Saturday, August 29, 2015

Just a Damn Dumb Campaign

Quaker State, you disappoint me. This lazy, stupid, not funny campaign is not edgy, like you thought it was when you approved it. It's not turning heads and making people go, "Hell yeah!" I suspect that even guys who still change their own oil are not walking the aisles of Walmart or Autozone and going, "Heh. Just damn good oil. Yeah, that's the one for me." Most of those guys became loyal to their oil decades ago, and your in-your-face boast is not changing their minds.

Other iterations of this crap campaign say, "Nothing Sexy. Just Damn Good Oil." 

Nothing Creative. Just Damn Lazy Advertising.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

I'm Going to Blog Again...Again

I kinda don't care if anyone notices. I don't need the attention.

But I need to write.

I write for a living, but what I write is often watered down by the time it makes it out into the world, diluted by people who think they know what the market will respond to. So I spend a lot of time copying and pasting things that have already been watered down.

That's fine. Sometimes, it's not art.

I may migrate this blog over to Random Scratch, once the Google Blogger team fixes whatever is ailing my new template.

In the past, this place was advertising-industry-focused. There will probably be a lot of that again, as I both work in advertising and am a student of the....I can't say "craft," can I? In the sense that it is a dark art, maybe I can say "craft." After all, we're all about tricking, deception, sleight of hand, misdirection, and often lying with the help of an asterisk. Fine...craft.

I'm off to practice my craft.


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Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Corporate Speak Simplifier

I'm currently contracting with a very fine company that is unfortunately mired in the nonsense that is corporate speak. I'm compiling a list as I hear these phrases way too often. Maddening, but there's no way you're ever going to stop it. It's being passed on to the next generation. I'm listening as people fresh out of college toss these phrases about as if they've been let into a secret club with its own code words. Feel free to add your own in the comments.

Circle Back: Discuss Later

Touch Base: Contact

Reach Out: Contact

Take Offline: Discuss Privately

Flush Out: (They Mean "Flesh Out," by they always say Flush Out) Build

Download: Inform 

Buy In: Agree or Approval

Tie Off: Approve (New one on me.)

We're Some Serious Bullshitters

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Monday, June 24, 2013

Mad Men Season 7 Series Finale Spoiler

There's only one way for this show to end next year and I'll make that prediction here on the morning after Season 6 ended.

Matthew Weiner, though notoriously secretive, always throws out clues.

Don Draper has to die. He's been falling for six, long drawn out years.  It's the only thing that will ever give this tortured, pathetic "genius" any relief. Redemption is not an option for Don.

At the end of next season, he will be on the beach in LA, with a bottle of course, and then he will act out his ad for the Sheraton Hawaii that no one but he liked.

The drowning references have been numerous: Don face down in the pool earlier this season, the drowning in alcohol all series long, the falling man of the opening credits. Don might appear at some point next season to have it all together finally; a new, younger-than-Megan wife/girlfriend, maybe temporarily sober, a house on the beach, kids who finally don't hate him and visit often. But Don, being Don, will fall into the deep blue sea.

And Weiner, being Weiner, will accompany this final act with some sad/happy song from the era.

No one will be surprised.      

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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Evil Creative Director Says

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Monday, May 13, 2013

Let's Ask Google About Google+

Long-time fan of the Goog, my search engine of choice since the late 90s. They build some cool things and some fun toys.

Take Blogger for instance. Works great, lasts a long time. Here for me after a long absence, somewhat refined since the last time I used it, but still pretty intuitive and easy to handle. I also love iGoogle, the homepage that contains my reader, weather, email and other gadgetry. They're killing that fine service in November. 

Google+? It's not going to happen. It serves a small, devoted few, and apparently well, if you listen to them. For everyone else, it is a cumbersome and confusing failure.
Am I blogging again? Guess so.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Creepy Lurker Dads Watch Their Families Drive Away

Thanks to Paula for the link to this Flickr set.

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Monday, September 24, 2012

More or Less

You would expect nothing less from Trump, because who is more of an asshole than him?

This high class gent just paid close to $1,000 for that bed and who knows how much for the professional escort. But that smug look tells me money doesn't matter to him. He's all about rubbing it in your face the next day on the golf course.

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The Ad I Couldn't Ignore

I've been taking a break from this blog for a while. Anyone can find ads and praise them or hate them. And there were so many of us out here doing it that it became an echo chamber where nothing was new and eventually, after all of us had mocked or loved, along comes Ad Week at the tail end of the cycle to show everyone an ad that everyone already saw and blogged about. (Must be layers of corporate approval going on over there.) But Sunday's paper presented me this riveting image that must be shared.

There are too many things to hate about this ad, but I'll start with the little girl. She's a brat. How do I know? She wears sunglasses. Her dad is too cool. Jeans and a blue blazer. Nothing says serious but cool like that tired combo. He's a shitty parent too. How do I know? His daughter wears sunglasses. The doorman wears a pork pie hat. And he gets down on one knee to high five the brat in the sunglasses. "That's how the black men do it here in the city, my little Princess," said Daddy. The pork pie hat is part of the hotel chain's logo. So hip. The giant "TLC" stands for "Tender Loving Comfort." Gross. And the hotel staff all "went through body language training to understand your needs before you even have to tell us!" Grosser. Here, let Chrissy tell you all about it, she's the "Chief Comfort Officer." Hippest. Grossest.

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Friday, August 31, 2012

Clint, The Morning After

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Friday, August 10, 2012

Yo Ho Yo Ho

A pirate's life ain't what it used to be.

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Thursday, August 09, 2012

Optimism Defined

Missing since 1965, someone is still holding out hope that she'll be found.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Parents: Bust Your Wayward Daughters

VW is hyping its "low-speed corner illuminating headlights" on the 2013 CC with this full-page ad appearing in many publications.

This is a feature no one has cared about since it was first tried in the 1930s, so it was a tough sell for the people making this ad. "Big deal!" the copywriter said, "They only work at low speed. I can only see that being beneficial when your daughter, whose grades are slipping, is hiding in the bushes with that loser skater kid who needs his ass kicked."

And so they made an ad based on that.

If you've seen a new CC on the street, you know it's not a bad looking vehicle with way more going for it than this. Copy reads: "It's a simple solution that may lead to some complicated conversations."


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Thursday, July 05, 2012

Zombie Suburbia

We've all seen the haunting pictorials of abandoned urban centers, Detroit being the most popular for photographers to document, but the abandonment has reached many suburbs as the housing crisis continues to claim families.

On the two-mile trip to our local 7-Eleven in a middle class suburb, there are quite a few sad stories; homes that have been left to rot as the Florida jungle, ever creeping, tries to swallow them up.

So here's a little Fourth of July trip through our Central Florida neighborhood.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Circle Slash Means Stop, Doesn't It?

So does adding the word "Stop" to a circle slash make this ad say "Don't Stop"? And why are the last three letters in "capitalist" underlined? Is this a take-off on anti-capital punishment groups? WHY? Just to be punny? (At least they know how to use the circle slash symbol) And why is the drop shadow so huge on that button? And why can't an organization that can afford to run a quarter page ad in the national version of The New York Times afford to hire a team to create a decent ad?

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Thursday, June 07, 2012

The Sleep Twilight

I've long been a believer in finding (or rather receiving) ideas in that half-conscious state between sleep and wakefulness. In fact, I let one go this morning. It was genius, I'm sure, but I didn't write it down and it vanished.

Found this quote at AnimalNewYork marking the passing of Ray Bradbury:

“Any owner of cats will know of what I speak. Cats come at dawn to sit on your bed. They may not nip your nose or inhale your breath or make a sound. They simply sit there and stare at you until you open one eyelid and spy them there about to drop dead for need of feeding. So it is with ideas. They come silently in the hour of trying to wake up and remember my name. The notions and fancies sit on the edge of my wits, whisper in my ears and then, if I don’t rouse, give more than cats give: a good knock in the head, which gets me out and down to my typewriter before the ideas flee or die or both. In any event, I make the ideas come to me. I do not go to them. I provoke their patience by pretending disregard. This infuriates the latent creature until it is almost raving to be born and once born, nourished.”

Maybe that's what lacking in today's workplace. Not enough napping.

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Monday, June 04, 2012

My Guess Would be Swedish Death Metal

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Monday, May 21, 2012

Kill Your Agency Blog, Please

If you're not going to update it, get rid of it. Do you know how stupid it makes you look when you have only three posts up for 2012? While you're at it, remove the Twitter feeds from your team's accounts. When your media planner only tweets links to media planning articles she read somewhere else and your creative director only links to campaigns he wishes he'd had a part in, you're not doing yourselves any favors. We get it. You do social media. Or pretend to anyway.

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Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Dinner with Barack

Not dinner with the President. Not dinner with Obama. Nope. Just Barack. Your buddy, up against a brick wall like so many promising young bands and hopeful comedians. Barack. You and Barack. Dinner. That will be special.

I have no doubt that the skillful and shrewd tacticians of the Obama campaign are totally in touch with their audience (See that Google + icon?) and they will most likely outwit the Romney camp this November, but I wish they could reign in the coolness just a touch. We're talking about the leader of the most powerful country on earth - not Justin Bieber.

What will you and Barack talk about at dinner? My guess is he will feign interest in whatever you want to talk about and probably laugh at your lame jokes. He will also be familiar with your favorite music. He's cool like that. 

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Friday, April 27, 2012

The Dream of Solar Power - 1958

From Plan59. The caption on this illustration read: "The furnace is 93,000,000 miles away."

So, yeah. Keep dreaming.

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Was McDonald's Involved?

This video is blowing up on YouTube right now, in which an actress does a great job lampooning the way in which black women have been portrayed by fast food chains, particularly McDonald's. While I want to believe this is just one woman creating a nice resume piece that will likely land her more roles, something makes me cautious that it was that innocent. That something is the Big Mac featured in the final third of the four minute and twenty second video. It's perfect. It looks styled. And we've all seen the "what they advertise, what you get" photographs. I did one years ago for Wendy's Baconator. Besides the perfection of her meal, she makes an excellent pitch for a Big Mac and vanilla shake. Watching her eat it, you want your own.

And 4:20 seems a little too perfect as well, now that I think about it.


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