Community

The Detroit Bus Company.

Sometimes you have to take matters into your own hands. That is what the video below about the Detroit Bus Company is all about. I could go on about the production value of the film and how good it is, but that isn’t the point of this post. This is all about how one individual can make a huge impact on the lives of others, their community, and their city at large. Oh, and if you have time, check out the really nice Dark Rye website.

“Young entrepreneur Andy Didorosi believes that the way to Detroit’s new era depends on better leadership and a solid connection between the city and the suburbs. So when the city in 2012 axed its plans to build the M-1 light rail, the transit solution that would’ve bridged that vital connection, Didorosi was mad as hell. So what’s an angry young man in this situation supposed to do? Well, Didorosi bought a bus, had a local artist trick it out with a wicked mural, and he started the Detroit Bus Company. Dedicated to a more connected city, Andy Didorosi is bringing Detroit home one ride at a time.”

MindDrive is Going the Distance.

OK this gets big props from me for a number of reasons. First off it’s a great program. Second it’s here in Kansas City. Third it uses a Karman Ghia.

MindDrive is a program designed to help at risk students grow through experiential learning. The mission is to inspire students to learn, expand their vision of the future, and to have a positive impact on urban workforce development.

This year the MindDrive students built an electric car that converts social media (tweets) into fuel, used for powering a road trip from Kansas City, Mo. to Washington D.C. In D.C.  the students hope to drive change in education by exposing legislators to the program and its results.

Every time you Watch, like and share this video, tweet, Facebook post, or share an image on Instagram about MindDrive,  Your social activity will be used to help fuel their road trip to Washington.

STANDERT a Coffee Loving Cycling Dream.

Having recently moved to a loft downtown, I am getting acquainted with the new building. One thing I am very aware of is the office/retail space that is currently vacant on the first floor. Since our building sits right next the footbridge that leads to bike trails, I was thinking it would be a perfect space for a bike shop. A friend of mine said it would be the perfect spot for a bike shop/coffee shop, and I can’t agree more. This got me to thinking about what that would look like, which led to me searching the web for similar spaces. What did I find? I found plenty, but one that stood out was Standert in Berlin.

This small footprint shop is located at Invalidenstraße 157 · 10115 Berlin. The small shop features full service bike service, sales, repairs, and equipment, plus a full service coffee and other tasty beverages. From the look of the photos, this is the kind of place I could seriously spend some time in. The cafe menu includes the cyclist beer Velosophe, as well as pastries, soups, bagels, homemade popsicles, coffee, tea, and a variety of espresso drinks.

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“Flex Alert” a Series of Fantastic PSA’s from Brainchild and Buck.

After almost 30 days this summer of plus 100 degree heat in the Kansas City area, these amazing animated shorts from Brainchild Creative and Buck LA are spot on. Actually they apply to everyone in the 63 states that are experiencing above average temperatures, and drought.

I love the look, and the rhythm that these pieces have. There is a vintage quality to them with fresh updated look. The color pallet is spot on. The script is easy to understand and really sells the message without being heavy handed.There are 5 versions of the same basic piece below. If you watch all them you will see the variations that led to the final version (video number 4)

These PSA’s are fun to watch, easy to remember, and have an impactful message. A message that actually reaches beyond this summers extreme weather. What is being said in these video clips applies all year round. If you follow what is being said, you’ll save money, reduce load on the grid, and improve the environment.

Credits:
Client: Wally McGuire / State of California
Exectuive Creative Director/Writer: Jef Loeb
CD/Art Director: Chris Chaffin
Executive Producer: Stephanie Heinsohn
Motion Graphics: BUCK Los Angeles (buck.tv)
Music: Sunday Morzeno (sunofz.com)

 

Time To Bend Your Noodle and Fight Hunger in America.

CP+B have created a desktop and iPad experience for KRAFT Macaroni & Cheese designed to stop food waste, promote creativity, and help stop hunger in America. The application was built using flash and cross compiled to work on iOS. (I’m kind of surprised hey don’t have an Android version of this available as well since the desktop app was developed using Adobe Flash.)

KRAFT’s ‘Dinner Not Art‘ application donates 10 noodles to Feeding America for every virtual noodle saved in the macaroni art that you create. While this number seems small, think about the number of pieces used on average by a kid when making a macaroni masterpiece. It ads up fast. The application is easy to use and a little addictive. So long term, this could create a large payout for Feeding America if the application takes off.

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The application features a fun easy to use interface that is intuitive for younger children, and actually rather fun for adults. The bright colorful UI reflects the KRAFT Mac and Cheese box and branding colors, but does it in a way that never feels like Kraft is promoting their product. It’s this subtle balance that really wins here. Throughout the experience the participant is shown a counter that increases with each noodle added. (The feel good factor). At the same time the KRAFT brand is represented in an unobtrusive way, and subtly promotes the product. At the end of the experience you have the option of saving and sharing your creations. (another feel good factor).

The Parking Douche App.

I want this app for the good old US of A. Why? Not because parking is an issue so much (even though there are plenty of jackwagons here that have no clue how to park their gas guzzling planet killing SUV’s and giant trucks). I want an app like this for all the other things I see like “Lets exit the freeway from the far left lane”, or “Yellow doesn’t mean get ready to stop, it means stomp on the gas and run that light”, or “I don’t need to stay in my lane while I’m texting and driving”. It would appear that this app had some effect on Russian drivers. Perhaps a similar app would have an effect on driving in America. Here is a quick fact for you. Less than 40% of American drivers use their turn signal, and it jumps to more than 60% when changing lanes. Yes we need an app like this.

The app was developed by the Russian newspaper “The Village”, and it works by using image recognition to identify the car, and social media like Facebook to shame the bad driver. All of this happens in real-time, and is proximity limited so you don’t end up spamming your Facebook friends in far away places. The image recognition component reads the plate number to find the driver,then allows you to shame them across banners and media placements on popular websites in Russia. What a  great example of how user created content is integrated into paid online media locations in real time.I really love the fact that the way you remove the annoying popup is to share the offender via social networking. It is a viral loop with hooks to the newspaper, and it is creating positive social action at the same time.

The Mercedes-Benz Tweet Fleet. (my city needs this.)

Last evening when I was driving around Westport looking for a parking spot I wished I had some way of knowing where available spaces were. I had the same wish the day before on the Plaza which has turned into a giant valet parking zone. It seems Kansas City businesses like the idea of valet parking, and the city likes putting up tons of “No Parking” signs these days. If we only had the Mercedes-Benz Tweet Fleet in this town.

Mercedes cars equipped with a GPS unit, a modified Arduino board, wireless internet, and a camera are patrolling the streets of crowded German cities sending tweets about available parking spaces to smartphone owners everywhere. It’s a great idea. If we had it in my city I’d use it all the time.

By the way, I might have gotten my translation of the equipment wrong. I don’t speak German and I was using a speech to text translator on my phone to convert the dialog to English. German-speaking readers feel free to send me any corrections or additional info that I might have missed.