fry workers need to laugh more

Typical to their being about 3 days behind the blogosphere, I saw some coverage on broadcast news last night about the K-Fed Superbowl spot. Fry workers are all up in arms about it. C'mon. Have we completely lost our sense of humor? Are we allowed to laugh at anything anymore? Adrants put it best.

At least Nationwide is getting a ton of extra press and publicity, and KFed is collecting a paycheck. (Not sure there's anything actually good about that last one.)

see how cavemen live

Crazy about the cavey? Geico has created the Caveman's Crib. Caveman fans can rejoice and explore, hang out, or watch tv with the caveman. (They should have included an episode of Captain Caveman.) You can even pick out outfits for him to wear. I'm actually enjoying his iPod. And I've already spent way too much time there. Really well done. Found on MakeTheLogoBigger.

monster trucks were here

Great idea to promote a monster truck rally, in Canada.

justus is not a blipster

That last post reminded me how we recently discovered that Justus likes Tears for Fears. Don't get me wrong - he's as down with Jay Z as anyone else, and could still kick your ass if you make fun of him, but he's not a blipster.

I'm pretty sure that black and white people would unite in their laughing at Justus, and his love of Tears for Fears.

Just in case you were wondering.

it's safe for black people to rock out now.

The New York Times has a great piece on how it's becoming more acceptable for black people to rock out. Because according to some of the kids they interviewed, black kids who are into rock (or anything other than hip hop) get made fun of. By black and white kids.

Patti Smith referred to alt rockers as "outside of society," in one of her infamously controversial songs, which applies to all punk rockers, regardless of color.

But marketers need a cleaner, hipper word to describe a new audience. So of course, our industry has risen to the challenge, and created a new buzzword to describe the new black hipsters: Blipsters. Use it at a cocktail party this weekend, and impress your friends.

Living Colour, Bad Brains, you guys were ahead of your time.

levi's ad gets religious

Look closely at the denim towards the bottom of this Levi's ad. The copy translates "Together we welcome the day of victory. Happy Idul Fitri 1427H."

Stunning conceptual and design work. It's cool to see how diverse the Levi's brand can be, in different countries, in front of different audiences. In the U.S. of course, you could never mix a religious message with branding for blue jeans. Or at least in the middle part of the country ;). Reminds me of how religious I am about wearing jeans. Work by OgilvyOne Worldwide, Jakarta, Indonesia.

create a thing a day

One of my favorite places in the world, Eyebeam, is promoting a fun, inspiring creative exercise for the month of February. It's called Create a Thing a Day.

You can participate, too. Just create something everyday, and upload it (or a photo of it) to the blog. You can see the work here, starting Thursday February 1.

Personally, I'm far too lazy to commit to 28 days of creation. I prefer to live vicariously through the more ambitious creative people who submit their work to the blog. You can do the same, or if not - you've got two days to prepare for the next 28.

where men get haircuts

Nice ads for a barbershop. Proof you can do wonderful creative work for any business, any service, any product. Think of this ad the next time you're up against a message that seems impossible, or a product without any obvious benefits. Great work.

teriyaki boyz use youtube as video concept

The Teryaki Boyz, super cool Japanese hip hop artists, just produced a very innovative music video.

The whole thing takes place inside a YouTube window frame. Which must look completely awesome on real TV. Cool idea. Who will be first to use this idea in a commercial? From TV in Japan.

best local spot ever

Geez, I hope we see stuff this good during the Superbowl. This is SOOOO ripe for parodies. Endless possibilities. From adfreak.

real mystery shoppers

This should probably be filed under "obvious", or "duh,", but it's always surprising how businesses - especially retailers - underestimate the power of the average customer, now that blogging is commonplace.

The MIT Advertising Lab points to what they call the real mystery shoppers. People with cell phone cams or digital cams and a blog. Or people with access to the thousands of consumer blogs...well, I guess everyone.

The pressure has never been higher for retailers to deliver a consistent brand experience across all stores. Or else.

good stuff to keep you unproductive

Two really impressive Flash productions have come to my attention in the last couple of days.

The first, Roxic, allows users to create their own animated character, who immediately comes to life, replicates into a cast of thousands and dances. Your character dances live, until he's replaced by the next user's character. It's social. Pretty cool.

Next is Hedgehog, which I guess works a little like Sonic the Hedgehog (hence the name), but I'm really not sure, not having been a hedgehog fan. I've got a pretty short attention span for video games, especially Flash games. Everything has been done before. But Hedgehog is pretty cool. The game play isn't anything you haven't seen before - but the fluid, smooth Flash work is awesome.

Careful, it's Monday. Your boss will expect some work to be done today.

aluminum dream machine

Of course, we'll never likely see something so cool actually make it to production, but it's always fun to dream. Ford teams with Airstream, to produce a shiny cool car. From Rebel Base.

this week at via

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

Our accountant stopped by to do our audit, year end close, or whatever it is accountants do when they're locked in a conference room all day. We try and keep our distance from guys in suits. Even though our accountant is cool, and travels with his dog, Jackson. (Likely the only Nova Scotia Duck-Tolling Retriever in Tribeca)

David, Giuli and I shot some awesome video and still photos for a project we're doing with Spherion. We were shooting in HD video for the first time. The shots looked awesome. Pretty amazing day - video, still photography, and two sound stages working overtime. Our makeup artist used an airbrush for the actors - which I guess is standard for HD, but is pretty amazing to see.

Leigh nearly launched an online valentine promotion for Joss Stone. Should be live for next week.

I presented concepts to a new construction and development company. Justus is producing a really unique print collateral piece that should totally rock their industry.

It was ONE DEGREE outside this morning. I'm dreaming of a Santa Monica office at this very moment.

whole train tag

AdAge reports on a whole train tag in NYC. Incredible piece - and it's not clear who is behind this. Art, commerce, or both? In the meantime, enjoy.

beware of the photolurkers

In the old days, it was called stalking. But with web2.0, looking through someone else's photos has a name. Photolurking. That's what Britain's New Scientist has dubbed people who check out other people's Flickr pages. (Actually, isn't that what Flickr is all about?)

The New Scientist has identified labels for a host of popular web 2.0 afflictions - like egosurfing, Wikipediholic, and cyberchondriac. Check it out and see where you fit in. Zombie photo above has absolutely nothing to do with any of this. But it's Friday. Why not?

subliminal ad for mcd's?

Well, if you've seen it on the internet, it must be true. Lots of YouTubers are getting excited about an alleged subliminal, one frame ad for McD's, on the Iron Chef. I smell hoax.

nike instore posters

Some cool in-store posters promoting John McEnroe's new kicks for Nike.

big agency life will lead you to kill people

I guess that's the message this clip is trying to send. Legendary creative superstar Chuck McBride, apparent heir to Lee Clow, has been talking about starting his own superstar firm. Or people are talking about it, so he created this in response. I don't know. But everyone's writing about it. That's what happens when you pretend to bludgeon people to death with a Clio award. Weird.

in other words...


I like these ads for Nova Schin Beer. They've got a unique design feel that stops you in your tracks and makes you want to explore. And they also boast a great payoff copy line - "In other words...BEER!" Can't you just imagine using that line, in soooo many social situations?

I think I'll find a reason to use those words sometime this afternoon. It feels great to say..."in other words...BEER!"

mac ads in japanese

Just as charming as the original.

the new office casual

Apparently leggings for guys are all the buzz. On a bike, ok. At the gym, perhaps. But on casual Friday? Just not feeling it.

will it ever be appropriate?

The headline reads "For Nature, Everyday is 9/11." Even though this ad is incredibly effective and on point, I still get that weird feeling in my stomach when I see the image.

The question is, when would it be appropriate to incorporate 9/11 into advertising? Would it ever? If the ad featured Pearl Harbor, I wouldn't feel queezy. (But it wouldn't be as effective.) So, if time heals all wounds, when would be appropriate? Thanks Casey!

every single ad in times square

Ironic Sans has photographed every advertisement in Times Square, and put them all on one page. For your viewing pleasure. I've only featured Mr. Peanut - cuz he rocks like no one else with a monocle can.

curiosity captures the customer

The Waygood Gallery in the UK has found a fun way to get pedestrians interested in an art show. Peep holes.

beep, creak find new opportunities

It's good to see Beep and Creak getting work today. What with the downsizing, and all. Very creative spots for Recruit Ireland. Work by Head Gear Animation, Toronto & Chemistry, Dublin.

millions of people can't be wrong?

This Blog Sits at the: has a great post about American Idol. 40% of the homes in the US are watching. 40% of the homes. 40%. That's a lot of eyeballs on Coke logos.

Grant imagines the scenario where the show was being pitched to Coke, before episode one was ever produced:

Tell me again what it is, again.

Well, the show travels America and invites people to try out...and become the next American idol.

The next what?
What, like an Easter Island idol?
No, you know, like a really big star.
But when you find them they're total nobodies?
Don't you have to be Clive Davis to do this?
Well, actually, it's a competition. The nation will vote.
So it's a talent contest.
Well, yes and no.
I thought talent contests died in the 1950s. On the west coast. Kitsilano showboat, wasn't it? The spring of 1959?
Well, yes, but this is brand new. Completely different.
Precisely the same, but completely different?

And the question is of course, how do you make the right decision, when you're in the same position? Grant has some wise advice on the thought process you might want to consider.

revolution health is well, revolutionary?

This is an interesting launch. It's a great example of new internet tools, design and thinking being brought to something that you thought was already done - or even overdone. Or so boring, and already done by everyone else, that it's not worth looking at again.

Health Care information. Health care sites are hardly exciting, and it would seem like that's been pretty well covered on the interweb. But Revolution Health has come at the health care industry with a new angle. Dare I say, a "web 2.0" angle.

It's also interesting that Steve Case is involved in this. Maybe now is the time to reinvent everything that's already been done on the internet. Can design and new internet tools reinvent your business? From BrainFuel.

who's in the superbowl

Adland features a nice rundown of who's playing in the Superbowl. Or at least the part of the game you care most about. ;)

The "KFed behind the scenes waste of your time" clip featured above is from AdFreak. It's not my fault.

for the ladies in our office...

Miss having a man around? A dating service reminds people about your significant other's annoying habits. And don't worry - there's a version for the men too.

second life, half life - some uses in real life

There's been a lot of debate about any actual marketing value for Second Life. Many of the complaints we hear are related to "but what do you do in Second Life?" And I've posted before about how some brands are wasting their users time.

It sounds like Universal Pictures is on the right track. They've created an "in life" contest, where a participant can win one million Linden dollars. They've duplicated a hotel from the film Smokin' Aces in Second Life, and users can hunt down other people. Or something like that - we haven't checked it out yet. We're very busy in our first life.

Which, btw - you have to check out the hilarious Second Life parody, Get a First Life. Pretty funny.

Meanwhile, some zany architects have come up with a unique use for the Half Life game engine. Half Life is a pc game, evolved from an older PC game Quake. The gamers really dig it. So anyway - some developers/architects/people with a lot of time created a walk through of Frank Lloyd Wright's infamous Kaufmann House. The video clip is above.

Some architects are contemplating the game engine's use for client presentations. Cool, but I actually think that one might be better in Second Life.

Confused about life yet?

this week at via

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

Leigh started work on a special Valentine project for Joss Stone. Mmmmm. Joss Stone.

David and Giuli cast for a production that we're shooting next week. There are eleven parts to cast for, and a wide range of talent. David really wanted to include the model pictured above, but we didn't think the client would go for it, since it's a corporate audience. (Mostly, it was Giuli who disapproved - I personally didn't see anything wrong with her. Giuli's always getting in the way like that.)

We came SOOO close to launching three sites, for three different clients. So frustrating when you're 99.9% there, and can't get that one last thing done. Or approved. Almost...

We installed some enhancements to our alarm system, after last week's office break-in. Mostly Vietnam style boobie traps. Hehe.

Winter arrived. It snowed last night. First time ever that WE received snow AFTER southern California, Texas and Florida. There will be snowboarding this weekend, for sure.

my name is dr zhivago

I always do this when I order pizza for pickup, but had no idea this was a trend at the coffee joint. People are giving fun, creative names to the coffee dude at Starbucks, so they can call out something better than "Jim" when your order is ready.

I'm going to to use the name "Dr. Zhivago," next time. Not because I'm a fan of the movie (or have even seen it), but I just like the way that sounds, being yelled out in Starbucks. What would your name be? Thanks Eliza!

emails with good design

Html emails, email blasts, whatever you want to call them - never seem to get the design attention of other collateral. Campaign Monitor has put together a gallery of some of their client's best email designs. From StyleGala.

And separately, Goodings Goodies points to one of the single best email concepts I've seen. VERY cool.

grand theft coke

I wanted to hate this spot. Thinking nothing could spoof Grand Theft Auto, and come off well. But I love it. Really, really love it.

I wonder how it was pitched. "A spoof of Grand Theft Auto, but we'll twist it into a positive message, with an uplifting inspirational soundtrack." Yeck. Can't see that getting out of the boardroom. Or the brainstorm at the agency. A testament to Wieden + Kennedy's ability to be brilliant, and recognize great ideas. Sweet.

top 100 campaigns from the last 100 years

Adage lists the top 100 ad campaigns of the last 100 years. Campaigns qualified for the top 100 by meeting at least one of three criteria:

1) If it was a watershed, discernibly changing the culture of advertising or the popular culture as a whole.
2) If it itself was credited with creating a category, or if by its efforts a brand became entrenched in its category as No. 1.
3) If it was simply unforgettable.

Reading the list brought up a bunch of great stuff I'd forgotten about, or haven't seen in a really, really long time. Worthy of some valuable YouTubing time today, regardless of what your boss says.

burn your suit(s)

Mark Cuban is my new hero for today. Mark Cuban doesn't wear a suit. And he can't figure out why anyone does. An excerpt from his post:

If you are a CEO , are there not better things your employees could spend money on than multiple suits, ties, dress shirts, dress shoes, dress socks, dry cleaning, and all the other associated costs ? Gee, no suits would be the same as giving your employees a tax free raise. Think that might make them happy ? Or do employees consider having to spend money on suits a perk ?

I'm the same way with jeans. I'll look for any excuse to wear jeans every day. Today I've got a new client meeting and an anniversary party for a non-profit. I'll be wearing jeans to both.

But I think I like Mark Cuban's philosophy most because I look silly in a suit. Pretty much like a little kid dressed up to go to someone's bar mitzvah.

But if you look really good in a suit, and want to buy the one pictured above, here's the details, from GQ magazine:
Suit, $283, by Perry Ellis. Shirt, $325, by Michael Bastian. Tie, $145, by Jil Sander. Shoes, $595, by J.M. Weston.

Mark Cuban post found at Signal vs. Noise.

what if big brands went web 2.0

This has been all over the internet 3 times already - but just in case you missed it, someone's created web 2.0 logos for a few of the most recognized brands. Fun.

mmm. muhammad ali birthday snacks

Today is Muhammad Ali's 65th birthday. If you're looking for a way to celebrate, rather than punching your co-worker in the face (although, that's always a good one), try the new line of Muhammad Ali energy snacks.

Called GOAT (Greatest Of All Time), the snack is currently only available at five colleges in the US.

Personally, I don't like anything goat in my mouth - but might try it just because the logo rocks so hard. As does Ali. From AdFreak.

how to maximize your creative output

Steve Pavlina writes some outstanding advice on how to get your creative flow on. Worthy of a bookmark. Or, you could always buy the Thinking Cap, pictured above.

cocolico showcases green design

Cocolico is a site that celebrates design. And green. Each day they focus on a new, smart, green design. Product, architecture, automobile, whatever. And it's fun to say their name out loud. Cocolico. I like to say it with an accent. Try it. From UnBeige

pepsi reinvents. again and again.

The Pepsi can will be going through constant change this year. According to Cie Nicholson, their chief marketing officer, they plan on coming out with new can designs every 3 to 4 weeks, resulting in at least 35 new can designs this year.

Assuming we're not just talking about xmas and 4th of July cans here, this is a big deal.

Grant McCracken writes an astute post on how now is a time where brands must "meet change with change." Beautifully put.

As one commenter points out, "the package is the one anchor for most packaged consumer products", which of course a lot of package designers and branding experts would historically, be quick to protect.

But this is a new era for brands. And things are changing at a faster pace than ever before. Pepsi's 35 cans may be a new benchmark. The next way to do business. Maybe it's time for your brand to be wearing a new sweater.

online videos branded as yours. with ads.

MIT Advertising Lab points to InVideo from Adbrite, a video player that allows you to embed ads within the player, and put your logo on the video. And then you can upload them to YouTube or the other video sharing sites. Pretty cool. Lots of discussion on both sides of the fence over at Techcrunch. We'll definitely be checking this out.

music with your gas

Total gasariffic promotional idea: A free song with every fill up.

Dresser Wayne calls their reinvented gas pump the Ovation iX. It's a gas pump with wifi, with speakers, with video screens, and some other stuff. Of course, the obvious would be real-time news, promotions, and content. But with the internet at your pump, anything's possible. Like a free song with every fill-up. I'd never get gas anywhere else.

Apple should get into the petroleum business, and create iPumps. And Apple gas.

9 bottles of beer on the wall...

Beautiful design work for a a series of posters promoting Stella Artois.

youtube happy hypno video

A fun production that claims to hypnotize you to happiness. Killer idea for a promotion.

MINI billboards customized to car owners

I bought a MINI a few months ago, so I've been able to experience their self-promotion first hand. It's really amazingly impressive branding machine, that doesn't end when you drive off the lot.

Nearly every month after my purchase, I've received something special in the mail from MINI. Everything from a "MINI parking" stencil kit, to a box of car entertainment goodies. This is quite effective in turning brand enthusiasts into brand evangelists. MINI owners feel like they're in a special club. I've never experienced this with any other auto brand.

So it's no surprise to see their latest outdoor campaign. They're sending RFID key fobs to MINI owners in select cities. You can then go online and program your own message. Then, when you drive your MINI under the billboard, it displays your personal message, for everyone to see. I wonder if they'll allow expletives.

tide illustrates waste

Cool series of ads for Tide promoting more ecological washing.

tv. changing big time.

This will be a fun few years, watching television explode into something entirely different.

hotel built in a hole

Breathtaking architectural design for a hotel built in a quarry.

this week at via

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

Justus won Lotto. Not enough to retire, but a few thousand dollars. And then he ran to the Apple store. Because that's what designers do, when they fall into money.

We were robbed. Some asshat broke into our office over the weekend. Funny, that after smashing through a window, he walked right past several g5 computers, an iBook laptop, and loads of expensive video equipment. He opted instead to rifle through drawers, looking for cash. Hehe. Cash. In a design firm. Clearly, he didn't understand. Luckily, our alarm system worked, and scared him off before he had time to realize his stupidity.

We presented conceptual internet work for new client Spherion. Looks like this will be a fun project, some cool people, and spectacular end results. More later.

Presented conceptual work for an accounting firm's website, an outdoor adventure program company, and dug into concepts for a Kayak manufacturer. We're off to a good start in January!

Winter came for a day. It was cold on Wednesday. But today it's back near 50 degrees. We all want to snowboard. Bad.

soviet roadside bus-stops

BoingBoing points to a wonderous gallery of photos featuring Soviet roadside bus shelters. Amazing diversity in design style.

sears in second life: as boring as the real store.

Sears just launched their joint in Second Life. And the press has been rejoicing in the news that there's a place where you can explore custom kitchens, and design your own kitchen.

I've used Second Life as a reference tool, in this way. Showing a virtual property (the W Hotel) as an example of interior design that I was looking to refer to in the real world. It works. So I was pretty stoked to check out the new Second Life Sears, and try their custom kitchen maker.

Well, let me save you some time. It sucks. You can choose from about three kitchen styles, and from three different cabinet styles. Oooh - and two different countertops. Picture what a Flash developer might have created back in 1997, for the internet. It's almost that good. That's my "custom" kitchen, pictured above. (And yes, my pants are pretty badass. Thanks for noticing.)

Lots of brands are entering Second Life, and getting real world press for it. Obviously, the people who are writing the articles about Sears in Second Life, and the people who are reading the articles about Sears in Second Life, will never actually go into Sears in Second Life. If they did, they'd be pissed.

Imagine sending a press release out that you've produced a website where users can choose from THREE different door styles, and see what they look like on a stock kitchen? Think any media would pick that story up?

Marketers need to make sure what they're doing in Second Life actually provides some value. To an audience IN Second Life. Stop thinking about what users might expect on a website, and attempting to translate that to Second Life. It's a different media, altogether, and deserves a different approach.

Now, if you'll excuse me, my pants and I have a meeting at the W Hotel.

a kodak moment

The Kodak production above has been around the internet for a few weeks now - and viewed by well over a hundred thousand people. It's acclaimed viral status because it's entertaining, and it resonates truth and emotion. (Although a little long, IMO)

Of course, everyone's talking about Rosie and Donald. I believe their brew ha-ha captures the public's attention for some of the same reasons. They're throwing political correctness out the window, and telling it like it is. Donald's hair. Rosie's weight. And Kodak's Advantix. Things people might talk about in their homes or offices everyday. (OK, it's been a while since anyone brought up the Advantix mistake).

Virginia over at Brains on Fire has a good post pointing to the same clip, and some wonderful words about being honest, and admitting mistakes. And how, sometimes that's necessary to keep your brand connected to it's audience.

what to do with the gap

A bunch of business hot shots and branding geeks, (like Seth Godin, Love Goel, a former Federated executive, Kerry Feuerman, creative director at Fallon and a few others) talk about how to fix the Gap, in this week's AdAge.

Another idea: They could just make clothes that people want to wear.

just one iphone post

One of the true amazing stories here - other than Apple pretty much wiping CES off the map, is how they kept the iPhone a secret. With so many partners, like Cingular, Yahoo, Google, and the countless employees who worked on the project.

This Fortune article gives some insight into how they kept everything hush hush. And now, I'll do the same, and try hard not to fall into the iPhone multiple blog post syndrome that you can get everywhere else.

pictures to send to friends

Excellent idea. Others in the series include "Congratulations" and "Miss You." Who needs to buy cards anymore? From Twenty Four.

typography pin-up girls

Definitely racy, but so not dirty. This calendar is an Epica Award winning self-promo piece from Taylor Lane. What designer (male or female) wouldn't happily display these hotties? Evidently, while the calendar was hanging on walls all over Britain, Taylor Lane experienced a 25% increase in business from new and existing clients. Hmmmm.
From ChattingInTheLadiesRoom

diy sticker campaigns

Wallspankers, a quarterly street art publication is stickerlicious. How Design points to this pdf piece that you can download, enjoy, and if you're so inclined, print the artwork out onto decal sheets. Right from your own home.

I've had a fascination and appreciation for sticker art since the punk rock skateboarding days. And there are some awesome artists represented in Wallspankers.

This is also a great promotional idea for any brands that can benefit from street cred, or unique yute marketing. We produced a street team site many months ago for band 30 Seconds to Mars. Fans used it to make their own street team tools, including stickers (can't find the link now, or it's no longer live, sorry). The site was a huge success.

What can you be supplying your fans to help them sell your brand?

call crime stoppers

DDB Toronto has produced a great spot which reminds us that crimes can't be solved without details. And that Crime Stoppers needs details from those who witness them. And that it's weird having a gun pointing at your face.

mars bars cause shrinkage. oh my.

Umm, umm, yikes. When I first saw this, I laughed, and thought 'that's a funny way to show how cold something is.'

But after a few seconds more, I'm thinking...gross. So, if I eat a Mars Bar, my junk will just shrivel up inside me? And it's obvious by the comments on AdsoftheWorld that not everyone understands male shrinkage. Bad, bad, bad, bad concept.

A negative image is now forever planted on my skull, and assigned to "Mars Bar." I think that's what they call "brand baggage."

you could die tomorrow.

Or even later today. Sorry to kick off with a total bummer - I was just blown away by David Armano's post from the other day. Eeesh. Live for today.

letters rock out

The Society of Illustrators has what looks like a fab show, at the Museum of American Illustration. Titled Letter as Image/Image as Letter, the show features work from world famous illustrators like Gerard Huerta, the designer of the AC/DC logo. Going on now through January 27, if you're in NYC.
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