One of the essentials for brands is to keep up with what the marketplace trends are and what’s coming next. When I worked at Disney, Irma Zandl came in to lead us through focus groups, trends and creative exercises connecting us to our target demographic. After moving back to NY, Irma invited me to her annual holiday dinner where I got to know the rest of her magnificent team, Jamie, Anna, Deborah, Paige, Carla and on the West Coast, Brandi (who we had dinner with at Chateau Marmont. Upon leaving she pointed and said ‘It’s an Olson’ and kept walking, only deepening my admiration of her. Oddly, that was the second time I was with Irma in LA that we had seen the Olson Twins.) Their collective blog, Zandland, offers fantastic insights into trends, music and local Buckwick trendsetters in art, clothing and more.
Location: Bushwick, BK
Vocation: Consumer Research/ Trend Forecasting
1) What are some of the trends you see online?
Jamie & Deborah: Real-Time:
With new platforms like Google Wave, and growing popularity in networked gaming systems like Wii and XBox, there’s a growing shift in real-time interactivity online. Also, sites and services like Twitter and Facebook allow users to be connected and share information instantly. If something happens (i.e. Michael Jackson), many users are turning first to Twitter & FB to get the most real-time info, as opposed to news sites.
– Augmented Reality:
One of our favorite tech trends right now, Augmented Reality is the overlay of information or other elements onto a real-time environment. Yelp was one of the first iPhone apps to get big notice for using AR…We really see this as the start of something huge.
Web aggregators like Google Reader and Google News are making for a fine-tuned, personal daily online sweep. Other servies like OpenID and OpenSocial are allowing users to combine several of their favorite sites and web services into one, with one user name/ password…bringing further personalization to their online world.
2) Being located in the uber artistic area of Bushwick, Brooklyn, is it easy to become involved in the local art scene?
Anna here: I personally have found the neighborhood to be incredibly welcoming, and have really strong ties to the people I’ve met here (this experience is unlike others i’ve had in different NYC neighborhoods). There are so many creative people doing exciting things out here and most folks really seem to be interested in getting to know their neighbors and collaborating. I’ve had the chance to meet so many people through my work with BushwickBK.com that I wouldn’t have and it’s been really rewarding.
3) The Zandland blog focuses on art, fashion, trends, ads, and more. How do you find new websites?
Anna: Deborah (Deborah Hilert, Creative Director, Video) is my personal link genius – she finds the BEST stuff. Also, more generally, we learn about new sites from our panel of 8-24 year olds as well as our Young Adult Thought Leader panel and extensive network. We’re all pretty tapped in, and quick to share the good stuff with each other and clients. After all – it’s all about viral these days!
4) Can you explain “yacht rock?”
Brandi says: Yacht rock is a series of webisodes that follows the fictional lives of soft rock greats like Steely Dan, Toto, Doobie Brothers and Christopher Cross. The music all originated in Southern California and the name “yacht rock” suggests that it’s best suited as a soundtrack for yachting. The series is written by a group of comedy writers in Los Angeles who make their real livings working production on various television shows and movies. They don’t own yachts and obviously love the “so bad it’s good” aesthetic. Yacht rock humor seems to be getting a little passé — right now I’m into www.timanderic.com and Zach Galifinakis’ “Between Two Ferns” interview series onfunnyordie.com for online comedy.
5) What will people be wearing for Halloween this year?
Since we missed our first deadline (whoops, sorry!!) we decided to send you some of our team’s creative costumes (photos attached):