Friday, February 27, 2009

You're welcome world.

Commercials make people enjoy tv more. Read here.

In case you are too lazy to read here's the synopsis. If you ate your favorite ice cream every day all day for a month, do you think it would be your favorite anymore? How about your favorite song stuck on repeat, or living in paradise forever, like Richmond? Probably not.

Its called adaptation, which means breaking up good things helps you like them more. Remember movies and theater do this too for breaks, TV is just an imitator. So you're welcome world, now go buy some shit so I can get a job.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


KISS - Keep it simple stupid.

Its supposed to be the holy grail of advertising. Simple, concise, and easy to understand. Most campaigns are centered around this for many reasons. Information overload from competition, lack of information, and just plain easy communication are usually the reasons. Good examples of this is medicine ads. Sure you could take time to show why your asthma medication is better than the others but in reality people wouldn't know the difference, all they want to know is will it get rid of my asthma so I can dance in a field of flowers in my sundress.

But today we learned a new concept:

MACS - Make it complex stupid.

Making a concept complex and layered and heavy on information seems like the opposite of what you would want. Why would people wade through mountains of info with their free time? But brands do this all the time. Look at sports. Simple concepts. Put ball/puck/object through/over/past an object. A winner a loser. But it demands some complexity because people love sports. They are obsessed with stats, history, tradition, that make the experience richer and turns casual fans into the grandmas with the pins of 40 years of collection stapled to a jersey. Making it complex alone though isn't the answer you have to make people work for it, making people feel like they are part of a club that they belong alone.

Make tough products easy and digestable, and easy products complex and intricate.

I wish someone had put it like this 2 years ago, it probably would have helped.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Please feed the lions.

When someone comes up to you and asks: "What do you think of this?" how do you respond?

Do you give honest feedback, not sparing details hoping to make it better?
Do you dumb it down tell them its good to help save a possible argument?
Or do you say I like it, because the worse their work is the better yours looks?

Most people would be the first two, Mark Fenske thinks its number three. And as much as I hate to admit it, he might be right. We use these little lies to help justify being a good friend or to save face, but sometimes it is that simple drive to be the best.

While it might seem like the lions don't really want to eat you. They might just be waiting.

But part of me also calls bull shit. I've heard a few times now that to achieve greatness in this industry, you need to sacrifice. Sacrifice family, friends, time, and morals to reach the upper echelon. This is a flat out lie. If you can't reach the top without violating every inch of your soul. You can keep the top.

So I've decided to be open and honest about work I see, becausewhile I might not be right about the work, I refuse to compete through capitulation, and am done listening to people telling you to sacrifice me for tiny gold statues.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The new workout.

When you start working out with more weight or different machines I have usually beaten the shit out of myself after the first day. That bad curl up and die the next morning, hurts to cough, cursing the strong kinda hurt. Mark Fenske's workout is making it hard to laugh.

Fenske believes in one thing for his portfolio class: volume.

Instead of light reps over three weeks. Full projects are due every week. More weight less time. I was concerned when I first started. How in the hell could you produce quality in 2 weeks let along one. I thought I was going to leave in May with a portfolio full of one offs and puns.

But like everything I've learned here, everything the professors do here is for a reason. Doing work in half the time produces work twice as good. It focuses your mind, makes you think simpler, and produces work at volume. Now of course not all of it is good, I'd say 50% is bad but better than a lot of other things we've done.

If anything, there is one thing that I have learned here. When you force yourself to work hard, you surprise yourself with what you get back. Time for some more reps, gotta get ripped before May.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Ones I wish I had done.

And finally enough superbowl. 4 days is enough. But I thought I would end with a post about the ones I would like to have had a hand in based on script, concept, or art direction. Enjoy.

Concept: Modesty goes a long way.

Script: Conan is always funny.

Art Direction: Beautiful. Simply beautiful.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Superbowl Missed Opportunity



Enough said. 3 wins.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Winners of the Winners

Ahhh the winners. The risk takers, the inside tracks, the little men. Oh wait you paid 3 mm for your spot? Well congrats you titans of industry! Enjoy.

The big winner. Thank you Cash for gold. It goes to show that a company willing to make a splash and a cool commercial can make a splash. If I had any gold, I would give it to you, if I hadn't swallowed it out of fear of hobos coming for my family savings!

Crispin, you got it, damn you. You got it. What great branding for HULU. Once again an ad requiring knowledge of the porn machine known as the internet. This is great. I love HULU and 30 Rock, you make me want more, big balls for NBC as well. Alec Baldwin should be the face of GE as well, who wouldn't like that. People older than 32 you say? Oh ok.

CRISPIN!!! DAMN YOU!!! A classic commercial twisted. Tough ground but damn you, you did it. I applaud you and your lond haired god of a founder. I am your Kirk to your Kahn.


Oh congrats TBWA. You got me. If you aren't on the internets or the tubes that connect to it, you probably won't get the SNL/Pepsi spots. But what's interesting to me is that agencies and clients are willing to try spots, high costs spots, that are targeted at me and younger, the guards are changing. MacPepSuber!!

Ok so these might be a little slanted toward my generation. They require an internet presence, pop culture knowledge and the ability to handle hard fast edits. Sorry grandma! The Superbowl is a place to roll out new cool ads, and this year was better than I hoped. You could feel a change between generations and styles, this could be the end of your JG Wentworths. SEE YOU IN HELL!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Worst of the Worst

So im going to be one of 6,543,332 million blogs posting about the ads they saw during the Superbowl. So what am I going to offer that no one has? Sarcastic remarks. Today, worst of the day.

Oh man I wanted to love this. I loved the commercial. It was written well, shot well, paced right, made people stop. Until the end. So this accomplished man is retarded about finding a car? You mean he rode the bus until 30? Or he had a helicopter made of gold? But the real problem is you could have dropped anything, ANYTHING, into the end and it would have worked. As we sat there listening, GEICO would have been better. I mean compared to all that, what's simpler than finding car insurance?

Tela flora. Ok big buy for a small brand in a recession. I love the ambition but the message gets lost. Most people are drunk/high/crying because their team is at home (Put me in the third) to notice the difference. They try to say our flowers are better because they're hand delivered, flowers in a box are usually half dead. What I heard: Flowers are a bad present: Send Tela Flowers. This was top level execution.

Sigh. America please. Pretty please. Pretty pretty please, stop. Taking a shitty chick flick that lasts 95.5 minutes and replace Brad/Leo/Ruttiger with horses does not make me want beer. It makes the opposite, the repulsion of beer. Three cheers for Nattie Lite for not advertising again!

Once again these are my worst. I understand that being in school allows you not to have clients, budgets, revisions, roadblocks, and the countless things that come between you and a young advertising man in Virginia. I commend all that took this challenge, there is no worst in the superbowl. You all beat 96% of everything out there.