Facebook Places launches in Australia

Facebook Places, which launched in Australia today, will allow Facebook users to share their location with friends. So if you’re enjoying a coffee in Brunswick Street, Brisbane and your friend is nearby, you’ll be alerted – and like magic, you can have a random catchup. This new feature is set to open up new real-life connection opportunities.

“But what about my privacy!?” you say? According to the Sydney Morning Herald’s article “Facebook stressed the service would be opt-in and users would have to check in to venues before their location was revealed on their page. The default privacy setting would be to share with “friends only” and users can even restrict location sharing to specific friends or groups of friends.” Phew…

How can you access it? If you’re a Facebook user (most likely, given that 9 million Aussies are!), you can access Places via your Facebook iPhone Application. If you’re a user of other smartphones that support HTML5, try touch.facebook.com.

How does it work? When you open up Places you’re presented with a list of venues near you, which are ranked according to distance and other factors. You then “check in” somewhere and can see recent “check ins” from your friends and their comments. You’ll also get notifications if your friends “check in” somewhere close to you.

If you’re struggling to work out how Facebook Places work, I recommend you watch this quick video.


So, will you be opting in to open the door to “serendipitous” catch-ups?

Yours in social media,


And the polished turd award goes to…

The last episode of this series’ Gruen Transfer announced the official winner of the Polished Turd award last night. The winner had to produce the disgraceful ad that was voted by the panel as the Worst Ad Ever. According to the experts West End Beer deserved the Turd for its terrible acting and painfully half-arsed execution. I definitely agree, but I have to say, the Microsoft Songsmith made me throw up in my mouth a little.

Which was your (least) favourite?

Yours in ad turdiness,


Polished Turd Winner:

[briotube]http://www.youtube.com/v/GhmuK7HvQIo?fs=1&hl=en_US” type=”application[/briotube]

My Personal Fav:

[briotube]http://www.youtube.com/v/3oGFogwcx-E?fs=1&hl=en_US” type=”application[/briotube]

New slogan launched today “Queensland, Where Australia Shines”


Queensland’s new slogan was launched today by the state’s Premier Anna Bligh. Gone are the days of “Where Else But Queensland” … now we will be referring to “Queensland, Where Australia Shines”. The new brand, which reportedly was 12 months in the making, has been described by Ms Bligh as capturing “the essence of Queensland – a beautiful Australian holiday destination, with unforgettable experiences and shining Queenslanders themselves”. To learn more about Tourism Queensland and the new brand, click here.

The two-year $4.16 million investment includes:

  • a photo and film shoot of over 70 Queensland destinations which generated more than 500 new images and 32 hours of destination footage;
  • a global social media campaign which will launch in coming weeks;
  • industry and consumer consultation;
  • new online and social media tools such as the updated Queensland Holidays website and Queensland Facebook page;
  • the roll-out of the new brand platform through Tourism Queensland’s key international markets; and
  • the development of regional marketing brands for Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Whitsundays and Tropical North Queensland in addition to the Queensland brand.

Admittedly, I didn’t totally shine to it at first, but upon discovering more about the brand and its impending roll out, I think it’s got legs. What are your thoughts?

Yours in (re)brandng,


Creative Airline Concept

Kulula is a low-cost South-African airline that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Check out their new livery!


Kulula is an Airline with head office situated in Johannesburg. Kulula airline attendants make an effort to make the in-flight “safety lecture” and announcements a bit more entertaining. Here are some real examples that have been heard or reported:

On a Kulula flight, (there is no assigned seating, you just sit where you want) passengers were apparently having a hard time choosing, when a flight attendant announced, “People, people we’re not picking out furniture here, find a seat and get in it!”

On another flight with a very “senior” flight attendant crew, the pilot said, “Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve reached cruising altitude and will be turning down the cabin lights. This is for your comfort and to enhance the appearance of your flight attendants.”

On landing, the stewardess said, “Please be sure to take all of your belongings.. If you’re going to leave anything, please make sure it’s something we’d like to have.”

“Thank you for flying Kulula. We hope you enjoyed giving us the business as much as we enjoyed taking you for a ride.”

As the plane landed and was coming to a stop at Durban Airport, a lone voice came over the loudspeaker: “Whoa, big fella. WHOA!”

“In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, masks will descend from the ceiling. Stop screaming, grab the mask, and pull it over your face. If you have a small child travelling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs. If you are travelling with more than one small child, pick your favourite.”

“Your seats cushions can be used for flotation; and in the event of an emergency water landing, please paddle to shore and take them with our compliments.”

“As you exit the plane, make sure to gather all of your belongings. Anything left behind will be distributed evenly among the flight attendants. Please do not leave children or spouses..”

Heard on Kulula 255 just after a very hard landing in Cape Town : The flight attendant came on the intercom and said, “That was quite a bump and I know what y’all are thinking. I’m here to tell you it wasn’t the airline’s fault, it wasn’t the pilot’s fault, it wasn’t the flight attendant’s fault, it was the asphalt.”

Overheard on a Kulula flight into Cape Town , on a particularly windy and bumpy day: During the final approach, the Captain really had to fight it. After an extremely hard landing, the Flight Attendant said, “Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to The Mother City. Please remain in your seats with your seat belts fastened while the Captain taxis what’s left of our airplane to the gate!”

An airline pilot wrote that on this particular flight he had hammered his ship into the runway really hard. The airline had a policy which required the first officer to stand at the door while the passengers exited, smile, and give them a “Thanks for flying our airline. He said that, in light of his bad landing, he had a hard time looking the passengers in the eye, thinking that someone would have a smart comment.

Finally everyone had gotten off except for a little old lady walking with a cane. She said, “Sir, do you mind if I ask you a question?”

“Why, no Ma’am,” said the pilot. “What is it?” The little old lady said,

“Did we land, or were we shot down?”

After a real crusher of a landing in Johannesburg , the attendant came on with, “Ladies and Gentlemen, please remain in your seats until Captain Crash and the Crew have brought the aircraft to a screeching halt against the gate. And, once the tire smoke has cleared and the warning bells are silenced, we will open the door and you can pick your way through the wreckage to the terminal..”

Part of a flight attendant’s arrival announcement: “We’d like to thank you folks for flying with us today.. And, the next time you get the insane urge to go blasting through the skies in a pressurized metal tube, we hope you’ll think of Kulula Airways.”

High Speed Bullet Photography

If you are ever starved for a creative concept, think beyond space and form, consider ‘time’. Sometimes the most beautiful moments happen in the blink of an eye. Check out what Alan Sailer has captured through high speed photography!

Feel free to blink though, these photos won’t let you miss an inch of detail! Also, check out Alan’s flicker page for more high speed photography: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8763834@N02/

Yours in space and time,


Guilt free SHOE shopping

Wouldn’t you love to own one of these cute pairs of shoes and feel good about the purchase? – For each pair of TOMS shoes purchased a child from around the world in need will also receive a pair of shoes.

The philanthropic entrepreneur Blake Mycoskie came up with this ‘one for one’ model while on holidays in Argentina, observing many children without footwear and becoming susceptible to cuts and infections. This model allows TOMS to make a profit while also being charitable. If it was a not-for-profit company they wouldn’t be able to sustain the concept of giving.

To date TOMS has reached an incredible milestone of giving 1,000,000 pairs of new shoes to children in need around the world! With their social media ramping up [International one day without shoes day on 5 April 2011 + blog + facebook + twitter + youtube + myspace] the movement will just keep reaching greater heights.

This ‘one for one’ model has been very successful for them, turning over US$4 million since their launch in 2006 and winning him the Secretary of State’s Award for Corporate Excellence in 2009, presented by Hillary Clinton. Other businesses are also applying this method to also help people in need.

Join the cause and nab yourself a unique pair of shoes at www.toms.com

Yours in design,
Amber van Sloten

Longevity of a Catchphrase

Think just for a second about an ad that is memorable to you. You know the one, the ad with the catchphrase that immediately comes to mind, that always springs up and even gets used in general conversation.

One of the most long lasting and memorable catchphrases from television advertising that I can think of is the “Not Happy, Jan” phrase used between 1997 and 1999 by the Yellow Pages here in Australia.

This phrase since use in the ad; has struck a chord with Australians and has no doubt been used by you or someone you know on a number of occasions. It’s been used to describe displeasure and sometimes, as in the ad itself, is used to articulate a person’s unhappiness with another person’s negligence or incompetence. It’s also used in a more casual way and seems to have become ingrained into Australian vocabulary and culture.

A catchphrase like this, which is instantly recognizable can create a household brand and it seems this is the case with “Not Happy, Jan” and the Yellow Pages. Take a look at the video below to see how this catchphrase came to be:

What’s the catchphrase you remember the most?

Yours in Brand Longevity,


Design Week Brisbane – 17 days to go!

The Brisbane Design community has really been spoilt this year for design events, and it is all about to climax for the year.

In 17 days time the Icograda International Design Week hosted by AGDA starts in Brisbane on 11 October and funnily enough runs for the whole week!

This is such an amazing ONCE IN A LIFETIME opportunity for Brisbane designers to be a part of a major international design event. Never before has an event like this been to Australia and not likely in the near future, and to have it in our own backyard is simply amazing.

Brio Group became a supporting partner of the event very early on in the planning and developed the www.designweekbrisbane.com website that promotes the event including the profiles of all the speakers, the special events throughout the week that are being hosted in our beloved Brisbane.

The Queensland Government has been a wonderful supporter of this and many other design events this year and they have also seen the benefits of promoting design in business from other countries that have moved forward in this thinking. On wednesday 13 October, the Ulysses team (Queensland Government’s design-led business program) will lead a day of dynamic discussion about the increasing role of design in creating successful businesses. Design in business creates innovation and a competitive edge. How could this not be a good thing for the future of Queensland businesses and economic strength?

If you have been thinking about coming to the Icograda Design Week in October but haven’t committed yet – WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR!!!

Visit the www.designweekbrisbane.com website for all the information and registration info.

This is a small promo video created for the event.

Yours in Business led Design,



Sass and Bide shines at London Fashion Week

Flying the flag for Australia at this year’s London Fashion Week is Sass and Bide. The brand returned to the city which discovered them back in 1999 when Heidi Middleton and Sarah Jane Clarke sold their designs at West London’s Portobello Markets.

Now 11 years later, Sass and Bide launched their Spring/Summer 11 collection at the cremé of the crop of world fashion events: London Fashion Week (which ends today Wednesday 22 September). Their new collection is beautifully designed. The girls have played with an interesting use of texture and neutral tones that ooze edginess and understated cool.

Discover who the “Sass and Bide woman” is in the short and snappy Q&A from London Fashion Week with the girls here.

Yours in Aussie Fashion,