Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Different Approach To A Car Commercial

I thought this was a pretty eye catching and unique car commercial. The art direction is wonderful and it sells a relatively mundane feature in a highly unique way, while the music and rythem just make it fun to watch. Check it out:

Monday, September 29, 2008

Dr. Seuss Goes Political

TV is swamped with political ads right now. One way to stand out from the rest? Channel your inner 3-year-old.

This ad from the National Republican Senatorial Committee attacks North Carolina democratic candidate for Senate Kay Hagan. This post explains the ad (and the Coke tax).

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Second Pay Off?

As I read on Ad Freak, Seinfeld-Gates could have taken some cues from the Fey-Scorsese as a way to use celebrity in an actually funny way. Not only was the first spot amusing, but starting last night there is a 'bonus' or follow up spot that's equally funny. It continues the scene in the first spot, advertising a different service for the American Express than the first one did, and it works. Brilliant.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Type Is Art

I have a designer's love affair with typography. I find fonts beautiful. Well, maybe nor comic sans, but in general. The thing is, type is really just specific shapes that we recognize and you can form those beautiful shapes into art that has nothing to do with words. Take, for example, the mixed media work from one of my favorite college professors. (She taught a class called Reconstruction, Recognition and the Found.) Her work uses letterforms to create something new.

There's an interesting site called Type Is Art that let's you play around with the 20 different identifiable pieces of letters and use them to create art. Here are two little pieces I put together. Visit typeisart.com to see more work or to create your own!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Oh, The Irony

Microsoft's new ad touts how PCs are used everywhere for everything. Too bad they didn't think about how Macs rule the world of design before producing the ad. Yes, there are some agencies out there that use PCs, but they're few and far between, so it's not a big surprise to me to find out the PC ads were actually made on Macs. It's just a little funny. I'm sure it's what the CP+B designers, art directors and vendors use for everything and probably no one thought about it, at least until the meta data was pulled from the photos posted online. Oops...

A guy named LuisDS on Flickr discovered the data and there's some good info on it at Roughly Drafted.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Microsoft's Latest Spot

So the Microsoft advertising saga continues. Each time I read about what's happening I get a bit more confused. If you want more clarification and a good critique, check out this Joseph Jaffe post. The latest ad came out yesterday, for the 'new' campaign, which I guess I thought would at least somewhat tie to the bizarre Seinfeld teasers, but no, it's very much a separate campaign. It doesn't connect to the teasers in tone or messaging which begs the question, what was the purpose of the Seinfeld spots? Just to create a bunch of buzz and then never lead us anywhere? Highly annoying.

That being said, I do like the new spot. It exceeded the very low expectations I outlined in my last post. The funky music, amusing characters and nice editing make the vignettes much more interesting than I expected. It's not a new idea by any means—a pretty straight and traditional concept actually, but it's well executed and thus nice to watch. Check it out below:

The biggest question in my mind is, did it work? My boss, a PC user, would say yes, they totally called out Mac's stereotyping. I, a Mac user, am a little less eager to praise it. Yes, they called out Mac's stereotype, but it was a satire, so it was supposed to be. I mean did those Mac commercials really make PC users feel dorkier? Did anyone not know that PCs are 97% of the market share and used everywhere? I mean, being in the minority is one of one of the things I've always like about being a Mac user. And I've been a Mac user since it was an even smaller minority, way before it was 'cool' and even before I went into design. But as a die-hard Mac user I doubt I'm the target audience, so I guess if it's making PC users feel better about being PC users, we should call it a success. What do you think?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Will Microsoft's Campaign Ever Deliver More?

The blog world is abuzz this morning as news that Microsoft's continued campaign will no longer feature Jerry Seinfeld. What? Was he fired because the commercials sucked? Ouch... In the meantime Microsoft tries to claim it's all part of the bigger plan. Sure...

Further research this morning gave me a glimpse of the upcoming campaign and yeah, maybe it didn't ever have Seinfeld in it since apparently there will be cameos from Eva Longoria, Deepak Chopra, Pharrell Williams and reappearances of Gates. The upcoming campaign is supposed to feature real PC users as well as a John Hodgman look-alike in an attempt to reposition what it means to be a PC user in an attempt to directly play off of the Mac/PC commercials Mac has been successfully running for the past few years.

Following a set of teasers that I can only imagine were supposed to be a lot funnier than they were, I can't say I have high expectations for the rest of the campaign. Are they planning to make the PC character unpitiable? Good luck. And short PC user testimonial vignettes? Like that hasn't been done before. I'll refrain from any additional thoughts until I actually see the new spots, but I'm not holding my breath.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

2016 Olympic Bid City Logos

Here are the logos for the shortlisted bid cities for the 2016 Olympics and I must say, no matter who is picked it'll infinitely better than London's hideous 2012 flashback to the '80s. I think Rio is topping the list for me, but it's a very close call. What's your favorite?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Moving On From Movie Quotes

Earlier posted about our boss's first chalkboard wall, Song Lyrics. Once the song lyrics were erased, we started in on movie quotes and now that we've filled the wall again, we'll erase and start over. This round is an agency collaborative story contributed one sentence at a time.

This should be interesting.

View the large, and legible, image of the movie quotes wall by clicking on the photo above.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Microsoft Part II Still Fails To Deliver

This must still be in the build up stage, but I still don't entirely understand where Microsoft is going with this. TechCrunch hits the nail on the head about the mixed messaging going on here. The message seems to be 'We're getting in touch with real people," but Jerry and Bill are failing miserably at doing so and come across as completely out of touch.

At an even longer length than the first one, this spot just drags and lacks humor even more than the first. Bill Gates doing the robot? Are we going to be cursed with one of those at the end of every one of these spots? Yuck.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Microsoft Goes Funny?

Anyone watching tv this weekend, probably noticed this new commercial from Microsoft. At 90 seconds long and featuring Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates, it's a little hard to miss. But did it work? I remember, despite Bill Gates front and center, being surprised and a little disappointed that it was a Microsoft commercial. I guess I naively thought Seinfeld and Gates were endorsing something entirely different and expected some sort of better pay off. Or maybe I just don't get it.

It's such an oddball spot for any brand, especially Microsoft. Was it amusing? Yes. Did it hold my attention? Yes (although mostly in an effort to figure out where the spot was going). Did I laugh? A little. Was it memorable? Sure. Did it improve Microsoft's image to me? No, but then again I'm a die hard mac user. The trouble is, while the first time I watched rather amused at Bill Gates' attempt to act, by my second time watching it (for this post) I really wasn't a fan of it at all. I found it much less entertaining and rather annoyingly long. Am I being too harsh?

This TechCrunch post gives us a little insider information into Microsoft's marketing with an internal memo posted there. Apparently they're going for humor and humanity. I see it, but I just don't think it's working. We'll just have to see how the rest of the campaign unfolds... What do you think?

Friday, September 5, 2008

Pantone My Apartment Please

English company W2 has created a number of Pantone items for the designer's home. Varieties of Pantone mugs and messenger bags are all that's available in their Pantone collection now, although it inspires me to think what else we could make Pantone for an apartment like mine. Pantone plates and bowls too? A Pantone KitchenAid? Pantone wall paint? Pantone fabric? Ooh the possibilites...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Oh Boy!

Obama's campaign has been marked as one of the first to use the internet to its fullest capacity, from raising small sums of money from a large base to great uses of blogs, Twitter and Facebook. One of the most intriguing parts of his campaign, however, has to be ohboyobama.com, his idea generation site.

Idea generation sites cropped up awhile ago, mystarbucksidea.com probably taking the prize of most well known and popular, but Dell's ideastorm.com and make your own idea generation site kindlingapp.com are out there too. They're kind of the new hot web 2.0 gimmick, but they're not always appropriate and need quite a commitment from the host brand to really work without disillusioning their 'idea generators'.

Ohboyobama.com has been around since the primaries, but now that the election is finally in full swing we can see voters voice their opinions on all sorts of ideas from how he should handle McCain's VP pick Sarah Palin to what issues voters think he still needs to clarify. I find it a fascinating way for web 2.0 to play a part in politics and a great way for voters to get their voices heard to their candidates. The key will be, as it is in any idea generation site, how much and how well Obama actually listens to and implements these ideas.

We'll just have to wait and see.