Here is a very fun video that depicts the clingyness and inanity of social networking sites. Ironically, I discovered this via one of my contacts on Linkedin who happens to be the CMO of a social networking site.
A Russian ad agency named Voskhod created this new ad for their ice cream client, Duet, that features a flavor with a layer of chocolate encased in a layer of vanilla which is itself encased in a thin crust of chocolate with nuts on it. They call it black in white.
As you can plainly see here, they rely heavily on the metaphor of a black man in a white house. I.E. our President. The Huffington Post is all riled up. Americans everywhere (except the South...oops, did I just write that?) are outraged by the racist inferences.
I think it looks yummy.
You can't expect people in an entirely white country to know that we are so touchy here on racial issues that to even refer to the color of a person's skin is offensive. He is, after all, a brown man. You could even say he is chocolate colored. The White House is vanilla colored. Myself, I'm sort of "tapioca praline crunch" colored (not to brag).
To get upset about the flavor/color associations is to imply that there's something wrong with having brown skin. I mean, I fail to see how it's racist. And I'm usually pretty touchy about that stuff myself.
Now if Obama was being used to promote an ice cream that was vanilla inside and chocolate ice cream outside, that would have pissed me off (dark on the outside, white on the inside), because that would imply that Obama was really a white man on the inside.
Although I wonder what Ben and Jerry's were trying to say with their new "Yes, Pecan" ice cream with its, "Amber Waves of Buttery Ice Cream and Roasted Non-Partisan Pecans." Hmm I wonder what color that is.
The irony of it all, of course, is that Barak Obama worked at Baskin Robbins as a kid and actually doesn't like ice cream. At all.
Advertising Agency: Voskhod, Yekaterinburg, Russia
Creative Director: Andrey Gubaydullin
Art Director / Illustrator: Vlad Derevyannykh
Copywriters: Aleksandr Parkhomenko, Evgeny Primachenko
Published: March 2009
The Nashville-based subsidiary of insurer AIG is dropping those
tarnished initials, a rebranding that separates it from its troubled
parent and, officials say, highlights its individual identity.
In coming weeks, a new sign that emphasizes the initials of the
unit, American General Life and Accident Insurance, will replace the
one outside of its Brentwood-area headquarters that read "AIG American
General" until the parent's name was covered up this week.
"Moving to a brand that the company built its reputation on and that
doesn't immediately bring to mind AIG certainly helps with new business
sales," she said.
It's not cheap, by any means. But it's cheaper than sticking with the label of being a total fuck up and a liar. Thing is, you don't get to run off to Mexico and start a new life. You just change your name, change your look, and walk right back into the same cocktail party where you threw up on the host and then tried to sleep with his wife.
And this is exactly what AIG is about to do. They are too big to fail and they are flush with new money from the government. But they're name is shit because they are having an orgy with the bail out money. The name AIG simply is not a viable identity for them anymore. So they're going to change their name and hope thaat everyone will not be able to make the mental step necessary to tie their new name to their old misdeeds. And it might just work. Then again, it might not.
If we see AIG on some exec's resume, let's resist the temptation to simply NOT interview them. Let's DO interview them, and then bring in a bouncer to shake the person down for whatever they have on them. Then take that money and go have a spa day.
The payments to A.I.G.’s financial products unit are in addition to $121
million in previously scheduled bonuses for the company’s senior
executives and 6,400 employees across the sprawling corporation. Lawyers said the firm was contractually obligated to pay the bonuses. I say bullshit.
Bernie admits to squandering innocent people's life savings and we all gawk and gasp and say, "Wow, I can't believe that guy did that."
But the truth is we're still letting this kind of thing happen every day. In fact, we're letting all kinds of things happen like this all the time. Bullshit like this IS the status quo. It's institutionalized in insurance companies, it's ingrained in sales people of all stripes, it's what the PR industry is founded on.
We tell a version of the truth that they think people want to hear - or a version that they know they can sell. And we're doing this all the time. We've completely lost sight of the value of truth as a society. This Bernie Madoff thing is going to keep happening. People still bullshit as a matter of course. They still are trying to get their version of the truth out there - no matter what it takes. Some industries (cough, advertising, cough) are invested totally and completely in bullshit. It's sick. We're sick. And Bernie is just a symptom of a much much larger problem.
Tell the fucking truth, people. Just tell the truth. You do remember the truth, yes? The bald, unvarnished truth? Ring a bell?
It's unfortunate that this is all happening in such a time as this. We need each other now, more than ever.
Now these videos are gratifying. Watch Jon Steward pants Jim Cramer for basically lying on his show to the downfall of many. (thanks to D. Toner for this).
The results of a CMO opinion poll came out and, surprise, they reflected poorly on their advertising agencies. In turn, the blog Agency Spy, being written by ad men and women, laid down some not-so-loving advice for their CMO's brethren to consider, if not memorize and put under their pillow at night.
The first one tickled me, "Here's an idea,
why don't you stay in your job for longer than a year and a half - the
average length of tenure for a CMO? Breaks in brand leadership
generally kill off the current marketing strategy before it has a
chance to soar and spread ancillary wings. Let's say you come in.
Restaff your squad. Hunt for a new agency. Hire the new agency. Go
through the creative process. Get the campaign going and then, guess
what? You're donezo. Patience is a virtue. Get some."
Clearly, it helps when your blog is anonymous.
Here are the other nine:
2. Don't rely on your stinkin' pitch consultants.
3. Don't assume your staff is serving you well...
4. Don't fight your own campaign..
5. Don't forget which agency is which..."
6. Don't blow your wad...
7. Don't act like you are the lord and master of all knowledge...
8. Don't dream think we are miracle workers...
9. Don't be a wuss...
10. Don't forget that sometimes you're too close..."
Catch the whole entertaining diatribe at at Agency Spy. Link above.
Here'a really nice breakdown of all the CNBC BS that came before the financial crash about how things were just fine and dandy as far as you know. Special thanks to Jon Stewart for this entire segment and this post in general.
OK, forget that question and answer me this: What does this mean for the GOP and America in general that Rush Limbaugh, serial fuckface, is leader of the GOP? What does it mean that the worlds biggest (and I do mean biggest) loudmouth, redneck, hypocrite and liar, is the leader of the entire red side of the aisle? And by the way, I challenge anyone to locate a human who would dispute any of these adjectives in this paragraph.
I can tell you what I think it means. I think it means two things: 1) The conservatives are truly lost right now and clinging to the politics of "Anti Liberal" for fear of falling into a vortex devoid of any leadership whatsoever and 2) The current schism that defines red and blue politics, that religious folks are red and progressive free thinkers are blue, that pro-business is red and regulators are blue, etc, that this whole paradigm that has ruled American politics since the mid 1960's (and the last eight years in particular) is starting to deteriorate. As our city centers grow and our rural communities either stay the same or shrink, that schism starts to stack the deck in favor of the Democrats. Urban centers are lean strongly to the blue side of that schism.
Then again, as Politico reports, it could be that Democrats are the ones that elevated him within the Republican community by giving their attention to the ugly, incendiary comments that he made about President Obama. As Democratic strategist James Carville says. “It’s great for us, great for
him, great for the press,” he said of Limbaugh. “The only people he’s
not good for are the actual Republicans in Congress.”
Well, that is true. What's good for Rush Limbaugh is good for Democrats.
Ah the creative critique. For one of vulnerable ego and the burning, insatiable need for affirmation (i.e. basically everyone in advertising) it can be either a thrilling confirmation of your talent or a 98 decibel announcement that you are in the wrong business. Perhaps that's why it's so hard to find people who actually will be straight with you about what they think.
Nobody wants to be the one who crushed you.
It would be easy to eat up all the sugar coating and go on your merry way. But you do need to know the truth. I mean, deep down, you do know the truth. Deep down there's a tiny art director in all of us that can be brutally honest. That yearns for something more from you. And that tiny art director is very often on to something and you need to listen to the tiny art director. But ultimately, if your tiny art director starts eating all the sugar coating that people sprinkle on their comments, then, well, you will truly begin to suck.
There's an illustrator out there who's tiny Art Director is actually his own daughter. He takes direction from her, the brief, he draws it, and then she critiques. Often her critiques are not at all kind.
Witness the tiny Art Director in action on this dinosaur project (one of many dinosaur projects, the tiny Art Director requisitions many a dino):
The Brief: A dinosaur chasing us
The Critique: Where's us? Draw us on the picture! I'm going to fix him the way I like him. This is how I don't like him. Please, please erase him! Erase him now! Job Status: Rejected Additional Comments: Get those claws out of here! Artist Statement: The Tiny Art Director hates this more than anything I've ever done for her, with the possible exception of the crocodiles from the other day.
Most of the tiny Art Director's projects seem to go this way. He very often does not get them right. And that's true with all of our tiny Art Directors. If we really are being true to that voice, we would tear up our first idea, or even second idea, and start over. Maybe that means canceling the client meeting. So be it. Be true to your voice or it will stop speaking to you.
By the way, the tiny Art Director's dad put a book together of the projects that he did for his tiny Art Director. You should check it out.
As Americans we are bathing in bullshit every single day. It's unavoidable. So, if we can't avoid it, we might as well come to understand it. This is a group exercise, so if you'd like to point something out to us, by all means, do.