Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

Grilled Cheese Fiesta

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

Tillamook Grilled Cheese Party

In celebration of the launch of Cheese’wich, Tillamook sent us an entire grilled cheese making kit including 3 loafs of cheese, bread and a Cuisinart grilled cheese maker. We had a grilled cheese sandwich-making party today and even tried to make real-life Cheese’wiches. It’s not as easy as it seems, and we’re glad we built the app!

Tillamook Grilled Cheese Party

Tillamook Grilled Cheese Party

Thanks Tillamook!

Get Grillin’ with Tillamook’s Cheese’wich App

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

Tillamook Cheese'wich App

We just released Cheese’wich, a Facebook app built for Tillamook that grills your face (or any image) onto a hot, gooey, grilled cheese sandwich.


To build buzz prior to launch, we targeted 100 social media influencers and tweeted sandwiches with a personal message from “Loafy,” Tillamook’s cheese loaf mascot. Celebrities like Drew Carey retweeted, James Beard award-winning chef, Laura Werlin, turned her Cheese’wich into her Facebook profile and maybe -just maybe, President Obama made himself a grilled cheese sandwich that night.

Resulting in a lot of chatter and an influx of Cheese’wich requests from fans, we eventually opened up for orders on Tillamook’s Facebook wall. Friends of Tillamook went wild.

We asked Scott Arenstein, Account Director, how this cheesy strategy was cooked up:

What was the thought process behind the Cheese’wich launch?

It originated out of wanting to start a conversation with people. What better way to say “Hi, we’re Tillamook” than to grill someone’s face on a grilled cheese sandwich? Additionally, a lot of apps are built and released on a daily basis so we wanted to launch this in a special way. By connecting Tillamook with celebrities and chefs, we brought Tillamook into the pop culture conversation.

What was successful about the strategy?

When we were testing the app and grilling faces, one of our designers grilled the cast of Jersey Shore. When others saw it they couldn’t help but give a little chuckle. Seeing your face on a grilled cheese sandwich just makes you smile. I think this playful approach is what really made the strategy effective. And it really reflects Tillamook–an approachable, happy brand.


What was your favorite part about this project?

It was fun to watch the project come to life and see the responses from both celebrities and Tillamook fans. My favorite fan comment was “I love it when the different segments of my life collide! @TillamookCheese @ConanOBrien.” – @ValZwald

Visit Tillamook’s Facebook page to get your own Cheese’wich.

David at PechaKucha Night for Little Tokyo Design Week

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Little Tokyo Design Week


Join us this Saturday as Hello’s CEO/Creative Director, David Lai takes part in Pecha Kucha night, a series of presentations given by 48 leading contemporary voices in design and architecture as part of Little Tokyo Design Week (LTDW).

PechaKucha Night

Pecha Kucha (meaning “chit chat” in Japanese) started off as an event for young designers to meet and share their work with the public, but has now become a massive celebration where hundreds of events take place in different cities around the world, like St. Petersburg to Nagoya to Leeds. The theme of this Saturday’s Pecha Kucha night is based on the idea of “Future City,” where presentations will focus on visionary cities and city life. We’re excited to hear from the great roundup of speakers, especially Hitoshi Abe, architect and chair of both LTDW and UCLA Architecture and Design.

Pecha Kucha Night starts at 8:00 pm this Saturday ( 7/16) at the JACCC Plaza in Little Tokyo – come by earlier for food trucks and music!

Letting Google Become Your Wallet

Friday, May 27th, 2011

Yesterday Google Wallet, a mobile payment system was announced, putting us one step closer to the trend of “everything mobile.” People in Japan have been using their phones as an all-in-one credit card, boarding pass and more for years now and we’ve been long anticipating when this would become the norm in the U.S. We see Google Wallet as a movement that will disrupt the way we interact, not only with payments, but in physical and digital touchpoints, making the two more seamlessly connected.

Many brands are already on board with Google Wallet including Macys, Subway and The Container Store. We’re most excited about how brands can use Google Wallet and the popularity of mobile deals and real time check-ins. Making a morning coffee run could become so much easier and personalized if upon checking in your regular drink gets automatically added to a queue, brewed and paid for with the push or touch of a button. It’s already happened with cameras, video cameras and handheld gaming devices, but we can’t wait to ditch our cash, cards and maybe even ID’s and keys to access everything by carrying just one thing.

National Grilled Cheese Month

Monday, April 4th, 2011

National Grilled Cheese month

We kicked off National Grilled Cheese Month with our friends from Tillamook and The Grilled Cheese Truck in Beverly Hills for some delicious Tillamook Loaf Love melts. Nothing like hanging out with friends and eating some good quality cheese. Visit for recipes from The Grilled Cheese Truck and for Loaf Love Tour updates.

Journalist as Curator

Monday, March 21st, 2011

journalist asa curator

Social media has taken the power of citizen journalism to another level with real-time posts, conversations, photos and video. As print news sources take on digital form, we are observing how the role of a journalist is evolving from being an on-site reporter; capturing news from the second it happens, to more of a curator. The everyday person with a smartphone is already out there recording or announcing news as it happens. Instead of rendering journalists obsolete, we see their value evolving into a trusted source that can put together the best, most credible news and filter out the junk that is constantly added to real-time feed.

Part of the value in social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and even Quora is that an individual’s experience is curated personally by the user. People don’t want to or have the time to read all the news. They want to read news that matters to them, which usually happens to be news from people they know, people in their industry and people with similar interests. Success lies in an engine that can deliver that information most effectively, but still give a window of opportunity to suggest new topics or people that could be of interest given the trends of a user’s actions on a platform.

We see news reporting heading in the direction of curated reporting. There are sites out there that are already beginning to curate content such as CROWS NEST, Sign Off and recently LinkedIn’s new feature, LinkedIn Today. CROWS NEST is a Twitter aggregator that uses a mix of Twitter, Topsy, Typekit, and jQuery to pull the top 10 URLs shared by ad/tech/design Twitter users. Sign Off is a site and email newsletter that delivers relevant news based on your city. LinkedIn Today curates news most relevant to your industry, pulling from the career information each user provides in a LinkedIn profile. While browsing through articles, a user is able to see who shared the article, where they are located, and what they said about it even if the person is not a connection or contact. LinkedIn Today demonstrates the beginning of new journalism where news is delivered based on the industry a person is in and the person’s interests. Due to this growing need of trusted curators, we see the trend of journalism headed for better standards as more advanced tools are built to filter good content. Instead of a team of reporters, we might see teams of curators being formed as the way news is delivered continues to grow more and more personalized. We see this trend as a beneficial mechanism in building audience platforms for our clients. As we continue developing social media strategies for branded initiatives, we’ll be looking into incorporating curated content as we build experiences to engage targeted audiences.

Japan Needs Help

Friday, March 18th, 2011

Hello has friends and family in Japan. Upon hearing the news on March 11th about the 9.0-magnitude earthquake, we’ve been actively seeking ways to effectively help the victims of the disaster. The earthquake triggered tsunamis that caused widespread devastation and crippled a nuclear power plant that poses a serious threat for widespread radiation release. Currently reports indicate that over 10,000 people have lost their lives with thousands of people still missing and millions affected by the crisis.

japan needs help

Two of Japan’s most pressing needs are search and rescue teams and basic goods to care for people displaced by the disaster. Japanese social welfare organizations are providing displaced people with shelter, food, clean water and medical care for injuries. You can help by donating to charities that are providing these resources to the people in Japan.



LivingSocial’s current deal is $5 for a $10 donation to the American Red Cross’s Japan Earthquake & Pacific Tsunami fund. This deal ends in one day.


Google Crisis Response

This page is continually updated so users can read up on the latest news regarding the earthquake and tsunami disaster in Japan. Google provides the latest information on resources for victims and ways to contribute to relief efforts.


World Vision

World Vision currently has an emergency response team on the ground in hard hit areas in Japan, providing water, blankets and other urgently needed supplies to survivors. Their ongoing efforts will focus on the unique needs of children, who are the most impacted.


American Red Cross

American Red Cross will support disaster relief efforts to help those affected by the earthquake in Japan and tsunami throughout the Pacific.


Shigeru Ban

Shigeru Ban, an architectural firm in Japan, is building and deploying simple partitions for evacuees to take shelter in Tohoku, Japan where thousands of families are currently taking shelter in school gyms.

Shigeru Ban: Japan Earthquake Relief

Friday, March 18th, 2011

Shigeru Ban is an architectural firm in Japan that takes initiative to build and deploy cardboard partitions to displaced victims who are forced to take shelter in evacuation sites during natural disasters. Since the 2004 Niigata earthquake, Shigeru Ban has been constantly making revisions to their partitions to better fit the needs of each crisis situation. With thousands of families seeking shelter in school gyms due to the March 11 earthquake, which also triggered tsunamis and crippled a nuclear power plant, shelter is one of Japan’s main needs. You can help by donating to Shigeru Ban’s cause.

shigeru ban

shigeru ban

Laser Battle

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

Given the spirit of the Nerf wars that have been breaking out at Hello, we took a trip to the only multi-level laser tag arena in Los Angeles to try our hand at shooting lasers for a change. After a couple rounds in the fray, the most strategic team scored the most points. A tip from us: capture the bases first.

Welcome sign for Hello at laser tag

Nice welcome sign.

laser tag

The red team

laser tag

The yellow team

laser tag

And the winners of this round, the blue team.

Type on the Street

Monday, February 7th, 2011

Some of our photos of typography while roaming the streets of Tokyo. The neon is very cool and it’s ingenious how the type is stretched out on the ground so it’s readable while sitting in a car driving down the street.

Tokyo Typography

Tokyo Typography

Tokyo Typography

Tokyo Typography

Tokyo Typography



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