Break Through Buzz: Focus on Photography

Break Through Buzz is the creative stuff that impressed Ketchum’s creative community this week. Check out what captured our imaginations and inspires us to keep pushing the boundaries of possibility.

bestagramWhat’s Your Bestagram?
Selected by Sarah Unger

What it is: This photo essay takes our collective obsession with Instagram to the next level. Rather than focusing on the quantity of photos that get posted each day, one Sports Illustrated writer asked his Twitter followers to focus on quality by sharing a ‘bestagram’ – a photo encapsulating the best moment of their life.

What makes it break through: Not only are the pictures inspiring, but asking people to pick one representative photo is a nice counter-trend to a society where sharing a myriad of information is now the norm.

worn imagesA Fresh Look for Well-Worn Images
Selected by Elena Weinstein

What it is: Swiss photographer Corrine Vionnet culls tourists’ snapshots of the world’s most popular monuments from public online archives and melds them together to build impressionistic pieces she calls ‘Photo Opportunities.’

What makes it break through:
This is both a striking visual representation of social media’s culture of photo-sharing as well as a provocative commentary on shared experience through amateur photography and the omnipresence of travel photos. The same hackneyed images of throwing a coin over our shoulder at the Trevi Fountain or tilting ourselves to mimic the angle of the Leaning Tower of Pisa have become a cliché, but Vionnet’s artistic collage creates a unique visual that is reminiscent of an impressionist painting, turning these generic photos into art and evoking an era long before the advent of cameras, when painting was the prime form of visual storytelling.

lungsFresh Air Can Speak for Itself
Selected by Charlotte Haigh

What it is:
To promote the fresh air that visitors can experience at the MK Mountain Resort in Kopaonik, Serbia, billboards covered in white cotton were placed around the city of Belgrade. The billboards grew grimy in just 10 days, showing the poor air quality of the capital and encouraging folks to go into the mountains to give their lungs a break.

What makes it break through:
This idea is so simple but effective – sometimes a compelling visual is all it takes to drive behavior. It’s refreshing when brands don’t fight to make their case; in this example, the MK Mountain resort let nature do it for them.

nickelIf I Had a Nickel for Every Time…
Selected by Jeff Lewonczyk

What it is:
I just learned about ‘hobo nickels,” a strange little art form consisting of carefully carved images on pocket change. The term can be used to describe actual nickels doctored by Depression-era U.S. hoboes as well as the more general art of miniature sculptures on coins. They craft a surprisingly diverse array of perspectives from a very basic template.

What makes it break through: There’s incredible imagination and ingenuity on display in this Pinterest board, which features examples old and new. People started doing this to keep occupied around campfires in the days before Facebook was invented, and it goes to show that opportunities to be creative are ubiquitous – and that something doesn’t have to be big in order to make an impact. If it only cost a nickel to make these things, imagine what we can do with more.

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Around the World in 162 Calls
Selected by Wendy Joong

What it is:
In celebration of Skype’s 10-year anniversary, comedian Mark Malkoff chatted it up with people living in 162 different countries. Malkoff started the Skype Around The World project by reaching out to participants via Facebook and Twitter to coordinate individual chat sessions.

Why makes it break through: Not only is it a fun, heartwarming video that demonstrates cultural differences (and similarities) across the world, it does what it’s supposed to do – it makes you appreciate the wonders of technology (specifically Skype). I mean, he even talked to someone in North Korea! To quote a CBS News article about the video, “Malkoff took the idea of making new friends in unexpected places to a far-reaching – and awesome – level. It really is a small world after all. (Full disclosure: Mark is a friend of mine who Ketchum has worked with in the past, so I’m a bit biased.)

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Renaissance Man
Selected by Barri Rafferty

What it is: “A list of the seven things Leonardo da Vinci can teach you about creativity.”

What makes it break through: “The Italian master had skill and great ideas, but he also had something else: the ability to look at the world around him differently.”

Charlotte is a proud member of the Ketchum’s three-person Innovation team. When she isn’t in pursuit of “that one big idea” she can be found singing in Gotham Rock Choir (undoubtedly the best community choir within a two-mile radius), jogging in Central Park or attempting to cook Spanish cuisine in her apartment in Manhattan’s Lower East Side.