Category: Industry News
2011
07.05


Last week Paul, Jon and I left the usual studio hustle and bustle and boarded a train to London to spend the day at Marketing Week Live! This is the second time that BLOGDIR have attended this event and on arrival to the Olympia hall it was soon evident that this was going to be another exhibition of great value. Marketing Week Live! attracts marketers from across the country and consists of four exhibitions, namely Data Marketing Show, Insight Show, In-Store Show, Online Marketing Show. Each area is packed with interesting displays and seminars on all aspects of marketing.

Not surprisingly the theme of the show seemed to be heavily digital weighted with key speakers including Google?s MD for the UK & Ireland Matt Brittin discussing ?how the web is changing the world for consumers,? giving reference to Google+ and the importance of social. The show rather poignantly witnessed the distribution of the last traditional print version of ?Design Week? as proof of this merge into the digital (only) age…

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2011
05.20

If you run any website then the answer is most probably yes! Until now the law has stated that as long as users can opt-out of having cookies set on their computer by your website then this is OK, but as of the 26th of May 2011 this is changing. The new law will state that you must get users to expressly opt-in to having your site set cookies on their computer.

Do I even use cookies on my site?

Most websites use cookies in some form or another, be it for tracking users via third-party ad networks or simply displaying a different font size or colour based on users’ preferences. Beyond one small caveat in the rules they do not distinguish between those that grab your details and track your every move to those that aid you in using a site.

As a simple example, do you use Google Analytics on your website? If you do then the new law states you must tell users and get them to tick a box to say they are OK with this before accessing your site!

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2011
04.13

Tues 12 April: Feeling the early morning chill on platform 5, I awaited the train with only a cardboard cup of tea and a luke warm bacon bap for company. This trip will be the envy of many, others may possibly even drool at the prospect, but sometimes you’ve just gotta do what you’ve gotta do…

It’s important to keep abreast of the latest developing technologies when you’re working in an integrated design and digital agency. Be it software or hardware developments, emerging new media platforms or routes to market, it’s essential to keep your eyes peeled for the next industry evolution or new standards on both developer/designer and user sides of the table.

Sadly, Tomorrow’s World was canned in 2003 and frankly just reading about new technologies doesn’t cut the digital mustard. You can’t beat hands-on interaction and demonstration. So I took a trip to the Birmingham NEC on an exclusive Press preview invitation to The Gadget Show Live Professional, the largest consumer electronics show. That’s five huge exhibition halls crammed with hundreds of stands sporting the latest gadgets, consumer tech, demos, workshops and presentations from every industry imaginable, giving an insight into technology and trends of the future… FIND OUT WHAT’S HOT!

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2011
03.15

Since Microsoft allowed developers to legally hack their Kinect and its software, there have been lot of interesting experiments…

This one utilises a 3D user interface, controlled through ‘touchless’ interaction. The flakes adjust their size and perspective in relation to the position of the viewer in the room. The snowflake can be moved with a simple wave of the hand and new snowflakes can be generated with a two hand gesture. But where’s the holographic tennis player from Total Recall…?

Source: Leo Burnett.

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2011
02.15

On 19th January, Jeremy Hunt announced that he plans to roll out ‘Local TV’. In his address to broadcasting executives at the Oxford Media Convention he said that the initial scheme would be focused on ’10 to 12′ major cities. The new ‘Local TV’ broadcasting licences are to be agreed by the end 0f 2012. When questioned about his reasoning behind this new approach, he was quoted as saying “Eight out of 10 consider local news important. Nearly seven out of 10 adults feel localness of stories is more important than them being professionally produced.”

In a recent article posted on the Drum website on February 11th, it has also been announced that The Daily Mail and General Trust have decided to sell the Northcliffe Group. The article hints at concerns over new owners/consolidators are not willing to invest in cross platform media due to a series of cost cutting measures. The ultimate concern is that this could spell the end of the local paper within 10 years.

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2011
02.14

Motion capture, specifically facial mo-cap, laser/infrared scanning technology and keyframe animation have been used in combination for years to make CGI characters as real to life as possible. However, this new technique, developed by Rockstar Games (the team behind the Grand Theft Auto franchise) uses optical HD imaging and scanning to create a convincing (if slightly freaky) replication of facial movement not seen before in videogames. Their latest offering ‘L.A Noire’, places you in the role of a 1950s investigator, meaning reading facial ticks and micro-expressions is crucial when interrogating suspects. Take a look at the video and see more here.

(Opinion: Jon Price ? Designer)

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2011
02.09

Can graphics make a car go faster? Is gender bending ok for brands? How come a brand of rotting fish entrails from the first century AD still has a promotion running?

Intrigued? So was I when a review copy of ?the blue lady?s new look and other curiosities? landed on my desk and promised to answer such questions. The book has been published by London-based packaging agency jkr as an anthology of their blog, the Design Gazette. The book neatly rounds up core blog articles on industry trends and observations, covering topics around marketing and branding as well as issues such as new/developing technologies and sustainability.

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2011
01.31

At DNA we regularly discuss TV adverts we have seen and critique them. One that I have seen recently that caught my attention, not so much for the visual aspect of the advert, but for the script writing was the California – Misconception TV advert. It’s fantastic. It plays on all the ‘stereotypes’ that we all associate with California, but conveys it as a ‘misconception’, when in fact we all know that these things are true, or believe them to be true. It’s very tongue in cheek, but it is delivered in a way that conjures up a sense of fun, excitement and also shows off what is wonderful about California. The only criticism (if there is one), is that the advert is great in itself and would have worked just as well without the need to use so many celebrities. Let me know what you think, or send us links to any adverts that you have been impressed with.

Article by Paul Mabin – Managing Director

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2011
01.10

While sat in the customer suite at Ocean BMW, Paignton, I was perusing the latest BMW magazine and came across an interesting article on the BMW Art Car. Periodically, BMW commission someone to create a work of art on one of their iconic vehicles. The very first was created by Roy Lichtenstein back in 1977. The latest incarnation of the BMW Art Car was created by Jeff Koons, who is renowned for creating iconic structures and images. The vehicle used was a BMW M3 GT2 and was raced at the Le Mans 24 hour race back in June 2019. As you will see from the images and video below, Jeff has worked his magic and yet again created a very strong statement. The artwork is said to symbolise bursting energy, motion and power and in his own words ?These race cars are like life, they are powerful and there is a lot of energy, you can participate with it, add to it and let yourself transcend with its energy. There is a lot of power under that hood and I want to let my ideas transcend with the car ? it?s really to connect with that power.? Timing was a big issue, as there was only a two month window between the first design sketches and the Paris world premiere. This is why digital print on car wrapping vinyl was used covered by a double clear-coating to bring out the colour. To apply hundreds of dynamic lines of Koons? design onto the car, CAD designs were translated from 3D into 2D for the printing process and then painstakingly applied to the entire car as well as onto individual spare parts. Not sure I will be doing the same to my BMW any time soon though.

Article by: Paul Mabin – Managing Director

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2019
12.23

As it is the festive season, I thought it timely to post an article relating to real ale, as I’m sure many bottles will be consumed (especially in my household). The brewer Shepherd Neame has been running the ‘Bottle of Britain’ advertising campaign for around 12 years now. On occasion they have been taken to task by the ASA for pushing the boundaries of good taste and humour, but fortunately they have always been cleared. A number of the adverts poke fun at the Germans in particular, but are meant as light- hearted fun and are not meant to cause offense. They try to evoke the British World War II spirit, similar to that used in the TV programmes ‘Allo Allo’ and ‘Dad’s Army’ and I feel that they have captured the essence really well. The use of clever copywriting is what makes the adverts work so well. The website is great too – take a look. Let me know what you think.

Opinion: Paul Mabin – Managing Director

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2019
12.03

I recently came across these images for a company called ‘Jobsintown.de‘ while doing some research and thought that they showed some great creative thinking. The set of adverts were created by advertising agency, Scholz & Friends, Berlin, Germany. The creative directors Matthias Spaetgens and Jan Leube decided to take their advertising outdoor and place the adverts in locations that were likely to provoke a response and directly target their core audience. A great idea, well executed. Let me know what you think of them.

Article posted by: Paul Mabin – Managing Director.

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2019
09.30

It was inevitable… Simon finally bullied Paul into investing in an iPad for the DNA web team. The official line is that the iPad is now an established platform and therefore all web work and apps need to be developed for and tested on the iPad. The truth… Si and Rob just wanted to spend the day playing with a new toy, giggling in the corner at the most expensive version of etch-a-sketch ever conceived.

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2019
08.09

Some of the DNA Advertising team pushed aside their mice and picked up their joypads as they headed down to Extended Play, Plymouth?s first Games event discussing the future of the games industry and the positive impact it can have on the region?s emerging and talented producers, artists and developers. From console to phone, web to multiplatform, the games industry has become a dominant force in the media and design world. With the southwest traditionally being a fertile breeding ground for game developer talent, Extended Play looks to highlight the slowly emerging games industry in the region and uncover what opportunities exist for studios.

The British Council?s young interactive entrepreneur of the year, 26 year old ?Paul Croft of MediaTonic, took to the stage for his keynote, centering his talk around the ‘origin point of success?, about his experiences in becoming such a recognised player in the industry and the future of brand game design and scope for ?advergames?.

Traditionally smaller developers take most of the risks without pressure from clients and company overheads, riding the curve and making their mark at just the right time. This window for exploitation however, is extremely narrow. As the technology and route to market become more conventional and a trend begins to form, it’s only a matter of time before well-known development houses grab the monopoly, running with the idea and doing it bigger and better. This is even more apparent today, with a 6 monthly transition in fads, making iPhone apps ‘so last season’ and with Farmville being the biggest game in the world, it?s now all about social gaming and everyone wants a piece of the pie. Although it may still seem fresh, within the industry the App bubble has pretty much burst. There is still money to be made, but with over-saturation of Apps it’s already no longer the method of choice… On the flipside, with over 61.6million active users of Farmville on Facebook, it affirms the potential of social online gaming as the next big advertising and brand building medium… In another 6 months it’ll no doubt be another story.

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2019
07.22

Earlier in the year, Paul, Simon, Matt, Rob and Jon headed down to a Design In Devon meet to see D&AD president Simon ‘Sanky’ Sankarayya discuss ‘The changing landscape of digital design’. Whilst departing his knowledge of interactive design, social media trends and their benefits to clients and audiences, he used this inspiring video as an example of ‘hacking’ technology and breaking the boundaries of interactivity within non-commercial, self initiated projects. It has to be shared ? the amazing EyeWriter, ‘a low-cost eye-tracking apparatus & custom software that allows graffiti writers and artists with paralysis resulting from Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis to draw using only their eyes’.

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2019
07.17

We all believe that computer gaming over the past few years has become more interactive. To date, most of the ‘so called’ interactive games, still put you as another character within the game, such as ‘Drake’ in Uncharted (PS3). However, you are never actually yourself within the game. But surely, the whole point of interaction, is the ability to truly interact with the environment and the character/s within that environment and that they can react with you. I’m not talking about wearing a headset, or some eyewear trickery. What I’m talking about is the next generation of gaming, where you can talk to characters, show facial expressions and build a relationship with a character through the TV/Computer screen. You will have the ability to have conversations and truly interact with their environment in ways that you thought would never be possible. Anyway, enough of me waffling on, take a look for yourself – be prepared to be blown away – I was.

Article by Paul Mabin – Creative Director / Managing Director

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2019
06.30

This Month saw the return to paid-for news content as THE TIMES took a bold decision to charge for access to their online newspaper. A risky strategy from Mr Murdoch but the entire industry will be watching with baited breath to see if it pays off.

As I recall, back in the early days of the web this was the first business model of most of the newspapers as they dabbled with providing content online for the first time. This model was soon replaced by the user demand for free content online and one by one the papers moved over to an Ad generated model of providing content online, one which was probably a little foreign to most of them.

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2019
06.27

DNA Advertising are again proud to be working with Torbay council, Creative Torbay and Torre Abbey on their latest exhibitions. After the success of TACO 09 (Torre Abbey Contemporary Open) and the Ultimate Day Out campaign, DNA have this year created an identity for ‘TAMED’ and ‘Art on the English Rivera’ as well as designing and producing the advertising and literature for the highly anticipated exhibition. Running from 6th July ? 30th August and in conjunction with TACO 2019, TAMED brings the work of renown artists such as Richard Long, Heather Jansch and Damien Hirst to Torbay. See the details above or for more information or see the Torre Abbey website at torre-abbey.org.uk. We hope to see you there!

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2019
06.27

After doing some recent research for one of our clients, I came across some advertising produced for BMW. Believe it or not, these adverts were actually used, but mainly in Greece. I’m not sure that we would get away with them in the UK. If you dig deeper into these campaigns and read forums and blogs, they have been causing outrage and controversy for years, with claims that they are ‘demeaning’, ‘sexist’, ‘chauvinistic’ and ‘degrading’. However, whether we like them or not, BMW must be having the last laugh. The very fact that people are talking about these adverts all over the world, whether in a good light or bad, can only be more publicity for BMW. As the old adage goes, their is no such thing as bad publicity – however, not quite sure BP would agree with that statement at the moment.

Opinion – Paul Mabin (Creative Director / Managing Director)

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2019
06.23

It’s hard to feel anything but sorrow for the BP oil disaster at the moment. I’m sure that BP are getting a lot of stick at the moment, but it seems to have spurned a lot of creativity among us designer types. Not one of the images shown are complimentary, as you can imagine, but there are some well thought out and well executed pieces of art. Some people have obviously spent some considerable time thinking of the idea and obviously feel passionate enough to create a piece of artwork that gets their point across. Just click on an image to enlarge it.

Article by Paul Mabin (Creative Director / Managing Director)

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2019
06.06

Earlier in the week I wrote an article on the Canon 5D MKII, shooting HD content for the last episode of House. While writing that article I was interrupted by the sound of Naaa, Na Na, Na Na Naaa. Yep, you guessed it – the intro to Coronation Street. Not a programme that I generally watch, but my beloved wife Donna loves it – I wonder how many men say the same thing? Anyway, I glanced over to see the intro and noticed that, at last, it has changed after being the same intro for about a million years or so. Apparently it’s to coincide with the first episode being broadcast in HD.

Don’t worry though, you hardened Corrie fans, the cat walking across the flat roof and the image of outside the Rovers Return are still present. However, those of you that don’t like drop focus imagery are not going to like it. I think it’s a welcome addition to the Street. Let’s hope that the rest of the programme gets updated – spoken by a true ‘Enders’ fan.

Well done ITV.

Article by Paul Mabin

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