Archive for May, 2010

my amazing dancing guy video!

This time last year I witnessed the most insane 2 min phenomenon of my life –  the dancing guy at the Sasquatch Music Festival. Below is the video I managed to capture:

Now this to me is the definition of a free spirit. I was watching this guy dance like a maniac for about hour BEFORE this even happened! But then one person decided to join him, and then seconds later came number 3 running down and it became cool. That 3rd guy in my opinion made it legit. Everyone went  mental after that!! It switched from being about him to being this awesome dance party.

I love the fact the song being performed was Unstoppable by Santigold.

Which brings me to another point: Santigold should give him a yearly dividend. Cos he created a movement that single handily made this song massive!! The dancing guy videos went viral and when that happens,  its word of mouth on steroids.

Don’t believe me?

Check out all the comments for the Unstoppable track on youtube.. they all mention the dance party!  It should be taken as a blessing from the skies for any tune to go viral nowadays of 1000 niche musical tastes.

Sasquatch should give this guy life time tickets to the event as a token of goodwill!  You simply can’t create this again! If it were to happen, it would always be compared to this.

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are robots are taking over?

I recently found one of these babies at a friends place this past week.

Its called the iRobot Roombe and it cleans your floor, and afterwards goes back to its docking station. This may seem like “so what? ” to some people, but this blew my mind.  Are we that far off from technological wonderland that was the 80’s cartoon, the Jetsons? When can I have robot cleaning lady who takes away my dirty dishes and puts in the washer? Hopefully by the end of this decade.  Or is this convenience just another reason to be more lazy? I don’t think so.

We should embrace robots to do the things we don’t want to do, like cleaning our floors, so we can have more leisure time. This is the reason why we have cars, instead of riding horses, why they invented airplanes instead of ships to travel long distances. I patiently await the supersonic Maglev trains of the future. Imagine Tokyo to London in 3.5 hours.

Hollywood does an amazing job of portraying a Terminator 2 type future.  A doomsday scenario where we will all be enslaved by robots. There is some merit to that. Aren’t we already to our cellphones? I’ve seen it countless times at restaurants, two people at a table busy texting to someone (maybe to one another, who knows) for up to 10 mins, instead of chatting to one another. Remember the film Wall-E? We become fat asses and just press buttons, that this eventual artificial world will separate us from nature. That is true if its used that way. The end of the movie showed that technology properly used will help humans cultivate their true nature – that it must be subordinate to human progress, and help move that along.

the placebo effect

looks refreshing, so must be refreshing

Just finished reading Dan Ariely’s  Predictably Irrational, which talks about making better decisions and the mistakes we make without realizing. It’s on the field of behavioral economics and I love this stuff. The placebo effect in particular got me thinking.

Dan talks about surgeries that weren’t performed, yet the patients felt no pain as they were told they had surgery done. Simply being told by a doctor that something was fixed and thus they didn’t feel any pain! THIS IS NUTS.  This reminded me of the book Born To Run, that discusses everything doesn’t need to be fixed.  New running shoes don’t make you better at running. But they do an excellent job in making you feel like it will!

Obviously this whole placebo effect is quite effective in marketing products.  For example, when you pick up Vitamin Water,  you may read the label because it describes all the effects of the vitamins and minerals in such a manner that you just can’t wait to quench your thirst!  You’ve just convinced yourself that its gonna make you feel like super man. See I love that! I want to believe it will make me super healthy!

But the same thing doesn’t sit well with me when similar marketing is used for the sham that is bottled water. Watch the Story of Bottled Water by Annie Leonard to know why. Lots of people in Canada believe bottled water is better for you, more healthy, sadly in a country that has the best tap water in the world. Dan Ariely mentions there is ” blurry boundary between beliefs and reality.” This is the moral dilemma of placebos.  Marketers want to create perceived value, but should be wary of stretching the truth or outright lying. Not sure who makes the decisions of what crosses the line.

Highly recommend this book if your curious to learn more about human behaviour.

power to the people

Music is the domain of everyone and it’s great to see bands sharing the value with others.

Oasis took on innovative marketing campaign back in 2008 in promotion of their last album, Dig Out Your Soul, by giving away  unreleased music to street musicians at NYC subway stations. This way thousands of people  would listen to four new Oasis tracks, from the ground up – by buskers who might have made money off famous Oasis covers in the past. However,  this time they got directly paid for doing it. How legendary is that!? They would mention they are playing new Oasis tracks, backed with album poster and then perform the tunes in their own interpretation. This is a nice slap in the face of other bands who keep songs hush hush before the release date…aaah true OASIS.

The clip below describes it all:

One of musicians mentioned  his rent between 1996-2000 was paid off the back of the tune Wonderwall. Liam Gallagher interjects and says its helped pay for his as well! Playing for the love of music. Personally I just loved listening to the different versions of the tunes. This creates more interest in the songs and that’s what its all about. If someone were to like the tune, she might be curious to hear how it sounds originally or to check them out in concert.

Other thoughts

While watching the tunes being played, I wonder would people stop and be in awe if Oasis themselves actually decided to play as street musicians in the subway? Would they attract the same crowds without of course anyone knowing its actually them performing? Because these street musicians are also very talented, and if they were marketed differently and put in a concert format, perhaps they would receive similar adoration as Oasis? I’d assume the casual music fan might not care, but the hardcore fan would know the difference. I’d like to see a big band experiment with that.