Tuesday, December 30, 2008

take a bite outta history

Ah the Victory Plate. Making money off Obama and he hasn't even started yet. This commercial is hilarious. Only two plates per order please.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

sin in your cereal

Just found this blogpost called: "How Cereal Transformed American Culture (http://blogs.static.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/20822.html)." It's by: "Ian Lender is the author of Alcoholica Esoterica: A Collection of Useful and Useless Information As It Relates to the History and Consumption of All Manner of Booze. Photographs by Cary Norton."

Soo interesting!! The only pitfall is that not a lot of the info isn't sourced.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

good swamp, bad swamp

Watching CNN's "After Party: Where We Go From Here." They just discussed the fact that Obama is going to say his middle name, Hussain, during the inauguration.

One made the point that I agree most with - "who cares," it's a name it shouldn't make any difference. Another one of the show's guests said that she looked up what the name Hussain means in Arabic and found that it means "good." Whereas President Bush's middle name, Walker, in old English means "swamp."

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

go fish

I have a love hate relationship with fishing. I love the idea of kicking back with a friend on a lovely summer afternoon, passing the time by watching the water. I do not however, enjoy touching or stabbing worms hence resulting in an unsuspecting fish getting a lip piercing. Nevertheless, I find myself reading a fly fishing magazine.

http://www.thisisfly.com/ redefines the barbaric old man hobby through badass style and cool technology. The articles describing fly fishing as an addicting drug and showcasing badass young guys defying the law and urban fishing. The technology that supports it is awesome. Each edition of the magazine features a playlist that you can click on and listen to while you read. There are videos embedded in the pages. You can actually turn the pages of the magazine and the index links you directly to the article you click on. I'd love to do my portfolio using this technology!

Monday, November 24, 2008

la musique qui me fait danser

Amadou and Mariam are a blind married couple from Africa. I love their music. It's in French. They have done some work with Manu Chao, another favorite international musician of mine.
Check out a song of theirs called "Senegal Fast Food."

Monday, November 17, 2008

the backs of our heads

The only time you see the back of your head is after getting a hair cut, when the hairdresser does the "two mirror" trick. Hairdresser magic. So, here are the backs of our heads. Check out Brandon's hair-art, nice stuff.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

states that swing

Living in a swing state is great. A few examples why:

1. Drive down the country roads and you will find homemade party signs with more right and left turns than the road will offer.
2. Google CEO Eric Schmidt is coming to speak t VCU tomrw
3. Caroline Kennedy is coming to speak at VCU on Sat.
4. Just had Rock the Vote in the park near VCU, sadly Beastie Boys just came to say hello, not to perform. Boo.

be offended.


My friends Jake and Kyle created these stickers.
Check out their blogs:
http://rollingondubs.blogspot.com/
http://www.eggplantcreative.blogspot.com/

Saturday, October 18, 2008

the shining, with doritos.

I admitted to being a ninny in front of 200 people today. Yep, it's true. I can't handle hotel626.com by myself. The site is brilliant if for no other reason than because it is only available between the hours of 6p.m. and 6a.m. A wonderful stipulation that guarantees it will haunt your dreams. But here is my question: what is a snack brand, Doritos, doing making a website that would make the director of horror film, The Ring, jealous? The scariest thing about the snack to me is the chemical ingredients.

Account Director Martha Jurzynski from Goodby spoke at the Brandcenter yesterday about integration. In looking at the Doritos home webpage I have trouble understanding the connection between the two websites. Perhaps because I have yet to explore Hotel626. Fair enough...Those of you who are brave enough to venture through the digital hotel let me know. Here is a pic featured on adage.com of Hotel626. It looks like Alice fell down the wrong rabbit hole this time around.

Here is a picture of the Doritos website. The website has a spy/end of the world look; sounds like Will Smith's next movie.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

i'm a maverick too.

Ahh Sarah Palin, I can't tell you and Tina apart.

Check out: http://www.palinaspresident.com/, for one view of what Palin in the Oval Office might look like.

A little ditty about our lovely flute player - "Sarah Palin Remixed:"

Monday, October 13, 2008

folk yeah!!

I love music festivals. The 70th Richmond Folk Festival was this past weekend and I saw a few awesome groups. Here's a video from an Irish group called Laidan:
video
My friend Everitt and I were jammin out to a reggae band on Friday night. The crowd was in full bop and from all walks of life. It was so cool to see such strangers break it down. I had an 80-something year old man on one side of me doing a side-step and dreaded hippies raving past me on the other.
I don't know where the heck I'll be next year, but I hope I can take the time to come down for the 71st RVA Folk Fest!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

abandon your seat, let the beat unite you

Here is a paper that I wrote for Peter Coughter's Cultural explorations class. The assignment was to visit a Richmond attraction and write our thoughts about our experience. I visited the Armenian Food Festival. For the paper I drew a bird's eye view of the event and mapped out my foot steps around the festival. I'll have to scan in the drawing later (I'm not much of a drawer so it's not a great drawing!), but here is my story transcribed.

Lose the bike. Walk amongst a crowd to which you hold no tie. “Heck, I don’t even know where Armenia is.”

“Wow, check out all the families! Welcome to the suburbs! I wonder if I’ll ever really be a part of this? Is this my aim or my biggest fear?

(In the buffet line)
Two old ladies in line behind me discuss the high prices of the food this year. “I guess I can splurge, I never go out” one says, making me feel embarrassed by all that I take for granted. The convo moves to aging and I appreciate my youth.

Sit next to a girl around my age eating by herself. We listen to the live music and watch the costumed children’s dance group. Her father approaches and I hear him in his loving, musky voice ask “did you get a discount because you are Armenian?” I know she smiled back. I miss my dad.

The crowd joins the dance. Linked by pinkies, complicated foot patterns mingle with the music and I, ever observant of each step, begin to dance in my seat. Abandon the seat. Take to the floor, link pinkies and accept that failure is inevitable but fun.

We snake around the church grounds in the shadows the evening attempts to throw at us. Exhale into the movement any fear of cutting the flow, let the beat unite you. Let pinkies become arms when those who are losing their war with time celebrate their mortality, however quickly it may be fading. Understand tradition, become a part of it even if it was never yours to practice.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

"In fact, romanticism and science are good for each other."

"The scientist keeps the romantic honest and the romantic keeps the scientist human."
- "Another Roadside Attraction" by Tom Robbins, pg. 150

I love this quote. It illustrates the idea that opposites attract. But is this true? One could argue with the equally common phrase "like attracts like." I personally believe more in the latter.

For the creative execution of one of my recent projects we compiled interesting love stories. I find listening to these stories very optimistic. In an America that is increasingly lonelier I can only hope that my optimism isn't blind naivety. My favorite is still my friend Amy's.

Amy, an American student was hiking alone in Chile when she came across a winery and decided to take a tour. Amy was the only guest on the tour but just before she and the guide began a young French man, who was also hiking Chile solo, arrived. Amy and her new companion, Jean, conversed in their second language, Spanish, as Amy spoke no French and Jean no English. After the tour the two became traveling companions for a few weeks. Upon returning to South Carolina, Amy began taking French lessons and Jean began learning English. Less than a year later, Amy graduated from college and moved to New Zealand with Jean to become organic farmers. As it was the rain season, the two were stuck in doors. Amy later told me that if their relationship was able to survive those months farming in the rain and being stuck in the same small space, it could survive anything. She was right. The two got married about a year later. Amy and Jean now live in France.

Friday, September 19, 2008

the here and now

Sorry for the hiatus. School. It's my only excuse. Could there ever be a better one when you go to Brandcenter? Here's what I've been up to...

Today Jakob Trollback from Trollback + Co. spoke at Culture Crash. Soft-spoken yet powerful I found his work incredibly inspiring. It reminded me of what I love about graphic design and how good the creative executions side of the industry I am entering can be. Loved this spot for Pop!Tech 06: Open. They are very conscious of the power of music and consequently their work would be powerful even if you had your eyes closed.

Media assignment: Working with a non-profit website whose aim is to get ordinary people to do good things. Trying to give their site real function and meaning to people who do want to do good things.

Fashion assignment: Falling in love further with things I can't have. Exploring theories on fashion and amazing photography. I know I have stumbled upon something good when 20 minutes feels like two. I love this girl Johanni's flickr account. She realized that she wasn't wearing everything in her closet so she created a mini-project for herself called 'the wardrobe project.' She is going through her closet one garment a day, building an outfit around it and documenting it with a photo. She has some amazing clothes and is a total classic beauty. I'm inspired by this idea, but not enough to do it myself as half of the time I am wearing sweatpants these days.

Assignment for Rick's class: My group is working on Scope. We're trying to shake up the aged image of Scope and bring some vibrancy into the mouthwash category. My strategy is a hybrid kind of like "the method and axe of mouthwashes." No, I promise that's not the line. No I don't think the company would actually do something like this but that's what's great about doing work that is hypothetical. You can be daring, do something crazy and fun for creatives.

Outside work: Soon to be starting a project outside school for a small bank in Richmond to get small businesses to bank with them. We have formed a small agency basically and will be working with two great advisors: Caley Cantrell and Kelly O'Keefe. Really looking forward to this one. Still doing some research for Naked here and there.

Might head out to Belle Isle today to enjoy the last of the summer sun. Can't believe how great the weather here has been.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

design notes

Last Friday, my Kid Robot post got picked up by Michael Surtees and posted in his blog DesignNotes. Every Friday Michael writes a post showcasing the most interesting blog posts he found that week. I am incredibly blessed to have been included in his posting. : )

perspctv

I really appreciate how Perspctv has brought together different ways of measuring public opinion with regards to the current election. I'm tired of seeing one set of polls on the news without any credentials explaining where the results came from. My guess is that they are still using phone surveys. By measuring peoples' blogs and twitters, you are getting a glimpse of how they truly talk about the news without their knowledge that you are following them. Sneaky eh?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

hang this in your closet

Assignment in Cultural Explorations class: Give a 3 hour presentation on fashion.

The topic of the presentation is broad and I need to find a topic that focuses it. I am currently contemplating how "recycling" could be the concept of the presentation. Here are a few ways I think this could work:

1. The recycling of trends/decades - Sartorialist's coverage of Stockholm shows beautiful 40s fashion


2. How a concept cycles out -The cycling of design concepts from the designer down into TJ Maxx. This could include the scene from "The Devil Wears Prada" where Meryl Streep talks about the significance of cerulean (for a chick flick, amazingly insightful scene)

3. The literal recycling of clothes - thrift store fashion and the creativity that some employe to make amazing outfits out of old garbs.

4. And of course, recycled goods going into clothes or as I'd like to call it "fashion with a conscious." Could include Vegan goods by Natalie Portman.
I want to avoid too much "green" talk though, I'm sure people are tired of having green shoved down their throats.


Still thinking, still searching, open for any and all recommendations!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

frivolous necessities

Someone told me recently that you don't need to use toothpaste to clean your teeth. Toothpaste is marketing genius in that case. Make up a product that people use frequently and make it seem like a necessity. Now, I'm sure that is not how toothpaste came about, but you can just picture four suit-clad guys in a board room somewhere 50 years ago scheming...

What other types of products do we have that are completely unnecessary but we feel we couldn't do without? People always say that Hallmark created Valentine's Day as a chance to sell more cards. What about socks? They may be necessary in winter but with canvas shoes? Canvas is cotton and so are your socks...no, I'm not sold on that one either...I'm sure unnecessary necessities will pop up at me over the next few days, as for now they allude me behind their guise of marketing genius. Damn you Crest.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

these tricks ain't for kids


When trying to explain Kid Robot to friends, they cannot understand why I am so enthralled by a toy store with smoking rabbits (I am very anti-smoking, however smoking bunnies for some reason I can condone). So, for those who find my fascination bizarre, here are the three main reasons why I love Kid Robot:

1. The store is like a museum - The “look, don’t touch” atmosphere created by the glass barrier between yourself and the cleverly designed plastic creatures worsens your natural desire to feel the smoothly textured toys. The museum feel is what elevates these creators off the toy shelf and into the category of ‘designer.’ Each piece in its case appearing more like a work of sculpture that tourists and other unworthy admirers can stare and drool at.

2. The power is in the hands of the card holder - Kid Robot is toys for adults and who ever really grows out of toys? Now that we are adults shopping for toys we are finally have the power to buy the toys we desire. No whining or begging, just card swiping!

3. Premium pricing! Truly the best strategy in play here. Putting the brand just out of reach for the common man, it creates the “Christmas-Effect.” Just as you held out all year for that one special gift (that you bought, wrapped and put under the tree for yourself) you appreciate it soo much more. Kid Robot, being as expensive as it is, makes buying one of the items a special event. Were their Dunnies or Star Wars styled creatures $20, they would get thrown aside a month after purchase. But no, if you shell out $200 for a Luke Skywalker Dunny, you will create your own museum-like atmosphere on the shelves in your office where only true fans and lovers will be privileged enough to touch the toy.

Congrats Kid Robot, you have managed to elevate your brand above any Toys R’ Us shelf. Go forth toy fans and spend $600 on a plastic toy that looks like something you’d see on a bad acid trip, after all we were all deprived of enough toys as kids.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

zeitgeist fashion


Last night I had the privilege of seeing Tony Award winning musical “Spring Awakening.” What truly struck me was the unique combinations of fashions. It combined German 1890s style clothing of knickerbocker pants, suspenders and stockings with 1980s punk-rock hair styles and chuck tailors. The music felt very mid-90s. The collaboration of these decade-styles created an era all it’s own, one which I will surely attempt to replicate. The costumer of this show along with that of ‘Gossip Girl’s’ are definitely a force for bringing back the stocking. Full-footed, brightly colored, even patterned. I saw a teen on her way to prom this spring wearing a full 1920s flapper dress with an eye-penciled line going up the back of her leg to complete the look. I’m thinking that the slip needs to make a come-back.
Even the new Michael Kors line is inspired by the 1960s styles showcased in HBO’s “Mad Men.” Check out the Ad Age article for more: http://adage.com/article?article_id=130074. Classic is clearly in and the black dress is cheering. So grab your Fedora and skinny tie and head out on your own happy zeitgeist!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

fashion mining


These chicks are so not dressed appropriately for mining. Is this ad asking me to change my belief as to what is mine appropriate? Or not to be afraid of the changes global warming is creating? After all, if you aren't sending out 'green' messages today, you are so last year.

Although this ad copy may be over-compensating, the clothes are sending some very soft messages. I'm digging the 40s hair style. Next month's issue of Cosmo will no doubt include an article on how to do this 'do.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

coincidences are red herrings

The earth shrinking, stars aligning, the concept of coincidence being thrown out the window. These moments remind us of the power of the energy that we emit and for some, the existence of a higher power. I just had a very mini-version of one of those moments. I found out that my new mentee at the Brandcenter has the same birthday as I do! Twice in my life I have been in a busy, bustling room wherein all sound stopped for a split second. As though frozen for a moment with no spark to initiate that kind of behavior, there must be something that knocks the energy in that space off. If anyone has stories where they have experienced this or knows anything about why they happen, please drop a line.

high expectations

Are we kidding ourselves as marketers when we create ads that ask consumers to cut out part of it to stick to their refrigerators?

Really?

Who is going to cut out a sticker that says "My first 6 lbs. toward a healthier me?" Thank you SlimFast. I love when I find those websites that were clearly created to make to client happy and whose games have like 40 plays. 39 of which were played by the account team, the last one by some truly bored kid whose mother happens to work on the campaign. I wonder... if marketers are speaking to marketers in their promotions do some people feel as though they are being ignored? Is there a whole slue of people out there who feel neglected by brands that don't ask them to be their best friend and write about their best bra day? As my buddy Joe puts it “I don’t want be your friend, I just want to buy your toilet paper or your hockey stick not be your friend...ok, maybe not the hockey stick." The mass popularity of branding and positioning ourselves in consumers’ minds has placed incredibly high expectations on consumers and agencies. The big question is, how much of this translates into sales? Is it all paying off?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

International (fill in the blank) Day!

Guess what! It's National Underwear Day! Ahh yes, we all love when marketers create arbitrary holidays. After all, making your brand a hero is a sure-fire strategy fall-back. Therefore, a whole-day dedicated to your brand/category is just above and beyond. Imagine thousands of calendar readers worshiping your brand for an entire day... Add the word "international" to the front and holy-cow, monumental. Amongst my personal favorites are: "International Talk Like a Pirate Day (Sept. 19)," "Ninja Day (Dec. 5)," and "No Pants Day (first Friday of May)."

Today being National Underwear Day, it is only appropriate that underwear be celebrated and handed out for free in the streets. The lovely pair that James Woods was graciously given is designed in such a way as to amaze. Check out the pouch and no hole look. Clearly the next trend. Someone tell Calvin before he falls behind (no pun intended).

Drop your pants and celebrate!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

population control

Someone once told me"Katie, people have to die to keep the population under control and for the earth to sustain us." Sure, I get that, sad as it is. But what if rather than not passing stem-cell research laws and letting people suffer from diseases and die, people were just not born?

More and more couples are waiting well into their thirties to have children; the number of single-occupant households has quadrupled in the past few years. The result of such a gap between the gen. Yers and the next generation will create a period of time in which the population decreases. The more people stay single, the less tots we'll have running around in the next ten years.

Who knows maybe china will be able to abolish the one-child law...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

high expectations

I am stoked to say that I am about to get an iPhone, but with privilege comes responsibility. The proliferation of phones that allow email access to those beyond the board room creates new social expectations. Once it was only the suits who were constantly burdened by emails through their crackberries, but now those as young 18 will be buying iPhones. Will the expectation to respond asap raise stress? How will this affect personal relationships?

Monday, July 28, 2008

it's official, i'm a celeb stalker


Lindsay and girlfriend were shopping in the high-end store under our office. I couldn't help but grab a camera! She's tiny!!

Friday, July 25, 2008

mr. rogers is the only one you could trust


In 15 years, when those who are now rolling around in strollers are old enough to watch VH1, they will be asked the question "Where is the Yo Gabba Gabba guy now?"

What does it take to become the dancing creepy fool behind childrens' shows? Is there some kind of mandate amongst this crew of child entertainers that you have to wear a funky hat and/or choose a signature color? Imagine for a second what a secret club meeting of these dudes would be like...yeah, I'm weirded out too.

What happened to the Mr. Rogers type? Now there was a dude with whom you could have a sit-down and not feel creeped out or have to inform him of the soft white powder left over under his nose. Conservatives love to blame groups like the gays for perverting our society and killing mortality. Who should our grandfathers really be pointing their fingers at? That's right, the "Yo Gabba Gabba" guy. He and his perverse crew of child entertainers send us our earliest messages on how to dress, dance and have fun. If not the conservatives, the fashion industry must be up in arms. I mean really, the polyester presence makes even my skin itch.

The future is looking dim and horribly orange folks...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

band name, un-google-able

Oh yes that's right, more on band names.

What's with the current trend to name your band something utterly un-Goggle-able? How does one Google "Black kids" or "Marching Band" without the fear of racist sites about where to buy uniforms consisting of hats with terrible chin-straps popping up?

Nonetheless, the two bands names I have thrown out are entirely worth the search. Should you not feel like a safari through Google-land....here's where you can find them:

http://www.blackkidsmusic.com/news.html

http://www.marchingband.se/index.php?page=news

Friday, July 18, 2008

testing greek mythology


I love this. Because of Discovery's 'Mythbusters,' science class might actually be one not to play hooky on. In their recent experiment, the guys tried to prove the power of the sun and sink a boat using mirrors. The story behind the experiemnt is the Greek myth about Archimedes sinking a fleet of Roman ships using mirrors to reflect the power of the sun on the boats. Kind of like when you were a kid and burnt ants with a magnifying glass.

The good news - they want to try the experiment again, as you can tell from the picture above, the first one didn't go so hot. So, they are looking for 300 volunteers to be the official mirror holders for the next try. (Grab your compact quick!)

Here's a link to the Wired Mag article about it: http://blog.wired.com/geekdad/2008/07/not-ready-the-m.html

my dreams have come true

I think I've dreamed of this, a small dose of info from all of my favorite websites available to me on one page. I hate having to load multiple pages when my Internet connection is slow. So, as the net has a way of doing, it has answered my call. Netvibes.com is basically a page of widgets that you hook up to your facebook, flickr, mail, etc.,etc.,etc.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

get in line

The insanity that is the line in front of the Apple store continues. I passed there twice about two hours apart and a few people I noticed had only moved about 15 feet. That line has to be four hours long easily and this is SIX DAYS after the magical iPhone 3G came out. So my dear friend Alex (aka Frenchie) and I have decided to bet on when the line would finally subside.
Alex says July 28th and I say July 23rd. As long as I'm not standing in that line though...I hope we are both wrong and that the fan-dom continues well into September. Hey, at least Apple is handing out umbrellas for people who don't want to get sunburnt.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

too many scooby snacks

Following up from the last post...After tooling around the Architecture in Helsinki site for a bit I wandered to their web designer and artist sites.

Artist: Will Sweeny
http://alakazamlabel.com/prints.html

Good stuff, I love how the artist fills negative spaces with bright colors. His work is like Dali having a dream about celebrating halloween after watching too many episodes of Scooby Doo. Good times.

Web Designers: http://xy-1.com/mathematics/
It seems like this would be a really cool place to work.
Check out their mathlete of the year:

city, band name

I love bands that name themselves after cities they are not from. Some examples include:

Architecture in Helsinki - these guys are from Australia
Of Montreal - are Of Athens, GA
The New Amsterdams - Kansas

I love these folks because their name choice either came from boredum and a lack of creativity or a really good story. For instance, I once read that Of Montreal's lead had his heart broken by a guy from Montreal.

Architecture in Helsinki

Monday, July 14, 2008

run faster jump higher jam harder

As if I didn't love throwing on a pair of canvas chucks before strollin down summer streets enough. Head to their website to get this song for free. I love it when a brand connects with a lifestyle that goes beyond it's product.

Bravo Converse.

reality is cheap

A friend and I are huge followers of the TLC network. From 'Trading Spaces' to 'Jon and Kate Plus 8,' Meghan and I ought to start a club. However, recently our dependable friend, TLC, has changed on us...With new shows like "The Singing Office" and "Ashley Paige Bikini or Bust", TLC seems to be chasing reality guru Bravo and derailing into trash-ville.

They used to be about teaching "lifes' lessons" in a humorous, relatable manner and now...they have become so cheap it feels like they have lost these brand values. Beyond their show line-up something has changed in the delivery of programming. It just seems so...cheap. Even the shows we love like "Jon and Kate" are completely structured by which brand is sponsoring each episode, there is no real story-line. Awww reality, it really is as boring as it looks. I may have to switch to soap operas.

It's my theory though that Meghan and I will not feel deprived of good wholesome reality for too long, I think Lifetime is going to step it up. My former view of the Lifetime network was that it was just ironing board network - in other words for bored stay at home moms to watch while doing their ironing. Not that I could blame them, I'd be right there with them I'm sure. If not though, there is always HGTV.

going postal

I know snail mail has been out since 1995, but regardless of how quickly I can send an email, there is something about a written letter than can never be beat. I practically can’t pass the mailbox without checking to see what could be in it. So recently when I went to send a letter to a family member I realized how scarce good ol’ traditional mailboxes are. This not only made me sad, but frustrated as I marched around the city, letter in hand, resolute that it was going in the mailbox. After 6 blocks of wandering I decided to start a movement to bring back the box. Let’s go grassroots here people, get out your stamps and start sending letters, chain yourself to a mailbox. I’m thinking bumper stickers “ Support your mailman, stick something in his box,” a mailbox locator website/iPhone widget. I am also looking for help in creating a tribute to the mailbox. I’m thinking multi-media or a folk guitarist and a contortionist. If this could somehow be tied to global warming that would be great, please send all ideas.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

i love a good scandal

A spot for J.C. Penney recently won a Bronze Cannes Lion, great right? Except for the fact that the brand had no knowledge of the spot whatsoever. They were not happy about it either. The creators of the spot, former employees at J.C. Penney's agency Saatchi & Saatchi, said that they had never pitched the spot while at S&S because it would be considered off-brand.

This really makes me wonder...what does the JCP brand represent? In my mind it's cheap, generic, department store crap. The spot in the spotlight does a beautiful job showcasing the clothes in a very casual manner. It's totally different from the stupid models you typically see picnicking and skipping in clothing spots. It maintains a sexy yet bored suburbanite nature in regards to both the clothes that JCP sells and the consumers who wear them.

Check out the article in AdAge.com: http://adage.com/cannes08/article?article_id=127961

This entry into Cannes is a pure example of advertising being produced as art, not for sales.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

playing the building


David Bryd, former Talking Heads member, made the old Battery Maritime Building into a musical instrument. Standing in the open warehouse with strange clicking noises and pipes singing like flutes, you can't help but pause in aw. It's fun to watch the crowd, each turning in circles, trying to find the source of each noise. It's an interesting experience, I highly recommend if you find yourself by the Staten Island Ferry.

Friday, June 20, 2008

fearless

Check out Saatchi & Saatchi's New Directors' Showcase performance at Cannes. I've only watched the first six minutes, it's about an hour long. The first piece is really neat.
http://www.canneslions.com/saatchinewdirectors/

Friday, June 13, 2008

judge people

no really, go for it. it's fun.

Every day pictures of the Cannes film festival will be posted on CannesTags.com where you can submit a word or phrase that image makes you think of.
It's a Cannes specific branch of BrandTags.com and it's good fun.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

only in SoHo

Walking from work to the subway today, I passed Elijah Woods...All I could think was: "whoa, he's tiny."

Friday, May 30, 2008

search engine 3.0

Searchme.com
Ok so it's still in beat testing (knd of like Twine). But, I'm thinking it's going to be a hit. At the recent AAAA Digital Conference, Mark Kvamme of Sequoia Capital introduced it to the crowd.
The brilliance of this search engine is that you can save sets of things that you search for. Let's say I searched for 'Indiana Jones.' Sites would appear in a PicLens fashion. Sites from IMDB.com to the trailer of the recent film, to blogs about it. I would then be able to create a folder into which I could drag these sites.
This is going to make doing research so much easier!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

mus-ethnicity

Could someone who has a vast music library and programming skills please create a website that explores different ethnicities through their music? Imagine it - like Pandora, but rather than plugging in a band/song, you would plug in an ethnicity or country name that you would like to experience. I would call it MusEthnicity.
For example, if I plugged in Slovac, DeVotchka might play. Or Mexican, Grupo Fantasma might pop-up.
If this exists and I just haven't stumbled upon it, please send it along!

breakfast chicken sandwiches and punk teens

McDonald's new commercial for their breakfast chicken sandwich is pretty damn funny. My favorite part is the last line "here's to non-conformity." It appears to be attempting two things:

1. To get young anti-mainstream folks to try their sandwich
2. To say that McDs as a brand is in someway akin to the anti-mainstream ethos.

Wow, that's aspirational. It is also risky. The truth is, what about McDs does not scream classic American?

Someone should also inform McDonalds that the age of the un-ruly anti-society teenager is out. Teens these days are tuned into more than just MTV. In fact, they are more involved in community service than any recent previous generation. Not only that but teens have taken the green movement as a call to action. Rebelling for the sake of pissing your parents off isn't nearly as important to these youngins as rebelling against big corporations. Just take a look at how successful the Truth campaign has been by plugging into that sentiment.

I think I'll stick to oatmeal.

brandsession


Brand Tags is an experiment to test peoples' perceptions of brands. Sounds like a great way to see if your brand positioning campaign actually paid off. That and... it's fun. Try it out: http://www.brandtags.net/

Sunday, May 11, 2008

healthy role models

Objective: So let’s say that you are Kraft or any other food co. that wants to get kids to start eating your healthy foods early on.

Things to know about your audience :
- Kids in school learn about healthy eating and can tell you what it means to eat healthily.
Kids want to be healthy and understand the value of it, the missing link is guidance.

We’ve all heard about the obesity rate amongst kids in the U.S. and fingers have been pointed at parents or marketers, but I believe we are looking in the wrong place to find the solution. Let’s think about kids this way:

Kids are the influencers
Yes, we all know that when marketing to kids there is the secondary audience of parents. We also know that when kids are told to do things, like eat healthily, they don’t want to follow directions.

Now let’s talk about Parents and following directions
The reason that parents are the secondary target is because of the influence that a child has on their purchasing decisions. Parents don’t just choose to buy their kids bags of chips over apples, they do so because they know that their child will be more likely to eat the chips. Kids have amazing influence over their parents. Just take a look at former-smoker blogs and you will see that children are a huge motivator in quitting. A message from your child to please quit smoking is a lot more motivating than a warning label from a governing body. It’s funny how a small-soft voice can inspire change so dramatically in comparison to red-bold and all-caps. It reminds me of the Teddy Roosevelt quote “speak softly, but carry a big stick.”

So now, rather than parents forcing broccoli down childrens’ throats, how about giving the spoon to the child?

My Challenge
My challenge to Kraft, schools, whomever feels compelled to quell rising child obesity rates is to let the children become the teachers. Let’s empower children to teach others about healthy living. This could be done in school by creating a mentor program where kids would mentor younger kids on healthy eating.

For example, middle school students could head over to elementary schools to teach kids how to eat healthily. It could lead to after school programs where kids learn how to cook, go to farms and learn how to plant/pick foods. Schools could create gardens where kids could learn about where food comes from and learn to appreciate fresh foods. This could be done through science classes or even gym classes where health is covered. The food from the garden could go to the cafeteria, or even be sold as a fundraiser for next year’s garden.

One way to bring healthy eating home would be to have a “Healthy Eating Night” where kids and parents could learn together how to cook healthy meals. Maybe it’s a Saturday and kids and parents garden together in the school garden.

Companies (like Kraft) could get involved by sponsoring these programs. Companies that sell seeds could play a big role in the creation of these gardens. Rather than sell christmas wrapping paper, students could go door to door selling seeds.

The key in the kid-to-kid solution to obesity, is giving kids healthy role models that are just a few years older than them and giving kids the chance to showcase their smarts to younger kids and their parents.

Friday, May 2, 2008

http://tune it here

Two music players I have been tipped off to lately are Pandora.com and Muxtape.com. I am in love with both.
Pandora allows you to create your own radio station based off of a song or band that you like. It then plays songs that are similar and helps you discover a ton of new music!
Remember sitting next to the tape player hitting record to compile the perfect mixed tape? Me neither, all I know is that some chick that was interning for my dad when I was like 9 made me one. It's got like Garbage, Nirvana and a plethora of other grunge-punk bands. I wish I could find her and to say "thank-you." Muxtape.com allows you to create a mixed tape off of your MP3s. Part of the fun of Muxtape choosing which mix to pick. My advice: if you make one, name it well. Give those hidden copywriter skills a stretch and you may find that your Mux becoming very popular.


I promise that I am not bring paid to write this blog, this is coming out of true, genuine appreciation folks.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

stories that code well

A few weeks ago in my Portfolio Development class, we worked on digital storytelling for a brand. I know that I wasn't the only one that felt confused by that assignment. A few weeks after it was due though, I found a document that explains it all. What was cloudy, now is clear.
Check out the Naked site, under 'Nice Day,' you'll find a paper called "Once Upon a Time" (nakedcomms.com). The pathetic thing is that I pry read this about a year ago. If only my memory were more like an external hard-drive and all I had to do was click the find icon.
Here are some of the examples that article talks about:
BBC has created a space for Wales where the Welsh can share their stories digitally.

On the BBC site they explain how to hold digital storytelling workshops. The site goes into what kind of a venue is needed as well as how to brief storytellers.

Need something more? Check out http://storyteller.org/ or head to the digital drive-in at http://www.nextexit.com/drivein/driveinframeset.html.

I'm still not entirely certain what the guest teacher was looking for in regards to giving the brand a space to tell it's story. My brand was an online shopping retailer, so it lived entirely on the net. However, I guess a part of it's story could be told by the folks that shop there. Now that's something...
Now if only I had read this like a month ago...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

noises are memories too

I wish I could get a ring-tone that was the old dial-up noise. Ah, the good old days when you would call-up the net and wait in anticipation for it to answer the phone.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

on going process with goals in mind

I am happy to announce that I recently received an internship at Naked Communications for the summer!!! This is really a dream come true for me. Just ask my former roommate; one year ago when she and I drew up our "Dream Life Maps" I swear mine read something like this:
"get into Adcenter," check.
And I am fairly certain the next was "intern at either Naked or W+K."

So what is this "on going process?" Learning. Thomas, who will be my boss (I think?) at Naked this summer, asked me to write up a list of things I would like to learn while there. My list has turned into a rant. I plan on cleaning this up a bit before giving it to Thomas, but here is what I am looking to learn both this summer and in my career...

There is no bigger thrill than the “ah duh!” moment. It kills me when watching a presentation and thinking “why didn’t I think of that!” I even have a folder where I collect creative work called “must kill the creator.” My jealousy never really leads to rage though, I promise, it leads to inspiration. The “ah duh!” moment can not be learned. The process to that moment however, can.
While trucking through research for a project, it can be difficult to wade through the facts and find the BIG, sensational, driving insight. I find the process of fitting this insight neatly into a positioning statement, a strategy, and a unifying idea difficult. Can these sometimes be the same thing with very slight variations? This process usually comes down to semantics. However mind numbing debating what the difference between a “conduit” and a “connector” can be, I understand the necessity for clarity. I truly hope to master this process as it is imperative for becoming a strong strategist.
People in our industry love to throw out advice about the big idea, the unifying idea. While some say it should steer all of your work, others say it does not exist, that big ideas are just lame. Some believe that an obsession to find that one big idea/strategy/what have you, causes us to miss out on brilliant smaller ideas that can be more helpful. This contradictory advise has left me tip-toeing into strategies and feeling uncertain. If my strategy doesn’t ween a beautiful big idea, does that make it useless, or worse...wrong? I am in need of some guidance here.
Speaking of strategies. One thing I need to learn how to do is present my strategic idea in a “sticky” way. When working with big groups (like eight people), I find my suggestions and ideas getting lost in the static of conversation. I sometimes feel like people would pay more attention if I were to perform my idea as a modern dance. Now if only my client were a paper company, I can do one hell of a tree.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Bob on big ideas

My attempt at a campaign math equation:
Big Idea x Integrated elements/budget + execution = Campaign.

The big idea, the unifying idea vs. a bundle of brilliant small ideas. This tossed idea salad can get a bit confusing. Some advertising guru's even seem to be contradicting one another. Here's some advice on the subject from two professionals I greatly admire:

1. "Screw the "big idea," you need a lot of small fucking brilliant ideas! Don't paralyze yourself trying to find a big idea, they usually end up pretty lame." - Brian Collins

An Article about Collins and his new agency, COLLINS:
http://www.mediabistro.com/unbeige/the_revolving_door/abort_clambake_brian_collins_launches_collins_with_the_martin_agency_70936.asp

2.An interview with R/GA CEO/COO Bob Greenberg.
http://creativity-online.com/work/view?seed=1dhV9Heh

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

lose weight and help the environment INSTANTLY

With all this talk about sustainability and obesity in America, the roads in cities across the U.S. are strating to look like a Critical Mass take over during rush hour. People are switching from ethanol fuel to adrenaline, getting exercise during their daily commute and goodwill from mother earth. In Portland, OR, an actual bike gang has locked their bikes together to have a secret meeting a bar. This is no ordinary gang though...this is a gang of liberal, earth-lovers. Don't tell Bush, he would want to bomb them. Interested in joining? Don't worry about having to cut anyones ear off, just head here for info: http://Critical-Mass.info. The funny thing is that when people do get into buying bikes, they don't accept just any ol' Huffy; these people spend a couple thousand dollars on their bikes. A friend of mine works in a shop,http://www.chrisking.com/, that sells bike parts and small pieces that I fail to notice, that cost several hundred dollars. Bikes range from the functional, to the bizarre. I found this guy in a parking lot. He was really cool and showed us how to get up on one of these 7ft. tall bad boys. Maybe I'll figure that out on my next trip to Portland. Or when I get over my fear of bikes... whichever comes first. Start taking bets.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

african peanut soup

This morning I walked 19 blocks to get to Crema, a coffeehouse in Portland, OR where I am spring breaking. If I had not done this walk though, I think my friend Cameron would have kicked me out of his apartment. On my walk I saw a cooperative workers bike shop and was mistaken for someone else by a woman driving by.

Crema Cafe 2728 Ankeny st. Portland, OR
My trip thus far has been amazing though. Here are some things I have noticed:
1. The people living here couldn't be happier anywhere else. They don't talk about what's wrong with the city and how and when they are going to make their escape, they look for what is good and relish it.
2. I have yet to hear bad music. I want a running soundtrack of all the tunes I hear around this place.
3. Latte art! I will post a picture of the latte I got the other day, it's amazing. They use the foam to create a picture, typically some type of leaf.

Currently still working on my book, getting it printed is going to be an adventure...

Saturday, March 8, 2008

packing


Packing for Portland/Seattle and think I may need to go shopping for a bigger luggage bag...
If you ever find yourself in my situation I'm going to share a secret with you...city-data.com. They will give you average temperature, rainfall, even a peek at how home sales have been in the past five years for that market. So, although knowing how much a home would cost you or how many people are in correctional institutions there won't help you pack clothes...it might remind you to bring your mace...

Also, it's official, I'm addicted to caffeine. I haven't had any all day and have a nasty headache. Boooo coffee.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

katsucon '08

It is strange to think that prior to three weeks ago I was completely ignorant that this group of people even existed. Every year thousands of people worldwide create elaborate costumes based off of anime characters and dive into the fantasy world called Katsucon. Katsucon is an annual anime convention held in and around D.C. These actors if you will, put on their costumes and embody the character itself. These character impersonations are called cosplay. At these conventions, cosplay becomes theatrical with a cosplay masquerade when impersonators write short skits based off a cartoon and perform it.

I left with so many questions and a few theories...
I noticed that none of the anime impersonators were taking pictures. Why? Is this like the red carpet for them? On the red carpet, you'll never see a celebrity take out their camera and start snapping pics like a tourist. Does this cosplay make them feel like celebrities?

I have this theory that anime has a lot of philosophy/ancient Asian folklore in it (I could be wrong). If this is true what has happened to these philosophies since anime has become so westernized?

How has anime become westernized? One video that helped me in seeing the difference between anime and other imitation cartoons was this short flick: http://members.cox.net/penguinjoe/SCAD/presentation.swf

An interesting look at the lives of those who have an otaku for anime is a photo essay called "The Anime Within," by photographer Elena Dorfman.
http://www.motherjones.com/photos/the-anime-within/

If anyone who happens to stumble upon this posting knows the answers to any of these...I'd really appreciate any thoughts. video

Sunday, January 27, 2008

zeitgeist

New word: zeitgeist.
Meaning from the mind-set of a different time. Welcome back, to 1988. This song by The Prototypes was featured in an iPod Shuffle ad. Apple has the tendency to be linked to Zeitgeists as it's newest Apple iTouch ad featured CSS singing"Music is my Hot Hot Sex. " Entering the musical time machine, the CSS video is sure to send you back to 1986.



beyond vectors

In my Communications Strategy class we were assigned the study of a sub-culture of our choice. Upon exploring the world of Flash-fanatics, I have discovered that in thinking of Flash as a mere tool for programing, I have sold it short. Flash is not just a program, but an art form.

Here are the Flashforward winners of 2007:
http://www.flashforwardconference.com/winners

Radiohead fans, check this one out:
http://www.lowmorale.co.uk/creep/flash/creep_FLASH.asp

Poetry fans:
http://www.yhchang.com/DAKOTA.html

enjoy.

Friday, January 25, 2008

turkey sandwich



Many of my friends have resolved to quit smoking in 2008 and I'm glad to see it. Although some of them would disagree with this spot, saying that they can quit cold turkey, it is undeniably funny.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

trendcharting


Google and trend watchers have shaken hands and created a trend watching Google tool. Ever wondered which country talks most about pudding? It's New Zealand! Who knew?!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

masters of productivity


Southwest Airlines doesn't have a spokesman, nor do they have a mascot. What they have is a customer. Customer Nick Pudder has allegedly surpassed productivity records by flying Southwest. Thank you, Nick. Next time I feel the urge to flee from my desk and take refuge in front of my tv, I'll go to Southwest and hop a flight to Albuquerque.

http://www.bemoreproductive.com/
This site has tips for wasting time such as playing with your Crackberry.

In other airline advertising news...
Check out the stuff Wongdoody did for Horizon Air.
"The Slog" as it is called is a dusty stretch of road between Portland and Seattle and is claimed to be the longest journey known to western pioneers. Very funny stuff. I tip my cowgirl hat to y'all.
http://www.i-5slog.com/

Thursday, January 17, 2008

the downfall of NYC


T-shirt designer and entrepreneur Daniel Casarella claims that the downfall of lower Manhattan into the slums of five points was the result of the city uprooting Collect Pond in the early 1800s. Whether or not this is true, it is undeniable that 28 year old Casarella has managed to use history to make history in the world of T-shirts. Each piece Casarella and his brother create uncovers a part of what makes NYC's history so rich.
Check 'em out:
http://www.barkingirons.com/6ward/

Sunday, January 13, 2008

formerly known as...

a company that i will work for in the future will go through a name change. a partner will be bolstered into the rankings with the addition of his or her initial added to the stationary. and when the company must reprint the stationary and the pens because of this thousand dollar initiative, i will steal all the old stuff and keep it for my personal use. because even if i am making money at that point, i'll still be a cheap bastard.

so here's to following trends, accepting change and evolving as we must. here's to the brandcenter.

Saturday, January 12, 2008