Anti-capitalistic superbranding

November 30, 2006

What do you do if you are an avant-garde, anti-capitalistic theatre and need to promote yourself to sell tickets? If your target group (and yourself) is generally suspicious of branding and advertising – an advanced, critical audience more in the habit of going to clubs and cinemas?

Germany’s leading avant-garde theatre, Die Volksbühne am Rosa Luxembourg Platz in Berlin, rejected a proposal by advertising agency Springer & Jacoby and decided to do things their own way. Over the past 15 years they have created an extremely successfull anti-design superbrand, by ignoring all existing standards of advertising. Not a single thought was waisted on strategy, target groups, user panels or trend scouts.

The plays are much praised, but they are only a part of the Volksbühne show. The Volksbühne posters are in it as well. So are the Volksbühne stickers mixing with the street art, the badly assempled, rough looking Volksbühne matchboxes, the Volksbühne building, the Volksbühne flags and banners, the grumpy Volksbühne woman in the ticket booth and the lack of a decent Volksbühne website. It is a complete world: clever, ironic, fun, self assured, rebellious and spot on.

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The “Volksbühne style” makes most other theatres, look like brave choire boys (which they probably are in comparison). They rely heavily on good reviews and hope to catch our attention with a nice poster. No wonder we usually forget about them and head oft to the cinema…

The consumer of tomorrow may come a lot closer to the Volksbühne Audience of today: Suspiocious, critical, fed up and difficult to seduce. Future advertising and design agencies can look to Rosa Luxembourg Platz to see what charming, intelligent anti-design branding can lead to.

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www.volksbuehne-berlin.de
www.lsd-berlin.de

Cleopatra

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The strategy and the board

November 17, 2006

The first meeting with the new board of 1508 was held at Jomfruens Egede’s manor house. A really nice place to have discussions and do big thinking. The theme for the meeting was the new strategy for our business.

Crew

The crew.

Chrille and Niels

Best IT-brains in business.

MM

M&M without nuts.

Ms Rix

Rix della Rix thinking.

Niels H

The chairman is drawing the outline of our business strategy.

Chrille

Chrille is presenting the products in the area of development.

The board has two new members. Our new chairman is Niels Hermansen. He’s a really cool guy, with a head for strategy. The other guy is Niels Appel – CES at Microsoft. That man knows a lot about sales… but also has a real IT-brain. We are still looking two more members. But we are choosy which means that that process takes time.

Soon you will hear more about our challenging ideas :-)

By Rixixine


Gaming about the future – the future of gaming

October 27, 2006

We read about it all the time. The future of video and computer games. Leading specialists predict it’s going to revolutionize our world, and completely redefine how we organize our selves and interact with each other. Some even talk about games and the principles of gaming as the way we’ll organize how we work!

Obviously game design has some pretty amazing and promising aspects, but it’ll still be a while before we organize and base client and user participation around 3D-avatars and true ubiquitous computing (if this idea is still sound). I mean, in reality we are still organizing client participation around various kinds of workshop concepts.

So, what about good old board games, like monopoly? Can’t they be of some inspiration? We think they can – and we are certainly not the only ones. Since the early 70’s, different scientific groups and fields have tried applying the principles of fundamental game design to workshop activities – with promising results.

One outcome of this research is called design games. A game-like activity where participants are invited to share ideas and experiences – and contest the ideas of each other. Simple rules (like ‘turn taking’) contributes to structure the participation, and the playfulness of the game (i.e. dice and the game board) stimulates the creative potential of the participants (constraining participants to combine ideas, that at first may seem non-intuitive).

Finally the materiality of the game pieces helps visualize the state of the game and keeps the various discussions focused and on track.

Our very first Design Game!

As you can probably imagine by now, we see a lot of possibilities and future scenarios in this new approach, and we are attempting to adapt it and in the end make it a part of our UCD-framework. Currently we are in the process of becoming familiar with the concept, and we recently held our very first – and accustomed – design game (that’s what the picture show). A design game about future cooperation between teams and which core values to work towards. The game was a success. Although there, of course, were room for improvements. So we’ll keep playing. And posting…


Democracy 2.0

October 6, 2006

portrait91.jpgAt his webblog Bruno Gisusiani writes about “participative” democracy in a reference to French politician and presidential candidate Segolène Royal who is, apparently, designing her political program based on input submitted via her website.

Political campaigns haven’t been the same since Joe Trippi did wonders for Howard Dean by building his presidential campaign on social media, but is Segolène Royal’s approach a healthy way of engaging the public or is it simply straightforward populistic?

Here in Denmark, social-media-campagning is still an open-territory as no political party seems to have employed new media in any particularly interesting or novel way…yet.