Tag Archives: Advertising

Unique Sugar Skull Tea Spoon by Hundred Million Features a Captivating motive.

skullspoonmainbannerSugar Skull Spoon by Hundred Million

I never thought I would find a spoon in the shape of a skull, although Facebook has proved me wrong! Allow me to introduce this very fascinating sugar skull spoon by Kelvin Dodds who operates a design studio based in London known as Hundred Million.

According to the East London Small Business Centre, Dodds created a Kickstarted campaign in order to raise funds for this quirky, yet inspiring design. I’ve recently discovered this intriguing sugar skull spoon through a stream of Facebook comments, although this isn’t just an ordinary spoon that you can find in your local supermarket, this particular design has a really captivating motive.

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While I do admire the overall style, I began to question the practicability and the usability, as there are three holes within the middle of the spoon that represent the characteristics of a human skull including the eye sockets and the nose. In reference to the Kickstarter campaign, the spoon is meant to encourage the consumer to add less sugar to their tea or coffee. Now I get the idea, this is a tea-spoon is designed to minimise your sugar intake, I just couldn’t imagine using the spoon for an actual meal.

Now this is quite an innovative idea, I could do with the will power to eat less sugar and now I know there is a spoon that can assist with my ambitions, what more could you ask for in life! At first, I wondered whether the person using the spoon would need to balance or rearrange the sugar into a specific place, as there are holes within the spoon that could easily cause the contents to fall back into the container. In reference to Dodd’s Kickstarter campaign, this particular spoon would make a fantastic novelty or collectors item for all those skull admirers out there.

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However, the shape of the spoon is highly creative and the packaging is very stylish and professional; the mugs have definitely captured my attention and the stylised patterns do feature an artistic aesthetic.

The sugar skull spoon has accumulated a large audience through various social media sites including Facebook and Twitter and the Kickstarter campaign has raised £45,076, which is an amazing achievement! Dodds has managed to create a quirky, yet stylish creation that features a very interesting objective, if you need one of these fantastic sugar skull spoons in your life, just click on the link below.

http://www.hundredmillion.co.uk/

References

Kickstarter, “Sugar Skull Spoon by Hundred Million” (Accessed 17/3/15) https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/hundredmillion/sugar-skull-spoon

East London Small Business Centre, “East London’s Kickstarter Wiz Kid” (Accessed 17/3/15) http://smallbusinesscentre.org.uk/portfolio/east-londons-kickstarter-wiz-kid/

Hundred Million, “Skull-Shaped Tea Spoons Encourage You To Use Less Sugar,” Bored Panda (Accessed 17/3/15) http://www.boredpanda.com/sugar-skull-spoons/


Skeletons promote diversity in an uplifting campaign, “Love Has No Labels”

Promotional Video by the Ad Council

Today I just discovered the most inspiring, yet heartwarming promotional campaign by the AD council that delivers a very powerful message to the wider community locally and internationally. This remarkable three-minute video, “Love Has No Label” features a range of skeletal figures behind a X-ray screen embracing one another and the overall campaign tackles some of the biased assumptions regarding ‘sexual orientation, same-sex relationships, age, race and disability,’ as referenced by Amy Lewis from the Dailymail.1

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This is such a uplighting campaign that does raise some very significant concerns regarding our prejudices or preconceptions. According to Cameron Keady, “the skeleton is a symbolic reminder — simply put — we’re all human, despite our varying identities.”2 I agree with Keady’s comment, while we may have our differences or discrepancies, the X-ray screen becomes an expression of humanity, we are human inside and out.

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The skeleton is used to create a remarkable campaign in order to promote diversity that has captured the hearts of the audience as well as millions of viewers worldwide. Katie Richards from ADWeek explains that the campaign has accumulated “more than 11 million views, 50,000 likes and 100,000 shares.”3 This is quite an astonishing number that demonstrates the impact of social media and viral advertising. The campaign was installed in Santa Monica on Valentine’s Day and the video has established an ongoing debate amongst a range of non for profit organisations including the media and the online community.

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I’m fascinated with the intention behind the promotional video and the Ad Council have suggested that “we do 98 per cent of thinking in our subconscious mind.”5 This particular type of thinking may produce assumptions or biased opinions that may impact the way we communicate with others. Amy Lewis cites the Ad Council who suggest that “Many of us unintentionally make snap judgements about people based on what we see – whether it’s race, age, gender, religion, sexuality, or disability.”4

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Overall the skeleton has become a very powerful form of communication that successfully unites friends, families, partners, couples, parents and siblings in this delightful, yet captivating campaign. Skulls and skeletons don’t always have a scary or frightening connotation, they can be used to promote something quite positive or uplifting.

References

http://lovehasnolabels.com/

1.Amy Lewis, “Same sex couples, inter-racial love and pensioner passion: Moving video uses SKELETONS of people kissing behind an X-ray screen to challenge prejudice,” 5 March 2015, The Daily Mail Australia, 2014 (Accessed 7/3/15) http://goo.gl/jPwy6x
2.Cameron Keady, “Giant X-Ray Screen Erases Gender, Age, Race To Prove ‘We Are All Human,” 3 March 2015, The Huffington Post (Accessed 7/5/15) http://goo.gl/VhzJXg
3.Katie Richards, “Ad of the Day: This Beautiful Ad Council PSA Reminds Us We’re All Human Underneath,” March 3 2015, Ad Week, (Accessed 7/5/15) http://goo.gl/f2sgFK
4.The Ad Council, “The Truth About Bias and Prejudice,” 2015 (Accessed 7/5/14) http://lovehasnolabels.com/about-bias

5.Amy Lewis, “Same sex couples, inter-racial love and pensioner passion: Moving video uses SKELETONS of people kissing behind an X-ray screen to challenge prejudice,”


Skulls, Skeletons and Tequila, Espolón has it all!

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Espolón Advertising by Steven Noble 

Espolón Tequila is one unique, innovative brand that features a smooth, delicate flavour along with a creative label that will leave a very memorable impression! As soon as I recognised the bottle of Espolón, I instantly developed to the urge to purchase a bottle for myself and the product design immediately attracted my attention. While I was tempted to try the tequila, I wanted to keep the bottle for the inspiring label / packaging.

So what makes this bottle of tequila so interesting? Well, the tequila isn’t too overpowering, Espolón does create some fantastic Paloma’s on a warm summers day, the packaging is inspiring and the overall brand features a very compelling story! The label features a range of lively, animated skeletons and the overall style does feature similarities to the Mexican Day of the Dead Festival that invites deceased family members and spirits to partake in the celebration, as referenced by Regina.M Marchi.1 I’ve mentioned these particular elements in my previous posts but I’ll briefly mention some of the most important points. If you are interested in viewing the previous posts just click on the links to Part I and Part II

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Espolón Advertising – Steven Noble

Espolón’s product design features similarities to the works of José Guadalupe Posada and there is an illustration known as the “The Calavera of Don Quixote 1910” that appears almost identical to the label; Espolon’s design presents a very distinctive appropriation that reflect’s Mexico’s cultural and historical background.2 I’m assuming that Posada’s prints would be available under ‘free use,’ this would be a very interesting area to explore or research in the next week. According to Regina.M.Marchi, Posada is an influential artist / printmaker from Mexico who produced a range of delightful prints or illustrations featuring a range of enthusiastic, animated skeletons during the 19th century.

In the illustrations, the playful skeletons partake in a range of activities or events wearing a range of outfits or accessories and Posada’s distinctive style provides a humorous perspective of death, as referenced by Marchi.3 Espolón have used these lively skeletons to advertise their tequila, although I can’t see anything wrong with this, the story does feature some cultural associations or symbology that provides context to the overall brand. Espolón delivers a level of authenticity through the packaging or product design that is inspired by one unique symbol.

espolon-revolutionEspolón Product Design / Labelling 

According to the Espolón official website, “Master Distiller, Cirilo Oropeza” created a brand of Tequila that was named after the spur found on the back of a Rooster’s heal and “Espolón pays tribute to the legendary bird so important within Mexican culture.”4 This is a very fascinating concept that has invited me to research the significance behind the rooster and Elías Domínguez Barajas in the ‘Function of Proverbs in Discourse’ explains that the rooster features a connection to “bravery, pride and confidence” within Mexican Culture.5

This is a very interesting discovery that definitely adds a level of interest towards Espolón and the brand’s overall history. While I’m interested in researching the cultural and historical associations related to the brand, I do enjoy a glass of Blanco with a slice of lime. This particular type of Tequila works exceptionally well as a cocktail or a mixed drink and I would definitely recommend Espolón if you intend to create a Paloma or an Espresso Martini.

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José Guadalupe Posada – Print / Illustration: 
The Calavera of Don Quixote, 1910

The tequila also works as a delicious alcoholic beverage just by itself with some ice and a slice of lime. While there are other brands of tequila that feature an outstanding flavour, Espolón is exceptional for the price and it’s very affordable, especially for the overall quality! So if you’re planning a dinner party and you need Tequila for a dozen Paloma’s, this is definitely the one to go for!

According to Espolon’s website, the tequila features “100% pure agave” that is created / distilled in “Los Altos, Mexico.” From a personal opinion, I do enjoy the Blanco compared the Respado that is aged for several months in an “oak barrel,” as referenced by Espolón.6 This is just my personal preference and I prefer something with a smooth flavour or texture. If you’re new to tequila, I would recommend the Blanco to start off with, if you’re searching for something with a strong, full-bodied flavour then the Respado is an excellent choice.

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Espolón features some very compelling, yet distinctive advertisements that are very admirable and the designs are created by Steven Noble. Last but not least, I thought I would briefly mention my recent discovery in regards to my statistics on my WordPress profile.

This year so far, I’ve received 482 views for my previous post in regards to Espolón tequila that ranked number six on my top posts for 2015. This is a very interesting conclusion that demonstrates Espolón’s increase in popularity. Perhaps there is a demand for skulls and tequila, it’ll be interesting to observe the statistics overtime in order to view any significant changes.

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So if you enjoy relaxing on the deck chair with a refreshing glass of tequila, I would recommend Espolón! Not only will you receive a high quality product, you’ll obtain an awesome bottle with some incredible designs including skulls, skeletons and a rooster, what more could you possibly ask for? If you love skulls and tequila, this is the brand for you.

Espolón also features a Facebook Page and a Twitter Page that is worth viewing if you wish to acquire further information! These amazing advertisements are created by Steven Noble, click on the link to view the artist’s Behance Portfolio.

References

1.Marchi, Regina.M, The Day of the Dead in the USA: The Migration and Transformation of a Cultural Phenomenan (New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 2009) p.26-27
2.Regina, The Day of the Dead in the USA, p.27-28
3.Regina, The Day of the Dead in the USA, p.27-28
4.Espolón Tequila, “A Legend in the Making,” 2013 (Accessed 9/2/15) http://www.tequilaespolon.com/en/?age=verified
5.Barajas, Elías Domínguez, The Function of Proverbs in Discourse: The Case of a Mexican Transnational Social Network (New York: Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, 2010) p.100
6.Espolón Tequila, “Tasting Notes,” 2013 (Accessed 9/2/15) http://www.tequilaespolon.com/en/?age=verified


Skullavera showcases unique ceramic skulls at Melbourne’s Day of the Dead Festival

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All the skulls in the photographs are produced by Skullavera

Last Saturday, I attended a Day of the Dead Celebration in Melbourne that featured a range of hand crafted skulls, printed t-shirts, altars, traditional Aztec dancing, Mexican street food and face painting! The event was located at the Trust Bar and Restaurant in Flinders street that was full of visitors with their faces painted as the Mexican sugar skulls, it was fascinating as there were so many different patterns and designs!

It was interesting to see how each person had interpreted the Mexican sugar skulls, some had used colourful face paint while others had decided to go with a  minimalist approach. Furthermore, I did find the event particularly fascinating as I have never been to a Day of the Dead festival in Melbourne and the event was quite different to what I was expecting! At first the venue was rather crowded, although I throughly enjoyed watching visitors passing by with their sugar skull face paint!

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As I was walking through the venue, there was one stall that had captured my attention. There were a range of colourful and illustrative skulls that were displayed onto a wooden surface along with a selection of skeletal figurines including Frida Kahlo and Marlyin Monroe. These hand crafted skulls featured elaborate and decorative designs that are quite unique compared to the other ceramic skulls that I have seen throughout the city of Melbourne.

These incredible hand crafted skulls are produced by a company known as Skullavera that is currently based in Sydney, Australia. BME Melbourne have conducted an interview with the artist who explains that the skulls are inspired by Chicano / latino tattoo designs as well as “the Mexican Drug Cartels.” 1 Each skull features a completely different style, there were so many different patterns, designs and illustrations, in fact the stall at the Day of the Dead celebration was definitely vibrant and decorative.

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In a way, the artist applies a unique and distinctive style to the ceramic skulls, the level of detail and craftsmanship is incredible! The illustrations provides each skull with a unique characteristic, these models appear to have an individual personality, a personal style!

While there were bright and colourful designs available, there were other skulls that featured a range of black and while illustrations, the stall at the Day of the Dead Celebration in Melbourne featured some extraordinary ceramic skulls in all different shapes and sizes, I was seriously tempted to buy one for myself!

The official Skullavera blog does mention that the hand crafted skulls are inspired by the Day of the Dead celebration; from a personal perspective the ceramic skulls do feature both Mexican and European influences, there are various designs that do remind me of Western popular culture. 2 The way the skulls were displayed do feature similarities to a traditional Mexican altar that is usually installed during the Day of the Dead in order to welcome spirits to the celebration, as referenced by Maria Herrera Sobek. 3

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In fact the display in general was creative and inspiring, it was seriously hard to walk past the stall without taking a dozen photos, I was in awe for at least 30 minutes, I just could not take my eyes off these hand crafted skulls! I f you haven’t seen Skullavera’s work, then I would strongly suggest to visit the Facebook page or the blog, there is some incredible work displayed online.

For those who have never even heard of this Day of the Dead Celebration in Melbourne, I would recommend buying a ticket for next year! As if you can go wrong with beer, tequila, nachos and ceramic skulls all in the same venue? While the event itself was crowded to begin with, the works on display were definitely worth seeing!

1. BME Melbourne, “Skullavera Interview”, June 28th 2013, http://www.bmemelbourne.com/bmeinterviews/skullavera-interview/ (accessed 5/11/13)
2.  Skullavera Official Blog, http://skullavera.blogspot.com.au/ (accessed 5/11/13)
3. Sobek, Maria Herrera (ed) “Altars” in Celebrating Latino Folklore: An Encyclopedia of Cultural Traditions, Volume 1 (California: ABC – CLIO, 2012) http://books.google.com.au/books?id=bDIwZ8BieWcC&pg=PA423&dq=traditional+mexican+altars+
celebration+latino+folklore&hl=en&sa=X&ei=6hR6UpbuJMO2kgWqh
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Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=traditional%20mexican%20altars%20
celebration%20latino%
20folklore&f=false

Other References:

https://www.facebook.com/Skullavera73

http://skullavera.bigcartel.com/

http://www.dotdfestival.com.au/


The Black Calavera Facebook Page

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Ok so the other day, I created a Facebook Page for Black Calavera, I had this planned for a while, although I was incredibly busy at the time. At first I wasn’t quite sure what to add to the page, although I decided to include a photograph of the Mexican beaded skulls that I received as a birthday present. The photograph I have taken is displayed next to the logo that Sean has designed, Sean is also apart of Black Calavera who does quite a lot of the design work.

So you are properly wondering….doesn’t Black Calavera already have a logo? it sure does, although the logo on the Facebook page is specifically designed for both our design and photography work, you could say the skulls project has become a sub brand of Black Calavera.

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The page is primarily used to advertise the Skulls Project and Sean’s blog, Art&Stuff is also linked to the Facebook site aswell. I guess you could say the page contains everything all on the one site so the viewer can visit various social media profiles.

We’re still currently working on an official website, which should be finished in the next week that will contain a range of work associated with the skulls project as well as other design / photography projects. The Facebook link is attached below if you would like to have a look, if you would please be able to like the Facebook page that would be fantastic! Don’t forget to tell your friends, enjoy! 🙂

https://www.facebook.com/BlackCalavera22


Ed Hardy’s Skull Perfume Bottles

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During my Monday afternoon shopping trip in Geelong, I discovered a very large display of perfume at the very front entrance of a cosmetics store. I was seriously tempted to buy Katie Perry’s latest perfume, although I discovered a range black and white perfume bottles in the shape of a skull with a rose in between the teeth. I was definitely intrigued by the shape and the size of the perfume bottles, they were small enough to actually fit into the palm of your hand!

The fragrance is produced by Ed Hardy, a popular tattooist and fashion designer who often incorporates the skull into a range of contemporary designs. I’ve never really seen these particular perfume bottles before, I didn’t even know that Ed Hardy produced his own fragrance! These bottles are everywhere, every cosmetic store I have walked into will have a pile of these skull perfume bottles at the front entrance!

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I must admit, the skull perfume bottles have a very sweet fragrance, it’s a little too sweet for my liking, although the smell was quite different to what I was expecting! I only tested the white bottle, which is the female fragrance, the black bottle is men’s cologne, I did not realise this until I actually researched the perfume online.

To be honest, I wasn’t expecting anything sweet nor fruity, although it was quite a pleasant surprise! The black and silver packaging also has a unique appearance, the skull is printed onto the front of each box and the design reminds me of 1950’s tattoo art.

I was close to actually purchasing a bottle for myself, I’m just completely fascinated with the bottle and the design is quite different from any other perfume bottle I have seen before! You know, I have actually realised that the skull is still a very popular and recognisable image, it’s actually hard for me to walk into a store without finding at least one product with a skull printed onto the front!

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It was only time until someone decided to design a skull perfume bottle, almost every other company has found a way to use the skull in some shape or form. Well not every company, but there are many corporations that have depicted the human skull in a contemporary context through advertising and product design. Are skull perfume bottles the next in thing? We’ll just have to wait and see what happens next!

For further information, please visit the links below!

http://edhardyshop.com/

Image Citations:

http://www.beautezine.com/new-ed-hardy-skulls-roses-fragrances-for-him-her/

http://www.fragrancex.com/products/_cid_cologne-am-lid_s-am-pid_69868m__products.html


Rick Genest & Savon Photography

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Photo Shoot featuring Rick Genest by Savon Photography

Throughout the majority of last year, I was particularly fascinated in Rick Genest, an American artist and performer who has covered his entire body in tattoos in portray his own interpretations of death / mortality.

In fact I have spent almost half a year following Genest’s Facebook Page that features recent campaigns, projects and photo shoots. It’s also interesting to track the artists popularity within contemporary art, fashion and design, the website in particular has now developed into an online store, that’s right Genest now sells his own merchandise!

So I am currently inspired by one photo shoot in particular that is displayed on Genest’s official website. Rick Genest has collaborated with Savon Photography in order to create a macabre, yet creative body of work. Unfortunately I was unable to find information in relation to Savon Photography, I was only able to find the photo shoot on Genest’s website.

To be specific the are two photographs that have captured my attention, as a matter of fact this is the most compelling photo shoot I have seen so far! The images features Genest laying face down on the ground with a white sheet and a sledge-hammer, the model appears to be covered in blood that creates an effective contrast with the snow within the foreground. There are red clumps surrounding the models head, it’s as if Genest decided to hit himself with a sledgehammer across the head, the image in general reminds me of something you would normally see in a horror film.

If you look closely at the image there are tyre marks on the ground, the model within the image may have been involved in a hit and run scenario? In fact this image in particular does create quite a lot of questions, there’s obviously a storyline but it’s quite difficult determine one specific meaning or representation, the image itself does invite the viewer to create their own interpretation in a way.

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Another photo shoot by Savon Photography

The angle and the composition are very interesting, I actually decided to rotate the image on each side that did create a completely different response or reaction. Genest is cropped at the waistline and this particular pose can be viewed at any angle which is another very interesting observation. The tattoo’s on Genest’s back become the main focal point within the entire image that also compliment the bright, red blood splatters on the ground. The way Genest’s arms are positioned also creates a unique composition, the position reminds me of a fallen angel, I know it’s quite a strange interpretation really.

The image does evoke a sense of isolation and disembodiment, it’s as if the model is left to die on a deserted highway. While the subject matter is rather gruesome and macabre, the photograph itself features a stylised effect that is almost whimsical in a way. So what I find interesting is the fact that Genest’s tattoo’s depict death, although Genest is also portraying a death like position, the actual meaning features a double layer!

Ok so there is another photograph that features a completely different perspective, this photo in particular does emphasise the face along with a bright, red substance opposite Genest’s head. It’s as if Genest’s brains have oozed from his head onto the ground, in fact the liquidy red substance significantly contrasts with the monochromatic tones within the overall image. I have also noticed the word ‘Dead’ is tattooed to Genest’s fingers that also becomes one of the main focal points, this one tattoo in particular does correspond with Genest’s motionless form. To be honest, I don’t have any emotional connection to the image, I’m just fascinated with the style and the composition!

I don’t find these images disturbing or unsettling, as a matter of fact I find this particular photo shoot creative and inspiring! The photograph does provide a unique and artistic representation of death, the photo shoot also questions the way death is portrayed within the contemporary visual culture. Do we accept the idea of death? Well death can be a sensitive subject for some, although it’s sometimes difficult to feel a strong connection to death when your completely surrounded by ghastly horror films and skull printed merchandise.

I would definitely recommend visiting Genest’s website and I would also recommend viewing Genest’s online gallery! The online portfolio also displays a range of photographs featuring Rick Genest, if you have the chance I would strongly suggest browsing through some of the images online especially if you are looking for ideas or inspiration.

http://rickgenest.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=itemlist&layout=category&task=category&id=9&Itemid=1

http://rickgenest.com/index.php?option=com_phocagallery&view=category&id=26:savon&Itemid=115