Dream & Do

"How Very Un-McDonald's" and Why We Love The School Of Life - Creative Show & Tell

Creative Show & TellTara Shelton1 Comment

Here, what you’ve all been waiting for… This week’s round-up of amazing, creative inspiration from around the web, brought to you by The Dream Team.

INSPO #1 // The School of Life

I am utterly inspired by The School of Life. A school set up by famous philosopher Alain de Botton, it seeks to help people develop emotional intelligence, self-help jargon aside. They offer seminars on all the big 'life' questions, such as ‘how to face death' and 'how to make up your mind.' I first came across their school when I lived in London and one of my deepest regrets is not attending one of their ‘Sunday Sermons’ - a recurring event that offer instructions on how to live and offer friendship. 

In our Creative Show & Tell we ask ourselves, WHY? Why is this so inspiring? Well, this is our answer. The School of Life serves philosophy to the masses and allows for people to congregate, religion aside. It’s about developing wisdom. With knowledge only a keyboard and a google away, wisdom is what we must really crave. 

As you know, I am obsessed with branding and I love that The School of Life is not just an organisation but a brand with a mission, not limited by one touchpoint. They hold events, have published over 27 books, expanded in over seven cities worldwide. They also have bricks and mortar shops and an online shop boasting their own branded products. The deep way of thinking can even be found in their Psychology of Colour pencil set.

I’m always looking out for clever ways of marketing and The School of Life have nailed this too. Last year I was in San Francisco staying at The Clift, a modern boutique hotel. When we entered the room there was a postcard on the bed that said: ‘Too much of a good thing can be truly wonderful.’ It was exactly how I felt at the time, indulging on this design feast of a hotel. I turned it around and it was from The School of Life. Great marketing understands not only who their customer is, but what they are thinking at what time of day.

The School of Life has recently come to Aussie shores and is now in Melbourne. I’m considering a creative excursion there for my Dream Team, and perhaps we can bring the school back with us to Sydney? 

Tara, Founder & Creative Director

INSPO #2 // Kleenex Promo Video

I stumbled across this feel-good video on Facebook and with the video-still displaying a cute little dog, I pressed play immediately. While the video is typically longer than anything I'd normally watch on my timeline (a whole two minutes), the honest story of a handicapped dog being cared for by his handicapped owner was definitely worth my time. I don't often see such uplifting stories; I don't think enough of them are shared around. It left me feeling inspired and my faith in humanity was restored. It feels unlike most advertisements where there are product placements galore, without true substance. It appeared to be an authentic documentary and it wasn't revealed that this was produced by Kleenex until you get to the very end, and as a consumer that is bombarded with messages from dozens of brands a day, I really appreciated that. Kleenex has streamlined their message, really thought of content their customer would value and respond to. This is an example of a successful campaign spreading a heartwarming message - with everything else going on in the world, can we ever have enough of that?

Renata, Designer & Photographer

INSPO #3 // McDonald’s Create Your Taste

Okay, you might see the word McDonald’s and think… pfft. So bear with me.

Disclaimer: I haven’t been to McDonald’s in three years since I read a really disturbing article by Jamie Oliver about the chemicals they soak the meat in or something. Ew.

BUT I was tempted to try one of these Create Your Taste burgers when I drove past with my fiancé on the weekend. I’d seen some stuff shared on Instagram – about how they serve the burger on a wooden board with the fries in a cool wire basket. All very hipster. Anyway, I was pretty impressed with the packaging in particular. We got our burgers takeaway, and they came in a long brown cardboard box (which I’m thinking is supposed to make your brain go ‘eco… sustainable…’) and the burger inside was lying open. As in one half on each side of the box, so you could ‘Admire your handy work.’ Great shareability right there! Of course, I took a photo. And shared it. When do you ever take a photo of your Maccas? Never, because it’s a little shameful with the myriad healthy options available now.

The copy on the packaging is also great (word nerd, right here!) and even the little refresher wipe in a packet that says ‘Wipe everything but the smile off your face’. McDonald’s, well done. You’re really stepping it up by attempting to appeal to a market of young people, who are revisiting McDonald’s with the nostalgic, happy memories of youth but want to try something new, cool and ‘on-trend’. I never thought I’d describe Maccas as on-trend, but there you have it. The fun and creativity of personalising my own burger using the machines in the restaurant was definitely the highlight for me. I probably got more excited about that than the food itself. Though it was delicious. It’s all in the chipotle mayo.

Amy, Copywriter & Content Editor

INSPO #4 // The Future of Publishing

My inspiration this week comes from 2010, but I only found it the other day when I was researching the publishing house, DK. In a world where information is so readily available at our fingertips, this video for the world's leading non-fiction reference publisher, by Khaki Films, is a timely reminder that books aren't dead.

To begin with I was fooled, and I'm probably not the only one, into thinking that this video wasn't very inspiring in two ways. First, by the simple design of the video and, second, by the words I was hearing and seeing. At two-and-a-half minutes long, I didn't think I would make it all the way through as there's not much to catch your eye, but for the sake of research I persisted. At the half way mark, I was rewarded with a clever twist.

The way the words are animated in this scrolling motion is a nod towards how we find and view our information today. The music, tone from the voiceover and the pace of the video all help to build this dubious feeling about the words we are hearing and seeing. Toward the middle of the video, I was almost starting to believe these words and feeling slightly emotional, when out of nowhere the twist is revealed and my faith in humanity is restored! As soon as the words have been said, they’re being taken back and reversed. You hear the same script put in reverse order and a new character is created with a more optimistic voice. However you were feeling toward the middle of the video is completely demolished.

For me, the biggest thing to take from this inspiration is shown so obviously through the simple aesthetic and is a line drawn directly from the video: content is more important than packaging. I'm fairly certain the majority of people reading this blog will be guilty of buying something they didn't really need because they couldn't help but pick up that beautifully crafted little box. At the end of the day, though, if what's inside that box doesn't do its job, you won't buy that brand again. With curated and authoritative content, that's where DK has people coming back time and time again.

Sava, Creative Intern

INSPO #5 // Mara Hoffman

Every girl seems to have that one person that they admire/adore/obsess over from a distance. That 'best friend' that they haven’t actually met yet. That personal guru whose Instagram they turn to on a rainy day or whose quotes they read when they need some inspiration. To me, that person is Mara Hoffman. A clothing designer based in New York, who travels the world with her husband Javier and their adorable son Joaquin. Her collections focus on vibrant colours and beautiful prints, inspired by the various countries and cultures that they regularly visit, as well as mythology, nature and cosmic wonder. Together, the family act as a creative team for the brand, Javier editing and creating the most magical of images and Joaquin often acting as a model for the kidswear collection. However, it’s not the gorgeous clothing or creative designs that make Mara Hoffman special. The thing that truly sets her apart is her spirit, her passion and her zest for life. She speaks so sincerely of the love she has for her family, friends and the world as a whole. Within all her images and text runs a constant theme of gratitude and positivity, which is truly contagious. If everybody saw life through the eyes of Mara Hoffman, it would be greater world to live in.

Jo, Creative Coordinator

Dream on, dreamers.

The Dream Team