Archive for the Travel Category

Jaguar F-TYPE – the ‘Desire’ Project

Posted in #worldview, Advertising, Brand, Culture, Digital, Marketing, Social Media, Travel, Uncategorized on 06/03/2013 by nicka77

I’ve been fortunate enough to be working on a cool project over the last 9 months for Jaguar, to launch their new F-TYPE. The spiritual successor to the E-TYPE no less, the iconic car of the 60’s driven by luminaries such as Steve McQueen, George Best, Frank Sinatra and more.

With any luck, this car will become a new icon. One that puts Jaguar back on the map and recaptures some of the intangible spirit and kudos that made it so cool back in the 50’s and 60’s.

Here is a trailer for the forthcoming 13″ film which will launch in April 2013. Created by The Brooklyn Brothers in collaboration with Ridley Scott Associates, and starring Damian Lewis, Jordi Molla and Shannyn Sossamon. And the soundtrack is a song penned by Lana Del Rey specifically for the F-TYPE: ‘Burning Desire’.

I’ve also attached a few shots from the set. We went out to the Atacama Desert in Chile, one of the driest places on the planet where (in certain parts) it hasn’t rained for 115 years. An amazing experience. Managed to bookend it with an event in LA prior to the shoot, to announce the film to the worlds media, and then a few days in Buenos Aires after we’d wrapped (one of my all time favourite cities – a great place).

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David Morales WMC 2011 Miami @ The Shelbourne

Posted in #worldview, Culture, Music, Travel on 02/04/2011 by nicka77

Amazing DJ Mag pool party at The Shelbourne at the WMC 2011 in Miami. David Morales and Frankie Knuckles absolutely rocked it. Check the video. Track is by Simian Mobile Disco.

St Patrick’s Day 2011 – New York 250th Parade

Posted in #worldview, Culture, Travel on 26/03/2011 by nicka77

Lucky enough to be in New York on 17th March this year. A beautiful, sunny day for the madness of St Patrick’s Day in the big apple. They certainly know how to go for it. Brilliant.

Range Rover Evoque – The Pulse of the City

Posted in Brand, Culture, Digital, Innovation, Inspirational People, Marketing, Social Media, Technology, Travel on 15/11/2010 by nicka77

Currently in LA for the latest phase of the Range Rover Evoque ‘Pulse of the City’ campaign I have been working on at The Brooklyn Brothers this year. The Coupe was launched in Paris, and the 5-door is launched this Wednesday – wouldn’t mind one myself if I’m honest – very cool car. Check out our Hello Evoque website to find out more about the project.



Very lucky to be working on this brand and this campaign, and indeed to be staying at a cool hotel with a very tasty little rooftop pool with stunning views over the shimmering diaspora that is Los Angeles. Looks incredible as the sun rises. But I digress.

We’ve got some cool geo-art type chicanery with OK Go coming up this week, and have been having fun with the campaign in great cities like Sydney, Sao Paulo and Paris to date. Check out the OK Go invite video below, plus some of the shots/videos from our activities and collaborations with cool artists, photographers, and designers so far. I’ve also added a few videos from our City Shapers, telling us about what they love about their cites and what inspires them.

There’ll be loads more over the coming months, so check out the website, stay tuned to the blog to see what we get up to, and download the app to get involved yourself.


Invitation to play with OK Go and get involved in our geo-art project


Fun & games in Sydney


Making a splash in Sao Paulo



Partying it up in Paris


Turning the streets of Paris into art galleries



Some amazing UV shenanigans with Timothy Saccenti and the GPS-wrapped Spy Cars


A smattering of our City Shaper videos



Posted in #worldview, Culture, Travel on 23/09/2010 by nicka77

The #worldview Tokyo video has finally been done, only a year after I actually visited the city. Phenomenal place – can’t wait to go back one day. Enjoy.

India’s torch continues to shine brightly

Posted in #worldview, Culture, Economics, Travel on 21/06/2009 by nicka77

Having elected Manmohan Singh, in May, as the Prime Minister of the Congress party for a second consecutive term in office, this time with a clear majority, India is on the verge of a new golden era.

For the first time since 1984, the last time Congress won a clear majority, the Government is in a position of unilateral strength. In the interim, being part of a divisive coalition has weakened successive Governments.

Manmohan Singh and his Congress party now have the ability to push through the micro and macro reforms that will spur the economy on to even greater expansion and, most importantly, redistribute wealth throughout the poorer strata of society.

It is as a result of weak and corrupt governance over the past two decades that one quarter of the world’s malnourished still live in India, despite the recent exponential economic growth. The convoluted administrative structures that have been built on corrupt and dynastic foundations need to be torn down to ensure that systems are put in place to reduce the poverty gap significantly.

And it is to Mr Singh’s credit that these are the reforms that he plans to push through as quickly as possible, now that his hands have been freed from the shackles of a coalition. It is also very much to the credit of the Indian people that they have looked beyond the politicking of potential ministers who based their candidacy on the grounds of religion, caste, and regional issues.

Mr Singh has been given the chance to rule with a free hand because the Indian people believe in the reforms he has promised, and respect the economic miracle that he and Congress have presided over.

The election of Congress is not the only reason for India’s 1 billion strong population to be positive. The economy continues to thwart recessionary pressures, having just recorded two consecutive quarters of 5.8% growth.

Indeed, in India there is only talk of a slowdown, rather than a fully blown recession. Although growth rates have steadily receded from their peak of 9% in 2007, and 7.3% in 2008, the country continues to expand rapidly.

The key to India’s continued growth is the fact that, in direct contrast to China’s export-led model, the economy is fuelled by domestic demand. And that domestic demand is actually set to grow exponentially once the antiquated models of public governance are torn down, and a more equitable distribution of wealth can be achieved.

“There will be much greater prosperity in India now than ever before,” explained R. Balakrishnan, Chairman of Lowe India, an advertising agency. “The wealth disparity had become so, so huge in India during the boom, and the slowdown is actually bridging that gap. It is correcting the imbalances within the economy, and is a hugely positive force for Indian society.”

“The boom period only affected the cream of Indian society. The top 10% of financiers and property developers got very rich,” Balakrishnan concluded. “Now, the other 90% of consumers are seeing prices drop, and for the growing middle classes in India, suddenly property and cars are becoming much more affordable.”

Colvyn Harris, CEO of JWT India, another advertising agency, said: “Certain sectors are seeing growth of 20-30% year-on-year. Ordinary Indian people are seeing their disposable incomes increase in real terms as the economy corrects. India is like a pyramid, with the size and scale at the bottom, and that is what you are seeing kicking in right now. The real India is now emerging.”

It is this thriving, burgeoning, buoyant middle class that is the driving force behind India’s continuing economic success. The boom times may have seen unparalleled growth for India, but the rewards went into the pockets of a small minority. There is a huge swathe of completely untapped demand, just waiting for the moment when it can rise to the surface. And that moment is now.

On top of the existing middle classes, who are now finding themselves in the position of having increased real disposable incomes, it is the sheer scale and depth of the lower classes in India that ensures that domestically fuelled growth will exist for many years.

The entrepreneurial spirit that courses through every sinew of Indian society, allied to the reforms of Mr Singh and his Congress Government, will bring relative wealth to many, many millions more people, who have thus far been excluded from the benefits of a decade of exponential growth.

While most of the rest of the world spirals into a spinning maelstrom of recessionary gloom, India’s golden era is just beginning.

China – thoughts

Posted in #worldview, Culture, Economics, Social Media, Travel on 17/06/2009 by nicka77

As the Western world wallows in recession, there are many commentators who are looking to China (and India) to be the growth engines that will kick-start the global economy back into life. However, the assumptions that are made about China’s ability to drag the rest of the world back into growth are, in my opinion, hopelessly optimistic. 

The reality is that, even as China experiences continued growth during the recession, the nature of their export-led economy is causing severe mass unemployment within the manufacturing sector, and is actually perpetuating the widening wealth gap between rich and poor.

Many manufacturers in China have zero channel distribution mechanisms within their own country, and were totally reliant on exports, predominantly to the USA, so their businesses have simply crumbled, even though domestic demand is on the increase. This is leading to unemployment for millions of blue-collar and migrant workers (young and old), forcing them to return to rural areas from the major urban centres.

And we’re talking about big numbers here – estimates put the number of migrant workers in China at 200m people, so this is a significant shift of labour away from the indutrialised heartlands.

The point about the decimation of China’s export economy is that there is incredible pressure on the Government to provide jobs for the people, even though the country has moved towards a laissez-faire model. There is expectation on the part of the population that the Government will invest in infrastructure,  invest in urbanisation programmes, and invest in the service economy, in order to create jobs both for University graduates and migrant workers, and to counteract the invisible hand of the global downturn.

Importantly, the key here is that the focus for the Chinese Government is to provide jobs for Chinese workers, and to develop mechanisms to increase domestic demand for domestically produced goods and services. There is no focus within China on increasing imports, or on driving up foreign investment, as part of this plan, meaning that the short-term impact on the economies of the West will be negligible.

In the medium- and long-term, of course increased domestic demand in China will benefit the rest of the world, simply due to sheer weight of numbers (almost one-quarter of the world’s population is Chinese). But China is not going to be the country that holds out a helping hand to everyone else right now, at the hour of need. The internal pressures on the Government to create jobs, stimulate demand and provide a certain standard of welfare are simply too great.

And this pressure brings me to the heart of the matter regarding China. The country is experiencing some genuinely difficult teething troubles as it moves from being a Communist state-run country to a free market. This downturn has highlighted some of the tensions that still exist between these disparate ideologies, both in terms of economic structure and social harmony.

As I’ve detailed above, there is expectation on the Government to provide from an economic perspective, and the Government have responded to that call with increased investment in infrastructure and services. However, the tensions at a social level as China reforms from a state-run model are arguably more tense, particularly in the area of freedom of speech.

China has, over the last 12-24 months, seen an exponential explosion in the area of social media. Chinese people of all ages have adopted the internet as their own, a space through which they can share news, content and information, and connect with friends, without state supervision. This lightning-fast adoption of social platforms as a main pillar of information gathering and sharing is largely as a result of the history of information-repression that has existed in China for many, many decades.

And here, more than anywhere else, is where we see the tensions between the ideologies of Communism and Capitalism come into play. In the weeks surrounding the 20th anniversary of The Tiananmen Square massacre, on June 4th 2009, there are numerous examples of the Chinese Government undertaking a concerted effort to repress any information about the events of 20 years ago.

Blogging portals were down, including this one – WordPress – which now explains why I couldn’t access it while I was in China. Flickr was down. Hotmail was down. Facebook was down, and I had to trick the computer by putting .m. in front of the Facebook URL to get to the mobile site. Twitter users found a way to circulate information around the censorship blocks but soon found that they were down too. People received copies of The Economist and The Financial Times with the pages relating to Tiananmen ripped out. Foreign journalists at the actual event were kept out by police.

These examples demonstrate a disgraceful repression of information that have absolutely no place in the modern world, where social networking sites and the internet have changed the way in which we all consume news and process/share knowledge.

But more than that, they represent the extreme tensions that exist within the country. The Government wants to be a leader in the modern world, and China undoubtedly will be a super-power, but yet they continue to try and suppress information that is perceived to be anti-Chinese in some way, or that paints their country in a bad light. These are not the actions of an enlightened leadership.

It is these tensions between Communism and Capitalism, plus the inevitability of a reformulated world order with China (and the other BRIC countries) gaining in relative importance versus the waning super-powers of America and Europe, that makes the country such a fascinating, intriguing place to be at the moment.

We may not agree with some of the actions of the Chinese Government, in terms of protectionism or social repression, but it is a unique country that is evolving and adapting to the pressures of the modern era in a very different way to any other country.

China will be at the forefront of the next phase of globalisation throughout  the 21st Century, but the nature in which they will lead is still in the balance. The global economy may not get too much help over the next 2-3 years, but the choices that the Government makes in that period, in resolving the economic and social tensions inherent within China right now, will be critical to everyone for decades to come.