Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Madison Avenue’s Plan B: Data-Driven Jewelry?

Whether or not the ad business makes a real recovery or something much more modest, the industry looks like it’s headed for years of upheaval. How should ad agencies prepare?

Maybe diversification will help. At least I think that’s what Wieden + Kennedy, the company best known for its Nike (NKE) ads, is doing. Unless it’s a practical joke that’s flying over my head: Meet “Plot,” a line of jewelry “that takes interesting data and transforms it into wearable art.”

Why is W+K breaking in accessories? Dunno. Just do it, I guess. But I have to say, I probably know some data-driven people who will like this stuff, at least conceptually:

At first glance your gold necklace is simply a striking graphic shape. At second glance you can inform the admirer that  it is actually the graph for gold prices from 1979-2009 and that Tiananmen Square caused the peak in 1989.

jewelry

Thanks to AdWeek’s Brian Morrissey for pointing out this one, which again, may just be a put-on. But I bet it’s not: After all, I’m writing about it, which is sort of the point, right?

Other thought: If this stuff does sell, just think of what the guys who actually do data-driven advertising could do with the concept. I’m thinking, for starters, of a line of T-shirts that mashes up Jenny Holzer with Google Trends. Anyone?

Anyway, here’s a W+K project I can get my head around: A Nike ad from last summer that ended up making me a sort-of, grudging, fan of The Killers:


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald