advertising and other stuff. no, really.

Friday, October 31, 2008

America Is F*cked ... (Graphically at least)

Just in time for the most important election of our lifetimes. Maybe, ever? (That always made me laugh. Aren’t they’re all important?) Anyway, Aaron Draplin is a dude. Actually, part The Dude, part Walter Sobchak. We met him on tour back in July. He’s a designer who tells stories passionately that you just want to keep listening to. He came up with a simple book for a digital world, called Field Notes. THOUGHT I had mentioned it here but checking now and it looks like I blew that. Sorry Aaron. Yeah, I suck, I know. (The idea was simple: You’re driving. Far maybe. Besides caffeine, you sometimes need something to write on, no?)

Anyway, for a different take on why were fucked in ways neither candidate can address Tuesday, check out this clip from an upcoming doc with him by Jess Gibson. It covers the lost art of signs and design in America. Something we came across often.

No Mom Left Behind.

Don’t forget that most important of demos this holiday voting season—moms. Head over to No Mom Left Behind and send an e-card or two. Just like voting, send early, and send often.
(Via Pattyman.)

Top 9 Political Horror Films List.

NOT that there’s such a genre, but, there could be. Horror and politics collide. For horror flicks, just revisit this previous list, maybe add in Vacancy (with really creepy DVD extra footage) and 30 Days of Night. Otherwise, go political with some flicks worth checking out. Some are about the process, and some are about the shit that goes on behind the scenes. Are these the best? Subjective. Are there others? Of course. But these are 9 of my favs. (Why does everyone always do a Top 10 anyway.)

1. The War Room.
2. The Candidate.
3. The Fog of War.
4. All the President’s Men.
5. Bob Roberts.
The Contender.
7. Wag the Dog.
8. Primary Colors.
9. Our Brand Is Crisis.

Happy Halloween.

From angry predator vagina pumpkin.

But wait, there’s more...

Need For Nissan–first automaker to partner with videogame.

Saigon Songs to win Vietnam’s hearts and minds.

People are buying more computers and less babies.

That’s what she said.

The Bangable Chelsea.

Remy tires, er, tries to get interesting with hot chicks and Flash.

Arm & Hammer wants you to bring your own water.

Good message for Obama as well as his supporters.

We don’t need no stinkin press.

Forget the nuclear reactor for a sec, they need to focus on the problem of de-acceleration trauma.

Bridging the immersion gap.

Really? Campaigns’ ads negative? Who knew.

And then they came for me....

Man sued over eBay feedback. What's next, suing over a bad blog post?

Internet porn and you. Internet porn > gf. Don't worry, you'll be snuggly warm in your blanket of shame for the rest of the day.

The Hip Young People Who Hate Gay Marriage. (Via Atherton Bartelby.)

Will it happen? Predictafy it. (Via Twitter.)

Backseatvertising trashbags is gonna be HUGE.

If there's a better college job tagline, lemmee kno. (Refresh a few times.)

The Amazing Race.

Good luck with that. After this whole thing is decided next week, we go back to our boring ad lives and start looking forward to another stellar halftime ad bonanza during the Super Bowl. Until then, see this race for what it’s been: A great lesson for campaigns in how to use as well as be abused by the internetz. What is amazing is that this race will finish without either candidate addressing three major issues: The right to life movement, illegal immigration and social security. No wonder they both talk about plumbers so much—takes their minds off all those things.

The revenue the government’s dipped into social security for to pay for other things? Cargo ships coming into NY unchecked? Illegals crossing the border shown so prominently on the Fox Hannity Channel border exposé? Forgotten until after the election. Hey, illegals may be carrying backpack nukes, but they’re carrying something more important—votes! The pro-life/pro-choice crowds have to run ads on Drudge to be heard because they sure aren’t hearing anything from either candidate.

McCain and Obama have been extremely careful and smart to avoid these debates publicly. When they do mention the more sensitive issues among their bases, volatile terms like pro-life becomes Human Dignity and the Sanctity of Life. Immigration? Let’s just call that one border security.

Even though both mention these things on their websites, who really reads those anyway? (Except for me and the 527s when they need fodder for their latest spot.) Marginalizing those issues as individual soundbites in a convention speech laundry list doesn’t count as addressing the problem. Far from it. Nor does leaving it up to their VP surrogates to shoulder that responsibility count as leadership either.

That either candidate will win without addressing those issues in any of the three major debates they had together is sad—and amazing.

Bzzzzzzzzzzz. ZAP.

Digging this Honda bug zapper spot.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Obama vs. McCain? First came Lincoln vs. Douglas.

If you can’t already tell by the 1,500 political posts Jetpacks and I have done, we have been just absolutely enthralled with the whole presidential campaign process. Why, it’s been magical! It even got to the point last week that I noticed Fox News Channel referencing Lincoln in relation to McCain. Spying the necklace on his blogging daughter, yep, it’s a silhouette of Lincoln alright. (She blogs! If, you can call a daily recap of what she had for breakfast and a photo op timeline a blog.) So it got us thinking, what would today’s tactics be like if applied to campaigns of the past such as, um, Abraham Lincoln vs. Stephen Douglas in 1860? Hmmm. Perhaps a little something like this...


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What do you think of the new Pepsi logo?

What do you think of the new Pepsi logo?
Like it.
Don't like it.
Don't care one way or the other. free polls

Design Your Own Pepsi Logo Contest!

After I went off below, I figured why not let the people decide. Think the new logo sucks? Send in your own. Anything goes short of the usual legal suspects and anything that the brand or I would deem* inappropriate or illegal. What will you win? Hmmm. Mystery Grab Bag Prize Pack** for starters! My undying praise for another. Email me them or post them to the Design Your Own Pepsi Logo Contest! page on Flickr. (Just tag it with: new pepsi logo contest. Contest runs for, hmmm, okay, two weeks! Ready? GO!!!!!***

*Pepsi is in no way affiliated with this contest or blog, but that can change real quick if the price is right.
**You do not want to know but let’s just say it involves items from my basement.
*** Exclamation point sale today so I stocked up.


Cool! Awesome! Pepsi is using social media to launch! Okay, now, here’s where they blew it.

NOTE: If you are coming to this from other links, scroll to end of this post for updated comments.

Blew it? Not really, after all, it’s the internet. There’s always a second chance to redo a bad first impression, right? Being the first bald guy to say what the second one did weeks later, I’m not going to rehash what constitutes a brand. Read it when you have a sec.

(My only crit of the new logo is that while it may have been going for the smile motif, and there may be alt versions floating around soon, turning it on too much of an angle makes it lose some of the easily recognizable characteristics a smile has, making me have to see it. Don’t argue. It does.)

Forget that, this is about Pepsi using social media to help relaunch itself, and where I think it’s already missing chances to be the innovators they see themselves as. A launch that started with a FriendFeed room where people can comment on posts from the team running things called The Pepsi Cooler. Head over, check it out. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

(*goes to fridge to get Pepsi while waiting for happy readers to return*)

Back? Good. I realize they say the launch effort is a work in progress, so I am considering stuff I bitch about below may already be in the works. All I can go by is what I see though. The biggest problem I have is how they decided who should be let in to help them spread the word. Mac sums up what the difference between influencers and evangelists is in relation to who Pepsi should’ve approached to get the word out about this.

Good points, but not quite what I’m talking about in this case. (If you’re thinking, “Dude, post your gripes over in the Pepsi room if you feel that strongly about it,” relax. I’ll tell you in a follow-up post why I’m holding off doing that.)

So here are some of the things I noticed...

First: Do it right.
If you can drop a million on a logo redesign, you can afford more than 25 Pepsi kits to go out to people. 25? And the people need to include actual users of the product, (*clears throat, raises hand*), Mac’s influencers and evangelists, yes, but also ad bloggers. My informal poll among some of the biggest ad blogs shows that only Steve at AdRants got Pepsi love. (I’m guest blogging for them while they hit ad:tech next week and hoping he left a few cans for me.) But Dave from AdFreak, David at AdPulp, Brian at Adweek, Alan at Toad, etc.? Nothing.

I could I go on, but you see the pattern. (PR blogs? Social media experts? Invited in droves apparently.) The result is ad bloggers writing long angry missives late at ni... early in the morning. Look, not that I care. I’m up late at night for other reasons, but it just seems the one group who deal with and comment on a lot of the work Pepsi does in terms of campaigns and promotions would be considered worthy of inclusion to a larger degree than it initially was.

Second: Tough room.
The tone of the FriendFeed room feels a lot less like true collaboration with the internetz in helping to shape this initiative than it does “Here’s what we heard you’re supposed to do step-by-step when launching something online.” Funny, I get the same vibe from my 3 x 5 index card reading friends at Dell tech support. The legalese, while keeping copywriters busy, makes me stop when I get to point 7:
From time to time, Pepsi-Cola may ask that you transmit to the Site by electronic mail your feedback on Pepsi-Cola's products and/or services. Any communication or material you transmit or post will be (a) treated as non-confidential and non-proprietary by Pepsi-Cola, (b) become the property of Pepsi-Cola and Pepsi-Cola shall exclusively now and hereinafter own all rights, title and interest therein, and (c) used without restriction by Pepsi-Cola or its bottlers, licensees and affiliates at its sole discretion without any obligation, compensation or other liability to you. Such use may be for any purpose whatsoever, including, but not limited to, reproduction, disclosure, transmission, publication, broadcast and posting whole or in part, in any medium and in any manner on this Site or otherwise. However, Pepsi-Cola shall be under no obligation to respond to any such communication.
So, the spirit of collaboration exists until someone comes up with something that Pepsi can then use any way they see fit without compensation? Nice. The last line though sums it up: A conversation online where one party is basically not obligated to respond. Doesn’t sound like a brand that’s very open to being ... open.

Third: Open all night.
Aka, the internet don’t sleep. See the timestamp below? By the time I’m done running spellcheck which still misses the typoz you people don’t tell me about, it will be some ungodly hour. The Pepsi room has four people who leave at six apparently and will try and moderate comments when they can. No offense, but I do this blog for free. I put my heart and soul into it, same as I do for paying projects from clients. I don’t leave at five.

Not that I’m knocking Steve Rubel, far from it. I’ve gotten a ton of useful stuff from Micro Persuasion over the years that helped keep this blog going, it’s just that if there’s a Worldwide in your agency’s name, there needs to be lights on 24/7 for any of the brand efforts they do. Certainly four people can handle running one page.

I rant, I bring up money, I stay up late only because this stuff drives me nuts and I care about it maybe too much. If I know this, if the ad bloggers above know this as well, then why doesn’t Pepsi? These are the things which should already be stock on the 2008 Pepsi Launch LX model.

“But large brands can’t move that fast, this is a good first step.”

I’m sorry, what? There have simply been too many case studies out there already when it comes to seeing what to do and what not to do when it comes to social media and nailing this shit right out of the gate. Based on past performance, this is shaping up as another corporate effort from Pepsi that could end up flatter than the cases of Pepsi in the front of the local Kwik-E-Mart.

Fourth: No Twitter, no Facebook, no problem?
I understand FriendFeed is trying to position itself as the new kid on the block when it comes to aggregating your online self, but it ain
t there yet. Not having any presence on Twitter is amazing, especially when it comes to a major launch effort like this. Now, maybe I missed it but a search only turned up a dormant Pepsi account last updated March of 2007. Even still, there was no link to it from the Cooler nor to their Facebook page. (Anyone using FF almost always includes under their profile the other sites they can be found at.)

Fifth: Let. Real. People. Design. Your. Logo.
Okay, this falls under the whacky promotion heading, but how cool would it have been to let anyone in the world have a shot at designing the next Pepsi logo? Arguably, Pepsi is the first mega brand to be redesigning and relaunching itself at the current peak of online social media popularity and usage. For a brand claiming it’s trying to break new ground and change how it markets itself, why not show their audience that they truly ‘get’ them and let them participate.

That would have generated more discussion than the ones now about the million spent by Arnell. Because even if the logos sucked, and you still ended up going to a high-end firm to get it done, you could write it off as having been done by the loser masses. (No offense to the loser masses.) But really, how many people from high-end firms would've entered that contest anyway. Lots.

Instead, Pepsi got sold on the traditional marketing move where an agency offered to do everything for them in terms of rebranding, believing that a fresh image brings instant brand and brand cred. Corporations can’t help avoiding this trap. Have some guts and let people go for it. You would have gone from spending a one with six zeros to getting a bunch of free publicity.

Oh, wait. I know. They still can. See the next post for my Design Your Own Pepsi Logo Contest!

UPDATE 11/10/08: Since this effort by Pepsi has had a few weeks to run its course, there are a few things I noticed:

1) I’m hearing Pepsi get 'kudos' for ‘starting’ the conversation. Not sure it’s warranted. There are too many existing campaigns out there already for Pepsi to be only be doing what they’ve done so far.

2) “Well, influencers are talking about it, so it’s a success.” Hmmm. Define success. What the brand wants to hear or the reality of what people are really saying. Not buying that either, the classic Any PR is good PR mantra either. Aren’t we past that point in the game to use that metric? Based on that logic, I can get Pepsi attention guaranteed:

Hunting rifle. T-shirt with the new logo. Mall. Check please.

3) Pepsi and the agency advising them are now asking people what they should do. On one hand, I’d say fine. Asking for feedback from customers is always the easiest, safest thing to do because you can always learn something, (provided you listen to what they say of course). This ain’t that though.

Feels like, they launched a quick FriendFeed, then went about asking basic marketing questions that should have been asked elsewhere first, and more in a more low-key approach.

Again, there is simply too much that’s already been done for Pepsi to have to now ask these questions publicly. I’m not saying the brand people aren’t trying, they are. I’m saying the agency in charge should’ve already had these answers because they’re obvious.

4) No response. I mentioned in this post originally that I was only posting this here. I was doing it as a little test to see if they would bother tracking blogs and comments. Nothing. I then posted a comment in the FriendFeed room to one of their questions. No response. Now, weeks after launch they’re monitoring blogs via the tag below, but, people have to tag stuff for them. To quote someone famous, this ain’t rocket science. This is basic stuff we’re talking about here that should’ve been done from the start, and an agency that actually knows the space would know this.



Monday, October 27, 2008

Smell like Octopussy.

What. Cmon. That titles a little more catchy than any PR release: Bond Girl 007 is a unique branding opportunity for Quantum of Solace, the latest release in an enduring Hollywood franchise now partnering with Avon, a leading global beauty company.


Before Spinal Tap, before The Beatles...

There were The Rutles. Going to the vault this week for a little-known homage to the Fab Four by Monty Python's Eric Idle. Really, the first true mocumentary that was just as funny as Spinal Tap would be a few years later, and as good a parody of sixties mania as any Austin Powers flick. (Look for cameos by many of SNL’s early stars like Bill Murray and John Belushi as well.)

Because even the Village People vote?

Attack ads arent just for presidential races, lest my constituents forget. Dig the production value here in this well-crafted piece for Roger Wickers campaign. If you need even more Mississippi values, you can also try this clip.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

WHAT is she talking about?

Two things about Sarah Palin bug/frighten/amaze me.

I realized it after her debate with Biden. (Not that this will matter to her supporters, because it’s clear that few of them will be honest in evaluating her weaknesses, likely viewing them as strengths instead. Whatever. It was after reading the transcript below from her Saturday appearance in Iowa that I was left dumbfounded.

First, like Hillary, she talks at you. She just doesn’t connect. Don’t confuse that with saying the right things either. She does, in spades, buckets and droves, nailing all of the GOP’s Greatest Talking Point Hits. I’m talking about one on one. She plays to the room instead of the individual she's speaking to.

Hillary was worse in this regard however. Say what you will about her policies, but her failure to connect as a person without this affect, this persona if you will, is what ultimately did her in. Ironically, it was only after defeat when she worked the talk show circuit in support of Obama that she became more human, even understated.

Something else though about Palin reveals another problem I have with her being nominated.

It’s one thing to attack a specific point made by a candidate, both sides do it. It’s another though to round the argument up to the nearest blanket statement, just because it makes a nice soundbite.

Vice presidents don’t usually factor in much, and sometimes even say things that get blown up out of proportion, but read the following excerpts from her appearance yesterday and tell me if she hasn’t lost it. The leaps from point A to G to R?

...She labeled Obama’s plan to provide tax credits to lower and middle-income wage-earners “the philosophy of government taking more, which is a misuse of the power to tax.”

“It leads to government moving into the role of taking care of you, and government and politicians and, kind of moving in as the other half of your family to make decisions for you,” she said. “Now they do this in other countries where the people are not free. Government as part of the family, taking care of us, making decisions for us. I don’t know what to think of having in my family Uncle Barney Frank or others to make decisions for me.”

With audience members shouting “socialist!” throughout her speech, the Alaska governor said that time is running out for Americans to realize the danger of a having a Democrat in the White House. “Are we hearing what he is saying with 10 days to go?,” she asked plaintively. “Are voters hearing what he is saying about his plans for bigger government?”

At the beginning of her remarks, Palin appeared to ad-lib a riff about her much-discussed wardrobe, which has the been the subject of scrutiny since Politico reported last week that the RNC spent $150,000 on clothes for Palin and her family before the Republican National Convention in September.

“Your state is filled with good, hard-working people all loving the outdoors,” she said, “and it was nice and crisp getting off the airplane and coming into the — it reminded me a lot of Alaska, so I put my warm jacket on, and it is my own jacket. It doesn't belong to anybody else."
Now, I could start to decipher this, like the part about Obama's policies leading to government running things in your life, but then I'd have to also mention the part where her potential future boss voted for a $150 billion dollar bailout, and how is that any different. But why let facts get in the way.

There’s something about the presence someone has, an
intangible, the vibe they give off that says, yeah, I’d follow them into hell mister. Doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with their experience per se, just call it a hunch, a gut feeling. Whatever.

But if you can honestly say after watching and listening to Sarah Palin that she’s better suited to step into the role of president than either Obama, Biden or McCain, you’re a better person than I am.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

McCain vs. Obama or Mac vs. PC?

Mudslinging Apple. Nice. While the great advertising cant help a bad product theme is spot-on and it’s how a lot of people feel, why raise it now instead of earlier in the campaign. Hey, least they didn’t accuse MS of being socialist, especially considering millions of PC users are stuck with just one choice for their operating system.
(Via Geekologie.)

“OBinLaden_22 is now following you on Twtter.”

Aka, ALL YOUR TWEETS ARE BELONG TO US. A report from the Army says hactivists and terrorists may be using sites like Twitter because of their real-time updating features. Well, um, no shit. Almost everyone who loves Twitter cites its ability to let them express what theyre doing that sec. No news there. But thats as it applies to the mundane made spectacular by the many Hemingway wannabes using it: “Enjoying wonderful Brie, listening to Bach, while the setting sun dances across the sky, teasing my soul.”

Nobody except for Uncle Sam expect people to be plotting shit, but, it’s possible. Newsflash for the naive and the overworked analyst in a cubicle at Langley following
the cast of Mad Men looking for clues: Twitter first and foremost was always a global IM service at its core. Did anyone think the bad guys at some point wouldnt exploit that aspect for Wile E. Coyote-like purposes? Aside from the monitoring we dont know about, this isnt the first known look into the virtual/online space. The Reynard Project was created to look into game scenarios using publicly available data, basically seeking out order in the chaos.

All this means is that while we may not be any closer to finding Bin Laden, he
ll probably end up being the one guy with more followers than Scoble.

“It doesn’t come from nowhere.”

It’s not rocket science. Real nice interview on Ad Age from original Mad Man George Lois on ideas, inspiration and his book The Big Idea that explains it all. Included is a pretty fired up take on Esquire and how things have changed there, worth watching for any young punk in advertising. Or young punks in general.

Tell us how you really feel.

Guess Timothy Connors won’t be invited to too many neighborhood picnics this year.

Friday, October 24, 2008

McDonald’s suicide is anybody’s game to win.

Came across this rather somber video made weird with the addition of a McDonald’s sweepstakes superimposed over it. First, when the hell did promos start running over the top of stuff? Keep it up YouTube. More importantly, the irony fits: Eating McDonald’s kills you eventually anyway, right?

Texting addiction: 77% of people surveyed had texted while driving. 16% texted from funerals.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

It's that time of year when we humiliate pets for our enjoyment.

Apparently the settlers exploited their pets too. Look. They dont want to be a skunk. Or a rabbi? Wonder why they attack small children? Because you dress them like one of the Village People. (If, a beret-wearing Fonz was ever a character in the Village People.) Where my bitches at? Nice try. (Granted, the calendar scene from Best In Show at :47 in is funny as hell. But those are professionals actor who humiliate for a living.) So please, can we stop? Leave the humiliation and suffering caused by costumes where it belongs: Americas youth.

Fictitious inspirational wisdom-economic edition.

ll get worse before it gets better.

Economy tough on teens? Yeah, sure. Whatever.

This is from a series of vids looking at both success and the economy on Conde Nast's YouTube page. Watch as teen girls in Manhattan are asked about their spending habits and how the economy has affected them. Actually not being able to shop at Abercrombie & Fitch? The Horror! Who knew Manahattan was such an accurate portrayal of teens everywhere.

Are you better off now than you were four years ago?

Leave it to a blogger to put up a site and finally ask the question I’ve puzzled Obama hasn’t asked yet. (No offense to bloggers, I think I may be one actually.) But with all the geniuses in Obamas camp watching him take hits from the GOP as they summon the Ghost Of Reagan, nobody there thought to have him fire back with that question posed directly to the American people? In times like these? Shock. Awe. Maybe Obama’s too busy worrying about registering all those new voters.

About your profile.

It’s their profile, I’m just the messenger:

i am a problem solver that lacks ambition




Ideological vivisection is just fancy talk for talk. Also, I am totally cool with eskimos.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Help Sweden. Help the children.

Every single day in Sweden, another child has to look at stark rooms with easy to assemble furniture and no hope for tomorrow. Won't you please help? A TROFAST is a terrible thing to waste. Okay, that’s not the purpose of this campaign, but it could be. Funny twist at Help Sweden on the notion of the adoption theme found in so many PSAs. It’s from Futurniture in Sweden for UNDP Sweden to show that some poor countries pay out more than they receive in international aid. I can see it now from agencies: An avalanche of adopt-a-(insert HIGH-larious theme here) spoof PSAs for brands.

So getting a Cassie or a Paul is important.

The Electoral College explained, sorta. I already knew how the whole process worked, and the clip is funny, but after watching it, I felt a little like deer in the headlights Cassie as I wasnt quite sure they explained it simply enough. This is part of a bigger initiative from the Center for Governmental Studies and their Video Voter project on YouTube, a project meant to document your voting experience.



Because you did, you’ve just proven how absurd age verification on spirit and beer websites still is. As does this vid from laboratory101 on hacking those sites. But please, only watch if you’re over 21.

Car magnets for Obama!

While Sean Hannity continues to bang the socialist gavel, the Obama/Biden camp keeps innovating. Bumper stickers are so 2004 because Magnets will win hearts and minds! Car magnets, not refrigerator that is. The campaign claims it needs to allocate resources carefully. So for a $10 donation, you get one of these spiffy new magnets. Hmmm. Which raises an issue though: What resources budget does the cost to produce and ship these come out of? Anyway, better hurry. Offer ends midnight Thursday.

Whole lotta covers.

Aka, you need tuning. Whole Lotta Love. One song, many versions online. Some painful. Some, not...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

You'd be NUTS not to buy a pair!

Yuck yuck! (*slaps knee wildly*) Hurry, order now to get them in time for Election Day

Best. Casket. Commercial. Ever.

(So far.) Oh sure, when it comes to funeral homes, I could post another dream sequence spot about a woman losing both her husband and mom, but why not lighten the mood instead. is not available.

In case you were looking to buy that name for your dating site. Just thinking how they would verify that unique selling point though that someone was too unfit to date. After they found the body in his trunk?

Can you make it to the end?

Better than the acting, script and stock footage is the possibility that this film is sponsored by Walmart. (Via Twitter.)

But wait, there’s more...

Things invade your brain and come out modified just enough to avoid a lawsuit.

Latest killer app? The Layoff Blog Post Announcement 2.0.

The more you make, the less you click?

Wearing her parents’ heart on her sleeve, er shirt.

GLBT is okay. GLBT over 50, graduate school, 100K? Not so much.

Slash action hero figures! ROCK ON!

What do you say, “Sorry honey, I didn’t like the one you picked out?”

Charles A. Harrison, world-class designer.

Got the write stuff? Send it in to Denver Egotist ad freaks.

The Only Mavericks that matter.

No, she does have them. I’ve seen them.

Good-bye agencies?

Angry young black man? Try angry old white guy.

Incredibly urgent question: will the current economic crisis affect goodie bags?

Double cheeseburger flapping please with a Coke.

Hi. I’m an idiot.

But when they fail...

They fail big.

Taking client work and blog posts with them.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Overheard internet.

Cool, honest or sad—you decide:

That’s how desperate newspapers have become…they’ll sell advertising to anybody. – Dog owner

“Hollywood is poison to America as any Republican knows. They support all the crap you can think of (Abortion, gays, sexually promiscuity, etc, etc.) – Lonepoke

I expected him to drive a Batmobile actually. – Theeggman18

They smoke way too much pot in Alaska. I talked to a dude who knows the Palins and has smoked tons of dope with them. (this is not made up) – pieflsurferteve

F them all. They have more money than we do. At this point retire the bunny home. – cattatt

Saturday, October 18, 2008

His Name Is Errol.

Errol Morris. He knows commercials. He knows docs. Here’s his latest.


Hope. War. You decide.

Friends will help you move. Good friends will help you move a campaign.

So much for civility from here on out. I doubt any of this fear mongering matters to those who’ve made up their mind, but the group that matters most is taking notes: Undecideds. It’s the one group likely to decide this thing. They might want to first read the Rolling Stone article Make-Believe Maverick on McCain I just finished reading.
Depending on your party affiliation, it’s either propaganda against a Great American Hero, or verification that the last place you want a cranky old man is anywhere close to a button—3:00 am or otherwise.

In fairness to the McCain camp though, it’s clear the Hopela surrounding Obama has resulted in far fewer negative mainstream media reports about Barack. RS’s corresponding article on Obama wasn’t nearly as harsh. The
NY Times Long Run series also tries to cover both candidates, but a piece this weekend on Cindy isn’t too flattering. You’d have to look to GOP media like Fox, Politico or WND for that. Others are even more critical of the audacity of Hope and what’s really driving Obama.

One of these guys is going to run the country for the next four years—or run it into the ground. Who’s right, who’s wrong? You decide—just get both sides of the story instead of always trusting a campaign’s talking points.

Friday, October 17, 2008

What the...?

Ha, ha, ha, ha, Stayin’ Alive (breath) Stayin’ Alive.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Lava parents.
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The Final Countdown on KazooKeylele. From Scotland.
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Guru mouth.
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Hate this kid too.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Hawaii chair informercial.
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RIng of Fire.
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Ebay auction of the week.
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Craigslist dining tips.
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Jetvertising will be huge.

No, I like the concept. Put a logo on every conceivable part of the plane’s exterior. Just one problem: THE WHOLE NIGHT THING AND OH YEAH, IT’S ON THE OUTSIDE WHERE NOBODY BUT THE TARMAC JOCKEYS WILL SEE IT.

There. I feel better.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

The problem with Pepsi, the ‘fun’ brand.

I have brand resentments.

Every year during the Super Bowl Big Game, I watch celebs in Pepsi spots try and endure sitcom scenarios followed by the inevitable free song download url. Then I watch Coke and the nice family life moments they always seem to have and wonder why I can’t be like that. I mean, I like fun, but I also like family moments too. It’s that way with other brands in my life. Take Lee vs. Levis: I love Levi’s, and who wouldn’t: It’s young hipsters messing around in skeezy motels while Lee is the jeans for your mom—and country singer loving NASCAR drivers. Mac vs. PC? I’m all over Apple because, well, they’re so cool.

Least that’s what advertising tell me.

So when I saw news in Ad Age that Pepsi is redoing everything about itself in attempt to focus on the “...packaged liquid refreshment beverage category,” I laughed, then I cried. (Humans from Western NY, PA and MN know it as soda or pop, etc.) I swear half the problem with brands is marketing speak: “every aspect of the brand proposition for our key [carbonated soft drink] brands.”)

Two things immediately came to mind, one tactical, one strategic.

First, from a strategic POV, I’ve been a Pepsi loyalist forever, pretty much drinking it my whole life. Mt. Dew? Got me through college thank you very much and still does to this day. Life, not college, freaks.

I live this brand and guarantee I shatter the high school teen demo they have in their heads. I should also say that I freelanced for their promotion agency, and it sucks knowing the brand will run the same stuff again, year after year, instead of doing something truly cool.

ShopRite doesn’t care about brand messaging. They care about coupons and shelf space. It’s this thinking that generally infects brands and holds them back from being great. Retailing giants like Pepsi now want soccer moms to buy a few cases for a Super Tailgate Party and, wait for it, maybe get some salsa and chips with that! TIE-IN! Whoo-hoo! Everyone wins!)

Sucks because there’s a lot that can be done against that proposition of fun they’re so locked and loaded on. Coupons and new packaging will change my perception of the brand?

Not. Even. Close.

I drink it because I like the taste, plain and simple. As it is with Coke drinkers: They wouldn’t touch Pepsi if Paris Hilton served it to them naked. People have their brand preferences and that’s it. Now, I know Pepsi and Arnell Group have hired top design talent to redo everything, no doubt. It’s what you expect and any designer worth anything would kill for a shot at that gig. But, Pepsi, listen up:

No ad, no designer makeover of the label will change how I feel about the brand or why I use it.

All moves like this do is demonstrate that some brands still have a traditional mindset they can’t get rid of: We will tell you what we want the message to be about our brand and more importantly, what we think it is. This is the age-old problem. The disconnect if you will between what brands think they know about consumers and what consumers really think.

When Pepsi decides that fun is the only message, it’s a little disappointing.

Why should I settle for Justin Timberlake getting hit in the nuts? I want serious Coke moments too. I want to teach people to sing on mountaintops. Okay, maybe not, but I’ve also had a Pepsi after some serious things happened in my life and connected with the brand as it were while contemplating how messed up things got.

Why not open the brand up to be all the things someone experiences, not just the happy ones? Budweiser doesn’t have a problem doing touching spots and humorous ones. Those damn Clydesdales will run followed closely by a roommate sketch with secret beer chute in the fridge. It’s called multiple voices Pepsi, look into it.

Seriously though, does Pepsi think all of the boomers who grew up on their product will just suddenly stop drinking it once they get to a certain age?

Missing. An. Opportunity.

Tactically, there’s another thing that might be key to their efforts here, which is the apparent monopoly that Coke seems to have over practically the entire fast food industry. Taco Bell and Pizza Hut are the only ones I’ve seen carry Pespi products, (and that’s only because Pepsi owns those chains), but nowhere else. What this does in effect is say to Pepsi drinkers: You have no choice when you go to Wendy’s, Subway, Burger King, McDonald’s, etc. Which has to hurt them because those chains all put a huge focus on youth marketing, yet, where’s Pepsi?

(I seriously don’t know what the hell kind of deal Coke was able to swing with those chains, I really don’t, but it sucks that I can’t get Pepsi when I go to most of them. Monopoly much? If Pepsi wants more share, then they need to start throwing down like hockey moms and yank some jerseys over heads and get in there.)

I wish the brand luck. Luck though to the people who lost their jobs over this makeover even more. Safe to say they’re not having much fun now, if they’re even having a Pepsi now.

(Images via, via, via and via.)

Say it ain’t Joe.

Looks like the candidates in last night’s final presidential debate actually did help the average American: Joe The Plumber might get a book and movie deal out of all the mentions he had. Not yet, but he could. Sure they used him every chance they could, but Joe’s still gonna have a few more fans when he goes out on calls now, plus, he gets to raise his hourly, maybe even sign a few babies. Supastar! (No word yet from Joe The Carpenter or Joe The Roofer.)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Zack and Miri make a word you can’t say.

You know that even though several cities are complaining about spots for the new film Zack and Miri Make a Porno, the Weinstein Co. is loving the free PR. According to CNN, the line is included at the bottom of the outdoor signs (picture) but is coming under fire for being used in more family-like settings like MLB games.


Taco Bell, yo quiero medios sociales.

Sure there are a ton of brands in online spaces, and a lot have stumbled their way through like Pizza Hut and Walmart, while others haven’t. (Look at Mt. Dew’s can designs solicited on Facebook or Jet Blue, Zappos and Dell listening to consumers on Twitter as examples of those with a clue.) But Taco Bell, you’re killing me. Of the many brands on Twitter, they’re failing here. One look at their page and it’s like, damn, Think Outside the Bun Box much? TV box that is. It’s clear in that category that TV drives brands, I understand, but if you’re gonna be on Twitter, you need more than that. Their account profile says “Taco Bell's Official Presence on Twitter.” Hmmm. One update in nearly four months sounds like it was officially DOA before it started. Hard to believe with the money they spend that there isn’t one intern in the agency who could update that shit daily. Annoyed? Sure I am. All the money that gets funneled towards TV spots that’s nothing more than a copy of stuff that’s been out on YouTube for a while, and they can’t do anything better than this. Taco Bell. Email me. I know people who can help.