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With a clear love of blue and rocking this season’s cobalt trend, the Queen is looking good! I certainly wish I had an outfit in every colour of the rainbow - who knew HRH was such a trend-setter?

Image courtesy of Vogue magazine: May 2012

A VIDEO

I came across an innovative business card design and had a quick scout around online to look at a few others - these were some of my favourites. I love that you don’t need to be a big brand to push the boat out when it comes to self-promotion - independent hair stylists and dentists can still go to town with a relevant concept that can be brought to life through print. Ace.

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Fantasy (Football) Island


Members and associates of football A-list club, Real Madrid plan to open a $1 billion
50-hectare resort on the artificial island of Al Marjan in January 2015. It will house a 10,000-seat stadium, half of which will be open to the sea, as well as sports facilities,
a club museum and a residential area.

Legendary player turned director, Zinedine Zidane will be joined by coach, Jose Mourinho and the Club’s president Florentino Perez along with a host of first team players to make this dream a reality. This project may be viewed as unusual for a football club but the real estate is a strategic step that will enhance the strength of the institution and raise additional income for the Club.

If the project is successful it may set a trend in the industry as other clubs will find new ways to generate money. Manchester United, for example already has a range of branded restaurants across Asia. The holiday island just shows what impact football has on the global economy, but regardless of the huge financial gain the project will bring, it will unite the fans of the Club and be an inspiration for Clubs around the world!

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I have recently been sampling products from Morrisons’ new M Savers range and I’m pleased to say, there are a fair few treats in store! Since basing my final year uni project around the design and marketing of supermarket own brands’ products, and as a keen bargain hunter, I love it when I find an own brand product that tastes just as good as - or sometimes better than - its branded competitor. I can highly recommend the M Chicken Biryani at a mere £1.

In these tough times I think more and more people are obviously cutting back, but there’s still a bit of snobbery about supermarkets’ own brands. The new range from Morrisons just looks really pretty. It’s amazing what some cleverly designed packaging can do for a reputation - even though the actual products probably haven’t hanged that much, the new brand design and packaging seems to be having a great effect on consumers’ buying habits - Morrisons reported an 8% rise in profits, thanks (mostly) to the new range.

Hats off to great design and marketing!

A TEXT POST

Unemployment = sex ?

This is just such a great article…. Hull is near the TOP of a poll finally (WIN!), and the research was carried out by DULUX! It just all seems so random - but read to the end… I would love to know if the result of the 500l paint giveaway has an effect in Ipswich! What a good idea!

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COUPLES in Hull are among the most amorous in the country, according to a sex survey.

On average, people living in Hull are likely to have sex 56 times a year.

Bradford and Aberdeen were named the most sexually active towns, with couples having sex, on average, 66 times a year.

Some of the least sexually active place were Coventry, Cardiff and Ipswich, where people have sex, on average, 18 times a year.

Helen Davis, assistant manager of the Ann Summers sex shop in Whitefrigate said: “I’m not surprised Hull is ranked so highly.

"I speak to people every day about their sex lives.

"Customers are very open with us about what they want and we give them the best advice we can.

"The numbers seem quite low, but with it being an average, there will be plenty of people doing it more than 56 times a year."

The Mail used its Facebook page to ask people from Hull what they thought to the results of the survey.

John Shore, of Hull, said: “Unemployment is high, so they have to do something.

"I make that once a week, so someone got my share."

Daniel Bird said: “Aren’t we a kinky city!”

Kayleigh Bella Hartung said of the city’s average: “Is that all? I’m done for the year then.”

Sheridan Wilkinson said: “It’s great that Hull came fifth but 56 times a year, that’s not much.

"That’s an average of 1.07 a week. Wondering now what the .07 is."

The survey was carried out by paint firm Dulux, which spoke to 2,000 people across the country about their sexual activity.

It plans to use the results to see if a change of colour in the bedroom can boost a couple’s sex life.

Dulux’s Letty Edwards said: “By transforming people’s bedrooms, we’ll be able to see the effect decorating can have both aesthetically and emotionally.”

The company said it is giving away 500 litres of red paint to residents of Ipswich to see if decorating their homes will increase sexual activity.

There are many health benefits to having sex, including boosting the immune system, longevity and warding off cancer.

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SOURCE: www.thisishullandeastriding.co.uk

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A lovely info graphic marrying Parisian street style with a simple, clear design. Interesting, informative and pretty :) Head over to http://me-elle-you.com/ for loads more street style from all over the globe.

A VIDEO

Just in case the offer alone wasn’t enough, Starbucks have gone and made a really cute animation to go with it. Free lattes all round tomorrow morning - we can’t wait!

A VIDEO

Jean Paul Gaultier has been announced as the 2012 Creative Director for Diet Coke - how exciting! 

Market Activation Director for Coca-Cola Great Britain, Zoe Haworth, said: “Fashion is at the heart of the Diet Coke brand and this new partnership aims to further engage our fashion-forward, stylish target audience of young women” (Source: The Drum). Well, if this is the aim, I think they’ve hit the nail on the head. Jean Paul Gaultier will have a variety of tasks to fulfil for Diet Coke throughout the year, starting with the iconic bottle design, followed by the website, retail concepts and the ad campaigns. For a taste of things to come, a series of videos have been launched on the Diet Coke YouTube channel and Facebook page, where Jean Paul Gaultier plays the role of detective / therapist / journalist in scenes with the infamous Diet Coke puppets. Genius - if not a little odd! I just think this is a match made in heaven… Perfect for the Diet Coke brand ethos and for making their amazing newly designed bottles (because of course, they will be!) fly off the shelves… And perfect for Jean Paul Gaultier adding another string to his bow in realms away from ‘traditional’ fashion design. Can’t wait to see what he produces later in the year!

A VIDEO

I came across the work of Peter Orntoft recently while researching visual ways to present information. I just thought these pie charts and bar charts were stunning. Visually appealing, relevant to the subject matter and delivering the statistical message - to look at them you think ‘that’s so simple’ - but you can tell the thought and work that has gone into achieving that effect is phenomenal. I can’t praise them enough :)

http://www.peterorntoft.com/HTML%20filer/infocontext1.html

A VIDEO

Face-Recognizing Billboard Shows Ad to Women Only

Sporting a Y chromosome? A new high-tech, outdoor billboard being tested in London won’t let you see its advertisement.

Developed by Plan UK, a non-profit organization that helps children in third-world countries, the billboard will promote the group’s “Because I’m a Girl” campaign. The effort is designed to help sponsor girls in developing countries receive a proper education. Men won’t be able to see the full ad, and will be directed to the organization’s website instead, to show men “a glimpse of what it’s like to have basic choices taken away.” The fairer sex, on the other hand, will see a full 40-second video promoting Plan UK’s cause.

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Katy Perry has been sporting a see-through outfit at Paris Fashion Week - I’m not quite sure about it myself, but then I’m not that cool. If I was as cool as Katy Perry and had the body to pull off a see-through dress it might be a different story! Russell Brand must be kicking himself.


A VIDEO

We love a good infographic here at Force-7 HQ - and here’s the latest to grab our attention.


The average Facebook user spends just 20 minutes on the site per visit, but there are a whopping 2.7 billion “likes” and 250 millions photos uploaded every day! That’s got to equate to a LOT of users… 845 million worldwide in fact!

Source: Infographic Labs via www.prdaily.com
A VIDEO

The lovely Cheryl is back on our screens in a new ad for L’Oreal’s Casting Crème Gloss - and three lucky ladies (that Cheryl picked herself from the fans that applied to take part on the L’Oreal Facebook page) got to join her! Jealous! If Cheryl wasn’t enough of an endorsement, seeing these three normal girls’ hair looking as ‘super glossy’ as Chezza’s definitely makes me want to take a trip to Boots and get myself a new colour for Spring.

A TEXT POST

Tatty Devine v Claires Accessories

As Twitter continues to go crazy today following yesterday’s trending of @clairesstores, the debate rolls on as to when taking inspiration from something you like or admire, goes a little bit too far!

Claire’s Accessories are in a bit of bother for nicking designs from Tatty Devine - you can see what Tatty Devine had to say on the matter on their blog here: 

http://www.tattydevine.com/blog/2012/02/can-you-spot-the-difference/

In a way it’s a compliment that Claire’s love Tatty Devine’s style so much that they would want to go to these lengths to align themselves with the brand. But on such a blatant scale and across a number of products, this is by no means an accident - and surely it isn’t something Claire’s ever thought they could get away with unnoticed?

In today’s consumer market, it is tough to come up with something original for every new product or ad campaign… But you can’t just go around nicking someone else’s stuff and claiming it as your own? Where does that leave your brand anyway - if anything this story has just made me more aware of Tatty Devine’s range and has inspired me to go buy from them, boycotting Claire’s forever (that is, if I still shopped there anyway!)

I think the biggest thing to come out of this story though, is the way Claire’s have handled the situation. They could have come out of this with a statement or apology - some way of retaining their dignity. Instead, they have purposefully chosen to ignore angry Facebook messages and Tweets from customers and have gone as far as to delete them, rather than posting a reply or explaining their actions. Tut tut Claire’s - probably not the best way to handle it - if anything adding fuel to the fire!

It will be interesting to see how this one plays out… In the meantime, come payday, I reckon I’ll be heading over to http://www.tattydevine.com/ and stocking up on some cute summer accessories. Win!

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ASA bans latest L’Oreal ad
The ASA has banned the latest advert for L’Oreal’s Revitalist 10 anti-aging cream on the grounds that the image of Rachel Weisz is ‘misleading’. L’Oreal have admitted that they shot the image in lots of light and with a soft lens in order to capture the model the most favourably, then applied some post-production and airbrushing effects to the image too. The ASA deem that the smoothness of Rachel Weisz’s complexion is not a realistic representation of what the product can actually do.
These images show Rachel in the banned ad (left) and in everyday life (right).
If I look like this when I’m 41 I’ll be pretty happy… L’Oreal didn’t need to go to such airbrushing extremes when their model already looks this good - she’s a perfect example of why you should use Revitalist 10 - L’Oreal should have just used a shot of her in everyday life! 
One thing’s for sure though - the extra publicity gained from the ASA ban certainly makes me remember the name of the product, and I wouldn’t be able to tell you the name of any other anti-aging creams. So I reckon their sales might not do so badly despite their ad being pulled.