February 29, 2008

The power of letters

Saw this at the 50 Years of Helvetica exhibit at the MoMa.
But this line from a description on the wall was the most amusing part.

February 28, 2008

How good does your product look?

This aspirational product shot caught my eye at the grocery store:

Much nicer than the tired concept of wrapping a measuring tape around something.

February 26, 2008

Show us your shutter speed

So is Sony saying you should never miss the chance to get a picture of a woman taking off shirt?
Of course not. Brandi Chastain pulling off her uniform after making the deciding penalty kick in the Women's World Cup back in 1999 was an iconic moment.
But I'm still taking a Sony Alpha DSLR-A700 with me the next time I go to Mardi Gras.

This image from their site shows that this has the makings of a fun, simple campaign.

February 25, 2008

Don Pardo turned 90 and could still take you in a fight

The highlight of my weekend was going to Saturday Night Live’s first episode back from the writer’s strike.

Loved seeing Steve Martin make a guest appearance during Tina Fey’s opening monologue.

They did two parody commercials. (Which I'm only mentioning to make this post relevant.) The first was a fake drug ad for a “once a year period” pill called Annuale.

The second was for hot air balloon rides. The audience had a mixed reaction. I liked it, but only because my Mom and Dad have owned one since I was a kid.

And for the record, Don Pardo blew out all 90 of the candles on his birthday cake after they cut to the commercials.

The star power of love

The funniest thing I saw all weekend wasn’t at SNL, it was on Jimmy Kimmel’s show after the Oscars.
A few weeks ago, his girlfriend Sarah Silverman broadcast this declaration of her affair with Matt Damon:

And on Sunday, Jimmy played this star studded response:

February 22, 2008

Can I take a snow day?

New York is getting a nice coat of snow today.

So I'd rather be out playing than stuck at my desk.

But the weather does gives me an excuse to show you
this Maker’s Mark illuminated bus shelter ad that’s been sitting in my “to post” folder since the holidays.

Their distinctive wax dipped bottles form snowflakes
that lit up one at a time.

February 21, 2008

Is that even a word?

spotted at Union Square

Nice use of nonsense to convey the size and attitude of the Mini Clubman. (For the record, Webster's defines Zug as a small territory in North Central Switzerland.)

February 20, 2008

Reverse psychology doesn’t work. Or does it?

Tylenol is trying to make people feel better about their brand with advice on how to avoid needing their product.

Skipping meals can cause headaches.

Popsicles can soothe a sore throat. Cool.

Start your day right. Breakfast can help prevent headaches.

Eat your greens. A healthy diet can help prevent osteoarthritis.

Something for your sore throat. And your sweet tooth.

A massage can relieve and even help prevent a headache. Tell your spouse.

Pollen counts are highest from 5 am to 10 am. Stay indoors if you can.

Yogurt. A good way to fight bad bacteria..

Don’t slouch. Poor posture can cause a headache.

Your soul is fine. Save the chicken soup for your cold.

Unless, of course, these tips don't work and the campaign is an evil plan to increase demand. Either way, they're smart to take over an entire germ filled subway car.

February 12, 2008

Is your cell phone company evil?

The Wal-mart TV network pleasantly surprised me on Sunday by playing a funny campaign for Net10 done by Droga5.
You can see it all at no-evil.net, but here’s my favorite spot:

Thanks to Fox for the video.

February 11, 2008

February 8, 2008

Why do movies and TV shows still have 555 telephone numbers?

Every time a character uses those 3 fake digits, it destroys the illusion. Why not set up a working number? There are plenty of companies that offer independent voicemail lines for less than 10 bucks a month.
It’s a chance to make the story a bit richer. You don’t even have to do a full blown alternate reality game like LOST. (But you should.)
Even the publishing world gets it.
Check out the latest issues of Time Out New York:

That’s dating columnist, Julia Allison on the cover. And her article, How to make You(tm) the sexiest brand on the market, contains this paragraph:
This is self-marketing. And every single person should do it.
People get marketing all wrong. They think it’s all about trying to be what other people want. But it’s really about being brave enough to put yourself out there — who you are — and not change in the face of people trying to make you something you’re not. My detractors will never like me. But honestly? Who cares?

That's good advice for any brand.
If I wasn’t engaged, I might just give her a call.

February 7, 2008

Is it ok to make a bad move for a good cause?

Two nights ago, I saw two strange bikes chained next to Bryant Park. They were painted orange with DKNY.com stenciled on each side.

Their site has an “explore your city” link that takes you this page:

“Ok,” I thought, “interesting little campaign.”
The next morning, I discovered not everyone agrees:

Then yesterday, Creativity linked to this Gothamist story. It criticizes the guerrilla marketing stunt for appropriating the Ghost Bikes technique.

The bike-advocacy group Times Up! and Visual Resistance place white painted bikes at crash sites around the city as memorials for cyclists who were hit or killed.

Turns out, DKNY partnered with The New York City Department of Transportation on this campaign to promote biking as an environmentally friendly way to get around.
So they tried to do it right. (And right on time for Fashion Week .)
Hindsight is 20/20, but if they had reached out to the cycling community beforehand, the backlash could have been avoided.
I think they should still try to turn things around with an apology backed by donations to the NYC Bicycle Safety Coalition and the groups behind GhostBikes.org.

I sent DKNY's marketing department an email suggesting those donations and received the following response:

From: websitemailDKNY@dkintl.com
Sent: Fri 2/08/08 7:36 AM
DKNY is working with the Mayor's office to raise awareness of cycling as a healthy and environmentally sound means of transportation around NYC.
During Fashion Week (which runs the first week of February), DKNY has placed dozens of bright orange bicycles around the city to get people thinking…and talking about bicycles as a healthy and fashionable way to get around the city. DKNY’s marketing team developed the orange bicycle campaign to support the Mayor’s office ongoing efforts, in a way that would draw attention to this important initiative. We also provided financial support to help the New York City Department of Transportation raise awareness of its initiative to build a far-reaching network of innovative designed bicycle lanes and new bicycle parking facilities while stepping up education for cyclists and drivers.
We are very sorry if our well-intentioned “Explore Your City” program offended anyone.
Additional information about DKNY’s bicycle program is available at DKNY.com

February 6, 2008

Shouldn't you be working instead of reading this blog?

There have been plenty of posts out there wondering if Wieden+Kennedy will lose the Career Builder business after their average ranking in USA Today’s Super Bowl poll. But I think they deserve to keep the account based solely on this Boss Button they’re running online:

If you’re not familiar with the concept, a Boss Button is a cute little feature that brings up a mock spreadsheet to cover your goofing off in case someone walks past your desk.

But here’s what pops up when you click theirs:

Thanks to Rob for the tip.

Do you hate your job?

No matter what you thought of their Super Bowl spots, you can't ignore the giant headlines in Career Builder’s new campaign.

Where’s My Jetpack posted the natural reaction to this carrot line.

Update: A few other executions in another area below Grand Central:

This one continued down the corridor all the way to Plan Z.