24 December, 2008

From the Intern Sweatshop: A Holiday Haiku

Okay, this holiday haiku was a lot more pertinent for our needy intern two weeks ago when she wrote it, but we haven't seen her since then, and it's still the holiday season, so we figured, why not? Sorry this so late. Heather, you may still have to sell that toe.

--Captain Awesome

The countdown has begun to the holiday crunch time: two weeks till Kwanzaa, 12 days till Christmas Eve, and 10 days till Chanukah. This time of year brings out the chaos in us all. There are holiday parties to go to, malls to conquer, traveling traffic to sit in and bank accounts to be drained. It’s always stressful coming up with the perfect gift for those who matter most.

However, I have learned the nicest, most personal gifts are those that come straight from the heart. Heartfelt and honest is always the best approach, which is why I am dedicating a poem to my parents for the holiday season.

Fridayish Haiku: Holiday Handout

You know that they say,
Better to give than receive –
Please send me money.

Happy Holidays!
Love your daughter the intern,
Cash or check is fine.

--Heather Knapp, Broke Creative Department Intern

From the Intern Sweatshop: A Holiday HaikuSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Happy Holidays

We're about out for the holly-daze, and lord knows our brains are already here. So in the spirit of holiday togetherness and sharing, here's a cross-post link to an article I put out at my night gig at the Baltimore Sun's b.

Because everyone with young children can attest to this. And everyone with older ones are reaping what they've sown.

Think about that as you light candles and tear at gift wrap, friends.

Stay safe. Stay warm. And we'll see you next year.

Happy HolidaysSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

19 December, 2008

Ad Haiku: Holiday Cards

Every shop toils over them. And by toil, we mean arguing about tactics and fist-fighting over snowflake placement. If you were one of the folks who received ours (below), just know that blood was shed in channeling the 1980s to bring you holiday salutations.

(click photo to enhance holiday spirit)

In a stroke of brilliance (or is it brilliant ambivalence?), The Denver Egotist has eschewed the typical approval process by providing a fine collection of holiday card possibilities and putting the whole matter up for a reader vote.

Tough decisions. I'm going to beer bong a few cups of eggnog and pick whichever design looks best when viewed from the floor.

Here's wishing you a
Happy Something-or-other,
Merry What-have-you

Previously in the Friday 5-7-5: Agency Breakfasts

Ad Haiku: Holiday CardsSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

18 December, 2008

The 9 Most Inappropriate Soundtrack Choices of All Time

Sorry I've been a little out of the blogging loop, but a busy December/November in the office, combined with staying up until 2 a.m. most nights preparing a grad school thesis has left me little time for "non-billable" work, as the person who hands me my paycheck says. But I came across this article from Cracked.com one night when my brain had given up on my thesis for the evening:

Examples include protest songs for capitalism and and Iggy Pop pitching for FTD florists.

I agree with them all, except Timbuk 3's The Future's so Bright I gotta Wear Shades. Maybe the video is an allusion to the terror of the Nuclear Age, but never in my life did I think any lyrics to that song were talking about how the entire world would be nuked by the end of the 80s.

NOTE: There's no shocking imagery on this post, but the language on Cracked gets pretty blue, so keep that in mind when sharing this with your children or church group. But that's good advice for anything that contains a picture of Iggy Pop. Enjoy.

--Captain Awesome, Copywriter

The 9 Most Inappropriate Soundtrack Choices of All TimeSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

17 December, 2008

FPO, Charlie Brown!

I'm a sullen and unapproachable guy around the holidays. No real reason for it. It's not like I saw my family get shanked by a Salvation Army Santa when I was 10 or anything like that. It's just a reflective time. Maybe that's why the broadcast airing of A Charlie Brown Christmas has always been appointment viewing for me, even in this time of DVR and online video.

As far as Christmas specials go, it's pretty melancholy. Hell, it's damn-right depressing. But there's something in Charlie Brown that I think many of us have in ourselves this time of year. Slate did a great article dissecting the allure of ACBC. It helped me put the holiday in perspective, and I recommend it.

But before you go, check out the personal blog for Angela Natividad (of AdRants fame). She turned me on to an ad agency spoof of ACBC. Suddenly, my seasonal disposition isn't so surly. Video below:

Find more videos like this on AdGabber

FPO, Charlie Brown!SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

15 December, 2008

Intern Sweatshop: We'll Wish You a Morbid Christmas & a Scanty New Year

Credit Crunch Christmas Cards have become a bestseller in the UK this season by wishing everyone a “Great Depression” and a “Hungry New Year.” Andrew Shaffer designed a line of holiday cards with Depression-era pictures in an effort to poke fun at the financial crisis we’re facing today.

The photographs include a woman burning presents to keep warm, two children excited to eat a squirrel instead of a rat for their holiday dinner, men only able to afford soup, having to stand in a bread line, and selling children for money. Shaffer explains, "I wanted to contrast today's financial crisis with the Great Depression to show that things are not as bad as people believe."

These cards have become an instant sensation, which goes to show that laughter may be the best remedy for getting through these harder times. So go ahead and order your own at www.depressingtimes.com today. I’ll be sure to send my family and friends holiday cards that tell them to “Hold onto their hats, the worst is yet to come”…I’ll just need to sell my left big toe on the black market to pay for the shipping.
--Heather Knapp, Creative Dept. Intern

Intern Sweatshop: We'll Wish You a Morbid Christmas & a Scanty New YearSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

13 December, 2008

Ad Monologue: The Great White Hope.

I've just seen another ad for the Aquos TV by Sharp. You know, the one with ultra-white astrophysicist Gerard Fasel who walks on screen and tells us we should by these TVs. Because he's an astrophysicist.

My God, that guy is white.

Audience: How white is he?

He's so white, when the commercial fades to black, I still see an imprint of him on my screen. It's like getting sales pitched by a super nova.

He looks like he operates an Ikea in heaven.

He's the only human being whose skin tone contains every color of the light spectrum. His body temperature is 5600 degrees Kelvin. (Holla, photography geeks!)

He looks like the love child of an albino and a blizzard.

It's a good thing the TV's picture is big, clear and easy to see because I'm going to have cataracts by the time this campaign finally wraps.

Vaudevillian piano riff. Exit stage left to polite, scattered applause.

Ad Monologue: The Great White Hope.SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

11 December, 2008


Political affiliations aside, and I'm not really sure how this relates to advertising, but I just had post this. I have no idea what is going on here or why I now have to own one, because I voted for Nader. But I think we can all agree: Congratulations. Good luck. And now can we steer the Obama train back to Sanityville?

If you'd prefer the train kept rolling, you can check out more Art of Obama here.

And for other fine art featuring Noam Chomsky and Harrison Ford, click here.

--Captain Awesome, Copywriter

Obam-huh?SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

10 December, 2008

Storin' Ain't Easy

Heard on the Twitter wire:

Not a totally new idea - we've been storing stuff in Baltimore like this for years.

I'm not sure if this guy's for real, but his site is so funny, I don't think it really matters. A call to the number forwarded me to a non-descript voice mail, so who knows. The fact that it's a :60 makes me think it's a fake - can't imagine they could afford the TV buy, even on cable.

You know what? I'm not going to question it anymore. I'm going to simply let it live on in my heart and mind, marinating in a salty brine of hilarious awesomeness. It could be real. Like Santa Claus and social security after 2050.

Update: Commercial's for a sketch-comedy site. Sigh.

Storin' Ain't EasySocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

05 December, 2008

The Friday Ad Haiku: Agency Breakfasts

The first Friday of every month we have an agency-wide meeting in the morning to review recent work, review finances, and gorge ourselves on free baked goods. It's a bittersweet experience; the glutton in me loves manhandling a chocolate eclair, but the creative in me sometimes walks out feeling a little less than sure of himself after seeing phenomenal work. Work that I didn't work on.

I find those Fridays are typically some of my most productive days. Nothing cuts through a coffeecake coma like the fear of going into another month without something balls-to-the-wall impressive to show off. Something that makes someone else afraid next month. And motivated.

The cycle of creative fear goes round and round.

Like a honey-glazed doughnut.

Someone else paid for
breakfast. But remember: there
are no free lunches.

Previously in the Friday 5-7-5:
Writer's Block

The Friday Ad Haiku: Agency BreakfastsSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

02 December, 2008

The internet is personal again.

I am no expert in social media. I know some things about Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin, but I personally refuse to join in on the party. What good does having thousands of online friends do? "Well that's the point Jason, it's for keeping up with people you've lost touch with," my wife claims.

"I lost touch with them for a reason!" I say. "I don't care to keep in touch with them!" (Sorry to those of you out there this might apply to.)

McDermott recently attended a seminar on technology and social media, and one of the nuggets he shared really struck a chord with me. He said, "Social Media and online networking is making interaction with your clients much more personal and one on one. Gone are the days of shotgun advertising."

Wait. I always thought the rise of the internet and its effects on globalization is the reason we have lost personal connection in the first place. I mean, have you experienced customer support lately?

If I have to wait another hour to talk to "Jack" from India, only to get disconnected, I'm going to have a stroke. I yearn for the days when customer service was friendly and personal.

But, McDermott insists these new tools can bring that back. It can help us relate to clients, keep our finger on the pulse of their consumers, and even network with new potential clients.

When the internet and social media was first introduced it was a novelty (Electronic mail? Neat!). It quickly evolved into an unbridled information-attack, constantly feeding us videos of people getting hit in the privates, porn, and junk mail.

Further evolution has brought us networking tools that create a precision that was formerly non-existent when dealing with the Web. These tools enable us to track consumer opinion, react and up sell to the newest trends, and build more relationships in real time, from the comfort of our own desk. This kind of personal service and real time information gathering can pay big dividends in the ad world.

Now I'll never condone spending hours Facebook stalking (sorry Mrs. Stern) or using Facebook to help you stalk. But, maybe I will consider building my professional network online.

I mean, it can't hurt right?

--Jason Stern, Project Manager

The internet is personal again.SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
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