Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Music Groups from Google Headlines

Due to the unexpected popularity of the last version (and on James H's suggestion), here's another crop of names you can use for your fledgling music group, pulled from today's headlines on Google News.

Solar Panel Rip
The Barrel Bottoms
Camelot Death
Bus Blast
Majority Poor
The Retired Army Surgeons

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Something Wicked This Way Comes

Not sure what sort of strange goings on are going on here in this 1907 ad for Hart Schaffner & Marx Good Clothes Makers, but the young lad looks less than pleased to be carving the Jack O'Lantern for the stern and sharp-dressed man. But you gotta love a company that lays it out so plainly: Good Clothes Makers.

Copy reads: Three great campaigns going on- Politics, fun, clothes. You'll be right in clothes, if our name's in them.

Man, I don't get it.

I know many of you are holding back on sick captions.

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Monday, October 29, 2007

Helped Him or Hurt Him?

After this, I fear he's sunk. Way to go, Ellen. Ruin a promising politician. Why couldn't you have just stuck to your sad and stupid dog story?

I'm sure Hillary would be twice as embarrassing trying to dance. And now, thanks to Obama, we will never have to see that sight. I know there was a team of Obama people backstage cringing, burying their faces in their hands as he did this.

Could this have been calculated? Did they figure enough people would find it endearing and not embarrassing? Was this like Bill Clinton playing the sax on "Arsenio Hall" and "The Tonight Show"? If Michael Dukakis donning a helmet in a tank can kill a campaign; if Howard Dean screaming in victory can derail a career, I think Obama can safely call it over now.

What do you think?

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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Papa Was a Rolling Stone

He was a player. A smooth operator. He was Don Juan and James Bond in one man. He didn't have much sense when it came to furnishing his sex palace. He had other things on his mind. When the ladies came by, which was every night, he'd lube 'em up with Canadian Club. It was a wild time. Your Dad was the first among his buddies to be in a threesome. Then your Mom, one of his many throwaway conquests, got pregnant and your Dad "did the right thing" and married her. Then you were born. Then he REALLY started drinking.

Canadian Club is doing its first advertising in 20 years. They've gone for the Old Spice approach, only without the knowing wink and a nod. They're serious. Real Men, Cool Men, drink Canadian Club.

More details on the campaign at Wine & Spirits Daily.

Scanned from the November 1 issue of Rolling Stone, the last issue of my subscription, according to the giant wrapper on the magazine. This one is so filled with Springsteen sycophantic sucking-up that the only thing I will miss about the magazine are the ads.

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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Be Sure Your Sins Will Find You Out

A lesson is being taught over at FEMA for all of you Web 2.0 "pioneers."

Seems FEMA held a fake news conference where FEMA employees pretending to be reporters asked softball questions about the agency's handling of the current wildfires in San Diego. The ruse was quickly uncovered and the agency looks pretty stupid right now.

But the same thing is happening all over the blogosphere all the time. Let's say some self-appointed new media guru lands a client and sells them on a blog. As the blog sputters and tries to die, the guru will inject fake life into it by commenting anonymously or setting up fake profiles that make it seem as though people are reading and actually care. Or she'll go around commenting on other blogs as she tries to drive traffic to the client's blog. You get them all the time on your own blogs: "Hey, great post. Love your blog. Come check out mine at Awesome Medical Insurance Alternatives."

Or it happens with models like Pay Per Post, where people who don't give two shits about your product are paid to blog about your product. Some investors threw 7 million dollars into this idea, apparently unable to see the potential for disaster and failure. (Currently, Orlando based Pay Per Post is looking to hire a "Director of Customer Love." I will pause while you stop gagging....OK?....Now get this: If you are picking up what we are throwing down check out the listings in each department listed on the side of this page. I am not worthy of the hipness being thrown down at Pay Per Post.) Everyone's a loser in this: the whore blogger who no one trusts - and the client who was so desperate that they paid for random and obscure blog mentions. Oh, and the investors in this model.

This is such a no-brainer and yet people keep trying to do it. It's called ethics. You can't hold fake press conferences. You can't post unrelated, irrelevant comments on blogs and expect to drive traffic to yours. You can't pay bloggers to write about obscure crap while maintaining any credibility.

Man, I am really looking forward to the next dotcom bust.

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Friday, October 26, 2007

Superstitious Sports Stats

The guys in the booth announcing college and pro football games (maybe it's baseball too, but I don't watch) are getting really weird with their obscure "what if" and "did you know" scenarios.

  • "Brett Favre is 21 and 4 in home games after losing a previous game that fell on one of his relatives birthdays."
  • "The Gators are 12 and 2 against Georgia when the Gators have had a bye week prior to the classic match-up, provided the temperature was above 72 degrees."
  • "LaDainian Tomlinson averages 4.5 yards per carry in games that follow an evening of mild passion. With the way he's running today, Bill, it looks like he may have been involved in an orgy last night. Heh, heh."

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Countdown to Overexposure and Backlash 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

Dane Cook is everywhere. And he only tucks in the front of his t-shirt so we can see his bad ass belt-buckle. That style, like Dane, should be on the way out very soon. If he's not in the latest movie being forced down America's collective throat (Oh! Steve Carell playing a bumbling do-gooder having a hard time with the ladies! What a concept!) then he's doing World Series commercials for Fox. His stand-up sucked. (There's even a website called Dane Cook Sucks.) I'll admit, I've laughed once or twice listening to a Dane Cook routine, but watching it takes the funny away.

Dane, please take your strategically messed up hair and your carefully cultivated five o'clock shadow and leave my country alone.

(The Dane Cook fanbase is a crazy bunch of zealots. I'm deleting any comments that show up blindly praising Dane and all he does.)

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

It Was a Day Like Any Other Day

Or so it seemed...

As a former San Diegan, I am not trying to trivialize the wildfires by posting this old PSA from the great Rod Serling of Twilight Zone fame. Some of my favorite places, like Lake Arrowhead in the San Bernadino Mountains, Julian and other areas of East San Diego County are now up in smoke. I'm simply responding to the idiots who have already trivialized the fires by blaming them on Global Warming, or are hard at work politicizing them by claiming all the resources to fight the fires are in Iraq.

Regardless of where you stand on the war or what political ideology you subscribe to, Southern California has always had wildfires and always will.

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Pimps and Hos: Please Wear Appropriate Clothes

More fun from the corporate cubicle farm, where we're having a Halloween Costume Contest on Wednesday! Woo-Hoo!

However, in the interest of corporate decency, and likely based on past costume contests, (where some hooker from marketing probably dressed like... a hooker - and won the thing hands down) everyone received an email today with a fun little illustration directing us on what is and what is not appropriate attire for office spookery.

I'm not sure why a full-bodied penguin costume is considered taboo. But, ooooh! Doctors! Scary!

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Possible Music Group Names Gleaned From Today's Headlines

Does your band need a name? Try one of these:

SoCal Burning
Ellen's Puppy
The Fainting Osmonds
Neilsen Google
Dumbledore is Gay
The Preppy Killers
Bhutto Attack Probe

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You Know You Need a New Job When...

...when at any time of day you can spot about 10 people outside the company buildings talking quietly on their cellphones. It's either their headhunter, a potential employer, or a family member calling to console them during their break. You can't make any sort of private call in this cube farm. I can hear the lady in the cube next door to mine eating a tuna sandwich. And tuna sandwiches don't make much noise. It's a very quiet and oppressed place. Managers have doors and windows on their cubes. But no roofs. Their cubes are still connected to the rest of the maze, they're just bigger and have the illusion of privacy.

My current gig is with an in-house creative department for a large corporation. To make sure the employees aren't wasting time on non-company things, this corporation has contracted with a firm known as Websense. "Websense is a global leader in internet filtering and web security solutions to help companies productively use the internet."

Websense sucks.

Most blogs I can't see from work, especially Wordpress blogs, where I am met with:
Category "Social Networking and Personal Sites" is filtered.

Some blogs I can get to, but following a link about a "ghostly cup of coffee," I am met with this message:
Category "Non-Traditional Religions and Occult and Folklore" is filtered.

The Best Page in The Universe is blocked with this message:
Category "Tasteless" is filtered.

Anything on YouTube gets you this:
Category "Illegal or Questionable" is filtered.

The website Something Awful, where the Your Band Sucks feature is pretty fun, is a serious non-no:
Category "Adult Content" is filtered.

I understand corporate America's desire to squeeze the last ounce of productivity out of their employees, but when you prevent them from having any fun whatsoever, particularly when their department is called "Creative Services," you're kind of screwing yourself.

I can understand blocking porn, maybe hate groups and sites that teach you how to make bombs, but when you call Maddox "tasteless," that's clearly just a matter of opinion.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

What a Lovely Cigarette Hat

"You're so Smart to Smoke."

Nothing much I can add here.

Click image for bigness


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I'm Easily Amused

I know, I know. Taking pictures while driving is wrong, but I couldn't resist the sequence on my odometer this morning on the way to work. I'm a simpleton. I also smile when I glance at the clock and it's 4:44. A cool number.

I meant to get a shot of the shuttle taking off this morning, but I was in a meeting. Who schedules a meeting when the shuttle is launching?

Here's some older shuttle launch shots from the backyard.

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Saturday, October 20, 2007

George Carlin Writing Copy for Lufthansa

A current radio ad for Lufthansa's non-stop service from Orlando to Frankfurt opens with these lines:

"Ever wonder why we drive on parkways and park on driveways? Why is it that when you transport something by car, it’s called a shipment, but when you transport something by ship, it’s called cargo?"

I suppose the copywriter just finished reading an old George Carlin anthology of jokes and figured no one would recognize the blatant plagiarism?

I can't even remember how they transitioned from those thoughts into describing the great deals now available from Florida to Europe. I was too astounded to listen after the first few words.

As Scamp has been pointing out, nothing is original anymore. George Parker would say it's all deviously protected under the guise of "homage." Either way, it's lazy and lame.

"You know that history repeats itself....what you just done so has somebody else."

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Friday, October 19, 2007

But You Will be So High

I know some people who've spent many years in Big Pharma, so I know it takes years and years and lots of work and money to get a drug to market. But lately I'm starting to think the government's "war on drugs" ought to be reevaluated. I saw an ad the other night for some drug, and I wish I could recall what drug it was, but instead of "ask your doctor if blahblah is right for you," the voiceover said, "ask your prescriber..." I'm sure many doctors feel that's what they've been reduced to.

The ads are not allowed to deviate much from this formula: happy people outdoors enjoying life to the fullest now that they don't suffer from whatever. Final shot is the monochromatic logo, preferably involving a swirl, adorned with a made-up word.

No. 19 in the new series "Where's My Jetpack?" which is kind of an advertising comic using this blog's name. I won't guarantee an advertising theme all the time, but it's the easiest thing to make fun of.


UPDATE: Oh, bummer. I've finally just found the terms of usage page for these images I've been using in this comic strip. So much for syndication.

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Oil ? That's Just Part of Our Name

Whether it's BP, Shell, Chevron, Exxon or Mobil, they've all adopted the "we're trying so damn hard not to be in the oil business" approach. It's getting tired and it rings very hollow. I'd like to see someone break this mold and stop sucking up to the shifting winds of the fickle public. We know what you do. Quit hiding.

Just come out and say it, "Hey! You drive a car? You fly on planes? You like your home warm in winter? Then you can thank us, 'cause we've got you by the balls!"

No. 18 in the series "Where's My Jetpack?" the advertising comic that sometimes strays from being about advertising.

Here's some more.

On a related note, this guy is something of a local hero: A 70-year-old Winter Haven man was arrested Tuesday, accused of stealing thousands of gallons of gasoline from gas stations in Polk County and elsewhere in Central Florida, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Office. Read the full story>>>

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Need a Softer Call to Action

A job came across my desk today, the brief describing an existing landing page that wasn't converting, which in this case was defined as getting visitors to fill out a form. The AE had already identified the problem: "Need a stronger call to action." (I swear.)

So I go to the page. It's loaded with flowery copy and a basic image of a high-end product. At the bottom of the copy is a form. Below that form is a check-box that basically says you acknowledge that you know you are about to be harassed non-stop by a salesperson who has already asked in the above form what the best time to call you would be. He also wanted your home address, your email address and a few other nuggets.

It's not that people aren't visiting the landing page; they are. They just aren't filling out the form because they smell "sales hound" all over it. And the AE decides that we simply need to call them to action "stronger."

Wrong. We need to call them much softer. The client has a similar ad running in The New York Times that uses the same basic copy points and the exact same image, but it converts well because it only offers a phone number and a web address.

People don't like forms. Much less long ones. Much less invasive ones. Much less ones with terms of agreement check-boxes at the bottom. Put them all together and you've got a recipe for failure. Keep paying for those clicks on your PPC ads, and then keep wondering why no one is "converting" from your landing pages.

See the cartoon below.

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Let Me Help You With That

The post above describes how this comic came about.

#17 in the new series "Where's My Jetpack?"

See the whole series here.

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Sunday, October 14, 2007

You'd Never See a (US) Football Team in These

Orlando is a melting pot of cultures, and it is not uncommon to spot groups of men from Latin America, Europe, the Caribbean and the Middle East playing soccer on the weekends. This team, walking off the field in their pink jerseys, kind of stood out in the crowd. I'm betting they lost.
Photographed at Sylvan Lake Park.

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We Concepted for Weeks on This

The copywriters working on Chevy's print ads have been phoning it in lately, relying on lyrics from rock music to do the talking for their cars. This one features a line from a Motley Crue song. Another ad sports some throwaway line from AC/DC.

I thought I'd help them out and create their next ad for them.

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Who needs a copywriter when you have a style guide?

The market research suggested a list of words that potential buyers responded to positively. So the creators of this two-page ad simply strung a few of them together and called it finished. And. They. Did. It. With. Periods.

I have to deal with these stupid lists of words all the time. They're frustrating because it's as if a group of very devious scientists have picked the brains of the target market and now they're telling you how to write. When the research is so refined as to tell you exactly what to write, you cease becoming a copywriter and are now a copy and paster. At least that's how I feel when I have to deal with these lists. But I've always believed that the idea is to incorporate the words into your copy. Subtly. Not piled on top of each other. Any monkey can assemble your ad or collateral piece for you when you already have the words chosen and a pre-assembled collection of art the target responds to as well.

So maybe, just maybe, (and this would be awesome) this is a copywriter's way of telling the style guide compilers to kiss his/her ass. "You already know the words that make people buy? Great. Here you go."

Scanned from the October 14th edition of The New York Times Magazine.

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Saturday, October 13, 2007

Man Makes Movie - Should be President

MTLB relays the info that we're all supposed to be blogging green on Monday. I have plans to be away from blogability at that time, so here's my halfhearted leap at jumping on the Gore Train.

Here's a cool site about funky green architecture.
That's a converted water tower in Germany in the photo above.

There, I did my part. Now I'm going to drive my Hummer stretch limo in endless circles with the AC on high while I eat fast food and throw the trash out the window.

But seriously, if you think Bush not signing the Kyoto Protocol caused Hurricane Katrina*, then you should start making plans now to visit China and India to see if you can talk those countries into your plan to fix the world. Here's a list of the world's top ten most polluted cities. Not a US city in the bunch.

*I'm not a Bushman, but blaming him for global warming is about the stupidest thing I've ever heard.

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Don't Call it Junk Mail

But ask yourself this: do you respond to it when it arrives at your house or inbox?

It's DMA time in Chicago. Keynote speaker is John Adams, Chairman and CEO of the Martin Agency.

So, it's about time for another edition of "Where's My Jetpack?" the clipart comic that's only funny once in a while.

Here's the whole series thus far.

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Cirque du Jésus

I suppose it's not the smartest idea to take pictures while driving in heavy traffic, but I've started bringing my camera to work simply because I often see things I wish I could take pictures of throughout the day.

Here we have a crucified Christ, although he's not on a cross. He's swinging wildly on a string of beads hanging from this guy's rear view mirror, like some gymnast doing the iron cross on the rings.

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Fun Building

A local air conditioning/electrical /plumbing contractor named Ferran is currently building a new headquarters just south of downtown Orlando, right on Interstate 4. The building distracts me worse than a billboard as I pass it to and from work, so I took some morning and afternoon shots of it while driving by at 70 mph. I think it's a very cool design, especially the giant fan that faces the highway, turning slow enough to see the yellow blades. I suppose in a few years the electrical outlet shaped window facades might seem silly, but it sure grabs my eye every day.

I thought I'd be an architect when I was a kid, but that pesky math thing got in the way. And then I reasoned that most architects probably have to design crappy block apartments and what fun could that be? The group that designed this building, Evans, of Orlando, seems like a fun place to work. They've done some cool stuff around town. I've driven past their building downtown and you can see inside. The cubicles, if you can call them cubicles, are really little houses, the whole space resembling a small town.

click for better view

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

It's Deborah Harry! No, It's Madonna!

Well, at least we have a preview of what Madonna will look like in a few years. I've never seen a better example of how to repackage and sell something so unusable and previously rejected as the excellent job the Clinton campaign is doing of making Hillary look like one of us. Currently on her "Middle Class Express" tour, this candidate is something to behold. Political science majors, take note. Advertisers, take note.

  • Frequency
  • Stick to "the message"
  • Hammer relentlessly your focus group-approved talking points
  • Make-up - lots and lots of make-up
  • Demonize your opposition
  • Be "warm," and "approachable"
  • Laugh - laugh from the gut

No, I'm not "getting" political. "Where's My Jetpack?" has always been political - just under the surface, brewing like a cauldron of molten rage.

Independent, as always, but when I see bullshit, I have to raise my hand.

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Image is Everything

As it seems to be a given that Senator Clinton (despite her image problems and extreme dislikability to half the country) is the de facto Democratic candidate for President next year, let's look at the image problems of her Republican competitors, who just finished a debate in Detroit.

(Disclaimer: I have no dog in this hunt. As an independent, I do not vote in primaries. I'm just a shallow marketer and advertiser trying to look at this from a "regular American" perspective.)

Senator Sam Brownback

Sam needs a haircut most of the time, and he needs to stop playing his religion card so heavily. It can be somewhat alienating to many Americans when every answer is framed in family, God and abortion. You're not in Kansas, anymore, Sam.

Congressman Tom Tancredo

If you invented a drinking game whereby you had to take a shot every time Tom said "illegal immigration," everyone would be wasted in about 10 minutes. Also, hire a voice coach and work to get your timbre more resonant. You sound like a nervous squirrel.

Senator Fred Thompson

All hat, no cattle. A good actor, they tell me, but in the role of President, Fred ain't cutting it. Hangdog homespun works at the diner or the bar, but not on the international stage. Develop some character depth.

Senator John McCain

The good Senator, hero of Vietnam and straight-talker of old, is appearing senile and on the ropes. Asking the moderator to repeat the question as you crane your neck in anguish to better hear her is not exactly confidence instilling.

Mayor Rudy Giuliani

Rudy needs more than "9/11" as an answer to every question. His tough talk tempered by affable smile works well on the stump, but "the terrorists hate you and wanna kill your babies" needs to be ratcheted down just a notch. Also, watch your back on the many marriages thing.

Governor Mitt Romney

Mitt has the whole package that shallow Americans need in a candidate. He's got the hair, the voice, the teeth, and a smooth way with words. But America simply isn't ready for a Mormon President. We're shallow. And we think we know Mormons thanks to HBO's "Big Love."

Governor Mike Huckabee

I like Mike. He's easygoing, practical, sensible and seems to be a warm-hearted guy. The fact that he lost a ton of weight is a nice plus in his favor as well. Mike's unfortunate problem is his last name. Mike, my man, I wish there was something you could do, but "Huckabee" isn't charting well in urban areas or the North and West.

Congressman Duncan Hunter

Friend of the military and longtime San Diego representative has the unfortunate habit of always talking about bombing Iran. If I could cast a hawkish President on Fox's "24," I'd model him after Duncan Hunter. Which I think was what they were going for with Powers Booth last season.

Congressman Ron Paul

If this was 1915 and isolationism was still an option for America, Ron Paul would be the man. He's got nutty but fun ideas like "abolish the IRS" and speaks in that Ross Perot way of a man who is about to come unhinged. Also, a little makeup consulting wouldn't hurt the old fella.

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Britney Spears is Not a Pop Tart

She's a strumpet, which rhymes with crumpet, which is sort of like a tart. And she's toast.

Anyway, I wonder how Fox News gets away with calling their regular feature on the latest bimbo news "PopTarts." Does Kellogg's have a trademark only on the logo and not the name?

It doesn't matter. Here, crave some, 1967 style.

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OJ Simpson is Turning Over in His Grave

On a night when the hated Cowboys had absolutely no reason to win, they somehow pulled it out in the final second of a very good game. Sucks to live in Buffalo today, but they're all consoling each other with, "We showed spirit and unity and put up a helluva fight when no one thought we could hang with the Cowboys." My favorite team is whoever is playing the Cowboys.

Face it, Dallas friends, the rest of the country looks at this man and sees the devil. And just like the devil, the Cowboys always manage to win. My 2nd most hated team is New England. I look forward to watching them beat Dallas next week.

When I was a kid, I was brainwashed and thought the Cowboys were great. I even had a Cowboys coat. I've since been deprogrammed.

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Sunday, October 07, 2007

Cargoes of Gold, Silver, Precious Stones and Pearls

T, The New York Times Style magazine, is filled with ads for stuff a good 99.999% of us will never buy, like a $47.5 million 5th Avenue penthouse, $9,000 sofas and other luxuries that make you shake your head in bemused wonder and simultaneous disgust. I enjoy some of the pictorials of cool architecture, but there is a level of pretentiousness within this magazine that causes me to pick it out of the paper first thing, because I know that every ad within competes with the next, where a simple chair, shoe, stove or clock is treated as a one-of-a-kind museum piece. Maybe I'm just jealous of the exceedingly rich, but I like to believe that if I had millions of dollars, I still wouldn't spend $10,800 on a Pergamena Folding Camp Bed.

So it was kind of nice to see lowly Target take out a detachable 8-panel brochure in this week's edition, highlighting what they call Design for All® which featured "great design from A to Z."

I'm sure your average Central Park West socialite wouldn't slum at Target unless they had a real emergency and a handy disguise, but the ad artfully conveys that great design need not be expensive. (The item chosen for the letter Q was the Q-tip. A simple design and a great invention.) And if you're the kind of person who looks at my Vietnamese-made rubberwood workstation here at home and determines that I'm a cheap, swamp-dwelling Target shopper who probably still prefers the Levi's® brand for jeans and spends zero dollars on haircuts,' d be right.

Now, maybe while Target is so focused on cool design that functions well, they can find a new vendor to supply an alternative to those broke-down red plastic ghetto shopping carts. I've yet to push one that didn't have a bad wheel and a weird clunking noise.

Title of this post taken from here.

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Where's My Jetpack? VOL. I, No. 15

IM is one of the greatest things to ever happen to cubicle/office dwellers. Whether it's maintaining contact with home, friends or people a few cubes down, I rank it right up there with the jetpack as far as cool inventions.

Wait. Jetpack hasn't happened yet.

My current gig blocks IM, yet another reason they are devils in human guise.

I have about 6 screen names at AIM. Try jetpackjockey or RadioFreeBabylon.

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Saturday, October 06, 2007

That's Just Wrong

But it would sell...

No.14 in the series "Where's My Jetpack?"

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Friday, October 05, 2007

Grannies in a Landslide

Rob Mosley of Nonsense, a London-based agency, has asked if I would comment on his firm's contest to determine which website concept they should go with. (You may go and vote now.) His actual email subject line was "Worth a mention? Or plain old turd?" Having been forced in the past to write direct response emails, I always appreciate a good subject line.

I will play middle of the road broadcaster here and say "They're all very worthy concepts." Billboard, Bulletin Board and Grannies are great ideas. I will predict, however, that Grannies will shred the other two in competition. (I still disagree with Stuart, who commented over at AdRants that I didn't understand what I was talking about when I said Bulletin Board had been done by Firehouse Dallas, as designed by James H. of Yonder Ponder.)

Just as it's always been somewhat "underground funny/cool/hip" to like bacon, you can't go wrong with Grannies. They're out of touch with the culture (hopefully), generally full of wisdom and usually good for a laugh (unless they've started to lose their minds and drool regularly). Not to draw too many comparisons between Grannies and bacon, but hopefully you know what I mean.

And an excellent use of social media on the part of Nonsense to get the word out about their agency. See? It can be done.

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Enrage The Consumer

I know there has to be a way to utilize blogs, vlogs, RSS, etc. to "engage the consumer," but it has to start with worthwhile content. Nobody cares about your corporate blog or any of your other social media efforts unless you are saying something worth talking about.

Or as Toad puts it, your brand is not my friend.

The latest installment in the royalty-free clipart comic called "Where's My Jetpack?" (You'll note a severe lack of diversity in these comics. That's not my fault. This particular series of clipart I'm ripping off appears to have been drawn in Idaho. Although, the guy above could be Hispanic.)

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Somebody Better Establish a Perimeter

It's just a matter of time, I'm sure, before the agents surround my cube and bust me for finding a way to blog from deep within the bowels of Corporate America.

Copy that. A blogger in Sector 4, Building 2, 1st floor, West, Cube 14. Using Google's blogspot. Found a workaround the block.

Roger. Treat as hostile. No mercy.

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Thursday, October 04, 2007

Lord, There Goes Johnny Appleseed

I was a huge fan of the hard-to-fathom "John From Cincinnati" on HBO. I couldn't fathom it, and that was half the draw. The brass at HBO foolishly killed the show after only 10 episodes. They've since replaced it with nonsense like "Tell Me You Love Me," which is supposedly oh-so-groundbreaking because it shows raw, hand-held camera, no-soft-filter sex. I've watched it. It's a sappy soap-opera with occasional sex, some of it between people in their late 60s. thanks.

So, I gave up on trying to get HBO to reconsider their idiocy. The actors, the directors, the creators and producers have all moved on to other efforts. Some fans, however, are dying much harder. Last week, the faithful took out this full-page ad in The Hollywood Reporter. Could've used better art direction and copy, but I like the quote from The Mescaleros song (featuring Joe Strummer), which was the theme song to JFC's opening. (Watch that little film. It's a work of art by Rock Paper Scissors and A52.)

I admire the grassroots effort by these die-hards and hope HBO is watching and listening. They've pissed off plenty of subscribers of late. Now they've got an army of surf-noir fans knocking on a very closed door.

Fine print: JFC was a "hated it or loved it" show. If you fall in the "hated it" camp, please spare me your "Dumbest. Show. Ever." comments.

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Rock On, Wachovia!

This is from the homepage of, where I bank. Acoustic-playing, Army-jacket, ripped- jean, Chuck Taylor-wearing Rockerman is EXCITED about Wachovia's fixed rate mortgage loans. In fact, he's so pumped, he might just write a song about how his old adjustable rate mortgage was taking food out of his baby's mouth while The Man was getting rich and fat keeping him down.

Which reminds me; if I read one more sycophantic review of Springsteen's latest upchucking of pseudo-Americana, I'm going to...I don't what I'm going to do. But Springsteen releasing another buttload of whiny working-man, stop-the-war, what-happened-to-my-country songs is not worthy of the Google News homepage for 2 weeks. You're not the Boss of me, Bruce.

Yes, I am aware that the Springsteen Army is vast and vehement. Bring it on. You can't make me worship him. And I'm no less an American if I don't. If we have to choose a preacher of the singer-songwriter variety to be the spokesperson for our Collective National Angst, I'll take Canadian Neil Young any day.

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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Notes from the Cell

As noted earlier, I've been sentenced to solitary confinement. A woman appeared in my cubicle yesterday. She was armed with forms. One of them was three pages in length, the other a mere two. She informed me the purpose of these forms was so that I could get an email account. I've been in this cell since September 17th and they are now getting around to allowing me access to the other prisoners via email. I'm sure the forms said stuff like "no porn, no gambling, no blogging, no looking at blogs, no MySpace, etc." I didn't read them. I just signed them like a good prisoner. I already know I can't access webmail, see blogs or post to my own. (I found a way to cheat their system: if you type you get blocked, if you add www at the front you can bypass the block. Still, no pictures and no commenting.) I was told my email account might be ready by "this time next week."

Sitting next to my coffee cup in this photo is my secret access badge that lets me in the building and in and out of doors within the cubicle farm. I am not working for a defense contractor or the government. The only reason a company has these is to keep disgruntled ex-employees from coming in the buildings and going postal.

You will note that the company "proudly brews Starbucks." I hate Starbucks.

I've noticed that the cubicles of many of the lifers are adorned with in-house awards and trophies for leadership and good behavior. I saw one man outside in the yard where we are allowed to walk for exercise, and he was wearing JEANS ON A TUESDAY! He also sported a button on his t-shirt that said "Ask me why I'm casual." I did not ask him. I'm sure he won some sort of ass-kissing contest or made his latest merit badge in less time than the company guidelines suggested it should take. For this he is permitted to dress casual for a time. But he must also wear a stupid company button advertising that he is dressing casual.

I'm writing. It's a job. I'll quit bitching now and put another mark on my cell wall, counting the days.

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Monday, October 01, 2007

Gorgeous Lakefront w/ Weapons Cache

You know those real estate ads in the back of the New York Times Magazine on Sundays? The ones for homes you will never afford as a copywriter or art director? The ones in places like Bedford, NY or New Canaan, CT? They're fun to dream about, just in case your two-person startup agency lands, I don't know, the Boeing account or someone equally loaded. Saw this beautiful home and had to check it out online at (Click that link for the virtual tour.) It's a mammoth log cabin on a lake, with boat dock, guest house, garage with workshop, etc. It's the kind of place you could see yourself in a few years entertaining extended family and friends for the Holidays. Or maybe just the kind of place where you could tell the federal government to go to Hell while you stock up on weapons and form your own separatist society.

This lovely home is located in northern Idaho. My grandfather came from Idaho. Played fullback for the University of Idaho. Then he loaded up the truck and he moved to Diego.
So-Cal, that is.
Navy bases.

But alas, it seems Hayden, Idaho, where this $4 million charmer is situated, is also well-known as the former home to the Aryan Nations.

But times are changing here in the Great Melting Pot. The town of Hayden now has a 0.19% African-American population, and I hear you can even get BET on local cable there now.

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Got Your Back

Thanks to Bill of Make the Logo Bigger for the suggestion for this installment of "Where's My Jetpack?" the royalty-free clipart comic strip.

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