Frank Chimero × Blog × Web Tableaus

The past week has provided a few notable redesigns of popular web services, including Squarespace and MailChimp. It’s interesting to note the visual similarities in how they have chosen to present themselves: photographed tableaus with props around laptops, tablets, and phones.

See also Matt Thomas’s great post on depicting knowledge work in film, and Felix Salmon’s recent tumble on marketing for mobile banking apps.

Both feature a cup of artisanal coffee on a dark wood counter, next to an iPhone 4 displaying the app in question. How to choose between them?

Savvy advertising is always trying to tell you something about yourself.

Michelle Orange, who continues:

It traffics only in different, better, more fulfilled versions of you. That’s why it’s so miserably effective: an ad can adopt the stance of leading you toward your own best interests. But a brand-centric movie is stuck pretending its purpose is to entertain, even if its job was done the moment it got you through the door, $13.50 lighter.

The disruptive potential of native advertising | Felix Salmon

In that sense, TV ads are truly native; the way you consume a TV ad is the same as the way you consume a TV show. Similarly, long copy print ads are native, for the same reason. And the ultimate native ads are the glossy fashion ads in Vogue: in most cases, they’re better than the editorial, and as a result, readers spend as much time with the ads — if not more — as they do with the edit.

Fashion magazines are such a good racket. Love that junk.

The disruptive potential of native advertising | Felix Salmon

Tyler, the Creator Talks Directing Movies, Being Rejected by Justin Bieber | Billboard

Tyler and the Clancys’ 4 Strike management group recently started a new creative agency called Camp Flog Gnaw, which aims to lend Tyler’s brain to companies that want to engage the youth demographic. The first fruit of the new enterprise is a partnership with Mountain Dew, for whom Tyler has directed four left-of-center TV commercials starring a talking goat named Felicia. “The agency is a way to stay true to Tyler and not do endorsements, but to allow companies to use his creative energy,” Clancy says. “There’s a demographic out there that corporate America has lost, but Tyler has managed to build a brand around it.”

This strikes me as a bit more savvy and way more interesting than becoming creative director of Blackberry or Intel or something…

Tyler, the Creator Talks Directing Movies, Being Rejected by Justin Bieber | Billboard

It is hardly surprising to find that the two areas of human enterprise most concerned with sincerity as opposed to truth–namely, politics and advertising–are also the two areas most steeped in bullshit. Or would it be better to say that politics and advertising are the two areas most concerned with the appearance of authenticity? This might be a distinction without a difference.

Don’t Talk – Angry Voicemail (Censored) – Alamo Drafthouse.

We do not tolerate people that talk or text in the theater. In fact, before every film, we have several warnings on screen to prevent such happenings. Occasionally, someone doesn’t follow the rules, and we do, in fact, kick their asses out of our theater. This video is an actual voicemail from a woman that was kicked out of one of our Austin theaters. Thanks, anonymous woman, for being awesome.

“About 150 people are kicked out annually for talking or using mobile devices at all of the locations combined, Mr. League said.”

Excerpt from Jay-Z’s New Book ‘Decoded’: Cristal’s Diss of Hip-Hop – TIME

The same goes for other brands: Timberland and Courvoisier, Versace and Maybach. We gave those brands a narrative, which is one of the reasons anyone buys anything: not just to own a product, but to become part of a story. […] It wasn’t just a premium champagne anymore — it was a prop in an exciting story, a portal into a whole world. Just by drinking it, we infused their product with our story, an ingredient that they could never bottle on their own.

Excerpt from Jay-Z’s New Book ‘Decoded’: Cristal’s Diss of Hip-Hop – TIME

–PC Magazine previews Sony’s forthcoming e-book reader, or at least a slightly less-than-full-featured proto. Accepts not only e-books but PDF files and RSS feeds as well. Looks great. This little guy could be wonderful for people like me who are almost always reading something and/or plotting what to read next.
–Well, it looks like I’ve stumbled unknowingly into a series of Russia-related posts. I’ll round out the mix with a collection of a couple thousand posters from our dearly-departed USSR. Propaganda, advertising, all kinds of good stuff. On a side note, this is also the only post I’ve suggested that got Kottke’d, which makes me 1 for 2. For a brief moment, I was a star.

–A fine collection of photos of an old-school Russian submarine base. Looks like it’s straight out of a videogame. [via bb]