31 December, 2009

Blogcat Goldthwait

At the Confessional, we like to keep track of how many visitors we get per day, where in the world our traffic comes from, what sites direct people here (that's how we found out we're the 69th most popular advertising blog in the UK), if we're still big in Japan (we're not), that sort of thing.

Well, just yesterday we picked up a little traffic from www.blogged.com/topics/bobcat-goldthwait. It's a tracker from Blogged that provides links to blogs featuring Bobcat (or Robert Francis) Goldthwait. Now, I was posting about pro-animal research advertising, and I only mentioned Bobcat Goldthwait because of a special he hosted, and because I love the movie Hot to Trot (Bobcat, Virginia Madsen, Dabney Coleman, the voices of John Candy and Burgess Meredith). I also saw a couple links from other bloggers, like Emma Brooks, Make the Logo Bigger and Where's My Jetpack, who seem to think we're the cat's pajamas. What's wrong with them?

But it goes to show you that you never know who might be reading. We've actually earned a few clients who found out about Renegade by reading our blog. Today, Bobcat Godlthwait fans. Tomorrow, IBM. Who knows?

Anyway, I felt this was a completely awkward way to end a great year at the confessional. I'll leave it to Matt (currently on vacation) to give you all our year in review after the holiday.

My resolution for next year: swear around the office more. I've had two coworkers tell me I don't curse enough. They must not be around me on deadline. That's probably for the best.

Happy %*&^ New Year. Bring on 2010!

Blogcat GoldthwaitSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

30 December, 2009

The 12 Days of Christmas--from PNC Bank.

Here's a fun little video I'm stealing from a friend's blog, which is okay, because he stole it from PNC Bank. For the past 26 years, PNC Bank has calculated how much the gifts in the "12 Days of Christmas" would cost each year, based on inflation and changes in the market (they actually explain that on this little microsite too). It's pretty cute and actually looks like they spent some money it. Kudos to PNC for shelling out some dough for some holiday cheer and learndings. And they're not my bank spending the money, so I reap double the rewards.

Merry everybody!

--George Convery, Copywriter

The 12 Days of Christmas--from PNC Bank.SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

23 December, 2009

Unfortunate Moments in Hospitality Signage History: Glory Hole

It was a cold evening in December. The Christmas shopping, finished. And the family was hungry.

For brains.

Times when the lights were on, but no one was home: The bowlings are not translationable; van wrap crap; when twitter attacks; restaurant has low self esteem.

Unfortunate Moments in Hospitality Signage History: Glory HoleSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

21 December, 2009

No mulligans.

New York Daily News is inviting people to submit their own Tiger Woods ads. Naturally, male enhancement jokes abound. Here's our submission to the mix:

Think you can do better? Submit here. If you can't, may as well VOTE for ours.

No mulligans.SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

It's beginning to look a lot like McChristmas.

So far, the most impressive light display I've seen this year is a digital rendering of every McDonald's location in the contiguous United States. Little beacons of light, filling our bellies, burning our hearts, and reminding us that, no matter how far away we roam, we'll always be within 145 miles of a Big Mac and/or "the runs".

And really, isn't that what this season is all about?

Other Moments in McHistory: Skimming Latte Lovers from Starbucks; No gold for you; Eat your vegetables, Fatty

It's beginning to look a lot like McChristmas.SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

17 December, 2009

Nothing like an A-hole with B-roll

There's something about b-roll that warms the cockles of my...wherever cockles are located. And not just because our agency also has an in-house production shop. Perhaps it's the joy of watching visual cliche play out at 30 frames/sec. Makes me tingly in my ad parts.

And then, there's this:

Tip of the hat to...ME! for having the brilliant idea to eavesdrop on the link-rich conversations of @jetpacks, @thebeancast, and @zoneviii - and reap the rewards. Administering pat on the back...NOW!

And, in case you were wondering, my favorite B-roll shots:

(photos via here, here, and here)

*Active senior couple looking at sunset: Great for Erectile Dysfunction or mortuary services ads.
*Racially diverse 20-somethings having way-too-good a time just sitting on a couch: Perfect in spots for prescription STD medication or vocational schools.
*Lady sitting in the middle of a park with laptop: If you're advertising online college degrees or a new birth control method, you have this in Standard and Hi-Def.

And yours?

Nothing like an A-hole with B-rollSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

15 December, 2009

You Know Folks are Jumping on the Bangwagon When Leprosy Starts Advertising for Itself

I've been on the lookout for advertising like this ever since I came across those bastards at "Cancer for Christmas."

So when I saw this billboard for "Leprosy" on O'Donnel Street a couple weeks ago, I immediately snapped a grainy picture with a crappy cell phone camera.

Alright, the picture looks like something out of Twister, but the billboard reads, "Ever had Leprosy? Thanks to medical research, you won't." So I did a little research and found a couple more.

Now I'm not here to weigh in on the appropriateness of animal testing, unless it's testing the best tasting barbecue sauce! ZING! What I want to talk about is the conversation.

I recently learned of a growing movement among actual scientists (not lobbyists or simply ignorant idiots) who are against the whole global warming hoopla. Now this is a comparatively small group, but a group nonetheless. And their main gripe is not that global warming isn't happening, their complaint is that scientists who propose evidence that man-made global warming is not destroying our environment--or at least not destroying it to the degree proposed by numerous studies--are essentially blacklisted.

Why? Because as they see it, global warming and what some refer to as the "Green Agenda" is a cash cow for the scientific community, and scientists who oppose the principles of global warming are hurting the scientific community's bottom line. How many projects and studies have been funded to research climate change and its effect on our environment? In a bad economy, this field of study has been keeping many scientists and labs in business. Carbon credits is another huge industry that has sprung up in the past five years. Some economists say it's poised to be the next big speculative market on Wall Street. Without the threat of global warming, this market doesn't even exist.

Now I'm all for preventing global warming. I was celebrating Earth Day when I was 10. Do you remember the 1990 Save the Planet: A CBS/Hard Rock Cafe Special hosted by Bobcat Goldthwait and Katey Segal, where Bobcat Goldthwait sang the Village People's YMCA to the the tune of U2's With or Without You? I do. And if you can find that clip somewhere, please send it to me. I lost my VHS of the show. Besides, you're stupid if you're not doing your part to not totally screw up the environment. I don't have a bar graph or anything, but really, what do you have to lose.

Now these less-than-happy-with-current-global-warming-views scientists may have their own agenda. Perhaps their non-global-warming-related projects aren't being funded because so much money is being invested in studies on climate change. But what I'm saying is these scientists at least deserve to be heard. Whether they're right or wrong, they deserve the opportunity to state their case. And in turn, animal researchers at least deserve to state their case as to why what they do is valid and useful to society, in scientific journals or on billboards. You don't have to agree with them. You can argue back with them. That's the way free speech works. Everyone has the opportunity to say their peace short of spray painting F*** Bank of America on the side of your house, so people on passing commuter trains can read your opinions on the international financial services company. If PETA can put naked protesters in a busy intersection, why can't scientists promote their message on a much more tasteful billboard.

The question then goes to ad agencies, do they want to work for these groups? With small to mid-sized agencies dropping right and left, you may feel your moral compass veering off magnetic north, and I think that's okay. If you vehemently disagree with a cause or if their message is in complete opposition with an important client, by all means, turn down the business. If your biggest client is Nicorette, you probably won't be doing much advertising for Lucky Strikes. But if you only kind of have an opinion on a subject, at least listen to the argument. And if you feel their voice at least deserves to be heard, whether you agree or disagree, do the work and cash the check.

Just because you make commercials for Pepsi, doesn't mean you don't like the taste of Coke. After all, Pepsi sucks. But that doesn't mean people shouldn't be given the option to decide which soda they like better. I'm not saying don't have a moral compass. I'm saying, your job is to help people get their message out. Then let the public decide which message they feel is right. Then there's the question of how good are you and how stupid is the public, but I'll leave that for another post.

Feel free to disagree. I know lots of people who hate me.

--George Convery, Copywriter

You Know Folks are Jumping on the Bangwagon When Leprosy Starts Advertising for ItselfSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

14 December, 2009

Tiny bubbles and marketing baubles

Had the pleasure of paneling on The BeanCast last night with a great group of dudes including marketing powerhouse Joseph Jaffe, AD/blogger pimp-daddy extraordinaire Bill Green, socialmesiter Aaron Strout, and host with the most Bob Knorpp.

Topics ran the gamut, from personalized search to Super Bowl ads.

It was a hell of a time, so if you don't already subscribe to The Bean Cast, get your arse over to iTunes or pick it up directly here.

One of the topics that got me riled up during the show was the hubbub over the spot Method pulled after complaints. Take a look if you haven't seen it already:

Method: Shiny Suds from Kreatif360 on Vimeo.

On the show, I defended the creative and lamented the fact that, once again, a brand has bowed down to a vocal minority's pissing and moaning - a handful of bloggers lambasted the spot for being misogynistic while the more zealous (read: bat-scat insane) ones went as far as to insist that it supports rape. (AdRants' Steve Hall got a taste of how scary Crazy can get.)

Listen, the spot did exactly what it was created to do: cut through clutter while eliciting an emotional response to the idea of scummy chemical residues lurking long after they're first sprayed. Without brand context, I thought it was brilliant. If you aren't making something that scares the hell out of someone, than you aren't doing your job.

The bigger concern here should be, does this kind of advertising mesh with Method's brand? They're innovative, but not necessarily edgy. And certainly not seditious. Jaffe made a good point in the podcast - the spot may have been on brief, but was it on brand? If anything, perhaps the spot shouldn't have been made at all - not for Method anyway. But to take it down after the fact paints the brand as timid. There's no room for timid.

Wear a cup.

Other moments in Cry Baby History: Bunched knickers over Snickers.

Tiny bubbles and marketing baublesSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

10 December, 2009

Big, fat data-chomping heifers

A University of California, San Diego study reveals the average American consumes upwards of 34 Gigabytes of data each day. I'm proud to say I take in information with the same glazed-eyed, gluttonous zeal as the lady who parks her Rascal in front of the beef station at the Golden Corral.

One of the more interesting tidbits from the study: A solid 60 percent of our total media consumption is still TV, print, and radio. Suck it, Zuckerberg.

More here. Less here. And if you're expecting to spend some extra time in the bathroom, the report itself here.

Big, fat data-chomping heifersSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

04 December, 2009

Intern Sweatshop: Friday Ad Haiku: The King's Comeback

It's late on a Friday, and I'm just getting to posting the haiku our intern wrote a week ago. Somebody's trying to show me up. And I can't do anything about it, because she isn't even taking this internship for credit. Goodie-goodie. But seriously, this is probably the most well-researched haiku I've ever read. And I'm still creeped out by it. Enjoy. -Captain Awesome

For people who grew up in the 90s, Burger King was a McDonald’s wannabe that, for some bizarre reason, didn’t even have a Burger King as their mascot. It wasn’t until 2003 that Burger King’s current advertising agency, Crispin Porter + Bogusky (CP+B), re-introduced the public to the creepy smile of the invasive, sneaking King.

The King hadn’t always been such a creep. Back before the 80s, Burger King had a different sort of king—a friendly, benign cartoon character outfitted with his own entourage of knights (Sir Shakes-a-Lot) and royalty (The Duke of Doubt). Cute, yes, but terribly average.

Then the revolution came—the BK Kids Club Gang dethroned the King, in a (in my opinion) failed attempt to rival McDonald’s gang of clowns, burglars and ducks. Do you remember them? I barely do.

As unmemorable as the BK Kids Club Gang was (Why a club AND a gang? To attract both nerds and gangsters?), all those years with this group of kids only paved the way to the King’s resurrection from the grave. And he has returned to power with a vengeance, creeping into people’s homes and work areas, sneaking upon them unawares, presenting them with a Whopper made just for them.

Our new King basically took a glance at Ronald McDonald, who was only borderline creepy, and said, “Bump being kid-friendly!” And ever since, he’s been terribly successful. He’s just so gosh-darned creepy that you can’t help but pay attention and remember.

So for your Friday haiku: The Burger King

Wake up with the King
Watching tenderly. You won't

Forget him. Ever.

- Hannah Cheng, His Majesty's Creative Intern

Intern Sweatshop: Friday Ad Haiku: The King's ComebackSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

03 December, 2009

Deep Thoughts from an IT Professional

In reference to reloading our account director, Kory's windows profile.

"By definition, all surgery is invasive, but there's a difference between lancing a mole and removing an appendix."

--Matt Troxler

Deep Thoughts from an IT ProfessionalSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

01 December, 2009

Twitter Billboard: When Social Media Attacks

It seemed like a solid concept: A news station in Alabama decided to pipe their Twitter feed into their electronic billboard to update passersby with their latest stories of the day. Can't disagree with the intention.

After all, social media works best when it's a part of a coordinated marketing effort that includes a mix of tactics. New media and traditional go well together. Like new beer and old wine. That's good, right?

The station makes a living breaking brand-spanking news. And they figured, Twitter's great at doing that.

Unfortunately, it's also great at biting the unwitting in the ass publicly:

No one ever suspects the smiling, clean-cut, racially harmonic news anchor team next door.

Kinda reminds you of those old contextual ad horror stories (that still happen).

Other ad fails: Van Wrap F-Up; Bowling doesn't translate well.

Twitter Billboard: When Social Media AttacksSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
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