Norwegian rock band Kaizers Orchestra recently spread a virus that people actually wanted to catch. (Cheers, Tim) The virus, which swept across 50 countries, was disseminated via a smartphone app to promote their album Violeta Violeta Vol. III.
Essentially, the Kaizervirus app used GPS technology to ‘infect’ phones with tunes from the band’s latest album prior to its release, giving fans the opportunity to preview the new songs.
Music lovers who wanted to be among the first to gain access to the viral songs had to show some creativity by posting photos of their favourite listening spots on Instagram along with the hashtag #Kaizervirus, or by scouring major cities to find pieces of artwork which, once assembled, would result in a new virus being planted in that location.
Seems it was worth it for Kaizers Orchestra to share its music with the public in this way as the album reached number one in Norway’s national charts in its first week of release.
We’ve all experienced the misery of camping or festival toilets. The smell, the mud, the lack of toilet paper…horrible. Luckily for the people of Argentina, the organisers of ‘Personal Fest’ music festival have taken a stand – transforming this neglected area into a significantly more enjoyable experience.
The festival’s organisers tried various techniques to pimp their porta-potties, including painting them bright colours and ‘hacking’ them so they played a different sound or lit up when occupied. The result was a much more enjoyable and interactive experience – not something you’d expect from festival toilets!
Watch the porta-potties in action here:
Will.i.am and Coca-Cola have joined forces to launch Ekocycle – a movement encouraging existing brands to make more environmentally-friendly versions of their products, thus making recycled products more fashionable.
Current products on-sale include a pair of Beats by Dre headphones made from 31% recycled materials, a New Era baseball cap made from traditional polyester and recycled plastic bottles, an iPhone 5 case made from 100% recycled materials and a pair of Levi’s 501 Waste<Less jeans, which use an average of eight recycled PET plastic bottles. Fashionable, and environmentally-friendly too.
As well as being famous for his music, Bob Marley’s well known for his laid-back attitude. Now, drinks company Marley Beverage have bottled that attitude – creating a range of relaxing herbal drinks, with the aim of re-energising this type of functional beverage. They’ve achieved significant success so far, selling two million cases of ready-to-drink Marley’s Mellow Mood sodas and teas last year.
While some relaxation or sleep drinks rely on melatonin, a natural tranquiliser, Mellow Mood uses natural herbs such as valerian root, lemon balm, passion flower and chamomile. Marley Beverage also produces Marley One Drop Coffee drinks, refrigerated in single-serve bottles similar to Starbucks’ Frappuccino. Keep a look out for them in supermarkets near you.
I love that, in the UK at least, there’s a type of food named after the sound it makes. Crisps! Do you reckon they sound louder to your own ears when you’re munching them or to someone standing next to you?
More effort goes into sonic branding than most of us realise. Every day, we’re seduced by sound. It taps into our subconscious and has the power to change how we feel in an instant. The BMW driver (more of a scooter man, myself) relishes the reassuring thud of its door, while the thirsty can’t wait for the pssst of a fresh can of Coke and the way it cracks the ice when you pour it over.
I’d love to be briefed to create a sound for a brand. There are just so many good examples out there. The clunk of opening a jar of mayo for the first time, the snap of a KitKat, the rattle of Smarties, the chink of a Zippo.
So open your ears and tune in. And hopefully one of those brand soundscapes might be mine in the near future…