Saturday, October 31, 2009

Special Halloween Edition

Check this out: Skull-A-Day.

This guy decided on June 4, 2007 to make a skull every day for a year. The one you see here he made from a watermelon. The site has all kinds of skull-related things you can get for free, including a

Friday, October 30, 2009

Whichever side of the purebred argument you're on, you have to admit this is good

My friend world-class dog advocate Eve Russell sent me this with a note: "I tolerate PETA's nonsense because they also do [stuff] like this."

It's for their Animal Birth Control campaign. I'm not necessarily opposed to pure blood lines, but I do think it's better for the world if you adopt a rescue dog. Actually, I know it. (Confession -- I have two purebred basset hounds. Call me a hypocrite. I should have adopted.) But I'm definitely against docking and otherwise mutilating animals.

Anyway, like I said, regardless of where you stand on this, you have to admit this is a good spot to sell that point of view.

Of course, you also have to admit that "breedism" is an incredibly stupid word.

(Love the "snacks" line at the end.)

And from the "want to see something REALLY crazy?" school of advertising . . .

This is, I think, is a gorgeous ad. Love the art direction.

Hate the concept.

The frog can live a long time without water. Our washing machines use less water. Get it?

Well yeah, but so what? Borrowed interest 101.

There are a number of ads and campaigns out there like this that strike me as a joke in search of an application. You know, like a radio spot that illustrates something really dumb or crazy and then the only tie-in is sort of a : "Think that's crazy? It's not as crazy as our waaaacky Washington's Birthday Sale prices!!!"

Or "That's dumb. But buying our insurance is really smart."

Crap like that.

You hear this sort of thing a lot in radio. I mean, it's usually funny stuff, but it has nothing whatever to do with the product.

Like this frog and a washing machine.

Now if the frog owned a laudromat, that would be different . . .

Thursday, October 29, 2009

So we carved pumpkins today . . .

The finished products

Tracy's Traditional approach

Katie and Jack (Marie makes notes)

Our friends from Bethesda Magazine

. . . and I didn't slice myself or anything.

I need to see this. We all do.

Art and Copy. It's not in general circulation, apparently. For some reason on the web site, you have to request a screening. I wish the Ad Club would. It would certainly be one of the few Ad Club functions I'd be inclined to pay to go to.

Looks like a great film.

Gotta find a way to see it.

I LOVE what George Lois says at the very end. This is the web site.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Worst destination campaign. Ever. Seriously. It's awful.

The story on various ad blogs today is how the agency that did the Best Job in the World campaign that was wildly successful and won a hatful of awards was passed over for the new Queensland (that's in Australia, son) account. See the story on AdFreak here.

What's bigger news to me is the thing that won.

If you were responsible for this, please get out of the ad business now. Who on earth would visit anywhere based on this? (Note that they borrowed from the Best Job in the World.)

In one online poll, 78 percent of respondents said they hated it. What a shock.

Jesus, I would be embarrassed to even be in this. So, for your viewing pleasure, here's more.

Hate yourself? Here's even more.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Actually, he probably asked for FEWER clicks . . .

You're Crispin Porter.

Your client is Microsoft.

This is the best you can do? Really?

(Please note the correct use of "you're" and "your".)

Friday, October 23, 2009

I'm sure Mr. Whipple is totally freaking out

Found on Adrants, this is about the dumbest idea I have seen in a decade. Or more.

Procter & Gamble, which used to mean something, is initiating an "Enjoy the Go" campaign for Charmin bathroom tissue. Quoting from a news story I found online:

"Procter & Gamble Co. is looking for five people who will, in return for $10,000, spend five weeks in a Charmin-branded, Manhattan bathroom and blog about the experience.

The five “Charmin Embassadors” will work in the Charmin Restrooms in Times Square from Nov. 23 to Dec. 31. Job requirements include interacting with hundreds of thousands of bathroom guests, maintaining their own blogs and content on Charmin-branded Web sites and popular social media sites, and sharing family-friendly video from the restroom space and surrounding areas."

And quoting from Adrants here (because I simply cannot think of a better way to say it myself):

"When did we arrive at a point in time when it was OK for a brand to essentially say, "Please take a ____ in public and tells us about how it felt, what it looked like and how effective the toilet paper was at ______ it off your ____?"

(I deleted a few words for propriety's sake, but use your imagination . . . )

The world is a lesser place

Soupy Sales died. I always liked Uncle Soupy.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Then again, what do I know?

I heard recently about a big agency -- you one of those storied national types with offices in a number of cities -- working on a new account.

The broadcast and print are humming right along. Focus groups going, directors are busy and the creative folk are just active as can be.

But the brand hasn't been defined yet. As I understand it, that's still in the works.

Well alrighty then. Just seems to me like the brand definition is something that should come way before the creative. I mean, those commercials ought to be based on something. Right?

We're just a rinky little Bethesda shop, but that do indeed seem a bit backward to me.

It do, it do.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I think it works.

Great PSA from rethink (something great from rethink, what a shock) for breast cancer awareness.

According to CNN, some people are offended at this. Who, exactly? And why?

I'm fairly certain my friend Rich (a.k.a. The Old Sports Guy) isn't offended.

(Between this post and the last one, there seems to be a thread here. Maybe the next post should be about kittens. Or puppies.)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

This reminds me of a story.

This billboard for Ulstertrade in Ireland was removed because of its suggestive nature. Here's the story it reminds me of -- or, as a proper grammarian would say-- the story of which it remindeth me.

About 15 years or so ago, we did what I thought was a pretty cool Christmas card (See below). We featured Karen's father, John Nasuti, one of the great sports of all time as a bum in the back seat of a limo with a couple of babes and a bottle of champagne and it was shot by my buddy Ira Wexler, one of the great photographers of all time. The concept was that instead of donating money to charity for the holidays to make a lot of people a bit happier, we'd decided to make one guy really happy.

We (Pat Cunningham, our art director at the time, and me) knew we needed girls of a certain moral outlook on life and a limo for the shot. I'd noticed a company called "Limo-Grams" in the back of the Washingtonian Magazine and called them up to see if they'd help Sure thing the owner -- one "Doctor" Phil Good (get it? Phil Good?) -- said, and one morning they turned up with Girls and Car.

While they were setting up the shot Ira and I were talking to "Dr. Phil" and Ira asked, innocently enough, what the deal with his limo service was. "Well," the good doctor said, "the customer gets in the back seat with the girl, I roll up the tinted glass between us and drive around for an hour. Whatever happens back there is between them."

"Really!" said Ira, as only Ira can, as I hustled off to suggest to Karen's father that he not touch anything in the back seat.

Anyway, Dr. Phil didn't want any money, but suggested that maybe we could do an ad for him in exchange. We did. Pat came up with what I thought was a funny headline: "Each of our limos comes with a great set of headlights" and the image was, well, you can imagine what the image was.

We showed it to Phil. "It's not dirty enough," he said. "Buy maybe we can do a movie package instead. I'm getting in to porn movies and maybe you guys can design some packaging for us. How about that?"

"How much do I owe you Phil", I said. "I think we're done here."

(Addendum. At one point during the shoot, Pat came over to me, and in a soft voice said "Woody, I'm sorry, but that girl on the left? Those are just too big.")

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Straight up indeed.

My friend Steve Hull, who publishes Bethesda Magazine, sent me this gem just a few minutes ago.

You can read the whole thing on the BusinessWeek web site here, but the gist of it is, well, here's the subhead:

"The vast majority of ads don't register with consumers. Here are seven straight-up reasons why your message probably isn't getting through."

OK, the author, Steve McKee, is an advertising guy, but he's right. Some of the seven reasons are -- oh what the hell, here they all are. It's boring, it's boorish, it's safe, it's trying to do too much, it hasn't been given time, you like it and it's not an advertising problem.

Read it. Makes a hell of a lot of sense, I think.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Nope. Don't get it.

I looked up "Meltin' Pot" on the World Wide Internet Web, and I'm pretty sure these ads from Armando Testa, Turin, Italy (via I believe in Advertising) are for the jeans.

But, while I love the art direction and the photography really is very good, what I really think is that it was an excuse for all the creative people and the account people and the photographer and the assistants and the client to get to spend the day around hot-looking women.

I mean, the tag line "I dream. I am." ought to be amended to "I dream. I am. And I think I'll spend a little quality time with myself if you'll excuse me for a few minutes."

Exactly how the f*** this is supposed to sell jeans is beyond me.

Why can't we all just wear Levi's?

Thursday, October 8, 2009


If I don't get a chance to do something on a baggage belt soon, I think I am going to have a stroke.

Ok, well, that's extreme, but holy maloly, who wouldn't want to be the people who thought this up.

Hell, I'd be satisfied just to see it in person.

By Masterminds, USA, for Beau Rivage and it appeared in the freaking Biloxi, Mississippi airport.

Found it on I Believe in Advertising.

Monday, October 5, 2009

.backwards it doing you're brand your with start don't you If

I used to work with a guy named Frank.

Frank used to say that the difference between marketing and sales is that sales is trying to find someone to buy whatever it is you have to sell, while marketing is finding a need and filling it. Hold that thought, because I'm going to cleverly fold Frank into this an inch or so down the page.

This time of year, folks are putting together 2010 budgets, and I read about and/or hear of people who say with all certain confidence that they are "putting the whole budget into the web". Or not wasting money on print. Or "going to just do television this year." Or plan to do nothing more than direct mail.

Then again, there are those who do a media budget based strictly on how much they have to spend. This media being less expensive than that media, we'll go heavy up on that.

Personally, and I suppose institutionally at N+H, I / we think that's usually nuts. The place to start is with your brand. (Surprisingly, there are those who don't really know what their "brand" is. Some may even think it's their logo, but that's a discussion for another day. With beers.)

The way I see it, your brand is going to tell you who your target is.

Ok, on Frank. I think assuming you're looking to start a new company or develop a new product line, Frank was right. We were both working at an aluminum company at the time and we were introducing a new product of some sort. It was developed with a need in mind. But if I'd known then what I know now about brand development, I'd have pushed for developing the product brand before we promoted it.

But for most companies, you is what you is. (Or as Popeye would say "I yam what I yam". And Peter Tosh would have said "I am that I am, I am I am I am." Just so you know.)

I think that if you have a clear brand (see our web site for more of a brand discussion) your primary, secondary and tertiary target audiences become pretty clear. For example, developing a media plan for your restaurant that will run in regional buys of Maxim, Penthouse and Lowrider Girls when you have the most comprehensive Kid's Menu in seven states and never quite got around to getting that liquor license could be a mistake. That's an extreme example, I know, but I thought it was funny, and I could use a laugh. Besides the theory holds.

The point is, if you have a real clear picture of what your brand is, then other things fall into place more easily. Like your target audience and where to go to talk to them.

So I don't understand that "we're going all out on the web" approach unless you already know that your target audience is like, totally into the web and you know that because you've defined your target based on your brand.

But, as I've said before, I'm an old man and pretty much of an idiot to boot.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Swiped from Copyranter

Hell, he swiped it from somebody else. Besides, I've been out of town.

But still, these Lucky Strike ads from the '30s sort of make me think of people I've known who gained weight after they quit smoking because smoking, um, screws up your taste buds?

I especially like the track one. It's like, you know, smoke heavily and you too can run a 4.4 40.

(And say, wasn't it Sterling Cooper and that brilliant Don Draper who came up with the whole "toasted" thing?)