product documentary

Dr. Bronner’s peculiar peppermint soap

March 15th, 2017 No comments



Family business on the rise



Emanuel Bronner (r.) was a self-styled philosopher-mystic who urged all to put aside their racial and national differences. Today, the firm is run by his grandsons David (l.) and Michael Bronner, who have preserved their grandfather’s soap formula and his vision for a united world, encapsulated in aphorisms like the one above.

Emanuel Bronner (r.) was a self-styled philosopher-mystic who urged all to put aside their racial and national differences. Today, the firm is run by his grandsons David (l.) and Michael Bronner, who have preserved their grandfather’s soap formula and his vision for a united world, encapsulated in aphorisms like the one above.



Dr. Bronner’s is taking over soap dishes across America.

Dr. Bronner’s is taking over soap dishes across America.


Dr. Bronner's wachsende Produktpalette.

Dr. Bronner’s growing line of products that happen to be marketing.


Dr. Bronner’s peculiar peppermint soap
You would find Reader’s Digest in the guest bathrooms, in my adolescence on the west shore of lake Starnberg. During my grown up New York days, you got a bottle of Bronner’s to read at the bathroom.

Bronner’s peppermint soap’s sparkling effect on the genitals didn’t stay unnoticed. The news spread by word-of-mouth. To all I know the peppermint liquid soap is also the most useful shampoo on the market.



Only if constructive-selfish work, perfecting first me, like every arctic owl-penguin-pilot-cat-swallow-beaver-bee, can I teach the Moral ABC.



Dispensed advice

Blind toward the end of his life, Bronner didn’t realize how many words of his “Moral ABCs” he’d crammed onto the label. Now it’s the brand’s signature. More so, the opinionated product is its marketing. Hundreds of tiny, preachy phrases cover every inch of a bottle of Dr. Bronner’s.

No wonder, Dr. Bronner’s is taking over soap dishes across America. Difference is built on opinion — and you’ll find a lot of it on each dispenser. With Bronner’s the product is the marketing. Opinionated brands are needed for our markets to get healthy. Our markets are increasingly homogeneous. People can’t tell one product offering from the other. They find orientation in opinionated brands and family owned businesses. People no longer want to be patronized as David from Goliath.Read in fullby Robert Klara


Dr. Bronner’s peculiar peppermint soap


The Village-Phone promotion

July 31st, 2016 Comments off



Village Phone promotion

Drop everything and bolt to answer the telephone.




“the Village-Phone promotion”

World-class ad made in Switzerland







Village-Phone promotion
When the ring of the village square telephone drowns out the sound of the cow-bells, it might very well be a promotion stunt by means of an idea that does. A ruling introduced by Gareth Kay, by which it no longer matters what the promoter does but all depends on what the people do with it.

Drop everything and bolt to answer the telephone.Read in fullby David Gianatasio



Village-Phone promotion



IIceland’s dramatic demonstration of product & how bottom-up works

July 3rd, 2016 Comments off



Iceland vs England
UEFA Euro 2016

England – Iceland UEFA Euro 2016



Island's viking stunt

Iceland’s viking stunt

Íslenska karlalandsliðið í knattspyrnu

„Call of the vikings”

world-class bottom-up approach

world-class bottom-up approach







Even though this very minute Iceland has fallen behind France (2.0, 20th minute), the Iceland football team had a story to tell. A lesson to learn for the world.

Iceland wasn’t even on the radar of world soccer before they stunned the world on June 27 with defeating England.

The product is the team and how they play, supported by a rich club with money to spend on support and heavy promotion.

Iceland had none of that. They won because they played to win and instead of money tossed at consultants and agencies, they stunned the world not only by winning but by being more creative and more in touch with their supporters. The fans sent a frightening deep sounding WOO through the stadium air. A deep WOO in ever shorter intervals.

It felt as it might have felt for the Roman soldiers when attacked by the Barbarians in the dark woods of Germany.

For the time span the pulse of the Viking call sounded it silenced the chant of the English supporters.bottom-up



“Stressed Out”

June 22nd, 2016 Comments off



Everything is being redesigned



New Aesthetic

25 Songs that tell us where music is going.
A one-time spectacular. The NYTimes Magazine.

NYTimes Magazine with a special on New Aesthetic in music1



„Stressed Out” Twenty One Pilots
Brilliant example on how content within its context become relevant.



New Aesthetic in music
“Four years ago, I discovered James Bridle’s attempt to define the new aesthetic for the early 21. century with the help of many.

With eyes wide open you could find it in fashion, war gear, in the arts and on numerous Google street view across Europe.
NANew Aesthetic by James Bridle

NA in design and perception

While a large number of photos aimed at documenting the progressing fragmentation of markets and the splitting of the web with pixelated imagery, quite the contrary happened.



Every trend is followed by an equally powerful counter trend.



Neither design nor perception pixelated and fell apart in its bits and atoms.

The quality of on screen images, happened to supersede that of glossy print magazines we had all grown familiar with. On screen display resolution superseded print results. Along came theme or template based design and the acceptance of web standards such as proven and tried layouts and functions. In turn it reached the level of best practices in print design.

If there is a new aesthetic, then one that came along with the event of retina displays for watches, cell phones, tablet PCs or ever larger tv and desktop monitors.



What the boys from twenty one pilots may also stressed out by, is the ever more demanding claim as a result of ever increasing expectations set in quality.



NA der Musik

The new aesthetic in music comes close to what is experienced as supernormal. Tt’s something we know and trust that we only need be reminded of and surprised by. The Hamilton Cast’s „Say no to this” demonstrates this nicely and should you not know the Hamilton Cast, take „Sorry” by Justin Bieber.

A warm symphonic sound makes for the fundament of the new aesthetic on which the interpreters give their best.New Aesthetic in MusicA One-Time SpectacularNYTimes Magazine


New Aesthetic in Music


New Aesthetic in Music



Are you still an effective team?

May 26th, 2016 Comments off



A well done product documentary in the otherwise substandard context of the German web


Yes we are.

User created content: Dans le lagon a mayotte. Christophe et Sylvie , 48 years – France Uploaded 05/05/15.



After another bright sunny day in Southern Bavaria, a tv ad caught me by surprise. The ad introduced a never before to be seen product that was perfectly placed behind a blue sky day indicating that summer is here to stay.

The ad made me think, someone found a way to breath under water.
Its web page documents the product rather well in an otherwise disappointing context of the German web. I took it for granted that this was a German product and learned that it was French. Decathlon is a French company, dedicated to innovation (organising hackathons…) and innovative sport brands.



Easybreath Tribord

Easybreath Tribord



The power of product

What this shows us is the importance and power of product and product documentary. Neither the introductory ad nor the web page is by any means outstanding or even outrageous. It’s new and that alone is magic. You need not be outrageous or super duper as long as your product is new or introduces a never to be heard idea into a particular context. Enough said.
See the product documentary









Just say no to organic burger

March 8th, 2016 Comments off



McB © Foto:McDonald's

McB © Photo: McDonald’s



Living in media has the power to transfer impressions experienced as true to pure conceptions. So it happens that, as convinced as you might have been, that organic is valued as aspiring for quite some time, and that it has long been accepted by the main stream population, the recent McB fail may prove you wrong.

McDonald’s in Germany removes organic burger “McB” from its assortment after testing it for two months and replaces it with a wild kitchen campaign. According to the German McDonald’s headquarters in Munich, organic is still a niche.German language source


Organic burger


Five years with Europe’s No. 1 e-com company

January 6th, 2016 Comments off



Five years with Europe’s No. 1 e-com company




Recommended 9 min lecture




In the far past there has never been much of a difference between the culture and business approaches of a New York agency from one in Germany.

The same seems to hold true for startups to and fro.

As many people living in Germany, I have been witnessing the break though of Zalando by way of tv ads and little involved media articles.



The deal team of the IPO, Boris, Jan, Michael and Birgit

The deal team of the IPO, Boris, Jan, Michael and Birgit



Admitted, I hated Zalando, even though I knew, the only way this country will ever come to terms with the post-digital age, despite its decade long persistent attempt to dismiss any change in consumer behavior as a fad, was by way of e-com. E-com is where the money goes, it forces German developers and designers to adapt to proper UX attire.



We did a 16 hours press trip early 2013, driving up all locations in one day. This is lunch break (15 minutes).

We did a 16 hours press trip early 2013, driving up all locations in one day. This is lunch break (15 minutes).



The lecture of Boris Radke’s post changed much of my prejudice. I still hate Zalando, but can’t deny a warm and fuzzy feeling for the team behind Zalando.

I love these seemingly honest and naiv posts providing backstage insights and how they spread hope.



Zalando in numbers: about 3 billion Euro in revenue, 3%+ EBIT, listed MDax company, valued at about 8 billion Euro, 10.000employees, over 75.000 m² office space, 3 warehouses in operation and 1 being build.



A business card for Julia Benkert

October 29th, 2015 Comments off



Visitenkarten für Julia Benkert



Julia Benkert, is a German book author and director. She was late with honoring me with the design of her business card.

Scheduled for the opening night of the introduction to her first book at Munich’s prestigious Literature House.

The order for the prints would have to be placed ad hoc to allow for a second print run in case the initial one would show a fault on my part.

The brief was impeccable with context taken into consideration including samples. Embossed print and use her logo typeface a must. Most challenging though:

Keep the more essential look and feel of the website and make it compatible with the illustrative style of the book cover.

“The one not without the other”.

A conciliatorily sounding thesis that in practice is hardly ever workable. It supports half-assed results.

Only recently, I signed the NDA for an invite to a Victors & Spoils assignment. The first of three parts I had colored in and stored in my mind in great detail. Something I do before execution.

A top condition set me up to debrief and demo my solution in a short email. Insisting on it to be comprehensive for Julia on first sight and allow her great relief.

The execution as detailed as I had painted it in my head and signed off by Julia kept me up another night. A Buddhist pattern from the web, was quickly converted by a software program. The vector nodes were the culprit and I only gave up on cleaning them when the yardbirds began their morning song.

Instead of the wished for embossed print, I wanted to meet Julia’s requirements with something I had seen on Moo’s website. A Luxe color seem and premium quality print and paper. Something incredibly satisfying to its modesty.

With Quadplex1 technology, four layers of Mohawk Superfine Paper are pressed upon one another. An orange color seem within, is visible around the edges of the final printed result.

The RGB color code, I got from the website code, hinting at a fit with the orange seem predefined by Moo printing.

Instead of the landscape format, a portrait format was suitable for Julia’ interesting logotype.

I take it a given, that Julia would not be pleased with “supernormal2”. A hard liner’s design one can accept without a thought. Disposal of decorative or useless elements is required. Bauhaus made this mistake and offered functional chairs while people wanted a throne. A Buddhist pattern placed on the flip side would prevent a mix of utility and decoration.

With the logotype already airing religiousness, I needed something to prevent the cardholder from associating the vertical card with a tombstone.

The separation of front and backside with contrasting elements (utility and decoration) provides an association with a deck of cards rather.

Something most of us feel comfortable with and find relief in.



Julia Benkert Buch und Webseite



A little souvenir

March 26th, 2015 Comments off



A Little Souvenir

A little souvenir from the German/French Arte tv documentary:
Wünsche werden wahr. Die Entstehung des Kaufhauses
(whishes come true – the rise of the department store)



“The customer is not dependant on us – we are dependant on her.”

“The customer is not bothersome, she doesn’t disrupt our work, it is her what it’s all about.”

“We don’t do her a favour when we serve her. She does us a service when she offers the opportunity to serve her.”

Aristide Boucicaut, Bon Marché



The newsletter plugin

January 30th, 2015 Comments off

Das komplette Werkzeug für die Handhabung von Benachrichtigungen direkt von Ihrem WordPress Dashboard aus.



Das Newsetter Plugin




Free – Blogger – Premium pricing.



With a steep learning curve following my decision to being a hacker, I placed my bets on Newsletter only recently, after I had been banging my head at MailChimp for one too many nights. That said, MailChimp‘s support is prompt, friendly and on their toes.

People who want to get started with a newsletter and growing a readership of their own, are bloggers and they’ll have two tasks at hand, that of installing or fine tuning their blog template or theme and that of setting up a newsletter procedure to work seamlessly with the chosen design.

Commentaries about MailChimp, the popular professional design and send mail service, indicate chimp to be overly complex and complicated to set up and perhaps TinyLetter would have been a better choice.

However I picked Newsletter, a wordpress plugin that offers set up straight from the dashboard for which I can use my elementary knowledge of html.

I was now banging my head to set up the newsletter plugin and installing the theme without the aid of a hired hand. I was helped in unexpected ways, by both, theme and plugin developers joined by a third party, Giuseppe Salerno the designer of the webfont I was using.

If at all, I send friends, family and clients a greeting card at seasonal occasions by way of long-proven postal office on the overland delivery route.

For contract work, or you people who aim at building a relationship with adored peers and collaborators you discovered on the web and have come to trust, how would you go about it?

I follow trough on how they (Neil Perkin, Bud Caddell, Maria Popova, Rob Hope, James Bridle, Austin Kleon -or- who ever you pay attention to) do it. With a difference, I use Newsletter for notifications, not MailChimp or TinyLetters, and for now it’s about automation of existing content as a service for clients.

WordPress themes developed by Rob Hope have in common with Stefano Lissa’s plugin to be suitable for reselling. Both can be customised through the dashboard with no coding knowledge, both are designed with the utmost of care and empathy for the user. Both can profit from further continuous simplification and fine tuning.

Visit the Newsletter Plugin site.