Add Your Muppet Voice to the Never Ending Mahna Mahna Phenomahna

Muppets Neverending Mahna Mahna Facebook ApplicationOver the years music has always been an important feature of the Muppet’s performances on Sesame Street, The Muppet Show and in their movies. Well-know songs include Kermit’s “Rainbow Connection” and “Bein’ Green” to Ernie favorite bath time serenade “Rubber Duckie”.

One song I always remembered was ‘Mahna Mahna’, which had been originally recorded by Italian composer Piero Umiliani as Mah Nà Mah Nà. It was first performed by Muppets on Sesame Street in 1969, and later that year was performed on the Ed Sullivan Show by two pink alien-like creatures known as the Snowths (originally known as Snouths) and a crazy orange haired muppet named Mahna Mahna. In 1976 these same muppets repeated the performance on the very first episode of the Muppet Show.

Now with the imminent release of the new ‘The Muppets’ movie, ‘Mahna Mahna and The Snowths’ are back, and you can even join in and add your voice this time. The Never Ending Mahna Mahna Phenomahna application on the Muppets Facebook page enables you to record your ‘Mahna Mahna’ and have it added it to the loop of other fans and celebrity contributions like Sarah Silverman, Jason Segal, Chris Martin and Mickey Rooney.

If singing is not your thing, you can still join in on the Muppets Facebook Fan-a-Thon and help them reach a Bazillion Likes.

Related Posts

Randy MathesonI am a Nova Scotia raised Creative Guy, currently Director of Emerging Media at Delvinia, a Digital Strategy & Customer Experience Design Firm in Toronto. I’m a huge fan of the creative use of digital technologies in social media, marketing, sports and entertainment. I use this blog to share the more interesting examples that I find. If you’re in need of a break, join me over at Madtini.com for a cocktail.

Dermablend Demonstrates Tattoo Cover-Up Product With Zombie Boy Tranformation

Zombie Boy covers up tattoos using DermablendRico Genest (a.k.a. Zombie Boy) is a Montreal-based fashion model who is best known for the striking tattoos that cover the majority of his body and his face that give him the appearance of a rotted corpse. Over the past 6 years Rico has been working with tattoo artist Frank Lewis, spending thousands of dollars to create his striking look. Earlier this year he had the chance to grapple with Lady GaGa in the ‘Born This Way‘ video.

Rico is featured in ‘Go Beyond the Cover’, an amazing demonstration of L’Oreal’s Dermablend skin coverage products. The video features a team of makeup artists using Dermablend’s Tattoo Primer, Leg & Body Cover and Loose Setting Powder to cover up Rico’s tattoos. The promo video runs in reverse showing Rico looking like a typical young male model who could give Derek Zoolander’s ‘Blue Steel’ look a run for it’s money. Rico then removes his shirt and slowly uncovers the zombie-like look of his tattooed face.

The ‘Go Beyond the Cover‘ campaign was created by Montreal’s Tuxedo Agency.

PBS Releases First Episode of Ken Burns’ Prohibition Doc to iPads first

The latest Ken Burns’ documentary ‘Prohibition’ airs on PBS on October 2nd, 3rd and 4th, but users of the PBS app for iPad and iPhone users can watch the first episode now. The first episode tells the story of the events of the 1800s that lead up to the passing of the Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Now I know that the term ‘bootlegging’ came from a name given to men who sold swigs of liquor hidden in their boots or under their pants legs.

The free PBS iPad app can be downloaded in the US App Store.

Nike Auctions Back to the Future Shoes to Benefit Michael J. Fox Foundation

Back 4 The Future - Nike MAGThe shoes, they’re finally here… 3 years early! The 2015 self-lacing, illuminating Nike MAG shoes are here in 2011 for a limited time in a very limited number.

The Story of the Shoes
Way back when in a time called 1989, Tinker Hatfield, a designer at Nike was asked to create a unique futuristic looking shoe for Michael J. Fox’s character Marty McFly to wear in the second Back to the Future movie. Fast-forward to 2005 and sneaker fans started an online petition asking Nike to create an actual version of the prop shoe used in the movie.

The petition did catch the attention of Hatfield who partnered up with another Nike shoe designer, Tiffany Beers to work in relative secret for the past five years to produce a real version of the futuristic shoe. They took their project to Nike CEO, Mark Parker who greenlighted it for further development.

The project was eventually revealed to the Nike promotional department. Soon after Michael J. Fox was approached with the finished shoes and the news that the sales of the limited editions would go to benefit the Michael J. Fox Foundation and Parkinson’s Disease. Fox revealed the Nike MAGs on the David Letterman show on September 8.

The Back 4 the Future Campaign
The teaser video features comedian Bill Hader, Oklahoma Thunder superstar Kevin Durant, Christopher Lloyd as the time-challenged “Doc” Brown and a brief appearance by Goldie Wilson (actor Donald Fullilove) . Designer Tinker Hatfield is in there too explaining that unfortunately the shoes won’t have power laces until 2015. But when Doc finds out that it’s still only 2011 he’s off in the flux-capacitor powered Deloreon to right the space-continuum.

The Back4theFuture.com website is a full browser experience that shows a different background experience depending on the time of day you arrive. You may see ‘Doc’ Brown staring bug-eyed at the shoes if you drop by during the day or watch the cleaning staff at work at night. The site features

For 10 days starting September 9, 1500 pairs (150 each day) of the Nike MAGs are being auctioned off in a special Ebay auction. The first pair was snapped up by British rapper Tinie Tempah for $37,500 at a separate charity auction in LA. After only three days over 2 million dollars has been raised, and with Google’s Sergey Brin and his wife Anne Wojcicki promising to match all bids up to $50 million things look on track for the campaign to raise significant funds for the Michael J. Fox Foundation and Parkinson’s Disease.

If you can’t afford the shoes (and few of us can) you can still contribute to the cause at participating Nike stores by purchasing a ceramic replica or pin of the Nike MAGs.

See you in 2015, by then I’ll really need those self-tying laces.

UPDATE Sep 24, 2011: Total amount raised over the 10 days in eBay auction of 1500 shoes was $5,695,190.53. You can check out the rest of the stats over on the NiceKicks website.

Warner Brothers Creates Infectious Billboard to Promote Contagion

Contagion BillboardThe big-budget pandemic movie Contagion is due out on Friday, September 9th and Warner Brothers Canada wanted to spread (pun intended) the word to the people of Toronto in a unique way.

To promote the movie, Warner Brothers Canada and Toronto agency Lowe Roche created a storefront window display featuring what amounts to two giant rectangular petri dishes. They petri dishes were then treated with bacteria and fungi and installed as part of a display in the window. Soon the bacteria did what it does best, growing to eventually spell out the name of the movie.

The movie, directed by Steven Soderbergh tells the tale of a plucky virus that does it darnedness to wipe out the entire human population including Gwenyth Paltrow, Jude Law, Matt Damon, Kate Winslet and several other less good looking humans.

Catch it while you can.

Bob and the Monster and a Nice Use of QR Code

Bob and the MonsterBob Forrest may be better known as the outspoken group counselor on VH1’s Celebrity Rehab, but for music fans he’s the legendary lead singer of LA band Thelonious Monster, who released several critically-acclaimed albums in the 80s and The Bicycle Thief in the late 1990s.

Bob and the Monster, a documentary by by Shaker Films, chronicles the musicians rise to fame with Thelonious Monster, his fall into addiction, recovery and his transformation into a controversial yet influential drug counselor. The film premiered back in February 2011 at SXSW and has been making the film festival rounds, including earning a Special Mention at Toronto’s Hot Docs.

For its one-night showing in Los Angeles they’ve created a poster with a stylized QR code that links to a mobile site to learn about the film, watch the trailer, purchase tickets and link to the Twitter and Facebook profiles.

The poster makes good use of QR Codes following several best practices. The large stylized glyph created by Warbasse Design dominating the poster. The poster features clear instructions and description of what the user should expect on the mobile-friendly destination site. The poster also clearly displays the site URL and provides a short code for users to download a QR code reader. Good job all around.

I believe that in the near-future QR Codes are likely to cast-aside as technologies such as image recognition become more prominent. I believe the technologies (QR, Geofencing, Image Recognition or even NFC) themselves are less an issue than advertisers following best practices and providing value to their audiences. These connective technologies are here, use them with care folks.

Jack Daniel’s Campaign Features Hand-Crafted Letterpress Posters

Jack Daniels Letterpress PostersYee-Haw Industries is a Knoxville, TN printer that uses salvaged and antique equipment to create unique folk-art looking wood-cut prints. They’ve created posters for such music acts as Steve Earle, Trey Anastasio and Lucinda Williams, as well as created advertising art for MTV2, the Cartoon Network and even the Wall Street Journal.

Recently ad agency Arnold Worldwide hired Yee-Haw Industries to create a series of patriotic-themed vintage-looking posters for Jack Daniel’s. The process to carve the elements for each of the 10 posters took 3 days. Thankfully, Arnold shot a short documentary showing the detailed process and artistry of the carvers and printers of the print shop.

It’s magical watching the artists create the carved elements and then manually print the posters by hand one-by-one. If you’re a fan of letterpress printing, there are overrun prints of the Jack Daniel’s posters available in Yee-Haw’s Etsy store (while they last). Hopefully I can grab one, but I also have my eye on this Banjo Picking Beaver poster.

For Jack Daniel’s fans on Facebook there’s no carving or dirty-work involved (or banjo players), they can make a personalized virtual version of the posters and share them on their Facebook profile.

Artists Re-Interpret Nick Cave’s Ship Song for Sydney Opera House Tribute

Sydney Opera House - The Ship SongLet me first say that any project involving Nick Cave gets my attention, so when I saw that the Sydney Opera House had released a version of The Ship Song I was all over it. The song provides the natural soundtrack for the visuals of the stunning sail-inspired architecture.

As the song transitions from scene-to-scene you’d never guess that it was actually recorded and shot over a period of 10 months before their respective performances at the Opera House. It’s an inspiring piece of work that sent shivers up my spine and raised goosebumps on my arm as the song’s intensity builds to a climax. One of several highlights is the performance by Melbourne’s Temper Trap.

Among the other performers on The Ship Song project are Neil Finn (of Crowded House fame), Martha Wainwright, Kev Carmody and Paul Kelly. Several of the Sydney Opera House’s resident companies are featured in the project including the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Australian Ballet and Opera Australia.

The Ship Song project was created by Sydney-based creative agency Three Drunk Monkeys and directed by award-winning music video director Paul Goldman.

The Ship Song can be purchased on iTunes.

Intel & Toshiba present ‘Inside’, A Social Film Experience

Intel & Toshiba present Inside
Inside‘, an ambitious interactive film project sponsored by Intel and Toshiba, featuring director D.J. Caruso (Disturbia) and starring Emmy Rossum (of HBO’s Shameless) launched yesterday with it’s first installment. The first clip opens with Rossum’s character Christina waking up in a strange sealed-off room. Within that room is a Intel-powered Toshiba laptop (not surprising) with intermittent access to an untraceable web connection.

Eventually Christina uses the shiny new laptop and dicey connection to ask for help from her friends through her Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts. Viewers are invited to help Christina solve the clues to her location and the reason she’s been confined to the room. The contributions of viewers that best fit the storyline will be included in upcoming installments and will help shape events within the series.

On the first day, Christina’s Facebook wall featured posts from dozens of viewers as they debated the significance of a receipt and torn pieces of a Chinese food menu. One interesting clue came from a closeup of a piece of torn wallpaper featuring the name of the manufacturer. That clue led to the Acorn Wallpaper Company website, where viewers learned that these were Chinese-made wallpapers that were only imported through Los Angeles. Was this a clue to Christina’s location?

Viewers could also get involved as actors. An open-casting call ran from July 11-20 inviting viewers to audition via their webcam. The selected viewer will be featured as a character in a future installment. The Producers have made a good effort to keep the the production’s website and social accounts separate from those of the main character. Keeping the fourth wall intact even on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube can be a challenge especially with the character responding to viewers.

You can catch find links to all the clips and accounts at The Inside Experience, as well The Rules of Inside on Facebook.

3D Projection Wows the Crowd at Canada’s Wonderland

I’ve seen a lot of these 3D projections on buildings over the past few years and recognize the challenge it takes to create a credible illusion of 3D depth on a relatively flat surface. The best 3D projections take advantage of the elements of a building such as columns or windows, while using exaggerated shadows and other lighting effects to create the 3D illusion.
Canada's Wonderland 3D Projection
I have to give credit to the folks at Tantrum Design & Visual Effects for being able to create this spectacular show on the challenging surfaces of the iconic Wonder Mountains at Canada’s Wonderland located just north of Toronto. The work involved in both flattening out the depth of the mountains while taking advantage of the structural elements was certainly a challenge that they met and surpassed.

The nearly 11 minute show is part of the theme park’s 30th Birthday Starlight Spectacular and debuted on June 25 and will play each night (weather permitting of course) throughout the summer. Judging by the crowd’s reaction, I’d have to say the fire breathing dragon was the most popular sequence.

I can imagine the possibilities when the producers of these 3D projections begin to use the audience to control elements of the via their mobile devices.