Here's a special SuperBowl episode of Friday Flakes! Today's Friday Flakes is hosted by Justus, RJ and Darryl.
In this week's episode, we talk about:
+ A photoshoot at Plaid, for a profile at ConnCreatives
+ Plaid's snowday, earlier in the week
+ Sara defies death by eating peanut butter crackers
We chat about the "big game" coming up this weekend:
+ Who would win, if the game were based on brand essence?
+ How ridiculous of a team the Cardinals are, based on branding
+ Which ads we're stoked to see
We talk about how to watch the Superbowl:
+ With Twitter hashtags on Adrants
+ With your Twitter friends
+ Or with 3D glasses
Happy Superbowl from FridayFlakes!
Champion just launched a new campaign site called Hoodie Remix. You can design your own hoodie, and submit to a contest. They're going to actually produce one lucky designer's creation.
This would have been hoodie-AWESOME if you could actually buy the hoodie that YOU designed. Or, if they produced a new design every single week, and sold them as limited editions. Hoodie-lovers need more hoodie love.
Ummm. Be careful of carpet baggers. The coaching and event speaking industry is about to unleash an army of social media "experts" on the corporate world, to teach the masses how to make mega-profits with social media.
Marketing Community Resource is offering a social media course that will leave you "CERTIFIED" in social media. Ahem. There are sooo many things wrong with this picture. (As of this morning, it looks like their site has been hacked, or they've been awoken by a social media crapstorm, and taken it down)
"Certified?" By who? Trained in a handy multi-week course? Puhleeze. Beth Harte said it perfectly in her post at The Harte of Marketing.
THERE IS NO SUCH THING as being CERTIFIED in social media. If you're looking to get your feet wet with social media, jump in. Get your feet wet. Or bring in a consultant who has actually participated in the social media sphere. For years. Not certified. But experienced.
Then I suggest you get a badge. That's what I did, above. I'm going to call myself a Social Media Officer from now on. And I'll flash the badge prior to any meetings. You should do the same. We'll start a force. And maybe we'll create a 12 week course.
Imagine that you sell seeds. Yeah. Seeds. Ugly little pieces of stuff that one day will turn into beautious flowers and vegetables. But right now, their seeds. How do you make seeds wonderful?
It's a rare occurrence that you're blown away by direct mail these days. But every once in a while, somebody comes along and shows you how it's done. This week, that brand is the Baker Creek Heirloom Seed company.
Their direct mail catalog is nothing short of beautiful. It's oversized, so it feels special, and invites reading. It's stuffed with glorious photography of what you can grow from seeds (my crappy iphone photo above does nothing even near to the justice deserved.) There's also some spectacular shots of gardeners of every variety.
So how to you make boring exciting? Fantastic design. Nice job.
Check out these sweet shots of London, from the sky, by Jason Hawkes. Something about cities shot at dusk hint of a nighttime of possibilities. Jason looks to be the supreme captain of aerial photography. See his portfolio here.
If you're bored today, and haven't already seen the Microsoft Songsmith videos, here's a treat. There's a new Microsoft application that lets you sing vocals, and then it automatically creates a music soundtrack for you.
Some people have taken existing vocal tracks to see what kind of music Microsoft Songsmith might come up with. As you might expect, hilarity ensues. (Thanks, Eliza!)
Muhammad Saleem writes a post on Mashable about how to survive a social media revolt. Great advice for any marketing/brand/social media person living today. If you're too lazy to click through, here's the five major points:
1. Communicate Even If You Have Nothing to Say
2. Be Forthright
3. Make It Clear That You’re Listening
4. Acknowledge Your Mistakes
5. Promise to Learn and Improve - Then Deliver
When you take a look at these suggestions, they may make you realize that this is a cool PR philosophy to live by in any situation - not just a social media disaster.
From Cory Obrien, via Twitter.
There's a nice post on ThreeMinds that reminds us of why and how people work in the new digital economy. For decades, studies have proven that employees are not motivated primarily by money. Lori's post is a nice reminder to this point, and has some nice links, quotes and thoughts on the topic. From an older Seth Godin book:
The passionate worker doesn't show up because she's afraid of getting in trouble, she shows up because it's a hobby that pays. The passionate worker is busy blogging on vacation... because posting that thought and seeing the feedback it generates is actually more fun than sitting on the beach for another hour.
Seth had another great related point in Tribes, about how so many people spend 50 weeks in jobs they hate for 2 weeks of time they can enjoy. Shouldn't that be the other way around? For many digital workers, that's definitely the case.
(Coworker Chris ponders this while working in a spinning teacup, above.) Thanks Lori for a great reminder to why we're all here, and to make sure our priorities are aligned for the rest of the year!
A recent survey concluded that people don't like reading things that are difficult to understand. DUH. Yet marketers and info designers continue to over-complicate, over-think and over-write collateral.
84% of consumers say they are more likely to trust a company that uses jargon-free, plain English in communications. How could you simplify your customer experience?
Ze Frank is some sort of internet genius. As if he needed to prove that, he created this fun tool that lets you draw pictures with the sound of your voice.
It's harder than it looks, and I couldn't draw anything close to the Ze Frank illustration above. But then again, I'm not an internet genius. Fun for the whole family!
OK, maybe they were action figures. But they weren't anything as kick ass as these posters for the new GI Joe Rise of the Cobra video game.
This is a total badass re-branding of GI Joe. Smart move, to capitalize on the brand recognition yet updated to today's gaming universe. Oh - and bonus - they've included badass female GI Joe's, too!
The Boy Scouts of America should hire the agency that did these, and rebrand themselves as adventure dudes.
Because your friends are all about the game. And your extended family is just annoying. And you want to talk about the ads. And comment. And see what other people like you are saying.
Not to worry...during the Superbowl, turn on your Twitter machine of choice and add the hashtag #superads09 to the end of any superbowl ad related tweet.
Then turn to the handy Adrants Twitter channel and see what all of your cool friends are saying. Details here. Start now.
(Or, if you're one of those people that's all "they don't make Superbowl spots like they used to,", then go check out the AdLand archive of every superbowl spot. Ever.
There's a new tool that some of our social media friends are chattering about. It's called Plinky. You're served a random question, like "Describe the coolest thing you've seen in another country." and then answer it.
Your answer gets posted, and over time, you build a profile. So that snarky social media types can judge you by your responses. ;) This may be a great diversion when you're' suffering from a writer's block, an idea stoppage or just need to think of something entirely different.
People who love BrandFlakes send us books, for review. We love reading, but spend most of that time on the intertubes rather than in books. But every once in a while, there comes a book that's worthy of a review anyway. So here's my "I didn't read this" review of the brand new book The King of Madison Avenue, by Kenneth Roman, former Chairman and CEO of Ogilvy & Mather:
Meh. It's not going to make you look cool while reading this on the plane. The Annie Leibovitz (!) photo of the late David Ogilvy makes him look a little pissed. Or maybe he's just being badass. Most people won't recognize him, as his name is more famous than his face.
Good heft will leave you feeling accomplished after reading. 282 pages feels good, without feeling like a project.
Photos on the inside are a nice bonus! Toward the back of the book, there are transcripts of actual memos from the legendary Ogilvy.
Description on the back cover:
Nothing entirely inspiring. This book might have benefited from some more prominent positioning of David Ogilvy's name. That's the one reason I'm actually considering reading this. For real.
Should you read it:
I love everything that I've ever read about David Ogilvy, and admire his teachings, so I'd read this on his reputation alone. Read it for the king of Mad Ave, Mr. Ogilvy.
If you were looking for a collection of delicious photos devoted to chocolate sculpture, today is your lucky day. If it's hip it's here salutes the art of chocolate. Mmmmm. Art you can eat is the best art of all.
Brian Morrissey has posted some really, really good career advice from David Verklins (the guy in the suit, pictured above). Here's what Mr. Verklins recommends to people just getting their careers going:
1. Work harder than your boss.
2. Never follow a superstar.
3. Look for turnarounds
Details on the three magic points to success at Brian's blog.
MINI is at it again, attracting attention to a car that you can't buy yet. It's an awesome concept car that they're showing off at the Bread and Butter conference in Barcelona.
It's a MINI with more room - we guess that when they mean "crossover" they mean not entirely a small car, but not entirely a big car. Whatever. You can't buy it yet, it's just an auto-designer's dream for now.
There's a great piece on PostAdvertising about branding and the power of Chuck Taylors, the iconic sneakers worn by the cool kids.
Maybe this is just an excuse to write about sneakers. Or maybe Richard Parker is onto something when it comes to brands representing individuals. Whatever it is, we're inspired to go get a new pair of Chucks.
Here's what happened this week at the world's most awesome creative agency:
(If you're too lazy too read, a 12 second version is conveniently recorded above)
+ We celebrated Obama week with our Twitter and Facebook friends from across the world, and enjoyed the CNN/Facebook mashup that changed the way people interacted with a world event.
+ I gave a talk/seminar/browsefest on new social media tools at RMI Direct Marketing.
+ Brainstorms-a-plenty. We squeezed our heads for some sweet ideas for a military related client, a personal grooming client and some other stuff we can't share yet.
+ We laid out the foundation for a community art initiative in our city. Our agency is going to produce three art-related events during 2009, helping to make our neighborhood just a little bit cooler.
+ We've started a new Friday
This weekend Plaidsters will be snowboarding, skiing, sleeping and eating. And some running, too. Have a good one!
Here's episode three of Friday Flakes! Today's Friday Flakes is hosted by Justus and Darryl.
In this week's episode, we talk about:
+ Critiques and suggestions for Friday Flakes from friends and viewers
+ How Darryl needs to give less gaydar
+ Shout out to an awesome person that you should hire today: Garret Ohm
+ How we only know people by their Twitter names
+ New company BlueFuego launched by BradJWard and FJGaylor to help higher education better market themselves on the internet
In the world of social media, we chat about:
+ The CNN/Facebook mashup that took place during the inauguration
We highlight two posts from BrandFlakes:
+ All the superbowl spots throughout history, at your fingertips
+ Shepard Fairey gets his Obama art accepted into the Smithsonian
We've experimented with a different camera and audio setup this week, too. Still not 100% happy, but we're moving in the right direction.
Jeff Sisson has created a site devoted to documenting every single bodega in NYC. You can search by neighborhood, by name and even comment on individual Bodegas.
He's bringing the corner grocery industry into the digital age in his spare time, with the help of friends. That is social media.
(Ohhh, the things that I want to say about our corner bodega. We could use this in our hood.) From Gothamist.
This is a super cool concept, with a seemingly cumbersome delivery. To promote Bring Your Kids to Work day, BBDO New York produced acetate sheets with kids scribble on them, and talked security into unlocking 500 offices so they could place them on people's computers in the dark of night.
Workers walked in the next morning thinking that the bosses' brat had vandalized their monitor, and instead see the headline on the piece: “Bring your kids to work day.”
Newsmap is a webalicious new way of looking at the news. They've taken the Google news feed and produced a colorful tag cloud that presents the news based on the popularity of the stories.
Who would of thought that a page full of text could be so wonderful? From ANGUS WHINES, a blog overflowing with awesomeness.
Tom Taylor rigged up a receipt printer as his personal micro-printer. What a cool idea. You could print notable tweets. Or text directions. Or anything that you might normally fit on an iPhone screen but want on a slip of paper, instead.
Someone's created a website devoted to the world's most loved CEO, Steve Jobs.
You can download get well badges for your blog or website, send him a get well note and even subscribe to Steve's get wellness RSS feed. Thanks, Ryan!
Some people just breathe creative awesomeness. Like every little thing they do or try is filled with wonder. Mark Mothersbaugh is one of those dudes.
You probably know him as a member of the best band in jumpsuits - Devo. You may also know that he has produced countless kidriffic soundtracks to television shows. He's written books, and hosts a drawing segment on Yo Gabba Gabba.
And, because that wasn't enough...he's designing carpet. Not just squares and shapes, but the most "whoah, check out that rug" kind of carpet.
BLDGBLOG has a really nice piece on photographer Blake Gordon, who has taken a series of shots of the sky - documenting light pollution. The resulting photos of the Austin, Texas sky are awesome.
What?? Your boss hasn't allocated sixty katrillion dollars to a social media marketing campaign?? She doesn't believe that brands are using it? Mashable is here to save the day, with a profile of 40 brands that are rocking Twitter to the best of their ability.
They've profiled each of the brands, and had them answer a handful of questions...in 140 characters or less, of course. Send it to your boss, and then ask for a raise.
Here's a great overview (with links to plenty of images) of the Manifest Hope art show that was on display in Washington DC earlier this week.
What's more impressive is that artist Shepard Fairey put on a suit and tie, to see his now iconic work put into the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. Cleans up nice.
AdFreak reports that the Pepsi spot with all of the beautiful Hollywood types looks very much like a production that Greg Olliver created, called Farewell Mr. President. Greg Olliver is a little more direct and says that "it appears to be a complete rip-off of my idea."
Regardless, the Farewell version is so much more entertaining. But maybe that's because we're all filled with angst and attitude.
If you ever get the opportunity to tour the CNN Center in Atlanta, you'll see a really cool exhibit that charts CNN viewership alongside world events. The graph is a pretty sweet way of illustrating history.
I believe that we can now do the same with Twitter. According to their own blog, there were 5x normal tweets-per-second and about 4x tweets-per-minute during the inauguration yesterday. The graph tells the story.
"And then...we'll explode your product all over the place. It'll look like guts, or that poop scene from Trainspotting."
These spots are funny, but we have to agree with Adrants. Does it make the product seem appetizing? In any way at all?
Maybe we shouldn't care. Because they did feature an awesome robot named Gary in one spot. And when it comes to microwaveable pizza-like products, Robots are all that matter.
Millions of people are coming together today to celebrate something special. And when millions of people come together, they need something to buy.
Some of the hottest product designers across the globe have heard these cries, and created some of the tackiest Obama souvenirs ever, in response. Hooray. Obama nesting dolls are here.
The Oval Office is being re-decorated. And if Ikea has it's way, it's going to be Swedish-mod-ultra-hot. The Ikea version of the Oval Office is now on display at Union Station in Washington DC. You can snap a photo of yourself behind the President's new put-it-together-yourself desk.
If you don't like the version above - don't worry. This is a participatory nation. And you can now decorate the Oval Office any way you like. From Adrants.
As we prepare for an historic occasion this afternoon, it's important to look back on the events that helped get us to where we are today. Without visionaries like Abraham Lincoln, we would not have...emoticons.
Some people believe they've found the first emoticon in an 1862 New York Times transcript of an Abe Lincoln speech. Some people also believe there's a face on Mars.
Nothing could possibly be more fun than a spontaneous dance party. This one was produced as a promotion for T-Mobile, but that doesn't mean that you can't start your own, wherever you are at this very moment.
Somebody has dreamed up a projectable bike lane. So there's a lane of safety wherever you ride. Of course, we need this for runners, too. But what about marketers? This could be an awesome tool for street teams - on bikes or on foot. Messages displayed on streets ahead of, or behind their senders.
This is not a product that's available today - but certainly all they need is some sweet startup money from you to make it happen. What are you waiting for? Ideas are ready.
Agency friend Bill Baker had a bad experience flying JetBlue. He was basically left stranded in Portland, Oregon. And so, he started a blog.
Long story short, Bill Baker decided to take JetBlue to court. He sued them in small claims court, to prove a point. And he won.
Airlines are one of the few industries that continue to treat customers like crap - and social media will not reflect nicely on this practice. It's time to put the policy manuals away and start running customer-centric businesses. Or we'll see you in court.
Once the Miracle on the Hudson and Obamamania news settles down, we'll be focusing our attention on important things. Like SuperBowl* commercials.
If you'd like to do a little advance homework on the subject, you may wish to check out Adland - who's serving up every single SuperBowl commercial throughout the entire history of SuperBowls. That's like going back to the 1600's or something. This is so much fun that you could easily spend the rest of your day checking out retro-awesomeness.
*And when we say "SuperBowl", we really mean "big game."
You're a creative person. You wear a bunch of hats. Sometimes during meetings, you need to take notes. Sometimes you need to draw pictures. Now there's a notebook that lets you do both. The Doane Paper notebooks feature grids and lines. So both sides of your brain can be splendidly happy.
Lovers: these will make excellent Valentine's Day gifts for the creative superstar in your life. From Mark Wolfe, via Twitter.
Here's episode two of Friday Flakes! Today's Friday Flakes is hosted by RJ and Darryl.
In this week's episode, we talk about:
+ A crazified, cold and gummi-less week at Plaid.
+ Darryl's zombie thumbnail
We highlight two posts from BrandFlakes:
+ A pirate store helps a non-profit
+ Yet another social media network that Caff and Dirk turned us onto
In the world of social media, we chat about:
+ The Facebook vs Burger King faceoff
+ How Twitter broke the plane crash story
We're still troubled with audio issues, but refuse to use any of our pro equipment. We're attempting to produce these episodes with Flip cameras - virtually eliminating all setup, digitizing and editing. Our goal is to produce an entire show from start to finish within 30 minutes, and zero editing. This is something we'll consider to discuss and experiment with - and your ideas are welcome!
I can't stand Twitter lists or rankings. And once you're knee deep in tweets you'll understand that they're typically worthless. The value of Twitter is all in the quality and relationships of the people you follow. Not a number.
That said, one of the questions we always hear from new Twitter friends is "how do I find good people to follow?"
Armando Alves has attempted to create a ranking of the Twitter users who also have Advertising Age Power 150 blogs (a list we're proud to be on). Armado calls his list the Twitter Power 150 (we just cracked the top 100 of this list, too).
Use this list as a starting point to find people that interest you. You've already got one thing in common: an interest in the ad industry.
Thanks, Todd (who by the way, is a hilariously fun person to follow.)
Ashton Kutcher is getting together with Digg founder Kevin Rose, and they're creating a web-based reality show. They're taking a handful of super lucky bloggers, and putting them head to head for wacky insane tv challenges!! I just made that last part up, but it's not too far from the truth.
Watch it all go down live at 24 Hours at Sundance, starting this weekend.
This is really ha-ha funny, hilarious, cool and awesome right up until some idiot actually attempts to duplicate this stunt, and then Mountain Dew says "what??? we clearly said don't DEW this at home."
Oh, and why do they pile on top of each other in a hugfest after watching the spot?
If I had a thought bubble following me around, it would undoubtedly get me into some really embarrassing situations. HBO created a similar scene by placing actors with real thought bubbles over their heads.
One hundred and fifty actors displayed their "innermost thoughts, desires and secrets" on the streets of Los Angeles, Philadelphia Chicago and NYC. If they were asked about their thoughts, they'd hand out a flyer promoting the url for Big Love, a new show on HBO.
Apparently the Star Wars line of Legos wasn't pulling enough geeky guys into stores. What's the next best thing? Naked Lego girls. Because every lonely guy dreams of a magic night with his girl made of Legos.
What the United States of logos looks like. And Joe Rib has an excellent point: Connecticut is the lamest of them all. Perhaps the tagline should read: We blend in. Or we could send them back to England where ugly logos are in style.
This is usually the type of thing that your sister-in-law sends you in your email with a "isn't this hilarious???" comment.
Today, I'm the joker crowding your otherwise productive time with a series of parody movie posters. So now, you should send this to your sister-in-law.
The next video in the Rayban Never Hide series is here. This time, we're traveling along with the disco ballers.
Every workplace should have a disco ball that you can mount on your crotch to throw instant dance parties. Guaranteed fun.
826 Valencia, a group devoted to supporting young students writing skills has produced an awesomely unique and fun fundraising project: A Pirate Store.
Design firm Office helped the group create a line of products that are sold at the group's storefront, in San Francisco and online at the Pirate Supply Store.
A storefront for a non-profit agency? Absolutely. According to an interview in Metropolis Magazine (can't link to it, if they don't put it online), the store creates an additional fundraising channel while creating a connection with the community.
What can you buy at the Pirate Store? Really cool pirate supplies. Like Scurvy Begone, Designer Glass Eyes and Black Beard's Beard Dye. What an awesome inspiration to non-profits, small retail districts and pirates everywhere.
This is Herd points to a really interesting discovery by the grocery industry. Something as a consumer, you're probably already aware of.
The impulse product at the register accounts for about 1% of all grocery sales. And it turns out that about 74% of us pull our shopping carts into the register, rather than push - which means we miss the opportunity to buy these products.
As Dirk points out, retailers could probably increase sales by better merchandising the product to the "trolley" pullers rather than the pushers. (Oh yeah - and it's funny that in England the call them trolleys.)
Coworkers Matt and Justus contemplate a kingdom where there are no shopping carts. That's what people do when they sit in big king-like chairs.
We're exploring another new social network site - SecondBrain, after getting turned onto it by Dirk from Cow and the Caffeine Goddess.
We have no idea how it's best used, what it's most awesome features are, or if it will become a part of our daily routine or not...as we're really just digging in ourselves. So far, we like the look, the functionality and what we're thinking may be possible.
Are you a user?
Want to raise awareness about the type of crap people-beasts are leaving all over the beaches of North America? Why not package it up and show them? That's what the Surfrider Foundation did.
Actual trash, packaged all nicely, and placed conveniently into the local farmer's market. From UnderConsideration.
For the people who obsess over beautiful objects, there's finally a film devoted to the craft of industrial design. Check out the trailer for Objectified. Coming to a cooler theater near you, soon. Thanks, Casey!
Tired of the CES coverage that's limited to just flat screen tv's and mobile phones? NOTCOT has covered the other side of CES. Actually, the other side of Vegas.
Be sure to check out their visit to Alien Fresh Jerky or The Griffin when you're in the humdrum "I'm bored" part of your day today.
Here's what happened this week at the world's most awesome creative agency:
This was our first full week back after the holiday vacation. The week flew by, and we're all pretty swamped with work.
One cool thing about coming back to to the office....Sara's returned! After battling a horrific case of Lyme Disease for the last few months, she's back in action at Plaid. She'll be working a little from home and a little at the office for the next couple of weeks.
We recorded the first ever BrandFlakes podcast, called Friday Flakes. It's an experiment. We hope to give this a shot each week, and see how it works. It's about 10 minutes of video featuring two Plaidsters talking about stuff at the agency, stuff in the industry and just stuff.
Haircuts this week: Chris, David, Justus.
We're in the process of launching a bunch of new plans for the agency for 2009. Back in November we put together some amazing ideas for the year, and this week we're actually getting them on the calendar. Lots of fun, cool and creative hotness coming your way!
This weekend, Plaidonians will be enjoying another snowstorm which will of course allow for some sweet snowboarding and skiing conditions. Either that, or they'll be locked indoors, watching the internet.