Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Top Ten From '08

There was a lot of good work this year. Too many good spots to name. So I’ve narrowed it down to my ten favorites in no particular order.

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy Portland

Agency: DDB London

Agency: TBWA/Chiat/Day NY

Agency: Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Boulder

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland

Couldn't find the translated version. Click here to see it on Creativity.
Agency: Madre, Argentina

Agency: 72andsunny, LA

Agency: Grey NY

Agency: BBDO NY

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland

Agency: 72andsunny, LA

Agency: Campbell Ewald, Detroit

dubs. out.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Quote of The Week, Maeda - 12/28/08

Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious, and adding the meaningful.

-John Maeda, President, RISD

One of the ironic things to me about technology is that it's supposed to make our lives easier, simpler, better. And yet with all the computers and the software and the internet, with all the cell phones and the PDA's and the iPods-- among dozens of other technological breakthroughs of the past 2 decades-- our lives are made more congested, confusing, complicated.

Because each day is dominated by these things.

Because we are constantly connected, allowed access to a larger plethora of information than any human being can process in one lifetime, we feel like we constantly must be connected.

I think John Maeda is one of the good guys, doing everything in his power to cut away all the excess, but even when all the crap is cut away, the information will still be there. It's up to us to be the ones to say, 'enough.'

dubs. out.

Monday, December 22, 2008

One More Makes a Dollar

There are 368 miles between where I'm sitting in Chappaqua, NY, my childhood home, and my house in Richmond, VA, the place where I’ve spent the last year and a half of my life molding and shaping myself into an ad man.

Three semesters of Brandcenter have come and gone, and in about 1 month we’ll return for our last one. One more semester before my 80-odd classmates and I are unleashed into the advertising world like a swarm of bees, some to sting, others to make honey.

Interpret those metaphors as you will.

Like the first 2 semesters in this place known as ad school, here's my take on the third:

Kelly O'Keeke's Culture & Communications- Kelly’s class was interesting, to say the least: We went to Monticello, saw an Italian Opera, sat with a chapel-full of old Jesus freaks, spent an evening at a motor speedway in McCain country, attended a lecture by NY Times writer Frank Rich, learned how to salsa dance, spoke with Georgian painters at the James River waterfront, listened to Alan Crawford discuss his book on Thomas Jefferson, learned everything there is to know about Muhammad Ali, visited a folk festival and went on a Friday evening art walk in the pouring rain. It was a great class. And despite the ironic and unreasonable fact that we had just as much work in it than our actual branding and portfolio classes, at least I got a book piece out of it.

Charles Hall's Portfolio Development- It’s been said before by previous classes and it will be said again by subsequent classes, but you give Charles two more years, and he will undoubtedly be the best professor at the Brandcenter. That he continuously learns how to be a better teacher from his students as much as we learn how to be better mass communicators from him is something I don’t doubt for a second. A lot of people dislike Charles’ way of teaching. They dislike his comments and his criticisms, his intense passion and his ardent conviction, his political correctness and his way of what many feel is him projecting his own thoughts. But I try to embrace all of it. Charles is one of those guys that, when giving criticism, will often rub you the wrong way. It’s happened to me numerous times this semester. But each time, as I listen to what he says to my classmates and I, I can’t help but realize two things:

1. He’s usually right.

2. He’s always, always looking out for our best interests.

Cabell Harris' Brand Campaigns- As a Cabell-second-timer, I've gotta say that I got a lot more out of this class than the first time around. The semester before this was a dozen projects, one week each, piled on top of each other in an endless barrage of what felt like suffocating crap. Amidst all our other classes, there was no time to fix anything, hone our crafts, or even put enough thought into something to make it worthwhile.

This semester was different.

Cabell is, in many ways, the opposite of a Charles Hall or a Coz in terms of his teaching style. Where Charles and Coz are passionately hands-on, Cabell prefers a more laid-back, laissez-faire approach. Where it often feels like other teachers push you on their behalf, with Cabell, you’re forced to push yourself on your own. And you’re forced to work with the freedom to do so. I enjoyed this freedom, as I got two of my favorite campaigns done at this school in his class. What Cabell lacks in intensity and pressure he makes up for in support and good-naturedness. These traits, in my eyes, are just as valuable. And are a welcome balance.

Peter Coughter's Presentation Skills- As someone who got a C in his last undergrad public speaking class, I entered this one with a strong sense of purpose. I was determined to make myself a better presenter, which, as Coughter himself says, is the difference between making it in this business and not. Whether I became a better presenter or not is something to be seen, but out of all the classes I’ve taken at this school, at least I enjoyed this one most. I think that comes from laughing harder than I ever have. Peter's not only a great teacher and a great guy, he's funny as hell.

The real world is 20 weeks away from today.

dubs. out.

Quote of The Week, Ally - 12/21/08

The creative person wants to be a know-it-all. He wants to know about all kinds of things: ancient history, nineteenth century mathematics, current manufacturing techniques, flower arranging, and hog futures. He never knows when these ideas might come together to form a new idea. It may happen six minutes later or six years down the road. But the creative person has faith that it will happen.

-Carl Ally

And when you see something interesting (or think it), there's always this to mark it down in to hold onto for those 6 years.

dubs. out.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Quote of The Week, Della Femina - 12/14/08

Creative people start out hungry. They’re off the street; they know how people think. And their work is great. Then they get successful. They make more and more money, spend their time in restaurants they never dreamed of, fly back and forth between New York and Los Angeles. Pretty soon, the real world isn’t people. It’s just a bunch of lights off the right side of the plane. You have to stay in touch if you’re going to write advertising that works. Ride a subway. Stand up on a bus. Buy a hot dog on the corner. Stay in touch.

-Jerry Della Femina

I was told to read Jerry's book a few years ago when I first started getting interested in advertising.

Although written almost 40 years ago, the principles and insights inside are some that will never be out of use.

dubs. out.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Popping The Whopper Cherry

Was checking my email today and saw the following message from my mother:

Having worked at Crispin this summer and having seen the amount of publicity generated and Whoppers sold due to stunts like Whopper Freakout, I am obviously biased about the Whopper Virgins campaign.

I like it.

I like the bigness of it, the originality of it, the novelty of taking an ancient idea like blind taste-testing and putting a new, 21st Century, Third World, literal spin on the entire thing.

Say what you want about how this video mocks impoverished people, strange diets and foreign cultures, but I don't believe it does. Despite what people around the industry and around the country are saying, I think most people are overlooking how interesting the campaign is, and instead feel it's their duty to point out false prejudices.

The very fact that people are talking about it in the first place is something that CPB strives for with almost every single thing they do. But this leads to an intriguing question:

Is all publicity, even negative, a good thing?

Needless to say, I satisfied one of my two-Whopper-indulgences-per-year directly after viewing it the other night.

Much better than seal meat.

dubs. out.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Quote of The Week, Marco - 12/7/08

I'm the son of a workaholic perfectionist. I don't know how not to care. But I've learned that not everybody is cut from the same cloth or does their best work staying up all night and working weekends. A burned out creative is not going to create brilliance. Nor is a bitter one, or one who feels uninspired.

-Harvey Marco, CCO, JWT

I've said it once and I'll say it again (even if the only person who reads this is my mother):


That's it.

Care about your work, care about the details, care about doing what you think is right. I don't know much, but I know that.


dubs. out.

Friday, December 5, 2008