Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The Long Trainwreck

10 minutes into "Hoarders" last night, I was struck (not for the first time) with one of those pangs of "why is someone else's misery so fascinating to me?"

What was it about watching a woman squirm while three professionals calmly explained to her that 1 1/2 inches of rotten meat sludge in the bottom of her crisper was a health hazard that I considered entertainment?

Was it gratitude? I don't think it was. Although I tried to spin it that way.

Was it shock-and-paralysis? More likely. How bad could this get?

I suppose that passes for entertainment now. It's like the news has finally invaded entertainment TV. Reality shows have dragged what we fear right smack into prime time. Murders, crime investigations, mental illness, casually slung insults, financial ruin, and of course wildly unclean homes: these are at the crucial, central plots of most of the TV I find interesting (outside the occasional, and rarely entertaining Cowboys game and the even less entertaining commercials-dotted-with-movie known as AMC).

I heard someone referring to slow motion ski videos that romance deep powder in Vail as "Snow Porn". I think Hoarders is "Grime Porn": We (I) watch it and weirdly project ourselves somewhere we could never knowingly tread. We (I) wait, patiently, for the light to go on in a woman's head – a woman who lived in a house full of rotting food for years...fucking YEARS – after 2 days of intervention by psychologists and organizational professionals. Maybe that's the bigger draw: can the Container Store fix this woman's dimensia? I smell sponsorship opportunity!

Oh. No. That's a pumpkin. Wait... That WAS a pumpkin. Last week. Now it's a pile of mush in the corner of the living room.

Dude, Man



So much less objectionable than the other famous edit of this movie. And just as funny.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

WHAT?!



thanks, Derek.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Less Interesting

I think Dos Equis has jumped the perverbial shark.
Which is a shame, because "The Most Interesting Man in the World" is one of my favorite campaigns done in the last ten years.

But the radio spot I just heard leads me to believe they are running out of material (or the client/brand manager/copywriter/CD are drinking entirely too much of their product - if that's possible).

It's a Halloween ad.
And it is scary, all right.

Unfunny.
Uninteresting.

Basically, it undoes in 30 seconds what they've been seeding for two years.

Way to go.

How did this happen?
How can a brand that gets it right for so long, go so so wrong?
Who went on vacation?
Or quit?
Or got fired?
And left this brand to fester in its own cleverness, until all that was left was tired cliches delivered in super-serious tones? About ghosts and chains and whogivesafuckwhat?

I am disappointed. And I am disinterested.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Highlights / Lowlights

As all are now well aware, my age makes me a shoo-in for the "backed-by-symphony" rock concert.

As such, I was at the Ben Folds/DSO even this evening.

Highlights:
A capella "Aaaah-aahs" on Not the Same
Rocking the Suburbs, sans orchestra
Sleep

Lowlights:
Feedback for three songs (three? really?! WTF Meyerson?)
Muddy sound, despite "flawless acoustics"
Brick. Dear Ben: let this song go.
Chick with bad breath madly wooooing in wife's ear
Ass-dragging rendition of Steven's Last night in Town sounded more funerary than fun.

Have I gotten too old even for symphony-backed concerts?
I miss my iPod.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Hydro 74


remarkable illustration and typography (somewhat oversold) via Hopkins at andjuniorshakers.com

So Not Laughing


While all the twittererers were tweeting about how little miss new thing dropped an F bomb in her first skit, I was temporarily distracted by the phenomenal photographs of Megan Fox shot by SNL's long-time house shooter, mary ellen matthews.

Love that lady's stuff.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The few, true copywriters.

You know who you are.
You are a copywriter.
Preferably one who can write.
About anything - and I do mean anything.

The writer is a squirrelly breed. The true copywriter is a moody, Holden-Caulfield-esque, pencil behind the ear, dram of whiskey in hand type who eviscerates you with a razor-sharp wit, and then carefully sculpts three perfect lines of body copy about the tampon he'd use to stop the bleeding.

I've known a few good ones. Few enough that I know they are rare.

I knew a copywriter who could write a squirrel into a medical brochure.
I knew another who got me to sing "Somewhere" to a bunch of dudes at a sales meeting in Vegas.

These guys don't want to write novels.
Or ads.

They want to achieve greatness. Laughs. Admiration. They want empathy. They want to be understood. Trusted. By their partners, their bosses and by african american women ages 35-55.

Where are they now?
Making lemonade?

This guy is.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Philly Represents


Jealous of about 75% of the work being done by this agency in Philadelphia.

Design.
Ideas.
Art.
Photography.
Typography.
Fuck yeah.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Busy building beautiful

It's not just a song by September 67 (go ahead, google 'em).

It describes my career - especially the last 2 days of it.

I spent Thursday and Friday of last week directing a series of photographs for a relatively new client who specializes in wallets, belts and purses. With a great photographer here in town, Thom Jackson.

Never done fashion before - and this stuff was a blast to shoot: a mens series and a womens series. Totally different, totally cool.

Can't wait to post 'em.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Interns no more

Have I mentioned how much I miss our interns? Our "paid, got to do real work, build their book and dig into the good stuff just like real employees (without the health insurance)" interns?

Boy, we sure could use a few more of those right about now.

Grizzly

Kick ass animation - not an official video, but every bit as cool:

Two Weeks - Grizzly Bear from Gabe Askew on Vimeo.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Alive


Another website up.
I like this one - cool like an air conditioner.
Great collaboration with the programming folk made it extra sweet.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Monday, June 29, 2009

Hard Work


Just finished collaborating with Bryce Pincham and Nitin Vadukul on the photography for Phillips 66' new website, Hard Working Cars.

Also got a lot of help on the film from Justin Wilson and Tony Wann at CharlieUniformTango.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mixed emotions

A little sad that the old one is gone.

Jealous as hell at how cool the new one is.

Pleased that my work is still portfolio-worthy two years after my departure.

Props to Firehouse on their new site.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Slingterns

I got a good feeling about our new interns. 1 week in and we got some pretty interesting stuff percolating.

A twitterfeed for each of them, a blog, and a weekly 59-second podcast. Plus the whole intern thing. Stay tuned. Especially for He shot, she wrote.

Friday, June 05, 2009

tempting

Pondering Temptation

Monday, June 01, 2009

The spot



This was a lot of fun. Check out Beau Beatty's facebook page too!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Best Day Ever

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Beatles song titles that didn't fly

Sustainability #4
Piss off, Linda
Zookeeper

Friday, April 17, 2009

Great moments in commercial lyrics:

"Herding cows the size of schnauzers but they're cattle."

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Observation

From my partner John:

When people use the term "This is not my first rodeo,"
usually it means it's their second.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Do the clients know?


Maybe they do now.

(a friend's chat status)

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Stimulus package

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Dream big

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Architecture for nothing


As in Nothing Amsterdam

The entire office was created out of cardboard. No nails. No glue. When their done, they can fold the office and pitch it in the recycling bin.

via Mr. Wood

Monday, March 09, 2009

PES



A great reason to hire juniors: they find the cool stuff.

via Craig at Shottiework

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Augmented reality




Go to the website and try it yourself.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Fucking Economy

I am hated at Walmart.

That's right.

I strode into Walmart tonight with my reusable bags and a shopping list. And I was hated.

I was hated for caring about the environment. When the economy is shit, the environment is last. "Oh, lookit mister reusable bags with the Central Market logo on them. where's your Central Market now, buddy? I see you buying 57 cent bunches of parsley. At Walmart."

I was hated for grabbing "anti-microbial tissues" off the shelf without so much as a second glance at whether or not they were on sale. Call me a sucker for advertising, but if you can develop - or convince the FDA to let you claim to develop - a tissue that kills booger germs, I will gladly pay an extra 50 cents per box for the peace of mind.

I was hated for walking out with an unbagged humidifier, which I clearly stole. The woman skulking in the giant exit cavity picked me out like a felon in a lineup. "Sir!" she barked, as my son and I marched through the security scanners. "Sir, I have to check your bags. Do you have a receipt for that humidifier?"

I took some offense at this. Do I really look like the kind of guy that would steal a humidifier? I know that in today's economy, no fine upstanding citizen is beyond reproach. But c'mon. A humidifier? THAT's the way I'm going down? By her?

I suppose desperate times make for desperate people. And I pray there is not a day when I am desperate to the point of stealing semi-medical supplies at Walmart.

Monday, January 26, 2009

2009: Year of the Amish



"Entire communities of Amish craftmen are straining to keep up with the demand."

This is the year the Amish come busting out. While Chili's, Starbucks and the GAP are going in the shitter, the Amish are nailing it. Literally.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Censored



Despite the fact that we censored the sh*t out of this spot, it was deemed too controversial to air on 5 of 8 cable networks, including TNT, Discovery channel and MTV.

But because of the wonderous interweb, you can see it here.