Friday, May 30, 2008

Time is Back on My Side

Apologies for having been gone so long. School was really busy, especially during finals. Many all-nighters mixed with energy drinks. The day after I went home, I visited the Miami Ad School in Minneapolis, walked 6.2 miles at the Minnesota AIDS Walk, saw some of the sites, made some friends and met some nice people.

Now it's almost summertime. Thankfully, I've been given the opportunity to work as an intern at an awesome independent advertising agency called Barkley. Monday is the first day of an incredible experience.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Foam City

Sony and Fallon [London] is currently filming the next commercial for Sony electronics in downtown Miami, Florida. The high today was a sunny 75 degrees.

Ruth Speakman, European PR Manager for Sony, has been twittering about the event all day. She also kept live updates of the recent Sony BRAVIA "Play-Doh" shoot filmed in New York last fall.

Simon Ratigan, who has worked with Fallon in the past, is the director of "Foam City". Sony had the biggest foam machine in the world custom built, shooting out 2.5 million liters (660,430 gallons) of foam per minute.

The $1.4 million commercial is believed to be part of a massive campaign centered around the Sony Handycam, Cybershot and Alpha brands. The campaign is expected to be released in June.

According to BrandRepublic, "The ads will show various scenarios in which adults and children play in foam bubbles around the city."

Update (March 10, 2008) The spot may be aimed at the Sony Cyber-shot W170, a digital camera which automatically detects a smile and captures an image of the subject without the need of pressing the shutter. Who wouldn't smile in a sea of foam?

Update (March 11, 2008) For a lot more foamy goodness, check out some pictures taken and more information from a journalist at the shoot here.

(via Shedwa)

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Update: Book Burning

Ihaveanidea's Portfolio Night 6 will have tickets available for purchase on Friday, March 21, 2008.

The price, which varies for each city, includes a portfolio critique by at least 3 creative directors, food to fill your belly, drinks to calm you down, and a goodie bag filled with stuff, including an official PN6 t-shirt to remember the night.

New this year — students and junior creatives may bring their laptop. Be sure the work is up and ready for review, because you only have a short amount of time with each CD.

After all is said and done, your portfolio will be uploaded online. Any and all CDs in the universe that attended PN6 will be able to check out your best work. Make sure it's your best.

Questions? Visit the Official Portfolio Night 6 site, or see the FAQ Section.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

March for Babies

March of Dimes has renamed its biggest fund-raiser, Walk America, to March for Babies, capturing the cause more effectively within the name. Today's article in the New York Times says that a Gallup poll reported only 45% knew what the organization's mission was. Honestly, I didn't know what it was about until after reading the story.

Barkley has created a PSA campaign to announce the call-to-action. The campaign includes, a site where anyone, especially mothers-to-be, can get information from preconception to teenage pregnancy. The entire page has questions that can be either clicked on or highlighted when selecting what you're wondering about. The questions link to answers on the March of Dimes Web site.

Behind the many questions is a baby, and this is where the cute factor skyrockets. The baby is endearing as it plays or crawls or raises its hands in excitement. It may be one baby or babies; the video plays for a while, fades out, and another baby (or the same one) takes the page. From a design perspective, the simple video makes the site so much more interesting to look at. And from an emotional perspective, as a human being, I am pulled in. I'm not a mother, but I could watch that baby for a long time. Mothers are sure to be captivated -- with the baby and with all of the questions that can be answered.

Here are the PSA TV spots.

Guess What?

Yesterday, I saw a version of this commercial. (I think they may have pitched for Lexus.) The aired spot is more emotional and a lot less flashy than the one I've linked. If anyone knows where to find the original, please let me know. My friend and I were guessing in our heads as to what it could be. We were drawn in from the start. Is it love? Is it family? What is it?! When the payoff came, (spoiler) we found out it was the letter h. The freaking letter h.

Update (Jan. 31, 2008): Someone's put up the actual spot online. Here it is.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Around the World Famous Studio to US Air

I'm not sure if this would be classified as consumer generated content or something else. The story is similar to how the iPod Touch commercial came about. Two creative directors at World Famous studio in Seattle created a spec commercial for US Airways from the footage they had while editing a regional US Air spot. Executive Creative Director at Moses Anshell, US Airways' agency of record, saw the spec ad on World Famous' site and decided to use it in their national campaign.

Find out more details and see the spot here.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Necessary and Unnecessary

What's Needed

This American Apparel banner ad is missing something. Actually, it's missing two things. Wasted is missing an 'i', and high-waisted should be hyphenated. Taking in mind the British spell things a little different, I checked. It's the same spelling. Wasted does kind of go their trashy less is more image.

What's Not Needed

This is subject to a matter of opinion, but I believe this online ad for the Nissan Rogue has a little too much to say in the fine print. After a short video of the Rogue performing in a digital New York City neighborhood, the vehicle stops and fine print at the bottom comes up. It reads, "Computer generated images. Do not attempt. Always obey traffic laws. Always drive safely. Always were your seatbelt and please don't drink and drive."

Is this Nissan's idea of convincing the consumer they care about them? Can you obey traffic laws and not drive safely? In a beer ad, "Drink Responsibly", or some other version of it, is enough. They don't add, "Always take a taxi or have a friend drive you home. Always be sure to look both ways while crossing the street and never handle a gun while intoxicated." And they do it for good reason. People understand what you're getting at.

Here's a screen capture of something I think is also unnecessary but in a comical way. I saw the Nissan ad while watching a show on called 'Chuck'. The store Chuck works at is called 'Buy More'.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Survey Says...

I'm always interested in hearing your thoughts and opinions. Please take this survey so I can work to make this blog better.

Also, whatever I can do to make this blog more convenient, relevant, entertaining, and valuable to read, let me know specifically in the comments. Or you can e-mail me at joelj[at]ksu[dot]edu. Thank you.

Star Treatment

Earlier this week, I rented 'Call of Duty 3' for the Wii at Hollywood Video. It was seven bucks for 5 days. Pricey. On the second day of playing it, I got to Chapter 6: Fuel Plant. You have to blow up silos to stop the supply of the Nazis. When I planted the charge at the second silo, a German soldier snuck up behind me and tried to shoot. Luckily, his gun was also programmed to not work right. I took this opportune moment to grab his gun. A struggle ensued. Now this is when the in-game theatrics stopped, and I got to play. At the bottom of the screen, the game told me to hold my Nunchuck and Wiimote and make a punching motion forward, again and again.

For some reason, the game didn't pick this up. So I died; the German soldier threw me off the side. I did this about twenty times at various speeds and angles, and I kept dying. I even tried a different Wiimote. Nothing worked.

Yesterday, I returned the game to Hollywood Video. I expected no refund and no remorse. When I got to the store, I told an employee exactly what happened. She took the game, got the manager, and right away, the manager asked if I wanted a new game. Quite surprised, I replied with "Sure!"

None really caught my eye, and I was okay with going home empty-handed. When I told the employee this, she kindly remarked how I'm getting a free game. "Even if you don't play it, your family could", she said.

Then she took all the games out, which are in a big box, and brought me over to the side to look at them. I ended up picking out 'Trauma Center: Second Opinion'. I've played the game on a friend's Nintendo DS and liked it. (A day later, everyone in my house has played it.)

When I went to the side to get the game, she said it's due back Friday. That's five days, not the two I had left. I left a very happy customer. Thank you, Hollywood Video.

Monday, December 31, 2007

Christmas Noise

I saw this insert in USA Today earlier this month. Thanks to the reading program on campus, the residence halls receive free copies of the New York Times, USA Today and three local newspapers. The ad isn't entirely relevant anymore, because December 25th has come and gone, but this is a crazy idea.

In the ad, Sony is advertising noise-canceling headphones. They suggest you peel off the stickers and place them on a remote and luggage to show loved ones what you really want for Christmas. How will they know it's from you? There's no clarification on that. Maybe they're supposed to get everyone the same gift.

I would personally be pretty bothered if someone stuck something to my remote. When I want to take a sticker off -- and I'm going to want to -- I have to peel and pry at the thing for minutes. Then there's the paper that tore off and is super hard to get at. Lastly, the sticky grime that's left afterwards. That's going to make me want to get a gift for my friend alright.

The product isn't bad at all, but Sony is taking the wrong approach. I get why they are placing your ad for noise canceling headphones. Are they targeting the wrong person though? If Sony is advising you to put stickers where they would use the headphones, wouldn't that make them want the product more than to give it to you? Maybe it's a full-circle thing. You get one for me, I get one for you. I think it's a little bogus.

The art direction is nice. I like how they incorporate Sony's HDNA graphics into the print and into the stickers. They kind of look like snowflakes too. It makes some sense to put the graphics in, because it follows the design of Sony's other recent ads, but these headphones aren't HD. I'm not entirely sure about the copy, specifically, "From our studios to your ears, only Sony is true to music." Everything else must be a lie.

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