funny after 5: an introduction to Palin

just in case you have no bloody idea who Sarah Palin is [cough: Alaskan governer] other than she just got the Republican Veep nomination today [ever wonder if she's as surprised as we are?--or as the other 3 male repub veep contenders?], here's a short introduction to her persona and her political experience via the lovelies on twitter:

- Sarah Palin's maiden name is Connors. (@skydaddy)
- There are 327 words in Inuit for Sarah Palin (@Dayngr)
- When a tree falls in Alaska, Sarah Palin knows EXACTLY where it is (@doctoranonymous)
- Sarah Palin tells Steve Jobs at Apple what to do. (@illuminato)
- Sarah Palin drilled there, and drilled then (@travis)
- Sarah Palin singlehandedly keeps the Alaskan vampires at bay. (@jtcalhoun)

see more meme here: little known fact. discerning eyes (the guy who started it) have catalogued some of the funnier ones at palinfacts.com

youngsters; yr doin' it wrong.

found originally on AdFreak, this still annoys the shit out of me.

how old were the folks making this ad? have any of them had kids? ever touched a Playstation? mind you i SUCK at Playstation and XBOX and whatever. my experience is limited to things like Spyro the Dragon and Guitar Hero. and even i knew that controller didn't match up to that game.

not to mention that dorm room doesn't match up to that kid. he looks like he's sitting in the main room of a hotel. the decorations are too classy, the room is too clean, and to boot, he has a bloody flatscreen tv. yeah, cos i had a flatscreen in college. (i didn't have ANY tv in college!)

you can tell from this ad that they were trying to improve their image with the younger demographic, and yet, didn't actually use any input from that age group. (wtf kid model, didn't you point out the nonmatching controller? or are you too into fashion to be bothered?)

this violently violates a sense of relevancy to the customer. rather than saying "hey, we get you, give us a second chance," it says "we want your money and can't be bothered to take the time to get you right."

if you're targeting a demographic like that--male college age gamers--you'd better believe they know their shit and will see through yours, too. you may have gotten away with it if you were being general, but "gaming" is intense--thus the "play hard"--unless they didn't even make that connection.

this is why agencies should hire a few younger kids. a la dave trott's suggestion. otherwise you'll just do more harm than good to that market.

friday felines: winged cats, china.

found at the Daily Digresser, there seems to be a "winged cat" found in China. now, there have been pictures of winged cats throughout the centuries, and in truth, that would be pretty bad ass--even if they wound up being like penguins and can't actually fly.

but the thing is, they can't actually fly. they're not wings. there are usually three causes for these "wings" to appear: extraordinarily matted hair (think cats with dreads), genetic mutation (nubbins! stumps!), and elastic skin (think old lady chin flesh). in fact it's kinda gross to think about (at least in the case of the matted hair, which often traps feces and parasites). the site linked just before actually discusses the chinese cat. they feel it's genetic.

some times these issues develop around the rump, giving the appearance of two tails. but don't worry, @bmorrissey, the wings aren't real, and short of Hemmingway's 6-toed cats, you won't be getting a feline with thumbs, either.

mad men, ogilvy: at least it's not 'shipping?

for those of you living under very tiny rocks this past week, i will give you a brief summary of the Mad Men AMC fiasco before proceeding. skip between the lines if you've followed.

1 - bored unknown assailants 'brand jack' characters from the tv show and portray them on twitter, interacting with one another and fans.
...see also: @Don_Draper, @Roger_Sterling, @Paul_Kinsey, et al.
2 - they develop following, and apparently popularity is bad for AMC, so they legally request the accounts to be suspended, of which the main characters' are. something something copyright.
3 - the awesome folks at Deep Focus convince AMC to stop being asshats. a 'gentle nudge' goes a long way--especially when done with a metal ruler.
4 - but not before the damage was done. the accounts are reinstated but the backlash from AMC's handling thrives.

moving right along.

there are a number of things that could have made this situation handled better, and other folks have said that better than i could, so i won't dally there. though i doubt they'll be paying the folks any time soon; that would mean condoning their behavior, and if they go against character grain, AMC will likely want to keep a distance. wtfever.

the greatest backlash, apart from the usual blogging wonders, actually comes from the fans who made the twitter accounts. for some interesting stuff, check out We Are Sterling Cooper [dot com]. they humbly request: "But please, don't treat us like criminals."

which led me to the question: where is the line?

there are fan fiction groups everywhere for everything (almost). i don't follow it, but i know there are ones for Harry Potter, Twilight, Star Trek, and any number of oddities that attract immersion in an 'other world.' (i think the 'other world' is most attractive--that a slip in time or place is more suggestive of immersion.)

these people rarely get sued, if at all, or asked to remove their written work, and often these fanfics greatly vary from the actual characters' intents. for example, 'shipping (a term i learned from @tokyohanna Amber @ Naked earlier this week). imagine Betty Draper and Joan Holloway as lovers. yeah, i didn't think so either--but people write it.

that's not to say you have to like it. this Mad Men twitter thing isn't for everyone. i'm not saying to run out and subscribe to it, proliferate or promote it, but i don't see how it's different from fanfic other than the medium. do you think the fact that it happened on twitter is really the reason for the uproar? twitter, where transparency is expected, even when writing twit-novellas?


what i find REALLY interesting, though, is this as of this morning: @David_Ogilvy. it's unverified as to whether or not this is actually him; he styles his name like the other mad men, and followed the mad men characters first. he is pitching @Don_Draper for a 'lunch meeting' concerning hiring.

Don insists he is happy at Sterling, as his character would. but the $5 million question: is Dave impressed by the tenacity of the twittering mad men and looking to hire the Man behind the Draper, OR, is even Dave a "character" and now the link between 1960s advertising fiction and post-millennial advertising fiction becoming a reality? bizarre to think about. which do you think?


branding makes you better in bed.

a funny facebook forward i got

You go to a party and see a sexy girl across the room. You go up to her and say, "Hi, I'm fantastic in bed, what about it?"
That's Direct Marketing.

You go to a party and see a sexy girl across the room. You approach her to get her telephone number. The next day you call and say, "Hi, I'm fantastic in bed, what about it?"
That's Telemarketing.

You go to a party and see a sexy girl across the room. Your friend goes to her and says, "Hi, my friend over there is fantastic in bed, what about it?"
That's Advertising.

You go to a party and see a sexy girl across the room. You get up, straighten your clothes, approach her and pour her a drink. You open the door for her, pick up her bag after it drops, offer her a ride, and then say, "By the way, I'm fantastic in bed."
That's Public Relations.

You go to a party and see a sexy girl across the room. She comes over and says, "Hi, I hear you're fantastic in bed, what about it?"
That's the power of Branding!

in case you were wondering, the internet is awesome.

and this is legitimized by the fact that the Barbarian group says so.
and in case you don't know or don't care about the Barbarian group,
think of them like a new political party. only they're an ad agency.
and they approved the following message:

i actually clicked through to 100 [ps-you can click the yes].
there is a fancy surprise on 99. though the preceding responses were funnier.
i think "still yes" is my fave. experience the minimalistic wonder:

i just threw away 8 bucks.

and i'm hella pissed about it.

see, i came in really early to work today due to circumstances of my life and the inane scheduling of the LIRR trains. so to kill an hour and inject caffeine (which i normally don't do...) i figured i'd sacrifice my better judgment and head on in to Starfucks.

also against my better judgment, i decided to get a coffee derivative. usually i forgo all such nonsense in favour of the blended lemonade with raspberry (which is the only Starfucks thing i'm currently not cranky about), but i figured, of all mornings, today was a mocha frapp morning.

i had memories of high school. when they used to be good.
or when i was stupid enough to think so.

for real. do they burn everything? even cold stuff? i don't get it. I JUST THREW OUT a frapp. that's right. i couldn't even swallow it. i tried. i had a moral dilemma past FOUR trash cans. it was so expensive to throw out. but i could not. could not drink it. strike two?

those fruit platter bullshits. strawberry kiwi mango. the kiwi was weird, the strawberries were glazed with i have no fucking idea what, and the mango wasn't even ripe (read: edible). needless to say, didn't eat that either, and threw it out. oh, and the barista was a bitch and had her own deal going on.

is it too much to ask for some sensible caffeine?? clearly.
at least i'm not the only one. the sad thing? they gave me a coupon for a $2 cold drink provided i use it this afternoon. i may do it. just so i can get this godawful taste out of my mouth. how in the hell this came out of Seattle and into the rest of the world, i will never know.


is your brand a moth or a butterfly?

i was reading Faris' blog, as i usually do, when i came across his post regarding The Moth, a slam-style storytelling circle in NY and LA. apart from the fact that it's bloody awesome (and that i will probably go to the Nuyorican showing), it got me thinking about moths and butterflies--a motif that has been following me for months now.

"the founders felt was analogous to:
the characters in their best stories would often find themselves drawn to some bright light—of adventure, ambition, knowledge—but then find themselves burned or trapped, leaving them with some essential conflict to face before the story could reach its conclusion."

the moth represents conflict with the world. it is the self which both loves and yearns. like the butterfly, it too forms a cocoon and transforms itself, but that is not what it has come to symbolize. the moth is about the tension of reconciliation; the struggle for understanding with the exterior world and our place in it.

the butterfly represents conflict with oneself. the symbolic butterfly is about the personal journey, the thing one must undergo in order to develop into our full potential. it is an interior search. the butterfly becomes a symbol of freedom and beauty once the insect emerges. the story ends there.

the one, emphasis on the interactive journey; the other, emphasis on the personal journey. i identify a lot with moths in that regard, but i also came to think about it in terms of creative, and in terms of advertising. for a long time, advertising has been the butterfly. it has been about the personal, transformative journey of the brand. it is this point of view which expects others to love simply out of the respect and beauty of this journey.

this brand has not yet tried to find its place in the world. it has not reconciled itself to interaction, to the space outside of its own head. some advertising is handling brands like moths, are pursuing that tension between self and other, and are fostering those spaces. they are telling the stories not about themselves, but about connections.

in this way, moth branding is more accessible. it asks me to identify with our common spaces, rather than identify with your personal journey. i am not going to like you because you are a heap big 60 year old auto company that has survived through the years and shown your mettle; i will identify with you on my own terms, the ones that show the light of you and i.

but, like the moth, there will be tension. we are experiencing this now, with words like monetization, cashification, viral, social, what have you. we are trying to find our way through this jungle. advertising is romancing the light. only some will get burned. some will have never tried at all.

[photo shown left: Blue's Creative Outlet, specializing in funky moth & butterfly jewelry]

let the world decide.

what's better than Paris Hilton as faux-running mate to Obama?

letting the world (agencies?) decide. [see slide 16; i also like 8 & 9, personally.]


but clearly, that would be a bad idea. incongruent governments and all. so when you actually go to lettheworlddecide.org, you get a "404" error message. one of the funniest i've seen in some time. something something iPhone.

to see other funny 404's, check these (that one's my fave!) out (that one you can refresh for something new, too).

on another note, you can read a recent analysis of Obama's slinking campaign from an ad POV here.
i didn't realize a new slogan right now was that detrimental, but, i am willing to buy it. especially considering Biden.

cause no one wants to eat a stop light.

found via darryl here, among a number of other places. i'm not quite sure what to make of it. YES, the old logo was almighty, hella ugly. YES, the store, now more prevalent than before, would likely have benefited from a rebranding effort.


fruit wedges?

all kinds of random fruity cereals (primarily Trix) run cartwheels through my head, combined with Runts doing the dance from the end of Charlie the Unicorn. it's an improvement on the crashed cars i see from the other logo, but i feel like i lost something somewhere.

maybe it's an angle for their fresh produce section (if that's the case). i don't know? you tell me: do fruit wedges have stopping power?


gone skirtchasing.

if you're reading this, it's after 5 and i'm free; and if by skirtchasing, you mean going to New Jersey to lie on the beach, get in touch with my second favourite cat (maika, shown here), spend quality time with miss am&a of @reverieapparel, trek manhattan, and steal some much needed summer vacation time before the sun wanes.

i will not be blogging until monday because i will not be near a computer. so there. instead, i will be near, in order:

--a lot of alcohol
--loud music
--the numbers 2686

and that's just tonight. i'll let your curiousity get the best of you.
i was going to help you out by leaving you with an inspired muxtape, but we can all see how well that's going over lately. kisses! will think of you while imbibing.

in case you're curious, i will probably imbibe, at some point:
magic hat 9. blue moon. guinness black&tan. white zin. pinot noir. disaronno. soco. sambuca. ketel 1. [i'd say reyka but who knows who'll have it.] any holla backs?

i'm on my feet i'm on the floor i'm good to go.
all i need is just to hear a song i know.
i want to always feel like part of this was mine.

don't miss a single butterfly.

shitty quality above, but hands down my favourite ad of the Olympics so far.
...and i don't even like AT&T. (in fact i hate AT&T).
so again, they're not getting me to switch from Verizon, but,
i did like the commercial enough to talk about it. i really enjoyed the concept.

[you are summer
slow beautiful
red hot heat and

Enfatico... does something? really?

no, not really. they were just kidding.

as some of you know, Enfatico is the lovechild of the advertising world and Dell. unfortunately, on that hot steamy night of unrelenting passion, no one thought about the learning curve of raising said child. as a result, development of Enfatico has been slow to stunted. as pointed out by the Tribble clock and the now-defunct Enfartico parody website.

it turns out there are baby steps to be made, as released by Tribble this morning. one half jaded lover and one half awesome, Tribble gets the goods in ways i don't understand and won't question. it seems Enfatico has created a website (questionably. advised, a better word?) where you can win a signed Dell (...should i squee with excitement? i'm gonna go with a no. i don't even want a laptop signed by Jobs.) among other social insanity.

i agree with Tribble; with everyone raising emphatic Enfatico pitchforks, why has no one mentioned this site (theoretically a week or so old) in their defense? ...did they actually do something? or are we sitting like step parents at the graduation of some kid we barely know, only to find the kid didn't show?


...twitter sex? ohNO.

today's funny after five is a set of three... cheers!

Adhack searches out the meaning of life. just kidding. he's looking for answers to even more impossible questions, like, where do clients come from? i mean, i assume he doesn't want the stork answer.

twitter etiquette -- the best version i've found yet. pass it on.
...If it could get you fired, be used against you in court, or impede your ability to get laid, be-still your typing thumbs.
...If you think texting your ex is embarrassing the next morning, try texting all of them.

and lastly, proof that politics is all relative.
the problem with Georgia (no, not that one!).

mommy, i want a pony.

Find more videos like this on AdGabber

aaaamazing. found here. though, it doesn't sell me the car. it just makes me want a pony.
...or a littlest pet shop toy. or a my little pony. you get the idea.

awwwwww. ponies.
"it's likin' the mint." hahaha.

interlude: both sides now.

an interlude having nothing to do with advertising

have you ever had that song you were totally addicted to?
it seemed, at first, to make perfect sense in the scenario in your head?
maybe it became a positive, self-affirming theme song for awhile.

no i won't sit nice and be quiet.
[shattered - the trucks - listen on songza.]

and then curiousity gets the best of you. or things decide to be serendipitous.
either way, you come to know the undeniable truth in the song.

it's not at all what you thought it was.

this just happened for me. i tripped across this blog post yesterday.
i have no idea who the girl is. but it brought me back to perspective.

i don't care about what some folks think is over sharing.
at some points, communication, expression, is really what it is all about.

you shattered my image of love.

thank you for writing it. thank you for being brave.
my heart goes out to her and to whomever else has had this happen.

i am so sorry.

so when i bit, it was for blood.

first impressions: cartoon avs, crazy blind dates

okay, so the hair really isn't right. mine's asymmetrical and quite short. apart from that, their options pretty much helped me get the face more or less spot on. at least the eyes. i have HUGE eyes. whatever. so in case you were wanting to know where to get those avatars everyone suddenly has on twitter, this would be the place.

it's called Face Your Manga. is it a fear i have, this Manga you speak of? must i go forth and battle its dragon? either way, i'm not using it on twitter. icon loyalty ftw. shun the trends. shunnnnnnn. (name that reference!) it was fun to toy with, though. oh, and while we're on manga/anime, the result of the twitter poll of who i should go to AnimeFest as resulted in Chii. apparently i'm a robot. okay.

EDIT 08.20.08: they really are facing your manga. and they're not liking it. the backlash is immense. and funny. sometimes.

in other news, there's been an Online Dating update. and no, i'm not doing online dating, if that was your question. but when faced with zombiEharmony or Lovebitten, still-living specimens still hold more of a draw. don't give me that "oh, but they're only undead!" bullshit. i'm won't hear of it. haha. anyway. in the new line of random dating, there's CrazyBlindDate. on short notice, you get hooked up with total strangers. in public settings, like bars or coffee shops. no communication, no pictures. you show up at the appointed time and hope for the best.

is it crazy that i'm thinking of doing it just for the fun of it?
if i do, i'll blog about it. i just think it's too funny. plus, @ninanyc dared me. ;)

Lovefool: 3: Etsy

this is the third official post of project Lovefool, wherein i promised i would:
"post about how much i love your brand. why i love your brand. and how much i'm willing to talk about how much i love your brand."

because i'm so fickle, this project has become fewer and more far between. but i think that lifts up the things i'm dedicated to even more. previously in Lovefool, #1 was To Write Love on Her Arms, my favourite charity; #2 was Pandora, for all my music radio needs. this round, i give you the elements of style. it's up to you to arrange them and bring out your inner indie kid.

target #3: Etsy.
[as if you couldn't tell from my tweets over the past week.]
shown left: Rock'N'Bun-ee, a possession from JitterBugBark
why you should care:
if you ever wanted a closet full of personal designer gear, you should care. if you're that discerning connoisseur of home decor, you should care. if you are a geek and want all the bracelets from Twilight in different artists' interpretations, you should care (or if you're a geek and want Darth Vader lego earrings). if you are that kid who listens to 250 bands no one else has ever heard of, you should care. if you're the sort who wants a one of a kind gift, or loves the individual look a 1-of-only-5 tie can give you, you should care. but most importantly, if you want a say in your style, if you want to be social about your purchases, and if you want to support DIY in our economics, you should care.

why i love them:
i love Etsy because i have a very distinct sense of style and a need to be social combined with a deep love of and respect for DIY (do-it-yourself) culture. i love them because all the stuff is so interesting and unique, and because the price range (while vast) is also at one end very affordable. i love it because i'm a small person, and the artists are really, really excellent at working with me.

i've gotten a bracelet shortened, a wallet redone in black and white, a swallow necklace resized from 2" to 1", and two lovely Brooklyn ladies (Lianna and AJ) are making me a custom jacket--to name a few. many of the sellers are really friendly and welcome this sort of interaction. they want to see you love what they do just as much as they love to do it.

this ability to reach out to the artists and have collaborative conversations has dramatically increased my loyalty to the site.

how much i'm willing to talk about how much i love them:
in the past week alone, i have purchased 11 items, 4 of which were gifts to spread the love. i have another 7 items on the docket for my next paycheck. i have been talking about Etsy on twitter probably far more than my fair share. i've told my friends and family. i have installed Etsy widgets on Facebook and on my blog, which you can scroll down on the right to see what new fun things i've recently bookmarked.

there are many ways to search Etsy. if you go to the Buy tab, you can search by colour, proximity to your location, recently listed, and by "connection"--seeing who else likes the things you like, and then viewing other things they like--among other ways. it's also fun to search by team (groups of sellers with a common goal/theme); i love browsing DIYScene team. also, just run a word search of your favourite things--you'll be surprised what creative, insightful things come up! searching "Alice in Wonderland" found me any number of interesting necklaces, corsets, ties, wall hangings, decor, etc.

how much i love them/aka/the backstory:
! i am also going to take this time to highlight some of the sellers i've had truly excellent experiences with in case you are interested in their work as well. i highly, highly recommend the following thus far:

Emily, @ Faster Than You*
[old school tattoo style, hand-painted art on jewelry]
Lianna [& AJ], @ Vigilante Labs*
[vintage inspired modern custom clothing for men & women]
Erin, @ Insane Jellyfish
[hand-stamped silver/pewter jewelry, very unique]
Deanna, @ Baroque & Roll
[girly/artsy designs on leather and fabric, accessories]
Emily, @ Dismantled Fashions
[ladies' retro & punk clothing with cute accessories]

*those with asterisks have gone, in my eyes, above and beyond the call of duty as an Etsy seller. i have had extensive conversations with both these ladies about highly customized work. Emily is transforming a necklace of hers that i loved to sit like tattoos on my neck, and was kind enough to make a second set so i could give it to a friend. Lianna and AJ are meeting me in person for choosing fabric and taking measurements, which is not required (often, it's all discussed online and i'd take my own measurements). if either of these ladies can do anything for you or for a loved one, i would highly recommend them. they are prompt, accessible, friendly, and make me excited about their work.

! if you want to see other sellers i've bookmarked (but haven't yet had the chance to interact with) feel free to browse my favourites.


this. is. SPARTA! ...errr.

and by Sparta, i mean Work Overload. sorry for the notsomuch posting that will be going on earlier in this week. you can still find me on twitter intermittently. please do not suffer from too much withdrawal. i will continue with essay-like analytic posts and short ramblings as soon as possible.

PS: i saw 300 for the first time last friday. sad on my part? likely.


drama, chipmunks, kittens, & south park.

today for Friday Felines, i give to you the best "dramatic" i've yet seen: the dramatic cat.

and if that's not enough drama for you, i give you also the Original Dramatic Chipmunk (prairie dog? gopher? click here for full context) as well as the competitive Dramatic Lemur.

for more ways to waste your friday, take a trip down memory lane to all the "viral" insanity compiled by Internet Memes; go on, you know you want to reminisce with the Hamster Dance, Numa Numa, All Your Base Are, Peanut Butter Jelly Time, Llama Song, and all the rest. and if you need even more funny than that (are you INSANE, MAN?!) revisit the South Park clip/episode where the boys meet the internet stars at the Department of Internet Money on Canada on Strike.


calvin & jobs on personal branding.

to lighten up all the lengthy posts i've been doing the past two days, i give you a funny: calvin & jobs. you're welcome. and no, even though the tiger is missing, no animals were harmed in the making of these cartoons.

new Greyhound murder ads, PETA.

first impression: poor form, i'd argue. found here. what do you think? good way to steal the hype and make people draw connections between humans and animals--or is it just too soon? (or just too stupid?)

thin women effect: hating self, loving brands.

according to a study reported on by AdAge, thin women in advertising make women feel poorly about themselves, but good about the brand. viewers will eat less or choose low-calorie options after seeing a thin model, feeling inadequate, but will like whatever product better; yet, when faced with a "normal" sized woman, women are less inclined to purchase the advertised product, but won't monitor their eating. the study was comprised of "a sample of 194 college students aged 18-24."

i feel the need to address this, especially because it's getting attention as a reason for marketers to return to skinny models: they sell product better.

i don't think this is the case. i think for a long time now, women have been living in 'the valley.' no, not like valley girls. i mean this trench from which we try to crawl out of. on one side, expectations and traditions (and don't you dare get me started in a debate by saying 'but they aren't there any more'--bullshit); on the other side, a long way up and out, paved with dogmas and philosophies difficult to navigate, aiming to feel alright in this world and in our bodies.

this shift is still changing.
the valley is getting smaller, but it will take time. this movement is helping more than hurting, if marketers/brands can suck it up a while longer. only in the past decade (being generous) have girls been able to see 'real women' in the media around them. wait for these girls to grow up. then tell me about their confidence, their eating habits, their response to thin models. if the same results hold in 20 years, then i'd consent to maybe there being something in it.

because right now, the valley effect is such that women see skinny women in skinny jeans (for example). that's a goal and aspiration that they were brought up (in many cases) to fulfill, understanding that this is what our Western society views as desirable. they want to be the skinny woman so they can buy the skinny jeans. thus, they get down on themselves, eat less, and do like the brand more--it's a status symbol, a version of self-growth and attainment/contentment.

that is removed for current 18-24 year olds, many of whom grew up on Britney Spears and Spice Girls, when they are shown images like themselves. there is no push to better oneself, no goal to reach, no status attached to something they can readily buy. to put it in perspective: the iPhone. if it was cheap and easy to get, tech geeks wouldn't be all over that shit. the iPhone are the skinny jeans of today's market gurus.

but that desire for the skinny jean will dissipate when it is no longer a status symbol. if the regular jeans are as desirable as the size 00s. to extend the metaphor, when it becomes more about the cut and style of the jeans, rather than the size. this is the shift. don't cut it off from happening. the study also found that seeing regular women was self-affirming, though brand-denying. but i should know better than to ask the industry to consider the end user over the almighty dollar.

[side note.
i'm not even getting into the fact that 194 students is a shitty sample size to be parading this data around on.


you can still scramble an egg.

or hard boil it. or poach it. serve it benedict or sunny-side-up.
...you get the picture. all i mean to say is perhaps the "chicken-and-egg" theory isn't entirely irrelevant with regards to content vs. context, as a recent AgencySpy post discusses.

as for the preliminary topic of whether content or context is more important in advertising--that is, creating engaging stories versus knowing consumer values--i agree with Frank Scherma on that one. or at least, i think i do. a link was not provided to his actual opinion, but i'm told that it lands a mixture of the two. (test tube eggs?)

i think that, in order to be effective, you need to understand and know your audience first. really know them. don't "think" you know them--most likely, you don't. know them again. you need to care about what they care about. love what they love. be intrigued by the same facets and hold similar priorities. at least when considering strategies.

then, taking that understanding, you craft engaging stories to communicate how a good product can be great for them. because no one wants to hear those exact words: "our product is wicked awesome! for all your _____ needs!" yeah, sure. it could be the exact bloody perfect thing i need, but by then i'll have already tuned it out.

as for the argument that ads may become the overbearing father at a malt shop (to mix blog metaphors for a moment), i'm not sure that's entirely true. YES a lot of purchasing now relies on word of mouth and on credible consumer reviews. YES this shifts the way that some products communicate. key word being some.

"clever ad campaigns be damned" only works when i really give a shit about where my money is going. for example, i'm going to research my digital camera, or my wireless mouse, or what flight carrier i choose, or my cell phone, lap top, insert fancy toy of choice here. point being: fancy toy of choice. i will research when i have to. i will take consumers into account when i want the most value for my buck.

but if i'm buying a new food product i've not heard of before, or buy new music i hadn't heard before, i am not researching that. i am looking at packaging (especially for those impulse buys that get me going back for more). i am watching commercials (anyone notice how more and more, commercials will have little paragraphs at the bottom citing song & artist? no joke.). i am remembering that advertisement i had to sit and stare on for an hour on a bus ride. or a billboard in traffic.

because, dammit, i don't need your opinion on my pack of gum.

consumers are willing to be more risky (take less advice) with (relatively) less expensive items. because of this, we are never going to get rid of the context/content part of the advertising show. we just don't want to be bothered researching every little thing. so while an iPod adapter, of relatively significant cost and quality, will be researched, that song on the commercial i heard will not.

i think the propensity to believe that everything will move toward consumer reviews and recommendations is a symptom of the echo chamber of us tech geeks, who like to be in the know and research every bloody thing, right down to whether or not i should purchase a $34 dress from TrashyDiva (i did, by the way). but take a step back.

try asking people how they came to purchase their last new items (new, meaning have not purchased before). i think you'll find the trend. at least, that's how this observation came to me. i do believe alan's "prom king" theory is entirely correct because it relies on what brands we spend money to care about; brands who say something about us when we choose them. but for those products we can afford to care less about, clever commercials still suffice.

people ignore irrelevant advertising. make it relevant (know your audience and apply that knowledge) and people will start to care, too.

ceci n'est pas un oeuf.


because the apocalypse doesn't have to be lonely.

a new installment of Funny After 5... for last minute giggles.

at first, my new favourite blog for distractions (The Daily Digresser) brought this little gem up in the left hand column and it was a total throwback to zombie week, where Jane and i told you that you needed at least 37 zombie plans to survive working in an ad agency. but in case you gave in and decided zombie plans aren't for you--maybe you're just keen on becoming a zombie--well then, my friends, eternity doesn't have to be so lonely. for you, there is www.zombiEharmony.com.

what's that you say? you yourself are not a zombie? ...are you even undead? maybe you're one of those pansy Twilight fans who wish you had a werewolf and a vampire to swoon over. that's okay, there's a site for you, too. from Campfire, the folks behind HBO's TruBlood campaign, there's the vampire dating microsite, dedicated to hooking blood dolls up with their dream vamps. g'head, go get Lovebitten, at least more than you already do via SuperPoke on Facebook.

[friendly warning: if you do sign up, be sure to give accurate thought to your screenname.]

badass, more badass, and badasser II

badass: i updated my blog roll to reflect what i'm actually reading, which meant saying goodbye to a few and adding on these 5: Does it Sell Stuff?; The Ad Contrarian; The Brief; The Social Path; and Dave Trott. in truth, i haven't read Dave's yet, but he comes on recommendation, so i'm starting. any others you want to bring to my attention?

more badass: courtesy of @ryanatmghwom, snap bracelets are making a come back. don't tell me you forgot about that bit of childhood goodness. only this time, they're USB enabled. ...yeah.

badasser: you thought that promoting fake blood on behalf of a new HBO show was badass (well it is). but try being even more ghettofabulous. pimp my ride, you say? close. try Pimp My Kettle. oh yeah, baby. that tricked out kettle is selling noodles all over your block.

and a parting gift, for those of us who have a slightly different definition of badass:
geeky badassness: the joker as ronald mcdonald. eat your advertising hearts out. this is the only time ronald has ever been hot.

[previous badasses here]

Yeas & Nays: IV

found here, re: greyhound stabbing here
Riot saith: NAY!
okay, so, i'm sure for all humourous purposes, this advertisement has surfaced. i would imagine, and from the look of it assume, that the ad came out before the stabbing. (i really, really hope so.) it's almost in bad taste to show it, if only because it makes me make that groaning noise. for those of you who don't know, a sleeping person on a Canadian Greyhound was stabbed in the throat and decapitated with a hunting knife on a bus full of people. what's Greyhound doing about it? not enough, Jaffe says, and i have to agree. on another note, the advertisement is pretty shitty, regardless of timeliness. i haven't heard of "car rage" either, and both buses and cars (and trucks and hummers) all use roads. 'nuff said.

TIGS, re: gorillas, chimps, ads, primates
Riot saith: YEA!
as if you didn't already know, Faris is wicked awesome. his post, linked above, catalogues something we all learned in 3rd grade and forgot: "they may not remember what you say, but they will always remember how you made them feel." that was supposed to teach us to be nice to one another. and even if advertising isn't exactly about being nice, it is about emotional response. i would like to see an effective ad that appeals not at all to any emotions--in an unironic way. the more and more i think about advertising, the more and more i come to realize that the youth injection is important. folks have got to stop thinking like marketers and remember that they're people, and relearn those things that made them people in the first place.

doesitsellstuff, re: social media
Riot saith: YEA!
i love stumbling across blogs that make me want to redo my entire blogroll (which i will be getting around to doing, there are some much needed additions). this is one such blog. Scott Sigler chronicles social media campaigns and their effectiveness in really interesting ways; the ways that make you actually want to spend time reading it all. and it is really, really interesting. i forget how i stumbled across it but i'm very glad that i did. his blog's subhead reads: "A look at case studies of companies using Social Media to, well, sell stuff. Forget theory - does it add to a company's bottom line, or is it all just a waste of money?" if you're into social and strategic planning, check him out.


you didn't want that finger, did you?

world's best warning sign evarr, found here, where this spiffy author Shaun has a possible living pic of the Montauk Monster as his user icon. okay, i'm a liar. he has nothing to do with the Montauk Monster. i think his user icon is actually two meercats spooning. check it out. he says some clever stuff, too.

on that note, i'm going to go vacation on Fire Island until sunday. you kids don't get too drunk without me. oh--and if you are the sort who thinks "don't touch that" really is reverse psychology for "please touch that" and you wound up without a finger--check out this youtube video for The Kelly Affair with a drag queen cannibal. it's a badass song by Be Your Own Pet based on the cult film Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. cheers!

as promised. Likkr lizenz ... DNI'D!

in this week's installment of Friday Felines, i am sending you over to the List Gods. okay, they're not really gods. they're a bunch of people who have nothing better to do than make lists with usually no more than 4-6 items on them. what kind of a list is that, i ask you? not an action list, that's for sure!

from here, Selected Minutes From Lolcat City Council Meetings:

We'z on ur lawn, fynin' ur i sor.

I can haz lodin' zone?

Stait'z in r skoolz, jerrymandrin' r diztrix!

I haz angree at skaytborderz!

We'z in ur biz, surchin' 4 bak taxz.

Y r kidz duso por on standrdiz'd testz? I blaymz skoolz!

Likkr lizenz ... DNI'D!

in truth, the funniest i've found of these lists has nothing to do with cats. and i won't get into the fact that the above list actually uses pretty shitty lolcatspeak (if an invented language can have rules--oh wait it can). what i actually mean when i say i love you: 30 scenarios. c'mon, own up: which of those have you said in subtitles? i know i'm guilty of:

-I approve of your behavior at this moment.
-I know you need assurances that I feel the same way about you.
-That is the exact CD I wanted to hear.

felines later. don draper now.

i'm busy at work on deadline (friday deadlines ftw!), but this made my morning, so i'm sharing. i'll get around to feline friday later today. xxo!

What Would Don Draper Do?

"I don't care. I'm a white male. Election results don't affect me."