Xerox

Tronic’s Interactive Walls for Target and Marriot.

One of the things that sucks about traveling, id being stuck in an airport that offers nothing to do except wait for a charging station to open up, or a way to clog your veins with fat filled goodness from Sbarro or some other god awful fast food joint. One thing that is true, airports are an environment that is ripe with opportunity for advertisers to take advantage of, if they choose a compelling and unique way to deliver their advertising content.

I have been interested in interactive walls, and projected interactive media for some time now, and I think this execution from Tronic for Xerox and Target are spot on examples of how great this medium could be.

Working in partnership with Young and Rubicam New York, Tronic designed and produced two interactive, live action productions for Target and Marriot Hotels. Both segments were created to promote the Xerox business-to-business campaign that launched in September of this year. The two productions run in rotation on life-sized, nine-screen interactive video walls at Atlanta, Denver, Los Angeles and nine other airports in the United States.

Tronic is known for its ability to blend digital and physical media in unique ways, and this campaign showcases the way Tronic was able to create a new form of advertising that mixes gesture based interactivity with live action commercials. What works really well here is how the advertising is no longer a passive experience, but instead how it is now disrupt and interactive. How a standard commercial has transformed itself into something that is actually fun and offers an almost game like experience.

Design Friday, George Lois.

Everyone is probably familiar with George Lois work, even non designers. Lois is best known for more than 92 covers he created for Esquire magazine between 1962 and 1972. Those covers offered a controversial statement on life in the 1960s and 1970’s and had a direct impact on magazine design at the time. His cover subjects included Norman Mailer, Muhammad Ali, Andy Warhol, Germaine Greer, and Richard Nixon, and a host of others.

Born in New York City in 1931, Lois was raised in the Bronx. His arts career can be traced back to its beginnings when he attended the High School of Music and Art, in New York and then the prestigious Pratt Institute. After Graduation Lois had a brief stent with Reba Sochis before being drafted into the army for the Korean war in 1953.

In 1955 after his discharge from the army, ent to work for the advertising and promotions department at CBS where he designed print and media projects where he worked until being hired by the advertising agency Doyle Dane Bernbach in 1959. One year later Lois was recruited away from DDB by Fred Papert and Julian Koenig to form Papert, Koenig Advertising. Lois spent seven years at the firm before leaving to form his own company. “Lois”.

As Lois formed and began o take on clients, he developed what he called  “The Big Idea”. Some of his more well-known contributions to the advertising world have been; creating the concept and prototype designs for the “New York” magazine supplement for the New YorkHerald Tribune (forerunner of what became New York magazine). Lois also created the legendary “I Want My MTV” campaign in the late 1980’s and he helped create and introduce MTV’s spin-off channel VH1. Lois was responsible for the re branding of renamed Stouffer’s frozen foods products to Lean Cuisine. He developed marketing and messaging for Jiffy Lube stations. He created the initial advertising campaign to raise awareness of designer Tommy Hilfiger.

Other clients include: Xerox, Aunt Jemima, USA Today, ESPN and four re-election campaigns for U.S. Senators: Jacob Javits, Warren Magnuson, Minority Leader Hugh Scott, Robert Kennedy. In addition to print and advertising, Lois also has created music videos and broadcast design. His one music video, “Jokerman” by Bob Dylan, won the MTV Best Music Video of the Year Award in 1983.

A point of note, George Lois is the only person in the world that has been inducted into The Art Directors Hall of Fame, The One Club Creative Hall of Fame, and holds Lifetime Achievement Awards from the American Institute of Graphic Arts, the Society of Publication Designers, as well as a subject of the Master Series at the School of Visual Arts.

Not that it really matters since his contributions have still so great, but it should be noted. George Lois has been accused of stealing credit for others’ ideas and for exaggerating his participation on certain campaigns and designs. The June 19, 2009 episode of “This American Life” Ira Glass featured a segment in which several of Lois’ former associates claimed he took credit for ad campaigns, ad copy and Esquire covers that were partially or wholly the work of others. The program contained interviews from Carl Fisher (the Esquire photographer who shot the famous Sonny Liston cover claimed by Lois) and two of Lois’ former partners, Julian Koenig and Fred Papert.

On May 18, 2008, the New York Times published a correction of an April 27, 2008 review of a George Lois art exhibit. In the correction, the Times stated that the “Think Small” Volkswagen ad campaign and the “I Want My Maypo” campaign were not created by George Lois. The correction identified Julian Koenig and Helmut Krone as the creators of the VW ad campaign, and John and Faith Hubley as the creators of the Maypo campaign, contradicting Lois’ published claims of credit for these ad campaigns.

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