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.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Christmas, We Love You the Best

The day we celebrate Christmas is over. We have to wait another year before we go pick out the best looking tree, take out the tinsel, and go over to grandma's house to see relatives we haven't seen since last Christmas. It will be another year before the mass chaos of last-minute shoppers flood the stores at four in the morning and bring you back to reality.

Another thing that brings us back to reality are bad gifts. Barkley believes that every idea has an expiration date. Except bad gift ideas. The agency has created the Bad Gift Emporium where you can share the bad gift(s) you've received over the years with others. If you want to, you can even exchange your bad gifts. I'm not sure specifically if the gifts are solely supposed to be from Christmas, because some don't look it. (If that's the case, I have a terribly awesome salt rock light I may display.)

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Everyone's Invited to Swim

Only the great will make it to the other side.

The annual D&AD Student Awards competition is in full-swing. The British Design and Art Design Award is one of the most coveted and challenging student awards across the pond and around the world.

There's no limit of entries, but they had better be incredible. The best of the best will be grading them. Each entry needs to be signed by your tutor/professor, or you can't enter. Can a 30 year-old grad student enter? You betcha. (Coincidentally, that's the same age as this award.)

Winners receive an oversize pencil whose tree's growth must have been stunted due to the greenhouse effect. But this little stump can be used as a pedestal to reach the next level, or a doorstop to save yourself from having a crushed foot.

The categories are: Advertising, Animation, Furniture Design, Graphic Design, Illustration, Integrated Communication, Music Videos, Open Briefs, Photography, Product Design, Social Design, and What Else Do You Do? Description for the last onereads, "Having already entered one of more of the briefs this year, you are now entitled to now submit an additional piece of work that has nothing to do with this or any other competition..."

Because this blog is about advertising, I will only list the endless possibilities for the Advertising category.

Breastfeeding, Sponsored by Best Beginnings
Press Advertising
Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Sponsored by Breakthrough Breast Cancer
HSBC, Sponsored by ClearChannel
Nando's, Sponsored by Nando's
London Fashion Week, Sponsored by Grazia
If Only I'd Listened More Carefully, Sponsored by Ogilvy
Direct and Online
The Army, Sponsored by TEQUILA\
The Royal Opera House, Sponsored by This Is Real Art
Belu, Sponsored by Weilands

You can't literally drown if you don't win; you only fill your metaphorical lungs up with water and have to be resuscitated by determination. Or you could change majors (quitter). Before you enter, read this. Did you read it? Okay, the briefs are here.

D&AD will accept entries from students from Jan. 14 – March 20, 2008. The grading takes place in May, and the awards ceremony is in June. All of the 'A' work is accessible in June.

Good luck!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy Holidays

Hi, everyone. I really apologize for not updating lately. Finals week was really busy, and now I'm home spending time with family and friends. I will be posting more sometime after Christmas, and I look forward to sharing with you again. Until then, enjoy the merriment and wonder of John Denver and the Muppets "Twelve Days of Christmas". Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Von Maur Does the Right Thing

After the shooting in Omaha, Nebraska's Westroads Mall on Dec. 5, 2007, which claimed nine lives, Von Maur immediately gave their condolences to friends and family of those involved in the incident. The department store chain is based in Davenport, Iowa, about a four-and-a-half-hour drive away. The shooting has been reported to be on the second and third floors of the Von Maur in Omaha. On the same night, Jim Von Maur, CEO of Von Maur, flew in to offer his personal condolences. I'm not going to say this is a 'great move' by Von Maur, because it sounds rude under these circumstances. But it is by far the right thing, and a very kind thing, for Jim Von Maur to do for his patrons and employees.

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