Friday, May 30, 2008

Truth in Advertising #20

Some of the best ideas come at unexpected times. Like in the middle of your morning shower.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Web 2.0 Without the Web

That's right. Well, sort of. The Bubble Project has a website, but the real consumer interaction is happening on the street. The video below is a great explanation and example of the project and how it's developing. Check it out:



It's mainly on the streets of NY for now, but supposedly they're expanding worldwide. Love the idea.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Microstock: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

Microstock is a pretty new development in the design and stock photography world. It started a few years ago with iStockphoto, but has really taken off in the last year or two with iStock copycats popping up all over the place. I'll admit, I was one of the first to jump on the microstock bandwagon. It seemed the perfect solution for low-budget pro bono or agency work—or even client work that had 'no budget for photography'. Still, in the world of royalty free, you need to be careful, especially if that RF image is as cheap as microstock.

The perfect example recently came to my attention. The social networking site, Twitter, has a distinctive bird illustration on their homepage. It's come to feel like part of the Twitter identity. Unfortunately, it's also straight from iStockphoto and has been downloaded a few hundred times already. The illustration comes from an illustrator on iStockphoto who has a dozen or so of this same bird with varying backgrounds etc. Plus it's available as vector and editable, so the possibilities of variations on this bird are endless. The trouble is, anyone with $5 can buy one of these illustrations and use it however and wherever they please. And that's exactly what's already happening to Twitter's little bird.













I was alerted to this by a tweet suggesting a local orchestra needed some new creatives since the tweeter spotted a poster (on the right) advertising the orchestra's free summer concert series using the exact same bird and branch as Twitter's homepage. I doubt tweeter is familiar with microstock and I doubt the creatives who designed the poster are familiar with Twitter, but it's a great example of the dangers of using microstock too much or in the wrong situations. A short term poster is exactly the sort of thing most designers would use microstock for. Branding, or where it's used prominently enough to be confused with branding, definitely not. I can see why Twitter probably used the bird in the beginning, and as a designer, I have recommended iStock to some startups just getting their sites off the ground, but at this point Twitter needs to look a little further into the future. Sorry Twitter, but it's time to work directly with an illustrator, get exclusive rights and swap out that bird!

Daisy Sprouts


I may redeem myself yet...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Something to Celebrate

Cue streamers and confetti:
video

We Can Solve It. But Can We Solve This: Why the Upside-Down M?

I first saw the TV ads for the We Campaign, a climate crisis organization, a month or two ago. I've finally gotten around to blogging about it, and I'm hoping my Art Director counterpart can help me answer this question: Why the upside-down m in the logo? The We Campaign Web site, http://www.wecansolveit.org/ only uses the upside-down m purposefully when referencing their campaign, "we."

When I first saw the ad and intriguing font choice on TV, I thought it would make sense for the campaign's tagline to be something like, "We Can Solve It. It Starts with Me." Get it? We. Me. Maybe not.

Art Directors and aspiring Logo Makers--what do you think? Does it give deeper meaning to the campaign or is it just a way to stand out from the We channel?



Friday, May 23, 2008

Weezer's Nod to the YouTube Celebrity

Weezer's latest video, Pork and Beans, features all our favorite YouTube web celebrities. Nicely done. How many can you spot?

What to do with all those awards?

Fallon is apparently rolling in so many Clios and One Show Pencils they don't know what to do with them all—so they're melting them together to make a large 'You Are Fallon' sign. Man, if only I had that problem... you can have my Addys! But a One Show Pencil? I'd let that carefully gather dust for many, many years...

Check out their promotional videos:


Thursday, May 22, 2008

False Advertising?

Todd Davis of LifeLock gives out his Social Security number on his commercials, claiming that his LifeLock service is so good, he can do this without worry. His little stunt has brought quite a bit of attention to LifeLock. The problem? It doesn't work. Reports circulated all over today about how frequently Todd Davis's SS number has been misused and abused. I'm sure with a successful company and an army of workers to clean up the fallout of misuse of his identity, can the same be said for you? Clearly LifeLock isn't as bullet proof as Davis would have us believe.

But is what Davis doing any worse than an infomercial that promises far more than it ever delivers? In a world scared silly of identity theft, this deception has made far more headlines than your average ineffective stain remover for fraudulent claims. I'm not saying I approve of this kind of deceptive advertising, and maybe I'm just jaded, but shouldn't a consumer always be wary of any claim that seems too good to be true?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Cowboy Caviar


Cowboy Caviar is a sweet salsa that's been an agency staple ever since it was introduced here by a former employee a few years ago. It's a fantastic summer party dish since it's easy, you make it the night before, and it makes a ton. A big Happy Birthday and thanks to Gail for bringing it in. Here's the recipe!

COWBOY CAVIAR

DRESSING:

1/2 CUP VINEGAR
1/2 CUP SUGAR
1 CUP OIL

BRING THE DRESSING INGREDIENTS TO A BOIL AND LET COOL

DRAIN AND RINSE ALL THE FOLLOWING CANNED INGREDIENTS FIRST AND PUT IN BIG BOWL WITH FRESH INGREDIENTS

1 CAN WHITE CORN (OR GREEN GIANT MEXI-CORN) I USE 2 CANS MEXI CORN
1 CAN PINTO BEANS W/JALAPENOS
1 CAN BLACK-EYED PEAS W/JALAPENOS
1 CAN BLACK BEANS (RINSE THOROUGHLY)
1 EACH GREEN, YELLOW AND RED PEPPERS - CHOPPED
1 MEDIUM RED ONION - CHOPPED
CILANTRO CHOPPED (TO TASTE)

POUR COOLED DRESSING OVER ALL AND STIR GENTLY WITH A SPATULA

REFRIGERATE OVERNIGHT FOR BEST TASTE

SERVE WITH CHIPS, ALSO GREAT AS A SALAD

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sex and the City Movie Marketing

Unless you've been living under a rock the past couple weeks, you know that the Sex and the City movie is finally ready to debut soon (May ३०th, I believe). I stumbled across a promotion for the movie inviting fans to bum around on Carrie's laptop. It's pretty gimmicky, but a nice 5-minute distraction nonetheless. iChat conversations with the other characters challenge you find trivia clues on Carrie's Mac. Easy enough. I'd say a little too easy to be very interesting. A few tips from Veer might be helpful. Although if I actually cared about the movie even half as much as most women I know, it might have been more interesting too. Even so, I completed the questions and now I'm registered to win a movie poster. How special.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Let's Try This Again


I refuse to give up on my black thumb. I'm now attempting to grow some daisies, my favorite flowers, in anticipation of summer. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Is Dove's 'Campaign for Real Beauty' Real?


We're all familiar with the Dove Real Beauty campaign. It centers on the revolutionary idea to use "real women" rather than models in its advertising efforts.

This past Friday, a feature article in the New Yorker took an inside look at the world of photo retouching and renowned fashion retoucher Pascal Dangin. In it, the author posed the following scenario:
I mentioned the Dove ad campaign that proudly featured
lumpier-than-usual "real women" in their undergarments. It turned out that it
was a Dangin job. "Do you know how much retouching was on that?" he asked. "But
it was great to do, a challenge, to keep everyone’s skin and faces showing the
mileage but not looking unattractive."
As you can imagine, there was an uproar. Could it be true that the advertising campaign claiming real beauty was, itself, fake?

Both Dangin and Dove immediately issued statements. (Interestingly, I couldn't find a press release on this issue on the Campaign for Real Beauty Web site.) Dangin claims his comments were taken out of context and misconstrued. Dove claims the images were not digitally altered. Here's the final quote from Dove's statement:

Mr. Dangin responded, "The recent article published by The New Yorker
incorrectly implies that I retouched the images in connection with the Dove
"real women" ad. I only worked on the Dove ProAge campaign taken by Annie
Leibovitz and was directed only to remove dust and do color correction -
both the integrity of the photographs and the women's natural beauty were
maintained."

Slate takes a look into whether it's possible to tell if the images were indeed retouched. What are your thoughts about all of this?

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

2009 Super Bowl Ads to Cost $3 Million

Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal announced that the starting rate for a 30-sec spot during the 2009 Super Bowl is $3 mil. Last year's starting rate was $2.7 mil.

I didn't realize this but, according to the article, long-time sponsors like Anheuser-Busch receive a discounted rate because they purchase multiple spots each year and purchase them early. The WSJ reports that A-B "has locked in a rate of about $2 million for each of its spots... . The brewer often buys about 10 ads every Super Bowl and purchases ad time months and years in advance."

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

New 2008 Cadillac Escalade Commercial

Cadillac has done it again. It's latest commercial, Graduate, offers perfection in talent and tone.



Yes, Brian Bloom is a looker. But is Cadillac (via ad agency Modernista) trying too hard to sound "deep" with this one?

Monday, May 5, 2008

Truth in Advertising #75

Although discretion should be used, high-fiving a prospective client while in-house for an agency tour isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Quizno's Attempts $5 Sub Too

Earlier, Megan posted about Subway's new $5 footlong deal and the commercial/jingle that goes with it. Well apparently it's made enough of a splash for Quizno's to directly retaliate. Personally, I hate commercials that directly attack a competitor, it's just annoying and uncreative. This particular spot attempts and fails at some humor in the beginning and then just goes on to say, 'Look we have $5 subs too, but with more meat. Take that Subway!' Yeah... not so creative. Granted, in general I like Quizno's better than Subway, and I'm not a fan of the $5 footlong jingle, but this Quizno's spot made them look like they're chasing after Subway. It's just plain sad.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Truth in Advertising #81

Babies and puppies have a tendency to bring work to a halt.

Ads of the Weird Adblog

This morning I somehow came across MSN's adblog, Ads of the Weird. The posts weren't as exciting to me as reading the heated comments going back and forth on some of the posts, like those on McDonald's and Dunkin Donuts. You might be interested to check it out for yourself.