About Hugh. Interview. Newsletter. Book. Limited Edition Prints. Private Commissions. Cube Grenades. Hughtrain.]

Posted by hugh macleod at 8:55 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

advertising moleskine

advertising%20moleskine%20001.jpg
["Advertising Moleskine". 5"x7". Click on image to enlarge etc.]

Dave Whittle, an advertising executive down in Australia, commissioned me to draw him a Moleskine, based on an old cartoon print-out of mine, that he had hanging on his office wall.

A Cube Grenade. Exactly.

Yes, I'll have it framed, like this one.

It was a fun project. It turned out well. I am pleased. Thanks, Dave!.

[gapingvoid commissions...]

Posted by hugh macleod at 3:13 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

June 6, 2009

a wearable cube grenade

87777.png

Rich Peterson sent me the photo above, with the following e-mail:

Short story about the attached image. I work in an R&D team in a large company. We use these badges to get into the office, get into various conference rooms, etc. Without it, you're basically hosed (can't even get into the parking lot). No big deal, but unlike companies where they're used as name badges as well (with the employee's photo and name on it) our badges are completely generic. Until Now.

One last note - a few others in the office have asked me for a copy of mine, so it's spreading :-)

[The Cube Grenade archive is here.]

Posted by hugh macleod at 9:59 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 3, 2009

"ignore everybody" cube grenades: the new small print series

dinosaur001jpeg800.jpg
["Dinosaur"]

hughtrain001Bjpeg.jpg
["Hughtrain"]

quality005jpeg.jpg
["Quality"]

talkedjpeg002.jpg
["Talked"]

A week ago I wrote that we'd be producing some new prints based on some of the cartoons appearing in my book, IGNORE EVERYBODY.

After receiving a lot of feedback from y'all, we decided on the four designs above. Here are some notes:

1. They'll be smaller. Approx 9.5"x14", roughly the same dimensions as my Mac laptop.

2. They'll be more affordable. Circa $125.00 US, $400.00 for the complete set of four.

3. They'll be of the same high-quality. They'll be silk-screened by hand. Old School. They'll be signed and numbered by me. Because they are more affordable, they'll be larger editions, say, 800 or so. We could have saved money if we used digital printing, but we decided against it - hand pulled serigraphs, still.

4. Finding Space: We realized that about 35% of each edition done so far is being purchased by the same group of people. Many of them are saying, we want to collect, but we are running out of wall space. So these images are of a size that can be framed and hung on a small wall, several at a time. Or maybe people will do what I do i.e. keep the images in a small portfolio, for taking out when they have meetings, or entertaining. In any case, it seems to me that making lower cost, true high-quality, limited editions, lots more people will be able to enjoy them. No worries for those with big walls, I am going to continue to do the larger images as well.

Over the next week, I'll be working out all the details with this new size. Watch this space.

[More: About Hugh. Interview. Newsletter. Book. Limited Edition Prints. Private Commissions. Cube Grenades. Hughtrain.]

Posted by hugh macleod at 11:34 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

May 30, 2009

cube grenades: the pitch to ad agencies

P4220004.JPG
[Signing the agenciaclick cube grenade a couple of weeks ago...]

Over the last couple of weeks I've been talking with various advertising and PR folk about the Cube Grenade idea. Here are some notes:

1. In terms of the advertising and PR industries, the Cube Grenade is basically conceived as a relatively cheap and effective Social Object to articulate the Purpose-Idea of a brand or company.

2. If the agency has an idea they REALLY want to sell to their client, they might have better luck if they first articulate the idea via a Cube Grenade designed by me, rather than the traditional "agency pitch" model. The agency's idea is somehow articulated as a commissioned print, the print is given out as a gift, to people within the relevant constituency. The print hangs on a wall, other people see it, and if the idea is any good then people will start talking about it. That conversation will lead to other conversations. If the idea is any good, other ideas [and opportunities] will be spawned from it.

3. The Cube Grenade is not a glorified advertising poster. I'm not primarily interested in why people should buy the client's product per se. I'm far more interested in the human dynamic, the collective human drive that makes the client's people want to get up in the morning and go to work. That is where THE REAL VALUE is created.

4. Because the Cube Grenade is given as a gift- an act of love, as it were- AND NOT A DELIVERABLE WANTING TO BE SOLD, it will break through the cultural barriers of the client company a lot more cheaply and quickly than your standard "Big Advertising Idea". The game here is not about "Selling An Ad", the point is to make the client more alive, more human, more aware of their own human potential. Again, this is where is where THE REAL VALUE for the client-agency relationship is created.

5. Whether the Cube Grenade "works" or not in the end, both agency and client will find out if the thought behind it works A LOT sooner and inexpensively than executing your average ad campaign. Like all communication, the idea needs to RISK FAILURE if it's ever to be any good. "Fail cheap, fail often", as the great venture capitalist, Esther Dyson likes to say.

6. As I've said before to the ad agencies: "Guys, you are NOT selling messages anymore. You are selling Social Objects. The work that you create will affect the Cube Grenades and Social Objects, that your clients and their customers use to interact with each other." This is why I'm talking to advertising folk. At the end of the day, we're both in the same business.

7. To get more background reading, please visit my Cube Grenade archive here. You might also want to check out "The Hughtrain" to get a better understanding of where my ideas are coming from.

8. As always, if this idea is of any interest to you, please feel free to contact me at gapingvoid@gmail.com. Or if you know someone in the advertising industry, please send them along to this page [Here's the link]. Thanks!

Posted by hugh macleod at 4:55 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 27, 2009

stupid [blue]

stupid002.jpg
[A "Cube Grenade" based on an old cartoon from The Hughtrain etc.]


Posted by hugh macleod at 11:38 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

May 25, 2009

now accepting private commissions for the marfa series, moleskines and cube grenades

agenciaclick334.JPG
[Privately-commissioned "Cube Grenades" i.e. limited edition, fine art prints that I did for my Brazilian client, agenciaclick. Click on image to enlarge etc.]

I'm currently accepting private commissions for The Marfa Series, Moleskines and Cube Grenades. Please read on for more details, Thanks! [email: gapingvoid@gmail.com]

THE MARFA SERIES


square333A.jpg[Click on image to enlarge etc.]

[Originally posted on the blog, August 27th, 2009]

The plan is to make a series of large, 48"x48" [4 foot-by-4 foot] canvases, i.e. exactly the same height, and one-half the width of desertmanhattan. The wee sketch above should give you an idea what I'm talking about.

I'm thinking of calling these "The Marfa Series", named after Marfa, the next town over from Alpine, 26 miles away. I drive there and back about three or four times a week; it's one of my favorite drives in the world. The drive inspired the idea for the the series in a SERIOUSLY big way.

Some will be cranked out in a couple of days. Some will take a lot longer, even a couple of months. I have no idea where this is taking me, other than I think I'll end up somewhere pretty interesting. Look for them for sale over on the gallery over the next few months or so, or feel free to e-mail me if you're looking to commission one. Thanks.

CUBE GRENADES

"This, I believe, is where my cartoons work the best- 'Cube Grenades'- small social objects that you 'throw' in there in order to cause some damage- to start a conversation, to spread an idea etc."
Probably the job I'm most proud of recently, is when I was hired by a Brazilian ad agency, agenciaclick to create a privately commissioned edition of cube grenades i.e. fine art prints. See photo above.

They didn't want these prints for themselves; they wanted to give these out to their clients, as conversation starters.

"All brands are open brands? Huh? What does that mean? Do you agree with it? Why? What does "open" actually mean? What does "brand" actually mean...?" You get the picture. The same idea that made The Blue Monster so successful. Again, it wasn't about the message, the object. It was all about the social.

My long-term goal is to make more privately-commissioned "Cube Grenades" for more clients like agenciaclick. It was a wonderful working experience for me, and I want to spend more time in that business.

MOLESKINES

moleskineframed123.JPG
["Moleskine 42" in a nice wooden frame. Click on image to enlarge etc.]



moleskine42vvv.JPG
["Moleskine 42" before the framing, approx 5"x7": Click on image to enlarge etc.]

moleskine42%20closupA.jpg
[Close-up view]

In May, 2008 I blogged about a new drawing, "Moleskine 42".

Since then I've gotten a lot of requests for them. So I plan to be doing more in future.

As always, feel free to contact me if you find either of these ideas interesting, Thanks!

[The Moleskine archive is here. and The Cube Grenade archive is here..]

Posted by hugh macleod at 8:11 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

May 23, 2009

"ignore everybody" prints on their way

P5200062.JPG
[Me signing copies of "Ignore Everybody" earlier this week. 25 boxes, 40 books in each...]

With my upcoming book launch less than three weeks away, we decided to published prints from some of the cartoons found in the book.

The book has eighty-odd cartoons in it, I've made a shortlist of fourteen [See Below], from which I'll actually print up three in the next couple of weeks, to coincide with the books hitting the shops [UPDATE: I've also included two or three cartoons that aren't in the book, but maybe should have been etc.].

These prints will be smaller than the last ones [approx 9"x14" i.e. roughly the same dimensions as my MacBook] and cheaper [around $100-$125 for one, around $300 for the set]. They may be black and white only, or we may use maybe one color, we're not sure yet.

In spite of their small size, like last time, they will be signed, and will be printed as high-quality silkscreens.

Upmarket Cube Grenades. Exactly.

Here is the shortlist. Feel free to leave your feedback in the comments, Thanks!

MISTAKENLY

91343_mistakenly.jpg

WOLF VS. SHEEP

91355_the_price.jpg

WE NEED TO TALK

91383_after_that.jpg

I DON'T HAVE FRIENDS

91387_I_dont_have_friends.jpg

WELCOME TO...

11444661477-thumb.jpg

IT'S NOT WHAT THE SOFTWARE DOES

114446615687-thumb.jpg

ANGELS

angel319-thumb.jpg

COMPANY HIERARCHY

CompanyHierarchy112.jpg

DINOSAUR

dinosaur001.jpg

IF YOU TALKED TO PEOPLE

ifyoutalkedtopeople111.jpg

QUALITY

QualityIsnt112.jpg

GOOD FOR YOU

ReadMyBlog112.jpg

THE HUGHTRAIN

SomethingtoBelievein112.jpg

THRIVING IN MARKETS

ThrivingMarkets112.jpg

Posted by hugh macleod at 9:22 AM | Comments (54) | TrackBack

May 15, 2009

the 'create or die' cube grenade

cod888.jpg

One of my Twitter followers sent me the photograph above. It's the "Create or Die" image, downloaded off my blog, printed out and stuck onto his cube wall. Classic "Cube Grenade" action.

If you fancy one of these for yourself, well, that's easy enough. I've reposted the same image immediately below. Just click on the image, download the high-rez version, print it out, find a wall and some Scotch tape, et Voila! Instant Cube Grenade.

create%20or%20die%20jpeg.jpg
[Click on image to enlarge etc.]

If you want the more upscale version, there's the large, high-quality, signed, limited-edition print I've got for sale on the gallery website. And of course, if you are already a subscriber to my CDF Newsletter, the "hush-hush top secret" offer I made to y'all last week is still open.

I know that if I put enough good stuff out there, create enough interaction, my business model would emerge eventually. I like my print business and the idea behind it, but already I see it as a small subset of the much larger Cube Grenade idea.

We live in interesting times...

[P.S. If you have any of my Cube Grenades in your possession, please can you e-mail some photos of them to me? Thanks]

Posted by hugh macleod at 9:10 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

May 13, 2009

cube grenades

cg555.jpg

Above is a photo that one of my friends on Twitter sent me. He basically downloaded one of my cartoons off my blog, printed it out, and stuck it outside his cube at work, for other people to see, hopefully to comment on, and hopefully, to start a conversation.

This, I believe, is where my cartoons work the best- "Cube Grenades"- small objects that you "throw" in there in order to cause some damage- to start a conversation, to spread an idea etc.

bm999A3.jpg
[The Blue Monster]

The Microsoft Blue Monster is probably my best-known Cube Grenade, which is why I made it into a limited edition print eventually.

carton888.jpg

Seth Godin first put his Purple Cow book into a purple milk carton for the same reason- he guessed [quite rightly, as it turned out] that people would see the carton on somebody's desk, inquire about it, and a conversation about the marketing ideas contained in the book would be started.

PCsmall124.jpeg
[The Purple Cow print]

And the Purple Cow print was designed the same way. OK, it might be a bit big to display in a cube- you need a lot of wall space for this one- but the idea is the same- Conversations that happen around the object are more interesting than the actual object itself.

"Cube Grenades". Exactly. Cartoons designed to affect change as "Social Objects". Exactly.

[Check out some of my limited edition prints over at gapingvoidgallery.com.]

[Update:]


Since I posted this "Cube Grenades" idea yesterday, I've been giving it A LOT of thought. Here are some notes:

cg22222.jpeg
[More "Cube Grenades" in action. Click on image to enlarge etc.]

1. Like I said, my cartoons work best when they're used as "Cube Grenades" i.e. small objects that you "throw" in there in order to cause some damage- to start a conversation, to spread an idea etc. But other social objects can be used as well- purple milk cartons, homemade cookies, funky mousepads, rubber toys, newspaper clippings etc. It's the people that matter, not the object they socialize around. I don't claim to have a monopoly.

2. Repeat After Me: Cube Grenades are Social Objects. Cube Grenades are Social Objects. Cube Grenades are Social Objects...

3. All big change in companies come from the people in the trenches, who do the actual day-to-day work. To change their behavior, you have to change the way they interact. People interact around social objects. Change the social objects, and you change the company.

4. My friend, Mark Earls once told me a story about a friend of his. The friend played a key role in the massively successful corporate turnaround recently undertaken by McDonald's.

His friend told him, "We knew we were screwed, NOT when the nutrition and green issues started hitting the newspapers, but by the simple fact that our staff on the floor just weren't cleaning the tables and the bathrooms like they used to. We knew THEN that our people had lost faith in our company."

What social objects were people using, both during the company's decline and during its turnaround? What cube grenades were being thrown about, both before and after? I bet you they weren't the same.

5. Yes, I am fully aware that your customers are paying for the quality of the products and services your business provides, not for the quality of the cube grenades flying around your corporate headquarters. But they are all related. Everything of value that your business creates is the product of a already-existing social dynamic. Businesses are people, not machines. And people socialize around objects.

6. An Open Letter to Ad Agencies: Guys, you are NOT selling messages anymore. You are selling social objects. The work that you create will affect the cube grenades and social objects, that your clients and their customers use to interact with each other.

my_desk_222.png
[More Cube Grenades. "I use them as covers for my binders strewn about my desk, to start conversations", says the person who e-mailed me the photo. Click on image to enlarge etc.]

7. You see a guy walking out of an Apple store, looking all excited about his new Apple computer he's carrying under his arm? Why is he so excited? Sure, he just got himself a nice-looking piece of kit, but what REALLY excites him is all of the COOL, DISRUPTIVE STUFF he's going to MAKE with his new machine. Videos, music mixes, whatever. For his FRIENDS and his PEERS. Again, it's the SOCIAL that makes it interesting. Apple makes cube grenades, just like the ad agencies. Just like you do.

8. People download my cartoons and stuck them on their walls by the THOUSANDS. A much smaller number spend money to buy the more expensive versions i.e. my prints. But the idea is the same i.e. a way for people to interact. As I'm fond of saying: The conversations AROUND the object are FAR more interesting than the object itself. And what is true for me is true of your product, as well. "People Matter. Objects don't." Exactly.

9. So when do I start charging? You can download my stuff for free, so why should you buy a print? Who says you should? I'm guessing that if one of my cartoons is meaningful enough to you, you'll get tired of seeing it printed on the office laserprinter paper in low-resolution, getting all worn and torn, with the Scotch tape getting all yellow and crinkly. If you like the drawing enough, eventually you'll want to upgrade. The same way, back in college, that I would upgrade to vinyl or CDs, once the cheap and nasty cassette tape of my favorite band started getting all fuzzy and worn out. The same way I gladly paid $20 to hear the band play live, rather than hear the same songs on the cassette. "Meaning Scales". The more cube grenades I throw out there, the more meaningful interaction I create for other people, the more people will want to pay for it eventually. If I locked it all down as a cash-only transaction, it would all die a horrible death overnight.

agenciaclick334.JPG
[Privately-commissioned "Cube Grenades" i.e. limited edition, fine art prints that I did for my Brazilian client, agenciaclick. Click on image to enlarge etc.]

10. Probably the job I'm most proud of recently, is when I was hired by a Brazilian ad agency, agenciaclick to create a privately commissioned edition of cube grenades i.e. fine art prints. See photo above.

They didn't want these prints for themselves; they wanted to give these out to their clients, as conversation starters.

"All brands are open brands? Huh? What does that mean? Do you agree with it? Why? What does "open" actually mean? What does "brand" actually mean...?" You get the picture. The same idea that made The Blue Monster so successful. Again, it wasn't about the message, the object. It was all about the social.

11. My long-term goal is to make more privately-commissioned "Cube Grenades"
for more clients like agenciaclick. It was a wonderful working experience for me, and I want to spend more time in that business. If you find this idea interesting, please feel free to e-mail me at gapingvoid@gmail.com. Thanks.

[Update:]


To keep everything on the same page, I copied & pasted the entire "Ad Agency Pitch" from May 30th below. Thanks.

P4220004.JPG
[Signing the agenciaclick cube grenade a couple of weeks ago...]

Over the last couple of weeks I've been talking with various advertising and PR folk about the Cube Grenade idea. Here are some notes:

1. In terms of the advertising and PR industries, the Cube Grenade is basically conceived as a relatively cheap and effective Social Object to articulate the Purpose-Idea of a brand or company.

2. If the agency has an idea they REALLY want to sell to their client, they might have better luck if they first articulate the idea via a Cube Grenade designed by me, rather than the traditional "agency pitch" model. The agency's idea is somehow articulated as a commissioned print, the print is given out as a gift, to people within the relevant constituency. The print hangs on a wall, other people see it, and if the idea is any good then people will start talking about it. That conversation will lead to other conversations. If the idea is any good, other ideas [and opportunities] will be spawned from it.

3. The Cube Grenade is not a glorified advertising poster. I'm not primarily interested in why people should buy the client's product per se. I'm far more interested in the human dynamic, the collective human drive that makes the client's people want to get up in the morning and go to work. That is where THE REAL VALUE is created.

4. Because the Cube Grenade is given as a gift- an act of love, as it were- AND NOT A DELIVERABLE WANTING TO BE SOLD, it will break through the cultural barriers of the client company a lot more cheaply and quickly than your standard "Big Advertising Idea". The game here is not about "Selling An Ad", the point is to make the client more alive, more human, more aware of their own human potential. Again, this is where is where THE REAL VALUE for the client-agency relationship is created.

5. Whether the Cube Grenade "works" or not in the end, both agency and client will find out if the thought behind it works A LOT sooner and inexpensively than executing your average ad campaign. Like all communication, the idea needs to RISK FAILURE if it's ever to be any good. "Fail cheap, fail often", as the great venture capitalist, Esther Dyson likes to say.

6. As I've said before to the ad agencies: "Guys, you are NOT selling messages anymore. You are selling Social Objects. The work that you create will affect the Cube Grenades and Social Objects, that your clients and their customers use to interact with each other." This is why I'm talking to advertising folk. At the end of the day, we're both in the same business.

7. To get more background reading, please visit my Cube Grenade archive here. You might also want to check out "The Hughtrain" to get a better understanding of where my ideas are coming from.

8. As always, if this idea is of any interest to you, please feel free to contact me at gapingvoid@gmail.com. Or if you know someone in the advertising industry, please send them along to this page [Here's the link]. Thanks!

Posted by hugh macleod at 7:49 PM | Comments (31) | TrackBack