advertising and other stuff. no, really.

Friday, November 30, 2007

But wait, there’s more.

Scamp’s stand-in on the digital divide.
MTA says let them eat cufflinks.
60 Minutes to look into Facebook.
GM doing what it always does.
Bunny melters unite.
An army of influencers.
Johnny, how about a nice romantic comedy next time?
Underground notes, literally.
Gifts for designers, from designers.
Party animals for Mitt and Obama.
Toad’s kickin it with Chunky Pam again.

Awareness or exploitation.

This live display for the Salvation Army found on Invisibile Red does what it’s supposed to: makes you stop and go wtf? But is it going too far if it uses real kids to make the point? Seems like something American Apparel would go for. (I hear they’re big on kids.) Would Macy’s ever do this with real homeless people? No way, but Benetton might. Looks like we’re way past using kids in decals.

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Does IBM get it?

Further proof that most gigantic IT brands have no soul. With the exception of the so-called leaked Office Values, and maybe the John Wodden spot, I’ve hated everything they’ve done. But I caught this spot over the weekend and for once thought theu lost their smugness and picked up a sense of humor. Two avatars mimic the premise of Second Life in a series called Do. IBM poking fun at itself, could it be? Nope. First problem is, the url from the spot takes you to a site on innovation, and I swear without fail, trying to figure out the point of the content there is one of the most frustrating and complicated thing you will try, (next to calling Dell’s tech support and figuring out why people like Dane Cook).

The functionality works, but there’s too much of it. Menus, sub-menus, sub-sub-menus. Once in, you then discover what has to be 50 separate video clips taken from larger interviews on innovation. It’s then you realize the TV spots had nothing to do with what this site is about. The clips are more of the same self-important bloated IT-speak on innovation that the spots make fun of.

(There’s also another one in the series where a room of people are ‘ideating’ on the ground. Group think at it’s finest.) They’re funny themes from the current business climate to parody, but not if you fail to connect the dots. I know TV doesn’t always need to duplicate the microsite, the print, blah, blah–been there. But it should at least connect in some way, no? At the very least, make it available on the site. All that money spent, and it had to be a sheetload, some intern couldn’t upload a clip to YouTube or iFilm? (Thanks to DaBitch for being the only one to have it.)


Thursday, November 29, 2007

Dude, yer gettin a bunch of celebs for Christmas.

Did robot Burt just say ‘peeps’? Why yes, yes he did. I gotta say though, Chuck Liddell is pretty funny as one of several celebrities pitching Dell’s product line on You have to question how much this must have cost to get all these people, even though it’s definitely a step up from the only celeb they ever really had with the Dell dude.


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Real PSAs standing by NOW!

Well, since serious issues like unions aren’t what you people want, let’s go for the money shot. Help protect the Rio Grande from the so-called girlie magazines and stimulated readers who would become hardened in cynical contempt. Call 1-900-ANTIPORN. Although I would disagree with the characterization of newstands at the end of it. I think Drudge now has that honor.

(This could be viewed as NSFW, unless of course you work for Pat Robertson.)

Seriously, what’s up with McDonald’s?

The “let’s throw anything out there and give the brand 20 different voices” zeitgeist is dangerous in the wrong hands. Click on the infomercial link in the burst to feel my angst.

Simple Converse.

MeWe is the best of the bunch.


I’m sorry, I have to.

David Lynch cigarette commercial.


Go to France and die.

At least I think that’s what this traffic safety PSA is saying.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Does advertising need a union?

This is what happens when you don’t blog for a day, you start thinking about things other than the latest Bud spot. Things that most industry pubs won’t touch because it bites the hand. Highjive and AdPulp mentioned it recently, and Toad has touched on the freelance issue too. I’ve thought about it a lot lately. Any freelancer or person on staff who’s gotten screwed one of several ways probably wishes they had some form of protection too.

Why is advertising the only ‘creative’ profession without a union? Ironic since most of the above and below the line costs you would use for major productions have them already, everything from directors, talent, animation, etc.

Everyone but advertising. I can see the arguements against it already:

Freelancers make a ton already! We get to work in cool studios doing award-winning stuff that may or may not be seen on TV or film! We have benefits and two weeks vacation! Agency perks like free sushi and beer on Friday afternoons! We get to wear iconic t-shirts, funky sneakers, jeans and listen to Beck! What’s so bad about that?

Well, yes, we get to come and go as we want–mostly–but freelancers also have the joy of not knowing where the next gig is going to come from, or for how long. They get to pay ALL their expenses out of an ever-reducing hourly rate, including medical, travel, higher on average social security and tax rates–and get to wait up to 30-60 days for that first check. Oh, and temp services that take a huge cut and then always seems to place you in less than ideal environments.

Agencies could care less though because they’re paying you that higher hourly rate so they don’t have to deal with all that crap. To them, it’s basically a no-strings attached, one-week stand. But it’s not just freelancers who get screwed.

Job security? A big fucking HA! Not for freelance, not for staff whatsoever. And try putting in less than 70 hours without the scorn of others. Two weeks vacation that actually gets broken apart into smaller chunks of time, because well, it would be better for the agency if people weren’t away for so long. A series of long weekends is now the norm for most creatives.

And what about those benefits, the ones that you now have to pay more of in terms of a copay ... because
it would be better for the agency to not have to pay so much. Nice. And I’m sure your 401 will be safe, provided the agency doesn’t fold, leaving you with nothing.

You can also bet that all the talent you work with, especially on a spot for TV has more protection and a regulated workflow than you do. A grip or animator at Disney likely has more job security and benefits than any agency ACD.

Not to mention protection from the one thing you can call your own: intellectual property. You know, the ideas your senior AD or ACD didn’t think were “really working,” but somehow managed to make it into the internal presentation the next day?

How about fired for any reason the owner or mid-level office managing minions or AEs see fit. Which, is more often about politics and personal agendas than it is about issues of competency. I’m crazy, right? Riiiiight. With the growing number of account-driven agencies permeating the business, account execs and project managers have more say in terms of how projects run, and if as a creative, you’re perceived even slightly as not being a ‘team player,’ you’re the problem the agency needs to deal with.

Forget for a sec that you may raising creative issues that go to the heart of what agencies should be about. A few mid or senior level creatives will not compare to AOR status and a multi-million dollar account on the line.

Where’s your recourse?

You have none, and if you keep butting heads, well, you’re screwed in the current ‘right to work’ environment of most states. (For the student newbies out there, you can be fired for any reason they see fit to hide behind). And what’s at the heart of this? Yeah, it really is that stupid: some AE cared more about getting a layout that wasn’t ready to the client, just so they can say they met the deadline–and you’re the asshole for bringing it up.

And, does this shit happen at the bigger and better shops? Probably not. (There are worse things in life than getting to wear jeans and listening to Beck at work.) Even if (insert really cool agency here) was a sweatshop, most people would probably put up with half the problems just for the name on their resume. Messed up I know, but that’s the way it is.

In fairness, it’s also not an issue at very small shops with husband and wife designers, or maybe studios with 5 or 10 designers doing cool shit and everyone’s happy.

But a union wouldn’t be for the places where things are great. This is about the places where it isn’t. The places where they treat staff as just another expense to be let go 150 at a time. You can blame the loss of a client all you want, but it’s never just about that.

The senior marketing dudes who open a small shop, take advantage of the staff who always work late, and then rake it in while talking at seminars on the Ad Age circuit. Or the shops who’ve been around for a long time, bloated at the top with a staff that dreads going to work, but finding another gig may be hard. Especially when you’re intimidated by an attitude that says you should be thankful because of ‘the way things are out there right now.’

How many yachts can you water ski behind indeed.

I could go on with a list of gripes, but it’s not about that. It’s about how you can tell a lot about an agency by the way it treats its employees.
I’m just raising issues that need to be addressed. Seeing as we’re in this new snake oil-based age of conversation, I’m just starting one is all.

Philips Norelco wants to have that 'talk' with you.

After the day off. I’m catching up on all the stuff in my inbox. Like my second puberty. Philips Norelco’s second puberty I should say.


Sunday, November 25, 2007

Blog Nothing Day

So read some stuff from Sunday while I take a day off from any internet commenting or writing for Blog Nothing Day. Yeah, I know, another cause. This one’s in support of the WGA strike. Which, if I stop to think about it, is really ironic considering I don’t get paid to write this blog. But hey, any excuse to have a day off, I’m there. Back Tuesday.

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I’ll have the number 1-2-3-4!

Singing stars who work at Mickey D’s, now’s your chance to be a recording supa-star.

Aquos new spot is Mummenschanz with plasmas, but still pretty cool.


Since flavored vodkas are dead, let’s use celebrities!

“I’m not just a celebrity endorser, I’m a brand builder. I’m a luxury brand builder.”

Combs said he will be responsible for everything from marketing the brand to deciding where to sell it, and will focus on attracting "movers and shakers" to the line.

Does this also mean he’ll be doing the banner ads?

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Don’t just clean your clothes, GREEN your clothes.

Get it? Green > Clean > Green. Problem is, they never mention the theme in the online ad until you get to All’s site. They’re also giving away $50,000 to one school for being green. That seems like it would be a bigger draw than rich media showing cleaning bubbles.

Friends of Dewey Cox, unite.

So much for Spinal Tap. Yes Talladega Nights Nashvillle Nights Dewey Cox has the requisite Facebook to go along with its official site, and even merchandise like a Dewey bobblehead. The retro site makes the movie look cool but the trailer makes it look like yet another Farrelly Brothers gag-a-minute knockoff. One that travels through every music genre known to mankind, (expect for maybe polka). I still love the life of Reilly though. Along with Philip Seymour Hoffman or Steve Buscemi, he always represented that class of indie character actor who seems to relish not being the lead. Although his performance here looks funny enough, he needs to get out of Will Ferrell territory quick.

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OD on the Black Keys yet?

Anyone else wanting to use the Black Keys in a spot: I love them but please, they need a rest. Instead, try Breakestra. James Brown funk from LA that’ll just be perfect for the new Gap Old Navy retro look after Todd’s done with it.

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Ouch. Lame title. Great images that Darryl found on Brandflakes. Would love to see it animate but still, compelling work produced in Flash.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The first Second Life lawsuit filed.

Oh PLEASE let Judge Judy’s avatar preside over this.

“How does loser No. 1 the defendant plead?

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But wait, there’s more.

What would Hilly do?
How do you not love a band that’s Gothic/Country/Punk?
I wish her parents had thought of this.
But it’s cheaper if I go to Office Depot for bubble wrap, right?
All those boxes in my garage full of Marvel and DC heaven, now, useless.
You can ring my Mel.
Apparently the $800,000 logo is still alive and well though.

Because banning works!

Ironic. A story about Syria blocking Facebook because it “helped further civil society in Syria and form civic groups outside government control” has a story next to it about how the West can’t stop web radicalization. Hmmm. Sure looks like Syria found a way to do it.

Pull the fucking plug, no?


Friday, November 23, 2007

Move over Gary Busey, Courtney Love has a blog.

Sorry Gary, love ya bro but I just got my Christmas present early. It’s wheels up for Air Courtney in, on and around the blogosphere. (Please let this be real.) In case you don’t have a MySpace account, here’s an unedited piece on fiscal responsibility:

“FICA score is that credit score you get for FREE ( but really its 30s bucks) if your 750 or aBOVE great but they willSTILL hold against you all the things on there that you didnt do - a very serious fincnailsp[erson told me the best way to deal with the "mistaKES" listed on thiers is to actually break the law, get the amex letterhead write to ine if the three agencies wichever has your "mistakes " on it, and just state the mistakes never happebned and itw as a typo= cos even if you have 800- any mistak eron there theyre going to consider that despite your score- if theres stuff on there due to id theft or mistakes ( i took 2 hours to do my amex yesterday and noted that my driver was apparently flying to the uk 4 times on amex and 2 times to the3 uk on the same flight on visa with the attentand 9.85 automatic insurances, for baggage transctions and each person had a "greeter" at 350 dollars when the flights a,d idnt occur cos every flight was not only multiple and all the add ons the sneaky amex tried to stick on there- 995 a transtactiomn? eat me and get me a new card ! the band had no Greeter yet each of the greeters was 350 dollars and there was no dammed greeter , also i hjave a platinum card that i never applied for and refuse to pay a dime on since ve never applied for it last month theres a mysterious 30,000 ollars someone threw on there- and then i asked my banker why ididnt have a check book she stated that so and so told her not to give one to me- WHAT? am i 12! whats the prupose of that to make me more hel[less? so that i cant negotiate and deal withthings i dont wanna use the ccs for myself?”

(Image found here.)


NY Jets issue apology to fans.

“We are committed to providing an enjoyable game day environment for all of our fans. We will not allow a small minority of people to ruin the experience for our fans and will be monitoring the situation.”

Oh, wait. They weren’t talking about the team’s play?

(Image found here.)


Droid fonts. For the robot in you.

Unsure of yourself in these unsure times? Then Droid is exactly the kind of global, all-encompassing unifont you need. Looking very much like someone ripped off mixed the best parts of Courier, Caslon and Arial together, there’s an eery familiarity at work here. It’s like those Helvetica family knockoffs where the designer didn’t want to license the real font, instead calling their version Helvat. Hey, at least they changed the name here. Still, while Courialon would’ve been too expected, Droid may be too obvious in its own right.

Although for an Android platform, maybe not?

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Greenwashing, or just socially aware?

Interesting article on how companies of late may be too quick to jump on the green bandwagon. (You mean BP and Ford don’t want to help the environment? Shock. Awe.) Bottom line is that the green message will ring true if it comes from a brand that walks the walk. Slapping a cool yellow and green leaf in your ads isn’t enough. Daryl Hannah may sometimes come off as a little out there in interviews when she goes off on her corn rant–okay, many times–but at least her and Willie are doing more than lending their name to a cause. (And to be blunt: Willie’s been green longer than anyone.)

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

“And remember when you dropped your lighter and then tried reaching in?” Yes, it’s that time of year again.

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Dolce&Gabbana’s family safe spot.

Nice to see D&G doing what it does best in primetime. Who said their exotic whipping boys were just for print. Gotta call it both ways though ref: if Snickers took a hit for their Super Bowl spot last year, so should D&G here.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Let’s see Peyton MANNING sing.

Not to mention a Vic Taybeck cameo.

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Samsung stick figure theatre.

I like this Samsung effort better than the current contest they have. Funky animated vid that takes you to a microsite, then onto the main. 4.5 millions views in three weeks, pretty good. A suggestion or two: a few less entry pages into the site, maybe instead land on the page that explains the clip. Might be nice to also allow the clip to live online for a little while before revealing the brand connection. Too much rushing lately with integrated campaigns. “We have to get it all out there at once! We’ll do a viral, launch the site, a PR release, TV, and....” Whoa. Easy. Slow down. Let the wine breath before taking a sip. Regardless, it’s still is a nice effort for a brand.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I’ll have the Typhoid Fever please.

Giant Microbes is a company that makes stuffed animals that look like tiny microbes, or at least what they would look like under a microscope. And yes, you can get the Clap for only $7.95. Kids, who wants E. coli?

Found among the great internet incestuous link party food chain:
here > then here.

Gives new meaning to Flag Day.

For more, go here.

All pay heed, the Mugato.

Sure the Saw dude is creepy, but the original Star Trek had it’s share of freaks too. Check out the rest on the Wired list.



where have I seen this before. Oh yeah.

(Image via AP.)

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St. Jude’s pulling no punches for Thanks and Giving.

New spots featuring celebs like Robin Williams and Antonio Banderas for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

That’s all. (Yeah. Like I’m gonna say something about kids with cancer. Go check out the clips. Go on.)


Monday, November 19, 2007

Another advertising icon gone but not forgotten.

It may have been just another line in a commercial, but for an otherwise dull category like toilet paper, Dick Wilson’s Mr. Whipple always made sure you didn’t squeeze the Charmin.

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Glengarry Glen Ross, Cracow style.

Yeah, that one. Came across a funky poster site from Poland for the Mamet classic. But it looks more like something David Lynch would run. (This site covered it as well and has a theory on the different styles.) No matter the reason though, what’s amazing is the interpretation from a designer’s POV. These take all kinds of liberties with theme, color and type and are graphic design at its purest. Very cool, very painterly, but no way they fly here.

A pharma spot I . . . like.

Shock. Awe. Yeah. This series of spots for Bristol-Myers Squibb is what all pharma should aim for. Screw the useless fair balance and animated insect metaphors. Straight-forward profile that tells a story without talking down to the audience.


The unstoppable Eli.

In this spot at least. (Clip link on bottom left once there.) Taking into account that he probably signed on with Citizen before the season started, his clock management issues of late make this tie-in a little ironic to say the least. While it’s unlikely anyone could have predicted how he’d be doing at this point of the season, it’s still frustrating to see athletes doing so many ads before living up to their hype on the field. Think about it:

You never saw Billy Kilmer doing a Bud spot.

Not Mr. Punter’s Helmet. (Now, he may have been on the sideline with a brew in one hand and a cigarette in the other, but at least he had standards: no ads during the season.) And I know Citizen didn’t want to pay the NFL to show Eli in a Giant’s uni, but for a brand hanging out in Breitling territory, do they really need a caption that says ‘pro QB?’ Especially when the spot runs during a Giant’s game and his last name is, uh, Manning.

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A real campaign for beauty: Miss Landmine Angola.

Saw this pageant on Truemors. No, it’s not a joke and I’m not posting it to make fun of it whatsoever. All I’m saying is that maybe next time Dove wants to pretend it’s doing something SO ‘courageous’ by turning the camera on itself and the beauty industry, it might want to feature real people, physical limitations and all. (Just as Ford is doing by exploiting with Sara Reinertsen). Maybe they could even sponsor something like this here, but they probably won’t. The pageant’s tagline Because everyone has the right to be beautiful would be at odds with Dove’s message. Besides, why would they? Real beauty isn’t profitable in their eyes.


Why I want to slit my wrists.

I give you the new Bissell Proheat 2X® Cleanshot. And just like Sears, don’t forget to sign your privacy away join their community.

Maybe Dyson was right after all.


The lost art of the head silo.

Most people remember “I’ll paint any car for .29¢.” When it came to auto body repair, nothing screamed quality like Earl Scheib’s silhouetted head in those vintage ads. But times have changed and the venerable auto body shop has improved its service, now ranking higher in opinion polls than even the U.S. Congress.

Hey, if Danny Bonaduce can trust Earl, so can you.


Friday, November 16, 2007

The Guild: Geek TV at its finest.

Sure they have their own network in G4, but as one viewer commented: “This is the life of half of the people in YouTube.” The Guild is an original mini-series–literally at under four minutes an episode–created by an actress and gamer who got fellow gamers to help fund it. Talk about writing what you know though.

Parts of it are played over the top, but otherwise it’s short and sweet. It’s the kind of show most brands would’ve tried on their own and screwed up with product mentions everywhere. While it’s nice to have sponsors pay for original content, the dynamic changes when they’re no longer essential to getting it produced. In that case, brands go from being in the driver’s seat to scrambling to be part of the lightning in a bottle any way they can. Because of that, expect to see a product tie-in down the road with this series.



I want to not answer the question first.”


Rent the coffee, we throw in the car.

Okay, I guess. Travel + car = need to stop for drink sometimes. I wonder how many people take the coffee and drive to a Starbucks though. I guess when you’re basically reduced to being a price brand in the rental category with real no point of difference, any idea gets the nod. Why not then just give free Trojans away for when you stop and pick up a hooker on the way to a Motel 6. A branding three-way if you will. NOT that I’m stereotyping or anything. (But as coffee themes go, a better ‘pick me up’ is Enterprise’s free ride program.) Better yet, just make it 1 lb. of coffee and something more useful like a travel mug with each 2nd rental. Or for instant gratification, a Dunkin’ Donuts $5 gift card.

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A calmer, gentler Crispin.

Sure, the ceiling for Air Glover is about three miles higher than for Air Busey. However, his take on the corporate mindset running Hollywood explains what creatives deal with from brands afraid of the unknown.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Guerrilla that McDonald’s corporate probably didn’t approve.

Funny shit over at Another Limited Rebellion on how to shut down a Golden Arches near you. Check out the rest of their blog too. Some cool social awareness issues raised no matter what side of the ad game you’re on.

But, but, any PR is good PR I thought.

“We are disappointed in the breakdown in our own creative process.”

You mean proofreading process. Yeah, nobody caught it. Riiiight. I ’m sure this went back and forth between some low-level brand person and an AE at the agency who joked about ‘Christmas’ vs. ‘family’ and what’s PC these days. And another thing, let’s be real here: figuring out which in-store signage gets the PMS 300 isn’t really that creative. But hey, at least Lowe’s got out in front of this before it became national hysteria. Or hysterically national.


This is painful on many levels.

Nothing against trying to get the word out among the people, but watching this was a test to see if I could make it to the end. I did. Will you? Still, I couldn’t also help but wonder how close we are to having brands sponsor these adds. A fast food chain is a no-brainer and that line will be crossed soon enough I’m tellin ya. (And check out how news sites plan to ‘monetize’ their sites, with in-ad commercials! A commercial in a commercial.

What a breakthrough!

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My name is Elvis, and I endorse this post.

If it’s okay, can I use my Elvis credit card to pay for my BioWillie? No, okay, do you take Usher then?

Before Photoshop.

No way this gets shot today. ASPCA is on the set to confiscate the cats and Dali’s getting administered a drug test.

+ Enlarge to see entire photo.


But wait, there’s more.

Isn’t the minimum safe distance between sequels like, more than five years?
Six guerrilla campaigns worth a look.
Everything will be free eventually.
Simple yet effective.
Amex’s Absolute LGBT support.
Microsoft tools at again.
If there’s a better shark tampon metaphor, I haven’t seen it.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Don’t ever mess with The Wolf.

Ever. Fish at CMM found this spot for Texaco that never ended up running. Probably would never run here either. I’m guessing soccer moms might be not able to appreciate an exploding gas station thing. But not The Wolf. And because I’m all value-add 2.0 like that, part of the music is from Dirty Harry (track five) by Lalo Shiflin, who’s claim to fame was writing the original Mission Impossible theme.

For the birds.

Crows actually. From Firebrand’s site I saw this MTV clip. No indication of when it was made and it’s not on YouTube either. Cool though.