Madonna, Beckham, Lopez – The best selling brands are humans.

Published on Friday, November 27th, 2009 (0) Comments

madonna
What drives our endless fascination with celebrities and how does it affect the brand driven retail business?

“Celebrity worship has probably existed as long as there have been famous people. But it has probably only become as intense as it is given the technological advances that allow us to create societies, market them to a worldwide audience, and share information about them” (James Houran).

With thousands of brands trying to compete for customer’s attention, celebrities have a clear advantage to make their message heard. Celebrity-licensed products accounted for over $3 billion in retail sales already 6 years ago. Best selling brands in recent years have been Jennifer Lopez, Madonna, Oprah Winfrey, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen and David Beckham, to name a few.
jessica alba
During recent years, the line between person and brand has blurred, and celebrities have begun applying techniques from the corporate world to their careers: marketing and protecting a brand identity, trade marking and licensing their names, launching their own product lines and embracing product endorsements to boost their perceived value to consumers.

The question remains; What drives our endless fascination with celebrity worship in the time where celebrities are no longer people who have special talents and attributes and are simply marketing products.”?
jeniffer lopez

There are three well-documented reasons for an increasingly growing cult of celebrity.

1. DNA – the very need to find an idol and follow him is programmed into our bodies…
2. ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY – A technology designed to defeat the locks that safeguard our pleasure buttons and press the buttons in various combination…
3. BEAUTY – Even three-month-old infants prefer to look at pretty face…
angelina jolie
1. DNA – “The very need to find an idol and follow him is programmed into our DNA. What’s in our DNA, as a social animal, is the interest in looking at alpha males and females; the ones who are important in the pack. We are sociologically preprogrammed to follow the leader and we are biochemical sitting ducks for the Hollywood star system” (Fischoff). We were selected not only to rank successful individuals highly and to prefer them as models, but also to kiss up to them in order to make them prefer us as interactional partners” (Francisco Gil-White).

2. ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY – ”The technology of fiction delivers a simulation of life that an audience can enter in the comfort of their cave, couch, or theater seat. It tricks us with illusions that duplicate the experience of seeing and hearing real events. The illusions include costumes, makeup, sets, sound effects and animation. When the illusions work, there is no mystery to the question “why do people enjoy fiction?” It is identical to the question “Why people enjoy life?” When we are absorbed in a movie, we get to see breathtaking landscapes, important people, falling in love with ravishing men and women, protect loved ones, attain impossible goals, and defeat wicked enemies. Not a bad deal for a few bucks!” (Pinker).

”The entertainment media is at least partly to blame for creating the “monster” known as the celebrity super-fan. The whole Hollywood-spin machine works together to create images that are impossible for any of us to live up to. They purposefully set us up to admire and even covet something we can never have. Then, when we are completely vulnerable, they sell us the image even harder – from headlines that titillate us with “celebrity secrets,” to the books, diets, cosmetics, foods, jewelry, and clothes that promise we’ll be closer to the ones we adore. There are fortunes being made by turning fans into victims, and all it starts by creating that frenzy known as celebrity worship.” (Aronowitz).

3. BEAUTY – “Could we really be equipped with an innate eye for beauty? What about the natives in National Geographic who file their teeth, stretch their necks, burn scars into their cheeks? Don’t they show that standards of beauty are arbitrary and vary capriciously? They do not. That is the tacit assumption behind the National Geographic argument, but it’s obviously false. People alter their bodies for many reasons: to look rich, to look well connected, to look tough, to look “in,” to earn membership in an elite group by enduring a painful initiation. Sexual attractiveness is different. People outside a culture usually agree with people inside about who is beautiful and who is not, and people everywhere want good-looking partners. Even three-month-old infants prefer to look at a pretty face.

The psychologist D. Singh has shown photographs of female bodies of different sizes and shapes to hundreds of people of various ages, sexes and cultures. Everyone finds a ratio of .70 or lower the most attractive. Singh also measured the ratio of Playboy winners from 7 decades. Their weight went down, but their waist-to-hip ratio has stayed the same. Even the ancient Venus figurines, carved tens of thousands of years ago, have the right proportions. Beauty is not, as some feminists have claimed, a conspiracy by men to objectify and oppress women. The really sexist societies drape women in chardos from head to foot. Women in open societies want to look good because it gives them an edge in competing for husbands, status, and the attention of powerful people. Men in closed societies hate beauty because it makes their wives and daughters attractive to other men, giving the woman a measure of control. Similar economics make man want to look good, too, but the market forces are weaker or different because men’s looks matter less to women than woman’s looks matter to men.

Though the beauty industry is not a conspiracy against women,. We calibrate our eye for beauty against people we see, including our illusory neighbors in the mass media. A daily diet of freakishly beautiful people may recalibrate the scales and make the real ones, including ourselves, look ugly” (Pinker).

Logo Design, 4 must-know steps

Published on Wednesday, November 4th, 2009 (0) Comments

Logo-Samples2If you decide to order a logo from an online provider it is paramount that you do some research before making the final decision. Think twice but design it once! Choosing the right company can be time consuming and finding one may take your search well beyond the first two pages of google. Here are some tips on how to get through the clutter and what are the areas you should focus your attention on.

Price

Price is one of the strongest motivators, especially for start-up companies. Many firms with limited budgets either ignore the importance of logo design, or outsource it to low cost providers, such as amateurs or cheap-and-cheerful online logo houses. The result is usually less than unique, often being based on old rehashed designs or out-of-date logo templates. Since the corporate identity has the power to establish you either as a professional organization or an amateur one, it is critical that it be created from an original concept.
TIP: Don’t get fooled by logo houses offering logos for ridiculous prices. Too often we hear horror stories from disappointed clients complaining about the lack of professionalism and design skills when dealing with unqualified suppliers. Good logo may cost a few dollars more, but will pay back many times over in the long run. Remember, you get what you pay for.

Logo Sale

Logo Samples

For visually sensitive clients logo samples are the quickest way to tell the difference between the good and the bad. Unfortunately world-wide-web provides way too many opportunities to enhance logo portfolios with over-promising samples and attractive clipart templates that for an untrained eye may appear as honest logos.
TIP: Try to see how well the logo samples visually reflect the name of the company or the type of businesses they represent. There are a few other important requirements of a good logo. A good logo has to be immediately recognizable and identifiable. It also has to be legible in various sizes, from very small to very large and it should work well in different applications like print, web, packaging, etc.

Logo Samples

Process

Another great indicator of what you can expect from a logo provider is the delivery time. If someone promises a logo within 24 hours, try to stay away from it. Research and development of strategically sound logo can take as long as a week or even longer.

34 Hours

TIP: Look for these steps in a logo design process when choosing an online logo house:

Step 1. Research and brainstorming

The research should include gathering of information about the competitive landscape, case studies and visual audit of existing logos within the industry. This will help to focus designer’s attention at the key areas, ensuring the final result is both aesthetically pleasing and strategically effective.

Step 2. Sketching

A ‘hand-crafted’ design process of sketching the logo concepts on paper before transferring to the computer is an integral part of the creative process. This helps to guarantee the originality of the logo design and ensure that it is powerful, recognizable and unique.

Step 3. Computer rendering of the selected design

This stage involves transferring of the favorite logo ideas from paper into computer. Computer generated renderings will have more finished look and will help you to choose your favorite design.

Step 4. Refinement of the selected design

After you select you favorite logo concept, all logo elements, including color, typography and iconography should be adjusted and perfected for final approval. After the design is finalized, the logo should be delivered to you saved in all standard formats including fully scalable & editable AI, EPS, TIFF and JPEG files for Internet and print.

Testimonials

Before you decide to work with anyone, you should try to find out what other clients thought about their work and the process.
TIP: Whatever the testimonials say, you’ll have to take it with a grain of salt. You’re best off trying to see if any of the testimonials have logos attached and see if you can find any of them on existing websites.