Archive for September, 2010

[Rotring Trio Pen]*

September 18, 2010

When I first saw a Rotring Trio pen, there was nothing in its exterior that would immediately give away it is not an ordinary pen. But by looking carefully, I noticed some markings close to its pushbutton, the indicator dots, betraying instantly it was more: it was multi-pen, a blue pen, a red pen and a mechanical pencil.

It was not the multi-pen featured that it surprised me. After all, I had seen multi-pens before and some with more than three pens. But whereas most of the multi-pens I have seen before were cheap, plastic and chunky apparatuses, this one was small, metal and luxurious. In fact, it was the first time I had seen a multi-pen including a pencil and being roughly bigger than a normal pen. A feature that was due to the cleverly-designed mechanism to load the individual tips.

Indeed, the individual tips of this pens are loaded by gravity. To extend one of them, you just need to hold the pen upright and press the pushbutton downwards but also slightly to one side of the indicator dots of the barrel that corresponds to the individual tip. The retraction mechanism is more simple: it is a small button located at the pocket clip.

The first time I saw this pen was when of my best friends got it from his father to use it in an exam. His father, an engineer at that time, wanted to be able to use multiple pens but not to have to carry them around as individual pens. The moment I saw this pen, I fell in love with it but at that time I could not afford it. Several years later, and having used lots of other pens, I decided to get it for university and have used it ever since. That is why it became one of [my obsessions]*.

Meanwhile, Rotring decided to evolve its design. The retraction mechanism was changed from the pushbutton of the pocket clip to the entire pocket clip, the body of the trio pen became a bit bigger and some patterns were added to the barrel surface to give a firmer grip. The company also introduced the Quattro pen with four tips and a special version with a data pen suitable for use in pointing devices. But I never liked the new designs and always resorted to buying the older version. Needless to say, I lost almost five of these pens during my university years.

These days, I am using what seems to be my last one, because it is impossible to find the same design, even on Ebay.


[image © LambdaPhage]


Virgin Active supports Richard Branson’s kitesurfing – inspiring advertising

September 2, 2010

Virgin is no stranger to exquisite marketing campaigns, well-orchestrated PR stunts and imaginative advertisements. It therefore comes as so surprise that one of its latest advertisements, appearing on the web and in posters at selected Virgin Active gyms, has won my seal of “inspiring advertising”.

At first sight, the advertisement tries to convey a simple message. Virgin Active is supporting Sir Richard Branson’s latest challenge to kite-surf the English channel in celebration of his 60th birthday. But the advertisement manages to deliver this message with a twist that is guaranteed to make you laugh. The copy reads:

“To celebrate his 60th birthday Richard Branson is kitesurfing the English channel. Virgin Active is proud to sponsor him, but we have a question to ask: when is he going to start acting his age?” The text is in a red, Virgin branded poster bearing a white caricature of Sir Richard Branson in kitesurfing gear.

The result might look effortless, but I am sure it took several hours of brainstorming and editing to accomplish. And it stands as a proof that you can turn seemingly boring and uninteresting message to one, which can leave an everlasting impression.


P.S.: You can find Sir Richard Branson’s microsite for his 60th birthday celebrations here.

[image © Virgin Active]