adidas four minute mile

Whoah. Fast. Beautiful, and aspirational. This new spot from Adidas makes me want to get out of my chair and run.

Eliza, Leigh, Giuli and the other women who thought I featured too many girlie shots on BrandFlakes recently - please note the handsome shirtless male in the screen shot above.

dunkin start stencils

I love it when brands successfully carry their brand campaigns into the shopping experience. The stenciled sign pictured above is what greets customers at the Dunkin Donuts front door. Made me chuckle - even though none of the customers inside looked like they were about to start "running", or have ever ran. This is a great example of the agency being involved at the right level. They didn't just produce some awesome tv spots, websites and advertising - but thought of the customer experience as well.

A quick look at the Hill|Holliday blog tells that it indeed goes further than stencils. Nice.

screen printing at home

I haven't done this since school days - where I made a really cool Adam and the Ants t-shirt. This would be a fun thing to do on a rainy Saturday: Screen Printing: Cheap, Dirty, and At Home.

new bravia spot - better than color balls

The last Sony Bravia spot lit the blogosphere up with posts and lots of oogling. Check out the new one. From BoingBoing.

Clarification: the clip featured above isn't the new spot, but footage of the shoot for the new spot.

Jeff Squires points us to an interview on PSFK with Sony Europe's Senior VP Marketing Communications, David Patton, who discusses the new spot. Thanks Jeff!

gallery of nyc architecture

A wonderful gallery of photos of NYC architecture. Current buildings. Older buildings. Buildings that are no more.

this week at via

Here's what happened this week at the world's most amazing design and branding firm:

The Janet Jackson cover design contest that we produced delivered spectacularly for Janet. Not only did it generate some outstanding cover art, but marketing results as well. Average user visit was over 8 minutes - which means fans were listening to Janet's new single almost four times, each session. Traffic was massive. We're proud.

We received some pics of the package design we produced for the new Headblade Sport. It looks AWESOME, and we can't wait to see it in stores. As soon as we have approval from the folks at HeadBlade, we'll share pics.

We created a program for Protect the Pets that allows veterinarian clinics across the U.S. to become Protect the Pets member vets. This is a pretty cool concept in veterinarian medicine - and should begin the process of raising awareness about the Protect the Pets concept as well. Materials went to print this week, and should launch soon.

Half day Friday - and a nice summer day. Everyone's heading out for fun.

personalized bank cards

This was our idea. I swear. The KBC bank in Belgium, now offers its customers personalized bank cards. Using user generated artwork. This is user generated media taken into the real world. And why not? We get to personalize everything else. This would be a cool opportunity for a U.S. bank.

automatic checkout reduces impulse buy

According to a study by IHL Consulting group, shoppers who use automotated checkout machines make 45 percent less last-minute purchases. To which I say - duhh. It's my observation that retailers have reduced or eliminated the POP displays that feature impulse buy merchandise near these registers. How can I buy it, if it's not there?

The study didn't mention anything about how I'm a line jinx, and that the minute I get into any line, a register breaks, the cashier runs out of change, or some stupid customer decides to make a scene. Don't get in line behind me, or you'll have plenty of time for impulse buying.

amex pong spot

Fun spot for American Express where Roddick plays against Pong. Older, but still fun. From advertising for peanuts.

geeks in costume

ComicCon, the comic conference taking place in San Diego this week is host to all sorts of entertaining characters. Wired has a little gallery of ComicCon costumes. It's either funny, interesting, pathetic or scary. I'm still deciding.

totally depressing info graphic

Moiz Syed has created a growing info graphic that illustrates the death count in the latest conflict. The screen grab above doesn't do it justice - and isn't up to date. Eeesh. From BoingBoing.

"stop making fun of us." -microsoft

Digg points to a funny Worth 1000 version of a mac/PC ad. One commentor suggests that "Microsoft should do their own I'm a PC I'm a mac commercials, except Samuel L. Jackson as the PC." That would be awesome.

back to the future sneakers

Some enthusiastic Nike fans have created an online petition for Nike to create the future sneakers featured in the original Back to the Future movie. They were worn by the character Marty McFly, played by Michael J. Fox. A friend of mine, Per (that's two mentions in a week, Per!), was M.J Fox's stunt double for the skate scenes in Back to the Future - which means he wore a pair of these. I wonder if he got to keep them? If so, does he wear them to parties?

Al Cabino tells us there's a spot for the sneakers, created by Robert Ryang, an award-winning New York film editor.

brady house in CAD

A CAD artist (with a lot of free time) has rendered a model of the Brady Bunch house. He's posted pics on his Flickr page . Awesome to see the house from every view imagineable. From BoingBoing.

jump for v

Virgin's V festival in the UK - featuring Radiohead, Morrissey, Faithless, Beck, Razorlight, Paul Weller, Hard Fi, Groove Armada and other cool bands sold out a long time ago.

So Virgin Mobile created an online game that users can play - and if they win at the game, they get an entry into the sweepstakes for a pair of tickets.

today is someone's birthday

One of the downsides to a digital lifestyle, is leaving remnants of your digital past. I just received an email reminder from an older, defunct Yahoo calendar that I was experimenting with a while ago.

The email indicated that it's someone's birthday today. But, because the data was likely imported from another device, it didn't have all of the details. Just "birthday." So - if today is your birthday, and I haven't greeted you with a "happy birthday", sent you a card, or bought you a gift - that's why.

Since we don't know whose birthday it really is, we all took an afternoon ice cream celebration break in honor of the mystery birthday. I enjoyed a butterscotch chocolate chip. David and Giuli are seen chowing down, above.

Happy birthday!

random logo project.

Make the logo bigger has started a pretty cool experiment. His mission: To create the world's largest collection of logos. This will actually become a fantastic resource for that next logo design project. It's all organized using Flickr. Start submitting your shots today!

ad:tech - tv is changing

Adrants has been blogging from the ad:tech conference in Chicago - and just posted some interesting statistics regarding television. Nothing earth shattering - just more numbers to support what you already know. Television is changing.

umm, what he said.

Whoah. Stop what you're doing and read this post on Logic + Emotion. I won't even try and paraphrase, in fear of not doing it justice.

I can say that I honestly believe we're building an agency made of "Creative 2.E" talent. Job roles change and evolve so much easier in a smaller agency - so we've experienced a lot of what David writes about in his post. But enough from me. Stop and read the post. Absolutely brilliant.

famous logos as web 2.0 logos

Check out this collection of logos remade as web 2.0 logos. Cute.

the hoff rocks the internet

You need an internet superstar that rocks the world. Someone that crosses generations, cultural and sexual boudaries. The answer? Hoff. Check out this Hoffriffic spot for Pipex. They brought on the Hoffmeister as their pitch person. Pure genius.

another reason to go to burning man

What looks like a cursor, is actually a kite. Click through to the site, and you'll see what I mean. From BoingBoing.

beef. now with seatbelts.

Casey points us to a pretty odd b2b campaign, for Activin. What? Not familiar with Activin? It's a carcass application as an incremental process intervention. (Stuff they spray on your meat.)

We've done our share of campaigns for odd or less than glamorous products. But a seatbelt? For your meat?

I agree with Casey - strange campaign, strange choice of analogies. Do I really want a seatbelt with my burger?

myspace offline

MySpace is having some power, or server, or duct tape issues. The screen grab above is what users get at at this very hour. Yikes. Time to put some of that Rupert Murdoch money to use.

ibm "sliced bread" spot cool, but invisible on the internet

IBM has a new series of spots they're running - and one, I believe titled "Sliced Bread," features some beautious copy. It talks about the need to find something greater than sliced bread. But that the guy who invented sliced bread "didn't invent bread or slicing, but applied new technology to an age-old problem." Nice copy.

I'd link to the spot - but - it's NOT on YouTube, its NOT on IBM's site, it's NOT on any of the agency spot boards, it's NOT currently searchable on Google. I'm quite certain that wasn't the case on the day the new Apple spots hit. C'mon, IBM. It's the internet. It's really popular now. Use it.

give this guy a tv deal

Good friend Per points us to Jeremy Klein's site. (NSFW - lots of swear words in really big type that your boss could read from across the office) It's really funny, and I already spent too much time there.

Jeremy single-handedly takes on many of the things that annoy all of us. With his phone cam. Like people who change diapers only two feet away from your restaurant table, or those people at Costco who ask for the receipt for stuff you've already paid for, or the people who get a little too relaxed at Barnes & Noble.

This is sooo ripe for a show, or a segment on someone else's show. He should have a segment on Saturday Night Live - and represent the west coast. Totally obnoxious, absolutely funny.

Jeremy - add comments to your site. Your fans will participate, and make this even better. And - let people subscribe. This is the perfect example of vidcast content that's replacing television.

more approvals = bad design

Paul sent a link to a great post that illustrates how the more time that is spent critiquing a design by the wrong kinds of people, the worse that design gets. The graph above shows the downward spiral of design quality, as more and more people are involved. I'm printing this, and having it framed.

This reminds me of an old quote from Ross Sutherland at Young & Rubicam. "Ads stink in direct proportion to the number of people who have to approve them." So true.

uh, stop saying um.

Mother Tongue Annoyances offers a nice post on how to lose the ‘ums’ and ‘ahs’ from your speech. I know that I, um - could like really use this, and stuff.

worst week in history for tv

According to BoingBoing and a new report from Nielsen Media Research, last week was the least-viewed week in the history of broadcast network television in the USA. IN THE HISTORY. The times, they are a changin'.

this one's for the ladies

Just received an email from Eliza (our copywriter). She's worried that our blog might be going to the dogs. Here's the collage of images she sent, as proof - all from recent BrandFlakes posts.

I consider links, photos and posts with boobs much more the expertise of Adrants, one of my favorite adblogs. Maybe I've been reading that too much.

So, for the females who enjoy men, the photo of Johnny Depp is for you. And so is this, this and this and of course, this. And I'll be more careful of boobs and babes in the future. Eliza's watching. And so is Giuli. And Leigh.

this week at via

Here's what happened this week at the world's coolest design and branding firm:

We launched Janet Jackson: Design Me. The first ever CD cover design contest for Janet Jackson fans. Huge response. Already thousands of covers have been submitted, and the blogosphere is blogging about it. It's cracking the most blogged about charts. There's even some pretty funny entries. Janet picked some totally awesome photos - some never available before, and now fans are having a lot of fun with them.

David also started a new project this week - website design for ima robot, a band that's totally appreciated in our office.

Giuli's experimenting with some new web-based project management tools, that will bring our project management system to a whole new level. We've created our current system from scratch, after many years of development, we haven't found any off the shelf product that can beat it. Giuli's on the case, and I think our new system is going to be pretty awesome.

Leigh produced some banners for KT Tunstall, which will be running on Alloy very soon. She also put the finishing touches to a brand awareness campaign for ProtectThePets, which should be kicking in within the next few weeks.

Justus finished concepts for lots of work this week, including projects for a pharmaceutical company, an intellectual property company and some other stuff that I can't exactly recall this very moment.

old atari spot

Artist Coop points to a really fun, classic spot for Atari's Pole Position.

important rule for creating user-generated content sites

The Guardian Unlimited reports about a general rule of thumb that says out of a group of 100 people who are online, one will create content, and ten will interact with it (comments, etc), while the majority of the audience will just view the content.

This meme is based on observing growth in social sites like YouTube. And this is important stuff for brands that are considering producing user-generated content sites. I believe that many sites fail because they have not taken this into account.

Your concept can't rely on a high percentage of submissions to be successful. Your concept needs to be designed to succeed on the 1%, with the majority of your audience viewing - rather than participating.

I can say from our experience, this is true. When we created the Ms New Booty contest for Bubba Sparxxx, our goal was simple - create an environment where young men will hear the single. And men like booty.

We designed the site geared first for the viewer, second for those who would vote on booty, and lastly for the "booty submitters". What the Guardian Unlimited points out was true. Traffic was through the roof successful - and the smaller percentage of the audience generated content. This was just enough to satisfy the larger audience of viewers.

So - before you create that new user-generated content site - make sure it passes this test: Will it succeed if the majority of the audience only watches?

be a rock star

Press that wax you always knew you deserved. The Vinyl Record Generator lets you instantly create your own 45 single or 78 record. Then you can get your tour going, work out licensing deals, and marry Jessica Simpson.

online ads held to different standard

Eric Frenchman writes an excellent "ficticious" blow by blow for a meeting at New Widget, as they plan to introduce their "New Widget 100". The conversation illustrates the differences in attitude regarding traditional and online advertising. Funny.

snickers fatifies you

AdFreak points to the first known parody of the Snickers campaign. I think both the campaign and the parodies are tasty.

emily is an ad

Update on our post from earlier in the week, about Emily, who's dog of a husband was caught cheating on her. It looks like there's proof that this is really an ad stunt. The same billboard just showed up on Sunset Blvd. in LA, pictured above. Gotta love the blogosphere. Gawker seems to think that it's a promo for the show Parco PI. More importantly, is it really THAT smoggy in LA??

a soldier for nomads

A wonderful little story about street artist Swoon.

janet jackson: design me

Yesterday we launched a promotional contest site that we produced for Janet Jackson, where her fans can design the cover for her new CD "20 Years Old." At design me, users can download photos that Janet's made available online, work them into their own designs, and upload to the site.

Fans can also vote on their favorite covers, and send them to their friends. There's already some really nice designs that fans have submitted - which is proof that user generated art isn't limited to numa numa videos on YouTube.

good idea: register the url for your blog

Dell, and their blog have been getting a lot of crap in the blogosphere lately. And I just discovered the most stupidiculous thing at What's Next Blog. When Dell's agency created their blog at, they failed to do the most simple, most basic task. Research and/or register related names. It turns out that (not work safe) is a porn site, where users can see photos like the one above. Not a Dell customer service rep, I'm pretty sure.

top 100 blog formats

Webjillion takes a look at the top 100 blogs in Technorati, and analyzes them for layout/format. The majority are now in 3 column format. From Micropersuation.

walmart, jc penney - stop being social

Walmart has just launched their back to school (that's BTS if you're from JC Penney) with a "social" site. Please make this stop.

They've created "the hub", where teens can "express their individuality" - as long as they don't express it by communicating with anyone else in the hub, as long as their parents know about it, and as long as Walmart approves of the content.

AdAge interviews an expert on youth trends, who says "Over the last year, we have been getting increasingly bad feedback from teen girls about Wal-Mart in contrast to Target -- especially Wal-Mart's apparent lack of cleanliness, messy layout and lack of stylish attire. This attempt at 'we media' is terrific. We'll have to wait and see if it's enough to overcome in-store issues." HUH?? Customers tell you that your stores are sloppy, and you solve the problem with a "social" website? Ummm, hello?

AdJab put it so much better
than I could. Go where they are, don't try to get them to come where you want them. There's more real power to be had by empowering people than forcing them to play in your sandbox.

This is not social. It's off-target, uncool, and anti-social. Walmart - JC Penney - please stop being "social media" - please be a store, where we can purchase things.

illustration of "jolly" roger bradfield

Check out the trix-riffic post on Boing Boing about illustrator "Jolly" Roger Bradfield. Roger was responsible for some of the now iconic brand illustrations including Trix, Kix, Jets and Mr Bubble.

stop motion space invaders

The best video game ever produced, realized using stop motion, and people. Stop-Motion Human Space Invaders.

a day in the life of justus

Ever wonder what it might be like to be Justus? If you haven't met him, he's the nine foot tall 3 gabillion pounds of muscle on our design team. Seeing this spot for Sky Italia might give you an idea of what a typical day in Justus' body is like. If he were a wealthy, white, famous soccer player sponsored by Adidas from outside of the US, I mean.

that girl emily

This is entertaining. It's looking like a guerilla marketing campaign - but who knows - maybe it's real. Whatever it is - I'm sure Emily will have plenty of readers over the next 14 days. From Adfreak.

how to live happily with a great designer

Eliza points us to a fantastic post on Seth's blog titled How to live happily with a great designer. Ahhh. I feel good.

old school hip hop flyers

I've posted before on punk rock and gig posters, but here's a fresh link - this time, a collection of old school hip hop flyers. Amazing how similar they are to old punk posters. Great creative inspiration from ReBlog.

blog refugee

This is cute and heart-warming. MarketingProfs blog was down for a day or so - and fellow blogger Logic & Emotion offers up his blog to Ann Handley, from MarketingProfs. So, as David titles her - she's a blogging refugee. This really is a community.

so depressing

I still get depressed when I see the first placement of the words "back to school." And here it is July 17, and JC Penney's kicking off their back to school marketing plan. Leading the effort is a microsite JCPenneyBTS. JC Penney BTS?? BTS is the best unique url they could come up with? Do they think kids talk about "back to school" and IM their friends "BTS"? I'm thinking that it's short for "JC Penney Bites."

Touted as an integrated plan utilizing the latest social media - I'm not seeing it. Don't get me wrong - the Flash work on this site is beautious. But that doesn't make it effective. Or social media. Unless by social, they mean - let's try and trick teens into going to several teen oriented sites (our partners), and give up their personal information in exchange for entry into a contest, while visiting the JC Penney microsite. BTS. Puhleeze.

why people don't watch tv anymore

Maybe there's nothing to watch. I was listening to the O&A radio show this morning making fun of news coverage. And they were sooo right. The story getting the most airtime in today's news? The middle east? Nope. Instead: A major heatwave strikes the northeast. "Here's some heat blastin' tips! Drink plenty of fluids..." Really? Wow. This is great new information.

We always find it funny in our office that stories we were reading/talking about a week or more ago in the blogosphere are just hitting the mainstream news now. Why? Don't news journalists have access to the blogosphere? Or do they really believe that people don't know to drink plenty of fluids in a heatwave?

Television news is lazy. Reports on "how to beat the heatwave" are lazy reporting. Or really poor marketing. Like our industry - they need to understand their audience, and provide a message worthy of their attention. And I refuse to believe that "drink plenty of fluids" qualifies here.

So - note to news programmers: Tell us something we don't already know. Give us a reason to watch.

this week at via

Here's what happened this week at the world's grossest design and branding firm:

David, Chris and Paul nearly completed work on a new promotional site for Janet Jackson. We can't tell you anything about it yet - but it should launch early next week - and a couple of blogs in the sphere have picked up on it already.

We ordered Giuli's business cards. Employees at VIA create their own titles. Giuli chose "Control Freak", which now that we know her for a couple of weeks, we believe is appropriate (in a positive way, y'all).

Leigh jumped into her first week back after the honeymoon in full effect. She completed some conceptual work for an upcoming promotion for Protect the Pets, a banner campaign for KT Tunstall and some direct mail design work.

Justus produced new concepts for an intellectual property company, site concepts for a luxury home builder, and several print ads as a part of a campaign for RMI Direct Marketing.

As a "make you spew" end of the week event, we discovered a dead pigeon on our rooftop patio yesterday. As we attempted to remove him, we quickly discovered he was packed full of maggots. Gross.

color like no other

Sony VAIO/Latin America is releasing some new colored notebook computers. Their integrated campaign includes some colorful (sorry) print ads, outdoor, and video treatments.

rss for newbies

It's funny how we take for granted the jargon that we throw around in our industry. There was a great American Copywriter post earlier in the week about how jargon ruined the delivery in an ad. And the other day, as I was typing a header Motorola launches wiki for Q I realized how silly that sounded. And how my Mom would have absolutely no idea what that sentence means.

And my mom isn't the only one. Every day I run into people who "haven't really had a chance to check out blogs yet." Or haven't heard of YouTube. Sounds unbelievable - but take a poll of your friends (outside of the creative departments). Sometimes we take for granted that we're all on the same page on everything. And we're not. So it's cool to see Lifehacker point to a primer on RSS. If you don't already use an RSS reader - stop wasting your time surfing site to site - and give this a read, and try it out. Or send it to a friend who needs it. You'll be glad you did.

good mcdonalds spots

In Canada, the McDonalds spots are actually good.

blood for your fries

This campaign for CALM (New Zealand Campaign Against Landmines) uses ketchup packets to illustrate the effects of land mines. Copy reads: In 89 countries walking on a mine is still the routine.

you tube is so not over

This article in the Mercury News reminds me of teenagers arguing about bands "selling out." Of course, as soon as any cool band becomes popular, they get accused of selling out, and they're no longer cool with the kids who "discovered" them.

That's exactly what the Mercury News is suggesting with YouTube - and they're soooo wrong. In his article YouTube hits the big time in a short time, Mike Cassidy points out that YouTube is about to add advertising, is negotiating with the major networks - and now politicians are using it.

"The new TV is starting to look a little like the old TV," says Cassidy. WRONG. I can't upload a show to NBC. I can't watch Lost at 11pm on a Sunday, on ABC - or share it with friends. What makes YouTube great isn't just the content - but instead how the content is accepted and delivered. (It's the medium??) Yes, we'll have videos from politicians, and from the major networks. But we can choose to ignore them. Or to watch them on our own schedule. And they'll be no more important than the Blunty3000 clips - which, btw, would never make it to "the old TV."

I predict you'll start to see YouTube promoted like urls on the end of shows, on ads, promos, etc. YouTube IS the new network. And it's still cool.
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