Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A (blank ) for your thoughts

You could only do this on TV.

To promote a back-to-school sale of items for a penny (back to school? ALREADY?) Office Max hired some guy to go around New York City trying to pay for things with pennies. Pretty funny. Makes you think about all those pennies you have in a jar on your dresser and what you could do with them.

See more of them here.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Bejing Olympics

If you're like many of us, you've probably at one time or another had a "what were they thinking?" moment when it comes to holding the Olympics in China.

Wrong for so many reasons. Pollution, of course, is just one of them.

A more important one is China's abysmal Human Rights record and all sorts of ads have appeared on behalf of various Amnesty organizations. Here are two I found on copyranter.

There's another one out there about how they developed the logo that I'll try to find.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

And rightly so

This very wonderful web site for Ikea in (I think) Sweden is one of Creativity's Weekly Top 5.

Poke around and give the things time to run. It sure keeps you on the site.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

You've been there, right?

This is hysterical.

The premise is "what if there were no such thing as a stop sign and a major corporation was charged with developing one." Sadly, much of this stuff will be familiar to you. Especially the -- well, especially all of it.

Found on AdFreak. I don't know who did it.

Enjoy. It's 4 minutes long, but worth it.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I wonder about these kinds of things

A college friend of mine is named Matt. We called him Woofie.

His father was Polish and was named Mieczysław. It was pronounced “Ma-CHEEZE-Wuff”. Which is how Woofie got his nickname. One of Mieczysław’s (pronounced “Ma-CHEEZE-Wuff”) friends called him “Woof” for obvious reasons. And he referred to my friend Matt as “Little Woofie” when he was born.

You needed to know that.

Not really, but sometimes I wonder which of our names is our real name. The one we spell, like Mieczyslaw or the one we say out loud, as in Ma-CHEEZE-Wuff? Or the Duke basketball coach, Mike Krzyzewski, who pronounces it “Sha-CHEF-skee”. Which one is the real name?

My name is Woody. But what if I wanted to spell it “L-o-i-s”? Or if I wanted to keep spelling it "W-o-o-d-y", but started pronouncing it “CARL-ton”? Or even “Mon-SAN-to”? Seriously. I mean, it's MY name.

We should think about these things. I do.

This has nothing whatsoever to do with advertising, but it’s been on my mind.

(P.S. The guy in the picture is not my friend Matt. It's Mieczyslaw Weinberg. A composer.I should not have to explain these things.)

Step One: Get yourself an elevator

I found this on The AdBlog.

Very cool promotion for Oreo cookies. Just in case you didn't know they were good dunked. Done by DraftFCB New York.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

It says so in the New York Times

It's hard to disagree with an Editorial Notebook piece in the Sunday New York Times this week about the "WE" campaign Al Gore has put up. After all kinds of ballyhoo and boasts of some ginormous ambitious campaign using what we're told is a $300 million budget, this is what we get. Al Sharpton and Pat Robertson, Nancy Pelosi and New Gingrich. (Apple did it better years ago when they matched opposites for a PowerBook campaign.)

I'd seen ad blogs about how lame it is, but didn't expect The Times to agree. Why, asks Lawrence Downes, if the job of cleaning up the planet is so huge and urgent "is the campaign so pedestrian?"

Good damn question. Downes goes on to suggest that they "
Get George Lois, the pope, Carole King, Neil Sedaka, will.i.am, Nelson Mandela and Steven Spielberg in a room with whoever handled the Axe body spray contract, the one that somehow got millions of men in their 20s to obsess about personal odor management. Then you might have something."

Good idea.

Friday, July 18, 2008

I don't care if it's real or fake

I like it.

Nike -- or someone -- is doing a lot of these.

Found it!

That Washington State Lottery spot is back on YouTube -- but with a horrible music track this time. It's still beautiful, but this is a good example of how the right music can make a spot better -- and the wrong music come close to wrecking it.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Somebody'll do it

There’s an RFP floating around Washington right now for a well-known product of a well-known entity. I can’t think of an agency that wouldn’t love to do the work.

But I really disagree with the way they are going about it. They are looking for (and I quote here) “creative services for [NAME], including overall branding, advertisements for outdoor, print, and online, and web graphics.” It’s (again quoting the RFP) a “unique trade opportunity.” As in “no cash money.”

This particular organization is an honored entity with a good local and national reputation. Certainly this particular product segment is. And it’s possible that some sort of organizational by-laws or just plain economics precludes paying money for the services they need. Who knows?

But what they have to offer is of limited value to an agency, unless they were open to allowing for re-sale, which they are not. Great for other kinds of businesses, but not ours.

This is certainly not the toughest RFP I’ve ever seen, but it’s going to take some effort to complete it. And, of course, in order to compete for this trade-only project, you have to (get this) provide them with four years of financials including your pre-tax profit. For a piece of business that will bring in no money and will almost certainly have an adverse impact on next years’ pre-tax profit.

It seems just a bit wrong to ask a creative agency to take on a project and, essentially, give away what they have of value.

I have a counter-offer. We’ll do the work (and there is no doubt in my mind but that we could do a good job of it either). They’ll pay us a fair dollar, and in return, we’ll feature them and the work on our web site. How’s that? It’s certainly a “unique trade opportunity”.

Look, I don’t mean to unduly disrespect anybody here, but an RFP for trade? It just seems a little lopsided to me.

Like I said, somebody will respond. Probably somebody good, too. Somebody small and good and willing to take on what is essentially pro-bono work in order to solidify a creative reputation. Or somebody big who wants the assumed creative freedom and the opportunity for a status roster account and can afford not to make a profit on this one. Look for the work in the DC Addy showcase next year. So in that sense, I guess these guys are taking the right road. I’m just a bit put off by it.

Of course, this is just my own personal Woody Hinkle opinion. And everybody knows I’m more or less an idiot.

Monday, July 14, 2008

All the King's horses and all the King's men . . .

Here's something cool McDonald's did in Chicago to promote breakfast. I hope it's a) still there when I go to Chicago next month and b) somewhere I can find it.

The Big Egg Billboard cracks open every morning at 6:30 and closes at 10:30 -- the hours breakfast is served.

I wish there were more billboards in Washington. Damn that Lady Bird Johnson.

Joke or for real, it's still funny

I found this on Ad Age online.

Everybody who has ever submitted a bid, answered an RFP or had to send out a bid request or RFP ought to find this funny.

I just wonder what you'd do if The Third Bid got the business. . . .

Friday, July 11, 2008

Three miscellaneous thoughts on a Friday in July

Can you spell misogynist?
These are two horrible ads. The morons who did them, the idiots who approved them and the losers who respond to them should all be taken out and shot for the good of the country. And Quincy Jones should be ashamed of himself.

Let's hear it for Dara!
41 year-old Dara Torres qualified for her fifth Olympics. And she set a U.S. record in the 50-meter freestyle to boot. Very cool.

The greatest name for a band. Ever.
Huey "Piano" Smith and the Clowns. They did "High Blood Pressure" , "Don'tcha Just Know it" and other greats that came out before half the people at Nasuti + Hinkle were born.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

One Step Closer to Hitting Bottom - Adventures in Kinetic Type

Whether or not you saw the movie "Fight Club", whether or not you liked the movie "Fight Club" and whether you watch this with the sound on or you watch it with the sound off, it's still pretty cool.

I love type. I wish I knew how to use it like whomever did this knows how to use it.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Now Darrin Stevens -- HE was an ad guy!

I could be the only advertising person in America -- if not one of the only people in America -- who isn’t all that interested in “Mad Men”, the TV series about advertising in the 60’s. The second season starts later this month. I tried watching it last year, but never went back after a couple of episodes. Maybe I’ll try again this year, but I doubt it.

OK, so maybe it does “depict the changing mores of the early ‘60s” as Wikipedia puts it. I don’t care. I’m just not all that interested in advertising then. Or the changing mores of the ‘60s, either. (I don't even care about the "changing mores" of yesterday afternoon to tell you the truth.)

Now, if they’d do something about the advertising in the ‘70s, when things were really heating up in advertising and new rules were being written and creativity was really starting to soar -- well, I’m there.

Unless it conflicts with “Dexter”, of course.

A serial killer you can root for. That’s television!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Maybe we did this

I seriously doubt that I’m the only one in this business who checks out competitors’ web sites.

Sometimes, I like to look at agency web sites to see what’s new and exciting and sometimes, I just want to see what my friends are up to.

What amazes me when I do this is how often an agency web site isn’t really representative of the agency. The “work experience” or “clients” section is often tainted with old work, work somebody did at a previous agency or clients that that agency had and so on. I have one friend whose agency features in the “Portfolio” section an ad he did two agencies and nearly 25 years ago. Another agency owned by somebody up the road calls it “Work” and also has stuff that is years and years old. And nowhere do they make this clear.

Before anybody starts to research our site and jumps down my throat about this, not everything on our site is something we did last week, either. There are ads there for former clients, one of which (Icelandair) we haven’t had for five years. There’s a radio spot I did for Wheaton Plaza that is a solid 10 years old. The rest of it is fairly current.

I’m not saying don’t put your best work on your site.

What I’m saying is that I think showing work is more useful to a prospective client or employee if it’s really representative of the agency. And current. Not representative of what someone at the agency did 25 years ago or at another agency, or what the agency in a previous incarnation did for a client that doesn’t exist anymore.

I guess I also question a bit the come-clean honesty of listing clients on your site that someone at the agency worked on at a previous job. Even if you fudge it a bit by calling it “client experience” or “work experience”. I can see a new agency that doesn’t really have clients of its own yet taking this approach to establish bona-fides. They’d have to. But I’m not sure it’s shooting straight to let people believe the agency worked for a particular client when, in fact, someone at the agency did.

I worked for Martin Marietta 25 years ago. Maybe we ought to include Lockheed-Martin on our client list.

There is nothing on our site from anybody’s previous job even though there have been folks here with very tasty books and previous clients that would look good anywhere. Neither is there work on our site that I don’t feel represents the way we think and the kind of work we do right now. Nothing is on there that I didn’t work on. And we don’t list every client we or anybody who works here ever did a project for on our “client list”, either. Maybe we’d be bigger if we played it a little more fast and loose on the web site.

Come to think of it, when I worked for Martin, one of our aluminum customers was Anheuser-Busch. I should go update our web site.

Wouldn’t that be impressive?