Friday, February 29, 2008

New Ffffound Pt. II

Some new favorites from that, for some reason or other, peaked my interest.

I'll bet you could fill a novel writing about any one of these pictures, but I think they speak better for themselves.

dubs. out.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Starbucks Loses, Tries to Mend Its Way

For our Strategy class, all first-year students are required to read Scott Bedbury's A New Brand World. In it, the author recounts his years as Senior Vice President of Marketing at both Nike from 1986-1993, and Starbucks from 1995-1998. Great stories, really interesting, very well-written, all told from the one man responsible for helping create two of the greatest brands in the world.

One of the things he mentions about Starbucks that interested me was something that their founder, Howard Shultz, once said:

"We're not in the coffee business serving people. We're in the people business serving coffee."

Under that mantra, ironically, Starbucks has gotten so big that in the last several months it seemed they forgot that.

So in an unprecedented move today, from 5:30pm to 8:30pm, every single one of Starbucks' 7,100 stores will close for employee training, according to an article on

But don't worry. Dunkin' Donuts, taking full advantage of the situation, announced that it will offer small lattes, cappuccinos or espresso drinks for a promotional price of 99 cents today from 1 pm to 10.

Those sneaky, clever bastards.

dubs. out.

Monday, February 25, 2008

It's Not About The Shoes

Stumbled on these three spots on AdsOfTheWorld and felt that I had to share them. From NYC hotshop Anomaly, under the creative direction of W + K Portland legend, Mike Byrne, they’re among the freshest campaigns I’ve seen in a while.

They're so simplistic and insightful that it’s a wonder to me why I’ve never seen anything like it before.

Maybe the reason I like them so much is because I’m jealous. Because they’re written by a “writer’s writer” (Lindsay Lanpher), who clearly loves and respects the people she’s writing for and cares about what she’s saying.

It’s the kind of advertising I myself want to someday do. Sooner than someday. Today.

This is a perfect example of what I call “going beyond the brief.” In this case, the brief was probably to “make Converse authentic again.” Well, she certainly did that, and in doing so managed to inject her own message about how she sees the world.

It will be interesting to see if the rest of America digs these spots as much as I do.

Here’s Pageant:



No voiceover. No music. No sound (with the exception of the first one). Just images and text.

They say absolutely nothing about the shoes. Not even a picture or tagline, save for the date of the company’s launch, 1908.

If anything, they get you thinking. They make the Converse brand a part of your mindset. It establishes itself as being in-line with your being by putting actual words to ideas and thoughts you've most likely toyed with.

They challenge you to challenge the staus quo. They challenge you to get off your ass and do something about it when no one else will.

And they challenge you, without saying it, to do so in a new pair of Chucks.

In this case, it's most definitely not about the shoes.

But it is about the shoes.

dubs. out.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Quote of The Week, Kestin - 2/24/08

Don’t let the business become your whole world. The job can be all-consuming. The hours are long. It helps for your friends to be convenient. But the smaller your universe, the duller your life, the worse you do your job. Advertising is about the world. Stay in it.

-Janet Kestin, Co-CCO, Ogilvy Toronto

As Brandcenter students, we have very little free time to do much more than think about advertising and branding. Even when we try to turn off our brains, assignments are normally what naturally and subconsciously pop in.

There's just no stopping it.

If all we keep feeding our brains are ads, books about ads and books of old ads, then shitty, been-done-before ads are what we're going to make.

I think it's time we all made a concerted effort to have more of a life. Ironically, it will improve the work.

And by "we all," I mean "me."

dubs. out.

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Ultimate Break

Really entertaining little viral from JWT Paris for Kit Kat. Reminds me of those shorts before the Pixar movies.

Almost made me want to go to the site at the end.


dubs. out.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

One Show '08

A month or two ago I wrote a post about awards shows.

It was filled with quotes of ad legends giving their two cents mainly about why they are stupid. And I bought into all of it, hypocritically knowing full well in the back of my mind that winning an award would be the sweetest accolade one can hope to get in this insane, demented profession.

It's tangible validation that what you are doing amidst all the chaos and anarchy that is advertising, is somehow and inexplicably... right.

At the very least, it's proof that people dig what you're creating.

Well, that back portion of my mind reared its ugly head the past few weeks, as I made damn sure I had something to send up to New York by February 21st in the vain hopes that this blind ambition might end up in some (pathetic?) form of glory.

Below is our Dorito's spot for the One Show College Competition. It was originally intended to be submitted as part of a "Chip Etiquette" campaign, but of course, in a school where producing work for competitions is a distant second to producing actual good work, there was just no time.

Who knows though? Maybe someday...

Other credits:

Art Director/Director/Editor/Love of my life: Raquel Gimenez
Copywriter/Actor #1: Tony Collins
Actor #2/The guy I share a bathroom with: Jordan Childs

I hope you like it, even though the voice-over may be a little obvious (but alas, the boom mike was nowhere to be found).

We submitted a poster as well for the show's design brief, but that won't see the light of day.

Unless of course it wins something.

dubs. out.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Quote of The Week – 2/17/08 , Mackay

We’re engaged in a lifelong process of constructing personal ‘cages’ around ourselves. The bars of our cages are all the things that life has taught us: our knowledge, our attitudes, our values, our beliefs, our convictions. As the cage becomes stronger and more complex, we feel increasingly comfortable inside it and increasingly confident in our ability to cope with the world beyond the cage. The cage is the most powerful element in the communication process. It acts as a filter in the process of interpretation. Because we look at the world through the bars of the cage, the bars impose their own pattern on what we see.

-Hugh Mackay

When I was applying to ad school, I literally applied everywhere. Creative Circus, Miami Ad, Portfolio Center, Chicago Portfolio, Brainco in Minneapolis. Adcenter was my reach. It was my Harvard. And I’m not a Harvard-esque student.

Not even close.

I thought my ads were shit, I thought my application was shit, I thought my chances were shit. Needless to say, I didn't think I would get in. And because of my vehement pessimism, neither did my parents, brothers, roommates, friends, or girlfriend.

So you can imagine my shock when, one unusually bright April morning, I was awoken by my cell phone ringing. Karen, the admissions coordinator, was on the other end with good news.

Jumping up and down in my boxers like a little schoolgirl as my girlfriend watched in amused embarrassment for me is something I wish I could take back. But the happiness I felt that day is something you’d have to pry from my cold dead fingers.

My whole life I’ve been constructing my own cage around myself, always lacking the confidence to move beyond it. I always suffered from a lack of self-esteem with my work, and thus did things I thought people wanted to see.

Even as a graduate student, all of last semester and for the first month of this semester, I’d been doing work that I thought my professors wanted, missing out on golden opportunities each time.

It wasn’t until last Tuesday, when my partner and I presented the most ridiculous, off-the-wall, joke of a campaign (that we thought might get us bitchslapped out of the room) to our Conceptual Thinking class, that something peculiar happened.

The . . . professors . . . actually . . . liked it.

In that moment, I finally saw with my own eyes that what I had been reading about for years was legit: Taking risks pays off. Doing what you want to do pays off. Being your own person pays off.

For too long I was scared to move beyond my cage and do the type of work I wanted to do.


That ends today.

dubs. out.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Pretty Much The Coolest Thing I've Ever Seen

According to their website, Improv Everywhere "causes scenes of chaos and joy in public places. Created in August of 2001 by Charlie Todd, Improv Everywhere has executed over 70 missions involving thousands of undercover agents. The group is based in New York City."

To sign up to be on their mailing list, or more importantly, to sign up to actually be a part of what they do, go here.

I hate to be that guy that looks for ways to throw brand labels on everything. I really do. But advertising is dying for a new surprising and exciting medium like this.

I mean, honestly. If advertising were like this, people would want to see it instead of try to avoid it.

There's no TiVo in Grand Central.

dubs. out.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Working With Your Art Director. When Your Art Director is Also Your Roommate

For our latest assignment, my roommate, Jesse and I were paired together. You may recognize him from his own blog, which includes such classic posts as “Blend Tec: Chuck Norris Edition,” “This man either has terets or hates Rick Boyko,” and my personal favorite, “AHHHH! I GOT HIT BY A JAVELIN.”

Good stuff. Good art director. Great guy.

The last two weeks were devoted solely to Sylvia’s Soul Food Restaurant, which, coincidentally, also has its own supermarket food line. Only problem is, even though it’s been a Harlem establishment for more than 40 years, no one outside of NYC has any clue what Sylvia’s is, nor gives a shit that you can buy it in your local store.

Not an easy one to crack, to say the least.

Here's their logo to give you an idea of what I'm talking about. The picture is about 16 years old.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous about working with Jesse on such a big assignment. I’d worked with another roommate, Tristan, last semester, which went great, but two writers working together is an entirely different, easier dynamic. After all, we see things the same way.

I’d heard of horror stories of friends never speaking again after a terrible work experience.

And they didn’t live together.

So you can imagine my shock that we escaped this week not only not wanting to kill each other, but with a newfound respect for one another’s craft and a fairly decent (albeit unexpected) campaign to boot.

While I’m at it, I feel compelled to state the fact that I am incredibly grateful for the amazing people that I live with. Each are among the most intelligent and insightful people I've ever met, and each is at the top of his respected track of study. Although the distant future is long off, I am already excited to see what they'll do for this business in the many years to come.

The fact that we get to come home and both bitch and gloat to one another is something I try not to take for granted. Few people have what we have.

It's something I'll always look back on fondly.

It’s also something I'll miss when graduation comes and we each enter the real world on our own in (uh-hu.....) fifteen short months.

Who will there be to bitch to then?

dubs. out.

Monday, February 11, 2008

How I Was Not Quoted, I’ll Never Know...

Last Sunday, the local Richmond magazine Style Weekly sent a reporter and photographer to our apartment for an article on ad school kids critiquing Superbowl spots.

I spoke to the lady for a good twenty minutes, offered her drinks and food, nicely commented on her hairstyle, etc. But I guess my insights on screaming squirrels and talking babies aren’t as developed as others.

I did, however, manage to make it into the picture. I'm the idiot on the couch, blue hat, a stupid look on my face. Yeah, that one.

So I got that going for me.

Which is nice.

dubs. out.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Quote of The Week, Hogshead - 2/10/08

There will be days when you’ll feel like a complete hack. That does not mean you’re a hack.

-Sally Hogshead

Today, I feel like a complete hack.

I have somehow forgotten everything I've ever read, learned, seen or heard. Both in advertising and in my own life.

And no words from Sally Hogshead will make me feel any differently, although I post them in the vain hopes that my feelings will change.

Taped up on the wall over my desk is the follwing picture:

For anyone who has ever experienced what I am experiencing today (and have been for the last several days), you know that image is not something to laugh at. It's a truth. The blank page is scary. Especially when it's the 10th time you've started with it, liked and got attached to what you presented, thought you had solved it, were told to go do it again, and now your brain is tapped.

Someone (and by that I mean every creative I've ever met) once said that in order to make it in this business you have to learn to be able to get your first golden ideas shot down and be able to come back with something even better.

Easier said than done. Apparently I've got more learning to do.

dubs. out.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It

Those in this industry are always interested in what people's favorite ad campaigns are of all time.

You'd be hard-pressed to find someone who didn't put the Economist on that list. Beautifully-written. Simply laid-out. White-out-of-Red. They were the smartest, most clever ads of the last 20 years in my opinion, and they did more than just turn heads, challenge people and win awards.

They sold a shit ton of magazines.

I just found out that a new Economist campaign broke at the end of 2007, in which 6 illustrators were commissioned by London powerhouse Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO to interpret some new lines.

The attempt was to go after a younger audience by making them feel like they're a part of the "if you're smart enough to get our ads, you're smart enough to read our magazine" club.

They're interesting, sure, but why mess with a good thing?

Maybe it's just my nostalgic nature kicking in. You be the judge.

dubs. out.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Ffffucking Ffffantastic

Alina, one of my Business group members, recommended this site to me, I’d heard of it before, but was always too lazy/unadventurous/much of a dipshit to seek it out.

How could I have been so ignorant and stupid for so long?

Really great stuff to keep in touch with and get inspired by the newest and edgiest design, photos, and everything else out there that is interesting and weird in the world.

Really great stuff to get you out of your mind's own little world.

I try to look at the newest page every night before I go to sleep. Helps with dreams.

dubs. out.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

What Should Have Been

Can’t figure out why the Gods at Wieden didn’t push this commercial for the Superbowl in lieu of the other crap they showed. It’s about 10,000 times better than anything else there was on Sunday.*

Commercials like these restore my faith in the industry, amidst the easy, Justin Timberlake-getting-his-nuts-rammed-into-a-mailbox-post horseshit that’s all too common these days.

And if I see one more spot with cavemen, I’m going postal.

Bob Garfield lost all credibility when he picked this in his top three.

*With the exception of this, this and of course, this.

dubs. out.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Quote of The Week, Steffens - 2/3/08

Nothing is done. Everything in the world remains to be done or done over. The greatest picture is not yet painted, the greatest play isn’t written, the greatest poem is unsung.

-Lincoln Steffens, 1931

If you truly believe this, then your best work will be forced to always be ahead of you. And you'll be forced to realize that there a lot of creative people that have come before you, are here now, and will be here after you. None of them are or ever will be perfect.

This is a good thing.

Now. How bout them Giants?

dubs. out.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Last Minute Magic

Found this article very interesting. A Superbowl spot written, casted, shot and produced 4 days before the Superbowl. The idea was to comemorate the historic first meeting of two African American coaches in the big game.

Stories like these give you hope when it's the night before Coz's class and you have absolutely nothing to present. It goes to show you that it's always possible to show something worth showing when it needs to be shown.

After you read it, check out the finished product.

Or you can just check out the finished product now. You lazy asshole.

dubs. out.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Da-na-na. . . Da-na-na.

This is Sportscenter.

The show that, according to my most recent, absurd insight, is nothing but a hyped-up, overwritten, Emmy-winning gossip show for men.

Broadcast on a network devoted solely to the oldest, most original reality show there is: Professional sports.

Don’t get me wrong. I am and always have been an avid sports fan. I played high school football, and consider it to be amongst the most significant times of my life. But even then I realized how stupid it was how people could take it so seriously.

Why is it that people get so obsessed over certain sports teams? Men have ruined years of their lives sitting in front of TV's shouting and cheering for other men who have no clue nor care who they are. They’re just doing a job. In essence, people are cheering for glorifed heroes-for-hire. Sort of like wrestling.

Except wrestling is fake.

Professional sports are entirely real. No scripts. No storylines. But it doesn’t feel that way. It feels like a story. Every season feels like a chapter in a never-ending book. Each team with its beginning, middle, and end, all coming together in a magical tale of heroes, villains, and hard-hitting, exciting entertainment.

Perhaps hero worship is part of our natural primal instinct. Football players are modern day gladiators, or more accurately—warriors, fighting not to save their people from destruction, but to defend the honor of their given cities.

New York vs. New England. To me (and to most of the rest of the country), it’s good vs. evil, respectively.

No one I know outside of Boston wants the Patriots to win. Besides. It makes a better story that way.

So this Superbowl Sunday, when my friends and I pony up to the couch with our beers, pizza, and any other generic macho male sustenance, I’m going to make it a point to further examine this game amidst the loud commotion, eating and fraternizing of advertising’s biggest dorks.

But when those commercial breaks are on, you’d better believe there’s gonna be some shutting up.

Enjoy the game.

dubs. out.