Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Peace Out 2007, USA, and Friendster

I'm leaving in a few minutes for Peru and will see you all in 2008. But I did a little clean up before leaving...

I can't imagine how frustrating receiving this form must be.

Happy holidays and an early happy New Year!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Holiday Sweater Fridizzle

I couldn't think of a better way to say "Happy Holidays". Even with all the help from agencies like R/GA and corporations like Puma. So hopefully this picture is worth at least those two words.

I won in the category Best Incorporation of an Animal. I was the CATegory. Enjoy the kittens peeking out from behind the present as I walk up to accept my prize—Ozzy Goes to Hollywood on VHS.
Thanks again to Annie for the gear.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Best [Advertising] Ideas of 2007

There's no reason why I'm any more qualified than most of you readers to giving out these awards. In fact I may be less qualified considering I don't even know what those brackets around advertising in the subject even mean. However, I still say most because I do know a few friends reading who really are quite single-minded in assessment of advertising ideas—"Funny" or "Not Funny". But maybe the unsophisticated scale is dead-on-balls-accurate (yes, that's a My Cousin Vinny quote). I mean, shoot, look at the most liked Super Bowl commercials poll each year...you know Career Builder does. Oh word? Word.

The inspiration for a list like this came from my disappointment not to see any advertising agency ideas on The New York Times Magazine's 70 Ideas "that made 2007 what it was." While I have to admit, I wasn't surprised in the least, it is a bit disconcerting considering many of us see ideas as our currency. Plus, claiming we create (pop) culture in many cases, can we ever have the longevity to make a year what it was? I mean, I need a Bahamavention! Yes? No? Word.

Take a look at the 70 - or at least 3 or 4 before they tell you to log in. Most of the blogs I read didn't even cover these ideas other than Radiohead's pricing model innovation, of course.

I was also surprised not to see more companies on the list. I'm sure innovative companies have their own list. It is actually heavy on interesting research findings. And apparently as an industry, we did not come up with any earth-shattering research, uncover a relationship that exists between two unrelated things and put to use the scientific method we all learned in high school. Though I think I did hear that one big agency did find that moms shop for cars and electronics too.

Anyway, here are my nominations for the best [advertising] ideas this year. Please do not use old definition of advertising that's based on one-way messaging to a waiting audience; rather, use a more modern meaning (communications and conversations) as well as keep it broad enough to encompass any ideas from ad guys and gals and agencies. Okay, enough of that explanation - here are ideas that I loved in 2007 (in no particular order):

1. The Tap Project (Simple and simply amazing idea brought to life)
2. Cadbury Gorilla (Pure joy and completely memorable)
3. Planning for Good (Born at a Conference, who would have thought)
4. CMPB's Get The Glass (Visually stunning and engaging site)
5. Nike's Leave Nothing (I'm a huge Last of the Mohicans fan...and now I work at W+K so I'm biased)

Crazy both milk and chocolate in the top five, and I'm not even a dessert guy. Also would like to give a "quik" shout-out to Dynamite Surfing, Fight for Kisses, and Good Things Should Never End. Not that I couldn't make them numbers 6 and 7 I guess. Oh well, too late.

After starting this post, I realized that Johnny Vulkan already did a nice job summing up the year. And Contagious Magazine did an even more comprehensive recap of 2007 including everything from social media to design. However, what would be great is if people added to this list by emailing or commenting and then we put it to a vote.

Who knows, maybe by the end we'll be inspired to aim to make NYTimes Mag's list next year?

Monday, December 17, 2007

Inbox of Immaturity: Back-to-Back

As one week of immaturity ends, another one begins. This is totally up my alley and hopefully will be up yours as well. Yeah, up yours. While watching Jason perform on Celebrity Rap Superstar annoys me to no end, Justin Bobby does quite the opposite. So you can imagine my excitement to find a JB and Audrina spoof by real actors!

I have been back this site since The Landlord skit that basically launched it, but you can be sure I'll be checking back in with FunnyorDie soon.

And lastly, may as well remind you all here that the season Finale for A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila is Tuesday night at 10PM. There's a show that will certainly help make the point of the video above. We all need those writers back working.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Inbox of Immaturity

It's been a slow week for new stuff (except for things us ad people pass around to each other like Burger King's new viral campaign).

Yet I was fortunate enough to have this make its way into my life after a year and a half or so when it was posted.

I guess you could say I'm way late to the game, but we're not even talking about a game. Plus, watching this gets me psyched up to watch the Hoyas play Radford tomorrow night.

In case that didn't really satisfy your craving (and because it's holiday season), I've also added a few of the classics—Maury P, Sour Grapes, Bubb Rubb, and HCWD—, a throwback game, and if you're ever looking for an old Internet phenomenon, you may want to start here. (Take that Google/Knol.)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Working at Wieden

I never made a formal announcement because I told the 15 of you who read this at least somewhat regularly in-person. However, given that every once in a while Google Analytics shows me that someone from another part of the globe drops in (on?), it behooves me (yes, behooves—I'm always jealous when other people get to use that word , so even if there's a better verb here, I'm going with behooves) to post to the world that:

(1) I now work at Wieden + Kennedy. (Day 12)
(2a) The nonsense expressed here is all me baby.
(2b) Neither Wieden nor Kennedy know I have a blog. (But a few AE's do)
(3) Just rounding the list out with a number 3, so it looks prettier and officialier.

I'm working mostly on ESPN. You've probably already realized a bit of an increase in sports-related posts. And this trend will likely continue as the job requirement to "be even more of a sports fan" is one I've been gladly fulfilling.

Finally, for the many of you who aren't in the industry, definitely go check out the agency's site. But let me highlight a few things of the things (in addition to the kick ass work on ESPN - I'm saying that as a pre-job fan) that drew and now continue to draw me to this place:

Coca-Cola and Nike and Honda. London's blog and holiday card (well actually it's not PC in that regard; it's a Christmas card). Portland's school, and the fact that they get involved with things like Ignite Portland, the premise of which is this: "If you had five minutes on stage what would you say? What if you only got 20 slides and they rotated automatically after 15 seconds?" (You can see videos of the presentations here)

But just like any place, it's all about the people. They are some of the most creative people I know and have done some of the work I admire, yet they're all approachable and importantly not territorial. In 13 days, I've concepted with a writer, brainstormed with digital media, written briefs, and played pipeball (more on that See for yourself below where I've embedded a video of some of the guys I work with (in our offices at the start):

Be hooves.

Monday, December 10, 2007

What Are You Doing?

Here's a Monday Morning Mashup! (You all know how I love that alliteration). So I just got to uploading some recent pictures into iPhoto, including one of a ridiculous truck-limo that was trying to park on the west side of Union Square the other night. Additionally, last week I was surprised to see the VMA's back in my twitter feed (they'd stopped since the show in September) and the tweets from Lil Weezy and Soulja Boy made my day (or hour at least) so I took a screen grab. Now with these two images together, I'd like to imagine we were all there chillin' in that monster limo freestyling about the Internet.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Inbox of Immaturity: Walk Hard

When immaturity and ingenuity in marketing collide, the thing (link, story, etc.) gets elevated to the IOI subject. This doesn't happen often (Shave Everywhere was probably the last time, or perhaps it was Tea Partay). Actually if I had moved quickly on Tay Zonday's Cherry Chocolate Rain for Dr. Pepper earlier this week, it could have made the leap up...but I didn't. Yet, a couple days ago flavorpill let the Internet world know that Dewey Cox could be performing in your city. Yes, that's correct: Before the movie goes into theaters, Walk Hard is going on Tour.

I'm a big fan of this type of promotion. Movies seem to have a lot of opportunity to create real experiences, to utilize many assets and content, to galvanize audiences/communities. This isn't funny, but check out what Kite Runner did with viewing parties. On the contrary, Balls of Fury is right up my alley but after the trailer went around online months before its theatrical release, there was no follow up. Anyway, I am going to try and hit up the show in NYC on the 19th, but its holiday party season so I may have to miss it. If anyone is definitely going, let me know.

Just in case that [info] was too soft, here's your fill of more traditional immaturity:

Happy Hamukkah. Oh thank you Balducci's.
Huhukkah?. As TrueHoop blog says "Dunk got your tongue?" Darius Miles is not as good when his lines aren't written for him Van Wilder-style. (This has nothing to do with the Jewish holiday, but was trying to keep the theme going.)
Chicagokkah. Okay, now I'm really forcing it. But thanks Jake, for this gem and for giving the pre-read background: "It looks like they took a press release for winter tires and replaced tires with a certain hilarious noun."

And finally, if you're in NYC tonight and are ready to begin training to walk hard, you can start by rocking out softly. My buddies Matt and Jimmy are going to be DJing at Midway (25 Ave. B at 2nd St) from 11pm on. From their "press release":

We'll be going by the moniker Awesome Dudes -- an alias that, besides being awesome, is also subtle and cool, just like us. We're gonna be jammin' like it's 1978, dropping nothing but the hottest soft rock hits and blue eyed soul from the likes of Steely Dan, Todd Rundgren, Boz Skaggs, Hall & Oates and whatever else we can cook up on the laptops. We'll also throw in some disco and house to get the bodies moving. So stop by to say hi, have a drink, and rock out (as long as you do it softly).

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Badass By Association

I like to say I'm a combination of Seth Godin and Jabar Gaffney. Well, actually I've never said that before, but after last night I'm definitely trying to link myself with the latter. You see, I get pretty excited when people with (at least part of) my name perform. Call it "X" by association. In this case, I'm now one step closer to getting the nickname "Crazy Hands" Gaffney on the flag football field.

So when Seth Godin comes through with a hot book or post, I can't say I've ever felt closer to it than others but it does kind of make me want to step up my game as a Seth (a Seth G. at that). Or when Seth Green comes through with a hot video clip (like Chris Cocker) or Robot Chicken episode or character (Kenny, anyone?), I try to up the funny...after being like, "yeah SETH! that's what's up!"

And don't think this is limited to "real people." In fact, when characters in movies, TV shows, or books are named Seth or Gaffney (yet to see a Seth Gaffney), I reap the benefits. You don't think girls at bars ever said, "Oh, like Seth Cohen???" That's right. Jokes and jokes and jokes and spaghetti, spaghetti. How about Seth from Boiler Room? A bit of a whiner, but ran that casino from his house and could make a sell like no other newbie. Not last and certainly not least my sister, Julie "The Cat" Gaffney saving the last shot glove side in the Mighty Ducks 2 shootout with Russia. What? Yes, that's right. Team USA. Give me a high five for homegirl!

That's all. If you see my in the hall, throw me something. A pen, stapler, whatever. I'll catch it...and then I'll tell you about a Purple Calf...because I'm badass by association.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Tennis Anyone?

In the midst of college football's most important pre-bowl games, college basketball starting to heat up, weekly NFL excitement, post-Euro 2008 qualifiers, and even some solid NBA action, not much attention has, or will I imagine, be given to tennis. I wish that was not the case, especially with this awesome news...
The United States has won the Davis Cup for the first time since 1995 (12 years is the longest span without a title) at the Memorial Coliseum in Portland, OR (which is the first time the U.S. has hosted since 1992). Yes, that was a run-on sentence, but I figured if I didn't know the historical stats before reading the article, odds are you won't either. And for anyone who wants to learn more—like that the Davis Cup was conceived by 4 Harvard students in 1899 and was first played in 1900 against Great Britain—check out the Wikipedia entry. One last sentence of info: It is a 16-team/country tournament put on by the ITF (International Tennis Federation), and the U.S. beat the Czech Republic, Spain, Sweden, and then Russia (in that order) to take the title.

So congratulations to Patrick McEnroe (captain), Roddick, Blake, the Bryan Brothers, whom (as a doubles player myself) I believe are the most fun players to watch in the world. Watching Bob Bryan, a lefty, serve 4 straight aces in a game at the Open this year was one of the most ridiculous sports feats I've witnessed in person. (There should be a name for that, but I don't think there is. Anyone? What's the opposite of the golden sombrero.) He was also the model for American Express' serve analysis that they offered for free in Bryant Park.

I've always been a fan of doubles. I've enjoyed playing it mostly for the strategic aspect (as well as the fact that it allowed me to more easily hide my appalling backhand). And I've enjoyed watching the strategy that great teams employ (as well as the speed of net play and the energy that comes from having a partner with whom to celebrate - just look at the Bryans' patented chest bump). I've also always been a fan of team sports, so making this individualistic sport a team one for this tournament has always been appealing...even if I can never find it on T.V. And finally, I like an international competition...even it's no World Cup. Even as an accomplished singles player, Andy Roddick has talked about how this tournament holds the most importance to him for this reason. And that's the main reason I've always supported him. He cares as much about growing the sport of tennis in the U.S. as anyone in the USTA., and he acknowledges he can't do it alone.

Anyway, I'm pumped so I posted. As Mike Bryan put it, “No words can explain how we feel right now, except Woooooooo!” The energy around this event is really good for the sport, and if I ran the USTA, I'd work more closely with the ITF, invest more in getting it on air and making people aware of it, and link it closer to their youth tennis initiatives. Yes, I know there is a significant challenge in that it takes almost a full year to complete (first round in Feb and just finished now). However, as a planner this is a challenge I'd love to take on...with a team!