Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Do You Know This Brand?

If you live anywhere near where men of action drive big trucks and act mean when they're getting their energy drinks at 7-Eleven, you've seen this decal on the backs of those big trucks.

I'd been seeing it for some time and for the life of me couldn't find out what it stood for. I searched "deer head logo" and "antler decal" to no avail. Then on Sunday, I saw two of these on the windshield of a muddy Jeep, with the word BROWNING in giant white letters between the deer heads. Yes, someone is so devoted to Browning that they've plastered the name on their windshield. This is fan loyalty in the extreme and it's a trend any brand would pay big money for.

I haven't hunted deer in many years, not since my brother-in-law stuck me up in his tree-stand with a joint and a rifle at 5:30 on a freezing November morning in Missouri. After the joint, I really had no interest in looking for deer and was instead enthralled with the way the long brown grass was waving in the wind. I know a lot of hunters, I grew up around guns and I can shoot pretty straight, but I'm just not that into it. Many others are very into it and Browning has cultivated a cult of sorts with this deer head logo. They call it the "Buckmark."

Here's Brandy, showing off her Buckmark tattoo. She even put a "TM" next to the words "Country Girl." That is really sweet, and I'll bet Brandy is a really cool chick and makes killer venison jerky. I know she can down a few Busch Lights while swigging from a bottle of Jack and singing "Sweet Home Alabama" all summer long.

This is Tyler. He's got the Buckmark on his right bicep as well as his day-glo orange safety hunting cap. Tyler is not going to college and that's fine. College isn't for everybody. By the time he's 30, Tyler will have many stories of the big bucks he's bagged and he will never worry about doing a 9 to 5. He's the kind of guy who could pick up odd jobs around town and be perfectly happy so long as there's gas in the camoflauged ATV and a bottle of doe-in-heat urine in his vest pocket.

When Michael asked his girl to the prom, she outdid the Buckmark on his vest lapel and put one on her orange tarp dress. That is serious love, man.

Oh, sure, it's easy to make fun of hunters and gun owners and hillbillies, and those same people make fun of me when I get together with them. ("You're a writer? What do you write? Like, letters and such?") But this is a story about brand loyalty. These people love Browning. There are over 2,000 more examples of people showing their love for Browning right here. It's all a part of the "Show Us Your Buckmark" contest, the winner of which will win, what else, a Browning rifle.

Here's a comprehensive history of the brand's logo, a mark they've been using for 30 years.

How many companies can inspire this kind of devotion, that their fans would literally brand themselves with the brand's logo? I can't think of one. UPDATE: Anonymous points out in the comments that Harley-Davidson fans are just as devoted. Good call.

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Can't Decide Between a Hummer or One of These

This little thing caught my eye last week in Miami. A dealer had the specs in giant letters on the side: "42 MPG, 70 MPH." Adding to the double-take factor was the price: $9,995.

It's nothing more than a motorcycle with a cab and a bed, but it seems to make sense as everyone frets over gas prices and affordability. I could see a fleet of these delivering pizza.

Mexican, South American and Asian city streets have been filled with three-wheeled vehicles for years. Nothing like a little recession to get us thinking smart.

The manufacturer's website.
An owner's website.

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Monday, June 29, 2009

How's That iPhone Workin' For Ya, City Boy?

We're going on vacation next week. In preparation, I thought I'd consult AT&T to see what sort of voice and data coverage we can expect as we disappear into some American mountains for a lakeside retreat with extended family in a "cabin" that sleeps 25. After looking at the map, I predict boredom, cabin fever and early bedtimes. Or maybe it will be a true vacation, where I'm not answering emails and the worry of wondering if I'll have a job next week will have to wait until I return.

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10 Year Time Travel

Wake up and smell the bullshit.

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Friday, June 26, 2009

Somewhere, Jennifer Aniston is Laughing

It appears that turning yourself into a cartoon is a big deal right now. I suspect the trend will die out in about two days when people start saying, "That was so 26th of June." I live in a cartoon-world already, so I haven't had the urge to convert my Facebook or Twitter icons. Angelina implored me to do so via a banner ad at Twitpic, but I will resist her evil charms and instead re-title her banner.

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Cold Call Carl - No. 9

You ever get Linked-In updates from former colleagues who were managers but are now out of work? I do, and they often include "social media" in their list of capabilities. I wouldn't trust most of them to pick up my mail when I'm on vacation, much less put the future of my business in their hands.

If I've said it before...wait...I guess I have said it before: Here's the whole "Cold Call Carl" series.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Previously in LOLSUITS.

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Every State Has a Springfield

Dominating the skyline like an Eastern European monument to thoughtless architecture, the Springfield, Illinois Hilton lends an eerie ugliness to a town whose chief qualities are eeriness and ugliness.

Scene of Obama's announcement to run for President (an impressive event) and the home of the Illinois State Capitol (an impressive structure) the town also hosts the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. This is no ordinary museum, and despite its overwhelming fascination with death and ghosts and creepiness (a wax figure of Mary Todd Lincoln sits dressed in black, the window reflecting a gloomy rain as she mourns the death of her son with a bible on her lap; a replica of the rotunda is dark and ominous, where Lincoln's body lies in state) the museum rivals anything Disney could do. Put together by BRC Imagination Arts (WARNING: exceptionally cheese-filled homepage video on their website) the exhibits leave you asking, "How did they do that?" which is a pretty decent takeaway for any museum.

We had a good visit, randomly deciding to stop in (at the compulsion of some roadside signs) as we drove through the very flat and uninspiring middle of Illinois. Springfield has an Arby's. We ate there. I had the French Dip, an inspired sandwich, the au jus of which was "CAUTION: EXTREMELY HOT" so I cannot sue them for a burnt tongue as they warned me ahead of time.

I took a moment to travel back in time to try to talk John Wilkes Boothe out of what he kept referring to as his "destiny," but alas, I was too late. His mind was made up.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

It's a Cookie and a Cracker - You Can Figure it Out

The design world is (was) buzzing about what Baker Associates did for a couple of iconic junk food products for Target. At one discussion, a dissenter says, "When you mess with classic brands like this it looks more like they were robbed, not cleaned."

I wholeheartedly disagree. I see these packages and I say, "Nice." A few others see it the same.

But my opinion is likely suspect. My ideal kitchen would be all stainless steel with a drain in the floor and coiled hoses coming down from the ceiling to rinse the whole place off after I make a mess. The pantry would be filled with easy-to-identify items like these packages. Those comparing this to Tropicana's much-hissed-at repackaging failure are missing a key point: Tropicana's redesign made the product look generic. These are still very clearly Oreo cookies and Ritz crackers.

I see Target as understanding a good chunk of their clientele; the person who appreciates style but can't afford it. This seems a nod to the whole Michael Graves side of the business. Those with their boxers in a bind, their panties in a wad, their knickers in a twist can take comfort in the fact that Target is calling this an "in and out" for the summer only. That's too bad.

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Do an image search on your favorite stock photography site for "businessman" or "businesswoman" and you'll find plenty of those "concept" type photos of a woman standing in the desert with a briefcase or a man running on the beach in a suit. These genius photographers have inspired my latest feature, which may or may not recur here with a sporadic and completely random frequency.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Obama for D&C

You've seen their ads, the highly charged and curious group photographs that suggest a gang rape or gay orgy. On his recent trip overseas, President Obama was photographed outside the home of the Ambassador to France. I like that we have a leader who isn't afraid to sit on some steps, ("disgracing the office," many will say) but I could not resist childishly converting the scene.

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Dubya Tee Eff

A commenter on YouTube puts it very well:

omg that was drug induced crazy let me get this straight some guy pitched an idea that was basically "okay we got this doll right and were gonna have two girls feeding him and then the dad is gonna come in see the doll laughing like a maniac and say 'ooh let me tickle him' and the its gonna show the doll getting a hard on and peeing in his face.... hilarious right"

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Officially Over: The "Bailout" Sales Gimmick

Everyone's doing it - and it's done. Here's a new promotion from Florida-based Ker's Wing House.

Please. Stop it. This is not smart or funny or even topical anymore. Bailout. What? What do you mean? Are you bailing me out of the high cost of dining out? OK, I'll grant that's a pretty cheap bunch of shrimp, but a bailout it is not. And as long as I'm dragging your ideas through the dirt, can I pick on your middle school art direction? I'm not an Art Director, but I play one at work - which always pisses off the real Art Directors - but an American flag? Really? Nice bevel on the restaurant name. I guess you were going for the "retro 1996" look? Oh, cool use of a yellow starburst/seal. Overall grade: D+.

For those not in Florida and Texas, Ker's Wing House (usually just called Wing House) is a cheap knock-off of Hooter's, where the food is the secondary attraction. (Read the story of Ker's here - originally called "Knockers." Wow.)

Wing House is all about service, and that service comes in the form of young women who touch the arms of men and say, "Can I get you another beer, hon?" or "How we doin' on the those wings, babe?" as she grazes a customer's shoulder with freakishly enhanced flotation devices that protrude from her tank-top. Then, the lonely boys at the table get a little buzzed and start to imagine that the Wing House girl really likes them, prompting them to leave a ridiculously over-proportioned tip and ask for her phone number. She smiles a very practiced, shy smile and says something about how her boyfriend wouldn't like that, to which the drunkest of the boys responds that he could please her way better than her boyfriend. Then the manager comes over and tells them to leave. He has many tattoos and a beer belly, so the boys wisely heed his advice. But they'll be back. And they'll ask to be seated in her section.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Oh No They Di'nt!

General Mills, franchisee for French yogurt maker Yoplait, is branching off in a new, and some believe, questionable direction, in hopes of increasing yogurt sales.

According to B. S. White, North American Regional Vice President for General Mills, Yoplait will be marketed under the name "Yo, playa" in certain cities in an attempt to reach a wider urban market not known for reliable or sustained yogurt purchases. Focus groups of young, street basketball players are said to have found the yogurt to be "most tasty," said White.African American marketers are not amused.

(This story is false. It's called parody, satire, tongue-in-cheek humor. If you really think General Mills is this stupid, then you need to send me $500 right away. It's been done, and we aren't slandering anyone, so lawsuits that may say otherwise are hereby declared frivolous by our legal department. Any resemblance to real persons where those real persons aren't really real is really coincidental. And if this was real, it shouldn't surprise anyone. Stupider things have been done.)

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Horizons Broadened: Work Takes Back Seat

I'm so pissed off today at the clueless clowns who dictate my workload that I don't mind perusing YouTube and finding fun stuff right now. The people telling me what to do have zero clue what they want. All they know is what they don't want. And since I've given them five versions of the driest copy on earth (based on their specific, line-by-line direction) and they've rejected it all, I'm taking a break right now. Masters of the do-over, they even tell me to do over the stuff they told me to do over twice already. I've got email trails to prove their ineptitude and inability to make up their minds, (and hourly change their minds) but it's a job, right? Their indecision and lack of direction (and refusal to accept their agency's direction) means I have a job for a little while longer. Most clients suck. There's no two ways about it.

So, yesterday AdFreak put me on their Five to Follow list. Since that time I've been followed by countless better ad people. One of those was a guy from Wild Mouse, an agency in Toronto. He tweeted this today:

Started 5 day fast today. Famished already. Gave up cigs. Gave up booze. Give up food? I give. Talk to me and you will die.

That got my attention, as I've often thought that's something I want to try; just a system-shocking, all-out break from routine and the start of a healthier me. I'll check in on John in five days. If he isn't dead or hasn't killed someone, I might try his crazy plan. My problem is I want to try it from an air-conditioned oceanfront hut.

So I checked out Wild Mouse's stuff. It's pretty fun. Nice example below. Here's a client who said, "You're the pros. Knock yourselves out." Breaking the mold of the stodgy financial retirement template with a memorable and fun spot.

More from Wild Mouse here.

Yeah, I'm jealous.

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Cold Call Carl - No. 8

More Cold Call Carl

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Monday, June 15, 2009

The Foribidden Land

Here's a Cuban tourism ad that airs in Canada. You see, Americans aren't allowed to travel to Cuba because we are still punishing Fidel Castro for being a bad man in like, 1959 or something, when he and that one actor, Benicio Del Toro, rode around the countryside on motorcycles, terrorizing the folks. 50 years later and Fidel is still in power in the country that has become a living time capsule, free from modernization and, many will tell you, free from freedom. Can't we all just get along? "No!" the powerful Cuban lobby in Miami will tell you, "We cannot!" But I'm from that naïve school that says you can talk to your "enemies" and even visit their countries.

It's not all glittery like the other Caribbean countries where you're used to your cruise ship docking. And that's half the allure.

And for the time being, this blog will go with a green scheme in solidarity with our other enemy, the Iranian people.

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There's Nothing Like a Testimonial

An image from the LA Times from last night, repurposed for BMW's benefit.

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Ken Fox - Social Media Strategist!

I get Linked-In updates about former colleagues who now include "social media" in their list of "core competencies." Most of these people were highly incompetent to begin with, now they're going to charge you to set up a Twitter account and show you how to "follow" people. "Look! Now you're following him! Once he follows you back, you can start to engage him in a conversation!"

Chris Houchens also has a nice take on how everyone is now a social media expert.


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"Cube is the new Black" says a loading message on Nissan's site for their new "mobile device." Nice start, Nissan. You've just employed the most stolen and overused slogan since "Got [blank]?" Hey, I know! Let's turn Cube into a verb! "Do you Cube?" "Let's Cube!" Another loading message says "Symmetry is so last year." And getting high school girls with a C average to write your messaging is so, I dunno, like retarded?

But enough about their failures in marketing. Let's instead look at the car and what Nissan is trying to push onto the American car buyer. I saw one of these ugly little beasts on the way to work this morning. The asymmetrical rear window made me do a double-take, then I sped up to get a look at the logo on the rear door. It had temporary tags on it and I have no doubt it was being delivered to some clinically narcissistic style princess in South Beach.

A great review of the car is here.

Aside from the rear window, there is no asymmetry, and yet note the license plate in this picture. Nissan intends to hang its Cube hat on the rear window, and on the goofy stupidity of a car that is less a car and more a "mobile device." This car is all about being extraordinarily cool, or "groovy" as the caption to this "Shag Dash Topper" says. Why one needs a Shag Dash Topper is a mystery to me, but I'm not groovy like that.

The car comes with mood lighting and other funky features that will make you the envy of all your friends at the community college.

I need a word for how this car makes me feel. But there is no word. Only sounds.


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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Virtual Travel

I love Google Street Views. Sure, it's got shades of Big Brother, but it's not like they have live video feed from the street in front of your house. Yet.

I like to pick random towns and just parachute in to look around, maybe moving forward a few miles by clicking on the furthest shaded circle that appears when you mouse over the road. That new feature allows you to speed down a road faster than before.

Here are the four corners of the continental US, as far as Google has mapped them on Street Views. (Click for larger.)

Northeast: Hamlin, Maine

Southwest: Imperial Beach, California

Northwest: Blaine, Washington

Southeast: Key West, Florida

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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Volkswagen Continues Dumb Name Tradition

Here's Volkswagen's entry into the truck market. They're calling it "Amarok," an Inuit name for "wolf."

"This name fits the characteristics of our pickup perfectly, which will set new standards in its class," says Stephan Schaller, CEO of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.

Sure, Stephan, you walking book of clichés. What else could you have said?

When you've already gone down the road of stupid names, (EOS, Golf, Jetta, Passat, Phaeton, Touareg, Routan) I guess you just have to keep going. Much better, I think, to go the "series" route, like BMW. But you pay extra for that.

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Friday, June 12, 2009

It's All About New York and LA

Or so they think.

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I wonder if anyone sat beside Abraham Lincoln as he traveled the 90 miles to a bloodied battlefield in Pennsylvania, reportedly composing the Gettysburg address on the back of an envelope.

Glad it's Friday. And glad I'm not the President during a Civil War.

It's all relative, I suppose.

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Chrome is Shiny and Attractive

I finally tried it - Chrome, Google's browser. Like when Google first came on the scene with their simplified and clean search engine and blew the Yahoos, AOLs and Alta Vistas out of the water, I expect Chrome is going to make a dent in the IE, Safari and Firefox shares of the browser market. It will take awhile, but I think it will happen. I made the switch because Chrome is far better at supporting iGoogle widgets. Does that make me a full-on Google disciple whose personal history, future earning capacity and very soul all belong to the Illuminati and Big Brothers of Mountain Vista? Yeah, probably.

Just saw this nice spot as a pre-roll over at Hulu.

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

And Before You Know It, It's Lunch Time

Damn this Internet! A random thought pops in your head like, "car ad" and you do a fast image search and very quickly you're lost on some faraway site. This one is for Puget Sound's Corvair lovers, the car that gave Ralph Nader his start as a consumer advocate and all around pain in the ass. And you're quickly lost in another time.

From the old days, when graphic artists were actually artists, and a car brochure was something to see, hold and drool over. Look at that interior rendering. No seat belts! Read that copy. "Frisky". (That is one dumb word to describe a car.) And look at this image. Taken from a photograph? I don't know, but it almost looks like the watercolor filter from Photoshop. Some hilly city in Europe during springtime, a pretty brunette contrasting with the old tourists around her as she gets out of Chevy's new car. Barefoot! Nicely done.

I wonder what it was like to work in the place that designed that brochure. I'll bet it smelled of cigarette smoke and bourbon, toxic markers and hair gel. And though they were years away from being online, I'll bet they still found ways to procrastinate a dreaded job.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What? We're Just Socializing

I have a strong dislike for texting, emailing or web surfing at a table, not that I haven't been guilty myself of uploading a picture of a decadent meal, but I will always alert my table mates that I am about to. There's something very anti-social about sitting across from someone and showing yourself to be too busy to give them your full attention. Nonetheless, I see this scene played out fairly often lately.

Original Cézanne painting from here.

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When Gurus Have to Find Work

Lots of people aren't nearly as active on the BS speaking circuit as they once were. How sad that the gravy train jumped the tracks on them. Learn a trade and maybe you can buy your soul back.

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The NBA Finals on ABC - As Seen from Orlando

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AT&T and Apple: Smelly Pirate Hookers

A long time ago, (the 1990s) before everyone and their grandma ditched their landlines for their cell phones, a bunch of telecoms would compete vigorously for your long distance service. There were rebates and incentives to get you to switch, and the MCIs, AT&Ts and Sprints of the world were locked in a fierce death struggle. I remember one particular promotion in which AT&T offered anyone who had left them $100 to come back. As a loyal AT&T customer, this pissed me off, so I called them and said,

"Hey! I never left! Where's my $100? You reward people who left you for MCI and then come back? What about the people who never left you? I'm leaving unless you give me $100."

So they applied $100 to my account. I guess those were the glory days for customer service reps, when your random call-center jackleg in West Covina could toss around hundred-dollar bills.

Now, AT&T Wireless, (formerly Cingular) in conjunction with Apple (formerly the Satanic Church of Steve Jobs) are at it again.

I bought my iPhone in May. Now the new one is out. And it's pretty. And Better. Stronger. Faster. Apple was kind enough to let me know of the new version of the iPhone in a SPAM email they sent me, my very first SPAM from Apple since registering at iTunes and the App store.

If you've never owned an iPhone before, you can have this baby for just $199. Of course you'll also need to sign a two-year, iron-clad, sacrifice-your-children, accept the mark of the Beast contract with AT&T.

The $199 has an asterisk next to it. That asterisk is for those of us already in love with the iPhone. Its' text reads:

Requires new two-year AT&T wireless service contract, sold separately to qualified customers; credit check required; must be 18 or older. For non-qualified customers, including existing AT&T customers who want to upgrade from another phone or replace an iPhone 3G, the price with a new two-year agreement is $499 (8GB), $599 (16GB), or $699 (32GB).

I believe this is taught in business schools in a course called "Fucking Your Customers - Locking Them In and Hanging Them Out to Dry."

I'm trying to figure out the business logic of treating your current customers this way. I think it boils down to:

"We've got Dave locked in for two years as it is. In two years' time, he will either: (A) Break his iPhone and need a new one; (B) Sell his iPhone on eBay and then come back for the new one, in which case his two-year contract starts all over again; or (C) Quickly forget about this slight after blogging about it.

Attention Apple and AT&T: I don't need you. There are other phones in the sea (or something like that). There are other companies ready to counter this strategy where you woo new customers at the expense of your current customers. Something about "shitting in your nest" comes to mind.

I'm really mad at you bastards, and in two years, I'll make you pay!

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Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Bye Bye Bloggers

Two creative bloggers I enjoy have called it quits this week, and it's only Tuesday. First, Scamp threw in the towel, endeavoring to write a novel. Good luck with that. I'm still waiting on an agent to take the chance with my first.

Now Catcher in the Rye has left the ad blog world as well.

On the subject of dying blogs, The New York Times had an interesting piece last Sunday, in which they liberally quoted some guy from Technorati, who seemed to be speaking from a temporal rift in the space-time continuum. On the subject of where authors of blogs disappear to, the leader of the always-down and never-accurate Technorati said, “Some of that activity has gone to Facebook and MySpace, and obviously Twitter is a new phenomenon.” Ya think? MySpace? Really? And bloggers don't quit blogging to go to Twitter, this thing you call a new phenomenon. Bloggers just get tired of the ball and chain a blog can be. The article mentions that some people hoped to get rich from their blogs. If you got into blogging to make money, well - I'm sorry you believed that was possible.

It gets old, I guess, this blogging thing. But I'll keep doing it for now. It's a creative outlet for me. I've always been the guy who draws cartoons about co-workers or creates ads clients will never see, much less run. I'm the guy that always gets called "blunt" and then gets called on the carpet for embarrassing superiors in front of their bosses. I'm wiser now (I hope) and I think I've learned to draw that back a bit in the office, the better to keep my job, so I need this blog to shout and spout my nonsense. Or maybe I just need to stop looking for shit to make fun of. Haven't figured it out yet.

Best to you, Scamp and Catcher. Enjoyed your insights. Tell me how it feels in a few months. If you say, "Quitting that blog was so liberating," I may consider joining you.

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Monday, June 08, 2009

Boom Box Badness

From 1980, when the bigger your boom box was, the badder you were. People carried these things down the road, subjecting all within a three-block radius to their favorite tunes. While we may bemoan the isolated worlds that earbuds have created, it's nice that we don't have to force each other to listen to our music anymore. And they ate up D cells like Octomom in the Pampers aisle. And you could develop back problems from hoisting one of these down the street.

Earth, Wind & Fire for Panasonic. Too bad it wasn't Shining Star.

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It's Rip Current Awareness Week!

And while that's no laughing matter, I've created a fun poster for the event, based on the real posters available from the National Ocean People. Feel free to download it and post it on your favorite beach.

Our favorite beach we've not been to in too long.

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Jumbo Dumbo

I have a pet. He is treated well. And I eat meat. YES, even the red meat! I enjoyed some free range buffalo a week or so ago. And while I have never been a psycho PETA type, I've always hated zoos and circuses. Elephants in particular, seem ill-suited to life on a concrete slab, waiting for death. But elephants flying? Cool idea. Not sure what it means, though. PSA for International Fund for Animal Welfare, who say the spot "makes the point that travelers should think twice before purchasing souvenirs made from animal products." Uh, OK. If you say so.

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Saturday, June 06, 2009

Very Nice©

Hard not to like this spot for Bacardi. Everything is on; music, concept, production, casting. Music is by Matt and Kim.

Well, everything except the Standard Jim voiceover at the end.

Watch Matt and Kim strip in Times Square in one of those "Lets get naked for publicity" stunts that music acts have been doing since forever.

Found at Sullivan.

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Friday, June 05, 2009

Ironic T-Shirt

We've all become a bunch of tongue-in-cheek punsters and one-line deliverers. I blame Twitter. At some point, this irony we are addicted to as a culture might come full circle and make us all innocent, wide-eyed fools again. That will be nice.

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The Culture of Narcissism

Yeah, I bought the book, but I'm too self-absorbed right now to start reading it.

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The Enemy of Kobe is My Friend

I am a bummed-out basketball fan this morning, not that I have any right, really. Like much of this city, I got on board the Magic Bus only long after they showed they were contenders. Fairweather fans are the worst, but we're also the norm. Maybe you like to sit in a half-empty stadium and paint your body stupid colors while mugging for the camera as you support your woeful Cleveland Browns. (And you were there through thick and thin, the good times and the bad. When the crowds start showing up when the winning gets easier, you resent them. You are a REAL fan. But remember, none of the players are from your town and they'll leave the second another city offers them more money, swearing allegiance and love to a new town as they shake the dust of your dirty city from their cleats..So maybe your team pride is a little one-sided. In fact, when you think about it, you worship a logo.)

Anyway...(I do that all the time. "All aboard the Dave Train. Next stop...Random Tangent.")...I think what makes losing to the Lakers so unpleasant is the hype and show that is a Lakers game. A Lakers game is an event. To be seen at a Lakers game is a big deal in Hell-A. "Oh, look! There's the world's worst actor, Jack Nicholson! I wonder when he'll make another movie where he plays a snarky old asshole who learns a lesson about love?" "Look! It's Tom Cruise, the world's second worst actor! I wonder when he'll make another movie where he plays an uptight dickhead who struts away from exploding things?" And the broadcasters get caught up in the hype of a Lakers game, and before long they are openly hoping the Lakers win.

Then there's Kobe Bryant, possibly the most arrogant and transparent player to ever rape a hotel maid. Oh, sorry. He was acquitted. I forgot. Anyway, when you're down 25 points and watching this guy do his best "I'm a mean warrior" face, anything he does will set you off. He could sit there on the bench and pour tea for his grandma while writing ten-thousand dollar checks to charity and I'd find something wrong with the way he did it. He makes me sick. Punk. Winner. Beater of us.

I read this blog's analytics once in a while. Los Angeles is always among the top for numbers of visitors. So, Lakers fans who might be reading this blog, I wish you sports pain and loss of city pride. I wish for you to see your precious Kobe holding his head low on the bench, suffering a stinging loss that makes him say to the cameras in the locker room, "Ya know, we just got beat, that's all. They came to play. They did some things and we didn't do some things and we need to execute a little better next time. Focus. One-hundred and ten percent. Heart. Soul. Tomorrow's another day." I hope a Magic player loses his balance and falls right into Ashton Kutcher, wiping that stupid smile off his face and causing him to seek medical treatment.

This isn't supposed to be sports blog. I'm just mad that we lost our team logo pride last night in front of a huge TV audience at the Lakers Show, starring Jack Nicholson. Sports, Entertainment, Politics, News. It's all the same game.

You'll recall how Vitamin Water and Nike were hoping the NBA Finals would be a Lebron/Kobe showdown. Vitamin Water has wiped the egg from their face and employed Orlando's Dwight Howard to mock the original Kobe/Lebron spot. Not a bad performance for a jock. Haven't seen acting like this from an athlete since Peyton Manning.

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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Is it Raygun Gothic or Streamline Moderne?

Does it matter? It's cool, that's all I know.

New readers may not remember the Design Within Reach Airstream I posted about long ago, but I've found a blog by a couple who own one. I think they are tired of their Airstream. I think they want to give me their Airstream. (Jedi mind trick.)

Meet Martin and Kate. He's a Mac computer consultant, website/blog designer and digital photographer. She's a writer, website/blog designer and SEO/marketing specialist. (Don't hold it against Mrs. Thomas that she dabbles in the SEO magic, but there is a recovery program for that I'd recommend.) Kate and Martin make their home in Minneapolis, "Where the Beer is Warm and the People are Warmer." OK, that's not really Minneapolis' slogan. Hold please while I look that up.....(hold music)...thank you for waiting...(hold music)...Well, the CVB wants you to "Meet Minneapolis" while the official city website greets visitors with "Minneapolis: A Premier Destination." I'd go with my suggestion, City Fathers (and Mothers).

As more and more of us get kicked out of our homes, this cool little trailer may be the way to go.

Incidentally, Mini is trying to get in on the Airstream act with this completely dysfunctional model that has been gutted by some furniture designer who wears black every day and always crosses his legs in that weird way while saying "ummmmhmmmmm" and never smiling, his hand on his chin. His Airstream for Mini is now just a giant living room, no bath, bed or galley. Stylish. And lame.

The happy couple from Minnesota with the awesome trailer took it for a long haul back in March. They need to post more often.

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Another Amazing Before/After Lie

Stunning turnaround, Helen, of Helen's Diet (dot com). Helen lives in YOUR TOWN, has two children and a wonderful husband. She's no guru. She just wants to share with you how to completely makeover your body by eating magic berries and sitting on the toilet.

If you try to leave Helen's site, she gets really concerned and starts throwing warnings at you, asking if you're sure you want to leave her site. "Look at me!" Helen cries, "Turn around and look at me!" She strips to her underwear and calls after you. "Eat my berries! I will cleanse your colon! I'm not doing this for me. It's for YOU!"

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Hide Your Product, Guaranteeing Less People See it!

Nice work, Universal Music Group (and most major labels). In your paranoid attempt to hold on to your "intellectual property rights" and your stunningly stupid, reactionary response to "piracy," you prevent bloggers or Facebookers from sharing your stuff.

Chances are very good that if someone posts a video of Grinspoon doing a cover of "Don't Change," some people might go to iTunes and buy it for a dollar. Not happening as long as you play this baby game.

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Get Your Basketball On - Or Don't

Charlie Murphy's got a new website called Get Your Basketball On in which he plays a Bozo-haired motivational speaker who does it all.

As in most things of this nature, I'm trying to find the corporate sponsors behind it. Though you can't find it on Charlie's site, which is disguised as a poorly created web designer's nightmare a la Borat's old MySpace page, a quick "Who Is" search reveals what I should've guessed: NIKE, Inc.

It's nowhere near as funny as they're hoping and the clowning done by Murphy seems over-the-top. This thing will be short-lived, I'm sure. Nike seems to stab out in a dozen directions lately, often going for the viral two-minute video. Most of the offerings on the site are pretty lame and I almost feel bad for Murphy. Expect to see appearances of Charlie's character "Leroy Smith" during the NBA Finals in the coming weeks, with the slow reveal by Nike. I would not be surprised if Nike trotted out Jordan for an appearance in the series.

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