at the intersection of brands, media and culture

Archive for February, 2008|Monthly archive page Lobbies for Inauguration Gig

In Uncategorized on February 29, 2008 at 12:09 pm created another video with the help of Hollywood breeders for Obama. It is sort of nice to to see a musician actively supporting a candidate rather than just asking them to stop playing their songs.

Gucci Hearts NY. NY Isn’t That Into You.

In Uncategorized on February 29, 2008 at 11:59 am

Guest post from The Navigatrix


To announce the opening of their new recession-be-damned 46,000 square foot 5th Avenue flagship, Gucci unveiled a line of products using the iconic (and copyrighted) I [Heart] NY logo including, yes, paper coffee cups to be given out by street vendors. Sigh…. I first saw this campaign over the weekend (on the back of a New Yorker no less, where it just looked so… wrong).


Really Gucci, really? I heart NY too but this makes my eyes bleed. From what I can gather, proceeds from all (big dubious eyebrow raise on “all”) products go to Playground Partners of the Central Park Conservancy, which is great, but still doesn’t excuse the awfulness of this collection.

Jones Soda Quietly Expands Product Line

In Branding, Brands, communications, marketing on February 29, 2008 at 11:04 am


Originally uploaded by distillerymedia

I was chatting with the checkout guy at Whole Foods last night when he commented on the poor package design of many of their products. He’s right, of course. It seems like a lot of brands in the organic and health space are playing off the same basic design template and using each other as inspiration. The majority of them feel handmade, crafty, healthful and all-natural but they also feel a lot like each other.

Jones24c  stood out as an exception. The folks at Jones Soda have quietly extended into vitamin-enhanced water to better compete with the various water+ products in the market, but they’ve taken it a step further with powdered offerings. Not only is this new idea more environmentally friendly than plastic bottles, the packaging is minimalist and beautifully designed.

Bold colors and font help the consumer navigate the flavor offerings and stand out on the shelf against the more craft feel of EmergenC and its ilk. Nice work. Now it’s up to the rest of the supermarket to keep up with the Jones’s.

Why Politics is More Fun Than Corp. Marketing

In Brands, communications, marketing, Political Strategy, Politics, strategy on February 29, 2008 at 10:22 am

The thing that so entices me about politics is that politicians are hyper-aware that someone is going to lose. Several people, in fact, and quickly. They play the game knowing that for them to win they have to knock out the other guy without maiming themselves in the process.

Conventional marketers seem to be in the game to win enough market share or cool points to keep playing. They don’t appear to be thinking about what it would take to knock the other brand out of the race. Positioning themselves as the best brand and depositioning the competition as well as possible doesn’t seem to be the goal.

We’ve reached a point of collusion in the political race where Hillary and John McCain see Obama as a threat to both of them. HRC and McCain both have a better chance against each other at this point than either have against Obama so it makes sense for them to do the full court press to ensure that he doesn’t make it past this round. But should the former two frenemies both make it to the next round, what will happen when Hillary’s attacks on Obama have wound up bolstering McCain’s position?

And in relation to this ad, who goes to bed in a pants suit and eyeglasses? HRC is your answer to that one, apparently.

And That’s Why They Call It AdWeak

In Uncategorized on February 28, 2008 at 3:11 pm

monkey men

Originally uploaded by Krakitt

It seems like everyone from Agency Spy to Gawker is announcing Crispin’s win of the Microsoft business. A coup for sure but why aren’t the industry rags jumping on the bandwagon already? Do they know something that we don’t or are they just slow to the party? If it’s the latter someone should go ahead and tell them the party has moved and they aren’t invited.

Sometimes Focus Groups Make You Cry

In Uncategorized on February 28, 2008 at 2:35 pm


Originally uploaded by distillerymedia

Just finished a round of focus groups in NYC and Houston for a client. This is what greeted me in Houston. I guess Opinions Unlimited was just too tempting but luckily it wasn’t ominous for the project.

Crispin and Burger King Think Everyone is in on the Joke

In advertising, agency, Brands, communications, marketing on February 26, 2008 at 9:48 am

Originally uploaded by distillerymedia

That’s really the only way I can explain this billboard that I saw today in NY. The text reads, “Silly Whopper That’s a Big Mac Box.” Obviously a follow up to their WhopperFreakout work, but last I checked the campaign isn’t on the top of everyone’s minds and people have better things to do than recall campaigns and try to link them together.

I enjoyed the strategy and execution behind the original work but I think this overestimates the power and reach of the campaign and only serves to remind customers that there are alternatives to the Whopper.

WaMu Steals Massage Parlor Slogan

In Uncategorized on February 26, 2008 at 8:07 am


Originally uploaded by distillerymedia

P&G Learns To Loosen Up

In Brands, communications, Consumers, marketing on February 22, 2008 at 1:18 pm

Ed Cotton over at Influx Insights has a well thought out piece about the transformation of P&G’s advertising and their shift from a top down authoritative marketer to one that isn’t afraid to mix it up and create a debate. The only thing that I may be able to add to his points is that I think there’s a culture shift at P&G that has also permeated it’s product development and innovation pipeline in a nice way. They’ve gotten more adept at taking risks and bringing in brands and products that seem to hit real consumer needs.

In the meantime, this Folgers ad has me running to hide under the covers. Watch and you’ll know what I mean.

Marketers Should Not Go To Confession

In Brands, communications, Consumers, marketing on February 22, 2008 at 11:39 am

Originally uploaded by distillerymedia

What is the deal with this rampant brand and marketing transparency? It’s starting to feel like bamboo shoots under my fingernails and I don’t like it.

Today’s example comes from the otherwise just fine folks at Thomas’ English Muffins. Hearty Nooks…Tasty Crannies, that’s all I ask for in an English Muffin. Curious about the ellipses but no matter. What really gets me going is the new phrase “now with NO high fructose corn syrup.”

What are you trying to accomplish here Thomas? (I hope you don’t mind if I call you Thomas.) I can think of only one rationale for this language and that would be if you wanted press as a changer of food health. But you don’t. I think you just wanted to say “NO high fructose corn syrup,” right? That’s the point, that other people use high fructose corn syrup and you don’t. So why did you have to run around like a saved man after an exorcism and tell the world that you used to use high fructose corn syrup? All it does is make me regret eating you in the first place.