nextfest wrapup

Just got back from NextFest. Wow. So much great creative inspiration. Many of the really cool technology developments and inventions that you've read about in Wired over the last few months were on hand to touch, experience and play with.

Since the technology and gadget blogs will do a far better job of covering the technology side - I figured I'd share some photos and possibilities from the creative side. Some of the cool stuff featured:

Video projected onto steam: I can see this used just about anywhere - including retail, trade show, and POP uses. Seemed fairly simple, yet had really nice wow factor with the crowd. People wanted to touch it, because it didn't seem real.

Virtual hugging shirts: Virtually hug anyone, across the world, as long as they're wearing the other virtual hugging shirt. Not sure what advertising applications this has. Any ideas?

Video projected onto product: This was a slick production produced for Saturn. A projection about a car, on a car. Should be in every dealership across the nation.

Roto rider: You may have seen the infamous South Park episode that spoofs this vehicle. These look like fun, and got mad attention with the crowds. Would be awesome at a trade show, promotional or sampling event.

Automatic doorway: This was a little buggy, put people were waiting in line to experience it. Would be great in retail or trade show applications. Or our office.

Video window: Beautiful video projected onto glass. People could walk around it, 360 degrees. Great attention grabber.

Interactive video games: Really fun interactive video installations.

See a few more items on our Flickr page, under VIA field trips.

this week at via

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

While in Minneapolis earlier this week, Leigh, Brent and I checked out Mall of America. Brent actually lives in Minneapolis - so he didn't check it out so much as he put up with us checking it out. I had glorious expectations of wonderful merchandising, cutting edge advertising and outlandish promotions. Nope. Pretty much exactly like the mall in your town - only bigger. And with some rides in the middle. Totally underwhelmed. Brent says "told you so."

Leigh and I had a really fun shoot in Park Falls, Wisconsin, with renowned photographer Chip Simons. He took the shot of the nordic giant high school football player, above. You can check out a couple behind the scenes shots on our Flickr page.

TSA or a La Guardia baggage handler broke our new Sony DV camera. Asshats.

Justus finished a rough cut for an internet clip. Pretty funny. I present it to the client today.

Giuli started her week in San Diego. Bitch. Can't believe Leigh and I went to Wisconsin, and Giuli got to go to San Diego. Not that I'm complaining. When she returned, she implemented the second wave of a direct marketing campaign for Protect the Pets. Momentum is building, and Dr. Robb is starting to get recognition across the US for this cool new brand/movement.

I'll be checking out NextFest this weekend. Can't wait.

spiral photo gallery

Eyebeam reBlog points to a really cool gallery of spiral photos.

nextfest this weekend, in nyc

If you're in NYC this weekend, be sure to check out Wired's NextFest , at Jacob Javitz center. Looks like a blast. I'll be roaming around Saturday, and will give a quick brief on anything that I can still remember on Monday.

UPDATE: Rocketboom has a good preview.

ask about tequila

Hilarious mock pharma radio spot for tequila.

levis puppet takes over town, wears jeans.

Wonderful clip for Levis, featuring a giant marionette, controlled with helicopters. Or computer generated art. You decide. Watch the whole collection.

do you know where your ad has been?

Bad ad placement. Oh my.

leigh gets cheesy

We brought cheeseheads back to the office, on our return from our photoshoot in Wisconsin. Leigh shows how to wear a cheese hat, east coast style.

worst news set ever

While in Wisconsin early this week at a photo shoot, I got to see the worst tv news set design in the history of television. The local NBC affiliate broadcasts in front of a fake log cabin. There's nothing wrong with that really - in fact I saw some beautiful log architecture in Wisconsin.

But instead, they've built the cheesiest (!), poorly designed, fake log cabin backdrop - complete with a bad fake evergreen tree, and a fake huge window into darkness. Of course I couldn't find any internet clips of the news team - and the photos above are from my cell phone, on a bad hotel TV. (Anyone know more about this station?)

It's easy to say that it's a small market, and they don't have budgets for elaborate sets. Of course. But they have access to the internet. They can see what their other NBC affiliate stations are doing. I see beautiful work done everyday on zero budgets. Is there really any excuse for bad design today?

people have fun with elmo

So many people are having fun with Elmo on the internet, that it's launched the toy into the 'must have, can't get, let's pay $150 on ebay' status. It's still well before the holiday selling season and the Tickle Me Xtreme Elmo is short on supply, high on demand. And user created media is pushing that into the elmosphere.

heineken grab

Great Heineken outdoor. I could go for one of these today. From TWENTY FOUR

trippy experiments in advertising

Check out the trippy dippy retro fashion photography, in Experiments in Advertising the films of Erwin Blumenfeld. The films feature some recently discovered footage from one of the world's most famous fashion photographers. From Diablogue.

some cool stuff about small town america

Second day of shooting in Park Falls, Wisconsin.

We've only been in this town a day and a half - and we can already wave and say hi to people wherever we go. I actually had a conversation at the gas pump with someone I "knew" this afternoon. 36 hours, and I think I've met 1/3 of the town.

Today we entered several companies, and began shooting photographs - without a gatekeeper experience. No receptionists, no security folk. Everyone's happy to know yah. An unguarded friendliness that's kind of refreshing.

Three beers cost less than $6. I bought a round of drinks for the whole Park Falls men's night bowling team for $13, including tip.

I'm starting to like the way people say "aboot." I'm going to rent Fargo again, as soon as I get home.

insurance people create good spot

Funny spot for an insurance company. See - you can be creative with insurance - and it doesn't have to involve a lizard. From adfreak.

holograms replacing humans

Intel has created what sounds like a totally awesome hologram, that you can touch. They seem to be focusing on the health care industry - and are using it to train surgeons. Health care? Cmon - imagine what we could do with this in advertising? In outdoor? At trade shows? Dare I say it - porn?

The illustration above is super-un-sexy, and the description of the process is super-scientific. So much so, that I almost fell asleep reading the article. But get past that for a sec, and imagine the possibilities. We could be using holograms for so much more important things than surgery. Can't wait.

party animals

NotCot reports on the launch of Good Magazine. Good Magazine is 26 year old Ben Goldhirsh’s newest venture, fueled by 12 under 25’s looking to change the world by creating their own media voice. Sounds like a publication worth checking out - and there's not a lot of paper based media that you can say that about anymore ;)

fashion industry blossoms in second life

Fashion designers are flocking to Second Life and creating their own digital lines. We've posted on American Apparel's store before - but now other name brands like Adidas have joined the community, and private developers are even making a living designing clothes for avatars. The Wall Street Journal reports that business is booming.

Man - I need some time for Second Life. It's amazing what seems to be developing here. Any players out there interested in writing a regular BrandFlakes update on what's happening in this world? Let me know. From Slashdot.

things are different here

Leigh, Chip and I just finished our first day of shooting in one of the most remote parts of the country that I think I've been in for a while. Four and a half hours drive from the nearest airport - Minneapolis - and one $211 speeding ticket later - we've arrived in Park Falls Wisconsin, the only town in the region with two stop lights. We're shooting photographs for a print piece for the Flambeau River Paper Company.

Some fun things about a small town:

One beer at Feights bar (and bowling) on Main Street, and we've got the history of the mill down. Met "Doc" who has been bowling at Feights for 43 years.

Tomorrow, we're closing Main Street to roll paper down the street, for an awesome shot. This was decided tonight during dinner. No advance permits, no police or highway department notification, no paperwork. Just a - "yeah, let's do that. Won't be a problem."

We're photographing the mayor (who also works at the mill). No mayoral aides, or staff gatekeepers - "just catch him as he comes off the 3rd shift tomorrow."

And the motel in town has free wifi.

car dealership declares jihad

Many Columbus radio stations have already rejected a car dealership's ad, where they make claims like "Sales representatives "will be wearing burqas all weekend long..." Yikes.

nbc puts funny response to detractors on youtube

Adrants points to a funny response to criticism from NBC, that they posted on YouTube. This is the same NBC that had Narnia Rap pulled from YouTube not long ago. Now they do, indeed, get it. They've learned from their mistakes and come back with a really good piece designed just for this audience. Nice.

This reminds me of a recent comment made on Joseph Jaffe's Across the Sound podcast - that we're all learning and reacting at hyperspeed. Thanks to the "flat world", NBC has quickly learned from their past mistakes, and come forward in a better position.

this week at via

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

We kicked off the week with a Monday trip to the batting cages, which was hilarious. Especially Giuli's baseball pancho.

David launched a new microsite for Janet Jackson's new video. We also designed the digital booklet that iTunes users will get when they buy her new release next week.

Justus, Giuli and I shot video for an internet clip that we're producing for a direct marketing firm. A couple of locations, that included a barn with a horse - and even dogs in our office, which was fun. Justus started the editing process.

I presented new design concepts for an accounting firm's site design. We're actually making financial people cool. No, really.

throw away your thesaurus

Logic + Emotion just pointed to the most awesome tool. Or I guess I could now say, the most awe-inspiring. Or awing. The Visual Thesaurus is a really cool web2.0 visual thesaurus. Type in a word, and you get a visual map of all related words. This is going to be a great tool for brainstorming, copywriting, and finding better words than awesome. Bitchin.

watch out wisconsin, here comes via

Leigh and I are traveling to cheese head country next week to shoot the wonderful town of Park Falls. Leigh designed a promotional piece/swatch book for the Flambeau River Paper Company - and her piece tells the story of how important the paper mill is to this small town in Wisconsin.

We'll be interviewing and photographing the locals, and telling the story through their eyes. World-famous Chip Simons will be shooting for us. I'm stoked to be going - but dreading the reported 4 - 5 hour drive from the nearest airport, Minneapolis. This place is in the woods.

Posts to BrandFlakes may be a little light next week, due to lots of travel time, and little internet connection time. But I'll bring some cheese home for you.

remington plays with pubic hair

Remington has just released a video clip featuring "Stefanemonzon", a famous hair designer. Very, very funny (and not safe for work) clip. A quote from the hair designer Stefanemonzon, featured on the companion microsite (also not work safe) says it all: "What do people see when they look at you? Do they see your inner beauty? Your good ideas, your friendly thoughts, your small-time visions? Let me assure you: they don't. It's what's on the outside that counts."

Outstanding. Not to sound like a client - but I think this piece could have used more prominent product placement or branding - and it wouldn't have detracted from the entertainment value. From Adfreak.

what a one eyed baby has to do with media trends

It might seem that this story about a child born in India with only one eye has nothing to do with our industry. But the manner in which it's being investigated does. Wired Magazine is conducting an open source investigation.

It seems that a lot of information about the birth of this baby has been kept in secrecy - and some suspect pharmaceutical drug testing. After running into some dead end leads, a reporter for Wired has opened the investigation to the blogging community, openly inviting anyone to contribute to the investigation:

Anyone interested in the case is encouraged to pursue the yet untested Right to Information Act, the Indian equivalent of the Freedom of Information Act, to locate the child's birth and death certificate and other documentation associated with the case. Bloggers may also be able to find other leads by contacting people in Chennai who know the mother's identity or have information about clinical trials in South Asia.

In the last week, bloggers have been communicating about the investigation through e-mail, on individual blogs and on this reporter's website. Beginning this week, Wired News will join the investigation, soliciting tips and posting updates on its Body Hack blog.

Wow. Bloggers coming together to investigate a story that everyone else has ignored. Another triumph in social media history. Watch as this trend spreads to mainstream media - (if they're paying attention.)

jpg mag brings social publishing to paper

Checkout JPG Magazine. The social photography site/magazine. You can submit photos, and vote on favorite photos. Editors review shots - take voting into account, and then select photography that gets published in the print edition of JPG.

Many magazines are suffering big time, unable to compete with the internet. This is a fresh approach whose time has finally come. It's not a new concept - and I believe JPG has existed before - but it seems like the time is right, now. That is, if people outside of those published will buy the paper-based publication.

web 2.0 meets henkel

Yesterday, I gave a presentation to the in-house agency at Henkel. It's always great to meet other creative people, and even better when they invite you to drone on and on about web 2.0 and blogging - something I could pretty much talk to the fence about.

Anyway - as I was showing many tools and wonderful sites - I ran up against their corporate firewall. It's funny what sites are blocked, and what's not. They aren't allowed to see Technorati - the dominant blog search tool. Yet I was able to show some video sites that I know included less-than-work-safe clips. Funny how that works.

I'm always amazed how in many companies, even the creative people are blocked from sites. I can understand that maybe someone in bookeeping doesn't need access to YouTube. But your creative staff?? There's a friend of our agency who works at a P&G company - in marketing - and many media sites are blocked at their firm. How are marketers supposed to create messages for their audiences if they can't experience what their audiences do every day? Someone needs to shake up IT.

Anyway - thanks to the cool creative team at Henkel. I'm still singing your company song ;-)

procter says folgers viral a success

We posted on the Folgers' viral campaign some time ago. Apparently, they just launched the PR campaign claiming it's a massive success. The video has now reached almost 300,000 views. The MSNBC story smells like a press release from Procter's publicity company - but regardless, I still like the "you can sleep when you are dead" video. And now I'll be singing "Happy Morning" all morning long. Woohoo for virals.

behind the scenes at walmart

Consumerist points to Behind the Counter, a blog by a Walmart service counter employee. This is some great insight from behind the scenes. I know plenty of people who work retail, and the stories that I hear are always amazing - both from the way large chain retailers are managed, and how customers treat retail clerks like sub-humans. Countless stories, regardless of the chain. Behind the Counter is a good read - and a picture of the retail landscape.

arrrr. happy talk like a pirate day to ya.

Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day. Some hardy links fer yer internet enjoyment:

UK headquarters
Talk like a pirate blog
some lernin for ya
the video

mastercard ad banned. priceless.

Supposedly, this Mastercard spot was banned. I'm loving the Spinal Tap turning it up to eleven logo animation at the end. From adfreak.

everything web2.0 is a pretty cool directory of everything Web2.0.

tattoos at cooper hewitt

Next week at the Cooper Union, there's what looks like a pretty cool exhibition exploring tattoos and typography . From the Cooper description:

"Body Type: Typographic Tattoos Etched in Flesh," a free exhibition located in The Herb Lubalin Study Center of Design and Typography at The Cooper Union, is a one time viewing of the photographic research by Ina Saltz, an art director, designer, writer, and professor whose areas of expertise are typography and magazine design. For more than two years, Saltz researched images of tattoos that reference literature, national anthems, self-love, politics and everything in between.

In other words - some cool shots of sweet tats. From HowDesign.

what david discovered about becky

At a shoot last week, where client Becky played the part of a stewardess flight attendant - David has discovered that her costume looks remarkably similar to a certain queen of the trailer park. Coincidence or conspiracy? Hmmmm.

bitching about pitching

Waaaaa. Waaaaa. Big agencies bitch about pitching, at the Association of National Advertisers' annual Agency Relations Forum at the Grand Hyatt. The whining was covered in detail by AdAge.

"We spend hundreds of thousands of dollars every year on pitches where we would be better served if we took that money as agencies and went out and proactively pursued clients that we really want to work with," says Neil Powell, chief creative officer of Margeotes Fertitta Powell.

I know it's true - all of my friends at the bigger firms bitch non-stop about the pitch process. Nobody likes doing work for free. But somehow it's hard to be sympathetic to the bloated, highly-paid fat cats. Sorry.

Here's one of the times where it's great to be a small firm - where all of our work is fee based. And for the most part, quality firms at this level don't produce spec work. In the end, clients get a staff dedicated to their account - not someone pretending to be working on it, while they spend 80% of the day preparing a pitch for another account - which, is maybe proof that the whining is worthwhile...Whatever. Small agencies rock.

how we stay fresh

We've created a couple of fun institutions at our agency to keep our creative heads fresh. Once a quarter, we close the office on a Friday, and do something fun. (Last month, we went deep sea fishing.) We call these staff development days.

Once monthly, we leave the office mid-afternoon, and do something equally fun for a couple of hours. The goal is to get everyone participating in something they've never (or rarely) done before. We call these creative explorations. Yesterday, we all went to the batting cages.

Always funny to see a bunch of designer-types in a sports situation. Most of us (except maybe Justus) grew up as the last person picked for sports teams. (OK, David did play hockey), but safe to say that there's no VIA softball team.

So you should see Giuli hold a bat. And the massive arms ("guns") on Justus don't really hit the ball that far. Slugger Dave seemed to get the most hits, and I believe Leigh giggled more than she swung at balls. Me? Safe to say that if I'm ever on your team - you might want to keep me in the outfield. Way, way, back in the outfield. Or on the bench, where I can safely utilize the stadium's wifi connection.

myspace members first to see borat

The Borat film will be screened exclusively to MySpace members, as part of the MySpace Black Carpet screenings.

Become a friend of Borat, and you'll get all of the details on when and where to show up. Sounds like fun. From MarketingVOX.

what to do when you can't take it anymore

Introducing the Career-O-Matic 3000. Use it to find out what marketable skills you might have gained in the advertising industry. Well done. From American Copywriter.

talk like a pirate training film prepares you for the upcoming holiday

Since tomorrow is Talk Like a Pirate Day, you might want to be prepared for it, and watch this training film.

You don't want to sound like a dumb-ass tomorrow, so watch this carefully, and conjugate like a true pirate.

mmmm. pizza.

Pizza Hut doesn't strike me as the type of organization that would easily approve ads that don't show their product. Or their stores. So kudos to BBDO Singapore for getting these ads approved.

this week at via

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

We launched a new site for the National Adoption Foundation. This is a wonderful organization that's helping to build families. And the site is pretty nice too ;).

Eliza built the strategy, and David began conceptual work on a new site for a financial services firm. Pretty cool approach that we're taking, and I believe that even the finance geeks are going to be stoked. Only they won't call it "stoked." They'll say "we're quite pleased."

Justus, Giuli and I had a video shoot this week, for an internet video - that included a pilot, a flight attendant and a yachtsman (is yachtsman a word?). Not your average video shoot, to say the least. This week we got indoor shots, and next week we'll be shooting at a barn. That one should be really fun. Horseys.

Giuli's bobble head was officially photographed. Coming to a blistering cool design and branding firm's site near you.

Leigh completed concepts for a paper sample book, for a paper mill based in Wisconsin. Really heart-warming work - that will hopefully get Leigh a tour of the mill and one of the smallest towns in the US.

viral video chart

Another great place to go when you're bored at work today. The Viral Video Chart - tracking the most linked videos on YouTube, MysSpace and Google video.

maybe it's just a mirage

Good friend Bill Baker notices that there's something going on with these Mirage logos. One for the famous casino, another for an ipod accessory.

10 years of burning man

Barbara Traub has just published a book Desert to Dream - which is a ten year photographic history of Burning Man. Look for it on the coolest coffee tables in town.

Meanwhile, in the photo above, the man on stilts is saying: "Raarrr. I'll stomp you with my jelly belly and fancy tights. Aaaarrr, I can't see anything in this mask. Where'd you go???" Sorry dude, some guys just weren't meant for halter tops. Even at Burning Man.

universal music: kill youtube and myspace

Something big is about to go down between Universal Music Group, MySpace and YouTube. Either a major promotional/distribution deal, or a major lawsuit. Probably a lawsuit.

One super silly point that is made in the article: "Record companies are keen to avoid repeating the mistake they believe they made when Viacom's MTV was set up 25 years ago -- allowing their artists' music to be aired for free." Mistake?? Umm, didn't play on MTV pretty much sell more records and CD's than anything in history? Hello - Michael Jackson "Thriller"???

Maybe they should read this article about Beck . I don't profess to understand the future of the music industry (not sure if anyone does), but I'm really lovin' Beck's perspective. Thanks Eliza!

help, i've fallen and i can't get up

Great ad to promote World First Aid Day, for the Red Cross. The lady is actually a photo realistic image on a floor decal. Must look even more gruesome during rush hour, as people walk all over her.

is your website ADA compliant?

Target is being sued in a class action suit because their website can't be used by blind people. That's right. What the National Federation for the Blind is suggesting is that because the e-commerce site is a store, it should be subject to the American's with Disabilities Act (ADA).

What the blind people are seeking, according to Advertising age, is "alt-text, an invisible code embedded beneath graphic images that enables screen readers -- commonly used by the blind to surf the web -- that detect and vocalize a description of the image to a blind computer user."

If the suit goes through, this could bring a whole new level of compliance issues to web developers. And a bunch of new sites to blind people.

ultra cool dentist

Here's a place where I wouldn't mind getting my teeth cleaned. An ultra-designed dentist office, in Berlin. I love it when designers or creative people turn typical ho-hum businesses upside down.

Like this dude in Washington who is re-inventing church. For Seattle hipsters.

How can your business be re-invented?

if a graffiti artist cleans, is it graffiti?

Graffiti artist Paul Curtis (aka Moose) cleans dirt and grime off of public surfaces using a shoe brush, water and elbow grease - to create "reverse graffiti." Like the guys who write "wash me" with their fingers on the back of a dirty truck. British authorities don't know how to handle the situation. Nice.

This would be a cool promo or ad idea for a cleaning product. From BoingBoing.

more ad dollars everywhere else

Yet another post about how more and more ad budgets are shifting from traditional media to "experiential" marketing.

People are participating in more media channels than ever available in history - and the old rules aren't working anymore. Smart advertisers are going where their audience is - and that's everywhere.

starbucks brings back boobies

In celebration of their 35th anniversary, Starbucks is using their original logo - the one with the mermaid's boobs exposed - in their Washington and Oregon stores.

A school principal didn't like it so much. And I smell another Starbucks promotion about to explode. Please note how I refrained from all the obvious boob jokes.

skinny models not allowed

A fashion show in Madrid is banning overly skinny models.

Cathy Gould, from New York's Elite modeling agency, says "the fashion industry was being used as a scapegoat for illnesses like anorexia and bulimia." Organizers say they want to project an image of beauty and health, rather than a waif-like, or heroin chic look. Um, I'm keeping my mouth shut. From Adpulp.

zefrank rocks ted

This is a couple of weeks old, but still a great clip of a stellar presentation given at the TED conference, by ZeFrank.

b2b: blogs make sense

If you're in B2B and you haven't thought about particpating in the blogosphere, maybe this is what you needed: a research study that shows blogs have an impact on work-related purchasing decisions. 80% of the respondents in the study say they read blogs. 51% say they read them at least once a week.

So stop being so productive, and read more brandflakes. And some other blogs. That work stuff will be there tomorrow.


I said that I wasn't going to post anything about 9/11 - because I didn't have anything productive to say, that would make a difference - and I've personally been bothered by how mainstream media is treating the subject, and didn't want to participate in any way.

And I promised myself that last night, when I got home, I wouldn't watch the "news" specials. And then I discovered this video on Digg.

A Manhattan couple videotapes the entire event from their home on the 36th floor of a building 500 yards away. This has apparently never been released to the media before, and the couple decided that it was time for it to be seen. The footage is stunning, unedited, and of course depressing.

This is social media. For me, watching this piece was more moving, and more important than any network news special could ever be. Media for the people, from the people.

designer water

Notcot's post pointing to the who needs designer water piece features a great collection of package designs for water. Here's where package design is more important than anything else - and this is a fun collection.

This reminds me of an older Penn and Teller piece about bottled water. Pretty funny, and a must watch for anyone that spends money on water.

writer without computer

Web Worker Daily points to a great post about writer Dan Bloom, lives in Taiwan, and who doesn't own a computer. He completes his work entirely by using internet cafes and web based applications.

The quote that sums it all up: "Long live the Internet and long live mobile computing. I hate offices and newsrooms and have not set foot in one since 1999. Never will again. Goodbye to all that."

very funny ads

TBS brings you a collection of very funny ads. Or mostly kinda funny ads. A couple of funny ads, anyway.

this week at via

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

Giuli went on a quest to find a glass slipper. She doesn't have a Cinderella fetish or anything - we needed a hard to find prop for a photo shoot. David suggested she look at a stripper supply store. No idea how he knows that strippers have glass slippers. Unrelated, she also got to tour a couple area farms, while she scouted locations for an upcoming video shoot.

David's working on a project for 30 Seconds to Mars, where he's creating something very special for their uber loyal fan club. The record just went gold (that doesn't happen much in the music biz anymore), and we'd like to think it's all due to the awesome website design. But I guess the band had something to do with it too.

Leigh finished a beautious and fun invite for a cool party in San Francisco. Bling is the thing. She's also digging into concepts for an amazing print design project for a paper company. We're hoping we can pull off an awesome photo shoot at the paper mill in some remote town in Wisconsin.

Justus is editing a video for use at a trade show, and he completed a re-design for a print ad campaign to run in DM News.

I went to a cocktail party at a ski resort we do some work for - Mohawk Mountain (no, we didn't do their website ;P)- and saw their marketing guru in a dress. (Note the creative placement of her nametag.) You have no idea how momentus an occasion this is. I didn't really believe that Jen owned anything without polar fleece in it - but she rocked the party in great black cocktail dress. Thought you'd like to know.

I was interviewed in two unrelated articles for the Dallas Business Journal. You need to be a subscriber to read them online :( , so friends in Texas - please send me a scan or hard copy!

Giuli's bobble head arrived!! (They're seen above deep in conversation.) We'll be shooting the statuette on Monday, and then it's only days before Giuli graces the main page on our firm's site.

one man fight

Agency Cake created this stirring spot for Amnesty International. Eeesh. Great work.

magazines: will college students read us on the web?

Five magazines are testing a new distribution method to college students. Digital versions of their publications. Because college students are in a physical place for such a short time period, publications have had a hard time sending them subscriptions. (That, and college students don't want to read anything on paper unless it's going to be on the test.)

For the pilot program, students who chose so will get free digital subscriptions. Publishers are targeting the offers based on the school and the publication:
The School of Cinema-Television at the University of Southern California will get Premiere; the Parsons School of Design, Elle; the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies, Foreign Policy; the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, BusinessWeek; and Notre Dame’s college of engineering, Popular Mechanics.

excuse me, but your chest is glowing

I agree with Adfreak that this idea won't likely take off as a fashion trend - but the promotional possiblities of Philips new light emitting textiles are pretty awesome. Imagine flags, banners, trade show displays or a glowing textile covered building.

new type of person discovered

Ad-rag points to a new label for a new demographic. Because our industry just loves to fit people like pegs into holes. Introducing Realitypes: People who live their lives as if they are the permanent star of a reality show. They podcast their lives, film their fun, brand their hangovers and share it all via cellphones and ipods.

we need t-shirt designs

We're starting a new side project here, which will eventually be housed at (not live yet - don't even check).

We're building a t-shirt shop made just for creative people. You know the type. Art directors, designers, web developers, brand managers, marketing geeks.

We're going to accept designs from the public (because we can only design soo many shirts ourselves, and 'user generated' content is all the rage).

So here goes - we'll pay a "wow, now I can retire" sum of $100 for any shirt that we use. And you'll of course get a free copy of the shirt that you designed, if we use it. We've even got a load of shirt ideas that we haven't had time to design - and we'll share our brief brainstorm list with you, if you want it (just send me an email).

Interested? Send your low res jpeg or pdf artwork to: If your design is selected, we’ll contact you for high res art and payment arrangements.

A sneak peek screen shot of a sample catalog page is above. We hope to launch in the next couple of weeks. We'll keep you posted.

giuli got carded

This morning, Giuli was buying over the counter drugs at Walgreens, and got carded. The clerk thought she was under 18. Or suspected something.

I'd question her too. There's a stack of stuff on her desk. Decongestants and things. And let's not forget that she says "y'all." You know you can't trust people like that. I think she's setting up a speed factory, and selling pills to other VIA staffers.

win a free trip to a corporate office

Amtrak just launched a promotion tied to Pokemon. (They're still around? I thought they all died.) In the sweepstakes, one grand prize winner gets a free trip to NYC, to tour the Pokemon corporate headquarters. For real. I'm not kidding - they get to tour a corporate office.

Wow. I can just picture the lucky, winning family:
"And here's our IT department."
"Daddy, this looks just like the accounting department"
"Here's the fifth floor copy machine."
"Daddy, I want to go. This place sucks."
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