Monday, April 07, 2008

Life Outside of Raiding Trashcans.

I know it's not cool to just repost stuff from other blogs without adding anything, but this is too awesome. From Creative Generalist:

Racoon Rift

My own poor, yet creepy photoshop work. Turns out my brother wouldn't be a handsome woman.

Talks on the Screen Porch.

Yes, I remember when Pappy would take us out on the front porch and spin a yarn or two. Neighbors you drop by to talk about the crop and whether or not we were gonna get any rain. Okay, so none of that happened where I grew up in Atanta–a city that's largely devoid of any southern charm. But it is the rather cool sentiment behind The Moth in NYC. From

The Moth, a not-for-profit storytelling organization, was founded in New York in 1997 by poet and novelist George Dawes Green, who wanted to recreate in New York the feeling of sultry summer evenings on his native St. Simon's Island, Georgia, where he and a small circle of friends would gather to spin spellbinding tales on his friend Wanda's porch.

This is my new favorite Podcast. I fire up the Moth podcast, put the headphones on and I'm lost. It has an intimate quality like somehow I am sitting on a porch somewhere in St. Simon's. My favorite story so far comes from Malcolm Gladwell. I like how he turns his first job in journalism into a tall tale of sorts. Its well worth leaning back, closing your eyes and taking a listen. There's a lot worse ways to spend 14 minutes and 23 seconds.

"I can't see any screen porches from here."

"You Deserve to Be a Giant."

That was the subject line in a piece of spam I just received. I don't think they're talking about my career/life, but hey, I'll interpret it how I please.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

There's Got to Be a Better Way.

This Gillette spot from BBDO was undoubtedly expensive to make and dominated by the client. I've got to believe that there has got to be a better way. It's not that I think celebrity endorsements are bad. I love the work done by Nike a few years ago with Lance Armstrong in a spot called "Press Conference." It's incredible how W+K gets out of the way and lets the athletes story come through. But this effort uses the athletes in a way that makes a losse connection to the product at best.

Although, I do love the look Tiger Woods gives Roger Federer after Henri rubs his face. Tiger's saying, "can you believe this f*ing guy?"

Turning Fifty.

Article at the Washington Post about the peace symbol turning fifty.

As the article notes, the symbols success is largely due to it's "simplicity and adaptability." To me, it's kind of an archaic symbol. It still evokes ideas like unity, compassion and goodwill, but in an old fashioned sense. It feels like a hippie ideal and less like a solution to any of our current geopolitical problems.

Tiny Logo Engraving.

What we have here is a strand of branded hair. I'm not sure what application this would have right now. The image kind of looks like the giant ads people make so they show up on Google Earth. Maybe this is a new way to smuggle data?

Friday, April 04, 2008

Be Where You're From.

I watched this film last night about Jimmy Carter during his Palestine: Peace not Apartheid book tour. Jimmy's life and work is woven into intimate moments from the tour.

What struck me most is how true Jimmy is to himself and his roots. He's lived in Plains, GA almost his entire life, he loves barbecues, and he throws "y'alls" around like it's his job. And yet, he's as worldly and individual as you can get. His southernness–something that's easily mocked–coexists perfectly with his image as a renowned statesman. Maybe it's because I'm from Atlanta, but it flies in the face of the idea that becoming a citizen requires forfeiting the regional aspects of your being.

I think there's a direct connection between maintaining who you are and doing great advertising.

As Mark Fenske pointed out when he came to the Circus to speak and on his blog,

The danger to your development an ad school poses is:
there's more pressure to be like someone else than there is encouragement to become more of who you are.

Going to Ad School has caused my Southern Accent to slip away. I've had three people in the last few months ask me if I'm from the West Coast. A few people at work have been shocked to hear I'm from Atlanta. It's troubling that I might be losing a part of my Southernness. And even more troubling that, at times, I've thought that was a good thing.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Sprint, Samsung Can't Learn From Microsoft.

Behold, The Samsung Instinct. Granted, it's difficult to judge a piece of technology without handling it first, but this seems like an incredibly bad idea. Apparently, Sprint doesn't think so. This is what Sprint CEO Dan Hesse says:

"This device is like no other touch-screen phone," Mr. Hesse said in a keynote address at the CTIA wireless conference here. The Instinct, he said, provides proof "that the wireless company of the future exists now."

Is this an April Fools joke? Do these people have access to the internet or a newspaper? Have they heard of Microsoft Zune? Or Windows Vista?

You can't out Apple Apple. Even with an improved user interface (maybe), a stronger feature set and lower price point, Instinct will have mediocre sales at best. It won't matter if this phone can cure herpes while giving angels their wings, it won't compete with iPhone.

It won't help either that, as AdAge points out, both Sprint and Samsung will be marketing the handset independently. Sprint is going to spend 100 million dollars. How do these people have jobs?

If they really think they are the cell phone company of the future, why don't they act like it? Maybe by coming out with something original. 100 million dollars, unbelievable. No amount of money can save this thing. Am I the only one who sees this or is it so obvious no one is bothering to talk about it?

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Get a New Video Game Habit.

Researchers at McGill University in Montreal created a simple game called the MindHabits trainer. The player searches a four by four block of frowny faces for one that's smiling. Find the smiling face, click it, repeat. On the surface, it seems insufferable.

In a study, tele-marketers played the game for five to ten minutes before their shift started. Something interesting happened:

At the end of the week, the group that played the "find the smile" exercise reported feeling less stressed, had higher self esteem, made more sales, and were rated as being more confident in their phone calls. Most remarkably, said Balwin, they had 17 percent lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

Could this have any implications for creatives? It reminds me of what Alex Bogusky said about how he wards off creative block at Crispin. The mindset you bring to the work can make a huge difference.

Link to the Reuter's story here.

Monday, March 31, 2008

The Cup and Facebook

Or more accurately, the Carolina Cup.  It's an annual horse race held in Camden, SC.  People go ape shit for this thing.  Like the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, The Cup (that's what people from South Carolina call it) has it's own uniform and aesthetic.  More or less, the infield at the race looks like the Easter Bunny had some bad sushi and threw up everywhere.

I wore a pink and blue polka-dotted bow-tie.

When a friend posted a picture of me as a profile picture I got weirded out. Everywhere my friend touched on facebook now included a picture of me in a bow-tie.  I knew this would open me up to unmitigated shit from everyone at school.  I'm used to taking shit, but it bothers me that any part of my life that can be captured in pixels can be shared to thousands of people. Regardless of the content, I don't like any aspect of my personal life being out there in a way I can't control.

The larger question here is: am I cut out for web 2.0?  Am I cut out for all of this openness?  If I get squeamish over one photograph, can I cut it a world and an industry thats increasingly calling for sharing?  Am I responding like Coke during the whole Eepy Bird Mentos and Diet Coke thing?  Should I have been more like Mentos?  Should I have embraced the photograph?  Commented on it?  Created a group for jackasses wearing bow-ties?   

What happens if Modernista's new website backfires?  What happens if they get involved in a ATHF situation?  Will they change their site?