March 30, 2010

The Vatican has made available a magnificent image of the Sistine Chapel.  The image is huge and takes a while to load, but it worth every moment.   Fly around the glorious space, zoom in and out on any part.  This site alone would make the Internet worth while.

Dare We Hope …

March 30, 2010

… for a fundamental change of attitude in North America?   We could be moving in that direction if we can believe a new survey conducted with consumers by marketers Ogilvy & Mather Chicago in partnership with leading consumer insight company Communispace.

Among the study’s key findings is that “having it all” is an unrealistic goal with 75% of those surveyed saying they would rather get out of the rat race than climb the corporate ladder – and instead, 76% said they would rather spend more time with family than make more money.  Moreover, Americans are showing disenchantment with the pursuit of money with 75% again saying they would trade job security over a job that offered an opportunity for raises.

Graceann Bennett, Managing Partner and Director of Strategic Planning at Ogilvy & Mather Chicago:  “Prioritizing your life based on money is seen as a sure way to be disappointed since the pursuit of money is often reliant on factors outside of consumers’ control.  They have gone down this road before and are saying that they are not necessarily happier or better off as a result” …

According to Manila Austin Ph.D., Communispace’s Director of Research, “Consumers didn’t fully understand the idea of sustainability until they found themselves living unsustainable lives – working too hard, carrying too much debt, and not living or planning for the long term.  Now consumers are re-imagining their lives for a sustainable future for themselves and their families … “We are finding consumers make very interesting trade-offs across seemingly unrelated categories in order to get their lives into balance while still feeling like they are treating themselves to those things that make them feel normal and well taken care of,” explained Ms. Bennett.  “Holding off a few years to buy a new car may enable them to keep their everyday Starbucks indulgence going while someone else may ease up on their ambitions for a promotion to feel safer in their job even if it means less money” …

A shrinking circle of trust in banks, established institutions and even the media   has led 69% of consumers to say that the recession has caused them to rethink their perspective and values with 78% saying that the recession has changed their spending habits for the better.  The local community – “Main Street” — is  now the focus for the majority of those polled.

Oh that this might be true.

What’s The Big Deal With 3-D?

March 30, 2010

There is an interesting piece in the New York Times today about the campaigns being prepared by television manufacturers to sell us on the expensive idea of 3-D on TV.  Samsung alone will spend $100 million this year on marketing it to us.

TV manufacturers are betting on 3-D. There are forecasts that consumers will buy 3.5 million to 4 million such sets, or about 10 percent of all United States television sales, this year. But that may be optimistic. Different and incompatible technologies mean that one maker’s glasses, for example, cannot be used on another’s television model. “The glasses go for a premium — around $150 — which means it’s costly, for example, to have a few people over for a Super Bowl party, unless it’s ‘bring your own compatible spectacles,’ ” said Ross Rubin, an analyst for NPD Group, a market research firm.

This is all such nonsense! I see in 3-D all the time, it is the natural way of seeing for human beings — and we do it without having to resort to fancy glasses.  Why would I want to pay extra for what is normal?    For me, one of the aesthetics of watching television or film or even fine art is that 2-D is NOT normal, and the skill is in translating a regular 3-D world into the artistic constraints of 2-D.

I’ll stick with the unreality of movies and TV and paintings, thanks very much.