at the intersection of brands, media and culture

Archive for June, 2008|Monthly archive page

Taking the World in Stride

In advertising, Consumers, marketing, strategy on June 25, 2008 at 2:57 pm

Still looking at the backstory for all of this between client meetings and calls but… this is fun! Looks like Stride Gum underwrote a 39 country trip in exchange for some fun viral video and solid street cred. We’ll be seeing more of this type of unproduced work in the future as budgets are axed and clients look for ways to cut through the clutter. Frankly, I’m not even going to try to hide my jealousy, I want some of that action!

hat tip: laughingsquid

Future Mac Ad

In Brands, communications, marketing on June 19, 2008 at 9:33 am

For everyone out there in MacFandom, here’s a sneak peek of what I’m relatively sure will be seen someday in the future. It reminds me of the user-generated iPod Touch ad that was later picked up, reproduced and seen around the world.

WaMu: Please Fire Your Copywriters

In advertising, Branding, Brands, communications, Consumers, marketing, strategy on June 14, 2008 at 7:49 am


Originally uploaded by distillerymedia

Dear WaMu,

There are a few issues with rebranding that I’d like to bring to your attention. First of all, there is little that you can do to distract people from the fact that your stock and business are in the toilet. In these situations most companies take the predictable approach of working to reaffirm their commitment to their consumers and to regenerate trust. You, dear WaMu, have decided to go in a different direction.

You’ve tried to brand what you are calling a “Whoo hoo!” moment. What they heck is a “Whoo hoo!” moment?! It continues to make me believe that you are opening a line of red-light massage parlors and yet, it seems as though they are just banks.

I get the fact that you are a nicer bank. One that historically has given really big loans to people that didn’t necessarily deserve them. That was really nice of you even though it doesn’t seem to have worked out so well. And even if that isn’t quite what you were getting at here, you have to remember that you are a freakin’ bank! Unless your ATMs add zeros to my account you probably aren’t going to elicit a Whoo hoo from me.

This strikes me as the result of a bad focus group laddering exercise where someone says they want a bank that makes them feel happy. The moderator asks, ‘what does happy feel like?’ and they say ‘joy.’ The moderator probes, ‘what does joy feel like?’ Eventually someone says “Whoo hoo!” and WaMu starts printing posters.

And don’t even get me started on the stupidity of spending money to put arrows right outside the bank. It’s as if you’ve discovered a segment of mouth breathers who only stare straight at the ground when they walk and didn’t notice that they were right next to a WaMu. If this is how spend your own money in a crisis I’m not sure it’s the safest place for my money.

Trends Cause Trends

In trends on June 11, 2008 at 10:40 am

roadtrip feet

Originally uploaded by heathre

I’m not a big fan of futurists and trendspotters. I’ve listened to them, read them, even set out to hire one or two. The rub is that they tend to be great at spotting things early (at best), or telling me what I already know to be true (at worst). Few seem to be able to contribute to the next phase of the discussion which begins with “so what” and ends with “and how.”

For instance, gas prices are rising. YES. This will disrupt holidays, vacations, the great American road trip. YES. But what about the 10 year view? What will take their place and what will happen as a result?

Here are some things that I’m thinking about.

Kids in sports. The SoccerMom and MiniVan dad are going to have to question the return on investment of going to all of those games and running back and forth to practices. There will be other trade-offs made first. Mom & Dad may forgo date night. Dad won’t get a new pair of shoes even though he could really use them. The kids will come first in these occasions. But…over time I predict that the extracirculars that have become part of the over-scheduled generation will be cut back. This will lead to more family time and also more independent time for kids.

I’m also thinking about the weakness of the dollar (which yes, is a major component of rising gasoline prices). As folks start to cut back on pleasure travel what effect will this have on how Americans view the global community in which we all live. When study abroads are questioned, when people don’t venture out of the country because airlines have raised prices and don’t go on roadtrips because gas is too high, how do you learn about cultures that aren’t familiar? On the web people tend to seek out opinions that mimic and reinforce their own. Television is no better window to the world since most of the world appears through the cable box to be either hungry and poor or power hungry (neither of which aren’t true). And yes, more people from other countries will come to the states because it is more affordable but it doesn’t have the same effect to meet someone from another place as it is to be a stranger in their place. So the question becomes: do rising gasoline prices and a weak dollar actually weaken our understanding of the world and reinforce the isolationism that may have caused a couple wars to begin with?

Ed McMahon: Seeking a Big 8-Foot Check

In Uncategorized on June 8, 2008 at 5:22 pm


Originally uploaded by distillerymedia

Back in the Publisher’s Clearinghouse days it was probably tempting to pocket one of those $10,000,000 checks. You know, just slip it in the pocket like a valet at the Ivy. Maybe that’s why they made them so darn large… I wonder if winners have to bring the checks to a bank and if they make them sign that large as well.

Well, the face of Publisher’s Clearinghouse is now facing a potential clearing of his own house while foreclosure threatens. Sad to see how widespread this is becoming. At least he has his daughter/wife/daughter-wife, I’m so confused… anyway, he looks like he’s dealing with this…

Anyone Used a Kindle?

In Uncategorized on June 8, 2008 at 10:48 am

Amazon, the king of subtle recommendations, has just released special pricing on the Kindle and free two-day shipping. So here’s my question: has anyone ever used one and if so what are your thoughts? I find the whole thing pretty compelling, especially given the poor options at our nation’s airports and even poorer options in foreign countries.

Watch With Your Hands In the Air

In Brands, communications, marketing, strategy on June 4, 2008 at 8:35 am

Beautiful work for the Zurich Chamber Orchestra by Euro RSCG.

hat tip VSL

Obama Claims Victory, I Claim Exhaustion

In Uncategorized on June 3, 2008 at 1:51 pm

Is it really over? I’m still scared to walk outside thinking that it might all be a hoax and I’ll start seeing ‘Hillary Third Party ’08’ signs outside my office. (BTW, he’s 15 delegates away after today’s super-delegate deluge, he’s mathematically clinched.)

A beautiful, strategic, divisive campaign that’s been a beauty to watch. Remember Iowa? Remember NH that kicked off the Year Of The Tear? Edwards’ long stories about ordinary Americans that made one think he was trying to take over This American Life from Ira Glass. Beautiful stuff.

Now the real fun begins as Obama tries to heal the wounds with women and bridge the gaps with Hispanics and rural Americans.

Who Wants A Hug? Get Your Hugs Here!

In advertising, Brands, communications, Consumers, marketing, strategy on June 3, 2008 at 10:24 am

hat tip to the crazy kids of Chicago at Coudal

Would You Like Some Abstinence Pants with Your Chastity Belt?

In Branding, Consumers, strategy, trends, Uncategorized on June 2, 2008 at 4:03 pm


Originally uploaded by distillerymedia

Never one to miss a chance to cash into a trend late, K-Mart has launched its teen-oriented Abstinence Pants. Unlike traditional methods of padlocks and attack hamsters, K-Mart has opted to write messages on teenagers behinds in really small font so you have to look really closely. No word yet as to whether they will come packaged with En Vouge’s 90’s hit single, “Never Gonna Get It.”