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Cultural Trends

Predictive Anomaly—May 2013 Trendcasting Live Wire

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The Powerhouse Factories May Trendcasting Live Wire highlights Predictive Anomaly, an emerging trend that illuminates the divergence in the everyday. This trend is driven by designers, technologists and stylists alike who investigate and curate the “wild cards” that make life reliably unpredictable, increasing layers of encoded meaning whether for enhanced security or visceral delight. Below you’ll see leading manifestations of this trend across categories such as design, advertising, fashion and even commerce and what to keep in mind as this trend continues to gain momentum. Read More

Musical Muse—The Rise of the Celebrity Creative Director

By | Cultural Trends | One Comment

Brands and marketers have long tapped celebrities as professional spokespeople to help them connect with consumers and promote their products. Now, some of the world’s biggest brands are taking the notion a step further; anointing famous personalities with “creative director” titles.

Once relegated to appearing in commercials, signing autographs and promoting products, stars are trading endorsement deals for boardroom duties. The shift has caused uproar across the industry as many question whether celebrities are qualified for the job and wondering what gives. The answer to those questions lie in examining what the brands are finding value in.

When you begin to study the recent influx of celebrity creative directors a commonality between most of them emerges: their inspiring musical prowess. From Will.i.am to Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake to Alicia Keys and Taylor Swift, each artist sings pop music, functioning as a purveyor of pop culture. So why do brands think that this is important? Read More

Different and Relevant—Crafting Our Company Culture with Screen Printing 101

By | Brand Building, Consumer Experiences, Cultural Trends, Design, Life at Powerhouse | One Comment

At Powerhouse Factories, we’re proud of our roots in the art of printmaking, or more specifically, screen printing. More than a decade ago, I was learning printmaking and design in a formal education setting, while simultaneously forging a path of my own making rock posters for my favorite bands. Back then, we built our own equipment, using whatever we had available to us. At the time, we scrounged up odds and ends, fashioning our own light tables, drying racks and printing stations. Our creative process was one of trial and error rather than a practiced and perfected science. We were in pursuit of something different, something real and something exciting. We didn’t really know where it would lead, but we knew that it was important, worthwhile and, most importantly, relevant.

Now as a full-fledged brand-building agency, we harness what we know from living and working at the intersection of pop culture and counterculture to help clients. Read More

Going Viral—Does BuzzFeed Hold the Key to Highly Shareable Content Strategy?

By | Consumer Experiences, Cultural Trends, Influencer Marketing, Social Media Marketing | No Comments

The listicle clearing house, pop-culture commerce engine and general Meme propagating juggernaut, BuzzFeed, has been gaining traction across a range of media outlets recently.

From the National Republican Congressional Committee copying BuzzFeed’s content strategy via The Atlantic to Jonah Peretti’s algorithm that purportedly guarantees virality via New York Magazine, BuzzFeed is top of mind for anyone trying craft compelling, shareable content. Regardless of the veracity of Peretti’s algorithm and the often impossible task of “making things go viral”, the underpinnings of prioritizing content that “reproduces” is an important concept for businesses looking to tap into a growing cultural movement.

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Harnessing Ambience—April 2013 Trendcasting Live Wire

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Looking to emergent trends and technological innovations can help contextualize what our future may hold, today. This month our Trends & Insights team has been tracking front-end developments in Harnessing Ambience that could foreshadow the capabilities of our products, services and communications over the next 18 months to 2 years. Below you’ll see leading manifestations of this trend across categories such as science, technology, health and even beauty and what to continue to watch out for as this trend gains momentum.

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