Category: Music, Art, Film & Fashion

Brooklyn Inspires @ Northside Innovation Festival

June 13, 2018 — Ali Arduini

Last week, we immersed ourselves into the Northside Festival: a convergence of music, business, and art, that showcases the most creative minds and talent of the global innovation community. Through a series of keynotes and panel talks, the “best and brightest” congregated in North Brooklyn to share their latest insights on emerging tech, media innovations, creative design, and the culture changes emerging in our digital world.

With a constant aptitude to learn about industry trends and “the next big thing,” we spent the week carefully listening to the highly-credible speakers discuss their wisdom and future industry predictions at unique venues across Williamsburg and Greenpoint.

In true Brooklyn fashion we grabbed our 7-dollar locally-roasted coffee, popped open our tiny Macbook Airs, adjusted our Warby Parkers (ok, that one’s an exaggeration), and got to note-taking. Here are some of the trends and topics discussed:

Brand Reputation

Brands are becoming patrons of culture rather than just facilitators Trust is the new currency: The New York Times has recently focused on labeling their articles more clearly to better distinguish news versus opinion pieces, resulting in better clarity for readers to help de-clutter the confusion on #fakenews. Brand loyalty can be created through proper dialogue […]

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The Start of Something Big

May 16, 2016 — Lisbet Gutierrez

I spent this weekend at The Period Shop — the world’s very first pop up store dedicated to periods, created by our favorite period brand U by Kotex. To say that I’m proud to work with the CBX U by Kotex project would be an understatement. The pop-up shop brings to life the brand mission in a tangible way, and the shelves were lined with our anti-stereotype package designs. See more about how these cool, colorful designs came to be here.

The Period Shop was inspired by a Tumblr post from a young woman, Sarah M., who partnered with U by Kotex to make her vision a reality on 5th Avenue in NYC. Part celebration, part proclamation, The Period Shop is proof that, together, we can change how we think about, talk about, and shop for periods. All proceeds benefit Susan’s Place, a NYC-based transitional residence for homeless women.

And here are photos from my #PeriodProjects experience:



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America: The Land Of The Beer

May 10, 2016 — Rachel Bernard

“As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect.” —The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka

It’s morning in America, folks. And as America awoke this morning, it found itself transformed into the king of beers. Today, Budweiser announced that starting May 23rd they will henceforth be referred to as America. With that, our nation has manifested its destiny.

E pluribus unum. Where there were once two brands. There is now one. If you think about it, the union between brand America and brand Budweiser could not be more perfect. Both are iconic. Both are red, white and blue. Both have moved their manufacturing bases overseas. And both can get you bombed. #Twinning.

This bud really is for you, America.

Photo courtesy of Entrepreneur.


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Pirelli Says Behind Every Great Tire Brand is a Great Woman – is the Brand Finally Catching Up with Culture or Leading it?

December 8, 2015 — Christina Papale

The New York Times headline was bold, “The 2016 Pirelli Calendar May Signal a Cultural Shift.” The piece went on to say that the Pirelli brand, a strong supporter and champion of the quintessential male gaze, had taken a radical departure for the 2016 calendar by featuring whole women of accomplishment vs. pieces of female endowment. Brought to you by Annie Leibovitz.

As a woman, there’s a lot I could say regarding this departure. As a brand strategist, I am interested in Pirelli’s brand message and behavior, and what that says about the brand and about us.

In releasing this calendar, it appears that Pirelli is a brand transformed. The New York Times piece presents this transformation in the form of commitment and responsibility. Yet Pirelli, and a few subjects of the calendar, do not necessarily agree. Both Mellody Hobson and Agnes Gund made it clear in The Times article that, “their relationship was with Ms. Leibovitz, not Pirelli.” And Artist Shirin Neshat said, “I didn’t feel like I was selling out by doing this as much as helping Annie support a new idea about female style and beauty.”

The piece also presents Pirelli’s perspective:

“The company itself is careful […]

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Laughing (With or) At You?

November 2, 2015 — Brian Burr

We’ve all experienced embarrassing moments; a clumsy misstep sends you tumbling to the floor; an errant turn of the fork transforms your new shirt into a Jackson Pollock painting; a faulty wheel on a push cart sends half a pitcher of sangria to the ground outside the elevators on CBX’s fourth floor… (OK, maybe that last one was just me).

It’s important to remember that embarrassing moments only define you when you let them. Compose yourself when your face is flushed and your ears are burning so that people laugh with, instead of at you. Being able to play off the moment and laugh with everyone demonstrates an authenticity that people find endearing.

This idea is not exclusive to human-to-human interactions. In a marketplace where consumers are constantly searching for real connections with brands, a little self-depreciation can go a long way.

Brands using humor in their messaging is nothing new, but lately we’ve seen more brands turn the focus of the jokes back on themselves. Things that marketing teams would have once worked hard to hide are now leading the conversation.

Take Dressbarn’s Fall 2015 campaign. After decades of battling consumers’ hesitancy to bridge the gap between women’s fashion […]

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Date At Your Own Risk: Licensing in Branding

August 26, 2015 — Lucila Tessi

Becoming a “licensee” allows brands the opportunity to extend into a new category or industry, modernize, stay relevant and build upon their brand value. When choosing the right licensing opportunity and when implemented effectively, it can have tremendous benefits. As of late, we’ve seen this with Minion-mania. It’s been said that Universal will make more off of licensed products than the Minions movie that just came out in July. Sounds tempting, right? But before jumping in, let’s take a step back and evaluate licensing.

The way I see it, licensing is a very personal tool used by brands. I often think of it as a relationship. Two people joining as one and representing what each other stands for. You look to benefit from each other, you meet each other’s friends and as a couple you work together to make each other happy. But unlike a relationship, you have the opportunity to plan for success prior to creating the partnership.

Here are five guidelines for brands to keep in mind when thinking of entering a (licensed) relationship:

What are you looking to get out of this?

Licensing should be used as a strategic business tool. Brands that want to license someone else’s intellectual […]

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A Video is Worth a Thousand Pictures

January 29, 2015 — Ted Bachman

Picture this—you’re hunched over your friend’s computer, looking over his shoulder as you see the 25th picture of the Eiffel Tower from his trip to France. Your cheeks are hurting from holding a smile, but you’re somehow able to keep saying “oh nice!” over again. Meanwhile, you haven’t even made it to the Louvre in your pictorial tour yet—better get comfy! I love still photography, but everywhere you look, the world is moving to video. Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are all using video. And YouTube uploads over 100 hours of video every minute. That’s a lot of cats! Video is increasingly used online to showcase consumer products, even real estate. (At CBX, we’re beginning to transition to video to highlight case studies of our work.) In fact, three-quarters of web traffic is predicted to be video related by 2017. Not to mention, anyone with a smartphone has a video screen in his or her pocket and the ability to shoot video at any moment. While mobile video isn’t particularly new, what’s remarkable is the access to and use of smartphones around the globe. In the US alone, two-thirds of the population uses a smartphone, including over 80% of young adults. […]

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The Branding of Music Festivals

August 26, 2013 — Joshua Books

Music is being consumed in a variety of ways in 2013. From set streams to podcasts and everything in between, technological advancements allow users to have unlimited access to their favorite artists in most, if not all settings. The occasions in which these collections of sonic rhythms are listened to are endless, but live performance still remains the optimal experience.

A few weeks ago, I attended the Jay Z and Justin Timberlake “Legends of the Summer Tour” at Fenway Park, which sported an incredible and seamless collaboration of two totally different sounds. I wondered why more artists of different genres don’t tour together. In the context of today’s music festivals, I realized they actually do.

As festival season comes to a close this Labor Day, I decided to analyze the branding strategies and consumers behind a few that I experienced this summer, and a couple that I regretfully missed. With rumors swirling that EDC NY 2014 is moving locations to the campgrounds of Winston Farm in Woodstock (1994 location), these festival productions are starting to come full circle. What is EDC NY you ask? Read on! What: A mashup  of food, drinks and music, including 85 grub makers, 75 brews, […]

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James Bond and the Power of Imagery

June 3, 2013 — Cindy Lord

I love James Bond movies. All of them. Even the bad ones (think anything with Denise Richards or Tanya Roberts). And I have now done something either completely horrible—or fantastic and empowering—by introducing my tween daughters to Bond. We have been trolling the catalog together on Friday nights.

And so it was to my horror that I found myself completely unable to name a whole swath of Bond films, despite the fact that I have probably seen each and every one of them five times or more.

There were the films that jumped to mind quickly: •    Goldfinger •    Octopussy •    Moonraker (yes, I know, horrible) •    Diamonds are Forever •    Casino Royale •    Even On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (you know, the one with the Bond actor no one can ever remember – it’s George Lazenby, BTW)

And then there were the films I just couldn’t call up, although I had the vague recollection that they each had the words Live, Die or Tomorrow somewhere in the title. I even struggled with the recent Daniel Craig offering, Quantum of Solace. I mean, seriously, if you’re going to go there, why not just call it Spooky Action at a Distance?


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Kids are dumb and that’s funny

April 25, 2013 — David Weinberger

I was feeling lazy on another lazy spring afternoon. I had just finished watching “The Lazy Song” by Bruno Mars on YouTube. My kids love that song and the irony is that it’s actually pretty clever with a well-choreographed video. I’m not sure exactly why the monkeys are in there. Maybe to imply that Bruno “monkeys around” on his days off? What the monkeys do provide though is innocence. They don’t know any better. Instead of judging Bruno for being lazy, they’re just happy to be there, having a good time and eating things out of each other’s hair.

The next video I clicked on was a commercial for AT&T. It was one of many in their “It’s not complicated, faster is better” campaign. Not quite a universal human truth but OK, I’ll nod. It shows a man in a suit sitting with 4 kids and asking them simple questions like, “Is saving money better than not saving money?” and “Is being fast better than being slow?”

The kids are as funny as kids can be when you get them talking. They are answering questions correctly and incorrectly and saying funny things like “pickle roll” when they should be […]

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