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Advertising Attribute Dependency: A Gallery July 11, 2008

Posted by goodmind in Attribute Dependency.
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Here’s a round up of some inventive thinking on the part of advertisers, using Attribute Dependency.  You can be as cynical as you please about marketing to the lowest common denominator (we are), but these ads would make anyone look twice;

1. FedEx

2.Y-plus Yoga Center

3. BBC

4. Heinz

5. YKM

6. Juice Salon

7. fnac

8. Army (UK)

(via Toxel.com, AdverBox, adgoodness, adland)


Mark Your Bubble Calendars July 9, 2008

Posted by goodmind in Attribute Dependency, Function Follows Form.
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bubble calendar

Even though it’s a little early to be thinking about next year, you might want to…mark your calendar, and remember to buy this Bubble Calendar for 2009;

Based on the universal premise that everyone likes to pop bubbles, memories of Advent calendars, interesting ways of marking time’s progression and needing to know what day it is, Stephen came up with the Bubble Calendar. (via Cool Hunting)

This Attribute Dependency change (bubble wrap instead of paper) renders the tactile calendar a method of marking the passage of time, versus an apparatus for planning and scheduling. Given the increasing use of PDA, e-mail, and other digital planners, calendar makers should take note of this instance of inventive thinking.  In our opinion, not even Google Calendar can compete with bubble wrap.

Time to Reflect July 3, 2008

Posted by goodmind in Attribute Dependency, Division, Task Unification.
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The Inventive Thinking Project is all about taking the time to reflect on the process of creativity.  Mirror Tic Tac Toe is therefore the perfect symbol of both the premise, and the purpose of this site.  Oh, and it’s a nice take on Attribute Dependency, Division and Task Unification.

tic tac toe

(via DVICE)

Japanese Watermelon June 30, 2008

Posted by goodmind in Attribute Dependency.


The novelty of the square watermelon is of course, an Attribute Dependency change.  The story behind the square watermelon is just as interesting;

Japanese grocery stores had a problem. They are much smaller than their  US counterparts and therefore don’t have room to waste. Watermelons, big and round, wasted a lot of space. Most people would simply tell the grocery stores that watermelons grow round and there is nothing that can be done about it. But some Japanese farmers took a different approach.  ”If the supermarkets want a space efficient watermelon,”  they asked themselves, “How can we provide one?” It wasn’t long before they invented the square watermelon.

The solution to the problem of round watermelons wasn’t nearly as difficult to solve for those who didn’t assume the problem was impossible to begin with and simply asked how it could be done. It turns out that all you need to do is place them into a square box when they are growing and the watermelon will take on the shape of the box.

Read more about the lessons of the square watermelon at Hard Knox Life.  Or, learn how to grow them yourself here.  We don’t suggest trying to buy one, as they cost about 10,000 yen ($90).

Black Cat, Black Belt, Black Tissue? June 24, 2008

Posted by goodmind in Attribute Dependency.
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Most layman’s knowlegde of the facial tissue industry begins and ends with how the Kleenex brand literally redefined the tissue (i.e. people ask for a Kleenex).  Well, Kleenex better watch out for Daishowa, a Japanese brand overturning color conventions by offering black tissues.

Clearly, a case of Attribute Dependency change, but why?  According to the Japan Trend Shop;

Black is back in Japan, with everyday household items and health goods taking on a darker tone to show casual luxury and sophistication.

black tissues

We admit, these tissues do look pretty sleek.  Plus, the color black certainly suits American cultural associations between tissues, mourning, and funeral attire.  Kleenex is currently running a “Let It Out” campaign, can black tissues for American consumers be far behind?

It’s interesting that when an Attribute Dependency crosses international borders, the meaning of the Attribute change can well, change, but it can still produce a meaningful innovation in the end.

Fashionable Facts May 19, 2008

Posted by goodmind in Attribute Dependency.
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T-shirt design, though creative in scope, is a surprisingly systematic enterprise when it comes to seeking source material. This process is best described as a type of Attribute Dependency, whereby designers rely on trends in advertising to inform new fashion trends for mass consumption.

As the ad industry’s preoccupation with facts, figures, and numbers becomes more even more severe, t-shirt designers are wont to keep pace with their Madison Avenue counterparts using sophisticated measurements. No longer will it suffice to be a walking advertisement in faux retro branded cotton apparel; all the cool kids are walking statistics.

There is really no other explanation for StatAttak (a StolenShirts SubBrand). Each design makes some manner of pointed social commentary, typically using an alarming statistic about life in an African nation as a metric. Of course, like all good t-shirts, these designs are not without an element of irony; they are printed on American Apparel products. There’s no better way to make a statement about poverty in Zambia than by wearing a $25 t-shirt.

(via How About Orange)

Literature Döne(r) Right May 13, 2008

Posted by goodmind in Attribute Dependency, Division.
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Nothing is as entertaining as a witty quip, or scholarly quotation sampled from a dense, wordy work of literature. That’s what makes the Reclam Literature Döner (yes, as in döner kebab so inventive, and such a clever instance of Division.

Similar in principle to the tag cloud, a flash animated cylinder of key literary terms and themes rotates at an eerily realistic, if not hypnotic rate. Clicking on any of the keywords will reveal a quote “fresh from the skewer,” which can be added to your personal Döner, or in other words (no pun intended) to your personal quote library.

The Reclam publishing company has a history of producing literary masterpieces in smaller, more “digestable” samples. Some 140 years ago, Reclam was known for publishing pamphlet versions of multi-volume works, and has managed to remain on the cutting edge “[w]ith an interactive idea that appeals to the generation YouTube, for which even the small books are too wordy, too classical, and too one-dimensional.”

Reclam even makes reading Virgil, or Gunther a social experience; you can recommend your favorite quotes to friends. The only thing missing is an Attribute Dependency change for the English speaking world; those whose German is not up to par will have some difficulty with the Döner. (via Coudal)

The Low E Consumption Diet April 17, 2008

Posted by goodmind in Attribute Dependency.
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With real estate values dropping, and environmental concerns rising, Sustainability Facts for homes might help prospective home buyers make smart decisions. If only the government would bite the bullet and establish consumption guidelines for healthy human impact, similar to what it did for healthy human weight, and daily caloric intake.

Big brother aside, the most compelling component of this Attribute Dependency is how seamlessly the “Nutrition Facts” concept fits in with the upfront presentation (disclosure) of data in the buying and selling of real estate. It almost doesn’t matter if you care about environmental health, or just want to get the most bang for your home heating bill buck; you’ll be looking for the same energy efficiency information regardless. Given our obsession/familiarity with food labels, the recognizable format makes the data, dare we say it, easy to digest as well.

Motorbike Marketing March 6, 2008

Posted by goodmind in Attribute Dependency.
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Historical baggage aside, Vietnam can conjure up a lot of powerful imagery, and stimulate the senses for a variety of reasons. One particularly multi-sensory experience of note is the traffic.  People don’t carpool, people “bike pool,” sometimes with 3 or 4 people per motorbike. In fact,

“Motorbikes dominate the roads in Vietnam. Research showed that Vietnamese youngsters are particularly passionate about having a stylish bike, and that they are very internet savvy, with almost 70% going online several times a week. Castrol used this insight to create Vietnam’s first web-based reality show.” (via AdAge)

Basically, Castrol took advantage of two powerful Attribute Dependencies of the motorbike’s centrality to promote the brand abroad.  Their web-based reality show was a clear spin-off of MTV’s “Pimp my Ride,” with a loosely translated title of “Up-style My Bike.” This slight thematic adjustment made the concept more culturally relevant, but the truly shrewd Attribute Dependency change was to leverage the heavy street traffic to drive heavy web traffic.  Reportedly, “the site received 444,467 hits, far above average Vietnamese traffic norms of 180,000.”

If site congestion during contest periods made the roads a little more bearable, Castrol’s inventive thinking has already made life easier for the average Vietnamese consumer.  We don’t have enough personal experience with the product to determine whether it has the pleasant olfactory attributes that will further improve the morning commute. 



An Apple TV Remote? January 22, 2008

Posted by goodmind in Attribute Dependency, Subtraction, Task Unification.
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Universal remote controls were a nice idea in theory, but proved to be less than practical as an all-in-one device management system.  It’s a shame really, as entertainment components and peripherals have continued to multiply at an alarming rate.  The cynics among us might interpret the commercial failure of the Universal Remote as defining the limits of Inventive Thinking.  We say, wanna make a bet?

Just because Task Unification didn’t take, doesn’t mean the conventional remote control is immune to creative design that will benefit the consumer.  Combining poker’s persisting popularity with a hint of Wiimote functionality and an iPod inspired interface,  produces a winning example of Subtraction through Attribute Dependency;

“The Game Card remote enables you to control volume and change channels all via card playing like gestures. Sliding your thumb up and down in the center raises/lowers volume. Sliding the top card over a tad changes channel. Sliding it all the way takes you on a wild channel surf.” (via Yanko Design)

The Universal Remote tried to get away with an age old accounting shortcut; “subtracting” the number of necessary peripherals by transferring the remaining balance of buttons to a single device.  The Game Card subtracts buttons from the equation altogether, indirectly addressing the original problem of “where is the %*#@ remote?”

Thus, we consider the Game Card remote a welcome addition to an already extensive collection of “clickers,” because its unorthodox design will no doubt make it easy to find.  Well, assuming you don’t get it mixed up with your iPod…