A product of contemplation; a thought

Shaun Gladwell ‘Stereo Sequences’ at #ACMI

Make sure you see this free exhibition before it closes on August 14th. It can be described as ‘performance landscapes’, where Gladwell places performances by BMX riders, graffiti artists, sketeboarders, pole dancers and soldiers in the rural landscape of NSW. The presentation is interactive placing the audience in the middle of the performances and mediums. A must see!

Images courtesy of Anna Schwartz Gallery and ACMI



Love this promotional campaign:

“Cowboys & Aliens” Saddles Up With Social Media

 One of the big releases hitting theaters Friday is Cowboys & Aliens. Based on the 2006 graphic novel, the film was adapted for the screen by Universal Pictures and DreamWorks Studios.

Starring Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford, it’s a science fiction Western film about a loner who wakes up in a strange city with no memory from his past, only to find that he is a wanted criminal. After the area is invaded by aliens, friends and foes have to work together to save the city — and the earth — from extraterrestrial enemies.

Iron Man and Iron Man 2 director Jon Favreau directed the film and played a large role in helping to develop the social media and digital campaign for this unique title.

Let’s take a look at some of the digital and social parts of the campaign.



The official Facebook Page for Cowboys & Aliens has more than 200,000 Likes thus far. Universal Pictures has employed a tactic we’ve seen with Captain America and Harry Potter (and most other major films) in creating a widget that functions as a cross-channel hub, linking to the film’s other social and digital channels in a single box.

In this way, the Facebook Page acts as a mini version of the official homepage for the film.

Online Games


In addition to a Facebook Page, Universal and DreamWorks have also launched two online games for the film:

Cowboys & Aliens Arcade is a Facebook game that includes scenes from the film along with puzzle and trivia challenges. Players can also enter to win official prizes.

Cowboys & Aliens Absolution Training Grounds is a more complex (both in terms of visuals and intensity) shoot-em-up-style game that can be enhanced with Facebook Connect, but doesn’t require it.



Although the studios have set up an official @cowboysaliens Twitter account, it isn’t the primary driver of Twitter activity for the film. Instead, the marketing teams have leveraged the personal account of the film’s director, Jon Favreau, who already has a Twitter following of more than a million.

In the buildup to the film’s release, Favreau has tweeted links to articles, interviews, behind-the-scenes insights and more. The official Cowboys & Aliens account frequently retweets Favreau’s updates and, in turn, Favreau re-shares the best bits from the official account.

Even in official press statements, Universal points fans to Jon Favreau’s account in addition to its own — a smart move. After all, if you have a director with an engaged and active fanbase, why not use that person as the primary driver for your film?

Hipstamatic Lens Kit


One of our favorite iPhone apps, Hipstamatic, launched its own FreePak tie-in for Cowboys & Aliens.

Until August 8, Hipstamatic users can download the Cowboys & Aliens HipstaPak, which includes two new lenses and a camera case, for free. In typical Hipstamatic style, extreme detail went into the design of the lenses.

On its Facebook Page, Hipstamatic says that both the film’s cinematographer Matthew Libatique and director Jon Favreau contributed to its development.

“Cowboys & Aliens” Coca-Cola Round Up for iPhone, iPad and Android


We have to give the marketing team at Cowboys & Aliens credit because the Cowboys & Aliens Coca-Cola Round Up app for iOS and Android is one of the more intricate tie-in apps we’ve seen.

This is an augmented reality game in which Coca-Cola triggers are captured on specially marked cups and popcorn bags at AMC and Regal theaters in the U.S. Users can also download a print trigger to play the game. After that, it’s a bottle collection game.

This is an interesting use of augmented reality and QR-like functionality that encourage play while simultaneously cross-promoting two different properties: the film and Coca-Cola.

The Results

Cowboys & Aliens has been a trending topic on Twitter in the days leading up to the film, suggesting that the film already has strong awareness among targeted audiences.

We’ll have to wait for the weekend box office figures to see how the film performed against the competition.

What do you think of the mobile-centric approach Universal took when promoting Cowboys & Aliens? Let us know in the comments section below.


Nederlands Dans Theatre

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to see the Nederlands Dans Theatre performance at The Arts Centre, Melbourne - you could hear a pin drop in that amazing space for 2hrs! Here’s a little behind the scenes in California…

Miss Jackson: 19 Grey St, St Kilda Victoria

Cornfritters: 8 - very tasty, healthy version as they were quite dry and not cooked in oil. The chili jam was a delicious addition.

Spanish eggs: 7.5 - lost a point for having pips in the olives. Very filling.

Coffee: 9.5 - highlight!

Kevin Spacey in Richard III in Sydney. Completely devastated I’m missing this! Damn you $325 tickets! 

Kevin Spacey in Richard III in Sydney. Completely devastated I’m missing this! Damn you $325 tickets! 


10 Tips for Better Startup Marketing via Mashable

Many aspiring entrepreneurs foolishly believe that all they need to do is sign up for a Twitter account, blog about special offers, and hand out a flashy looking brochure, whereupon leads will come pouring in. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

These are unfortunate social media fantasies and free marketing delusions. The mere existence of a market for your product or service does not guarantee anyone will listen to or care about your brand. People are bombarded with thousands of messages every day, which makes it difficult for business owners to garner attention and convert that attention into income.

In order for your business to avoid getting lost among the glut of content already clogging direct marketing channels, your promotions and tactics must be highly creative, contain a quality message and fit the audience you are targeting.

I asked a panel of successful young entrepreneurs about the types of promotions they have used to build their companies’ buzz and sales.

1. Partner with Others in Your Space

At Blank Label, since we make custom dress shirts, we’ve done promotions with other custom product makers, everything from chocolate bars to jewelry, mattresses and even women’s shoes. We create promotional campaigns to spread the word about the industry and shed some light on cool companies in the space.

Danny Wong, Blank Label Group, Inc.

2. What (Else) Does Your Customer Need?

With Career Coaching for Word Nerds, I provide one-on-one coaching to freelance writers and other publishing professionals. But I knew that my clients would also love the chance to connect with experts within the industry, so I organized a speed networking event that attracted 75 people. Now I host monthly virtual events and have plans for additional in-person events.

Steph Auteri, Word Nerd Pro

3. Take Advantage of Currently Trending Topics

One of the best ways to build buzz for your business is to ride the coattails of a currently trending “hot topic.” For example, when GAP unveiled a logo designed by Laird & Partners to much criticism on the web, 99designs took advantage of the opportunity with a crowdsourcing competition [to show] that our community can deliver a much better design.

Matt Mickiewicz, 99designs

4. The Power of Video

People tend to forget the power of video. I have learned that when talking pound-for-pound on engagement rates, YouTube stars have it on lockdown. Sevenly.org launched with a video drip campaign of 10 YouTube stars (100,000+ subscribers each) and it ended up generating a staggering 40,000 unique visitors in less than 30 days. When you need power, turn to video.

Dale Partridge, Sevenly.org

5. Start Your Own “Top 10” List

At GiftCardRescue.com, we realized we had unique information about which gift cards are most popular among our customers. We therefore started an annual “Top 20 Gift Cards” list. Last year’s list was picked up by numerous news outlets and blogs, including Mashable. Walmart, which was number-one on the list, issued a press release bragging about it, which only legitimized the list even more.

Kwame Kuadey, GiftCardRescue.com

6. Crowdsourcing

The marketing team at HootSuite is good at creating online buzz. Our crowdsourced international translation project has done an amazing job creating awareness. We try to work with our users as much as possible, and this was a great way for us to reach out to our global fans and engage them online.

Ryan Holmes, HootSuite

7. Contests and Competitions

Use social media (especially Twitter) to hold a contest for your business. Ask trivia questions, play hangman or offer a phrase to unscramble. The winner gets a prize or discount off your services. This way, you have hundreds of people talking about your brand publicly, but you only need to reward one winner. Holding a contest weekly and/or monthly is a great way to build consistent buzz and conversation.

Lucas Sommer, Audimated

8. Personalized Outreach

Find influencers in your market and reach out to them individually. Make your initial contact with them creative and jaw-dropping. For example, instead of an email, sit down and record a video addressing them directly. It speaks volumes when you show that you took the time to personalize all of your messages.

Logan Lenz, Endagon

9. Take it Offline

You’d be surprised what things you can do offline to create online buzz, such as sending simple but creative thank you cards or gifts to your current clients that get them talking about you online and shouting your praise. Or, send your product to clients or brands you want to get in front of, but add a twist. For example, if you sell kitchen goods, send along a bread maker with a fresh hot loaf in it!

Natalie Sisson, The Suitcase Entrepreneur

10. Be Your Own Advertising

Think about how much you drive during the week and how many people see your vehicle while out and about or at a stop light. Put something on your car that others can see, and makes them take a second look. Even if it’s just your web address, people will immediately have it in their mind.

Ashley Bodi, Business Beware


New York, New York!

God I love this theatre - The Forum

Favourite film of the year thus far!

File next to Winter’s Bone in your dvd collection.