Tuesday, December 30, 2008

For the pet owner who has everything

I hope this guy is making a million dollars. And sharing some of it with Shepard Fairey.

Got a friend with kids/pet/graffiti/art lover? These are really nice:

Friday, December 12, 2008

Softsell update

Clever copy - even remarkably clever copy - isn't necessarily sell copy.
I had one bite that died on the vine.

Considering new tactic. Stand by.

Karmic update

Moments after the voodoosanta site went live, our email server went down. Uh oh.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Risk: take two

Just finished reading a nice post about risk over on Heehaw Marketing. I started to comment and realized I'd written a full post - and since I have neglected the fuck out of this blog for so long, I thought I'd dump it here instead of there. Please - read Paul's post first.

I don't play football. I have never played football, and watch only enough football to use the following terms with only the loosest of academic knowledge.

But here's a risk metaphor: The Quarterback.

He can hand it off (low risk, minimal gain)
He can throw a screen pass (a little risky, get the down?)
Or he can throw the fucking bomb.

Who throws the bomb? The quarterback who knows himself, his team and his opponent well enough to know that he can probably (and yes, not definitely) throw it far enough, accurately enough, to the guy who can catch it, despite the guy who's covering him.

That's no willy-nilly bomb. That's a split second calculation based on a TON of experience. And the odds are NOT GOOD that he'll make it - but if he does? At the right time? He's the "Hail Mary" story.

Good quarterbacks aren't scientists. They're artists. They read a hostile climate and then they send the fucking ball into the sky with a lot of confidence/hope/skill/style/velocity and take the breath of millions of onlookers. If he makes it, he's a genius. If he miscalculates by six inches, he's a fuck-up.

Ad agencies are like quarterbacks. They call the plays. They read the distance, the competition, the weather, the time left on the clock -- all very scientifically. And then, before time runs out - they have to part with the ball. Whether it gets stuffed into the cradling arms of a scrappy running back or miraculously delivered 86 yards to the waiting hands of a wide receiver. Or grabbed by the other team and run 97 yards the other way.

We take risks with our client's money/brand/product. Do we always fling the Hail Mary? Of course not. When should we? That depends on the stakes - the score, the time, the defense, the Quarterback and the receiver, the climate, and the stakes. But we're going to have to let go of the ball at some point. Or we'll never score.

And if you don't score, you can't win.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Okay - I take it back

Continue with your obamanations, if they are this cool:

Ego food

OR "great creative work that doesn't sell"

I agree. And dammit, it BETTER sell.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

MY soft sell

You wish you had this amp.

photo Tuesday

How great is this?

photo: Dennis Welsh

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

copywriters, take note

the really, REALLY soft sell.

Thanks to my sister (who found it on dooce?)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Over it

So we have formally elected Obama president. Whichever side of the fence you landed on this election, you have to be thinking "Thank the Lord that's over."

I'd like to make a formal plea:

No more Obamanations of the English language.
No more Obamaniacs, Obammunition, Obamathmatics, Obamatron, Obamantras, Obamachines, etc.
No more Barack Attacks. Or Barack-and-pinion steering jargon.

No more Palinizations. Palingering doubts. Palinguistics. Palinitudes.

No more VPILFs. Or MILTS (Moderators I'd like to strangle).

No more red and blue state squabbling. If this election has taught us anything, it's not to judge a state (or a candidate) by color.

Let's get back to the business of blaming each other based on our faults and inconsistencies, not based on our party affiliations or the sign that's been defaced and subsequently stolen out of our front yards. Let's identify each other by our humanity, not our "don't blame me" bumper stickers.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

God Bless Dallas Texas

Not afraid to shut down a street for a cattle drive.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


But for the grace of


Monday, October 13, 2008

This is sort of sad...

I'm giving up on electric guitar in Coppell. As such, I've sold my kick-ass Gibson Tal Farlow Jazz guitar and am selling a pretty frigging dope Music Man 212 amplifier.

Call it the end of an era (or the first move in a strategy to redo my kitchen.)

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

You've got a little...

The game that broke YouTube

How many times have you watched a youtube video and felt like smashing the screen while you waited for loading video?

Check this out. Nice rich-media-y effects.

Sunday, October 05, 2008


My wife an I are doing what we can for the environment. Recycling religiously, composting, quasi-farming, etc. But collecting rainwater (ironically enough, here in Texas) hasn't made it onto our to do list. Yet.

If I could find a rainwater collector like the Lumi, I'm in.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Damn these are cool.

Photo by Andrea Galvani.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


I've blocked out the names to protect the guilty - but Jesus. In the name of all that is holy - err on the side of fiction.

Just because you surf your iphone on the potty doesn't mean you have to tweet your goddamned bowel movements. For fuck'sake.

File under "squandered opportunity"

Esquire invests six figures in a state-of-the-art magazine cover.
Partner Ford seems to have seized the opportunity to do something truly fucking fantastic - a "blinking lame photo".

Way to go.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Paying attention

Fox posted a pretty good critique of the latest effort from the High Fructose Corn Syrup folks. Worth a read.

I can relate because I've spent the past 26 days reading the labels. Jesus there's a lotta shit out there. I know that the food business is more business than food in 2008, but I think we're finally starting to reach a tipping point: where it's more business than actual food.

Take, for example, Transformer's Fruit Snacks:
For every dollar spent on fruit snacks, I'm putting the cost of the nutrition at, oh, 3 cents per box. The rest is licensing, packaging, shipping and shelf-life.

And profit.

Now, I appreciate advertising like anyone else but once my kid is clamoring to go to McDonalds for the 5 cent toy (he hates my food, to my great relief/chagrin), or clamoring for Star Wars lunchables (sorry - I draw the line at lunchables - which no doubt ROB children of nutrition with that most insidious of creations: shelf-stable cheese).

This isn't some psychotic argument for nutrition. Or robbing our children of their innocence. It's a very basic argument that if you call it "food", you should actually have food in there. C'mon, SOMETHING I can nod to, shrug and say "What can I say? He likes R2-D2 shaped apple slices."

Fuck, I LOVED Star Wars (Star Wars Transformers aside. SWT are a bastardization I will never accept - they violate all the rules of truth and qualify as "over licensing")

It's a plea to the food companies: can you guys TRY to make the food in those licensed boxes actual food? And while you're at it, would it be so hard to bust out a turkey-based brisket substitute?

Friday, September 05, 2008


I've been reflexively checking facebook for about 2 months now - it's unbelievable. people who I haven't given a shit about in 15 years (no offense, ya'll) I'm suddenly hanging on their every status comment.

Bahahaha: SHE'S dealing with HER crazy children too!
WOW: look at that kids haircut!
OMG: somebody wrote that on her WALL!

I'm a fucking sixteen year old trapped in a body that evidently can not burn belly fat.

Damn this diet.
Damn this interweb.
Damn this blog.

il busted

by l'uomo in Pisa 14 months ago, driving on some restricted street.
Now I owe them 133 euros.

I can pay them now or wait for the fine to go up to 185,50.

(That's definitely the bumper of my lawn-mower/smartcar that we hauled four people around Italy in, btw.) Oh I did it.


And by accepting responsibility, I believe he'll say "yeah - I hit that."

Thursday, September 04, 2008

sweet sweet irony

Funny fucking genius.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

My, what big...

The Texas Side-step

Can't donate enough to your candidate's campaign? Do what Harold Simmons did. Run your own ad! Last election, Harold wrote a $3M check to the the folks who ran the Swift Boat Veterans ad. And he'll spend just under that on this effort. His bio on Forbes says to expect him to spend $400 Million on "philonthropic gifts" this year.

Clearly all that money is going into media, since it's a series of crappy speech clips, newspaper article scans and ken-burns-effect photographs. One might argue that spending a little more on production value might have made the ad a little more interesting to watch. A little more convincing. A little bit more truly terrifying. Like that Orville Redenbacher commercial Crispin busted out with a fully rendered 3D ressurection. THAT was fucking scary.

But I like this guy's style. Flip a couple million dollar bills out of the wad of dough in your pocket and drop it on some TV ads smearing the shit out of the candidate you don't like. I wish I could casually flip out $3M. "Whatdya need? A tank? A racehorse? Solid-gold sneakers? a yacht? What's it cost? A couple Mil? Hereyago."

That's less than one hundredth of what this guy will do, philanthropically this year. Shit you could BUY CUBA with $400M. And replace all those sweet '57 Chevys with hybrids. I wonder what other kind of havoc could you wreak with $3M?

Sunday, August 24, 2008


Dude. How many times have you wished you had one of these kick-ass tripods????

ThisNext: If Target and Urban Outfitters mated, their offspring would likely resemble Target's Red Hot Shop.


Giggling away a few hours over David Sedaris' newest book: When You Are Engulfed in Flames.

Damn, is this man funny.

I've seen him read here at the Meyerson. I've sat in my car long after arriving at my destination, to listen to him on NPR describing his adventures with Americans on the metro or his season as an elf at Macy's. I have a few of his books on CD, just so I can hear his voice - which is as much a part of his style as his literary voice.

I don't have much in common with David Sedaris. He's gay, talented, and living in Paris. I'm not.

But, recounting his childhood, his perception of the seventies, his parents, his first few swings at adulthood - I identify.

Here's a good one, that shows up in his new book.

There's this.

I don't miss a lot about the northeast. My family, absolutely. The week the leaves change color, okay. A tolerable summer, maybe. The occasional 3-foot snow storm, hells no.

But not being able to drive up to NYC to see (and smell) this. That, I miss.

Friday, August 22, 2008

An argument for good strategy

All the bling and shizzle in the world is no match for a punch upside the head.
Thanks for the head up, Chuckles.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

This is also pretty cool

My professor and mentor Ray Nichols is being recognized by the Art Director's Club. And has selected a few students - myself included - to be among those whose work will be shown in an exhibition at the ADC celebrating his career.

So not only was I recognized as one of his best students, I'll have a piece of work hanging at the ADC.

This is, as we say in the business, a win-win.

New Me

A couple months ago I started griping to my wife about my protruding belly (the result, no doubt of a life of unfettered access to mexican food, light beer and fine cheese.)

She suggested I do her diet-from-hell with her.

I agreed.

So here I am, day 4, without caffeine, alcohol, dairy, wheat, sugar, beef or corn.

What have I done?

It's amazing - when I stop to examine it - just how much liquid I consume on a daily basis: 4-6 cups of coffee, 1-2 beers, an iced tea here, a diet coke there. Well this week it's been water. A little water here? Some there. Some more here.

I haven't peed like this since my wife was pregnant. (The last time I behaved as sympathetically).

People said without caffeine my head would explode. Not true. It's my bladder that's in danger of rupturing from the average of a gallon of water a day I'm running through this engine.

People thought the lack of alcohol might make me irritable. Not true. What makes me irritable is sitting 10 feet from a tableau of cheese, sausage and crackers thoughtfully delivered by a well-meaning editorial producer.

I do feel better. I'm not sure I attribute it to the diet. Or the obligatory exercise. And I'm certainly not feeling any better about my belly. I feel better about the fact that I'm capable of making a change that drastic and sticking to it.

Change is hard. Especially left-hand, middle of the highway, no-signal, change. And it's funny how close to the rut you are - all the time: I'm a frosty beer away from riding my two-wheel diet into the perverbial ditch (filled with steamy enchiladas, venti skim-milk lattes and plates full of brie.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Aim low

My sister pointed out that my blog is written for 8 year olds. And while it is written from a fairly juvenile perspective, I was still a little skeptical.

So here are the ratings of some of my most esteemed friends' blogs:

Make the logo bigger

blog readability test

The Ad Hole

blog readability test

American Copywriter

And my personal favorite (and the one that seems to blow this tool's credibility to bits)

George Parker's obscenity-laced, foaming-mouthed diatribe Ad Scam

blog readability test

Truly. Could anything be more elementary?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Heads up

Sometimes you just see a snapshot that makes you laugh.
I know this baby, and her parents. So it's okay?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Photo Monday

Cool blog by a photographer about photographers (including his son).

Photo: Timothy Archibald


Yawn. Another day, another casualty.
Wait. SHARK?!?!?!?

Awesome. Totally awesome.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I love cops (or "sex sells")

From Droga5's Honeyshed project.

Sort of an MTV-meets-QVC concept. I first read that in Fast Company. Then in an email I received from former Slingshot guru, Joel.

Great idea in theory. A little underwhelming in execution.
My prediction: the second person who does it will make it unbelievably cool.
And then THIS will replace MTV. Or TV in general.

UPDATE: took the obnoxious self-starting video down. Your welcome.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Bad. And worse.



Nothing can KILL this man's career. Drugs. Crime. Insanity. Nothing.
Or are we witnessing the final and brutal end?

Thanks, Bill.


Like a cow,
I was lured, herded, penned and milked.
for an iphone.

it's nice.
uh, smudgy.
easy to use.
hard to put down.

I predict you'll find me walking into walls while I check email, update facebook, find myself on GPS, twitter the status of my bruised forehead, and take calls from my friends family and coworkers.

It's sitting here on my desk.
Begging for a poke, a touch, a squeeze.


Instinct? What Instinct?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Charlie Stephenson's band invites you to leave the yard.

It's a fine fuckin' day.

Following Up

A few weeks back, I delivered some tips for the creative department on handling a new business pitch.

An Update: we won.

Here are a few tips for celebrating the good news:

Search out the folks that presented (in person) and shake their hands. Look them in the eye. Congratulate them as you might congratulate someone who has just had a baby, gotten married, survived crucial surgery.

The copy-all "great job everyone" email is spam. The handshake on a different floor of the building is something we like to call "a little extra effort". People remember your handshake. And remember that you know who they are (even if you didn't know who they were until right then.)

Drink-buying is a good idea. Asking to see the work is a great idea. Asking to work on the business is an outstanding idea.

Take credit humbly and graciously. And spread it around.And savor it because it's not an every-day thing. Even for the good guys.

Practicing what you preach

When it comes to integrating your agency's brand, few do it like the Plaid crew.

Last year, I met up with them at a skanky bar in Fair Park to hoist a cold one at the conclusion of their tour across the states, spreading buttons and brand fever in a swarm of twittering, vlogging, blogging, flickering, and general craziness not seen since Ken Kesey and his band of Merry Pranksters took the New York World's Fair by storm in a dayglo bus full of acid freaks.

But where Ken Kesey's resulting maelstrom of film footage and recordings was a jumbled mess pieced together by folks with few brain cells to spare, Plaid turned their winding tour of the states into a new business machine with results.

And not only that, they've preseeded likeminded bloggers (me, Dave at Jetpacks, etc.) with a pre-tour shwag drop to help them promote it.

So I'm doing my part: Check it out.


My PLAID-SHWAG goodie kit has arrived w/ tshirt, button and keychain. Thanks Plaid!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Watch this

Apologies if you've seen it. It's been around for a few months. I always admire something that has this kind of effort attached to it.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


I admit it.
I'm a sucker for stupid.

via Askacopywriter


I used to go to parties. Or not go to parties and WISH I HAD. Well no more, because now I (and you) can see what I was missing. And I wasn't missing much.

via Vulture Droppings

Out of my league

Cool little concept. Strung together minisites.
This one is funny.

Love the full-screen video movement.

I know a writer at Anomaly and DANG this sounds like him.
Start here to see 'em all.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

For the kids

I've been busier than fuck.

We had a new business pitch and I take it very seriously.
It occurred to me a new generation of youngsters might not yet know the phenomenon of the new business pitch. Let me lay down some ground rules:

For the interns:

New business pitches are the equivalent of childbirth for an agency. They are long, drawn out and painful. Even after you've done a couple of them already, they demand your time and your full attention. You have to be careful, you have to be mindful, and there is almost guarenteed to be a little pushing, a little cursing, and kind words from those who would like you to push a little harder.

Par for the course. THIS IS ADVERTISING.

New business pitches are also a lot like buying a house. You set a budget. You blow the budget making modifications. And then you immediately start compromising and looking for ways to make it more marketable so you can sell it in less than a day, and somehow make your money back.

Please ask before you go home the night before a pitch.

For the juniors:

At least you're getting PAID to stick around the agency until 12AM, sacrificing your fingernails to poorly-wielded exacto blades, learning how to change the toner cartridge and reboot your mac for the FIFTH FUCKING TIME! Consider: you could be unemployed - and most likely you will be if we lose this pitch. (I know, that's the wrong kind of message to send to juniors - but I'm kind of old school like that.)

For the mid-level folk:

When one person pitches, we're ALL pitching.

For creative directors:

If I'm there, you're there (unless you've stepped out to arrange a spa day for your team.)

For those of you who are presenting:

Be the one that everyone talks about after the pitch like this "YOUR NAME HERE kicked its ass. HE/SHE was perfect."

For the rest of you:

There is no crying in pitches.
No family.
No sleep.
No happy hours.
No guarantees.
Never enough time.
No good presenting position (but always take last, because people have shitty memories).

There is the camaraderie of working late and commiserating. And the satisfaction of knowing you couldn't possibly have worked any harder, given the time you had, to make that pitch as good as it could possibly be.

And all that isn't worth a shit when you lose. Losing doesn't hurt. Losing sucks. Losing - burning yourself at three ends trying to deliver the moon in 96 hours - sucks bad. Even if EVERYONE did what they were supposed to do. Especially then. Because then you have no one to blame but yourself.

Should have kerned that line of copy. Thought harder about that headline. Agonized over that trimline. It's like coming in second in the Olympics. All this work for SECOND FUCKING PLACE?

This might seem bitter from a guy who has only been doing this stuff for eleven years. But I've been through a lot of new business pitches. I know what it takes to get through one. And I know what it feels like to win a few. A few too few.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

file under gross

I made a joke today about "caffeine-laced doritos" being the perfect junkfood.
I was Immediately directed here.

Monday, June 23, 2008

the OMG-ification of america

Like OMG, this country has disintegrated into text shorthand in a way that's strangely thrilling to me.

I'm amused that grownups are willing to sling around the WTFs and the ROLFs like a bunch of tweens who have discovered you can neglect your webkins to death.

two years ago, adults would only exchange the letters OMG if they were trading stock in the Cleveland-based chemical company. Today, they make it the subject line of an email about "the coffee in the breakroom is all jacked up, yo"

The only thing worse than OMG is SOMG

I blame Paris.

Monday, June 16, 2008

luke warm activism

Medium design from a cool illustrator.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

This changes everything?

Found it on Carb Free.
Full article on the implications here.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Hot as hell

It's 100 degrees-ish here in Dallas (and elsewhere, as I hear from the folks back in PA) and everything in my yard is struggling. You forget to tend to the zucchini for a day or two and everything goes limp.


Not unlike this blog.

So let me throw some excuses and apologies out there for all of you.

I'm busy.

And I'm sorry.

As for sorry - I have no excuse.

But as for busy:

I got back from my Scotland adventure and plunged head-first back into all kinds of great stuff: Work. Yard work (I don't have a good picture of me, stooped over at the waist for the last four days, suffering from acute weedthritis.)

The spot is for Joe's Crab Shack. And has garnered both ire and praise from its constituents. You'll laugh. You'll cry. A few will "never eat there again". Glad to have pushed those of you who were on the "May or may not ever eat there again" fence off, one way or the other. Hopefully the right way. But any spot that features a priest whooping it up with the Prince of Darkness will have its critics.

I would, however, highly recommend it. Joe's, I mean. The food is great. I know it's a CAREER LIMITING MOVE (CLM) to suggest otherwise, but as a *trusted member of the blogosphere*, and a guy who has eaten there 8 times over the past two months, I can attest that the food and drinks are worthy. For those of you who don't know me, I wouldn't rec food I didn't truly stand behind. For those of you who do - okay, okay that Thai place has good days and bad days.

I didn't HAVE to tell you I was working on it at all.

But I did, because the commercial is playing on a channel near you - assuming you are somewhere in the continental US.

It was fun to produce. It was shot with a good director on a modest budget and an aggressive timeline. And it's a :15 snapshot of rollicking good times at America's premier seafood destination.

Do me a favor and take 15 of your friends for dinner. Today.

I highly recommend the "Great Balls of Fire" and the Crab Nachos. And the Dungeness bucket, Chesapeake-style (holla, Bawmore!) And a bucket of very cold beers.

Friday, June 06, 2008

air travel, my ass

Great stunt from Gyro, Philly.
Made YOU look, didn't it?
More of the story here.

Thanks Uncle Mike.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Sweet Green

Really fun little website.
Kudos to Tom for heads up.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008


I am a loud motherfucker.

I hear that alot. "Tone it down." "Less volume buddy." "Easy there, Maxell."


Loud. Obnoxious and loud. Loud and with poor music taste. Loud and fucking profane.

So what gives?


I've been loud and profane and rambunctious since I was in elementary school.

Maybe I'm deaf. And have Tourette's.

Maybe I'm surrounded by folks with incredibly acute senses of hearing. Maybe some of them are idiots.


AllI know for sure is. I'm loud. I'm profane. And it pisses people off.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


I've just returned from a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Scotland with my dad. Complete with a sampling of fine Scotch, haggis and just enough golf to make me immediately start to fantasize about my return visit.

I love gorse. Beneath the sweet smelling veneer is a nasty snarl of angry thorns twisted by harsh circumstances and time. And it's not until you've gotten lost in it, that you truly understand it. Gorse is the perfect metaphor for the country.

Haggis? Haggis is not good for a metaphor. Haggis is good for only one thing: haggis-farts.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Marketing 101

You don't need a smarter product, you just need dumber consumers.

Now is Good

So when the fuck is NOW?
Tell me when. Tell me how much. Tell me soon.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Making a list...

Father's Day is just around the corner. Looking for last minute gift ideas? I'm partial to this mug from Cafe Press.

C'mon.That's kinda funny.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Late adopter

YEAH Twitterfeed!
my Twitter subscribers now have an rss option.
I think.

I adopt late and understand little.


Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Tagline Hell

Brains on Fire contemplates "variations on a tagline"

Monday, May 05, 2008

A very special Photo Tuesday

Less than two weeks...

from Stone Faction

Wednesday, April 30, 2008


I'm just back from a great evening at the Slingshot client dinner, featuring Joseph Jaffe. Surely some of you linkers and lurkers know Joseph Jaffe - certainly the Art of the Conversation crowd knows him. Most bloggers have at least heard his name.

Yeah, well...
He harped on all kinds of great stuff but one thing I found myself pondering is this: of all the things brands think they can outsource, why does customer service seem like a good idea?

How important do you feel to be connected (and subsequently put on hold and then maybe dropped and maybe or maybe not reconnected) to a customer service associate with a strange accent on a bad connection?

Think about this: the only people that call customer service are YOUR EXISTING CUSTOMERS. A bird in hand is worth two in the bush, right? Shouldn't you spend twice as much money keeping and nurturing your existing client relationships as you do creating new ones? If you did, would the new ones create themselves?

Think about this: if you google Verizon Ecenter or USair miles reinstated you get diatribe-esque results from the unwashed likes of ME, your consumer, in the first ten results.

Wholly FUCK! you may say (esp. if you're one of the two clients whose customer service is systematically dissected and exposed in each of those posts - which I assure you, are the two most frequently read posts on this blog by far).

If you are Verizon or USair (or UPS or Sprint), you may think you have bigger problems right now than one blogger. Having used and been disappointed by your products, I'd agree with you.

However, Joseph's hypothesis and mine are the same: your customers matter in ways you aren't addressing. And Lord only knows why.

I have a Verizon account (and I fucking HATE Verizon) and I fly, begrudgingly on USair. And rather than vote with my feet and my dollars, I prefer to vote with my discontent in both of these brands and their products. I've paid outrageously in time, money and aggravation for the right to do so. And goddammit I'll get every penny's worth.

The fact that neither of these companies has what I consider to be outstanding customer service (the kind I'll rave about from Southwest Airlines, USAA, Zappos, and Apple) proves to me that these companies have lost touch with their consumers. And think it's okay to send us form emails. And lead us to FAQs that in turn lead us to FAQs in a never ending, and utterly frustrating loop of, "was this item helpful?"

I voice a thundering "NO, IT WAS NOT HELPFUL" here. For you. And your friends. And anyone with a search engine. And some dignity.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

break out

Cool reinterpretation of an old classic.
Nokia NGage -- thanks to carb free creativity.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

There's a lot of love in here.

Stan Richards' recent guest column in Talent Zoo got mixed reviews. I say mixed because it was not universally panned - but the negative majority were a bad combination of eloquent and vociferous.

As one of very few creatives in Dallas to never step through the doors (other than to interview for an internship there 10 years ago) I must admit I'm curious - it has the feel of Willy Wonka's factory from out here. Big building looming over I75, Futura Bold logotype emblazened across the roofline. Strange and wonderful smells emitting (is that midnight oil burning? Or burnout?)

I have lots of friends on both sides of the wall - and everyone seems to agree on this: Stan must be doing something right to be growing that business the way he has.

But I have also heard this one: If enough people tell you you're drunk, go lie down.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Trend alert - electrifying wallpaper

These guys invented wallpaper that turns you off.

This guy invented wallpaper that you turn on.

Thanks to Vulture Droppings for the poop, as usual.


Friday, April 18, 2008

A new low

For the presidency. And for this President.
Sharing the stage with Howie Mandell.

I am not perfect. I do not demand perfection.
But I think the President of the United States should be aiming a lot higher than lackluster Prime Time cameos. Quit entertaining us and start serving us.

You want to be on Prime Time TV? Shave your head and dare people to push the big red button for you. Otherwise, stick to averting nuclear disasters and being fiscally irresponsible.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Director Tuesday

Hate him. Love him.
James Copeman reminds me of everything that was once good about music videos.

I've been thinking about the Mystery Jets video for Young Love since the first time I saw it on Carb Free Creativity.

And his Noah and the Whale video has a Wes Anderson sensibility that makes me happy, too.

Jack's Track

Nascar fans rejoice. Jack's Track is up and running.

For credits and more info, see Shottiework.com.

Monday, April 14, 2008

How integrated is your campaign?

I spoke at the University of Texas today - to two classes of advertising students.

Class #1 had 300 students: "Introduction to Advertising".

Before the class, as I sat sipping on a Diet Coke in the Jester Wendy's, I counted the number of students walking by who WEREN'T clutching, listening to, talking, or texting on a mobile device. I think it was 8 (of a possible 300?). I mean DAMN! I thought the Dallas Tollway was a mobile phone paradise - the Student Center at UT is downright bionic.

of the 300 students in the class, easily 200 were typing NOISILY on their laptops throughout the presentation. I suppose this is the norm now - and you'd all do wisely to invest in the quietest keyboard company out there. There's a market for it. Lord knows if this was note-taking, IMing about my plaid pants, or chatting with mom - but it was more than a little distracting. I don't blame them. I'm old and old people suck.

Those kids today!

The second class was a more manageable 15 or so seniors graduating in May.
Here was my challenge to them:

Start thinking of yourself as an integrated campaign.
A portfolio, sure. But more importantly a website, a blog, email marketing, direct mail, video, etc.
Make it as compelling as you are. Hell - this is advertising - make it ten times as compelling as you are. Tell me a good story. Leave me interested enough to follow your breadcrumbs. Start the story on your website, pay it off with a series of videos on YouTube. Start your own wiki. whatever. Make sure it involves both thought and effort. Oh - and some design. And make it compelling. Did I say that already? Good. Make it FUCKING COMPELLING.

Compel me to figure it out. Compel me to share it with my boss an look like the hero that found the needle in the talent haystack. Make ME look like a genius and I'll hire you to become advertising's next superstar.

I mean it. How cool would that look on MY resume?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

How to think (twice removed)

Dan Linsky, resident thinker, posted this article, originally found on Ed Boyden’s Blog. Technology Review. 11/13/07. (http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/boyden/21925/).

Key takeaways. Thinking is active. If you're not REALLY doing it, you're probably not doing much of it. Something to think about. HARD.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


Sprint MAY have come up with a phone that's worth a damn, after much bitching from the likes of me.

Of course it occurred to me this could be an elaborate April Fool's hoax: that fucking thing looks suspiciously like an iPhone on its side.

I'm such a sucker.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Photo - uh - Saturday?

The often imitated but inimitable Mark Laita.

I've been getting works from this series sent to me in 8x11 glossy promos. I never get tired of them.