Saturday, November 25, 2006

Not Madonna's Malawi

Photograph Copyright Stephenie Hollyman 2006

We all read about Madonna's "adoption" of a child from Malawi last month. It was probably the first time most have read about Malawi in the paper. Which just goes to show you the power of celebrity to sell news. In June you may have read my post about Brangelina selling toothpaste.

Here's a link to photos I did in Malawi in 2005 on malaria as part of my multimedia work in progress " Fever Zone."

Here, Families of Yao fishermen live in small villages along the shores of Lake Malawi, a reagion that has one of the highest rates for malaria in the world. For residents here, an attack of malaria is as common as flu to a resident elsewhere.

For although we read almost daily about the scourge of AIDS in Africa it is also a fact that malaria kills an African child every 30 seconds. Almost 97% of Malawi's population is at endemic risk for malaria. Children under five suffer on average 9.7 malaria episodes per year, while adults suffer 6.1 such episodes.

Families in Malawi can spend almost a quarter of their small annual income treating malaria. Malawi is one of the world's poorest nations in the world with a 37 year old life expectancy at birth for women and 36 for men.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Brian Storm's Mediastorm

Last Fall won exclusive internet rights to MediaStorm’s production, Iraqi Kurdistan by Ed Kashi. The private online auction ran for four days and was conducted at Participants included news, lifestyle and arts publications from around the world. premiered the project on November 13th, 2006.

Since then Brian Storm has been producing and uploading exciting multmedia packages on his site. Check out Kristen Ashburn's BLOODLINE: AIDS and Family,
in which video and photos are combined with audio to create a moving cross media document. Visitors are greeted by a mother who addresses them directlt from a player window:

I said, my children, you know what I have HIV. One day I will die and leave you my children. So you must be brave and look after yourselves and look after me.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Rich Media Sells Cars

Photograph Stephenie Hollyman 2005

At Photo Expo yesterday I was chatting, briefly, with Holly Hughes, Managing Editor of Photo District News, about multimedia and Brian Storm's exciting new venture which just auctioned off a rich-media story package for the first time to MSNBC online, two days ago. I asked Holly if anybody was making any money yet from producing media-rich stories. She shook her head and said, " Not yet."

Nissan Sells Cars With Rich Interactive Media

That may be true for photographers but the ad agencies working for Nissan seem to be doing OK. When I returned home, people were dancing across the Street at the Seaport Museum, prancing on a red backdrop in the cold, in front of a van where their images were being projected onto a grid of video screens. Grunged type on the truck read " 7 Days, Seven Lessons, An Interactive Experience from Nissan." It is all part of a five-city cross media campaign produced by All Points Media to promote Nissan's latest model Sentra car to young urbanites.

The agency hired Marc Horowitz, to shoot in a You-Tubey manner, The Tennessean tells us
"a California-based performance artist and photographer's assistant, and the trials and tribulations he experienced while trying to maintain a normal life living in the car for a week in Los Angeles... Besides Web logs, a My Space page and online videos, the company also bought an online "island" in the fast-growing virtual reality game SecondLife..."We shot it in what we call 'reality plus,' " said Rob Schwartz, executive creative director for Nissan's primary ad agency, TBWA\Chiat\Day...The result is a $40 million to $50 million advertising campaign that includes seven different television commercials, a variety of print ads, at least three Web sites, a couple of blogs, 15 "Webisodes" and a spot in an online computer game, where players can get their own virtual reality version of the Sentra to drive around cyberspace (where they'll see virtual Nissan billboards, too).

Cool Cars With Plugs for iPods & Bluetooth Technology

Here at South Street Nissan's newest Sentra was parked next to the van. A " Product Specialist" invited a passing tourist named Stacy to check it out. Stacy, who owns a 2005 Sentra, settled into the car's roomy front seat. When she was told that the car had Bluetooth wireless technology and that she could plug her IPod into the car's speakers, controlling the volume at the steering wheel, she shouted out " Get Out! I love everything. It's a toy!"

showerdaily.jpgStacy now headed for the red backdrop where she watched herself moving as part of the " Lesson 5: Remember to Shower Daily" episode that played on the large screen on the van. A small web cam picked up her movements and projected them back as on the screen. Her interactive "real time" guide Alonzo Wilson, from Oregon's All Points Media told Stacy he was going to " Fog". After a flick of Alonzo's remote wand, Stacy saw Eric on the screen telling us that he needs a bath and is going to the car wash. Fog enveloped each of the squares in the screen. Alonzo instructed Stacy to " wave" it away which she did with a flourish.

Nissan has built a faux site on My Space for Marc, including videos and PDF files vistors can download.

Photo Stephenie Hollyman

But there are perils along this path warn experts.

"That lack of authenticity … can come back to haunt the advertiser," warns adman Garfield. "It's a real obsession with those who live online. They don't like people playing with their minds."