Category BUZZ


On a recent trip to Las Vegas for the 2015 KBIS show, our Director of Intelligence Michael Bustin (aka “THE BUSTINATOR”) hit the streets to do a little freestyle bucket drumming.

This is just another reason why we’re glad what happens in Vegas DOESN’T necessarily stay in Vegas…

“We’re about to get real.”



Ever heard of someone named Ralph Mcquarrie? Probably not. He’s the art director who concepted, designed and illustrated all the sets for the Star Wars movies. Click on the photo – you’ll see how mind-blowingly unheard-of his ideas were? If you don’t think so, remember, this was in1976. The bad news is that he died earlier this year. But at least take this from his life, that he, along with George Lucas, completely transformed the movie industry overnight. Just goes to show you – if you have big ideas, it doesn’t mean anything until you execute them properly. If you have big ideas and you haven’t found your George yet, start looking.

by Francis George, Creative Director, The Republik. Photo Credit: courtesy of Star Wars is a produciton of LucasFilms.


A recent Advertising Age article, “From the Big Screen to Any Screen: Some Takeaways for Marketers and Media Companies”, touches on the current state of product placement, and calls attention to the intentionally blatant and “increasingly campy” ways in which products are being integrated in music videos and TV shows. For example, the article cites Lady Gaga’s “Telephone” video, which provides “huge exposure for brands such as Virgin Mobile, Wonder Bread, Miracle Whip, and Polaroid.”

So what insight can we glean from Gaga about the future of product placement?  More than you might think. Tongue-in-cheek product placement is nothing new – in Back to the Future (1985) Marty’s mother thinks he’s called Calvin Klein because the name is scrawled all over his underwear – but until recently effective placement was for the most part the art of seamless integration.

Linger too long on Tom Cruise’s Nokia or Will Smith’s Chuck Taylors and you risk losing your audience. No longer.  The line that writers once walked between noticeable placement and artistic legitimacy is being erased.  Whereas overdone product placement once detracted from our experience as viewers, it now enhances it.  As the article in Advertising Age hinted, nowhere is this more obvious than Lady Gaga’s “Telephone,” which involves a kind of self-awareness that allows her to be at once artist and critic. She is able to blatantly push products in her videos because we recognize it as commentary on itself.

by Cody Short Brand Futurist The Republik Corporal Strategic Ops

Photo Credit: Screengrab from Lady Gag’s music video “Telephone”


Finally, a Contest that Means Something

InnoCentive, a company that taps the world’s population for answers to specific problems, has thrived on what is being known as “crowd sourcing.” Crowd sourcing is asking a crowd (in this case the world) as question, and then reaping the benefits from the best answers. Averaging about one problem per business day, the results have solved issues from a solar approach to mosquito management to transportation efficiency. There are financial benefits to being the best nerd in the room too, proving that all good ideas are not free.

Read more here

Our challenge to you: Produce the star trek transport device.

by Robert Shaw West Brand Futurist The Republik Companies Chairman/CEO

Photo Credit: © InnoCentive, Inc.


Good news for health-conscience wine drinkers everywhere. An new report by researchers says white wine has similar health benefits to that of red wine. Previously it was believed that wine made using grape skin was heart healthy. But scientists have found that the flesh of the grape can do the same. The conclusion: It’s all good!

Drink in more of the story here.

“Further proof that all researchers are alchoholics and just using their influence to keep from going to rehab.”

by Gerard Blanton Brand Futurist The Republik Corporal Creative Ops

Photo Credit: via


GM introduced its Volt, an extended-range electric car. The company hopes the Volt will become the first mass-produced, plug-in electric car in 2010.

Unlike a regular gasoline car engine, the Volt’s 1.4 liter won’t be connected to the wheels. Instead, it will power a generator to make electricity for the car’s motor.

“A step in the right direction?
Remains to be seen.

There was a 100% electric car 12 years ago. And where are they now? Probably used for steel in hummers.”

by Brady Bone Brand Futurist The Republik Captain Creative Ops

Photo Credit: © General Motors