Archive for October 2007

Most of us have heard of speed-dating, where strangers have five minutes or less to get to know a handful of potentials, then jot down the names of any person who struck their fancy. But this is something I’d never heard of – speed-dating organizations or events specifically for people 55+. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports on what may be the first-ever event for older people. Walker Methodist, a senior services organization, wanted to create new ways for people to have fun, and one of the ideas thrown out during focus groups was speed-dating.

I say, why not?

Last week, the first event took place and drew people (mostly women) ages 59 to 98.

Some of the touching and very honest remarks throughout the event:

“I’m nervous, I’m nervous.” (woman walking into event)

“I’m used to fun…my husband was fun. We need to have more fun.” (woman, widow after 52 years of marriage)

Are there speed-dating events for the 55+ set? If not, there should be. Speed-dating might seem like a ‘young’ person’s game, but these same people who speed-date (or online date) do so because they are 1) frustrated – they find it challenging to meet the right person and 2) a bit adventurous and risk-taking – they seek something new and fun. Of-course, there’re other reasons (some not so authentic) for subjecting yourself for possible rejection 5xs faster than going the fate/serendipitous route…My point is that the 55+ MN speed-daters, and possiby others who share their feelings, aren’t unlike the ‘younger’ people speed-dating and online dating.

It’s been a week or so since I made the jump from Blogger to WordPress and I’ve yet to give much attention to the “about me” section, or as I’ve called it, “Who I Am”. In lieu of a more professional and creative description, I’ve updated the section with one idea today.

That idea is about showing my consumption love for White Castle. Despite my penchant for the not-too-greasy and dainty burgers, I’d never visited White Castle’s website. Currently there are some nice features on the main site: a game promotion, a new product (scrapbook), and an interactive game/conversation.

The scrapbook, appropriately titled By the Sackful, is a recipe book commemorating 85 years of Slyder greatness. Find Craver stories (Cravers = fans), vintage photos, in addition to a variety of recipes. Not only was I surprised to learn that White Castle has such longevity, but they also are socially and community minded. All proceeds for By the Sackful will go towards the non-profit, Turkeys 4 America. Turkeys 4 America provides turkeys to families in need during the holidays. At $9.95 a book, you can afford to buy one for you and one for your friend. I have no idea how much a 15-lb turkey costs, but $20 sounds like it would cover one bird.

wc-cookbook_250.jpgI like being pleasantly surprised by a brand or product. Especially if this brand/product is already a part of my life, I enjoy the new little piece of information I discover.

Image of the day:

a supernova (per Wikipedia, a stellar explosion that creates an extremely luminous object) in our galaxy


color key:

  • oxygen
  • silicon and sulfur
  • magnesium

Even after a star dies, it leaves a beautiful imprint for us all to see. Thank you, Chandra X-ray Observatory and Wired.com for sharing.

Roger Dooley of Neuromarketing blog asks “Why struggle to make ads more appealing when you could be making the product itself more appealing by tapping into the consumer’s true feelings and reactions?” This makes a lot of sense. Advertising has its place and purposes, but doesn’t it seem almost obvious that product design should be a key element in trying to connect with people?

Dooley’s blog focuses on the intersection between brain science and marketing. In today’s post he talks about neuroeconomics, and how this study of emotional response to brands/products could be an important tool for designers. Recent studies have found that areas in the brain stimulated by familiar products/brands are the same areas stimulated by comfort and contentment (see Wired.com’s “Designers See Dollar Signs In Your Emotions”)

Dooley says “There’s the potential for a great combination of art and science in the process of emotional design. Brain scans can in no way replace the creative aspect of a brilliant design, but using advanced techniques to measure customer response and emotional engagement have the potential to avoid non-starter designs and make good design even better.” It’s ironic (or is it) that design, what I thought was something one reacts to and creates, intuitively, is beginning to consider science (not usually an intuitive discipline) as a possible ‘partner’ in the creative process. This brings me to wonder about the specifics of neuroeconomic studies. Do they ask questions such as:

  • If we show subjects two vases, in the same color, material, and finish, but one being asymmetrical and the other symmetrical, which area of the brain will favorably light up?
  • When shown curves versus 90 degree angles, what results in positive response?
  • Is there more comfort towards primary colors combined with straight lines, or muted colors and curves?

Why are some first time product experiences special? Upon seeing or feeling something new (whether it’s an upgraded product or a new product altogether), why do we react with joy, surprise, happiness, or confusion? Why do some products give way to an intuitive experience and understanding, while others leave us far from impressed or engaged? It makes sense that design (good, smart design) should be a pathway to brand engagement. Experiencing a brand or ‘thing’ at its core is much more powerful than seeing how potential consumers might use it on tv or in a print ad. Again, not to discount the value of ‘advertising’. I guess I’m more of a champion of good ideas, and not all advertising is a good idea…

Just some random musings…

p9521_2.jpgTasty and sleek. For $1,600 this can be yours. Porsche Design mobile phones here. Cnet.com review.

For women who want control. And like chunky style bangles. Designer Chloe Fung’s Orbit Remote control combines function and wearable form. Also a handy solution for those who are prone to losing the remote in the couch.

Orbit Remote

I’m not a designer but I like looking at design stuff. The Minneapolis design firm Capsule has produced Design Matters/Logos 01, aimed to show the logo-making (right terminology? doubt it) step-by-step. This includes strategy and research for you plannerly types (ahem, see photo). (see Cool Hunting and Amazon.com)



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