Saturday, December 29, 2007

REALLY???

Nokia is getting edgy?

Maybe they've been hitting Orexin A

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Proof in the refrigerated box


Fox pointed out these things a few weeks back. On his rec, I ordered a couple.

Dang these things are pretty/unique/tasty. "Frosty Mint White Chocolate Ganache,Eggnog White Chocolate Caramel, Mango Gingerbread in Dark Chocolate, Aged Port in Dark Chocolate, Sicilian Honey, Walnut and Amoretti Cookie Crumble in Dark Chocolate."

Good Lord.
And my wife's eyes pretty much popped out of her head when she saw these little jewels lined up in the box. They are literally almost too gorgeous to eat.

If you have last minute gifts left to give, check 'em out.

Order by the 28th to get 'em by the 25th.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

File under: Shut up, ya'll

Kanye West needs a choke-ball.

"All I did was talk about how I looked up to Justin or to BeyoncĂ©, looking at what they did. But I’m looking at everything everybody does. I’m looking at everything T.I. does, I’m looking at everything Lil Wayne does, I’m looking at everything Jeezy does, I’m looking at everything Jay-Z does, I’m looking at everything the Killers do, I’m looking at everything Red Hot Chili Peppers does, I’m looking at everything U2 does, I’m looking at everything Rolling Stones does, I’m looking at stuff that Justice does, I’m looking at stuff the Arctic Monkeys do, I’m looking at stuff that TV On The Radio does, I’m looking at Dr. Dre, I’m looking at Timbaland, I’m looking at the Pussycat Dolls. So I’m looking at all these different things, and my goal is to take out everybody. My goal is to completely dominate."

Dude. C'mon.

And as impressive as it is that this guy can list off his entire iPod collection in an interview - and as irresistable as that must be to a journalist bent on making him out to be the blabbering knucklehead he's proven himself to be, time and again: PLEASE. EDIT. THE. FUCKING. ARTICLE.

In the time it took Kanye to list off all the people he's "looking at", each one of those people wrote a song, or experienced something of their own that they'll incorporate into their music (okay, not the Pussycat Dolls, but otherwise...).

Taking aim on your competition in the entertainment business, Tupac/Biggie aside, is just asinine. Be great. The world will follow. Trying to endlessly reformulate yourself in the face of a playlist full of world class talent is a good way to end up cranking out another "Gold Digger" - fun to dance to, but it's not going to win you any Grammys.

Oh yes I did.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Comes around

My son has a very succinct Christmas List: Jason Witten jersey, a Mystic Ranger Red Power Ranger Sword, a General Grievous, and a Boba Fett.

How is my never-seen-a-Star-Wars-movie son so engrossed in the same thing I was engrossed in thirty years ago?

You can blame his Nana (who faithfully saved tens of probably-lead-tainted Star Wars figures from my youth. Eh. I turned out okay, right? RIGHT?) And I suppose you can blame his best friends' parents, who let his friend watch Jedis cut Siths into tiny pieces with laser sabers and hate.

Thanks to a couple books written for fourth graders, my 4 year old can spell "Darth Vader", tell you that Palpatine is secretly Darth Sidious, tell the difference between Boba and Jengo Fett, and tell you what color light saber Mace Windu wields as he prepares to undo the evil-doers.

My son is a sponge.
And he's been soaking up the Star Wars trivia.

He has embraced, for instance, the adage that "the bad guys look cooler than the good guys, but the good guys always win." Which gets ever more complicated when we also know that my wife's friend is in the throes of an ugly divorce from a local cop.

He knows that storm troopers are clones. And that clones come from one daddy. And that they are all the same. And that they can't think for themselves. But they have really cool guns. So he'd like to be a clone, maybe.

Aw shit.

Fortunately he likes Yoda. Yoda is as good as it gets right? He's a fucking MUPPET for cripes sake. What's good-er than a muppet? Men can fail. Cops get corrupted. Jedis can turn to the dark side. But Jim Henson? He's like the patron saint of positivity.

If Aimee Mann was a man...


She'd be Chuck Prophet.

Sounds like Tom Petty without the smile on his face.

Photo (?) Tuesday


hubbard/birchler.

Is it film? Is it photography? Is it art?
View the slideshow for more.

Great Expectations

As I eluded to in an earlier post, Slingshot has a new ECD.

When I was just a pup in the biz (actually, before I was technically in the biz) I went on a field trip to NYC. U of D arranged these frequently to expose us to the stuff you don't see in Newark, Delaware (or Philly, for that matter): Art, design, food, traffic, energy, etc. And they'd schedule visits to Kirshenbaum or Cliff Freeman or DDB: places where we had graduates creating great work for actual clients.

One of these visits was to Ogilvy, to hear Peter Wood speak.

It was the single most memorable presentation I've ever seen. He burst into the room, dressed head to toe in black, and began abruptly. He spoke a mile a minute in a peculiar British accent, tacking up examples, ringing the room as he talked. An assistant followed behind him, taking them down to clear the way for the next wave. He spoke and tacked like this for approximately ten minutes.

It was thrilling. And terrifying. When he was finished, he stopped and asked us if we had a questions. We stood there, mouths agape, struggling for oxygen, much less an intelligent question. What the hell had just happened?

My question might have been: Will you do that AGAIN?

Now he's here. In Dallas. Sitting right here with me in one of the most forward-structured creative departments in the country. Because he thinks this is where it's happening.

Cool, huh?

Friday, November 30, 2007

Peter Wood

This is my new boss.

More later, for sure.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Photo-uh-Wednesday

One reason this post isn't happening on Tuesday is, I've been pouring over food photographers for a little project here in between Slinging Shots. I've reviewed a serious cross section of food photographers.


Jeff Kauck takes the cake.


Scott Peterson tales the other cake.
Another reason?: Blogger has been glichy-er than A beta release of Vista.

Doing as bloggers do

Irene has bequeathed me this belabored exercise and, because I hold her in such high esteem, I figured I'd humor her.

What I'm (and I guess,my heir's're) supposed to do:

The questions below are all in the form of "The best [subgenre] [medium] in [genre] is…". Copy the questions, and before answering them, you may modify them in a limited way, carrying out no more than two of these operations:

— You can leave them exactly as is.

— You can delete any one question.

— You can mutate either the genre, medium, or subgenre of any one question. For instance, you could change "The best time travel novel in SF/Fantasy is…" to "The best time travel novel in Westerns is…", or "The best time travel movie in SF/Fantasy is…", or "The best romance novel in SF/Fantasy is…".

— You can add a completely new question of your choice to the end of the list, as long as it is still in the form "The best [subgenre] [medium] in [genre] is…".

You must have at least one question in your set, or you've gone extinct, and you must be able to answer it yourself, or you're not viable. Then answer your possibly mutant set of questions. Please do include a link back to the blog you got them from, to simplify tracing the ancestry, and include these instructions.


True Poetry. I think it's this easy: Copy all of 'em. Change one. Delete one. Add one. Answer 'em all. Repeat.

Fill in the blanks like so:

1. The best drama in scientific dystopias is: Enemy of the State.

2. The best bitter song in country music is: Blow You Away, by Robert Earl Keen

3. The best dead comedian in American comedy is: John Ritter.

4. The best moment in live television was: Nipplegate, for demonstrating (and exposing) the NFL for what it truly is.

5. The most erotic of all the salt-cured meats is: the bratwurst?

6. The most underwhelming actor in eighties television: Scott Baio


My family tree:

My great-great-great-great-great-grandparent is A Blog Around the Clock.
My great-great-great-great-grandparent is Shakespeare's Sister.
My great-great-great-grandparent is Excuse This Mess...
My great-great-grandparent is Saying Yes.
My great-grandparent is Really Small Fish.
My grandparent is Mr Middlebrow of A Drinking Song.
My parent is Irene of Nonbillable.
My one and only sibling is Suniverse.

And now, I name Fox and Bill as heirs to the throne. Their pith alone should poison this gene pool to extinction.

Homage to Brian De Palma

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Dude

I watched a mind-boggling amount of football this weekend. For me anyway. I am not one of those ESPN9 subscribers. The fact that I've seen a few quarters of the Dallas Cowboys this season is cause for alarm in my wife's eyes. I was never one of "those guys" who sat, filling the couch with beer farts and wiping Dorito dust on my unchanged tshirt while loudly asking her to pee for me between quarters. not me.

However, I watched a silly amount of football on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I probably would have continued the effort today but for the grueling drive from Memphis back to Dallas.

Anyway, I only saw one commercial worth watching:


Bud Light Dude - Watch more free videos

This is not a new joke. But it is well told. The near-accident Dude. The Jif Dude. Waiting-in-line Dude. And the payoff wine-not-beer Dude are flawless.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Photo Tuesday





All photos, Alec Soth

Monday, November 19, 2007

NAN-OMG


I am an Apple user.
I own an iPod.
I think PCs are clunky and lame.
But I'm no Apple brand advocate/zealot/apostle/etc.

I do not believe Steve Jobs is God.
I do not have an Apple sticker on my car (I do have one on my Apple.)
I don't have an iPhone (because Sprint v. AT&T matters to me slightly more than Apple v. Samsung)
I haven't set Apple.com as my homepage.
I don't visit Apple.com every day. Or every week. Or even every month.
I don't download Steve's keynote speeches.
I don't have Leopard.
I don't get into Apple/PC debates with PC users.
I don't blast Zune (very often)

However,

as an early Christmas gift, I bought my wife an iPod Nano.
And it is fucking awesome.

Awesomely small.
Awesomely tactile.
Awesomely dainty.
Awesomely badass.

You could swallow it by accident.
You could play quarters with it.
You could lose it in the crack of an elevator shaft.
You could skip it across a lake.
You could keep it under your keyboard.
You could put it in your wallet.
You could fit it in a condom wrapper.

And (atleast with the 4MB one I got) you can jam a bunch of pictures of your son and eight hours of workout songs on it. And a battery to keep it goin for 24 hours?

I bought her an armband, but I shouldn't have.
For the price of the armband, she could attach it to her arm with a large Band-Aid every day for three years. Seriously.

Nanotechnology is un-friggin-believable.
How the hell do they pull that shit off?

Nerds rule.

You hear me, Nerds????
You RULE!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

(Better than) Photo Tuesday (this week)


Saw this guy's book this morning. Totally unique palette. Love these compositions too. Utterly spare.

Photo by John Parker

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Spirit

I won't steal his thunder: props to Fox on the observations and the link to the outstanding creative. My new favorite. Has a great Little Miss Sunshine vibe, great music, all perfectly told. I think I'll go watch it again.

Photo Tuesday



In a last-ditch (some may say haphazard) attempt to fulfill my Photo Tuesday obligation, I googled Photo Tuesday. Happily, I came across this guy.

Compositionally I like em.
Subjectively I like 'em.

Leave it at that.

Photos by Jesse Clark (web developer)

Friday, November 09, 2007

Art Fridays?


I dunno - I've had trouble coming up with enough photographers (and time) to keep Photo Tuesdays alive properly, despite its limited popularity. Art fridays might be a stretch.

Still - I was poking around the SPACE 1026 gallery site and ended up off the beaten track over here.

Just liked this cover and though I'd share.

From a pub called SPOTHUNTERS; available through CANTAB for $12.

Refreshing


What's cool to me about this one is: it's as much about the people and the town as it is about the stunt.

And if it's been done before, it's never been done this well.

(Sorry about the lead-away link. couldn't figure out how to embed - I'm kinda dumb like that.)

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Anything but


Anyone who knows my former professor, Ray Nichols, would laugh if you used his name and the word "wallflower" in the same sentence.
But he and his wife Jill acquired a couple letterpresses and are doing some intriguing work. Work that I honestly don't know how to classify. True letterpress work. Set by hand. Printed by hand. Cut by hand. Like Gutenberg.

A stark contrast to the stuff I've been up to my eyeballs in.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Feeling a little green

NBC is making me nauseous.

Can you REALLY do a series of green "the more you know" commercials with enlightened new-millenium tidbits like "plant a tree" and "recycle"?

Where have you assholes been?
Leaving the serious stuff to the wackos on public (read: relatively untainted) television but for the occasional "crack down" by the likes of John Stossel?

Candlelight football? Cripes! Kermit the Frog cohosting "millionaire?" WTF? You want a frog that can save the planet?

Home Depot sponsors 10 ways to spend your money "saving the planet" at their highly inefficient, over-lit (and understaffed and undertrained) stores?
Writers asked to write "green" jokes? (that sucked, and in many cases, thumbed their noses at "green" altogether - a foretaste of the strike to come?)

I know it's a good thing that we're all saving the planet now. And I know NBC has their heart in the right place. But isn't that company full of SMART people? Couldn't smart people come up with some truly innovative and interesting ways to address ecological responsibility that take us a step past advocating CFC bulbs (not necessarily as brilliant as these) and the cast of Heroes dumping a ceremonial shovel full of dirt on a sapling in Times square?

What a load of token bullshit.

You want some interesting ideas?

Start buying less crap. And wasting less of that.
Start recycling EVERYTHING.
Make a fucking compost pile.
Put a rainbarrel in your yard.
You know: the weird hippie shit that would take some effort. THAT's how we save the planet. Not by buying a new, energy efficient dryer (and carting the old one off to a landfill.)

NBC: Surprise me. Don't tell me you're turning a few lights out. Tell me you're switching to completely renewable electricity. Tell me you're all taking the bus to work.

Or just shut up and let me watch reruns while you let your SMART people figure out how to pay your other SMART people to write your material. Or are they on strike too?

Photo Tuesday





The distinctly Texas stylings of Randal Ford.
Stunning work. He has perfected a grainy, contrasty look
and palette that defines Texas.

I believe he also works in other states.

All photos by Randal Ford

Living art


I spent a lot of time immersed in Dwell magazines this weekend.
Paula Hayes is my new hero.
Why do I want one of these?

Monday, November 05, 2007

Throw another Eagle on the campfire


Cowboys DE Marcus Spears was feeling mighty confident after sharing a sack and forcing a fumble on the first possession against the Eagles. "It was fun," Spears said of the win. "It reminded me of high school. We were a dominant team and you go in and the school will know it's going to be over by the third quarter, and the only people left in the stands are the families and diehard fans."

From Fannation.com

Good Lord.

It WAS sort of a drubbing.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Itchy Stocking Stuffer


If you are on top of it (and I know some of you are) then you may well be doing your Christmas shopping by now. My wife is. In fact, evidently my present is going to kick ass and for the first time since I've known her, she's not going to tell me what it is until I open it Christmas Day. Which is pretty cool and utterly infuriating.

Moving on...

If you are like me and my extended family, December brings with it: itchies! Dang those itchies! Flakies! Crispies! When I was a kid my mother slathered me in something called Eucerin (which I can't spell, but the smell of it still brings back the sensation of my thighs being glued to the inside of my pant legs on chilly mornings at the bus stop.)

Fucking agony.

Well, my sister has made it her personal mission to do battle with the body salves of the world and is unveiling a line of skin products for children that don't smell like medical supplies. Nor do they use a whole bunch of chemicals. Nor nut-derived allergians.

What is it, you ask, rubbing your chapped hands together with glee?

Stuff for Sprouts.

This stuff is actually pretty great. Lemon lotion for mere flakiness. Blueberry Muffin cream for extra-crispy children and adults. Peanut Butter and Jelly lipstuff that you can spread, cheek to cheek, from your septum (under your nose there) to your chin with a single swipe.

Kris made 'em for her kids - terribly damaged as they were by the harsh water in too-close-to-Delaware PA. But my wife swears by them for her arms, legs and feet.

And you will too.

And no, I don't make a single penny on her selling them.
And yes, I helped with the package design.
And no, I can not be held liable if someone tries to eat your arm in the elevator after you try one of these kick-ass moisturizers. That my sister invented in her kitchen. In between raising her children and working a pretty-much full time marketing job.

Tell your friends.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Diesel Powered


I doubt I'd ever be caught dead in anything with "Diesel" on the label. I lack the necessary funds, pretention and general hautiness to pull off a pair of lime green sneakers.

But their website is always worth checking out. For as long as I can remember, Diesel online has been an experience of its own. And the stuff I found in pursuit of a new pair of jeans was pretty cool. And pretty sexy. And pretty well-done.

The kids stuff is a little too weird. I love my kid in hand-me-down Spiderman t-shirts and hockey jerseys. Hip-Hop High fashion is troublesome on a four-year old. I'm terrified of who he'll be emulating at the none-too-distant foot of that slippery slope.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Photo Tuesday




I'm a sucker for nostalgic art direction.
This stuff feels like Andrew Wyeth meets Pete Barrett.
To me, anyway.

More at thesefleetingmoments.com/

Zing

My wife and I were watching Dancing with the Stars tonight (inadvertantly I swear - it was on a projection TV at our favorite Thai restaurant) when Mel B comes spinning across the carpet. A little interstitial shows her Sisters in Power. Our friend mentioned they were touring.

Susie deadpans: "As what, Old Spice?"

I smell tour sponsorship!

Capitalizing on the Rebellion - or not



Fun idea, poorly executed.
Even whipped the loyal following into a frenzy.

Still, my son will never look at a mailbox the same way again.

VSW


Sweet site for Vision Street Wear.
See the development story here.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Ode to Michael Gondry

The new Motorola website,featuring a film by Michael Gondry, actually got me thinking about a bunch of cool stuff he's done, most of which you can find here.

A few of my favorites.

Okay.

So now, is this a steal?

Sure it is.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Photo Tuesday on Thursday


Jeff Minton. Found him in this month's Texas Monthly - a photo essay on Texas high school mascots. Wow.

Thoughts from the AICP show

"I feel like J-Lo without an entourage."

"Sweet Jesus."

"Hi. Hi. Hello. How are you. Hi. Hi. Nice to meetcha."

"THESE are the free drinks?"

"I can write off a $12 Woodford Reserve."

"I'm under dressed."

"Wow, I'm totally under dressed."

"Ah. I'm totally OVER dressed compared to THAT guy."

"Is that really chicken?"

"I didn't know you could get eyeglasses that looked like those."

"Or those."

"Did it just get louder in here?"

"Hmmmm. My business cards are all bent from being in my wallet."

"Wow. I only have three business cards in my wallet."

"Here, let me write that down on this coaster/napkin/ATM receipt."

"Peggy Moore is ubiquiteous."

"Are those branded nunchucks?"

"A free hat!"

"A free shirt!"

"The valet staff at the Hotel Palomar are on it."

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Imagine my relief

New study: Swearing=good.
I fucking knew it.

Thanks Fox.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Photo Tuesday



These aren't new. But they're worth a look.

Dang I love Vanity Fair.

Top: Annie Leibowitz
Bottom: Mary Ellen Mark

Another classic referral


This one joins the list of other greats.
Made better by the fact that I know the search was conducted by someone at Chiat/Day.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Hmmm...


What do you make of all this?
Cool? Creepy?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Oh shit, ya'll

no. Not a Kevin Federline post.
This:

Trevor Edwards is Nike’s corporate vice president for global brand and category management. And he's spending just 33 percent of Nike's $678 million United States advertising budget on ads with television networks and other traditional media companies. That’s down from 55 percent 10 years ago, according to the trade publication Advertising Age. (all courtesy of NyTimes and Bill, who led me out here into these woods.)

Obviously this is bad news for traditional media outlets. But is it necessarily good news for interactive agencies? The business of connecting with consumers can mean a lot of things that don't involve the web. Or an iPod. Nike pretty much invented the modern athletic endorsement.

Of course on the heels of a quote like that, wouldn't it be cool to see a bunch of TV and magazine channels lose Nike's phone number and stop returning their calls? You don't need US? Fuck you Nike, we don't need YOU.

Of course it won't happen. Now if you'll excuse me, I'll just curl up with the latest issue of AdBusters and dream.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Bravia, debunked

This breaks my heart.
Not that the commercial isn't still fucking badass.

Read about it on adrants. If you must.

Turns out "balls" was stolen too. sorta.

*sigh*

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Jack

I bought a huge bottle of Jack Daniels. And I'm having second thoughts.

Sunday I had guests who, as it turns out, like a little Jack as an afternoon cocktail. And they drank all of mine. And I needed more.

So I bought a new one. A new huge one.

I didn't like emptying a bottle of liquor in a crowd. From my meager bar. And I certainly didn't like wondering what I would offer Jack Daniels drinkers after the Jack Daniels ran out. Those are not questions I'm prepared to answer.

Jack is not bourbon. Or scotch. Or blended so on and so forth. It's Tennessee whiskey. And there's only one. Certainly to a Jack drinker. Offering such a man vodka would be the equivalent of offering a Harley enthusiast a ride in your Civic. He'll take you up on it if he's on his way somewhere, but he knows he's giving up a little piece of his soul in the process. A compromise. Which is not very Jack at all.

So I bought a really, really big bottle of Jack Daniels.

The handle size - at least it would be, but it's Jack. And Jack doesn't come in a handle. It just comes in a much bigger (sort of awkward) version of its signature square bottle. You have to cradle it in your arms like a baby. Which is how the man behind the counter described my technique. I laughed but I was thinking "there's really no good way to carry it that doesn't look careful, and quite honestly can you really handle a vessel of booze of these proportions with anything less than cautious - uh - protection?"

It's huge all right. Big enough that I could use it as a bookend. And hold up a set of encyclopedias. Hell, I could hold up a a party with a bottle of Jack like that. I'm not sure I'd want to be at the party where that bottle of Jack ran out. Although I suppose it'll be here. Because I'm afraid to carry it. I've pushed my luck carrying it from the liquor store to my car and from my car to my bar.

I haven't opened it yet. I've just been sitting here sharing its presence. Sort of hulking. Sissifying the bottle of Pinot Noir. Looming over the very reasonable bottle of Hendrick's Gin in the corner. And the well-loved and mostly empty bottle of Herradura I nabbed from a Christmas basket three jobs ago. Scoffing at the half-full McCallan like Slash appraising a kilt-wearing, golf-club-swinging Scot. You got a problem, man?

It's a goddamned huge bottle of Jack. Truly out-proportioned. Like David's hand. If it was full of whiskey. The bottle David would be carrying if Michelangelo was working after 1866.

Do you ever buy things and then think, guiltily, why the hell did I do that? Like a gallon of extra virgin olive oil or a case of motor oil or twenty cases of car wash soap? And then just think: Huh. Maybe I over did it.

I'm thinking about this huge bottle of Jack - a shrine to alcohol on my suburban bar. A bottle of Jack Daniels of that size is a commitment. A statement. Some Texas marriages don't last as long as that bottle could last in this house. I mean, I like Jack but that bottle is huge.

And clearly I'm losing sleep over it.

message vs. content

The venerable Bob Greenberg on message vs. content. Not a lot of new information here, but he words it well.

I do beg to differ on the underlying premise: that digital media has languished in a prehistoric agency infrastructure/methodology. Quite the contrary, traditional advertising has learned to bend digital to its own means. And digital has learned some of its best tricks from traditional media's track record.

Both teams are winning. And the sooner everyone - including Bob Greenberg (does it sound like he has a chip on his shoulder re: traditional?) embraces the fact that advertising and interactive can - nay MUST - coexist, the better.

"The people who work in agencies—from planners (whose job is to come up with the insights that can fuel the one key idea) to copywriters (whose job is to reduce brands to a single punch line) to art directors (whose job is to create the brand look)—are organized around reductive messages."


That's pretty traditional (and terrifyingly simplistic) thinking from the guy who founded RG/A. And by the look of RGA's careers section, Bob is still hiring copywriters and art directors this week. Although they seem to, strangely, work in different departments. Oh. Kay?

Magazines aren't going anywhere in the next five years (they'd better not - my Texas monthly subscription runs through 2015). Same for paid television. And traditional advertising strengths - brevity, focus, clarity, visual dynamism - are all things that digital needs to learn. They're what makes a microsite effective. Face it - digital was nothing until it finally got video right. Why? People love to watch big, pretty images move across their plasma screens. 12 point green type doesn't cut it in 2007. And don't begrudge the role broadcast production has played in traditional media - it's borrowing from one of the most venerable of all industries: the movie industry. And movies aren't going anywhere either.

The brands that make the seamless integration from short traditional, focused narratives to deep and wide coverage online (and subsequent grassroots embracing from brand advocates who pick up the torch at the traditional or digital level) are the ones that will succeed.

Is traditional dead? Probably. But aren't we all? And there's plenty to see in the next five to twenty years of traditional advertising. Witness the reductive, but unbelievably compelling, work Sony is doing for Bravia right now. On TV and online.

It will be a far more exciting decline than the phase out of Beta.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Greatness once again


Bravia does it again. To the Stones.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Photo(realistic?) Tuesday


Liked this and, quite honestly, it was cooler than any photography I've run across this week.

Illustration credit: Josh Keyes

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Recruitment, part 2

Observations from reviewing portfolios*:

For copywriters:
Include copy in your portfolio.
Preferably several sentences in a row that demonstrate your mastery of the english language.

For Art Directors:
Include type design in your portfolio. Preferably several sentences in a row that demonstrate your ability to select, set and thoughtfully use type.

Yes, this is an industry that's all about ideas. And all about "I want to see how you think". But it's also an industry that's about ROI. And that means agencies need to be able to assess your ability to contribute from day 1.

I saw 25 books. and of those, I saw something like 15 ideas for "elevator door wrap."
I get it. Elevator doors. Cool. The first time. Which was, i believe, eight years ago.

I saw a lot of logo-in-the-bottom-right-hand-corner visual solutions. In fact I saw entire books like that. Copywriter books, even. If you're going to take that risk, you'd better blow me away with ideas, photography, and everything else that comes along with visual solutions. You'd better present visual solutions that make me want to pull money out of my own wallet to hire you.

Beyond that? Describe how you'll make an invaluable asset to a good creative department. Have a sense of humor. Be professional. Do the things that get you remembered: write thank you notes and follow-up emails. Especially emails that prove you (copywriters) can actually string two sentences together with eloquence and proper grammar. Use your spell check. Have someone who knows what they're doing proofread your work.

It's hard to get a job as a creative.
It's equally hard to hire one.
Make me want to take a risk on you.

*This is not an indictment of Miami Ad School. I thought many of the books I saw were great. And I thought several of the students I met were more than qualified. And I can't wait to get them down here and put them to work.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Recruitment

I'm headed to NYC on Thursday to meet the newest graduating class from Miami Ad School. This on the heels of the latest Ad Age supplement about recruiting and retaining the industry's best talent. Read Sally Hogshead's article. It's a good one.

General recruitment tactics? Money. Perks. The promise of good work. A great creative city. Etc. Which begs the questions: why would a great creative want to make their way to Dallas?

Here are 10 good reasons to start (or restart) an advertising career in Dallas.

10. Dallas is a city that's all about new: A new light rail, new roads, new infrastructure, high-tech upgrades citywide. Dallas also embraces retail trends in its own unique way. There's some historical stuff, but the eyes of this city have always been on the horizon. What's next.

9. Dallas is a city with sports teams. That's important. The Cowboys, Mavericks and Stars are all consistently great teams. Championship teams. And you can actually get tickets to the games. So you can go to a game and the home team might win. (We call that a win-win)

8. Food. As Mike Hughes said, people don't go to Richmond for the restaurants. Dallas, however, takes its restaurants very seriously. This is one of the three reasons I moved back to Dallas. And something you may want to consider before taking a job in Harrisburg, PA.

7. Dallas has a well-rounded ad community. Texans. Transplants. Folks who spent ten years at the Richards Group and now run their own agencies. Folks who worked at their own agencies for ten years and now work at the Richards Group. Cutting edge interactive agencies like Slingshot. Graphic design boutiques, Latin agencies, traditional agencies, hybrids. And a ton of editorial, post production and new media places. Big enough to have some choices, small enough to build some cred.

6. A first-class airport. When you have to climb on a plane, nothing is more than 4 hours away: Boston, Belize, Miami, Canada, LA, or Portland. On a direct flight. It's as easy to vacation as it is to travel for business. And Southwest (out of Love Field) can get you around the state for the price of a bus ticket.

5. It's near Austin, but it's not Austin. I love Austin, but the traffic congestion and the price of rent are insufferable. Drive down for the weekend (or fly down on a $100 Southwest flight). Most decent Austin bands put Dallas on their schedule too, so we definitely bask in the glow of the Music Capital of the World.

4. It's cheap to live here. And the housing crisis hasn't hit us like it hit Miami and LA. So you can spend more money on plane tickets, clothes, a new computer, a barbecue brisket sandwich. And less time sneaking into happy hour buffets (although I know a few of those down here too).

3. This city is crawling with new business. There are 11 companies in this year's fortune 500 headquartered in Dallas. And this is a city of VC. Of business professionals with big ideas. And deep pockets.

2. This city isn't afraid to pay good talent. Look it up. People get paid very well in Dallas. And that money goes a long way compared to the standard of living. (see #4) Plus there's no state tax. As a recent expatriate from Pennsylvania, that is a huge consideration.

1. Texas. I love Texas. I'm a transplant and I probably have no business liking it as much as I do. Texans are good people. They respect and value family. And Dallas is an intriguing mix of southern charm, business professional, oil cowboy, and serious multicultural diversity.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Tiger


As part of my campaign to prove my Play-Doh worthiness, I submit the latest in my series. The dog (made of plasticine) has been utterly abused, but still exists in a somewhat patheticly squashed state on my ledge at the office.

This poor bastard dried out and imploded in a few hours.

Photo Tuesday (on Monday)


I love this guy. I love his work. I love that, the two times I've shot with him, I ended up going swimming afterwards. Once, here at Barton Springs, in Austin. As Summer draw to a close, I thought this was a great collection to share: Part of a project Will's been working on - since 1983.

Enjoy.

Photo credit: Will Van Overbeek.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Referral of the week


Of all the random searches that lead readers here: this kicks ass.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

loading...

This is a HUGE BEAST of a loading site.
It's cool and elaborate and probably about 1 year or two ahead of the bandwidth populace. Butit's been faithfully rendered down to the last pixel and it's pretty compelling. If you can get it open.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Snark Sells

We, the snarky ad-industry-blogging community at large, have been outted for our surprisingly negative take on advertising. Except for Seth Godin, one of the only silver-lining-finders in the bunch. Albeit about himself, the author snarkily points out.

Pity to give Adweek the link, but what the hell. Call it charity.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Photo Tuesday


As lazy as it may seem for me to find a Photo Tuesday photo on a blog entitled New York Daily Photo, I actually dug through a considerable number of images to pick this one.

Actually part of an interesting series, as covered in this post. New York eccentricity at its most electric.

Photo from New York Daily Photo

Snoop

Furiously digging around on the beloved interweb this morning for some ideal locations, I stumbled across this location scout's website.

If you're like me (or my wife), if you've poked your head into open houses just because they were houses and they were open, this is your kind of paradise.

I will probably never be invited over to one of these house. But I can still draw conclusions about the owners from their drapes and the cleanliness of their pools.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Stay weird in Philly


Funny that I have to thank a woman who, no doubt, mispronounces Philadelphia (that's a Bahston joke, Lori) for the lead that uncovered this find: UWISHUNU.

Particularly cool is the little flash feature on the room at the Westin that got a Philly art Scene makeover (pictured above.)

Disappointing that it still looks like a *yawn* Westin under all the frescoes and silk dupioni. Good effort though. A hotel fully done like this would be badass.

30 Days of Night


You may have irritating loading issues, but this site for the new movie, 30 days of night, is very well produced. Looks like an Andrew Wyeth painting gone horribly bad.

UPDATE: sorry, fixed the broken link.

post mini-soccer ponderings

Which position will you play today?

The blamer : "He knocked me over and I fell down. Waaaaaaaaah!"
The defiant: "I didn't knock him down."
The teamate: "Even though I didn't knock you down, I'll pick you up."
The daydreamer: "We're playing a game? Now?"
The breakaway striker: "I'll just do it myself."
The selfless defensemen: "Somebody has to do this part or we'll lose."
The sideliner: "Is it my turn yet?"

Will you just be one in a group of eight, taking turns kicking your teamates in the shins without moving the ball a yard? Or the one who understands the rules but not the strategy? Will you be one who lives for the water break and the postgame snack?

Do you want to win? Does everyone else?

Does ANYONE else?

Friday, September 14, 2007

Think about this

From Hyundai's new "Think about it" campaign:

"Nearly"?

C'mon.

If you're calling your competition out for not having it on every car,
shouldn't YOU have it on every fucking car?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

US Airways customer service update

Go here and scroll to the bottom for the last chapter.

Spoiler alert: US Airways sees the error of its ways.

Meandering ramblings and a black swan


Someone, I don't remember who, out here on the blogospheric plane rec'd the book "The Black Swan", which I picked up recently and have begun - very slowly - to make my way through.

Like many books I've read (the Fountainhead, Blink, Hey Whipple... etc.) it has caused me to pause and reflect. For a moment.

Lives have definitive moments. Cultures and generations have definitive moments. Definitive not because they encapsulate what's going on in our lives at that time, but rather because they are an unforseeable interruption in a seemingly forseeable future.

Every day I will (hopefully) wake up. I will (hopefully) go to work. I will(hopefully) do my job well enough to (hopefully) continue to make all my loan payments and (hopefully) eat a barbecue sandwich for lunch before (hopefully) heading home for soccer practice and (hopefully) a cold beer from my (hopefully) still-functioning refrigerator. And I have insurance for most of those contingencies, but I will (hopefully) never need any of it.

I like this part of my life. I like predictable. I have investments that I'd like to see returning at 8 percent or better. I have loans that will be paid off in less than thirty years. I'm banking on them.

There are predictable unpredictables:

My family, for instance, seems to surprise me daily. A four-year-old helps you think about things you haven't thought about since you were four. "Why is Darth Vader bad?" I haven't thought about it since 1977. It was just kind of assumed he was bad because he was dressed in black and sounded like an asthma attack in a drainage pipe.

My wife helps me think about things other than, well, me. And my four year old. In a good way.

My job is to simulate unforseen interruptions in a (hopefully) somewhat predictable way. "Holy SHIT! This laundry detergent will CHANGE MY LIFE!" etc. Ironically, I'm working on a TV campaign that aims to "break through the clutter" while "copy-testing effectively." I'm expected to deliver creative that will break new ground for clients' businesses with forecasted results. If we deliver (or, better yet, overdeliver) within this matrix, we have done our job. As predictably as possible.

And yet, in doing so, as unremarkably as possible. Unremarkable would be good. Steady growth would be good. Everyone keeps their job with steady growth. Not rocking the boat would be good. Easy would be good. Can we all make a lot of money and go home at the end of the day with as many friends and as few agitated aneurysms as possible? That'd be great.

But it never happens that way.

Steady is a sitting duck. People can see steady coming. And outmanuever it. Smart people (and good chess players) see cruise control and look for where the opportunities will be. Where the mistakes WILL happen. Cruise control is a good way to get passed. Or forget you're driving at all.

As we reflect on September 11, Black Swan that it was, we shouldn't be hoping that thing will "return to normal". Embrace the fact that "nothing will every be the same." And take comfort in it.

Cruise Control is death.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Photo Tuesday




I was struck by these. Sparse. Full of stories and puzzles and discovery.
Photographs by Christos Dikeakos.
Lots more at Catriona Jeffries.

Hike

Another football season is upon us.
In Texas that means a lot of anxious parents (not me: my kid's playing soccer - the sport that will never catch on.™).
And a lot of anxious Cowboys fans (so far, so good. Although if defense wins games, we're gonna need one of those.)
And a lot of new, high budget television commercials and their accompanying websites.

Here's a good one. As one of the guys in my creative meeting this morning points out, the music from The Last of the Mohicans is perfect.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Some props to Askacopywriter


A guy I've never met whose blog I always liked has stepped it up a notch. No surprise the reason for all this: he moved to New York City. As a Dallas transplant, he's taking it all in and posting it for all of us to see.

It's becoming quite a nice little way to catch up on all the ad stuff in the Big Apple - big budget or no. Bookmark it. He's got a good eye for trends.

Puts Creativity Online to shame, IMO.

Holy mother of Gogol



Read all about 'em.
Not super new, but they have a style I've come to respect.

If you like 'em, you might like these guys, too.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Photo Tuesday


This guy has eyes like mine. If I was milling around Paris with my Canon, I'd probably pick up pictures like these. Love this one, in particular. Feels a little like another favorite of mine.


Photo 1: Paris Daily Photo
Photo 2: William Eggleston