I wish I did it!

Our newest agency culture building exercise is called “I wish I did it”. The purpose is to gather the agency together over a long lunch and share what things are inspiring us. We have been going for several months now, and it has grown to be a date we all look forward to. We’ve even passed on the promotion to different teams so each time we get a new fresh approach to promoting the event.

As you may surmise, advertising campaigns do get the lions share of attention, but there is a fair amount of divergence. Television is certainly the major star, but digital and social are very close seconds. If there was any theme so far, the way a media campaign will transcend the passive and move into the active is something that is universally admired. My own contributions are as follows, and are likely to be the most offbeat, since I enjoy the role of provocateur, what inspires us may not be directly within our industry, but around the fringe may be where an opportunity arises.


This was inspired by the release of the long lost recordings of Coyle and Sharpe, the surreal San Francisco pranksters from the late 50’s. With their portable recorder, suits, and amazingly quick wit, they would confound people with their bizarre behavior and bending of rules. The 80’s book from RE:Search “Pranks” accompanied this presentation, a seminal exploration of a way that people persuade, not wholly good, nor evil, but somewhere in the middle.

The last Compact Disk?

I brought the Tristan Perich CD of “One-bit symphony” – an amazing twist on the format, and perhaps one of the last CD’s I will ever purchase, mainly because it only utilizes the CD case as a frame for the electronics. The interior has arrayed a volume knob, an advance switch, a battery, the programming chip, and a headphone jack. The symphony is encoded on the chip and is ‘played’ by plugging in headphones. Not only a great looking piece of work, but the music itself, constructed from the pieces of our Nintendo youth, the pure bleeps of chip noise, is beautifully realized, and musically delightful. The last track has a bonus of being infinite.

Presentation Bingo

I really was inspired by this small piece created by the Big Spaceship man himself Daniel Mall for a presentation at Future of Web Design 2011. The page was a randomly generated pattern of predefined words that highlighted when touched. In this way, everyone in the audience recieved a ‘bingo’ board, that when a particluar word was mentioned, you would try to cross the board and win. I tried it on my iPad, and while I didn’t ‘bingo’ the ones who did recieved some neat swag. Still, the genius was to both keep people listening to your talk, while giving them something fun to do, inspirational!