Thursday, November 26, 2009
Dear Wieden + Kennedy,
Thank you for the reminder of all the reasons why I won't be venturing into Target this Black Friday. Since being trampled by crazed, sleep-deprived hausfraus isn't on my Christmas list, I'll be sure to spend my day at home with the leftover turkey and get that external hard drive I need next week from Best Buy. Or, you know, Walmart.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
P.S. For an example of a sustainable cup in action, visit the Fair Bean Coffee shop in Austin TX and sip some of their Red Espresso™ from a cup made of corn!
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
Johnnie Walker is a brand whose advertising has caught my attention before, and the newest effort by BBH London caught it and held it (for 6:28 minutes, to be precise). I've never tasted Johnny Walker whiskey, but I might make the effort after seeing this mini-movie: narrated by Robert Carlyle, whose craggy face and rolling brogue match the stark Inverlochlarig landscape featured as the canvas on which the single continuous take paints its story. In addition to this brand history given legs, I also enjoyed watching the credits and seeing how many heads and hands were needed to make this spot (even an animal handler for the cow!).
I have included one of my favorite older Johnnie Walker ads...the one that first piqued my interest in the brand, all those months ago.
Keep walking, Johnnie.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
Sunday, July 19, 2009
The limping execution aside, I am also unsure WHYY they thought the inclusion of a hand was appropriate in the first place. Even if the hand was, I don't know, proportionate and realistic, I would still be put off by the idea that someone had had their hand all over the pineapple used to make my drink.
Just sayin', SKYY.
Friday, July 10, 2009
Thursday, July 9, 2009
It seems a bit counterintuitive to farm out your own talent, but Mr. Bogusky said he doesn't really see it that way. Each year, the interns work for Crispin clients, but a portion of their time is carved out to work on special assignments that are typically pro bono. Now they'll just work on this instead. "It would be great if the high bidder is a cause-related thing," Mr. Bogusky said. Who isn't welcome? The likes of Pizza Hut and Philip Morris. The fine print on the online auction page states that Crispin, which works for Domino's, "reserves the right to decline services in the event of a conflict with any of our existing clients or for any other reason (like if you sell cigarettes) in our sole discretion."
On second thought, I really like the idea. Publicity for CP+B, potentially interesting work for the interns and an interesting experiment that will show what interns should be paid (Although if the $5,400 is going to be divided between the 28 interns, I'm getting paid more than they are at the moment!).
The world has been infected by extreme precious-ness, judging by the success of the E*Trade babies and efforts like the shamelessly adorable (I check it regularly) mymilktoof.blogspot.com. Now Evian is jumping on the wagon with a commercial featuring roller-skating, computer-animated babies. See for yourself.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
"Facebook is the 21st century malt shop. It's where people go to hang out. And the last thing they want is some salesperson trying to have a "conversation" with them while they're figuring out what movie they're going to see. They don't want to talk to you. They want to talk to their friends.
The whole appeal of social media sites is their independence from advertising. People like the fact that they can say whatever they want to other people without becoming targets. Yes, they'll tolerate banner ads or search ads on the page, the same way that in the malt shop they tolerated place mats with ads on them or a Coke sign on the soda machine: That sort of advertising is innocuous and quickly becomes part of the general scenery."
Good on you, Alan Wolk.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Friday, May 1, 2009
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
As a native of Austin, TX I was interested to stumble on the story of the controversy surrounding the recent GSD&M spot for Popeye's over on AgencySpy. Apparently GSD&M exec Roy Spence brought in a freelancer over the head of ECD Mark Taylor to do work on this commercial, titled "Annie the Chicken Queen". The result cannot be characterized as anything other than a blatant racial caricaturization to a degree that is astonishing in an age when we have an African-American president! The hokey music, trite chatter of the actress and the clumsy, backward concept collaborate to make this spot an epic failure that has to be seen to be believed. While bloggers and the ad community expressed outrage over the commercial, it has been clarified that Mark Taylor and the creative team at GSD&M fought against the ad to the end and refuse to take credit for its debacle. A source within GSD&M (quoted on AgencySpy) says:
"As an employee there, let me be very CLEAR when I say that he [Taylor] as well as all other creative directors, and pretty much the entire creative Dept. [sic] actually fought this campaign to the bitter end. In fact, as you wrote in an article a few weeks ago, The [sic] higher ups in the agency actually went behind the creative department's back and hired a freelancer to do this. He is rumored to be pretty ethnically insensitive (but from the looks of his latest campaign that's obvious). Overall, Mark Taylor and most of the agency agrees with your post, that the campaign is offensive and stereotypical, but that's not what's being implied in the article. That's why I hope you do a follow up article to get the TRUTH out - That Mark Taylor and the creative department had nothing to do with this ( in fact, it's that freelancer who's producing it because the creative dept. wont be associated with it.)"
Of course, this begs the questions what Roy Spence thought he was doing, slapping around his creative team, and why the work of a freelancer is being featured nationwide as the mainstay of the campaign with GSD&M's name on it. Hopefully Mark Taylor and his creatives don't suffer too much negative backlash for their supposed responsibility for this embarrassment. Kudos to AgencySpy for doing a follow-up post to clear their reputations.
I have recently been a victim of being forced to take responsibility for something embarrassing myself. I was recently convinced participate in a project which has subsequently transformed into something ineffectual, embarrassing and worse of all, entirely beyond my control. I sympathize greatly with the embattled GSD&M employees because there are few things I dislike more than being required to sustain the fallout of someone else's idiocy. The fact that I am technically the project's target market, but my advice has been thoroughly ignored is perhaps the most infuriating aspect of the situation. I imagine this is how the outraged focus groups of the "Chicken Queen" spot felt when they saw it on cable.
Monday, April 27, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
Above is Esquire's inventive effort to get consumers engaged: a flip-book cover comprised of the the facial features of Barack Obama, Justin Timberlake and George Clooney. Nice, I say. It's about time magazine covers stopped being static and repetitive. Anna Wintour, are you watching?
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
The first trailer for the much anticipated Where the Wild Things Are movie by Spike Jonze. The trailer looks mighty incoherent, but does it really matter? If I remember the book rightly from my misty childhood days, it was mighty incoherent too!
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Junior (1-5 years in the workplace)
This is likely the first time you have faced an economic crisis. The uncertainty of it all and watching your colleagues lose their jobs can be overwhelming. Use this time to rededicate yourself to your career aspirations and, in turn, your position.
Do Less ... Chatting with friends on Facebook Procrastinating Worrying about whether you will have a job tomorrow, next week or next month
Do more ... Focusing on the now and what you can to become a valuable asset Finding a mentor to advise you and check your work Researching and reading up on your client, your industry, your competition
For advice for other age groups, check out the article at AdAge.com
Monday, March 9, 2009
When you contrast Degeneres with other cosmetic leading ladies, the difference is obvious. Consider the (still) stunning Cindy Crawford in this Revlon ad. Glamor, distilled. Is Degeneres really what the average Covergirl purchaser aspires to look like? Is the new anti-makeup makeup ad something that will stick around? Personally, I'd rather see Halle Berry or Drew Barrymore in the cosmetics aisle. Where do you draw the line on the issue of a celebrity who who simply isn't suited to sell a product? The incongruity of Ellen fronting Covergirl makes me twitch.
I'm just sayin'.
Friday, March 6, 2009
- Where the Suckers Moon by Randall Rothenberg. The excerpt I read on Amazon was biting and informative.
- Underdog Advertising by Paul Flowers because it is written by a Dallas ad-man! It's all in the family.
- Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. A friend of mine and fellow marketing student raved about this)
- All Marketers Are Liars by Seth Godin because it's about time I gave Godin some money for all the free advice I get from his blog)
- The Happy Soul Industry by Steffan Postaer. The cover is cute as pie. YES, I judge books by their covers. Sometimes.
- Good to Great by Jim Collins. A classic on everyone's shelf.
- Blink: the power of thinking without thinking by Malcom Gladwell. I would like to be able to consciously influence people subconsciously. I hope that's what this book is about.
- E by Matt Beaumont because it's a novel! About advertising! What I mean is, if I can be entertained while learning I'll come back every time. Teachers of the world, take note.
To be continued....
Riding like a white knight to rescue advertising's reputation is the recent campaign by Ogilvy New York for Fage Total. You can read the New York Times' description of the situation here. Ogilvy has enlisted the help of some luxurious co-conspirators to make very effective ads: on one side of the magazine is a traditional ad featuring jewelry or a watch and the facing page is printed to give the impression that there is an impression made in yogurt! Simple, visceral, intriguing. Thank goodness someone is doing such work in a time where people are daily using the poor economic situation to justify lazy/cowardly creative. Bravissimo, Ogilvy.
Saturday, February 28, 2009
Friday, February 27, 2009
It certainly took them long enough. Can EA really be the first to have the idea of turning the Divine Comedy into a video game? Nine circles of Hell with Satan as the final adversary? Three-headed dogs, zombies and religious symbolism? It practically begs to be adapted! And EA seems to have done a creative job. The literature student in me cheered when the announcement trailer began with the first lines of Dante's Inferno, but the pseudo-female Virgil was a departure from the text ( I suppose they felt it was not that much a change to insert a guardian angel in the place of one of the greatest classical poets?) and Cerberus looks bizarrely cartoon-ish. The trailer progresses with what looks like a rollicking good time. The ad has great visuals--they owe quite a bit to the pioneering visual style of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but I guess everyone does these days)--but I wonder how they interpret some of the more, shall we say, contested sins? I can imagine quite a dinner-table conversation sparked by little Johnnie inquiring why the homosexuals are doomed to wander a burning desert in the seventh circle of Hell for all eternity. Anyway, it looks like agency G-Net has done right by EA, at least in terms of eye-popping presentation. Maybe Dante's Inferno will one day rate a sequel, but I'm not holding my breath for a game staged in the nine circles of the Paradiso.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
"Advertising is the rattling of a stick inside a swill pail." Thank you, George Orwell (for more of this sentiment go here.)
"Advertising is a career for the strong of mind and spirit, and for those who think winning should occur swiftly and without great ceremony."
That's from Jo Muse, courtesy of AdAge.com
In 2007 Fallon London attracted attention with their creation of a Cadbury chocolates ad that featured a gorilla drumming to Phil Collins' "Air Tonight", and which left some people scratching their heads. What, audiences asked, does a primate rocking out on a drum-set have to do with chocolate? I think the ad is unarguably striking and really more effective than one might initially think. The purple walls behind the gorilla exactly match the purple of Cadbury's packaging, and the entire feeling of the spot (the music, gorilla's expression) definitely correspond to the final tagline "A glass and a half full of joy". The commercial was undoubtedly successful, spawning spoofs and a Facebook page as well as winning awards and upping chocolate sales. All was right with the world.
Fallon has done it again with their new ad for Cadbury, posted above. The ad world is all a-twitter (in every sense of the world) with speculation as to whether this one will prove as popular as the ubiquitous gorilla. Fallon definitely seems to have mastered the genre of ads that are effective entertainment but do not necessarily relate to the product except in the most abstract way. I am a definite fan of the new spot (even if the kids' performance lacks some of the gorilla's spontaneity) and will be interested to see what Fallon's Juan Cabral tries his hand at next.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
"The quest for qualified talent is not about race, ethnicity or being a minority. It's about talent, pure and simple. Not only are qualified people of color out there, they are available and looking for opportunities to excel in the advertising business."
Hiring minorities doesn't have to come at the expense of the company, but very often I hear the view expressed that a difference in skin color will magically bring something innovative and necessary to the table. I agree with Muse that in an ad agency (and in any company/industry where competition is an influence) talent should be king. Company leaders are doing no one any favors by hiring unqualified minorities to the detriment of the company and its product, when there are so many qualified, diverse candidates in the market searching for opportunities. It just takes a little bit of courage and energy to find them!
In other new, I recently discovered CreativityOnline, a great resource for the Frustrated Creative in You. I am a particular fan of their "Top 5" feature, in which they compile a list of the top five creative things that have occurred in the last week. Top 5 introduced me to David Fincher, who directed the fabulous Nike spot "Fate" (and was nominated for an Oscar for his direction of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), as well as the digital magic of Ray Tintorini. Check it out!
Friday, February 6, 2009
Coincidentally, "who is a professional?" was the question explored in a recent Business Ethics class. So I pose the question: what makes a professional? Does it mean you are a member of a society that has dues and a biannual journal? Must you have a certificate of authenticity? Additionally, what constitutes professionalism? Does it merely refer to the state of being a professional? Perhaps we are back where we started.
The painting featured above is "Lineman" by the incomparable Norman Rockwell.