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Made In Hollywood Blog

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September 29, 2010 – 7:31 pm

4Going Places with a Facebook Icon

- Posted in Extended Portfolio, Marketing related, Polystyrene Uses by Fran

Facebook Places logo

There’s an app for this and an app for that, in our house there’s even a napp, my wife not quite hearing “an app” from a quick-talking friend.
An app, or application, is a program designed to run on your mobile device, usually a mobile phone. With most modern phones having GPS capabilities, some of the more popular apps available are location-based services. These apps help you to discover places, whether it be coffee shops, museums or landmarks. They’re a game that rewards and challenges you to experience new things, and then they let you share them with your friends through social networks like Twitter.
There are a number of different apps available that are trying to establish themselves in this sector, but Facebook, with over 150 million users who regularly check for updates and news through their mobile phone, are set to dominate this lucrative advertising market. ‘Places’ is the name of the Facebook location service that is available to people in the USA, the UK, and Australia. ‘Places’ is not yet available here, so we decided we should locate some interesting ‘Places’ around Ireland ourselves.

Exploring the grounds of Trinity College Dublin with our Facebook Places prop

We started our journey in Dublin, using only our feet, a polystyrene ‘Places’ prop and a point-and-click camera. We didn’t use any high-tech navigation devices to help us to identify any landmarks and other places of interest on our travels through the city, although we did employ GPS, (Going Places Sightseers) .
Being ‘Going Places Sightseers’ from Ireland, we had a good idea where to visit and the quickest way to get there, as we are reasonably familiar with Dublin. However, we passed many tourists carrying travel books and maps who could find this geo-location service very useful for finding landmarks, entertainment venues and for places to eat & drink. These location-based services will have advantages for both the venue owner, and the visitor. The owner of an outlet could offer visitors a special discount, or have an offer for regular customers; the tourist can benefit from being able to read about these incentives and reviews of the destination.

Fred Caballero at Adtech London with one our small Facebook 'Places' props

To see some of the ‘Places’ we visited on our travels around some Dublin landmarks, have a look at the photographs in our Facebook Album. You can also see some of our smaller ‘Places’ props being used at Adtech, a conference that was held London and was kindly photographed by Fred Caballero of Channelship.ie

To receive one of the mini ‘Places’ props, please suggest a location or landmark that you think should be marked, and we will select the best suggestions. The only condition we attach is that you photograph the prop in the location and post it to our Facebook page.
So, what ‘Places’ are you going to?

September 13, 2010 – 7:07 pm

1Rock ‘n’ Roll, Baby

- Posted in Extended Portfolio, Polystyrene Uses, Videos by Fran

The delorentos on stage at Oxegen 2010.

Yeah! Rock ‘n’ roll.
The county of Louth may be small, but we do have The Tidiest Town in Ireland, the unluckiest GAA County Football Team, and it’s home to the world-famous The Corrs, our own home-grown rock band.
Well, we are now following in their footsteps… not quite, but our 3D polystyrene signs are getting onto the stages at some world-famous venues.

Earlier in the year, Ronan from the delorentos contacted us to create their name in giant letters. They were to be used as a backdrop whilst the delorentos were on stage for their set at Oxegen, at Punchestown Racecourse, Co. Kildare.
This was a brilliant idea, as they would have the space on-stage for a super-sized sign, they could be seen from the crowd, and they’d be lightweight and easy to handle.
This picture, taken by Gavan Drohan, shows that the idea definitely worked.

Polystyrene letters crowd surfing at the Electric Picnic 2010

The word must have got out, as we were then contacted by The Frames to create their name in polystyrene foam. Their name is shorter so the letters got taller: 6′ 8″ tall, to be exact.
They were cut, painted, packed and sent to Stradbally, Co. Laois to join the band on the main stage at the Electric Picnic, on part of their Twentieth Anniversary Tour.
The gig, by all accounts, was a great success, helped by the fact that the band sent the lightweight letters out to ‘surf’ the crowd. This was a truly original idea and one that went down well with the audience; it also guaranteed that they wouldn’t get the letters back! A Facebook group has even been set up to try to find the missing letters.
However, I doubt that the band were too worried once everybody was having a good time. Isn’t that the whole point of rock ‘n’ roll… baby?

Update: 16/9/10
The video shows the giant styrofoam letters ‘surfing’ the crowd in true Rock ‘n’ Roll style.

Video via mccdamo.

August 15, 2010 – 9:07 pm

6Time to face up to Facebook

- Posted in Company News, Extended Portfolio, Marketing related, Polystyrene Uses by Fran

The famous Facebook logo in 3D styrofoam

The famous Facebook logo in 3D Styrofoam

It has taken a little while but we finally have a page on Facebook.

The staff at Channelship, a web agency based in Dublin and London, made a video with ideas how we could use social media to market our company. They have helped us to realise that the projects that we work on are very visual and that Facebook, would be a good platform to share them with you.
We will be able to show you more of the items that we have created, keep you informed on what we are doing, tell you of any competitions that we are running and you can let us know what you think of them.

A 3D version of the Facebook 'Like' icon

A 3D version of the Facebook 'Like' icon

So, to encourage you to ‘Like’ our page on Facebook we want to give-away 5 ‘Like’ thumbs up, the same as the one in the picture, for the best comment on:
What would you would ‘Like’ to see made from polystyrene or what is the best thing we have already made?
Please leave a comment below or on our Facebook page.

I have to thank the crew at Webtogether.ie for the help they have given us so far and for the work they are doing to integrate this website with Facebook. Look out for the familiar Facebook icons on the site very soon.

UPDATE
We now have our social media icons at the top of each page and in the footer. We also have a Facebook feed in the panel on the right, letting you see what’s happening on our Facebook page. We still have our 3D ‘Thumbs Up’ to give away to people who leave a comment saying what they’d ‘Like’ to see.

So please leave a comment and we’ll ‘Like’ you for it.  :-)

July 22, 2010 – 4:23 pm

Comments OffOur reception is out of this world

- Posted in Marketing related, Polystyrene Uses by Fran

Doing research on an effective aerial for the new iphone 4

Doing research on an effective aerial for the new iFoam4

With the imminent launch of the latest Apple iPhone4 onto the Irish market and amidst rumours of poor reception and phone calls being dropped, we thought we would instigate our own study before we released our new iFoam4 mobile phone prop.
We made a decision to forgo the engineering experimentation in our R&D workshops and jump straight into the field work development. The results have proven to be a little muddy but we put this down to the recent heavy rain; we expect things to improve when the weather picks up.
Our test phone, however, performed very well in these conditions, as it acted as a wind-break and as an umbrella. This disproves the myth that the iFoam can’t multi-task.

The key issues that users of the new iPhone 4 are complaining about are: that they are dropping calls when they hold the phone a certain way, and that they have poor network reception.

We continue to improve the iFart reception on the iFoam4

We continue to improve the iFart reception on the iFoam4

We believe that our new mobile cellphone will operate faultlessly, but we will offer our customers an instructional DVD called “Get a Grip”, showing users how they can effectively hold their phone and get accustomed to a new iFoam user experience.
Secondly, we will offer an external antenna that is capable of receiving all kinds of radio waves, television transmissions and satellite signals. This cost effective add-on will be called the iFart (iFoam Aerial-Antenna).
Tests indicate that our external aerial is proving to be very receptive, much better than putting the phone into a rubber case. We even managed to pick up an extra-terrestrial message from E.T.’s mum. She wanted to thank Elliot for looking after E.T., and to tell him that he got home OK.

If you have any suggestions on what other messages the ifart might pick up, please leave a comment and we will investigate it further, with the best comment receiving a prize made from styrofoam.

(Lower image by Lifestyle photography Dundalk)

Update:
We have discovered that the name iFart is already being used. Yes, as you would probably guess it’s an iphone app that makes ‘sounds for the ultimate in poop gas realism’. Ah well, back to the drawing board.

July 16, 2010 – 8:47 pm

2Keeping afloat

- Posted in Polystyrene Uses by Fran

Styrofoam raft used on a miraculous journey

Styrofoam raft used on a miraculous journey

It’s Friday evening, it’s been a long, wet week, and we are all looking forward to spending some time at home with our family and friends.

But spare a thought for the Cuban man who constructed this boat to enable him to flee to the United States.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents
discovered him after he apparently floated in the Caribbean Sea for 25 days in the small, seven-foot long homemade raft. When the migrant was rescued, he was severely dehydrated. A spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection said that the man was given treatment for dehydration but didn’t require hospitalisation.

If the migrant does not need emergency hospital care, then it’s possible he might be sent back to Cuba. In general, under the wet-foot/dry-foot policy, Cuban migrants intercepted at sea are sent back, but if a migrant requires hospital care, they are taken ashore and allowed to stay. After a year, the person can apply for a green card, like all migrants who reach U.S. soil.

Cuban man in his homemade boat

Cuban man in his homemade boat

Apparently, Cubans have used just about every kind of craft and material imaginable to make the 90-mile crossing to the Florida coast, including a 1951 Chevrolet pickup, a floating taxi and a wooden cargo crate.

Using Styrofoam to make this boat was a wise move as it is regularly used as a flotation device and could have acted as an insulator.
Would I trust it to to keep me afloat? Yes, I would, especially compared to a chevy pickup.

How far would you go, or what would you use to stay afloat, if you were in a similar situation?
The best comment wins their name in polystyrene foam.

(via U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Washington Post and the Miami Herald)

July 8, 2010 – 9:35 pm

7Slowly going MAD

- Posted in Extended Portfolio, Marketing related, Polystyrene Uses by Fran

Cliff of Moher launch for new Cadbury wrapper

Cliffs of Moher launch for new Cadbury Dairy Milk wrapper

I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that we are going mad, mad, mad.
It’s nothing to do with the 12 week recess of our government, or the on going banking crisis and NAMA repercussions.
No, we are going chocolate mad, even the land is turning to chocolate… It is, if you believe the new wrapper on the Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate bar that was recently launched at the Cliff’s of Moher.

Paul Ruane’s Cliffs of Moher design is the first ever consumer-created wrapper for the iconic Cadbury Dairy Milk bar here in Ireland.  Paul’s design was chosen after a nationwide campaign following the Cadbury Dairy Milk task on TV3’s The Apprentice.  The design will now appear on the front of over 600,000 Dairy Milk bars made in Ireland and on one giant polystyrene bar we created for Paul and his team at Midpoint Creative.

The actual Cadbury Dairy Milk bars, a gift from Midpoint Creative

The actual Cadbury Dairy Milk bars, a gift from Midpoint Creative

When the opportunity came about to create a super-sized candy bar for Paul with his original wrapper design we jumped at it, as it fantastic way to promote our individual skills on an item that is so easily recognised. The impressive bar is proving to be very popular on both Cabury’s Dairy Milk facebook page and their blog.

The real Cadbury Dairy Milk bars, that Paul sent as a gift, are proving to be be very popular in my home too. In fact, they are all gone and it’s driving me MAD as I’m Missing A Dairy milk and I don’t want to taste a giant one :-(

Photo: Paul Ruane, Midpoint Creative, Christy Curtin, Mayor of Co. Clare, Katherine Webster, Director of Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience, Kevin O’Sullivan, Cadbury Regional Sales Manager and Finbarr Broughman, Clare Regional Development Manager Shannon Development.

June 29, 2010 – 9:33 pm

2Back to the drawing board

- Posted in Company News, Competitons, Polystyrene Uses, Videos by Fran

Artist drawings on a styrofoam cup by Cheeming Boey

Artistic drawings on a styrofoam cup by Cheeming Boey

The first spark of an idea or that sudden light-bulb moment usually involves scribbling a sketch and writing it down somewhere. Whether it’s a creative drawing or inventive concept we like to put pen to paper, to make sure we don’t loose the train of thought. This is the the beginning of design and many feel that it is a very important element that drives innovation and ultimately helps the economy.

Cheeming Boey has found a unique way to display his creative designs by using a marker pen to decorate disposable polystyrene coffee cups. Yes, it’s unusual and it appears to be successful judging from the quantity and variety of his designs.

But you don’t have to be artistic and to be able to draw on styrofoam cups to bring your idea to life, sometimes you just need a place to do it and some simple materials.
That’s the idea behind ‘Make Night’ held in the Science Gallery in Trinity College Dublin on Pearse Street. You can go along and make anything you like, with other “makers” doing the same. Basically sharing ideas, materials, tools and having fun making stuff for both young and old.
If your idea is a little bigger and needs a bit more space, you should get inspiration from watching the video below. Using simple digital cameras, duct tape, polystyrene and a balloon, Colin Rich got to the edge of space and he has the pictures to prove it.

So, if you have an idea no matter how wacky or crazy, get the pencil and notepad out and get back to the drawing board and make it work. If you need some polystyrene give us a call :-)

June 13, 2010 – 12:21 am

9For the Want of a Tree Surgeon

- Posted in Extended Portfolio, Marketing related, Polystyrene Uses, Videos by Fran

OK, where am I going with this? It looks like it’s going to be a be a heck of a leap from expanded polystyrene foam to a tree surgeon, but there is a link, a video and hopefully a bit of a story too. I’d better get started…

Weedle is an online service that allows you to connect with other people who need your skills, whether you’re a plumber in Pittsburgh or an accountant in Auckland. The service also works in a reverse way by allowing you to find people with the skill you need, like a marketing executive in Manchester or a 3D advertising, promotional & signage maker in Dundalk.

We were contacted by Brendan Hughes, Director of Community at Weedle who asked us to create signs to be used in an upcoming exhibition. Using the Weedle brand, we produced some layout designs with other ideas that we thought might be useful. Their logo has a bold and chunky font style with a bright red colour and we knew that it would be very suitable to be made  from expanded polystyrene foam. The layered 3D signs would be lightweight, eye-catching and would hopefully attract attract visitors to their stand.
We both use Twitter, so we decided that we would show people step-by-step images of the production process. That is one of the powers of the social networking platform: we can take pictures of a project and, instantaneously, people can see the image and the accompanying message.
We do realise that not everybody uses Twitter, so we have put together a slide-show of the pictures from the project to let you see the process in creating the 3D signs.

That’s the video and polystyrene sorted, now to explain the tree surgeon.
We were kindly invited to Weedle’s Irish headquarters for the launch of their updated website and were pleased to see that they were re-using their Styrofoam signs to promote their brand in the venue. We were given a presentation on how to use the site and how they intended to expand their service in the future. We also learned that Weedle originally came about when Iain McDonald, a co-founder, couldn’t find anyone to deal with a dangerous branch on a tree growing in his garden.

So, thanks to that branch, we got the opportunity to cut signs for Weedle, and Iain can now get his tree cut using the skills of this tree surgeon!

June 6, 2010 – 9:47 pm

3Bottling it

- Posted in Extended Portfolio, Marketing related, Polystyrene Uses by Fran

Some people are afraid of it, some are just ignorant of it and others want to measure it … Social Media.
Whether it’s blogging, Facebook or Twitter, there are various way to publish, inform and communicate to your friends, your customers and to the world, about absolutely everything and anything.
It does sound quite intimidating, and it was before we jumped in and tried it with some help from our website designers. But we feel, if you give it a bit of time, that it is a no-brainer for any small business and, with proper management, can also benefit larger businesses.

Our @madeinhollywood Twitter bird and off spring

Our @madeinhollywood Twitter bird and off spring

We primarily use this blog and Twitter, although we know companies that use a vast array of social media tools to interact with their clients/customers. However, a common questions that crop up at various networking meetings and events are: ‘How do you measure it?’ and ‘What is the return on investment?’. These are both perfectly valid questions, but they are not that simple to answer. Yes, there are various tools that you can use to measure the effectiveness of a particular campaign, but how do you put a value on conversing or informing your customers or potential clients? Yes, it takes time but I believe it’s time well-spent because this time does convert into sales. How? The following example may help to show you.

A couple of months ago, we created props for the 2010 Irish Blog Awards held in Galway. Des Byrne, the man behind the L’Onglex brand, saw our designs and was impressed enough to make contact with us. We met briefly in Dublin, whilst we were delivering an iFoam to the Realex Payments i10 event, and we discussed how our Styrofoam props and signs could be used to promote and enhance his brand. We then started to follow them on Twitter.

A before and after picture of a Longlex nail polish remover bottle

A before and after picture of a Longlex nail polish remover bottle

With no particular project in mind, we talked about in-store and point-of-sale props, signage and exhibition/event displays. With some of our meetings, it is often about sowing the seed of an idea and letting people see what we are capable of creating. It must have worked, as it didn’t take long for an idea to germinate.
L’Onglex asked us if it would be possible to create a replica of their Nail Polish Remover bottle so that it could be worn as a costume at the Flora Women’s Mini Marathon. This was an undoubtedly interesting brief, as we had never made anything to be worn, except for some funky hats. The bottle was made from expanded polstyrene, fitted with shoulder straps and wrapped in printed vinyl using the original wrapper artwork. With just three days, some artistic licence, and a leap of faith by Des and his team at L’Onglex, we were able to nurture the original idea and create a lightweight, eye-catching promotional bottle that can be worn.  By all accounts, we seem to have been successful as can be seen by the pictures.

A 'Full' Longlex promotional Bottle

A 'Full' L'Onglex promotional Bottle

This project came about due to our use of social media via this blog and our interactions on twitter. Des made a judgement based on the conversations we had, both on-line and off-line, and gave us the go-ahead to produce the giant L’Onglex bottle. This judgement is a more informed one based on the social media connections,  rather than the uninformed option of picking up the golden pages and searching for a lightweight prop supplier (do people still do that?) or even googling it.

Social media gives all parties a chance to make more informed choices. So you don’t have to bottle it any more – you just connect with people, and try it. It’s really quite easy, just leave a comment below and let us know what you think. The best comment will win their name in foam!

May 24, 2010 – 8:23 pm

Comments OffiFoam Football

- Posted in Competitons, Polystyrene Uses, Sport related, Videos by Fran

With the World cup fast approaching, there will be many Irish football fans wondering what they can do to pass the time after their dreams of a World Cup trip to South Africa were scuppered by the hand of  Thierry Henry (boo, hiss).

Yes, they will watch the world cup matches and wonder whether they should cheer on the players they support year round when they are wearing an English shirt. But the real dilemma is going to be when the French football team play: What should they do? How will they kill the time?

Well, I have a suggestion: Play iFoam football.
All you need is 2  iPhones, a sheet of paper and a piece of polystyrene.
The rules are quite simple: You make them up as you go along, and you continue to play ’til you get the result you want, or until the battery in your iPhone is dead.
It’s recommend that you keep windows and doors closed as this might make it difficult to keep the ball on the pitch.
And if you’re very organised, you could play your own World Cup tournament, but just make sure that France doesn’t win.