Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Mele Kalikimaka

Christmas Morning, 2007 - Wekiva River, Florida

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Monday, December 24, 2007

¿Quién es Más Macho?

A Holiday Lesson on Viral

Before video links passed between friends and coworkers were known as "viral," and before people started trying to "monetize" those videos, we just passed stuff around (if we had the bandwidth) and watched them and laughed. (Agency Spy makes a great point: No one "creates viral videos." They either go viral or they don't. Most of the ones attempting to "be viral" simply disappear. I think I hear the sweet sound of a bursting bubble.)

Here's something that's seven years old, but still has that WTF quality that makes it worth seeing again. From London based Mother, where I want to work. (From Florida, of course, telecommuting. I will be happy to make monthly trips to London for meetings and pints.)

Anytime you put a 70s macho guy in polyester and play cheesy music behind him, then have him do something unexpected, it's comedy to me.

And why is this video still viral (resurrected every Christmas by various ad bloggers) seven years after it was produced?
  1. It never tried to be viral.
  2. It's not selling anything other than the agency behind it.
  3. It's original.
  4. It's funny.
  5. It wasn't created by a "new media agency" who tried to flood the world with it.
  6. An old lady gets kicked in the head by a guy who fell out of the fireplace and wears his jacket like a cape. Find a client who will let you do that.

See more of Chris Christmas Rodriquez here.

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Hintin' at Clinton

Todays' New York Times Magazine (cover story on the Clintons) has some interesting Clinton-focused ads within.

You can't subliminalize me, NYT. I see where you stand on the upcoming election. You probably told your sponsors, "This is our Clinton issue, so feel free to include hints of Clinton in your ads this week."

The back cover is for a special holiday bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue Label, which comes with the option of engraving the bottle for your friends. This bottle is engraved from (or to, not sure) "Bill."

But then explain this. One of the longer running ads in this magazine is for a walk-in tub by Premier. This time they've got a couple of new models who look eerily like a certain former president and his wannabe president wife.

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Saturday, December 22, 2007

When Nonsense Becomes Creative

The spammers learned very quickly that to be upfront in their subject lines was going to send their direct mail pieces straight to the spam folder. Then they developed tricky ways to spell, like "V!@gra." That practice eventually caught up with them, so now they just make shit up. Crazy unpronounceable words that make no sense.

Here's a little game. Of these nonsensical subject lines, I will randomly pick one. What are the odds that the email will address my manhood?

I'm going to pick the 4th email, titled "zereiruj". It's got a nice ring to it. It's a pretty word that might mean "postcard skies" in some exotic language.

Envelope please.

(drum roll)

Damn! Didn't see that coming.

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Friday, December 21, 2007

You're Doing it Wrong

Can we please keep the X in Xmas? Better yet, can we do away with it altogether and maintain the separation of Church and Commerce, like Thomas Jefferson asked us to do when he overturned the tables of the money changers in the temple?

Stupid Kohl's. Gettin' all religious. I fixed their dumb banner for them.

I jest, of course. As do these guys. (Thanks to Warbird for the find.)

It is interesting to note that some faith groups don't mind when you poke a little fun at them, while others will cut your head off if you do.

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Maybe We Should Use a Bitten Apple Intsead

I use a Mac at work. Other than the insane collection of fonts, I don't see the superiority. This is not an invitation for Mac Cultists to deride my PC preference or claim that Bill Gates is the Antichrist. Clearly, your magician in black has had sinister plans from the start. Note the early logo: Isaac Newton sitting under an apple tree.

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Enriched with Irony


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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

We Interrupt This Broadcast

Usually all I do on this blog is make fun of stuff and bitch about things that suck. While that's fun, I'm going to change hats now and offer up genuine praise (again) for a brand that simply kicks ass. Publix Supermarkets.
This Florida-based, employee owned market has as its slogan, "Where shopping is a pleasure." While that is a pretty lame, old-school slogan, it is in fact true. Happy, helpful employees. Clean stores. Even their generic store-labeled products are creatively packaged. They do the best TV of any supermarket chain out there. Even their circulars in the Sunday paper are creative, and I throw those away instantly. "No matter," says Publix, "We keep them online for you." They even try to make their stores look cool. They don't cookie-cutter build them and rarely will you see the same architecture.

I may be blinded by the fact that I just discovered a sushi vendor at a local Publix who simply blows the doors off those uncaring sushi slobs at my local Albertson's. I would follow this lady on tour if she took her act on the road. Restaurant grade. Premium. Inventive. And she smiles and offers a genuine "thank you" when you snatch up her creations.

I may never have to shop at Albertson's again.

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Your Time is Gonna Come

I got an invitation to join YET ANOTHER network thingy today. This one was for “Spock.”


Don’t need it. Won’t use it. (I know it's been around a few months, but this was the first time I was invited to "join.")

Spock is “a search application that allows you to see what people are saying about your friends and colleagues.”


At some point, this has to stop. How many different ways do we need to be “linked-in?” And which one is the best? How many different ways can I twitter your myspace or digg your facebook? What does it matter if I “know” someone you “know?” Are we going to transact business? I sincerely doubt it. Maybe we’ll talk about what an idiot you are behind your back.

A former colleague has apparently been viewing questionable content on myspace and now I get two comments a day from him about ringtones. Thanks, dude. I’m deleting you as my “friend.”

I say everyone just get a website. I’ll link to you if I like you and I will check on you once in a while. I may even comment on your blog if I have a moment. If you are in business, title and tag your pages with something semi-related to what you do, and I might find you in my search engine of choice

This giant overloaded blimp called Web 2.0 is about to go down in flames. There are a bunch of "thought leaders" in the "interactive space" on board, and they're wearing gasoline-soaked suits, walking around lighting matches. Show me one client who turned a blog post into actual revenue and I will show you 50 who tried it and found it to be a colossal waste of time. Show me how Facebook helped your clients. Give me a case study on how being Linked-In was beneficial in DOLLARS (not Linden dollars). Show me how having 10,000 “friends” is worth two shits. And if you say, “It’s about branding. It’s about name recognition,” then we’re done talking because you are selling snake oil.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

When is a Name Change in Order?

About now, I'd think. This is our Arena Football League team.

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Monday, December 17, 2007

I Remember One Time, She Smiled at Me

Team Hillary is getting the sense that voters perceive their candidate as "unlikable." Wow. Really? Enter The Hillary I Know, a website where everyday people like you and me tell nice stories about what Hillary has done for them.

The first name basis she assumes with us is off-putting to me. Now she wants to be the friendly neighborhood Mom who always takes the time to listen to the troubles around her. Why even bother?

Hey, Team Hillary: your candidate is known as fierce to the point of dangerous. She is known for sinking her teeth into things and holding on like a rabid pit bull. She is known for sticking knives deep into the backs of enemies and then twisting those knives with psychotic glee. So, play to those strengths.

It looks like the coronation may have to be cancelled.

And look at that picture. It's the 70s, and judging from the half-closed eyes and delighted smiles, it appears a young couple may have been engaging in a little experimentation with cannabis. Not that there's anything wrong with that. But don't tell me you never did.

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The World's Worst Wordplay

I can appreciate a good pun, a spontaneous "that's what she said," joke and other juvenile plays on words. But this one is so senseless and bad, I had to pull over for a picture.

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Sunday, December 16, 2007

Hey Now

I approve. Two compound words, two syllables each. Message conveyed.

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Saturday, December 15, 2007

A Jag by Any Other Name Would be a Ford

I've said it before, Jaguars look like Hyundais these days and Hyundais look like Jaguars. Now Jaguar has a new seizure inducing website to introduce the new XF. The Flash overkill on this site is like those rock guitarists who make all kinds of noise by turning up the gain and distortion and then running a pick all up and down the strings. It's not friendly to the eyes at all. What I noted most about the new XF is that they've removed the iconic Jaguar hood ornament from the vehicle. Shame.

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Been a Long Time Since She Rock and Rolled

Madonna in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? And John Cougar too? There is your final proof that that is one worthless Hall of Fame. Oh, did I say John Cougar? I'm sorry. He's Mellencamp. But the family name wasn't good enough to break into the biz back in the day. Johnny needed a better moniker. So he went with "Cougar." So bad ass.

I'm about tired of this regular Thursday feature here at Where's My Jetpack? But here goes another anyway. The self-imposed challenge has been to create 7 band or musical group names based on today's headlines over at Google News. I might keep it going. A man needs challenges.

  • Common Infant
  • Blue Container
  • Satan’s Brother
  • Coach Kill
  • Bali Villain
  • The Tina Beaters
  • Norwegian Opera

Here are all the others.

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Internets Without Borders

Man, those Germans are at it again, getting all Nationalistic. I just wanted to find "Having an Average Weekend" by Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet. (Better known as "The theme to Kids in the Hall.") Clipfish says they have it, but the dumbly named German site doesn't like Americans. "Be sure to check us out on your next trip to Germany."

Whatever, Beckenrandschwimmer.*

Fine, enjoy this bit of America bashing courtesy of our Canadian cousins.

*Someone who only swims at the border of the pool. Found on this fun site.

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I'm Hillary's Mom, and I Approve This Message

This has to be a first. An elderly woman is asking us to vote for her daughter because "she's a good person." That seals it for me. Her own Mom likes her.

The distasteful aroma of desperation is emanating from this campaign like Axe off a middle school boy.

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Locals Only Part VII

I'm sure in Texas you can find a bunch of businesses named Lone Star. Down here, people tend to call things "Gator," and then draw cartoonish gators for mascots.

Gators are not cute. They're giant killer lizards with sharp teeth. Here's a refrigerator magnet. I called the number once, fearing for my dog's life in the backyard, as we have a seven-footer that likes to menacingly cruise the canal behind the house in the warmer months. The nuisance gator investigators called back about two weeks later, asked some questions and pretty much stated that unless the thing is outright taunting you and nesting on your back porch, there's nothing to be done. Late last summer I found a bunch (swarm? flock? gaggle? pod? herd? colony?) of baby gators in the reeds where our yard ends and the canal begins. Even gator babies aren't cute. They stare at you like they're looking for a fight.

Here are some locals who think gators are cute. Or maybe they're just football fans.

Previously in Locals Only

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Anatomy of a Blog Post

So, I'm sitting around the cube farm (hole in firewall still) wondering, "If I could use current presidential candidates as models for ads, what would I have them endorse?" (Someone has to wonder these things.) I was thinking of Hillary in her "conversation" pose, hawking Ethan Allen furniture.

I thought of Obama in his starched white open-collar shirts, doing that JC Penney pose he's got down.

I thought of John Edwards pretending to be a working man in his very new jeans, maybe endorsing Skoal.

Guiliani for some home security alarm system.

Huckabee for Fender basses. Etc.

So I find the perfect Obama shot. Then I did an image search for "JC Penney catalog" and got this. Game over. Nothing is as funny / stupid as old 70s fashion. Let the captioning begin.

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Mahmoud in the Mornings

I'm not sure what this radio station is trying to say with these outdoor messages around the Orlando area.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Forget Those Pictures From the Front Row

Go backstage instead.
Watch Ross Halfin's blog (or "Diary" as he insists on calling it) for what will surely be the best images from the recent Zeppelin thing in London. Halfin likes to mention every other day or so that he, "Went to Nobu with Jimmy," or "Was in Tokyo guitar shopping with Jimmy," so you knew the guy was going to have access.

Never have so many rock journalists (and wannnabe rock journalists) pissed themselves in fawning glee over a concert. I'm sure it was good, but I get the feeling Page could've played a kazoo and made many of these sycophantic writers drool in worship.

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Arrested Development

As the inventor of the Middle School Humor Index (MSHI) I am not the least bit surprised by this blog's ranking. I display this badge with shameful pride, if such an oxymoronic thing is possible.

Thanks to Make the Logo Bigger for the find.

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Throw Away Your Television

Damn advertising. I'm starting to feel like I live in The Land That Time Forgot with my lame ass Cathode Ray Tubes in my home. Sure, it would be nice to have a flush mounted giant plasma flatscreen, but now I'm getting confused by the options. I just got served an LG pop-under ad as my mind wanders to the Sharp Aquos ads and the Sony Bravia ads. I don't know if Plasma or LCD is the way to go. Or do I listen to the little girl with the elephant who whispers about "the mirrors?" Screw it. Might just have to kill my TVs and quit watching. Maybe next year.

I do like this series for Sharp.

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Sunday, December 09, 2007

Took My Chances on a Big Jet Plane

The gap between business class and economy class on airplanes is growing wider. Flying sucks, unless you've got the money to make it better.

Here's a recent ad for AA's new Luxury Stretch Out Sleeper International Deluxe Kick Ass Class. And then the ad is reworked from the perspective of a jealous guy who'd love to fly up there someday.

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Fake 3D Model Making in Photoshop

Looks much better in larger view

Fake tilt shift photography of my street. I like this effect. Here's a Flickr group devoted to it.

Pretty simple. Grab a bird's eye view of your locale using MSN's Live Search Maps. Gausian blur most of the shot, pump up the saturation and contrast and dim the sun a little and you have the instant illusion of a model railroad city. OK, a really detailed model railroad built by professional model makers. Or like that old one for HBO.

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Saturday, December 08, 2007

Surveys Show That Polls Are Stupid

We can't get through a day here in the US without a new poll suggesting which of the candidates is one point in front of the other. And from there, the poll results become news for two days with all the talking heads interviewing one another, asking, "What do you think it means? Did Romney's speech help him, hurt him? Is Huckabee a criminal loving rapist enabler? Is the Oprah factor hurting Hillary?" And the talking heads are trying to be Kingmakers, influencing the stories to benefit whichever candidate they like at the moment. I want to put Sean Hannity, Ariana Huffington, Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews and Rush Limbaugh in a small locked room with no windows. And come back and check on them in a month.

Here's all you have to do to get a gauge of how Americans are thinking. (At least those who use YouTube.) Type a candidate's name in the search field and then type another. I just did this. My survey says that 4 out of 5 Americans view Hillary Clinton negatively. The same survey showed 4 out of 5 Americans view Barack Obama positively.

There. Done.

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1970s Flashback-Flashback-Flashback

1972. Average Joe is now allowed to grow his hair just like the hippies did in the 60s. But he isn't a dirty, nasty unkempt hippie. He cares for his hair. And his giant porn moustache.

Swinging Bob here knows what you want. You want to lick Macho's six luscious flavors from his body. You also want the various STDs he's carrying. Send cash, check or money order. To Los Angeles, of course.

Macho flavors include fruit ambrosia.

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Friday, December 07, 2007

Advertising That Will Live in Infamy

It's perfectly appropriate to reflect on the trying times our nation has been through, but let's not forget what a bunch of xenophobic bastards we were - and have the capacity to be again. The first image is a "US Army official poster" according to the fine print at the bottom. The second is just the National Cash Register Company reminding citizens to keep on hating. And these are nothing compared to the ones that depict the Japanese as buck-toothed monkeys.

I left a crappy part-time radio job not long after 9/11. It was about two weeks after the tragedy and I was being asked to record :10 spots for sponsors who were buying pre-scripted inanities like "Jack's Pizza condemns terrorism and stands with the victims of 9/11 and their families."

Actual Conversation:

Me: Aren't we capitalizing on the tragedy?
Sales Manager: That's what the terrorists WANT you to think!

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Copy Conflicts with Image. Please Redo.

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Check Your Bounce Rate, Washington Post

It's almost 2008, and we still have major news publications insisting we fill out these forms if we want to read their news. Get over yourselves.

I’ll read the same story at one of 50,000 other news sites that aren’t requiring I agree with your “user agreement” and “privacy policy” (8 pages, 3,327 words long. Really.) Buried in that massive pile of legalese, naturally, is your acquiescence to receive “offers” by email from the Washington Post’s “affiliates.”

I prefer my information without strings attached.

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Thursday, December 06, 2007

Band Names From Today's Google Headlines

Dudes, quit fighting with your bandmates over what to call yourselves and get back to what brought you all together in the first place...man. You've got a dream to rock the people with your rockin' rock, sending a rockin' vibe out there for people to rock to...and shit. It's time to decide on a winning name that will take you to the top...and out into the stratosphere of the music heavens...like a stairway of music to heaven...or something.

You're welcome. May you win many Grammys. Or at least get some paying gigs.

  • Defuse Concern
  • Inmate Kiefer
  • Amnesia Canoe
  • The Shrinking Leads
  • Megababies
  • The Navy Priests
  • Subprime Solution
Here are the ones from last week.
Here are some earlier ones.
Here's some more
and some more
...and still more

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The World's Most Famous Brand

Click it for maximum viewocity

A collage after lots of image searching. I'm sure most of these are copyrighted. Too bad.

From the iconic to the ironic, with a few moronic thrown in for good measure. It's not meant to be patriotic. It's about branding.

Idea for collage found in this article.

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Devil in the Details

Poor Mitt Romney. As he tries to assure America that his religion should not be a stumbling block to voters, he gets tagged with this unfortunate number.

(By the way, this is my 555th post.)

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Time's New Romans

The Web Gallery of Art is a fun place to browse and steal images. Here's my defacing of Claude Lorain's "Landscape with Aeneas at Delos." The original hangs in the National Gallery, London. Go ahead and cringe, art snobs.

Click it. It's Huuuuuge.

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Free Giant Yellow Doorstop

Embarq tells you, "Don't use those inferior yellow pages." Bell South counters with, “Don’t use those wannabe crap Yellow Pages masquerading as the REAL Yellow Pages."

Now Bell South says, “Our Yellow Pages are mucho mas better than before because we’ve changed our name to the NEW AT&T REAL Yellow Pages.”

I can imagine a business owner’s confusion when the Yellow Pages reps come calling. “Which Yellow Pages are you representing?” they ask. “Oh, trust me, ma’am," offers the helpful greased weasel or perfumed hottie, "We’re the one people turn to when they need Yellow Pages.”

So, ask yourself this: When was the last time you used your own Yellow Pages, regardless of who issued them? I’ve got three giant volumes in my kitchen pantry, and I’ll bet the cover's been cracked on maybe one of them in the last year. Maybe you’re different. I just don’t see the need anymore. OK, Internet goes down at the same time you need a plumber. Maybe then.

When a new Yellow Pages lands in my driveway or on my front step, (usualy as a three-volume bag) it invariably gets walked straight into the garage and tossed into the recycle bin.

It’s been said elsewhere, but I'll say it again here just to piss off the people who work in this market: The (traditional) Yellow Pages are Dead.

Businesses, consider saving your money and spending those advertising dollars elsewhere. Unless you’re a personal injury attorney trying to get the glossy insert with the tab or the back cover glory shot of the entire firm in the wood paneled library, what's the point? If they're bundling the offer and you have to be in the book in order to be on the website, demand a discount and say you don't want to be in the book. Tell them you're doing it for the planet.

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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

We Three Kings of Cha-Ching

I’ve had in my head for a few years an idea for a Christmas art installation. If I put it in my yard, I’m sure the HOA would come down on me and the locals would vandalize it while egging and toilet-papering my house, offended by my little statement. Since I’m once again not going to have the money to do it this season, I’ll put it out there for you to think about. If some adventurous art gallery wants to put up the money, I’ll put it together for you.

The idea is to create a Commercial Nativity Scene using store mannequins.

  • Joseph and Mary are smartly dressed in Banana Republic type clothing; scarves, blazers and the like. They eat sushi as they sit near their baby.
  • Baby Jesus wears designer toddler clothing.
  • The shepherds are ruggedly attired in Australian Outback gear, maybe from Bass Pro or L.L. Bean, an obedent Australian Shepherd cocks his cute head. They carry deluxe, telescopic walking sticks handmade in Germany.
  • The three wise men are dressed in expensive, tailored suits. They present the infant with opened briefcases filled with cash, Axe Body Spray and luxury timepieces. At least one of them smokes a fine Cuban cigar.
  • The winged angel wears a white Victoria’s Secret thong and bra. She holds a Starbucks cup in one hand
  • The animals are cute puppies and kittens.
  • The manger is a Design Within Reach or IKEA bedroom.

  • Let the offensiveness begin!

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    This Guy Gets Easier to Hate Every Day

    Maybe I just hate dynasties. Maybe I like my heroes a little more tarnished. If Brady got busted operating a dog fighting ring, I'd probably respect him more. As it is, every time the camera is on him, he's got the self-conscious look of someone who knows the camera is on him.

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    Monday, December 03, 2007

    Someone in IT Will Pay For This

    Temporary hole in wall exploited. Blogging from work. In a corporate cube farm. Against policy. Must remain quiet.

    Jetpacks out.

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    Saturday, December 01, 2007

    That's Right.™

    From your youngest days, you recognized that the pictures on TV or on the menu exaggerated the awesomeness of the food. Here's the Baconator™, as advertised by Wendy's - and the Baconator™, as delivered by Wendy's.

    Food stylists are wizards. Here's a good one I found simply searching that term. They make us buy things. They sell what isn't real.

    For the record, the Baconator™ is indeed a tasty mountain of sodium and fat. I split it with four other people.

    Here's the very good spot that introduced it to us.

    UPDATE: HighJive points out in the comments that the author of West Virginia Surf Report has made a modest hobby of doing what I've done here. The pictures there are pretty disgusting - and funny.

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    Every Kiss Begins With

    It's that time of year again, when men are reminded by Zales, Kay, Jared, Gordon's, JB Robinson, Helzberg and the rest, that their wives/girlfriends/mothers-of-their-babies need some sparkly shit to help them realize you're not a worthless asshole.

    click to read copy

    Mark posted an ad that follows the usual line, conveying the notion that women are whores for jewelry. Employing this method to sell jewelry only happens around the holidays, surely jewelry's big selling season, and sports programs on TV are packed wall to wall with templated jewelry store spots.

    By following this easy guide, you can create your own jewelry store commercial. They go like this:

    A Snowy Scene:
    A. On a festive street, bundled up against the cold.
    B. Buying a Christmas tree.
    . Sitting under the tree indoors, a fire blazing behind.
    . In bed

    Where a Handsome Man:
    A. Husband, graying temples.
    Boyfriend, male model, dark tousled hair.
    C. Father, active, loving and fun.
    D. Offspring, acting in proxy for any of the above.

    A. Diamond necklace cleverly hidden in tree, looking like an ornament.
    B. Pendant placed in sleeping partner's cleavage.
    C. Sneaks up behind to place jewelry around neck
    D. Has kids do it for him

    A Beautiful Lady:
    A. Wife, gets better every year
    B. Girlfriend, straight out of underwear catalog
    C. Mother, the one the local teenagers ogle
    D. Fiancé

    Who Reacts With:
    A. Moist, tender eyes
    B. A loving embrace
    C. A long, slow kiss, no tongue
    D. A snuggle under the arm

    A. I do
    B. Continued wedded bliss
    C. I'd choose you again
    D. Sex later

    You need a jingle of course, or just secure the rights to a famous love song. The jingle is stuck in my head every year at this time, "Every kiss begins with Kay," to which I sing back, "If your woman's a shallow whore."

    Guys, I'm pretty sure your wife/girlfriend does not think diamonds= love. Don't fall for this. If you're going to give her jewelry for the Holidays, do it cleverly, of course, because that's always fun and romantic, but don't expect her to "fall in love with you all over again."

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    Axis of Evel Knievel

    Not one. Not two. But THREE! Count 'em! THREE awesome Evil Knievel toy spots in one blog post! Each a classic destined for a hall of fame! Each containing thrilling jumps, spills and thrills. Yes, Thrilling Thrills.

    Listen for the award-winning line: "The bike that goes so fast it flies like a bird on eagle's wings." Yes, a bird. On eagle's wings.

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    Amtrak Keeps Sucking

    Thankfully, no one was killed in the recent Amtrak wreck. After a thorough investigation, the authorities will conclude, as they always do, that the engineer smoked some pot within the last 30 days, certainly impairing his ability to operate a moving vehicle.

    Amtrak can't catch a break. The brand that has been dying since its inception. (This photo reminds me of the last good Aerosmith album. This one might be captioned "Amtrak humps Hyundai.")

    I love a good train. Unfortunately, America will never have a good train.

    Previously in Amtrak sucks.

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