Sacred Grounds is good

Sacred Grounds Organic Fairtrade coffee have launched a very cool campaign promoting their ‘good’ coffee. The concept is based around the idea that Sacred Grounds coffee is good, “so you don’t have to be”. The campaign uses a mix of clever copywriting with beautiful typography to produce a seductive and humorous outcome.

The success of this campaign (by The Campaign Palace) is largely due to Sacred Grounds taking a risk. Instead of sticking to safe, monotonous messages about the good qualities of fair-trade, they’ve added a risqué twist that adds fun and gives depth to the brand. They’ve even got away with using the word ‘be-atch’!

Love it?

Yours in ads,



Matisse ‘Up Late’

Up late is back at GOMA with the current Matisse: Drawing Life exhibit, running from 20 January-2 March 2012 on Fridays 5.30-10pm.

With an exciting line-up planned….

This Friday 3 February 8.30pm Tyrone Noonan (AUS/USA) – originally from Brisbane :)
10 February Brous (AUS)
17 February Jason Lytle (USA)
24 February Halfway (AUS)
2 March Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy (USA) – Tickets selling fast!!!

Catch up with friends for a drink and a bite to eat, check out the extensive Matisse exhibit, experience ‘The Drawing Room’ come to life and enjoy the sweet sounds of live acoustic music performances.

Want to read more on Matisse, check out Angie’s blog >

So yr dilemma is you’re spoilt for choice, Which night will you go? I’ve locked in this Friday, so might see you there!

Yours on the Brisbane Nightlife,
Amber van Sloten

What is your trade-off?

My friend, let’s call him Adam, recently sent me the above masterpiece dictating our 10 units of attention. We all have a finite amount of attention we can give and all up, as once was explained to him, there are approximately 10 units we can distribute how we see fit. Within these units you can balance work, friends and family, projects, health and well-being, personal development – you get the idea. But you will always have only 10 units. So, for example, if you’re running all 10 units on work (which let’s face it in agency-land can often happen) you do so at the neglect and detriment of everything else that makes you a well-rounded person.

Our attention is at an all time premium with digital distractions demanding an investment from us at an increasing pace. It seems so simple and basic to commit to taking control of how we allocate our attention and thus time, but a simple act we often forgo for constant connection, extra hours at work and ultimately burn-out.

The 10 unit theory (as we’ll call it) reminds me of a post of Nick Crocker’s,  The Art of the Trade-off, which follows exactly the same premise but with kitchen stove top burners.

“One burner represents your family, one is your friends, the third is your health, and the fourth is your work. In order to be successful you have to cut off one of your burners. And in order to be really successful you have to cut off two.”

– David Sedaris

This time of year is a month where we make resolutions, bust out of the gate gung-ho to achieve them only to burn out early February with a defeated attitude and not a lot to show for it. My suggestion? Let’s look at where we are allocating our units of attention. Are we committing or trading off too much? Is your desire to get fit / get a promotion / make new friends/ loose weight / run a marathon being thwarted by committing too much to one area.

Yours in attention allocation,


Is Your New Year Looking Positive?

With the start of the new year, most of us like to take the time to reflect on the past year and what we will do to make this year better, all with the best intentions, whether it be with New Years’ resolutions or changing your mindset with a positive attitude.
Positivity is contagious.
Is your attitude so positive that others are catching it?
I came across these 7 simple insights  via It’s All About Women. It will completely change the way you feel right this minute and will impact the happiness of everyone around you, too.

Try them and see……

Yours in a Positive Attitude


Recent findings from a number of large scale studies of consumers and their habits suggest that less choice equals more sales.

Interestingly, secondary conclusions for this hypothesis suggest that less choice converted to quicker decision processing and therefore greater sale conversion.

Could these findings be due to the time poor nature of consumer habits or that branding and advertising has reached saturation point for consumers and there is now a need for desaturating by keeping it simple.

Take a look at the following link: Sheena Iyengar: How to make choosing easier.

Yours by choice,
Amber van Sloten

Thinking outside the box

As we all know in branding and in life, first impressions count. Of course we all ask the question… “How we can do this?” Then in business you also have a lot of competition and it’s important to not only make a good first impression, but to also stand out from the crowd. While browsing the web I came across some inspired business card designs that I think hit the mark and leave a lasting impression. These guys have thought outside the box and gone that extra step, to create some outstanding concepts that I had to share.

So here goes, my top ‘thinking outside the box’ inspired business cards.


cargo box business card

Tam Cargo: A quirky play on a card that turns into a box. After all the cargo they transfer predominately goes in a box.


Stretch Business Card

Poul Nielsen: Again, another quirky card that has you working out, to see that this card is from a personal trainer. He’s got you working before you even book a session.


DJ Business Card

DJ Mohit: An entertaining card you have fun with, by rotating the record, to read the info. A fun way of giving a client the thrill of being a DJ on paper, while demonstrating simply what the person does.


Money Business Card

Ricky Richards: A UK Graphic Designer developed business cards that looked like £20 and left them lying on the streets, with a fun message on the fact that he was sorry it wasn’t £20, but if you hired him you may find some extra cash in your pockets. I love this concept of grabbing the attention of an unintended audience and having people you would probably never meet, pick up a card and become a potential client.


Grow Business Card

Another Bloomin’ Designer: Jamie Wieck treats its recipient to an extra feature you do not expect from business cards…life! Simply soak the bottom of the card, wait four days and you get cool green! The card works as a miniature house-plant, growing alfalfa or cress when dipped in water.


Bike Business Card

Broke Bike Alley: One way to grab peoples attention is to give them something for free. This card has been designed as a multifaceted tuning tool, and wouldn’t you be more likely to call up for any serious damage from these guys, if you had their card.


I think the lesson here is sometimes, trying to create something outside the box, instead of the plain 55mm x 90mm card can be more fun, show innovation and get you more attention. Maybe next time you’re thinking of getting a business card or promotional item done, it’s time to think how you can get noticed or in honour of shameless advertising you can meet up with our team here at Brio Group, to help with some inspired ideas.

Yours in thinking outside the box

The power of Apple iBooks

Imagine a classroom where all the books are located on the one device and reading them is a total interactive experience. We have come so far with technology in the last 10 years. Feeling a little old, I remember back to the days when I had to cart text books around, reading and then writing out notes on paper. At the time, I could never have imagined anything so different. The new Apple iBooks allows students to interact with what they are learning. Tapping into more of our senses, making learning, fun, interactive and most of all memorable.

Apple iBooks is also a great tool for writers, making laying out and publishing books incredibly easy with a very professional outcome.

I challenge you to view this video and not feel a little bit jealous of the experience we never got to experience in our school days.

Yours in exploring Apple iBooks.


Gentlemint – Pinterest for Men only

I’ve been using Pinterest now for only a few weeks and it has become yet another procrastination tool that I have become addicted to! If you haven’t seen Pinterest, check it out at or better still you can follow my boards @

BUT now I have found a second version of Pinterest called Gentlemint ( No the things that appeals to me about this one is that it’s a MEN ONLY version! That’s not to mean that it full of semi-naked women or fast cars or anything else you would like to stereotype men with! From what I have seen so far it is full of interesting posts of really interesting things, to a man at least! And that’s the appeal of Gentlemint for me. It’s not full of pretty dresses, high heels, latest gift-wrapping techniques or any other stereotypical terms used for what women like!

Just like Pinterest you can only create an account by being invited or application. I haven’t been approved as yet, but am looking forward to it! It is not limited to men only, there is no gender check on applying, but the content obviously must be ‘manly’!

And remember… Chuck Norris doesn’t read books. He stares them down until he gets the information he wants.

Yours in manliness,


One of the recent posts on Gentlemint…

Writing on the iPad

So we want to eliminate needing to take a notepad and pen with us everywhere to write and sketch our brain farts, when we have our trusty iPad at hand.

There are various apps available from iTunes which have note-taking and sketching functionality as well as pens that sync to an iPad.

Apps for download:
• Studio Basic
• Notes Plus
• Notetaker HD

Pens compatible with iPad:
• Wacom Bamboo Stylus for iPad and iPhone
• EFUN Digital Pen for iPad
• Stylus Touch Pen

The most superior product I’ve seen on the market to date would have to be from Byzero. It comes with a receiver which clicks into the bottom of your iPad and runs on infrared and ultrasound technology, and works with the Studio Pen. Byzero offers palm rejection and precise and detailed handwriting. There’s plenty of demos of Byzero’s Studio Pen on youtube.

Also Click on this link to read through a review of: Drawing on the iPad: 12 touchscreen styluses reviewed.

The critics are still waiting for better advances with the writing capabilities for the iPad which we might see in the iPad 3?…

Yours in new toys,
Amber van Sloten