Archive for October, 2010

Roche Helveticum forte

October 31, 2010

Those who are familiar with drugs from Roche are probably aware how the drug boxes look like. Roche has a specific design for drug boxes with lots of white space, two proprietary fonts and two hexagons in one of the corners: one being filled with colour, typically blue and the other bearing the Roche logo. In essence, almost all of their drugs are packages in the same looking white drug boxes; the only difference is the name of the drug.

However, if you happen to visit the Roche central offices in Basel, you will encounter yet another Roche “medicine” called Helveticum forte. This one is also packed in they typical Roche white drug box, but the content is far from being an active drug. Instead, you can open the Helveticum forte box to find 36 playing cards and a small booklet that explains how to play a card game. This is because Helveticum forte is not a real drug that Roche decided to give for free to all their visitors, but a card game containing all sorts of different trivia for Roche.

In fact, the instructions of the small booklet tell you of a game that has two phases. In the first phase, two or more players are dealt with some cards with the aim to complete quartets (books of cards of the same rank). They do this by asking their fellow players if they have the cards the need to make the quarter and by losing their turn if they do not manage to find a card. When a quarter has been made, this needs to be laid down. After all the quartets have been laid down, the second phase of the game begins, in which the person who has completed a quartet asks the person on their left one of the questions contained in the quartets. For each correct answer, the respondent is being rewarded with a card and at the end, the person with most cards wins the game.

Helveticum forte is obviously a fun and creative way for Roche to pass on corporate information to a visitor. But what is more interesting is Roche’s willingness to package this board game in a “bogus” drug box, similar to the design of their real drug boxes. It can create a lasting impression.


[all images © copyright LambdaPhage]


Orange and T-Mobile share each other’s signal – inspriring advertising

October 29, 2010

I saw the above advertisement when I was riding the tube on a very busy day. The advertisement did not make much sense to me and did not really notice the company being advertised. I was intrigued by the simplicity of the statement in the block letters, having not noticed the fine print, I was puzzled, as the ad did not seem to pitch for any particular product or service.

And then it made perfect sense. Not because I had noticed that the advertisement was running in the corporate identity of a specific company I knew beforehand, but because I saw the advertisement next to this one that explained everything. Orange and T-Mobile, two UK mobile phone carriers, were joining forces and sharing each other’s signal.

And just as the companies decided to share their signals, they decided to share their advertising space. After my first encounter, I just kept glancing the dual advertisements from Orange and T-Mobile. Appearing in each company’s corporate identity, they seem to complement each other. but also keep their own identity. Just as it is supposed to be with the companies being advertised.


[images © respective owners]

+J is back

October 26, 2010

Loyal readers of the blog may have read one of my previous posts on one of my clothing obsessions. The post was about one of the best collaborations between a fashion designer and a high-street store: the collaboration between Jil Sander and Uniqlo, culminating in the creation of the +J line. Two separate collections were created during the past year: the inaugural Fall/Winter 2009 collection and the most recent Spring/Summer 2010 collection.

I was more than happy to know that another +J line just hit the Uniqlo stores in London. According to the designer, this season is characterised by “a well fitted, sculptured cut, quality materials, careful detailing, and an overall subdued sophistication. Once you establish such a key wardrobe, you will find that the rest is easily combined. A beautiful coat or a white shirt works with almost anything, but actually needs almost nothing else. I called the ideal I have in mind, uniforms for the future”.

This season’s clothes are characterised by thick materials based on wool that lack the sophistication of last year’s high-tech, synthetic materials, but earn extra points for the cuts. This year, double breasted options were added alongside single-breasted cuts and longer coats have been added to shorter ones.

Admittedly, I have set my eyes on some items, but I am waiting for the entire line to be unveiled before I make any puchase.


[image © copyright Uniqlo]