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Author: Paul Grimsley

A Broken Clock

So, The Doomsday Clock moved an hour closer to midnight, putting it at 3 minutes to midnight. The Bulletin Of Atomic Scientists see this as representing how close we are to doomsday as a civilization. What great PR for the miserabilists whose mission, it seems is to depress the rest of us. Isn’t it good to know that Chicken Little is alive and well? Instead of promoting all the things which people are doing to improve the world, these Cassandras would rather focus on the negative. It is a shame that it is still the case that bad news gets better coverage than good news. If one were to scan through most of the news websites they might get the idea that the whole world was going to the dogs, and that everything was chaos and disaster. You step outside your door and it isn’t like that. There is the old cliche that a broken clock tells the time right at least twice a day, but this clock is a colossal wind-up. It is true that you get what you flow power to, and if we were all to fall into lockstep behind these guys who feel comfortable using the title scientist while engaged in the most unscientific of activities, then we would march right on down the downward spiral into oblivion. People don’t want negativity all the time...

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Brillo Pads, Soup Cans, And The Modern World

Whatever you feel the merits of Warhol’s work were, and he can be something of an acquired taste, he definitely called it when it came to the meshing of commercial design and art. A lot of the artists in the pop art movement took pop culture items and recontextualised them in an art setting, like Richard Hamilton with the frames from comic books blown up on huge canvases, and Peter Blake with the memorabilia strewn landscapes of his portraits, but Warhol went a step further. Celebrity and household products were presented cheek by jowl in a flat and un-inflected way that seemed to suggest that they were to be considered art in their native state. Debate still continues though on whether it can actually be considered art to paint Campbell’s soup cans, and to arrange Brillo Pad boxes, but the art of the found object, and the mass production of the images he created, as part of a factory assembly line, has strong echoes in the current digitally driven commercial arena. Warhol would have been on Pinterest, would have loved micro-blogging, and link-farms … that whole digital scrapbook ethos, and sharing and repurposing of different cultural memes and artifacts as a way to carry on a conversation made entirely of cultural references. The idea of the blog as a kind of cultural collation and curation is very Warholian in...

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PR Marketing – Marvel Heroes For Hire

There is more to marketing at Marvel – than the mighty hulk There is no doubting that Marvel Comics has a great PR department, and even before their current incarnation they had Stan Lee out front talking it up like no one’s business, and it always seemed a little slicker and more PR friendly (more personal) than its biggest rival DC Comics. Teaming up with Disney hasn’t hurt that at all, and having a cohesive fictional universe which they can use to sell interlinked franchise films and TV series is not only great story telling but marketing genius. The...

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Another Bite Of The Apple

Steve Jobs was a man of ideas, and the things that he created at Apple changed the playing field; actually altering the way that we used our phones, and the way we accessed our music and what our computers were used for. With no Jobs there it is as if they cored the apple, and the latest products are little more than low hanging fruit turned windfall. How is it in any way a leap forward to create a phone that is slightly bigger? It smacks of pandering to a captive audience rather than actually trying to be a game changer and win over new people with something that is actually interesting. Perhaps we have to expect a fallow period as that seat which was warmed by Jobs thoroughly cools off and expectation dies down enough for someone to come in out of left field and actually produce something that catches us unaware. Apple isn’t really embodying the idea of “Think Different” at all at the moment. Elon Musk seems the most interesting thinker out there currently – someone who is not afraid to think big, and is trying to lift the gaze up from the handheld device to the stars again. Spacex is working with NASA and has actually made vital deliveries to the space station. They just got a billion dollars from Google and Fidelity to expand...

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Marlboro Man: Up In A Puff Of Smoke

If You’re Of A Certain Age You Remember The Marlboro Man The Marlboro Man in his adverts in Time Magazine and elsewhere, seemed so real that it was almost like a window into another world rather than an advert. I remember seeing the adverts for Marlboro all over the place at one time, back when it was OK to smoke in public, and back when it was OK to openly admit that you wanted to be one of those rugged Marlboro smoking cowboys. Time used to regularly sport one these adverts just inside the front cover or sometimes on...

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