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.