Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have your very own MINI ME? Well Coca-Cola Israel didn’t just think about it they went about creating it by offering fans 3D mini figurines.

Through a competition mechanic, winners were invited to the coca cola factory where they posed in front of a 3D camera and took home their own MINI ME (well, not me, but MINI THEM if you know what I mean)!

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The figurines looked identical only smaller (much) as the special 3D camera completed a full body scan in only a few minutes and 3D printers then created the mini figures.

With so much clutter and noise in the marketing space these days, its getting harder and harder to cut through so hats off to Coca-Cola for creating an experience that the winners will never forget.

By: Antony Hampel

Healthy eating on a daily basis can be a challenge. Aside from the major hurdle of finding time to buy fresh quality produce, we then need to navigate through a minefield of mixed and misleading messaging to try and determine what is actually good for us, and what is HEALTH food anyway?

Slowly there is an awareness building about the myth of ‘low fat’ foods and good and bad fats but its a tricky subject and it seems wherever we turn, advice is often contradicted. A Boost Juice can contain far more sugar than a canned soft drink but is it still good for you? Low fat foods often remove the fats almost altogether yet we need GOOD fats (rather than bad), they are essential to a well balanced diet yet few people know the difference between the two. High carb? Low carb? High protein? Low protein? Diet? No Diet.

I have always maintained a theory that tends to cut through a lot of the confusion and that is “the less that humans have interfered with the food the better”!

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When I bumped in to an old friend of mine recently (while eating good fats in a favourite french brasserie of mine), he mentioned a new product called YOUSLI which grabbed my attention before I even knew what the product was, great catchy name so I was intrigued. He went on to tell me that its a Muesli based product but you get to create your own mixture of ingredients. By doing this, you get to have more control over not only over the tastes you like but also whats best for your diet and perhaps allergies. YOUSLI includes such a variety of options including activated Almonds which taste great and are easier to digest than normal nuts).

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There is no added cane sugar in our muesli, they add coconut sugar – which is a good natural sweetner as it has lower GI.
Yousli is low in carbs and salt as it is made from whole foods, most of the fats are good fats and people are slowly starting to understand the difference between good and bad fats.

The Yousli peeps teamed up with dietician Arabella Forge on all of their recipes and she has developed an online nutritional calculator for YOUSLI.

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It’s a great story and a fresh approach to healthy eating that YOU can control and it works out at less than $2.50 a day. By the way, you don’t have to create your own (although its a lot of fun) as they have great pre made options as well.
Give it a try, but we warned, as they warn…may have traces of ” m-mmmm”

By: Antony Hampel

For many years now I have heard rumours that the aviation industry has long had the technology and blue prints to create an aeroplane that can fly from London to Sydney in 4 hours ! It now appears that BA and Boeing are making this a reality (with a little help from NASA) and although you wont be able to book a ticket on web jet just yet (and certainly not an economy or red e deal price), it is just around the corner.

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Its hard to comprehend what type of speeds it would take to travel that distance in 4 hours and the answer is “sonic boom”. At speeds almost twice that of the Concorder, the aptly named “son of concorde” would travel at 4,000km per hour which with my calculations would allow for almost two feature films or 4 episodes of breaking bad and probably just one meal.

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I have fond memories of the Concorde when it flew over my home in London in the early 90’s (so accurate was its schedule that you could set your clock by it) albeit leaving a rather daunting shadow and persistent rumble. I would imagine when Son Of Concorde arrived (its real name is X-54), the Concorde will quickly be forgotten.

Fact or fiction??

By: Antony Hampel

I have been fortunate during my career to have witnessed literally hundreds of shows ranging from Opera to Rock , Pop, Festivals and Musicals and to have also worked on many productions.

I love to try and see as many different shows as I can with the hope of walking away with some inspiration as well as having enjoyed the escapism and emotive connections that only live entertainment can deliver.

When asked about a ‘favourite’ show that I have ever seen it usually generates a pause, a long thought, and the same response being “impossible to select one as each experience is so different”. How could one compare La Boheme to AC/DC or King Kong to Roger Waters production of The Wall?

Last week when I went to see Beyonce in Melbourne for the opening of her Australian tour, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.

The 12,000 or so mainly female fans (and unwilling boyfriends), we treated to the song and dance party that is ‘The Mrs Carter Tour’ and it did not disappoint.

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There are not many performers like Queen Bey, performers who actually sing and dance and deliver groundbreaking production on every level. The show is flawlessly executed by some of the worlds most talented singers, dancers, musicians, Lighting and production designers and animators. With an underlying ‘girl power’ theme which leans more toward a subtle message of female empowerment, there is no question that this is one of the greatest shows on earth right now.

Beyonce, Diva, Artist, creator. An almost tribal trance locked the screaming fans in from the first note and held them tightly through flawless performances of her trademark hits which seemed to merge in to a 90 minute medley with nothing being left out!

There were the usual multiple complex costume changes with video interludes and a token 2nd stage which miss B was ‘flown’ to across the crowd but other than that, the production was loaded with lighting and video technology I have never seen before.
This is a tough act to follow. Beyonce is a true entertainer and her engagement with every fan is a genuine one. This is the real thing and that’s a rare thing these days.

So when I am asked, “whats the best show you have ever seen”? I wont answer with “The Miss Carter Tour” but I will say its in my top ten.

By: Antony Hampel

The Global Poverty Project (GPP) aims to increase the numbers and effectiveness of people taking real action to end extreme poverty. GPP has a single vision, and this is a world without extreme poverty, within a generation. They focus on building a global movement for change: mobilising people to make a difference now, and changing the systems and policies that keep people in poverty.

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GPP have recently launched Global Citizen which is a new online platform designed to raise awareness about a range of issues related to extreme poverty. It helps passionate change makers take action anytime, anywhere!

Global Citizens can take action on globalcitizen.org to earn points for a chance to receive a ticket to the Global Citizen Festival. By sharing articles, videos and infographics about the core issues, as well as signing petitions and sending emails to world leaders, Global Citizens can be part of a movement that will create real change for those living in extreme poverty.

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This week it was announced that Stevie Wonder, Kings of Leon, Alicia Keys and John Mayer will headline the second annual Global Citizen Festival, September 28, on the Great Lawn of Central Park in New York. The focus remains, and that is to work  together to end extreme poverty.

In its inaugural year last year, the event saw Neil Young, Foo Fighters and the Black Keys perform.

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Hugh Evans, co-founder and CEO of the Global Poverty Project and Michael Sheldrick, global policy and advocacy manager for the Global Poverty Project are Calling All Global Citizens: Small Actions to Create Big Impact Against Global Poverty

This year , in Australia, we will see a special live event link in with the Global Citizen Festival in New York. The event will feature Australian Artists who are passionate about the cause and the campaign.

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Hugh Evans recently published this years campaign that Together with Global Citizens, will force change:

  • Leaders to commit the funds needed to uphold their pledge to put every child into primary school by 2015, including the 57 million children who currently go without.
  • The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria to answer the calls from African Governments for the funds needed to train and deploy hundreds of thousands of community health workers.
  • The telecommunications industry and the Broadband Commission to step up and ensure that no health worker has to pay for airtime when a patient’s life is at stake.
  • Governments to invest in a future where all children are fully immunized by increasing efforts to provide all vaccines recommended by the World Health Organisation to children everywhere.
  • The global community to embrace a bold, ambitious post-2015 development agenda that places the empowerment of girls and women as its core priority.
  • $1.3 billion dollars in new commitments
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By: Antony Hampel

I was both intrigued and excited to see King Kong Live On Stage (aka; The Musical) and share the excitement in Australia staging a ‘world theatre premier’ which is very rare. King Kong Live On Stage is five years in the making and has been created by Global Creatures who are the Australian team behind the global success of ‘Walking With the Dinosaurs’ and ‘How To Train Your Dragon’. There is a stella team of who’s who in the creative and technical departments gathered from all around the world. It is obvious that by working with ‘best in business’ from Theatre, Live Music, Animatronics and Film, the intention was to create a production that would appeal not only to Theatre goers but a much, much broader audience. So when I sat in my seat and put away my program (after studying it well and being impressed by the amount of work by such a dedicated teams of experts over the last five years) I was prepared to witness a stage production like no other. So what happened? Why did the 160 cast and crew members and millions of dollars of dazzling effects fail to impress?

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Well, it did impress in parts but as a whole, King Kong Live On Stage does not cut it as the next biggest thing (haha) in Theatre. The set design is complex and unique, the lighting and AV effects are amongst the best I have ever seen and the animatronics around the one tonne beast are breathtaking. The actors performances seem to pale in to insignificance against the mighty production values of the show, there is no orchestra so the pre recorded music with live vocals fails to capture the same energy in the Theatre as it should and the plot, well, there isn’t much of one. On the night I went it seemed that the whole audience was genuinely disengaged because there is a real disconnect with the characters and the audience. It was quite apparent that everyone just wanted to see the hairy beast and ,he doesn’t disappoint!

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I walked away underwhelmed but a little confused as to why. After digesting the show for a few days, it became clear what the problem is. The show has so many incredible ‘moments’ and design features but sadly nothing really connects.  We couldn’t really care what happened to the characters because they were not very sincere and once we were dazzled by the production and effects the first couple of times, there was nowhere else to go. It seems that 90% of the efforts have been put in to the effects and technology with little time left to develop the story, characters , performances or even the music (a very abstract and wondering score that has no real direction).

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King Kong Live On Stage claims to be a musical and thats the problem. I wonder if the technology wouldn’t have been better placed in a theme park or other type of short attraction where you can experience the incredible effects within perhaps 20 minutes or so and do away with the story, characters and music because they just don’t belong together. If you want to be truly dazzled by technical wizadry then don’t miss King Kong but if you’re expecting the new Broadway Blockbuster Musical…stay home and watch the original movie. PS The show wont tour Australia due to its size and complexity (several months spent bumping in to the Regent Theatre in Melbourne)

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By: Antony Hampel

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From cars and wardrobes to homes and holidays, we are strapping in to the economic gloom and doom and ligthening our loads. In an age where downsizing and stripping back to basics is the new thing, I couldnt help but wonder what it would be like to sell up everything at home (including the home) and hit the road !! As a lover of the outdoors, I still prefer to have a good bed and warm shower at the end of the day so camping and glamping never was my thing. A roadtrip has always appealed to me, not one that goes from A to B but one that just keeps on going but the thought of Caravan parks and seedy motels put a dampener on that so, enter the Campervan! Now I’m not talking your everyday wood vaneer , gas bottle strapped on the back  and annexed tent with fly-wire, instead, think 40ft of luxury in the “eleMMent palazzo”! Standard features include  pop-up roof terrace measuring, floor heating and a bar, en suite bathrooms and rainfall showers and of course room for a MINI or Ferrari to be stowed away on board. With claims of ‘eco friendliness’, 500 horse power and turbo charges, I’d be getting around efficiently and, quickly! With a price tag of a mere $2.4m, here’s hoping my downsizing at home will find me enough spare coins around the place for a deposit.

By: Antony Hampel

i wonder if the future of merchandising for concerts, festivals and theatre shows etc could infact allow people to interact with digital content on their Tee Shirts? Well according to tpostmag.com this is more than just a great idea its a reality born with a simple game of rock, paper, scissors! Perhaps this game is under rated?  We could have avoided all wars if leaders resolved their disputes with a simple game like this?

By: Antony Hampel

p1Oat BranWhilst some struggle with Fad diets only to end up where they started, others work hard at a good balance of healthy food, nutrients and exercise but its not always easy to get the SUPER FOODS we need in our eating plan. Work, location, time and budget can all create obstacles for getting the little top ups to our diet each day that can have great long lasting positive effects to our bodies. Ive always been interested in the food sources that we often lack and how to access them and build them in to my daily routine. A morning smoothie (usually my breakfast) after a workout is always a simple way to throw in a few additions (although I cant say the Fish Oil experiment was a flavoursome one). Each day now I add a tablespoon of Oat Bran, Quinoa, mixed seeeds (inc Pumpkin) and a teaspoon of Super Greens. To keep hunger away all morning I sometimes throw in a whole Weet Bix. The flavour is great and here are the benefits:

The Oat Bran: Its high fiber and significantly lowers cholesterol. Its also a superfood for the heart and keep cardio vascular disease at bay. It also helps with weight loss as its slows digestion so you get hungry too quickly.

Quinoa seeds: A super high anti – oxidant (even more than berries), provides ‘heart healthy’ mono unsaturated fats.

Super Greens/Vital Greens:  One of the best sources of nutrition you can get. available. These are not your every day supermarket greens like lettuce, kale or broccoli. These are a micro algae like spirulina and chlorella that have a variety of nutrients, super high levels of protein, chlorophyll, wheatgrass and barley grass. Supergreens deliver on vitamins, minerals, proteins and enzymes that are absorbed quickly by the body. The super greens may boost the immune system, detox the body and promote good digestion.

Mixed seeds: Great for Omega threes and essential fatty acid, protein, fibre and zinc. Mixed seeds can be a great immune boosting addition to your diet with Pumpkin and Sesame seeds loaded with Zinc, vitamin A and E.

It can all be overwhelming at times as we are bombarded with so many mixed messages but a few containers with all of the above sitting next to the blender and in no time you’ll be throwing these in every day! quinoa-un-year-2013-1

 
By: Antony Hampel

For some time now Sydney has been trailing behind the rest of the world with an unimpressive list of boutique 5 star hotels. There have been several attempts over the last decade but sadly most have many paraded as 5 star while delivering barely 4. Now, enter the QT and, to some extend, this new flagship boutique hotel has arrived somewhat quietly but no doubt this is part of a clever soft launch marketing campaign. Of late she is appearing in select magazines and cleverly placed Ads aiming at the Gen Y slightly edgier business traveller, fashionista or entertainment industry guru all looking for the next uber cool offering. In her own words, the QT describes the experience as a
playground for those who love art, design, fashion, music and food.  The lobby is like a scene from a movie with sofas that pop out in an array of colours, high tec digital artworks, theatrical lights, screens showing old movies and an assortment of add collectibles.

The New York Post recently described her as “One of a Kind…cutting edge..eccentric and quirky” and I have to agree however, comfort, luxury  and  great service also stood out, infact, there was little not to like!  The QT has been described as was too over the top and that they should have named it the OTT!

There are no real views from the rooms but there is every conceivable luxury, gadget and well thought out layout.

Its certainly not your conventional business or holiday traveller hotel and the wrong clientele may find it all a bit confronting as the Sydney Morning Herald said  ” The hotel staff were ‘cast’ rather than hired” and “staff Kitted out in a Rocky Horror-esque, military chic get-up”

But the Hotel is fun, its engaging, its unpredictable (although I must say it reminded somewhat of a few of the W Hotel properties, especially one I have stayed at in Hong kong).

Adding to the Theatrics and event type experience are the lifts which can detect how many passengers there are then automatically play a themed piece of music/musac (Single travellers get songs about loneliness, groups get a party track and couples, well, love songs of course)

Sexy teams of young, styled staff (cast), happily greet you when you step out of the cab and at the lobby level reception and, refreshingly, the smiles seem genuine (something alot of other 5 star Hotels could learn from).

I have been staying at the Sheraton On The Park now for several years on every Sydney business trip I do and, even though I probably visit at least 10 times a year, no one ever recalls that I am a regular and I always am asked for I.D when checking in even though I am a gold SPG member…go figure…oh, and goodbye Sheraton On The Park, I have moved around the corner to the QT on Market Street and I wont be coming back.

Here’s a great little guided tour showing all the high tec features of the QT experience QT HOTEL guided tec tour

By: Antony Hampel