Thursday, July 24, 2008

Fung Shui

I asked a writer if he could come up with 20 lines for outdoor billboards today.

He said: "Of course! Can you decorate them?"

It's official, art direction is now something that guys like this do:

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My first baby.

Signed off my first ad today. A beautiful 10.125 x 8.134 FSI for Airborne. I hope that it lives a good life saving people money on placebo pills.

Monday, July 21, 2008

How would you like your lemon sir?

Straight up or twisted?

Straight up has its advantages. It looks right, uncrushed, slowly leaking out into the surrounding liquid inside its natural lemony case. The problem is, it doesn't do anything. Why use a lemon at all why not a yellow ice cube. The whole point is the juice inside right?

The same comes in advertising. Playing the straight man has its advantages. Its easy, looks nice, and its what's expected. However, its the twist we all want. The pow after the expected. Most ads are the straight man.

Here's my product, here's a look, what it does, where to get it, thank you. This is the way its been since people started selling hand made clubs to fellow cavemen, and hell it works, a lot of shitty jewelry goes out the door of QVC that way.

The best brands have that twist. Its the twist that we buy what we buy. There are very few products that we need. The twist is what makes us switch to apple, buy at Banana Republic, try Axe deodarant, order a Stoly and coke. The twist.

So how do you create a twist?

Hit them where they don't expect it. That doesn't mean putting your message on urinal cakes or write them in the sky. Its usually the company that says something first, that shocks, angers, excites, or shames you that you reach for at your stores. Our homes are filled with them. The apples. The targets. The ESPN's. We fill our lives with the twists and glean out the straight ups.

Now if I only knew how to do it time after time. Suggestions?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Zach Galifinakis: Absolut Vodka 3

The best of the three yet:

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Take head, bang against wall, repeat.

I've been working on the same project for 2 weeks now. Sounds nice right?

Stable, hands on kind of work.

It is except its one ad. And as im writing this Im on my 38th version of it.

But Jesse thats not that bad? You're getting work and updates and a real feel of the process of making an ad. You are correct sir maybe too correct, it isn't that bad.

Well it wouldn't be, if it was anything else. Except that this time its a coupon, a FSI or free standing insert. The ones that fall everywhere when you pick up a sunday paper or magazine and you curse.

38 kids. Its been tossed between CD's for 25 of those. Then to client for 12 of those. And after work yesterday I thought that would be it, but no the best was yet to come. The CMO took my beautiful hand carved add to a focus group for testing. Perfectly normal right? No. This focus group was her showing it to random people at STARBUCKS asking if they got it. Apparently people dont know how to read over the rims of their venti frappa douchbag latte assholes.

So I sit here staring at the same FSI that greets me every morning. Hello good friend!!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The realities of a recession inside an agency.


The ugly 800 lb. gorilla/elephant sitting in everyone's corner, that we all are plugging our ears and shutting our eyes trying to avoid at all costs. We're headed torwards one whether we like it or not.

No matter where you are in the world, from street sweeper to king, intern art director to ECD you feel the pinch inside the ad world. Here on the 19th floor its slowly becoming evident. When you walk around a lot of people are web surfing, chatting, playing GTA, longer lunches, etc. There just isn't enough work to go around. The firm is pitching hard and strong trying to remedy this but the general feeling is still the same: what next?

What next in terms of:

Am i expendable?
Will we get more work?
When did i last kiss butt at work?
How does my resume look?

People are simmering and grumpy. Unlike any other industry when employees in ad world don't work they get pissed, because they really, really, want to work. Its the only way to move up in the world.

From a lowly intern prospective its interesting and probably a valueable lesson once im on the inside. Watching people scheme shuffle and position themselves is just as important as the work they do. As they say you're only as good as your last work. More importantly if this recession gets worse how does it affect me in 365 days when im out with a book and resume?

A professor at school told me during one review. That I was in a perfect position and that he was jealous of where I stood. I would be going into a market in semi freefall with clients slashing marketing budgets and fewer companies wanting to advertise at all. Obviously a great time to get in. Right?

he continued to explain that a talented AD from Brandcenter could do as comperable work of a higher salaried person for half the cost. Recessions are gold for Juniors and freelancers, murder for middle to high experienced people.

I have a year to see what happens but so far it's been a interesting fly on the wall here on the 19th floor in NYC.