Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Happy Trails to You

That's not the image I first pictured when I read the name of Kashi's TLC cookies at Target two nights ago. My mind wandered further down south, and immediately was turned off from the product. Why would something like this be overlooked? Even if it weren't "the stairway to heaven", how does "happy" help a product sell? The cookies aren't really happy. They probably wouldn't make me any happier; chocolate chip cookies put me in a good mood. The box of cookies was stored on the top shelf, so surely it wasn't directed at the younger demographic. Is this just creative laziness?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

(Do It) For the Glory of Love

In the latest issue of Communication Arts magazine, Ernie Shenck encourages us to appreciate every day, whether it's the day you get laid off or the day your agency lands an account with your favorite brand. The article is called 'Is There a Shoeless Joe in You?', referencing the baseball player, Shoeless Joe Jackson. Do what you do because you love it unconditionally.

Here's an excerpt of the motivational column. I encourage you to subscribe to CA. If you don't, at least get this issue for Ernie's uplifting words.

"I hope you love it all. Embrace it all. Suck it all in and let it shape and form you into something amazing, something with depth and breadth and subtle variations in texture and color, the likes of which we've never seen. Love what you do. Love the highs and the lows and weave it all into what you are to become. Be blindly in love. Be Shoeless Joe. Hold the bat up to your face. Look at the grain. Feel it on your cheek. Smell the varnish. You'll be better for it. We all will."

Here's a great example.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Purity in Digital Form

Featured on the homepage of YouTube, New Zealand Tourism works with Weta Digital, creators of the digital effects for Lord of the Rings, now working on Prince Caspian, the second movie in the Chronicles of Narnia, to promote the beautiful island of New Zealand for 24-hours. The campaign has gone global in 2007.

An awesome effects company is presenting the island of New Zealand, but everyday it is represented in its purest form -- that no digital animation could capture or re-create. If you have a great product, it shouldn't be hard to sell.

But having Peter Jackson on your side doesn't hurt (if you can afford it).

Saturday, September 15, 2007

'Times' Are Changing

What is the future of the newspaper? The New York Times sponsored a luncheon at Kansas State University on Thursday to discuss this, or so I thought. The luncheon was a part of a series for the JMC Mentoring Program at K-State. Susan Edgerley, assistant managing editor for the New York Times, and Steve Wolgast, news design editor for the New York Times, both K-State alum, were the speakers.

First, they showed a YouTube video of "Web 2.0 ... The Machine is Us/ing Us", done by Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Kansas State, Michael Wesch. Not only does he make an incredibly accurate video, Wesch is also a great teacher. I have not yet had the privilege to be in any of his classes, but I hear nothing but high praise from current and past students. My friend, who is currently in his Intro to Cultural Anthropology course, is required to learn 20 student's names in the class; they have to get to know each other via Facebook. Some don't have Facebook (crazy, I know), so they have to register just for the project/quiz.

The Web is changing, obviously. The New York Times pointed out that it's changing their job and their readers. Susan and Steve poignantly used an allegory of the farmer and the lily pad. The farmer goes out to his pond and sees a lily. He thinks nothing of it. A few days pass, and he comes back to the pond. Now there are a few more lily pads. He decides that he needs to get something to remove the lily pads. But he doesn't get around to it. A week goes by, and he comes back to the pond. It's completely filled with lily pads. He didn't act quickly, so now his pond is covered with lily pads. They said we need to recognize the pace of how quickly things are changing. Not only do we need to recognize this, but we need to react.

Next, they showed a video of a young woman (probably in her twenties) who was very connected to her laptop computer and cell phone. During the interview, she was on the couch with her computer, and the cell phone was on the armrest. She's so physically dependant on technology that she adamantly expressed how it's her life, she couldn't live without it. The young woman looked as if she were going to burst into tears at the thought. The New York Times' job, they say, is to find out how to get someone who doesn't read traditional newspaper to read it. But they didn't say how they're going about it.

The speakers often referred to what the New York Times is doing to keep up with technology. "The Lede", a popular blog from the Times' sources, is "something you wouldn't have seen on even a year ago", said Susan Edgerley. She and Steve told us about when most of the subway flooded -- they (the New York Times) were there. The radio didn't have anything yet, not even the MTA site had any information on alternatives or information of what exactly was going on. This is when the readers became reporters, with their comments on the blog(s). With the blogs come links to other sites unaffiliated with the New York Times, linking to sites they can't edit. The Times expects the average person to understand their inability to moderate the Internet. It's common sense.

"We have to do it all. We can do it all" said Susan. They showed a user photograph from of lightning striking at the perfect time during a thunderstorm. Other pictures and video they have to be careful with. They verify the user's credibility by talking to them and getting the story. It can be through a thirty-minute conversation on the phone if need be. The blog comments are also moderated by the staff, though never edited. It either stays or goes.

When it was time for Q & A, Tom Palmer, Jr., reporter for the Boston Globe, asked about what the New York Times is doing to show various viewpoints, as it is widely know as a liberal paper. Susan and Steve said that their online editorials give a concentrated effort that all sides are represented. A student asked how the Web is affecting advertising. Susan said, "Web advertising is growing huge, but it's only this big [small percentage]". There is exponential potential, but tiny revenue.

For the most part, we learned what the New York Times is doing to keep up with a rapidly changing business. During discussion at the table with the people I met and during the presentation, there were hints of how print will remain. The tactile importance and simple ingenuity of escaping from the world until you release your captivated eyes from it keeps us wanting more.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

новая кофейня

Translation: The New Coffee House

Starbucks opened its doors last Thursday in a Russian mega mall in Khimki (pop. 180,000), about 45 minutes away from Moscow. The mall has 10,000 outlet stores; you know it gets some good foot traffic. As the country's first Starbucks, it will be a suitable fit to warm them up, especially during the extremely cold, long winter months. This is the first of probably thousands to come. But Starbucks is taking their time.

For now, only one more is planned in Moscow by the end of the year. "This is an important step for the company, and we are looking forward to being a part of every day life for Russians," says Cliff Burrows, President of Starbucks Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Hopefully they'll give the Russians a break with free Wi-Fi, but I doubt it.

(via MSNBC)
(Translation via Babelfish)

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Philips Seduces Viewers

Philips has begun an international campaign for the Aurea, a Flat LCD HDTV that projects ROY G BIV onto your wall. It's much more than that, though. The Aurea is endless visual pleasure. The experience is like tripping on acid -- without the acid. The sad news: currently, it's only available in Europe.

DDB concepted the idea of a short film, directed by Wong Kar Wai, which can be seen on the Web and in stores. You are given the option to keep the "Ambilight On" or "Ambilight Off" to compare and contrast. A beautiful musical score, by Mark Slater and members of the London Symphony orchestra, labeled as the "Aurea Soundtrack", may also be downloaded on the Web site, created by Tribal DDB.

Most of the advertising will be television-based, by DDB Amsterdam, showing the brilliant, upgraded feature with a 60-second spot. Vincent Peters, fashion photographer, shot the print.

Philips is also staying ahead by partnering with Swarovski, a world-famous crystal and jewelry company. They're launching the Philips-Swarovski Active Crystals collection.

Rudy Provoost, Philips CEO, says it's a "fusion of function and fashion." Philips is targeting the female touch. "It's kind of bringing Philips 'sense and simplicity' with style and seduction" (Shiny).

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

C-K Selected to Steer Porsche

No, this isn't a charity event where celebrity Calvin Klein drives a Porsche in a Race to Save the Whales. (Though, that would be an important cause.) I'm talking about Cramer-Krasselt, an independently owned and managed advertising agency, headquartered in Chicago.

Out of three other agencies, including incumbent Carmichael Lynch, Porsche North America has finally and decidedly chosen Cramer-Krasselt to head the creative and media duties. David Pryor, Porsche svp, marketing, said, "Their team very quickly showed a tremendous passion and understanding of our business and developed a compelling, evolutionary expression of our brand." (Adweek). From the great work CL has done for Porsche, I'm really interested in seeing Porsche evolve.

And they've done so just in time for the release of the 2009 Porsche Panamera, a new four-door sedan hybrid with a V-8 engine. "Carmichael Lynch, according to Pryor, will continue to work on a 'significant project' for the company through the first quarter of next year"(Adweek). Porsche spent $25 million on the account with CL, but the upcoming year is an estimated $40 million.

Starbucks Goes Wi-Fi with iTunes

The iPod touch was released today by Steve Jobs. It's really thin and can play your favorite movies, YouTube, Cover Flow, and you can hop on the Internet with the Safari Web browser. The iPod nano also has received a big face lift with a new design, new colors, a larger display with video, Cover Flow, and enhanced interface.

But now Apple has joined with Starbucks, so the iPod touch user will be able to download the music that is playing in the coffee shop. No more asking the barista what the tune before last was while you were in the bathroom.

Now you can download it with their free wireless connection. Until the release of this news, Starbucks Wi-Fi has only been available to T-Mobile users, and it wasn't free.

According to Apple, New York and Seattle Starbucks should have it integrated sometime next month. The San Francisco area should get it in November. Next year, Los Angeles should have it in February and Chicago in March.

The new iPod touch doesn't have that much memory. There's an 8 GB and a 16GB, in comparison to the 160 GB possibility for the iPod Classic. This should be enough for your duration at Starbucks to watch a movie and listen to some tunes on the walk back home.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Something to chew on.

That's the new tagline for the KSU Ad Club this year. I am priviliged to be the Vice President with the voluntary duties of maintaining a blog, inviting guest speakers, and creating a campaign. We're all really looking forward to what the future holds. Below are the posters created for the ad lovers on campus.

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