Laughter is the best medicine.
I am going to blame my lack of witty subject matter on the fact that our “summer” has been messing with my brain. We all depend on the months of May through August to bring us tons of sunshine and hot weather that in turn equips us to survive the long bitter winter. Not so much this year. More the reason to head outside into the sunshine and catch some Fringe activity. The Winnipeg Fringe Festival is all about unconventional creativity and a large portion of the performances are comedies. Perfect!
There have been countless studies done on the benefits of laughter, most recently by the Loma Linda University School of Medicine. The results show that laughter has an effect on lowering serum levels of cortisol, epinephrine and dopac, all stress hormones. Stress hormones are shown to block creativity and reduce productivity levels. Certainly this is not something you want happening in the Advertising business.
So what better way to reduce stress, get over feeling sorry for ourselves that we’re not the ones on holidays and build up that store of great summer sunshine (that’s the forecast) than by heading to Old Market Square in the Exchange District and have a few belly laughs. Tell the boss you are doing this all for them.
To read more about the Loma Linda University study go to: http://myllu.llu.edu/newsoftheweek/story/?id=16173
For more information about the Fringe Festival go to:
Made You Look
I recently spent some quality time (thanks to my colleague Andrea Tria) with a graphic design book that’s been around a while that I’d only ever seen online and never had the chance to hold in my own hands. It’s titled Sagmeister: Made You Look.
(If i comes before e except after c why isn’t he Sagmiester?)
A short review is that, love him or hate him, I think everyone would agree Stefan Sagmeister’s book is fabulous visually, extremely entertaining to read, with fine examples of brilliant creative, and it’s definitely recommended by me. If you can’t find it or don’t really want to buy it you can probably ask Andrea if you can borrow her copy. She’s so nice she’ll likely say yes.
The book also reminded me of an embarrassing moment in my life that involved a former Sagmeister employee.
Years ago I volunteered to help organize a graphic design conference in Winnipeg. Our committee had dinner with invited speakers the night the event kicked off.
Sitting to my left at the table was Luba Lukova, a Bulgarian-born New York illustrator whose work I really admire. We talked a lot about our similar European roots (many of my ancestors came from Romania). But as Luba and I were agreeing we were practically neighbours, in a roundabout way, the man sitting to my right, Sagmeisters’ guy, who was also speaking at the conference, spilled a glass of water in my crotch.
Talk about a conversation killer.
And an abrupt end to that dinner.
Not that long after the conference ended this issue of Creativity came out. The guy on the left is the dude that wet my pants. Creative coincidence? Probably. But they do also say you never really know where your next great idea is going to come from.
As the World Cup goes into a lull until the quarter finals, I thought I would explore what FIFA has done to make a soccer (or “futbol”) tournament the most popular event in the world. With more mentions and hashtags than the Sochi Olympics, the Oscars and the Superbowl combined; the World Cup has taken over social media.
If you’re not already checking into one of the numerous social ‘hubs’ on Twitter, Mashable, TSN or FIFA, then you’ve already noticed the oh-so-clever, daily, Google ‘doodles’.
For the lucky ones who get to watch at work, home or at local restaurants, you get to see the creative commercials which sponsors have spent billions on. Yes, billions, and it’s for good reason.
For example, ESPN online had a record breaking 1.7 million concurrent viewers during the USA vs. Germany match. Along with that, the first two weeks garnered over 300 million tweets. Using the #WorldCup hashtag, along with fans cheering for their favourite countries (#BRA, #MEX, #GER, etc.), it made it easier for advertisers to target their audience.
As a matter of fact, 75% of viewers are also engaging on social media while watching the match. Analytics company, Sysomos, actually created a global hashtag tracker to show which countries are talking about #WorldCup the most.
So what country are you cheering for? I'll be cheering on whichever team Morris is rooting for.