Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday Music Finds! Joshua Radin - Under A Street Light

The first (and probably last) time I saw Joshua Radin in concert, I sang along so aggressively that he had to stop mid-song to ask me, politely, to shut the hell up. Fair 'nuff I guess, people weren't paying to see some drunk girl singing tunelessly (and I'm being kind to myself).

Aaaaaanyway, needless to say that I'm extremely well acquainted with all his music, almost to the point of boredom, so I'm psyched to see he's come out with something new. Here you have it folks:

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Laughing baby is making my morning

This kid is going to have the ladies wrapped around his little finger, I can see it already.



The video makes me laugh everytime I watch it. Pure, unadulterated joy is contagious.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

New Media & The Importance of Content/Experience

Now is the time, if they haven't already, for marketers to start experimenting with mobile and social to find what works best for their organizations. They must remember however, that whatever they do to experiment should be a relevant, positive user experience, because if they can't provide that then its better to provide no experience at all.
Source: Flowtown
Let's break it down. Here's what we know already:

  1. The mobile-social-digital trifecta is the new black, and all brands want to be wearing it, so to speak.
  2. The consumers are all over these new media platforms, which offer up the ability to connect with them more often, more deeply and more consistently.
  3. Marketing gurus are taking the position that these are, or will soon become, the cornerstone of any great, integrated, marketing plan.
  4. There is the belief that these platforms offer early adopter brands the chance to make their mark, either by proving themselves to be progressive, or possibly gaining consumer loyalty
  5. The platforms are so new, and so complex, that they require specialty , dedicated marketing technology companies, which in turn are springing up everywhere, and claiming themselves to be the "experts" in these new media

Essentially, the general reigning wisdom is, either get on board, or get left behind. Naturally, this has led to brands and marketers alike scrambling to understand, utilize, and "own" these platforms.(see here for a insightful post on who "owns" mobile). But in the manic rush to jump on the bandwagon, two of the most critical pieces are often overlooked or compromised - content and experience.

When placing ads on social media, mobile or digital, brands need to be aware that these media are not the same as other traditional forms of media. This in turn is going to impact not only consumer expectation, but also content delivery on behalf of the brands. How?

1) These media are more personal:
For the consumer who is never far from his phone, and who uses social networks to connect with friends and family, these spaces are sacred and private. He will will be more sensitive to the content that he receives here, and is more likely to feel that your presence is an intrusion. For him, personalization and relevance are high priorities on these platforms, and he expects his brands to stay cognizant of that fact. Branded content should not detract or distract from his interaction with these media. Rather, if his brands truly 'get it' they will use these platforms to either build the media experience, or the brand experience.

2) These media are more dynamic:
Consumers know that technology has reached new levels of sophistication, and accordingly, they're demanding bigger and better experiences from their brands. They know that these platforms offer the opportunities for innovative and interactive content, for brands to build experiences and to layer messages, to give the consumer something new, exciting, creative, and engaging. Basically, they know that brands have the option of doing some pretty cool shit, and the boring static banner ad or the annoying floating ad just isn't going to fly anymore. For our tech-savvy consumers, these platforms should be used to their full potential, or not at all.

3) These media are more influential:
Bad creative or bad placement, the consequences of making a mistake on these platforms are going to be far beyond those of a bad TV commercial. Why? Because these are the platforms connecting the consumer to hundreds, sometimes thousands, of other people. If he has a bad experience here, he's well positioned to started talking about it immediately, and have a lot of people hear him. Brands that fail with him here will not escape unscathed.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

On Language and Emotion

I've had a journal for as long as I can remember. Many of my first memories involve using words - loving words, fighting words, funny words, misspoken words (suspenders were 'septembers', human was 'yuman', hippopotamus was 'hittopotamus'), old words, new words, small words, big words. There were words spoken and words written. I remember the satisfaction of learning a new word - a big beautiful word that would roll around my mouth and brain and off my tongue. 

As a writer, language took on new meaning to me. It was, and always will be a playful thing, but it became my outlet and my solace. I found joy in writing the perfect sentence... you know, the one that has all the right words to capture exactly what you mean. Writing became my sole means of expression, and words rescued me from the relentless knot of thoughts in my head.Writing is what first introduced me to the power, beauty, and intricacy of language.

As an advertiser, I'm rediscovering language in a whole new light.I'll admit that when I started working here, I was insanely frustrated by the lengthy and intense debates that ensued over a single word. Round-and-round we'd go, trying to find the right synonym, exploring new words, pulling our dictionaries and thesauruses, trying to find the word that would fit perfectly in that little blank.I didn't understand it. It seemed so unimportant - I mean, who would notice if we used x word instead of y. I sure as hell wouldn't.

But now I get it. These are the tools of our trade. With the right word, the right image and the right sound, we can create the experience that we want for our consumers.We can craft an emotion, a situation, an identity and even a whole new reality if we just use the right elements, in the right combination. It's an artform in it's own right.

To this point, I want to share a video that I found recently. It was created by directors Will Hoffman and Daniel Mercadante, to promote a Radiolab documentary entitled 'Words'. This short film captures not only how many meanings a word can have, but also, the riveting power of these three elements - words, images, and sound. Simple imagery is amplified by a lilting score, a word is visually created and ultimately, an emotion is evoked. This is exactly what a great writer, and a great advertiser, should look to do through their work. 


WORDS from Everynone on Vimeo.

For more videos, visit the site: http://everynone.com/

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The World Is Not Alright

There's no denying that I'm a pessimist through and through, but anyone with a ear to the ground knows that there's a lot of shit wrong in the world today. I'm not talking about Russian radioactive fires, or floods killing hundreds in Pakistan, but about the sheer stupidity of humans. Take a look at a tiny microcosm of what's crossed my desk in the last 24 hours alone.

1) Guy marinades his cat because it was being 'mean' to him:
"A cat named Navarro was rescued Sunday in upstate New York after being found in the trunk of his owner's car, marinating in "a mixture of oil, crushed red peppers, chili pepper and salt," Gawker reports. Gary Korkuc's car was searched after police pulled him over for ignoring a stop sign, and he told them he no longer wanted the cat since it was "possessive, greedy and wasteful." So Korkuc, apparently, was going to eat it."
Who in their right mind would think of EATING their cat because it was "mean"?? Although, I guess since this guy also claimed that this neutered male cat got pregnant, he probably doesn't possess a 'right mind'

I wonder if there will ever be a time when this I can start eating people if they're mean. Takes care of the population problem, and the meanness problem at the same time. Two birds, one stone.


Source: Buffalo News

2) Wycleff Jean running for Haitian presidency:

Yes. We're talking about this guy:



Pray tell, what qualifies the ex-member of the Fugees to run for the President of ANY country, let alone one that has very recently been devastated by natural disaster. Come on Haiti, you don't need the additional problems.

Next thing you know, this guy's going to be running for  U.S. president:



Source: Raw Story

3) Lady goes batshit because for McNuggets:

This is so ridiculous, it borders on unbelievable. And we wonder why Americans are obese...


Source: AOL news 

4) ABC's Bachelor pad:

Didn't find love the first time? Being shot down publicly on national TV once isn't enough for you? Can't find peace without a rose ceremony every week? Then this is the show for you!

Yep, ABC is bringing back all the losers and loser-ettes for another round of embarassment, hooking up, roses and... yes, everyone's favourite dork, Chris Harrison.

Watch the idiots castmates reunite every Monday night in the Bachelor's old time slot. We have all the usual suspects - Jesse, the guitar playing hick who was looking for some free PR, Craig M, the guy who needs to duck to get his hair into the room, and dear old Weatherman, the wimpy looking kid who looks like he's never been with a woman.





5) and finally, China. (Can they do anything right?)

"Food safety officials in China are investigating reports that tainted milk powder has caused baby girls to show signs of breast development."

Enough said. I would draw a funny picture, but babies with boobs is too far.


But to end on a happy note, I present, HIP HOP GRANNY breakin' it down.




Thursday, August 12, 2010

In Review: The Canon PowerShot SD1400

I recently upgraded to a Canon PowerShot SD1400 and I gotta tell ya, it was TOTALLY worth it! Here's why:


1) Size: This sleek little camera is 3.63 x 2.21 x 0.70 in (W x H x D) and comfortably fits in the pocket of even my skinniest skinny jeans. I no longer have to worry about looking like I have a mutant tumor in my thigh or butt, which is always a major major plus.
 






2) Image quality: I own a dSLR as part of my photography arsenal, but lets face it, there's no way that I'm going to tote that clunker around every day without turning into this guy ---------------------------------------->
Anway, with this baby, I can take fantastic pictures on the fly, and it's always around when the urge to start clicking hits.


3) Features: I am head over heels about the neat features on this camera! Hands down, my favourite one is the 'Color Accent' feature, which, with a little menu maneuvering, lets me do what would otherwise require a certain $700 program.

Here's some of the pictures I took while messing around with the camera this weekend:











I've always been a huge fan of Canon cameras (my dSLR is a Canon too), and as usual, this camera delivers on quality and performance. I wish I had more technical knowledge so I could give you a better review, but I'll leave that to the smart folks out there. Besides, lets be honest, 80% of the time this is going to be the camera I take to the bars and try not to drop into my open-bar-beer cup. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Post-it Humor FTW!

This commercial literally made me laugh out loud.



My favourite bit:

Not to get too deep, but I have three observations here:
  1. There's a lot to be said for a brand that doesn't take itself too seriously. You make me laugh, you win big.
  2. Small changes can make a huge difference. 'Just kidding' vs. 'Disclaimer' took me from 'I'm not paying attention' to 'I nearly fell off the treadmill.
  3. Language in advertising is an oft looked over issue that can take a good ad to great.