Friday, January 29, 2010

OK, I have an economic stimulus idea

Like many, if not most, of you, I watched the State of The Union speech the other night.

I may have paid more attention when he got around to helping small business. But what he said, didn't exactly make my heart beat faster. Like more money to community banks to (supposedly) loan to small business (supposedly at a nice profit for the banks). We'll see how that works out. And tax credits if you hire new employees or give raises to existing ones. Wonderful. Of course first you have to have the money to hire new employees or give raises to existing ones.

So, having grown up in the Washington area, I have a healthy sense of doubt when a politician says anything. Even -- sorry if this offends you -- one I voted for and would vote for again almost no matter who he was running against. Except maybe Karen.

(Taking me a long time to get to the point, isn't it?)

So here is my idea and I'm not joking about it.

Why not provide however much money ($300 million has a nice ring to it -- didn't Louisiana alone just get that much in an earmark in exchange for supporting the healthcare bill?) for low-interest loans to be made to small businesses only and to be used exclusively for the purpose marketing and advertising?

Yeah, this sounds pretty self-serving, but indulge me a minute. According to the Small Business Administration, small businesses (fewer than 500 employees, although 90 percent of small businesses have fewer than 20 employees) make up a huge part of the economy.

- American small business is the world's second largest economy, trailing only the USA as a whole

- Small businesses employ more than half of all private sector employees

- Small businesses generate roughly half of the US Gross Domestic Product

- Small firms represent 99 percent of all private employers

I could go on, but you get the idea. Small business is an (if not the) engine that makes this country go.

OK, now, Kellogg's and others have attributed increased sales and earnings directly to increases advertising spending. Sorry kiddies, but it freaking works.

So if small businesses had access to low-interest money to use for this (as we know, banks won't loan you money to build your business this way, just if you want to buy new computers or office furniture), there's way more than a reasonable chance that small business could prosper. Or at least not fail for lack of a means to attract customers.

So could the agencies and firms that prepare their ads and marketing materials.

As well as the newspapers, radio and television stations that would run their ads; and web sites that run their Internet advertising.

And printers, photographers, illustrators, freelancers and out-of-work agency people.

OK, call me nearsighted or parochial, but I can't see a flaw in this. Except that maybe $300 million isn't enough. I'll have to ask Mary Landrieu.

It seems to make sense to me. Which, of course, is why the combined Democratic and Republic Brain Trust in Washington will never consider it.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I'm sorry. Three in one day is a lot. But I have a good reason.

And that would be that this is the funniest #$&*ing commercial have seen in a long time.

From Hal Riney for Wal-Mart, via the Denver Egotist.

You should read the post that follows this one - which was really the first one - first

This may be an old joke, but this video is funny as hell.

Of course, it doesn't have a ______ - _______ thing to do with beer.

This is what we call "borrowed interest." You know, tell a joke and bolt your brand onto it.

Stupid. I hate it. I hate it more. Stupid. Seriously, I hate it.

Whoa dude! Get it? People getting nekkid for Bud Light. Wow! What a concept!

If this isn't worth running on the Super Bowl, well, then nothing is.

All I can assume is that I totally, completely and most definitely am not in their target audience. But I guess that's true. Bud is awful beer.

Spare me overdone, underthought Super Bowl commercials like this. To borrow a phrase from David Sedaris, I'd rather drive carpet tacks into my gums that watch too much of this.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Wrangler remains well off the deep end

There are like a zillion new executions in the continuing weirdness of the 'We Are Animals" Wrangler campaign.

Didn't get it before. Don't get it now. And I probably never will. But I would love for someone to explain it to me.

They'd like us to believe that this new Wrangler image "Red" is a:

"powerful, visceral campaign centered on the human being’s most primary instincts. Men and women have been photographed in red waters or amidst the fury of twirling red dust. A new approach to the concept We Are Animals by a fit, strengthened Wrangler. The campaign We Are Animals comes packed with emotions. Each image is a high dose of adrenalin, tension and passion, with red as the basic colour. Each character becomes the personification of the inner strength of an unleashed man, a sweeping animal alter ego."

Which relates to Wrangler jeans exactly how? Jeeze, what a bunch of pretentious crap.

By Fred and Farid, Paris, France. The photographer is Jeff Burton. I found it on I Believe in Advertising.

More irrelevant weirdness at

Gotta go. I have a sudden urge to go out and buy a pair of Levis.

(P.S. Look for our new campaign for Pier House: "Lines", an emotional and visceral -- and yet passive, understated -- interpretation of horizontal and vertical lines in a variety of progressive mediums illuminating the constant conflict of man and the modern resort.)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Just being ON YouTube doesn't mean anything

A year or so ago, my friend Tim Fahey and I talked to a guy about maybe doing some business for him and his computer-repair/maintenance company.

"Here's what I want to do," he said with grand enthusiasm. "I'll make a really creative video really cheap and put it up on YouTube and I'm there." Or words to that effect.

Righto. Nothing like really cheap and really creative.

See, people seem to think that anything you put on YouTube will be viewed over and over by thousands, if not millions, of anxious potential customers. I once saw a video (one someone was very proud of too) that was about 10 minutes long for a golf course at some resort in South Carolina.

BOR-inggggggg. When I woke up, there was a test pattern on the screen.

Here's another example of just-because-it's-on-YouTube-don't-make-it-suck-any-less. It's the official "Chevy Volt Dance". From none other than General Motors.

As stockholders in General Motors (you knew that didn't you?), I think they should have run the damn thing by us before they -- as Steve Hall at Adrants said -- embarrassed themselves. My favorite comment on YouTube was the very first one: "I just puked all over my keyboard."

So if you haven't already, click above and enjoy the "Chevy Volt Dance"!

But cover your keyboard first, just in case.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Ever been stuck at a party with iPhone nerds?

Of course you have. I have. You have. We all have.

So you ought to enjoy this.

I think I'll pretty much pass on commenting

Sort of.

The new Diesel Jeans campaign is all over the place. You can see about a gazillion print executions on Ads of the World if you're a mind to.

This video is cool. Is the brand strategy a good one? Can't say. I can say that I'm perfectly happy in my Levi's 501 jeans and am not sure any pair of jeans is worth what Diesel charges.

So maybe the stupid concept works after all. Then again, let's be honest -- Diesel advertising has always had a sort of weird factor to it.

In any case, enjoy. By Anomaly, London.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Do we like these? I don't know . . .

Now, as we've agreed time and time again, I'm an idiot and don't always get it, but I'm not 100% sure how this works to recruit interns for Tracey-Locke in Texas.

I love the art direction and the copy is funny. I guess the idea is that dweebs, dorks and doofuses need not apply to the coolness of the ad biz?

Yes? No?

(Or is it "doofi"?)

Either this is bogus or you are looking at the dumbest mo-fo on the planet

According to Adrants, this clown got glasses tattooed on his face for Ray-Ban -- or so says Adrants.

I'm not sure I'm buying it, but the honest truth is that a part of me hopes there is somebody so freaking stupid as to do something like this. Just for the the circus value of the thing.

I mean, I've got a couple of tattoos, but dopes like this make us all feel a bit superior. A lot superior.

I guess I can believe the guy did it, but I'm having a hard time believing that Ray-Ban put him up to it. For one reason, they aren't sunglasses. But whatever, this seems to be stupidity on parade.

I'd give you a dollar to tattoo the N+H logo on your cheek, but what if we changed it?

There are pictures too.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sorry, but I've been away . . .

(I know I haven't posted in like about forever, but I been busy. I'll catch up.)

I was in Key West last week.

That's right Key West. I'd laugh at everybody left in the cold up here in the frigid north, but it was cold as hell all week. And windy.

Wait, not all week. it got nice the day we freaking left.

We were there shooting for our Pier House client and managed to work in my friends Sheila Campbell, who was there for the Literary Festival and Terry Coveny (shown here), who, with his lovely wife Jo, owns Style Key West, as models.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

It's only January, but this is probably the best wrapped bus you'll see this year

Found on Copyranter. By Bates Y&R Copenhagen for the Copenhagen Zoo.

Gaze upon greatness my children.

(P.S. Copyranter called this "busvertising". I don't know if he made up that term, but I'd never seen it before. I like it though.)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

This is your basic very smart idea

We've all checked out the boxes on the street to see what the neighbors got for Christmas.

This is how Mini-Cooper took advantage of that fact in Amsterdam. From I Believe in Advertising, but the agency wasn't credited. Check the video below to see how many people stopped and looked.

I am so jealous of whomever thought this up I may set my hair on fire this afternoon.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

If there's a better way to start the new year than bitching about something, I don't know what it is

(Of course, if my Gamecocks beat UConn today, that will help too.)

Several years ago, Delta Air Lines had an ad campaign that was a sort of fill-in-the-blank kinda thing, not unlike what you see at left (CW - Woody Hinkle; AD - Woody Hinkle). Only better, of course. You know, it was a way to show all the different answers that all point to why why Delta and how they understand and all that.

And since then, although it hasn't been imitated nearly as much as the "Got Milk?" campaign (and honestly, any creative who suggests a take off on that campaign ought to be taken out and shot. In public.), it has certainly has had more than its fair share of copycats.

The most recent one I have seen is a campaign for BB&T.

Now, BB&T is a big bank. Presumably they have fairly deep pockets - or at least enough money to hire a decent ad agency. So why can't whoever it is (I have no idea who it is) come with anything original?

If I was pitching that account and they asked me why I thought N+H should get their business, one part of the answer would certainly be "because we can come up with something without copying someone else's work, that's for sure."

OK once and for all, this approach has been done. Got it? Don't do it anymore. Please. For me.

Anyway, Go 'Cocks.