Good Push Index of Urban Airship




New Urban Airship Study Finds Massive Difference in Notification Opt-In Rates; press release; Urban Airship; 2015-04-15.
Teaser: First Mobile Engagement Benchmarks report examines opt-in rates of high-performing apps versus average apps across 15 industries with key optimization best practices


Via: backfill

Caddy CMO Subbed In Electric Car to Make Ad ‘More Socially Palatable’ | Ad Age

; Caddy CMO Subbed In Electric Car to Make Ad ‘More Socially Palatable’; In Ad Age; 2014-03-06.
Teaser: CMO Knew It Would Generate Buzz, but Worried About Tone


Cadillac CMO Uwe Ellinghaus
Cadillac CMO Uwe Ellinghaus


  • Uwe Ellinghaus, Global Chief Marketing Officer, Cadillac
  • is quoted.
  • If it worked he was going to take credit for it; if it had trouble he needed cover.

Youth Mode: A Report on Freedom | K-Hole, Box 1824

Report #4

Youth Mode: A Report on Freedom

  • 2013-10
  • 40 pages (35 of content).



Somewhat theoretical …


  • The Death of Age
    • The assertion of individuality is a rite of passage., but generational branding strips youth of its agency.
    • Boomerang kids
    • Empty Nests
    • Using technological aptitude to divide the olds from the youngs.
    • Generational linearity is gone.
      An ageless youth demands emancipation.
  • Youth Mode
    • Say in Youth Mode, as an operating paradigm, as with a doctrine.
    • Youthfully present at any age.
    • Not about re-acting youth.
    • Something about Kevin Spacey in American Beauty, smoking pot, muscle hunk and a breakdown; he was doing it wrong.
    • Youth != Age
    • Youth == Freedom
    • Youth isn’t freedom in any political sense. It’s an emancipation
      from boredom, from prescription, from tradition.
    • There is a toolkit of Youth Mode.
  • Attributes
    • Engaged with Newness
    • Experimental
    • Critical of the Past
    • Changeable
    • Down with Groups
    • Rebellious
    • Free
  • Cultures
    • Mass Indie
    • Alternative
    • soft grunge
    • pastel goth
  • Portrayal
  • Being Special vs Being Free

Intermission & Interlude

Image Credit:

Image Credit:

Problem Taxonomy

A lot about Mass Indie in here; these are the Mass Indie problems.

<quote>But just because Mass Indie is pro-diversity, doesn’t mean it’s post-scarcity. There’s a limited amount of difference in the world, and the mainstreaming of its pursuit has only made difference all the scarcer.</quote>

      • Problem 1: Seeming Like A Clone
        The details that distinguish you are so small that nobodycan tell you’re actually different.

        • Exhibition (not sure this is actually illustrative of the point)
          • (eatfeastly), is a dinner party circuit social network
          •, is a CDN for video and web caching based on varnish
          •, is a video CDN
          •, a marketplace, a mobile marketplace
          •, personal relationship management, contacts management
          •, formerly Goodrec, recommendation engine, iOS only, purchased by Groupon 2010-05
      • Problem 2: Isolation
        You’re so special nobody knows what you’re talking about

        • The parable of the extreme dietary restrictions.
        • The parable of the exclusive party: no one showed up.
        • Ph.D.-level specialization
          And the sneer that all one gets out of this is a job at Subway

          • unemployable in the trade of training
          • under employed in a trade of unskilled labor.
      • Problem 3: Maxing Out
        The markers of individuality are so plentiful and regenerate so quickly that it’s impossible to keep up.

        • Internet famous
        • Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)
        • Don’t Give A Fuck (DGAF)
        • Reality TV
        • Urban Dictionary
        • <quote>Only idiot savants are in the right place at the right time without even knowing it.</quote>

Solution Taxonomy

Acting Basic

      • Proposal: Think Different
      • Having mastered difference, the truly cool attempt to master sameness.
        • Something about Steve Jobs == Doug Funnie (probably about wearing the same clothes all the time).


      • Acting Basic is not a solution to Mass Indie problems because it’s still based on
      • Sameness is not mastered, only approached.
      • … therefore


      • Say in Normcore, as with a body of theory, as with a doctrine
      • Mass Indie creates cliques of people In The Know (ITK)
      • Normcore
        • something-something<quote>the process of differentiation from a nonlinear perspective.</quote>
        • toolkit of Youth Mode.
        • <quote>produces microscopic catch-alls that allow for strategic misinterpretation.</quote>
        • <quote>capitalizes on the possibility of misinterpretation as an opportunity for connection — not as a threat to authenticity.</quote>
        • <quote>knows your consumer choices aren’t irrelevant, they’re just temporary</quote>
        • <quote>is a path to a more peaceful life</quote>
      • In Normcore (as a body of theory)
        • <quote>one does not pretend to be above the indignity of belonging.</quote>
        • <quote>you need to understand that there’s no such thing
          as normal.</quote>
      • Attributes
        • Situational
        • Non-Deterministic
        • Adaptable
        • Unconcerned with authenticity
        • Empathy over tolerance
        • Post-aspirational

The Device

The Device

      • Diamond
        • Alternative
        • Acting Basic
        • Mass Indie
        • Normcore
      • Square
        • Evasion
        • Difference
        • Celebration
        • Sameness
      • Axes
        • Rebellion
        • Indifference
        • Tolerance
        • Empathy

Previous Work

; We All Want To Be Young; on Vimeo; circa 2011; 9:47

The K-Hole Brand Anxiety Matrix

Report #3

The K-Hole Brand Anxiety Matrix



  • 2013-01


  • 49 pages (43 of content).



  • Statements
    • Consumer experiences have always made people anxious.
    • Activity tracking devices tell us what we’re “actually” doing.
    • The data they provide exists to make us less nervous <snip/>.
    • The job of the advanced consumer is managing anxiety, period.
  • Terms
    • Performance anxiety
    • Frictionless ease
    • Consumer response to information.
    • Being calculated

The Parable

  • 2012
  • Storm A (Hurricane Sandy)
  • Storm B (that noreaster afterwards)
  • Facts, Factoids, Rumors
    • Goldman Sachs
    • CNN
    • Twitter
  • Storms cause anxiety, and buying.

The Device


  • X => Chaos contra Order
  • Y => Legible contra Illegible


  • Legible Order
  • Legible Chaos
  • Illegible Order
  • Illegible Chaos


These are fairly abstract, but there’s more than a Dungeons & Dragons Alignment System conceptuality in here.  You have to work it.

Legible Order

  • a control variable
  • a standard, with reason
  • unnoticeable
  • comfort
  • ability discriminate & manage known threats
    while maintaining distance
  • depressive realism
  • it is unexciting
    the unknown can be exciting but dangerous
  • Not a path to self-discovery
  • Surveillance
  • Ubiquity
  • Absence does not amount to nonparticipation



  • Supermodel wearing clothes

Legible Chaos

  • Reflexive & uncertain.
  • Everything may turn out well.


  • We have tools to make sense
  • We have each other.
  • <quote>We might be totally fucked, but at least it’ll be interesting.</quote>


“persistently random brands”(?)

  • Costco, big box retail.
  • Zara, a fashion shop, Spain


  • Your (sic) gynecologist
  • Jerry Seinfeld
  • Louis CK
  • <quote>Anyone who believes that crazy shit happens all the time, but at the end of the day we can at least talk about it.</quote>

The use of the word shit, rather than to indicate fæces, here is used in lieu of the more pedestrian noun event

Illegible Order

  • Hard to maintain credibility
  • Latent discipline (of brands) implies anxiety management capablity
  • Some logic prevails in the universe
  • Best verison of normal.
  • Completely unhackable
  • A master plan exists, the details are “currently offline.”
  • Breaks down into dreary legibility


  • sexy and auratic => fashion
  • enticingly naive => tech IPO



  • Parents <quote>Like parents, whether these secrets attract or repel you depends on how well they keep their acts together. Illegible Order is in constant danger of letting its simplistic veneer break down into dreary legibility, or becoming undisciplined and revealing that its master plan was just wishful thinking all along.</quote>
  • George W. Bush, as emperor (see picture)

Illegible Chaos

  • Incomprehensible
  • A search for patterns in aggressively uncomplicated situations.
  • A pointless search for hidden complexities
  • False patterns mapped to chaos
  • Positive feedback loop.
  • <quote>The content retrofits itself into a pre-existing structure without conforming to its logic.</quote>


  • Blue Man Group
  • Lindsay Lohan (LiLo)
  • The Hangover


  • Staring at a compost heap

Intermission & Interlude

Image: Zara
Noted: feed the models

Image: Girls Generation, from: the report, page 28; not clear how they are relevant to the Illegible Order concept.

Case Studies

The exercise is to taxonomize these into the four quadrants.  Compare & contrast.  Show your work.

Isabel Marant

  • Internal wedge sneakers
  • Isabel Marant
    • a fashion shop
    • commenced operations 1994


  • You can’t buy Isabel Marant on the Internet.
  • All brands are luxury brands
  • Concepts
    • Working class
    • Leisure class
  • Nearby


  • Cryptic & vague story
    • Company Q tracks everything except purchases
    • Company R tracks purchase histories
      Company R cross-references to Company Q profiles.
  • Something about “The anti-Yelp”
  • The reference is unclear
    • globster versus glogster versus …
    • Maybe a hypothetical scenario (Companies Q, R)


  • <quote>New friends, lovers, and one-night stands are connected based on who’s using the same contact solution. In short, Company R takes the social out of social media. Every purchase leads to a new person.</quote>


  • Glogster and Glogster.EDU

    • Boston, MA
    • Prague, CR
  • <quote>A globster, or blob, is an unidentified organic mass that washes up on the shoreline of an ocean or other body of water. The term was coined by Ivan T. Sanderson in 1962[1] to describe the Tasmanian carcass of 1960, which was said to have “no visible eyes, no defined head, and no apparent bone structure”. A globster is distinguished from a normal beached carcass by being hard to identify, at least by initial untrained observers, and by creating controversy as to its identity.</quote> ref

Teen Spirit


  • Spritz perfume
  • Smells like Raspberry

Something about concepts from

  • Hermès’ Garden on the Nile (Un Jardin Sur Le Nil Hermès)
  • participation, from a place of resistance
  • New Yorkers wear black to be less noticeable
  • Go rogue in the aisles of Whole Foods
  • Botox (arm-)pits.



  • <quote><quote?Unlike condoms, NuvaRings, or careful timing, the IUD-hardware-system can actually improve your sex life because there’s less to do. You don’t feel like you’re sacrificing control; it’s about streamlining. You make one decision and stick with it.</quote>
  • <quote>The IUD doesn’t affect our bodies the same way because it’s more like an accessory – a protective amulet or charm. It’s not magic (despite the fact that nobody totally understands how it works); it’s just metal.</quote>
  • <quote>You’ll have your Barbour jacket and your IUD longer than you’ll have your next laptop. What other purchases of this scale, commitment, and longevity are made by young women who aren’t trying to get pregnant?</quote>

OK, point taken.

Kristin Stewart & Robert Pattinson

Image: Kristen Stewart & Robert Pattinson sitting in a field, Twilight: Breaking Dawn 2, from the report, page 44; apropos love made manfiest by deliberate action, supported by the device technology at hand.



  • Four sensors
    1. Radioactivity
    2. EMF
    3. Humidity
    4. Nitrates
  • Modem-based wireline coupling into the audio jack.
  • Packaging:
    • Synthetic ivory (a plastic)
    • Uncoated Brazilian Sapele
  • Culture
    • iOS (only)


  • <quote>It’s not augmented reality, it’s reality.</quote>
  • <quote>Most of the time, when specialists describe these forces, it’s a binary conversation: either you’re safe or you’re fucked.</quote>
  • <quote>“Everything I’m wearing is exactly what I want to be wearing.” Lapka differentiates the everyday, turning anxiety into opportunity. It’s what fashion, in the best case scenario, can do: make you more capable of addressing the world.</quote>

The use of the word fuck is a nice touch, shows authenticity & cred; probably not a great characterization for the science project term paper tho.

FragMOREtation: A Report on Visibility | K-Hole

Report #1

FragMOREtation: A Report on Visibility



  • 2011-04


  • 38 pages (34 of content).



  • FragMOREtate
  • lifestyle brands
  • luxury brands
  • extreme sub-branding

The Parable

  • Something about a past project (their work, or maybe not)
  • Concepts
    • A corporate makeover
    • An advertising campaign announcing the breakup
    • Metaphors: “parts combined”
  • Principals
    • Company A (being broken up)
    • Company A -> Companies A-Z
    • Each subsidiary licenses a single “luxury good”
  • Outcome
    • Company A still exists.
    • Company B sells boots.
    • Company C licenses branded cappuccinos into restaurants
      Maybe: sit-down, no reservations, cash only.
    • Company E sells <quote>only eye moisturizer made from foreskin</quote>
      Maybe: SkinMedica’s TNS (tissue nutrient system) Recovery Complex (first of all “ewww”, second: check 2004-10-21; counterpoint 2007-01-30).
    • Company H runs 3 hotels (New York, LA, Berlin)

The oppositional metaphors

(their contribution)

FragMOREtation FLATmentation
Secrecy Disclosure
Somewhere Everywhere
Dispersion Conglomeration
Discretion Ostentation
Opacity Transparency
Longing Satisfaction
Delay Immediacy
Segmentation Continuity
Indifference Ambivalence
Isolation Connection

Ideas In Application

  • The Company Man
    • individuality by niche brand adornment
  • We Don’t Want To Know
    • message of the (young) generation to the (old) elders
  • Hot Mass
    • the mass market has clustered, there is no variation

Observations & Exemplars

Daffy’s Underground Puzzle


It has to be said: she may be enjoying herself in full on fun, the more fun because you’re watching, but the guy looks like he’d rather be anywhere else but right there, right then.


  • Mobile app to send money person-to-person
    • SMS phones
    • Linked to a verified bank account
    • Social Network of Money
    • Sync
      • phone
      • contacts
      • social platform
      • bank account
    • Something about a “trust account” with multiple users & pre-approved drawing rights.
  • Background
    • Cultures
    • Competitors
      • Square Cash
      • PayPal(?) Braintree
    • CrunchBase
    • Press Cycles
      • 2013-Q1
      • 2013-Q2
  • Concepts
    • New Millennial (misspelled as Millenial in the original)
    • Replace pocket change, between friends, pay for lunch
    • Bites of Sound
      • (ew!) “As if your phone and your wallet had a beautiful baby”
      • “Did you ever think you’d be able to pay for drugs with a credit card?” (um, that’s a precrime admission of guilt isn’t it?)
    • The New Polite
    • Vassal/Liege Relationships from “I don’t have any cash”
    • Veiled Economies: Drugs & Prostitution
      • <quote>Since the purpose of a Venmo payment is input by the users, a bag of MDMA can be a Seitan salad.</quote>
        • This framing doesn’t seem helpful to the company’s mission.
      • Something about Grindrfor gay hook-ups. <quote>With the advent of Venmo, you can now use Grindr to find a john, make an appointment, receive directions, and have him prepay enough money for your cab, all while hanging out with your friends in a bar.</quote>
        • Ibidem.
    • Something about Gifiaddon
      • <quote>The add-on GIBI syncs Venmo to Foursquare. With GIBI, you can plant sums of money in certain places for your friends to redeem — you can pay for a friend’s latte from across town with just your phone.</quote> (misspelling of GIFI as GIBI from the original)
      • Sync with Fouresquare
      • Leave money
        • pre-approved
        • for a person
        • at a place
      • Gifi closed down 2012-03-09.
  • Criticisms
    • Too “earnest” for Millennials
    • Too “comfortable” for Millennials
    • Assumes the user wants a “balance sheet even” (even balance sheet).

Stone Island

  • Jackets
  • Background
    • Commenced operations 1982
      • 1983 Ostis’s Raso Ray fabric
        • rubberized cotton satteen
      • 1991 Reflective Jacket
        • coating of “glass microspheres”
      • 1993 Thermojoint
        • “resistant to nuclear radiation”
  • Concepts
    • Overengineered consumer products.
    • Adoption of “military grade” products as signalling.
    • immanent vs imminent
    • <quote>At the root of these fabrics lies an immanent threat. They are paranoid jackets of illusion and defense.</quote>
    • Something about “the opposite” of the jacket being Uniqlo’s Heattech clothing line.

The Cone

  • A vibrator
  • Background
  • Concepts
    • <quote>If you were to walk into a room containing the Cone Vibrator, odds are that you wouldn’t know what to think. It’s definitely noticeable: a 5” tall cone with an 8” diameter base, molded in a soft pink or black plastic. Given a casual glance, the Cone passes off as a vaporizer, a mood lamp, or a MoMA salt/pepper shaker.</quote>
      • That’s a stretch, actually.
      • Stack that assertion against the social fallout of detection on a visit from
        • County Social Services,
        • The Ladies’ Auxiliary,
        • PTA Chapter President & Auction Committee,
        • Mom, Dad & the younger brother at one’s dorm room open house (since the demographic here is Millennials after all).
    • Something about
      • ambiguous
      • gendered body
      • not a body at all
      • necessitates interpretive use.
    • <quote>The Cone’s consumer innovates in the dark. You can use it and still do other things (make coffee! take a personal phone call!). It isn’t handheld. You put it down and turn it on. There’s no wrong way to use it, so you can fool around and get off</quote>
      • Again, it’s a vibrator.
      • Vibrators cause sex whose teleology is the orgasm which is liberatory.
      • Vibrators are a prosthesis that gives sexual agency to women who aren’t otherwise complete.
      • Got it.
  • Criticisms
    • Not clear why this product is here.
    • There was already one overtly sex-themed trope in the mix (the young lady in the Daffy’s #undergroundpuzzle campaign)


K-Hole, trend reports 2011-2013



Via: backfill


  • Very high concept.
  • They’re fun, and you’ll have fun reading them.
  • There’s a pony in there somewhere.  Work it.


  • K-hole” is a slang term for the subjective state of dissociation from the body commonly experienced after sufficiently high doses of the dissociative anesthetic ketamine (75-125 mg IM). This state may mimic the phenomenology of catatonic schizophrenia.
    Jimi Wales’ Wiki
  • The state of mind caused by taking large amounts of ketamine. the user becomes trapped in state of detatchment from their physical presence; the user can think about moving their arm, and will then see an arm moving in front of them, but the link between the thought and the moving arm does not register.
    The senses also become distorted, objects appear to move closer or further away resulting in the user’s sight becoming fixed to one point, fearing looking away from that point as the distortions are disorientating and in the worst cases can cause nausea.
    The combination of these effects leave the user feeling trapped in a frozen state, as if stuck in a hole peering out; hence the expression ‘k-hole’
    The party animal ingested enough ketamine to tranquilize a family of large bagders, it was all going fine until he found himself in the k-hole, staring at a tile on the floor for 2 hours, unable to move.

    Urban Dictionary

  • Drugs Inc.: The K-Hole; National Geographic Channel; 2012-01-10; next airing: 2013-11-10 @ 04:00 EDT.
    Teaser: After injecting ketamine, users can sink into a “k-hole,” a state often described as an out-of-body experience.


  • Take the reports apart, following up on the referenced products & events.
    • 2011-05 through 2013-10.
  • Several references to products & companies which are now closed.
  • Misspellings
  • It’s not clear if these are “trend reports” of others’ work as exemplars “leading the way forward” or if this is their work that they were involved in & around.
  • They are “trend forecasting reports”
    • voiced,
    • off the cuff,
    • spec work, real work,
    • cultural lifestyle observations,
    • promotional,
    • fun stuff.
  • Less tall for the test of time; a little less trenchant than at first glance; two years later.

A Roundup of Recommended Reading About Neuroscience and Content Strategy | Kevin Howarth, Content Science

Via: Kevin Howarth; Customers, Understand Their Brains; In Some Blog; 2013-04-17.
Teaser: A Roundup of Recommended Reading About Neuroscience and Content Strategy

Confessions of a Volt Owner | CNN circa 2011

Confessions of A Volt Owner; CNN Money; circa 2011; 02:53.


  • Dr. Richard Granstein
  • Customer voiced testimonial

He talks & shows through the major the issues

  • It uses electricity
  • It has a gas engine
  • Exhibits charging “at work” in a parking garage (shows unmetered vampire usage).
  • Exhibits charging “at home” in a spacious 3-car garage with 1 car in it (an L2 rig).
  • Claimed Cost of charger at home ($1600)
  • Talks through commuting circa 20 miles on battery or gas.
  • Talks through lease vs buy (who owns the risk)
  • Claimed Cost of the Vehicle
    • About $40,000 (rounding down to the $10K boundary)
    • Tax incentives (tax credit) of $7,500
  • Cost of operations
    • Compares gas to an old Volvo somehow.
    • Compares electricity to his teenage daughter’s in home use somehow.

Arrogant Bastard Ale | Stone Brewing Company

Stone Brewing Company

In honor of what the missus got me for the New Years. Great stuff.


  • You have to be 21 to buy beer, but you don’t have to be 21 to make beer.
  • Ken Grossman who started Sierra Nevada in 1978, started brewing beer in a home brewing club when he was in junior high school (they call this middle school nowadays) ref.
  • [for fundraising] You could do a walkathon, but there’s not a lot of entertainment value there.
  • Good beer is made by good people.

1999 Citracado Parkway
Escondido, CA 92029

Arrogant Bastard

Bastards Through History


Because beer is fun and promotions are fun; and what would be more fun than promotions about beer?

Brewery Tour

Beer Drinking in Slomo

The McRib is Back!

reason to eat a McRib 101


Via Jim Wales Wiki


For 2012, McDonald’s announced that the McRib’s annual release would be delayed until the 17th of December, as opposed to its traditional autumn release (which will instead be used to debut the Cheddar Bacon Onion Angus Burger, or “CBO”). The move is an effort to boost sales during the December period in an attempt to match 2011′s abnormally high restaurant-wide sales figures.[18]

Via McRib 2012: Release Of Cult Sandwich Slated For Dec. 17, McDonald’s Announces; In Huffington Post; 2012-12-04.

Mcrib 2012

Attention McRib fans: your wait is almost over. McDonald’s announced Monday that everyone’s favorite non-anatomically-correct pork sandwich will be returning to locations throughout the country on December 17. That’s right: the McRib 2012 release date is less than two weeks away!

The 2012 McRib release date was originally supposed to be October 22. But the sandwiches were delayed because of unseasonably warm weather earlier in the fall. Then AdAge revealed that the McRib would return in “the second half of December,” leading some McRib cult fanatics to worry that they wouldn’t be able to enjoy their favorite treat until Christmas. As it turns out, the McRib release date this year is a bit earlier than they feared, which is its own kind of Christmas present from McDonald’s.

Given how much excitement greets the McRib release date every year, you’d think that McDonald’s would want to just make it a permanent part of its menu. But a company executive recently revealed that sales for the McRib really aren’t high enough to justify a year-round spot on the McDonald’s menu; it only makes sense to include it for the holidays, when the hunger for pork is at its highest.