Sunday, May 31, 2009

Not Exactly Mom & Pop - But Better Than a Big Box

It's almost summer, so yard work and home repair are picking up. Some ceiling fans on the back porch needed new blades, sagging after too many humid summers spinning. So naturally, like a dumb American, I went to Lowe's and bought two sets of blades for $25 each, the red-vested salesman assuring me that they were "universal" and indeed the packaging indicated the same. "Only ones we have and they should work," he said. Get them home and they don't line up with the brackets that hold the blades. Take them back to Lowe's. Get a refund. Go to Home Depot across the street. (Lowe's and Home Depot always do this, just like Walgreen's and CVS like to set up new stores at opposite corners of a busy intersection.) This time I brought the bracket to avoid the same mistake. Fan department guy says, "No, don't have that size. But you can buy a set of brackets along with the blades, but by the time you do that, you may as well buy a whole new fan." Sensing my reluctance to do that, he said, "You know where you should go? Dan's Fans up the street." "Think he's open Sundays?" I asked. "He'd better be if he wants to make any money," said the orange-aproned man.

Dan's was open, spinning fans in the window announcing that fact before I ever saw the neon "Open" sign. The parking lot of the little strip mall was fairly bare, and upon entering, I now made up the entire clientele of the store.

Two hundred fans hung overhead, at least a third of them spinning, and yet there wasn't a sound from one of them. Blades in hundreds of styles hung from the walls and I knew the guy at Home Depot had sent me to fan heaven. I suspected the prices were going to be extravagant, noticing one beautiful model that had two heads that spun sideways like propellers marked at over $1,000.

The only other person in the store was a white-haired man who was on the phone behind a counter. He eventually approached me. I held out my dirty old bracket. "Need a couple sets of blades that'll fit this." He examined it and offered that while it was an unusual size and rightly guessed that it was from an outdoor fan, he could sell me some new blades that came from units that they'd sold but the buyers wanted different blades. "Not plastic like you should use for outdoor," he added, "But they'll last you five or six years." I noted to the gentleman that there wasn't a sound in the store, even with all these fans running. "Dan's fans aren't like other fans," he said, going on to give an explanation about dual motor bearings that I half-understood.

He disappeared into the back of the store and returned with two sets of the orphaned blades, still in their packaging.

Eight dollars per set. Paid with cash. Hand-written receipt. A Sunday afternoon time warp.

Long live Dan's Fan City.

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Counting Chickens That Never Hatched

Or putting all your eggs in one basket. Something, I don't know. Either way, some people have egg on their faces today.

Vitamin Water and Nike, following the script laid out by the NBA and the broadcasters, predicted a Kobe Bryant/Lebron James final and produced some fun and expensive commercials to that end. They never consulted with @dwighthoward, the non-tattooed, unassuming player who has no high-profile endorsement deals. Yet.

This little backwater, less-than-large media market is pretty psyched right now, glad that it isn't all about Disney for a little while, even if the team's name is a not-too-subtle nod to Disney. Lots of chest-thumping going on from the usual suspects, all proud to "finally get some respect."

Eventually the Magic will play in another venue, instead of the embarrassingly named Amway Arena. The Magic are also owned by Amway kingpin Rich DeVos, who has a management opportunity for you in his company.

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Friday, May 29, 2009

Kids! Accept a Ride from a Creepy Old Man in a Van

Have you heard of this weirdness called Omegle?. They have the very catchy slogan, "Talk to Strangers!" According to Wikipedia, "The site was created by 18-year old Leif K-Brooks of Brattleboro, Vermont and was launched on March 25th, 2009.

I expect this young adventurer who calls himself Leif is looking to place banners all over the site and then sell his peculiar invention to Google. He's got the stupid name thing down, all he needs now is some venture capital.

I tried it. Here's what a stranger and I had to chat about:

I think this was known as a CompuServe chat room back in the 90s.

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Starchtastic Carb Overload

I haven't tried it. Don't think I ever will. Has anyone had this thing? Pasta in a bread bowl. C'mon. This seems like it was invented for inclusion in This is Why You're Fat. What was that meeting like at Domino's headquarters in Ann Arbor, Michigan?

(Harp roll-down SFX)

"Papa John's is kicking our asses!"

"Papa John is a dick."

"Yeah, I know. But he's been moving in on our sales."

"You not worried about DiGiorno's or the other frozens?"

"Phhhft. Those require work on the part of the consumer. Get in the car. Go to the store. Put it in the oven. We're after the lazies. The stoners. The losers. The fat-asses."

"Then it's easy."


"We make this giant crust thing that's just freakishly massive."

"And what? Stuff it with cheese?"

"No. We did that."

"OK. So?

"I'm thinking we fill it with pasta!"

"That sounds disgusting."

"To you. But let's test it on a couple focus groups of lazy fat-asses and stoner losers and see."

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Horrible Headline Hell

Headline writers at news organizations are apparently a fun lot, occasionally infusing their work with cutesy crap, and too often going for alliteration, which is like the slapstick of prose. Red pen had to come out.

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

What is This Tweeting I Hear Tell Of?

I'm sure radio had its detractors in the early years, with people skeptical as to its use or advantages. Finally, Einstein spoke up and brought some sense to the new invention:

You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat.

Hopefully as more people get on Twitter, the less the Twitterati can dictate what is or isn't proper etiquette as far as following and un-following or whether a person who uses Twitter is a Twitterer or a Tweeter. Someday the Twittersphere, like radio, will be fractured into specialties and sub-specialties. Actually, it's already happening and was in fact built for fractured use. We follow people who interest us, who share our interests or who are in our fields.

More and more of my Facebook friends are getting on Twitter, and every news outlet, politician, business, celebrity, and attention whore is on there along with you and me. Still, we will continue to hear comments like those below for a long time yet.

Original image from Shorpy

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Agencies - Save Money and Headaches!

Was chatting with Darryl via IM this morning about someday opening up a Plaid office down here in Florida. It's a far-fetched dream that I'm sure I hold more than he does, but I bug him about it every so often to remind him I haven't lost hope. Working with Plaid is fun as they have cool clients and the copy process goes smoothly. The Plaid designers are easy to work with and they're open to concepts. I submit my ideas and headlines, and Darryl usually replies with "You totally rock," which is a refreshing alternative to what I usually hear in my job, something along the lines of, "I think you need to give us ten more ideas, none of which we will use. If we do use it, once we've finished diluting whatever you gave us, you won't recognize it anyway."

Anyway, Darryl promises he isn't ordering this new product, hatched from my brain during our IM.

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New Angle for the Military

You've seen Kim and her muffin-top. You've seen the super-abbed dudes in the sidebar of websites, the abs of which you will never have in your lifetime even if you devoted the next ten years to doing nothing but sit-ups all day long. Everyone wants to be fit and look good at the beach. Diet and exercise are huge business and always will be. But those programs cost money.

It's a tough time to be a military recruiter, what with the whole risk of losing a limb or your life now more real than ever, so maybe the Armed Services need to jump on this, with the added pitch that they will pay you to get in shape. Sample banner below.

Actual before and after images from here after an image search for 'boot camp before and after.'

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Fast Food Fighting Back

I'm thinking maybe this should run in a parenting magazine or perhaps one for expectant mothers.

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Note to Print Media: You're Doing it Wrong

Again. And still.

My local paper has several Twitter accounts. Here's the latest tweet from @OrlandoOpinion

What a worthless thing to waste my time on. What does it matter how we think the Senate should vote on Obama's nominee to the Supreme Court? Why is this news? What will you do with this information once you've gathered it? Will you send a note to Florida's two senators saying, "The respondents to our idiotic and inane poll think you should/should not confirm Obama's nominee."

If I were a Senator, I'd say to myself, "Hmmmm. Screw those idiots. What kind of loser takes the time to register his/her opinion on such a question? Maybe only crazy activists on either side of the political spectrum?"

Besides the complete and utter stupidity of such a tweet, what kills their request for me to go to their pole further is the command "Vote!"

No! I won't! You're being stupid.

But I suppose a few people clicked that way, then saw a banner ad for Embassy Suites and said, "You know what? That happy couple frolicking in the surf sure makes me want to take my wife to Fort Lauderdale for the weekend. I think I'll book a room. Aw, what the hell, let's upgrade that room to a deluxe suite! Oh, look! a car ad! We need a new car right about now!"

A couple of summers ago, I did a short six-week or so freelance stint at the local paper. It was a sad experience as I watched them try to desperately come up with ways to make more money and stem the exodus of subscribers. They wanted to create a weekly "Legal" section, much like their weekly "Auto" section, that they would fill with ads from personal injury attorneys. Problem was there are just not that many "legal" story angles to fill a section every week. They started up a weird offshoot site called Engine Head, which they tried not to associate themselves with, lest the street racers and local motorcycle enthusiasts realize it was a cleverly disguised ruse. I wrote a radio script for them in which the announcer said something to the effect of "subscribe to our feed" or "bookmark it and check us for weather, traffic, blah, blah, blah." They did not like that. They changed it to read, "Make us your homepage!" Delusional thinking, I told them. Does anyone have the local paper's website as their homepage?

Since I was there, they've undergone massive layoffs and attempts at colorful rebranding to the point that the paper now looks like a website, complete with banner ads along the bottom of the front page. I'm sure they're selling a few issues of commemorative Orlando Magic editions in the wake of our local team's surprising performance in the NBA playoffs, but the end is in sight for the print version and has been for a long time.

Naturally, all papers are trying to do the online thing, and the more clicks they can show, the more they can charge their banner ad placers. But when your tweets are that dumb, I'm not clicking on the links within, so I'm not seeing the banners, and I might just unfollow you now. The local TV stations' websites offer everything you do. They also want to be my source for news, weather, traffic, jobs, classifieds, and my first choice for stupid celebrity mugshots or pictures of kids on Spring Break getting drunk. Or dumbass polls that mean nothing.

What do you have that distinguishes you from anyone else? How are you different? Why should I visit your site? You're not offering me anything compelling.

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Good Customer Service is Just an Email Away

The Germans are proud of their beer. The world is proud of Germany’s beer. The gods of wine and beer are proud of Germany’s beer. And many little towns across Germany have their own breweries. The smallest, most dilapidated brewery in Germany could still make a better beer than any giant beer corporation in the U.S. The Germans were making beer long before Columbus was even born, and long before he had ever approached Ferdinand and Isabella about the possibility of sailing west. The King and Queen probably sent Columbus off with his ships' holds full of German beer. At Columbus' farewell party, it is rumored that the following conversation was overheard.

“Ahhh, those Germans. Their beer is good, yes my queen?”

“The best, Ferdinand. The best. Ahhh…there he is, the guest of honour. Chris! Come here, I bid you.”

“Your Grace,” he bowed, “I must declare again how deeply indebted I am to the mercy and benevolence of your Worship, to that of the King as well, for bestowing upon me the great honour of sailing on this journey for the noble and righteous flag of Spain.”

“Right." Isabella was tipsy and not in the mood for Chris' sycophantic groveling. She held up a brown bottle. "Chris, do they have beer like this in Italy?”

“No, Your Highness. The Germans have a way.”

“Very well then, you shall have a case of German beer aboard all of your ships for the merriment of your officers and crew.”

“Your charity is most highly treasured by me, your humble servant. Can we make it a couple of cases, Your Majesty?”

Many years ago, in that faraway land, I had the fortune of being able to drink beer at the age of 14. Some may consider that a misfortune, but in a country where they give babies beer, it was no big thing. All of us underage Americans drank beer, and to misquote the Most Interesting Man in The World, "We didn't always drink beer, but when we did, we preferred Licher." (Licher's not-so-cool slogan, "From the heart of nature" is weak, but they've stuck with it for decades, which says something for consistency, I suppose.)

I've trolled the beer forums and found countless people pining for this brand, to include soldiers who were stationed in the region where Licher is made as far back as the early 60s. They leave comments like "Why isn't this beer in the US???? The best beer in the world and it's not in the US. Wish I can get some now," and similar whining. A few have found a bottle or two in New Jersey, but only of the wheat variety. Others had said, "No use contacting them on their website, they don't respond." I thought I should test that assertion.

So I went to Licher's website and found the "Kontakt" form and sent them a kind note, suggesting that they might make millions of dollars in the US beer market. The rumors that Licher does not respond to web inquiries are false, or maybe you just have to know how to kiss ass. I peppered my query with words like, "Surely you are aware of the popularity of your beer here in America," and "People are upset that they cannot obtain this world class beer here," and I told them they might be missing out on monstrous monetizing opportunities. That was sent last Thursday. Today in my inbox I have a reply.

Dear Dave,

Thank you very much for your mail and interest in Licher beer.

The Licher Brewery belongs to the Bitburger Brewing Group and the export business is all coordinated from Bitburg. Your e-mail was forwarded to me from the Licher Brewery.

Unfortunately we are not yet represented in the States with Licher Beer. We have plans to introduce Licher Pils beer in the near future but the negotiations are not yet finalized.

As soon as I have some more news I will let you know.

Kind regards,

Margit Mertes

And a hearty 'Danke schön' to Ms. Mertes for her prompt response, and nice job on the part of Licher to get my email into the appropriate hands. I trust we are on our way toward a healthy trade with the Bitburger Brewing Group. I don't know what sorts of red-tape are holding things up, but surely we can cut through this nonsense quickly. We have proven demand.

I like what Licher is doing with their brand. They have a balloon. They have a very nice online shop. (No sales outside of Germany, sadly.) They're sponsoring some sort of Festival in June. They of course have downloadable icons and sounds. (No, they aren't on Twitter yet.) I'm sure it's only a matter of time before they figure out how to get some of their fine product over here and really start raking in some cash. If anyone wants to help, we can start our own social media beer lobby and begin pressuring Licher to start moving on this. Or you can go to Licher's kontakt form and say "I'm hearing great things about Licher Bier. Why can't I have some in the US?"

Or maybe I'll just become a beer distributor. Cancel those as-yet-finalized negotiations, Margit. I can move this product for you.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Yeah, There's an App For That

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Twitter - 1982

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"Yeah. No. Alright. You Alright?"

Saw a tweet this morning from @FishNChimps that read:
"No arguments. 24 season finale was shite."

Could not agree more, even though Monday nights are now a little boring without that show to mock.

And now, a little rhyme in honor of what keeps that show even semi-watchable anymore, the dastardly Tony Almeida.

Crackin' skulls and snappin' necks
Suffocatin' friends, survivin' car wrecks
In twenty-four hours, he don't tire
Got blown up and walked out the fire
Workin' undercover ten layers deep
A soulless soldier don't need no sleep

You wish you was Tony Almeida
Darker than the darkest Darth Vader
Little Jack Bauer can't touch his skills
Cold blooded killer lost track of his kills

Talks in a whisper out the side of his lip
When you think you got him, he give you the slip
Turn around and he's right behind you
A gun at your head, here to remind you

You'll never be Tony Almeida
A secret shadow and a dark crusader
Hit him with a flamethrower, he don't care
He don't burn, you won't singe his hair

The show's gettin' crazy, they all should die
Garafolo - all the punks at the FBI
Sick of Agent Walker and that stupid brat Kim
Tony take 'em down, it don't matter to him

FOX, make a show called "Tony Almeida"
'Bout a crazy patriot, or maybe a traitor
You never know, and that's his game
The cop and the crook are one in the same

And here's a little something I found on YouTube showcasing the astonishing acting ability and amazing range of Carlos Bernard, the guy who plays Tony Almeida.

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Kim, You Are a Fat Liar

Kim's Diet Plan (dot com). You know Kim - or at least you know her big gut spilling over the top of her too-tight-pants. She's a marketer of the first order, which is to say she is a Grade-A Liar. Actually, I'd be surprised if Kim is a real person at all.

This is Kim's stretch-marked flab roll. Yummy!
In a very clever move, a visit to Kim's site records your IP so that in the first paragraph of her introduction to how she's going to scrape the walls of your colon, Kim claims:

My name is Kim and I wanted to share my weight loss story with you. I’m no medical guru or anything like that. I’m just a mom who lives in [your town] who figured out a system that works better than all the famous diets...

No matter where you live, that's where Kim lives, too.

Kimmy, Kimmy. I'm disappointed in you and proud of you at the same time.

(Note: Kim's Diet Plan should not be confused with Kim Jong Il's Diet Plan.)

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Monday, May 25, 2009

The Obamas Are Your New Ideal

A kind reader sent me this banner, in which you are encouraged to get your nasty, flabby arms in shape. How will you do that? By visiting Kim's Diet Plan (dot com). Apparently Kim is the one accosting everyone with images of her plumpness.

Kim wants to sell you some berries and clean your colon, which will make you have arms like Michelle Obama's. Presumably, she will also show you how to suck in your stomach. Kim lives in a nearby town, according to her website, unless her website is lying to me and filling in a different town name for every visitor, based on IP. But I don't think Kim would do that.

Kim's banners reminded me of the series of banners featuring ladies exercising because President Obama wants moms to go to school. The first one I saw was a women doing violent sit-ups. Then I saw two ladies in a gym boxing. Here's the latest.

A video of two women doing jumping jacks on the beach feels disconnected from the goal of getting moms to finish college, but what do I know? Dancing gay cowboys was a huge hit for And even they changed horses and got on the Obama gravy train.

The goal, banner designers, is to get attention, like the lowest form of humor: slapstick. The banner ad doesn't need to have anything at all to do with whatever it is you're selling. Allow me to demonstrate.

Let's imagine a product or service. I know! Printer cartridges! Here's how we will sell them in a banner ad.

Maybe that was a cheap shot. OK. I'll try again.

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Friday, May 22, 2009

Heineken Does It a Little Better This Time

Remember Heineken's "Share the Good" campaign? You don't? That's because they let it die very quickly. Why did they let it die so quickly? Because it was stupid. Because it sucked. Because they couldn't decide what it meant. Were we being asked to share a Heineken or clean up a park in a bad part of town? It was trying so hard and failing. It wanted to be a religion in the way Liberty Mutual wants you to pick up trash and save strangers from getting run over by cars.

So the geniuses at Heineken asked themselves, "What are we selling?"

Someone in the room replied, "Beer!"

To which a creative director said, "No, more than that."

The same person said, "Heineken t-shirts? Merchandise?"

"Get out!" screamed the creative director.

An intern timidly offered, "An experience? A relationship with the brand?"

"Yes!" said the creative director, "But more than that! What kind of an experience? What kind of relationship?" He walked to her side of the table and got in her face, imploring the young intern to give him the answer he wanted.

"A drunken experience? A night you can't remember?" She hoped her answer was the one he was looking for.

"Exactly!" he shouted as he spun around, pointing to the intern as the rest of the creative team gave her dirty looks.

"We're selling getting drunk! We're selling a good time! Now why on earth would we do anything else in the 'do gooder' category other than 'Don't drink and drive'?"

The team looked thoughtful and pretended to write notes.

"Which one of you clowns came up with 'Share the Good'?" he scanned the room.

"I did," said a thirty-something woman in black glasses, "And you thought it was awesome."

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

And Then The Parents Ruined Facebook

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Twitter: 10,000 B.C.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Point of Sale Fail

Yeah, 'cause 4-year-old girls are always dressing up like women and trying to buy cigarettes and beer at 7-Eleven. I'm sure they were going for "cute" here, but creepy is more the vibe.

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YouTubin' At Work

Terry Gilliam predicted it in 1985 in this scene from "Brazil," a movie you should seek out if you haven't seen it.

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Did You Know? Stuttgart Means "Stud Farm"

And so, Porsche is due for a logo change, adding a literal meaning for all the mid-life dudes in crisis trying to rekindle their studliness.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Blast Fax From the Past

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Nothin' on TV

Previously in "Messin' With Lincoln":

Long Lincoln Weekend

Lincoln: Bad Ad Man
Lincoln Takes His Facebook Picture

Update: How about with a corndog too?

vista máxima

Update #2: Drinking a fine German beer?

Lincoln's fine German beer is here and I would very much like the brewers of this beer to note that I linked to their site and send me a case, please.

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Volvo Hater

Saw this car on the road this morning. If you can't read it through the rain, it says, "Ask me why I will never buy another Volvo." This guy also displayed a URL on the back of the vehicle: There, he offers testimony from other Volvo haters and a video (that doesn't load) of his Volvo "misbehaving." There are also a bunch of Google Adwords ads for extended auto warranties.

I suppose you could find a thousand people to write bad reviews about nearly anything, and this guy has been collecting them from all over the place regarding Volvos. Clearly, you can't please all of the people all of the time.

You really have to be a special person to drive this vehicle, and you really have to have been pissed off to pay the money to deck it out in this ridiculous red-yellow hate scheme. And to what end? How many will see this car and the accompanying site and forever avoid Volvos? Is Volvo aware? Are they doing anything for the guy? At what point does the brand say, "Screw it. Pay the guy off and fix his car, make him sign an agreement that he won't badmouth us anymore."? Or does the brand say, "Whack job. Forget about it." and plow on, ignoring an obviously pissed off former customer?

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I Opened Some Spam

The subject line stood out from the others. In my Spam folder were the usual headlines, calling me inadequate in new and interesting ways. "Your device is so little she barely finds it in bed!" laughed one. "A genuine gentleman in bed is all the time ready," offered another, and I found myself nodding thoughtfully along with the crafter of that sentiment. "Enhancing your tool means enlarging your virility in general," said someone from Eastern Europe. "We will not let your masculinity retire so rapidly!" promised another, while someone else offered the approximate war cry, "We will not let your virility die so soon!"

And then, like a Beatles song written on acid, came this subject line: "Formerly garnished with toes so neat."

Genius. What else have you written? I must know.

I opened it to find this verse, in this form:

You are
-We sail away with a pea-green sail

-A sea-green Porpoise carried away

--Give him a pipe to smoke all night

-May we build a nest on your lovely Hat?

You are now breathless, as was I, sitting in awe at the feet of the Master Spammer. Note the usage of caps on the final word "Hat." Note the double-dash before the fourth line. The way the verse draws you in with the initial and beckoning "You are."

And these are just the very minor nuanced things that say so much. We could of course spend many years and write countless volumes on the poem itself. Cults could be started around this work. Wars fought, seas crossed, babies made... all in the name of the nameless and forever anonymous writer who said so much for a Canadian online pharmacy.

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Monday, May 18, 2009

Ferris Bueller Takes Horse to Prom

"Oh, that's so mean!"

Yes, Yes it is.

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Colored Spectacles

It's nearly summertime, so it's time for the fashion boutiques to sell you "eyewear," better known as sunglasses. Saw this ad today and it made me cringe, so I had to caption it.

And if you go to the Bottega Veneta website and can actually find the sunglasses, (pages 78-79) you'll find the exclusive phrasing, "Price available upon request," which is not-so-secret code for, "You asked, which means you can't afford them."

I have been a picky sunglasses shopper in years past, but I finally found a maker in American Optical that are affordable and rugged. Problem is they aren't stocked at the mall or found in boutiques. You can find them at Army Navy stores or on military bases for about $40. Or online at American Optical's very bad website for much more. Come to think of it, J. Peterman sells them with a name change to "Fort Knox Sunglasses."

Anyway, I'm looking at that ad above and wondering how much it cost. I'm sure Lord and Lady Douche there don't work for less than a thousand a day, minimum. Then you've got your lighting director, your director of photography, your photographer's assistant, your creative director, studio fee or location fee, agency hangers-on just hanging on and makeup and hair people. I'll bet it took two days to get that stupid shot and cost about as much as the average American makes in a year.

So I took my AO's outside (I'm going to start calling them "AO's" to up the cool factor) and set them by the pool and created a couple of better ads in about five minutes.

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Do You Know This Man?

Hint: He's enjoying new royalties and renewed (hopefully brief) fame.

Hint: Real name: Kennedy William Gordy - so it's not like he needed the money anyway.

Give up?

OK: Here he is.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Detroit: You're Doomed

Tesla Motors of California apparently got the message that not too many people could handle the $100K+ sticker on their sporty little electric car and are now taking orders for a newer version, the Model S, only half as pricey as the original Roadster. Looks like a promising vehicle, but that's still a big chunk of change to most of us.

I'm seeing beautifully produced TV ads these days for GM and Chrysler, ads that were paid for, I'm sure, with the money those companies got to rescue them. But as I'm looking at their offerings, I'm thinking to myself, "I don't want a computerized car that shows me maps and plays my iPod while warming my ass and sweetly talking to me." I don't care how many configurations the seats fold into. I want to get from Point A to Point B in relative comfort, with a minimal amount of expense in terms of price, maintenance and gas usage. And if it had some sense of style—wow—I'd be impressed. But Detroit can't seem to understand this.

So, go Tesla. After you've made a ton of money selling electric cars to rich people, maybe you can bring out a third model that the common Joe and Jane can afford. And please don't make it look like shit just because it's cheaper. Take a cue from the Target/Michael Graves teaming. Style doesn't have to be expensive.

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Down at The Twitter Box Factory

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

On The Twitter Default Icon

Previously in this category:
Try a Little Harder

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Let's Just Split This Country in Half Already

And we can have our own restaurants that cater to our own particular political leanings.

I hear rumblings among the Newt lovers and Hannity lobotomites that they're going to "let their voices be heard" to Applebee's, as they did not appreciate the comic stylings of Wanda Sykes at the White House Correspondents' dinner. Sykes is a spokesperson for Applebee's, or at least she does their voiceovers.

If you want to boycott Applebee's, do it because their food sucks. Maybe I will boycott Ruth's Chris because Hannity does live-reads for them.


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Everyone's a Creative

No, I mean it. Everyone really is. In some way or another, everyone is a creative. But in this business, it'd sure be nice if there was a way to keep everyone's opinion out of every job. Production by know the result...a watered-down and usually ineffective piece. Client's always right? Rarely.

Bigger is Better

And I thought I recognized that multicultural group from somewhere.

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Recipe for Uncomfortable

It's not just you rain-soaked East Coasters, snow-sick Northerners or tornado-ravaged Midwesterners who like to bitch about the weather. We have our spells of "When will this shit end?" in Sunny Florida as well. Don't come to Disney this week unless you want to go home with stories of how horrible Florida is.

On second thought, come to Disney this week.

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Monday, May 11, 2009

Right Next to the Dog-Faced Boy

Of late, it is hard to turn on a TV, go to a store, amble about online or even visit some old folks in a nursing home without being accosted by the marketing campaign that is the media blitz underway for the new Star Trek film. OK, I didn't visit a nursing home, but even SNL trotted out Leonard Nimoy on Saturday for a nice little payday.

So, what with all the hype for what seems to be a pretty decent movie, I had to dig this up to show you what real acting is all about. It is a classic. It belongs next to Brando's Streetcar Named Desire scenes. Actually, it is far superior to that hack's posturing. Maybe it is akin to what's his name's stuff, the chubby dude who played Capote. Yeah, Phillip Morris-Hoffman. On second thought, it would be sacrilege to offer up that amateur's work against that of Canada's Greatest Export, William the Conqueror.

Ah, if only Shakespeare could've lived to see the the genius that is William Shatner; master thespian, interpreter of words, scene-stealing powerhouse!

(And Shakespeare wishes he wrote this scene.)

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Pure, Wholesome Refreshment

Return with me now to a simpler time, to another era of economic disaster, when life as an advertiser meant just telling blatant lies about your client's product. Listen as Coke is positioned as the end of all your suffering, the unifier of the masses, the common bond that will take us to a shining city on a hill.

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Friday, May 08, 2009

Cuban Cigars for Everyone

I've always found America's 50-year old policy regarding travel and trade with Cuba to be a little, I don't know...stupid? But that's a can of worms you don't want to open around a very small, albeit powerful group of Cuban ex-pats who decry the vicious tactics used by Castro to crush any opposition to his power. I get that, but there he sits, still mocking us, still in power. I think a little taste of American tourism and an influx of dollars would have a powerful and positive effect on the country that might eventually be too powerful to avoid, sort of like happened in Eastern Europe. But what do I know? Let me stick to what I do best: being silly in a middle school way.

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Thursday, May 07, 2009

And the Children Would Never Forget His Visit

Original image is from Shorpy.

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Pulp Fiction Springing From the Pages

If you like photography, if you like 3D, if you like nostalgia, if you like Americana, if you like books, if you have a half a brain and a computer and are able to click on this link, then you will like what you see.

Found via Twitter from @everysandwich.

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Dana + Real Estate Advertising = Funny

I've done my share of bashing real estate advertising, but Dana Severson, a freelance copywriter from Minneapolis, (also soon to be home of the guy who can't say no and will go down remembered as a total douche instead of a Super Bowl winner. Yes, I'm talking about Deanna Favre's husband, the Wrangler wearing douche.) What was I saying? Oh, yeah - Dana has taken bashing real estate advertising to a new place with his site The Real "Ad" Tor Awards. That's a mouthful of a name, but it's a niche that Dana clearly owns.

I see a coffee table book in Dana's future. And lawsuits from those featured in it.

UPDATE: This just in from Dana Severson:
I'm not the freelance copywriter Dana Severson from Minnesota. I do know him though. I'm the advertising director Dana Severson from Minnesota. He and I compete for Google rankings. Regardless, I appreciate the plug.

So, now I see how things work up there in Minnesota. And we make fun of Arkansas and West Virginia for being inbred.

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Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Jack in the Box - Reachin' the Stoner Demo

Jack in the Box, the box you can put yer weed

Another in their ongoing attempt to reach the late-night, really hungry for some tacos, man, crowd.

I suppose it's an audience worth targeting: I'm sure there are plenty of kids in college with little money to spend on food once they've spent their money on pot.

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Arlington, Virginia Portal to Hell is Obama Haunt

News as seen from the fringe.

Ray's Hell Burger, a nondescript restaurant in Arlington, Virginia, was visited recently by Illuminati Super Child Barack Obama and his friend, Joe "Demon Hair" Biden. The pair are shown here being served by "Ray" AKA Satan, Beelzebub, Prince of Darkness, etc.

Just as Peru is known to have secret caves that lead to the interior of our hollow earth, where the nephalim live in peace, waiting to conquer the earth's surface at the end of the Mayan calendar, Arlington has long been a passage to Hell. Ray is delighted with the exposure the Obama visit has brought his restaurant.

"We don't even have a sign. And now we have been graced with the presence of the One. Needless to say, business is booming now like a bottled water vendor beside a molten river of fire! Our flaming flesh sandwiches are being devoured now like so many Roman Christians in a pit of lions!"

Obama says he was only hungry for a good burger and one of his hipster staffers suggested the popular burger joint.

"Ray is a great guy and a good example of a small business that is making it in this tough economy. It can be done," said Obama, "The naysayers need to talk to guys like Ray."

Ray laughed at the President, offering, "Oh, yes! You need to talk to me! I will give you riches! I will give you pleasures! Yours eyes shall be opened! Bwaaaaaaaa!"

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Just Over Half Equals "Almost"

One of my email accounts on a Microsoft Exchange server is getting all paranoid on me, sending me this message every day.

"Delete any items you don't need from your mailbox and empty your Deleted Items folder."

Since it took me five months to get to this point, I might wait a little bit, like until I can barely see any white left in that bar.

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