get MAD

If you're really hip, you were on the list for this. If you're not, maybe you waited in line for hours for the opening of the new Museum of Arts and Design, last weekend in NYC.

If you're somewhere in between, you'll visit in the next few weeks after the lines have gone down. In the meantime, you can check out the absolutely stunning work done by Pentagram on the MAD identity and collateral materials.

I'm thinking of scheduling a Plaid field trip to visit as a group. Wanna come?

what happens if you have a flash mob, and nobody shows?

Here's one man's take on the flash mobs that Improv Everywhere has made so famous. It's only funny because it's on video, and he "announces it". Otherwise, he would just be that freaky guy that's always hanging out down the street from your office.

don't worry. keep building.

Tim Sanders, author of Saving the World at Work has some really wise advice for this holy-cow-what-the-F-is-happening time. Build something. While everyone else is freaking out, figuring out what to do or how to position it, you could be building something. Your next great campaign. An incredible new brand. Something that your competition hasn't done before.

That's really smart. (Either that, or you should buy Google stock while it's really low.) From Steve Rubel.

chris gets bobbled

Chris, the newest member of Plaid has been made official. All of our employees get realized as bobble heads. Because bobble heads never sleep, never run out of energy and don't eat much.

Now that Chris' bobble head is here, we'll have it photographed and featured on the Plaid website. And then a seed from the Chris-bobble will sprout, grow a pod and eventually take over the real Chris. It's the natural order of things. We're all better now, as Plaid products. Welcome, Chris...

wamu website needs a bailout

Mergers and acquisitions aren't only fun for the employees. They're also a gas for your website visitors! BoingBoing documents the Wamu website before the merger, at some point midway, and what it looks like today. Sloppy, unsettling and ugly.

insert, blow in...what would you call it?

There's a line of underwear called Styx. And they don't get up all in your crack. So how do you communicate that product feature in a print ad? An insert, of course.

I'm more concerned about the face paint on the Styx models. Is that required to wear this underwear? (You should paint your face like that, and see if anyone in your office notices.)

how to watch the debates tonight

If you've watched any major televised event while also watching your Twitter stream, you understand that it brings the viewing experience to a whole new level. Imagine a tv viewing party with about 600 of your favorite friends.

CurrentTV realizes the value, and will be broadcasting a tweet stream simultaneous with their broadcast of the debate. Holy sweetalicious social media TV!! (I swear this was my idea, btw.)

You only need to add "#current" to the end of your tweet, to have it broadcast. I'll definitely be trying this out (although I'm not really sure if we get CurrentTV at home).

If that zombie dude shows up, this is going to be a blast.

making imperfect perfect

American Apparel is doing something pretty cool with their defective shirts. They've taken items with "with small yet interesting imperfections" and made them new and interesting. They've added Helvetica type to this series of shirts. (I think the "d" shirt kind of rocks)

There are plenty of retailers in the world who still throw away their defective merchandise. Needless to say, that's a 1960's way of thinking, and the customers (and our planet) are picking up the price tag.

Here's an awesome example of how to turn that waste into value. What could you do with your defects?

history: the new hot

Here's the second spot today worthy of a post about a brand through time. This Macy's spot totally rocks. Found on Quipsologies.

a brand through history

Here's an absolutely beautiful spot for Hovis Bread. What a grand way to illustrate a brand's history. From Daring Fireball.

how to make your website more human

Absolutely totally love this pitch presentation found on Herd. Daring, bold and hilarious.

red alert remix. it's got a good beat.

Video game freaks will be stoked about the new release of Red Alert 3. And there's no better way to celebrate than a mix of boobs, guns and military dudes set to a good dance beat. Wins every time.

Red Alert remix features a host of B-listers, including Jenna McCarthy, George Takei, Tim Curry, JK Simmons, and other names you might not recognize. Come for the guns. Stay for the party!

economy tanks. artists to blame, for throwing money on the street.

World famous designer Stefan Sagmeister created a street installation out of 250,000 Euro cent coins.

The police see that people are taking the coins (reacting to and changing the piece of art as Sagmeister expected), so they quickly step in to 'protect' it. By sweeping it up. Hopefully they put the coins in a very safe place. Like a good ole American investment bank. From Eyebeam reBlog.

england's hot spot for animations

4mations is like a YouTube for animations. Our friends in England may really dig this, as it's produced in partnership with their famous Channel 4.

Right now, it looks to be mostly stuff from their side of the pond. (You know, all that high brow stuff featuring people with accents.) We need to hop on and start adding South Park videos, and other sweet examples of American ingenuity. And stupidity.

what obama should be doing

The other night, while tweeting to a friend that "Obama should should turn solar energy into his version of putting a man on the moon." , I discovered that someone's collecting every tweet in the world that includes the words "Obama should".

You can see them all together on the Obama Should Twitter page. Tweet your own Obama should tweet, and you'll show up in the stream, too. Or follow and find out what everyone else believes Obama should be doing. This is a great idea for a brand promotion...

how to do youtube advertising

This is the kind of advertising that I don't mind watching with YouTube videos. Totally awesome. From Sean Howard, via twitter

turn a hummer into a rolling joke

Ji Lee, Andrew Wilcox and Nelly Ma wanted to do something to raise awareness about the harms of the monster truck mommy vans called Hummers, rolling through suburbia. So they produced Tag a Dummer.

Download perfectly sized "D" letters and you can turn a Hummer into a Dummer. All you'll need is a printer some double stick tape, and you'll be turning beasts into demonstration vehicles!

Users can upload pics of tagged Hummers while learning about the harm they're doing to the environment. (I wonder what Hummer Brand Managers think of all this.) From Josh Spear

how to talk to your kids about drugs

This series of videos for the Partnership for a Drug Free America made me chuckle. Not sure who I like more - Uncle Ron, or Patsy. Both equally awesome.

polar bears protest in d.c.

To raise attention to the plight of the polar bears, GreenPeace erected a series of homeless bear statues. Communicating their message in their own way.

The police (and bomb squad) removed them, fearful that they were...packed with explosives. Couldn't they have just sent Ms. Palin with a butcher knife, for a field dressing? AnimalNewYork has more funny pics and a video.

google earth = new hot video tool

Chemical Brothers + film makers + artists + photographers + GOOGLE. What do you get? A really cool video. From The Denver Egotist

old film cameras have a purpose in life

This would be a fun activity for you and your coworkers to try today. Get some old cameras from Salvation Army, and shoot photos through their viewfinders. The results are pretty grittingly awesome. There's an entire Flickr photo set devoted to the practice. Here's a tutorial on how to do it.

Found on Boing Boing. Ferris wheel photo from Madame Cupcake.

cooler than any cubicle wall

If your workplace can't handle the whole open office trend, the least you could do is close things up in an interesting way. This computer wall is the most awesome wall ever. On both sides. How many power strips do you think they need to turn this thing on?

everything you ever needed to know about marketing

There are countless lists of the most popular blogs, the top blogs, the best blogs. Blah, blah, blah. Spotlight Ideas actually created something useful. The top 250 advertising, marketing and media posts. Not blogs - but posts. Things that maybe you could learn something from. Think of it as a free college course. Or a really good book. Start at the top and just work your way down.

Geez, that dude Seth Godin is pretty popular. We're surprised that our post about the dancing Ronald McDonald didn't make the list. That's marketing gold.

entrepreneurs: start your brand here

One of the most difficult things for a startup (other than getting cash) is building a brand identity. Coming up with a good name, a strong identity and finding a url that's available.

Greg Verdino points to a pretty cool tool that makes it a lot easier. IncSpring is a site that sells brands. Pre-created, pre-designed, and some even come with the url ready to go. At reasonable rates, too - most are a couple of thousand dollars - which is less than many design firms would charge for the same quality work. That's affordable for a small business.

Even better - the public can vote on their favorite brands. So you can get a sense of what's good before you commit. I like HotCocktail. That would be a sweet name for an agency, an apparel company, or of course a bar. Or an identity. You should just rename yourself HotCocktail right now, and insist that all of your friends refer to you as such.

black: the new black.

It's pretty odd for a bank to do something different. But First Direct has done exactly that, and embraced black as their site's color scheme. Bold, different and remarkable. Awesome. From Noisy Decent Graphics.

google dude launches personal blog

Google's Sergey Brin started a blog. It's called Too. Just like Google is a play on the word googol, says Brin "too is a play on the much smaller number - two. It also means "in addition", as this blog reflects my life outside of work."

What's his first post? An announcement that it's possible that he's at risk for Parkinson's Disease. The New York Times suggests why he'd post that. (Interestingly, his post is now the #4 search result for "lrrk2", the gene perceived as an indicator for Parkinson's.) Originally from Adrants.

yer keep the texting above deck

Are ya using yer devices below deck? Even a hard workin' pirate needs a good long nap to ready yerself for a day of pillaging. So ye best not be bringin' yer Blackberry's and iPhones to yer sleepin quarters with ya.

It's a lookin' like many a swarmy internet folk are a doin' just that. Like that salty, saucy wench Madonna who be pictured above.

da lads are killin' cancer like the vermin it is

Ye only thing more crusty than the rickets is the cancer. This here campaign for the Children's Cancer Institute of Australia is mighty good and mighty scary. It'll soften yer heart, rightly so.

yaaarrr. here's what ye coworkers are writin'

Ever wonder what yer scurvy creative people are a writing in their sea logs during yer meetin? Ye salty dog Where's My Jetpack shares his notes with the world. And he not be writin' down the bullets from yer swarmy PowerPoint slide. Arrrrr.

yo ho! it's talk and blog and act like a pirate day!!

Ahoy!! Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day!!

Today is international Talk Like a Pirate Day. Be sure to address your coworkers appropriately. Adjust your PowerPoint presentations. Drink some rum.

Todd And suggests that we take it a step further. Let's Blog Like Pirates, too. Yaaarr!!

five friend types of social media

Mashable has categorized all of the friends that you keep in your social networks into five handy groups. This is a good primer for someone that's new to social media, and might not understand the types of relationships that are possible.

I believe it goes deeper than five categories, although the cocktail party analogy is a good one. I could meet someone at a party tonight that could very well become my best friend for life. Or a new business partner. Or who will introduce me to a new client. However real friendship is more complex than that.

I have clients, vendors and associates who I would trust with the keys to my house, or one of my children. And I have personal friends that I wouldn't allow to drive my car, or lend $20 to. Unfortunately, not everyone fits into a bucket so easily. So it's not that you need to organize or tag your friends into folders, but perhaps it's good to understand what's possible.

If nothing else, they'll serve as five sweet bullets in your PowerPoint presentation about social media. Enjoy.

your boyfriend is a viral marketer

This is great. Really great. What if viral marketing companies hired people to form a relationship with key influencers?

There couldn't possibly be a better way to promote The Women. (Hate to be the one to break it to you, but your boyfriend is being paid $14/hour by an advertising agency.) From livingbrands.

AIG spots: so much more entertaining now.

Watching the AIG spots now is pure entertainment. They've collected a bunch over at The Consumerist for your fiscally fun moment of the day.

Even better, iPoopDaily received a timely direct mail piece from AIG, pictured above. Oh, the hilarity.

snow white lives in the east village

There's a pretty awesome art project taking place in NYC.

Catherine Bay is placing Snow White in contemporary situations - like store windows, construction sites and the laundromat as a part of The Snow White Project, taking place now through September 27th.

You can see the snowy princess live at various locations around NYC or watch the videos in a gallery setting. Snow White outside of the enchanted forest, without dwarfs, on the streets on New York. That's hot.

is that a penis, or are you just happy to tweet me?

There's a new site tearing up the twitterverse. Twenis takes random Twitter posts and replaces certain words with "penis" and then republishes the tweet. Hilarity ensues. You can follow them on Twitter, of course.

(I couldn't think of a graphic to go with this post that would get through your firewall. Just imagine there's a photo of a Twenis, up above this post.) From BuzzFeed.

we're going to make this as difficult as possible...

There's more qualifiers in this JetBlue ad than exist in many pharma ads. Completely off brand for the airline that otherwise prides itself on simplicity and 'easy'. The "restrictions apply" note at the end almost feels like a joke. Really??

There's an old advertising rule: If you can't explain it to your mom, simplify the concept. Seems like the copy from this new $50 coupon from JetBlue might have benefited from this thinking.

watch your favorite songs sung by art students and internet geeks

Lip syncing. Reserved for select artists like Ashley Simpson or Milli Vanilli. Lip dubbing is for the rest of us. It's fun to watch, fun to produce and fun to share with friends.

Finally someone's created a nice place where you can watch them all together. The Vimeo Lip Dub Stars. From BenKunz, via Twitter

how to make an info graphic delicious

Check out this graph - not just for the politics, but for the beautious presentation of information graphics. Awesome.

non profits and social media

Why go to a conference, when Advergirl can go for you? Advergirl went to a series of events featuring the author of Digital Giving, and shares her notes on her blog.

My favorite nugget: Engage, then ask.

"Why has Obama been able to inspire so many first-time givers? The first thing he asks for isn’t money; it’s a commitment. He doesn’t ask for money until three or four communications in. First he makes you a stakeholder in his campaign – gives you a movement / an event / a task to be a part of"

Some awesome advice here for non-profits, who might not have thought social media applied to them. Think again!

lite brite 2.0

You'd think that Lite Brite couldn't possibly be made better. But what if you increased the resolution? (By adding more pegs.) What if you added animated LED light sequences?

This is the Lite Brite that your parents never had. If you can't afford the roughly $100 price tag of the new awesome brite, I suggest that you just play this video at full volume from your cube today. Play it over and over and over again, until your coworkers begin to feel sorry for you, and want to put you out of your misery.

chucky takes manhattan

This sounds like a typical brainstorm at our agency. "Let's get a bunch of little people, dress them up like Chucky, and let them loose across NYC with knifes."

Well some agency actually got the opportunity to implement such a plan. How else would you celebrate Child’s Play, the 20th Birthday Edition DVD? The video is equally cute.

art vandals

Here's a unique art project. Set up a few cars, get a few friends and start bashing. Vandalism as art.

I'm thinking this might be a good creative exploration. Maybe later today, you could head down to the mall with some coworkers and smash up a few cars.

You, to the police officer: "What?? It's art!"

dread: the next big thing in advertising.

It seems like over 60% of your local tv news is now weather. And their focus (whenever possible) is always dread. How can we make the heat sound more oppressive? How can we make this snowstorm sound more dangerous?

Dread keeps people watching. And dread drives the news (today's financial news is a perfect example.) Ben over at Thought Gadgets has an interesting question - how can dread be used in advertising?

(He also speaks of a bunch of existential stuff that's way outside of our league. We're lucky just to understand that he meant dread, not dreads.)

tech crunch 50. the yammering starts now.

Now that TechCrunch 50 is over, it's time to review the list and see what's hot, what's happening and what works.

The big winner in the bunch is Yammer - a Twitterish tool made just for the people within your company. This has got to be a wonderous tool for big companies, but we think it has value for small firms, too. We're using it to share quick ideas, thoughts and stuff that might not be worthy of a group email, but worthy of discussion or chat. Other firms seem to be doing the same.

We've done a quick review (meaning we looked at the descriptions and clicked through to the sites) of the other TechCrunch 50 companies, and here's the stuff we like:

Closet Couture

Want to learn more? Watch all of the videos. It's the next best thing to being there. Interesting side note: All the good urls are gone. If you're starting a brand, it's almost a necessity to invent a word, or have a url that's a string of words.

What are you loving from the fab 50?

some logo redesigns that work

Logo Design Love features ten successful logo redesigns. My fave is the BusinessWeek identity. There are quite a few that didn't make the list - but regardless, it's a good lesson in what works for brand identity, and how things change.

meet chris.

Meet Plaid's newest recruit, Chris. Hailing from Hartford, CT, Chris joins our agency with some pretty amazing design experience as well as ecommerce, affiliate marketing and interactive experience that has him filled with industry buzzwords.

Chris likes cars. And coffee.
He wears flip flops, even on cold days. Even to client meetings.
He knows old school wrestling, and is a multi instrumentalist. He can play bluegrass. (That should have been caught in the interview process, but we like him, so we're cutting his bluegrass ass a break.)

Chris' last name, Spada, means "falling" in some language and "sword" in another. Some have called him "falling sword" but to us, that just sounds like a Viagra commercial.

Follow Chris at spadachris on Twitter, and welcome him to the grandest of all agencies in all of the land...Plaid.

how to do halloween

Agency friend Casey IM'd me yesterday with details about the most awesomely engaging marketing campaign that you've ever seen.

He's done such an excellent job describing the campaign, that I've just pasted our entire IM conversation for you to enjoy (it's long, but worthy of every word):

so this is their annual halloween event, this is like the 18th year i think. their site has usually been a flash game sort of thingie.
this year it was a doctor's office where you could read a case book, with a new case being added every week since july
ultimately each case was one of the haunted house themes, based around a fear
each case featured photos, an audio recording of the doctor, case notes and other goodies and the date aug 27, 1958 all over the place on aug 27 a matchbook appeared on the doctor's desk that said "kitty kat club, 7 pm"
kitty kat club is an actual place at universal, so some die hard fans went down there and found 2 things:

1) was the office of private detective who was sending e-mails out (if you signed up for the list) with a for rent sign and a phone number on it
2) was a group of paranormal ghost hunter actors handing out fliers in front of the club

the phone number was the detective's answering machine, but the phone is picked up by the doctor who then proceeds to say really really creepy stuff over top of music box music

the paranormal group told people they'd be entering the old doctor's office, which has been closed for 50 years, at around 8 pm
on the nose a cell phone appears on the doctor's desk on the site, which has a phone message from the group saying they hvae located the office, are preparing to enter and expect to send another transmission in an hour
and again, like clockwork two more messages on the phone including a photo of the haunted house's fascade (which somehow hasn't leaked even though all the other house fascades have) and another which is some information about them going in the office at 11 to record video
mind you there is probably a VERY small group of people who would care to follow this, but we were following it intently
at 11 there is video of people entering a building, very dark and staticy, with a group of voices. they are attacked by something and that's the end of that.
at midnight they replace the entire site with another incredible flash site introducing the mascot, the television commercial and final information on the event

Darryl Ohrt:
HOLY CRAP. That's amazing.

And they were texting people the whole time too, if you provided a cell number

Darryl Ohrt:
do you have link to the site?

If you check out the clock in the upper right hand corner you can see the other site, the doctor's office

(image featured above)
They bought 85 billboards in orlando alone. Those eyes light up and the Mary Mary Mary lights up in succession.


another cool party we didn't get invited to

MINI just had a series of sweet rooftop parties to highlight the creative use of space. It it looks like awesome fun, and a classy brand event.

We have a rooftop patio at our agency. Only it's not filled with loungy beds or seating pods or hipster models. Maybe that's a good thing, maybe that means it's time for a renovation. (How do they keep pigeons from crapping all over those rooftop beds??)

Anyway, Cool Hunter has some nice pics of the glorious MINI rooftop, and the party that they did get invited to.

because you can't get enough of the political ads

Would you watch political ads 24/7 if you could? Then you're going to swim in political deliciousness with Adfreak's new launch.

Campaign Freak is an all political version of AdFreak. What an awesome idea. There should be plenty of moose hunting, pig lipsticking fun for the whole family.

this building was not made in photoshop

Check out the pixel building. Absolutely incredible.

what to do after you've had too much wine

Create a wonderous mosaic art piece from the discarded corks, of course. From Coudal Partners.

the world is going to end. will i need an umbrella?

All of the hub bub about the zany scientists who kicked on the magic super collider yesterday has many believing that black holes will be created, and we'll all be sucked up into nothingness. Not to worry. While the evil machine is now running, we still have until mid October before atoms begin smashing.

In the meantime, you may be wondering if it's happened yet. Did the world end? Have we already been sucked into a black hole? Here's a handy site where you can check for status updates: Has the Large Hadron Collider Destroyed the World

It is also entirely possible that the world has already ended in the future. Here's a message from our friends stuck in the future.

For the believers, Ben Kunz points to what it will feel like when you get sucked into the black hole.

If all of this science has your brain hurting, and you only want to know if you'll need an umbrella, then check here.

super cool art festival starts now

Looking for something different to do? The Conflux Festival kicks off today in NYC and rocks through the weekend. What's Conflux?

"over one hundred local and international artists will transform New York City streets into a laboratory for exploring the urban environment"

It's a four day festival of street art, performance art, walking tours, bike tours, workshops, lectures and so much more. It all sounds like fun. Here's a schedule where you can see all the events in one handy place. Many of them are free! There's also a Flickr photo set from last year's event.

Any event where pink space helmets are welcome is alright with me. From Guerilla Innovation.

coolest clock in your office

Make your friends believe that you're totally cool by sporting this super sweet desktop clock on your computer. Or your iPhone. From Veer.

shopping robots are here!

Uniqlo, my favorite store in the world, is getting robots. Not t-shirts with robots. Not cardboard cutouts of robots. But real-life shopping robots. They're coming to the Uniqlo Soho NYC store this fall.

While I'm more stoked than ever to see robots in retail, it poses many questions. Won't they require handlers? And then, what's the difference between a robot and a Disney character? If they don't have handlers, what's to prevent funny hyjinx like someone putting pants over the robot's head? Not that I would pull such a hilarious stunt, but I'm just wondering.

See you at Uniqlo.

vinyl. it never really went away.

Check out this sweet collection of the best ever vinyl packaging designs. Now that vinyl records are back big time (mp3's are so yesterday), this is a welcome feast for the eyes. Maybe there's a future for cassettes, after all.

copywriters: check out this antimetabole thing

The Slate has a wonderful piece on how the speech writers on both sides of the fence are utilizing antimetaboles. I got all excited when I saw the word, naturally thinking it was a time travel device. But no. It's an age old copy trick of reversing things around in an elegant and powerful way.

Read the Slate piece for all of the details, and then go produce a killer antimetabole headline for your next brand campaign. From BenKunz, via Twitter

jj abrams understands engagement

Fringe, the new JJ Abrams scifi show premiered last night. A great show for sci fi/Abrams fans to be sure - but another Abrams lesson in content development for everyone else.

Old school content producers continue to struggle with how to incorporate the internets into their work. JJ Abrams has taken the same approach with all of his productions - and created a winning formula that gives his fans something else to consume, explore, and chat about. He gets that the "show" doesn't end at 10p eastern.

Last night's episode featured a company Massive Dynamic. Well of course, there's a Massive Dynamic website . And I'm sure there are countless hidden jems within the site for fans to discover.

Way to go, JJ. Are you extending your brand as far as you can?

internet kills newsprint, and then captures it for history

Now that the internet has eliminated the need for paper newspapers, some people want to read them on their screens.

Google has just launched an initiative to put every newspaper on the internet. The old, printed ones. And they're going to be searchable, indexed and readable in their original formats.

Now you'll be able to search, zoom in and view newspapers from long ago. Just like old people used to do in libraries, with something called microfiche (sounds like a disease for puppies, doesn't it?)

This is a pretty impressive tool. It's fun to explore, and gives you one more reason never ever leave your home. Or to even open the door. Just stay where you are.
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