Thursday, January 31, 2008

For My DH

Cadillac Script Turns Me On

In this recent commercial for Cadillac, Kate Walsh (AKA Dr. Addison Montgomery-Shepherd) delivers one of the best lines I've heard in a while: "The real question is, when you turn your car on, does it return the favor?"

I really like the line. I think it's delivered impeccably and fits perfectly in the spot. But a coworker of mine, also a copywriter, thinks it's lame (and he's a GUY!).

What are your thoughts? Does the line turn you on or off?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Party On!

Almost every company has a holiday or winter party and ours is no different. Last Saturday night played host to our annual winter party, but unlike many other company parties ours has a different theme every year. Megan and I are both members of the planning committee and when you let ad agency employees run with their ideas, you come up with some great results. Check out the pics and video from our Kaleidoscope of Color party!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Truth in Advertising #33

The last week in January is one of the busiest weeks of the year.

We'll have exciting new posts soon. We promise.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Super Mario Brothers Symphony?

I heard a commercial on the radio the other day and at first, I thought I'd misheard it. It seemed to be promoting some sort of expo featuring songs from classic video games. What? Sounds lame. I proceeded to lump it into the same part of my brain where I remember booming announcements for boat expos and wedding shows and continued on my drive home.

The next day on my drive into work, I hear the DJs on my morning show giving away tickets to something called Video Games Live. Apparently the same show that I'd heard the ad for the night before. It's actually a concert featuring songs from retro video games played by an orchestra. Now I like a game of Pacman as much as the next person and the soundtrack to classic Super Mario Brothers does make me nostalgic for the first generation Nintendo, but and entire concert devoted to the music? Apparently this concert is a big thing—traveling all over the world and selling out. Who knew?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Cool Blog Alert

A friend of a friend (of a friend) found a cool blog called indexed. It's one person posting deep life insights using simple diagrams on index cards. Here's one of our favorite posts about the font Comic Sans. Check it out.

Celebrity should not be mistaken for authority

I recently learned about a bit of hot water Pfizer is in over their Lipitor commercials starring Dr. Robert Jarvik. Now when you watch these commercials, Dr. Jarvik comes across as a licensed, practicing physician who is giving you medical advice. And let's not forget he has some fame from the Jarvik artificial heart he tested in 1982. Being an infant in 1982, I didn't know anything about the case, but it sounds impressive to have an artificial heart named after you—so he must be a good authority on cardiology and cholesterol right?

Wrong. The unfortunate truth be told, Dr. Jarvik, while technically an M.D., NBC reporter Bazell looked into his education early last year, he is not a licensed or practicing physician. After failing to make the grades to get into med school in the US after undergrad, Jarvik went to school in Italy for two years before dropping out. Then he meandered back to the US and finally went and graduated med school from the University of Utah in 1976. But he never interned, did a residency or practiced medicine in any way and he definitely can't prescribe drugs.

Well he's still an M.D. you say—except that by not being licensed to practice medicine, he doesn't have to renew his license, so he doesn't have to continue his medical education like licensed doctors do. Yes, he is still working on making his artificial heart work, 25 years later, but does that really qualify him to recommend prescription drugs on cholesterol? Especially when the tv spots currently airing misleadingly make him sound like a practicing physician who's taking his own advice when he's never prescribed any medicine—ever. Sneaky sneaky on Pfizer's part if you ask me.

I'm not the only one questioning this either. Congress is investigating if Jarvik is giving out medical advice without a license to practice medicine. Check out the spots below and decide for yourself.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Your Mamma Says You're Hungry

Since it's Friday, let's keep it light. These TV spots from Hillshire Farms should do the trick. I love them, but not because they're particularly clever. They're just catchy, fun ads.

Want to see more? A simple search in YouTube brings up a whole slew of 'em. Go Meat!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Truth in Advertising #92

A bag of microwave popcorn is a perfectly acceptable lunch. (Even at 4 o'clock in the afternoon.)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Healthcare Tagline Makes Me Ache

A friend sent over an AdAge article titled "Your Advertising Slogans Are Crummy. Can't You Do Better?"

As a copywriter, I enjoyed reading the article. I also thought it gave the perfect opportunity to rant about a tagline that's bugged me for some time. A nearby healthcare facility used the tagline "Get to know us. Well." Think about that for half a second. Yeah OK, time's up. Is it trying to make the connection between their healthcare services and feeling well? Because if that's the goal, in my opinion, it fails considerably. All I can think about when I hear that tagline is that the healthcare facility wants patients to be frequently, perpetually ill. How do you get to know someone well? You come around. A lot.

The good news is that, apparently, they've changed their tagline since the new year. It's now the much better "Care for Life." Phew.

Thanks for letting me rant. I feel much better. (Hmm...I wonder if their counseling services are any good...)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Is it a successful ad?

So after a tiring weekend out of town, I settled on my couch Sunday night for a little R&R. With the writer's strike affecting almost all shows, the pickings were slim and I sat channel flipping between 3 different movies while tackling a crossword puzzle. Then a commercial came on that struck my attention. It was entirely silent with text scrolling down the screen. View it below:

My reaction? The lack of audio sucked me into reading the script, but I wouldn't have ever remembered it as a Converse ad had I not been making a mental note to potentially blog about it. The text in the ad did strike a chord however. It made me turn off the TV, finish my crossword puzzle and open a book.

So was it successful because it inspired me to take action and turn off the TV? Even though it in no way inspired me to wear Converse, barely even reminded me it was for Converse, and essentially got me to turn away from the portal that brought me the ad in the first place? Or is it successful just because it was memorable enough to be blogged about?

Monday, January 14, 2008

Let them eat cake

My baking buddy at work, Jeff, and I keep the creative department well fed and sugared up to get that creativity flowing. I'm constantly asking him for recipes of the various treats he brings in and some of my favorite recipes of his come in the form of cake. Everything from a very potent rum cake, to sweet potato cake to my absolute favorite—the apricot nectar cake. He brought it in today, and it disappeared in a flash. It's a delicious, tangy cake that's very simple to make. Enjoy!

Apricot Nectar Cake

One package lemon cake mix
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup salad oil
1 cup apricot nectar
4 eggs
Juice of one lemon
1 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix together the cake mix, granulated sugar, salad oil and apricot nectar until just blended. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Pour batter into a well-greased bundt pan and bake for one hour.

Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before removing from pan. Invert onto a plate (it helps if it has a rim or lip because the frosting will run).
Using a fork poke holes in the cake to allow the frosting to penetrate. Strain any pulp from the juice and mix the juice and powdered sugar until smooth. While the cake is still warm spoon the frosting over the cake a little at a time, using the back of the spoon to press lightly into the cake.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Wildlife Update

Well, after one week in my new office, I'm happy to announce that my view of the backyard has not disappointed. I've enjoyed watching squirrel antics and I've noticed that the five resident turkeys always seem to hang out together (they're all male, according to the agency's COO).

I haven't seen the mythical coyote yet. Let's just hope I see him before he sees me.


Tomorrow, between 3–6pm EST, don't be surprised to ride the subway next to a pantless fellow rider. Relax and play along. It's just the annual No Pants! Subway Ride. Yes, that's right, no pants.

I stumbled across this information on Facebook, since one of my friends will be participating in the NYC No Pants! Subway Ride. My curiosity peaked, I looked a little deeper into it. Is this real? Or just some publicity hoax? Are they actually stripping down in the middle of the NYC subway? Isn't January a little cold for such an event?

As it turns out this is the 7th Annual (always in January) No Pants! Subway Ride, organized by Improv Everywhere (IE), a NYC improv group that hosts various 'missions' around the city. Their various shenanigans receive a good amount of press, and at least the No Pants! Subway Ride has inspired additional chapters around the country and one in Australia. IE's creator, Charlie Todd, claims part of his group's mission, if there is one, is to reclaim the public space and blanket the city with comedy the way corporations have blanketed the city with ads. As an advertiser, my first thought was how you could harness this type of comedic event and use it for promotional purposes. It's intriguing and unforgettable to witness. Like other guerilla and viral advertising, the big question is will it have the same effect if people learn it's an ad?

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Abandoned Campaign Needs a Home

We worked on a pro-bono project last year for an organization that gets people to foster and adopt Golden Retrievers. We created two print campaigns to promote fostering animals, neither of which was ultimately used by the client. Both campaigns have the potential to expand to collateral pieces, outdoor, etc.

The creative is already complete. Do you know of an animal shelter or other organization that could benefit from this work? Or do you have a suggestion to make them better? Let us know!

Here are the campaigns:

Friday, January 4, 2008

Damn, it feels good to be a gangsta' creative

Loopy, nutty and sometimes crazy things happen in the creative department. Especially at the end of the day on a Friday. For example, preparations to welcome our summer intern back as a full timer... check out the pics of our handiwork.

First Post from Pear Office

Because I know you were all on the edge of your black pleather chairs waiting for an update, this is the first post from my new office! With the exception of a few files and my wall decor, I'm all moved in. Yes, the walls are still pear-colored. No, I'm not planning on painting.

No wildlife sightings yet. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

New Year, New Changes

It's a new year and our creative department is making some changes. For one, my ACD just offered me the office across the hall. It has a nice cherry desk, plenty of space and a window. Yes, a window! That's, like, premium real estate.

It's also painted a less-than-appealing yellowish pear color.

It's not that I'm not considering moving, because I'm not (not not considering it, that is). It's just that I'm lamenting leaving my lovely, hand-picked, hand-painted tea green walls.

I guess it's true: No pain, no gain. Sigh.