I'm not sure if the cartoon character, Tuzki, has become known in the (lack of a better description) Western world. It has been gaining popularity over the past year on Chinese IMs as emoticons. Motorola just launched their Q9 smartphone with a major campaign using Tuzki. Actually, it is one of our Apple regional clients who persuaded the Motorola client to use the character for this campaign when she was with Ogilvy.
During the snowstorms, Tuzki snowman pictures became instantly viral.
I think it is a really interesting example of how a simple idea (simple illustration but with loads of character) can resonate with the Chinese audience. As my Chinese colleagues say, Tuzki has a "qian-bian" (literally "waiting ordeserves to be beaten up") characteristic, which young Chinese like in a cartoon character or often weave into their conversations with friends/online contacts. That is the secret to its grassroots success. I think there is a chance this could go global if a small but influential group, say a Facebook group, champions it outside of China.
The Decapitator: Altering print advertising all over Shoreditch.
Frozen Grand Central: Love this ... A fresh take on the classic flash mob.
Kaiju Big Battel: OK, it's not exactly new (with roots going back to 1994 apparently) but this is definitely one of the most creative things I've seen for a while. More info here and video here.
Kaiju Big Battel is a recurring performance art/sports event that crosses Japanese manga with pro wrestling, with an intricate and warped subculture that has grown up around it. The events are mainly happening in New York these days, although they have taken place elsewhere in the past. Awesome!
Hyper Island interactive art director: This is the by far most engaging piece of advertising I've ever seen for a school/class. I'll definitely try to grab myself a couple of those Hyper Island kids...
Naef: Naef are unique in that their toys inspire endless creativity, which comes from beautifully simple, almost architectural shapes. There most iconic toys are Cella and Cubicus, both involve a series of stacking half cubes, but their back catalog has lots of gems. I particularly like the way that Naef don't assume that toys have to be facile, cheap or disposable.
Sadly, they don't have a great website, but there philosophy can be found here.
Tagged in Motion: See more here.
Behance: I always say to people starting up or wanting to put their folios online that you don't have to know HTML or Flash to show off your work. Create a blog, a Flickr account, or, if you want to go really pro, join Behance, a "platform for creative portfolios, projects and collaborations." More interesting than GeniusRocket and OpenAd although these could be good to earn some cash.
Real World Comps: An emerging digital photography trend.
Brendan Dawes: Dawes always does amazing things with two objects you never thought could work together: Play Doh and a remote control, a doorbell and a computer mouse. Totally recommend his book Analog in, Digital out. As clever as Jonathan Harris.
Shesays: And because it pisses me off that none of my digital heroes are women, let's change this and join SheSays.
Troika and Greyworld: To finish my bit off nicely, a bit of interactive art. It can be easily spotted at TROIKA and Greyworld.
More from Creative Socialite, Erik:
Mr Bingo: Mr Bingo's hair portraits are pure genius -— get them at Blanka before they run out.
EveryStockPhoto: It just got a face lift and this excellent site holds plenty of great stock photos. It might not be the sexiest toolbut a very useful one.
Caroline Reichert: Up-and-coming Dutch visual artist who deserves a mention.
Data Portability: This will be amazing (if it works). Google, Facebook and other big players are on board. The ambition is to make your online identity portable and not locked to specific sites or services.
GPS Navigation: This interesting project redefining GPS navigation is bloody amazing (if it will ever work).
From Creative Socialite, Ale:
NOTCOT: If you don't have much time to browse around, all you need a good aggregator site a week. My favorite by miles is Notcot. Not just because you can find inspiration on everything from photography to portable loo skins to mechanical taxidermy but you can also contribute to the site.
Daniel Eatock: Daniel is probably known for coming up with UK's Big Brother logo, but if you ask me, he's got way more interesting stuff than that. Check it out.
Paul Neave: Another great aggregator. Neave is a great platform for inspirational moving image stuff. Flash or not.
NDEUR: Talk about a talented artist, Mathieu Missiaen is the best of Etsy and the one and only in shoe tagging.
Universal Everything: Yes, Universal Everything. It's an old favorite but if you want to check out the latest in "advanced beauty" I totally recommend it. You can even see some amazing imagery done with Processing (much better than Flash) by TOXI, one of UK's best.
Unlekker: And because I'm still on 'geekspeak' mode, if date visualisation is your thing, then Marius Watz is your man. I recommend looking at the site while listening to nerdcore.
F**K you and your HUMMER: This is definitely the best "hate site" on the Web. Tip: Hate is a great way to generate content if your thing is quantity, they have even done a poster with all the thousands of photos submitted.
And finally, the essence of Interactivity is fun.
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