Live Long, And Prosper

Star Trek logo over LondonThis is super cool. Quadcopters rose in the sky over London last weekend and formed the Star Trek logo. It’s a bit hard to see it in the picture and the video but the idea is brilliant. The execution needs work but the idea is brilliant. You can probably do this with old-fashioned fireworks or you could also do a guerilla-style installation with projections on important buildings. As Mikey would say, “It’s good! I like it!”

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Nice Sphinx-er

Check out this new ad from Netflix. I have a no puppets and no clowns rule in advertising but I’m willing to rethink it based on this ad. Not only is it funny and engaging but it shows a good use case for the product. I can’t find anything about who produced it but I think it’s great.

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What’s Wrong With Football? It’s Not The Refs.

football with flamesI’ve been a football fan since I was a kid. I love it, but what’s going on now is ridiculous. No, it’s not the referees that are ridiculous. Those folks are doing the best they can in a bad situation. The problem I have is with the coaches (many of them, anyway). Football is SUPPOSED to be about sportsmanship. Most of the coaches are seeing that they can get an advantage by intimidating the refs and pushing the players to play dirty. Their ethics are astonishingly bad, and the league should be ashamed of itself for letting this go on.

Belichick should be fined. The Harbaugh brothers need to shut up And Pete Carroll? Sorry to you USC alums out there but the only reason that man is coaching in the NFL is because he cares more about himself than the players and he had to get out before the sanctions were imposed. And shame on ESPN for allowing Jon Gruden to go on and on about how bad last night’s game was. When he was coaching, he was a master at

stomping along the sidelines and screaming foul when one of his players stubbed a toe but he pushed his players to play dirty. Mike McCarthy deserves a big, fat THANK YOU for bringing his players back to defend the final point. That’s sportsmanship.

Those of you who know me well know that I have thing about ethics. I believe the only way society gets better is if we all raise ourselves up just a little bit. Professional sports is America’s currency in the world. There is no leadership in the NFL right now, and those of us who are fans need to stand up and start howling for what’s right. Let’s reward the people who are in the game for the love of the game. In my book, those folks are the sub refs who are doing the best they can. Roger Goodell, and all the networks that broadcast the games, need to show some leadership now.

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Yes, I am a crabby old man

Banksy ImageAh, the elusive artist is at it again. This time, he’s ranting against advertising and how it’s fine to deface advertising because it assaults us day and night. I love art and I love most artists but artists who just want to create controversy for controversy’s sake are wasting as much time as people who create bad advertising. Who is Banksy anyway? Is he Mr. Brainwash? Is he really an artist? “Exit Through The Gift Shop” was a good movie but I just don’t know about the “artist” himself. I guess I think art has to be aesthetically pleasing to be “art.” What do you think? I found this post on Adverve.

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Re-Civilized or Uncivilized?

Nivea ad

Twitter is a-titter about a new campaign from Nivea. I think Draft fcb did it but I’m not certain. The overall campaign’s theme is “Look like you give a damn” so we know, up front, it’s going to court controversy (the Christian right doesn’t like it when people day “damn.” Damn.). The campaign shows a black man about to throw an afro-clad head far, far away. There is a version with a white guy who looks like he’s going to throw a Jesus head but apparently what irks people is that the headline on the ad with the black man is “re-civilize yourself”. So it’s clear Nivea and its agency wanted to get “earned impressions” by being controversial but it’s bad for the brand in the long run. Unlike the successful Old Spice campaign “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like”, this one is getting press by harkening back to a dark time in this country’s past. Dumb, dumb.

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Talk To The Hand


Wowa! Or I guess that’s “Lady Wowza” to you. There’s a new campaign just out from Summer’s Eve which uses a hand to represent a va-jay-jay. Fifty bucks says there were more men than women involved in the development of the concept. All kinds of groups are up in arms because the ad that targets Hispanics features a leopard thong and the ad that features an African American hand is a little too “gurlfriend” for some people’s tastes. I think it’s actually a great idea for communicating a difficult subject to promote on TV but the execution is flawed. Yes, they definitely pandered to ethnic and racial stereotypes. They could have done something simple, like the talking heads from Anthem, and it would have been much funnier and more effective. If the adage that any press is good press is true then these folks have a winner. Adweek thinks it’s a great improvement over last year’s campaign, which had the message that if you douche more you earn more. Like I said, wowsa!

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Wowsa, That’s A Lotta Budget

It appears David & Goliath are acting more like Goliath than David with this :60 TV spot, which supposedly will run during the Superbowl. Wow, all that money to advertise a $19,000 car. The visuals are interesting but I have to say I think they could have done more with sound design. The animation of Poseidon is terrific. The aliens don’t look fierce enough or cute enough for me, though. It will be interesting to see if the :60 or the :30 runs during the Superbowl.

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Aaron Sorkin is my hero

Aaron SorkinAaron Sorkin has the backbone to say what I, and perhaps many other people, would like to say but are afraid to say because of the crazy, hunt-you-down-and-kill-you-if-you-don’t-believe-exactly-what-I-believe-conservatives out there. He’s having a tiff with Sarah Palin and, by extension, The Learning Channel which is entertaining to watch. Ms. Palin hunts and kills, quite gleefully, a caribou on her reality show (which airs on The Learning Channel) and Sorkin called her out on it. She snarkily snapped back, via Facebook, and instead of taking the high road, Sorkin let her have it this morning in The Huffington Post. You can read the whole post here. Thank goodness there are people like him around who aren’t afraid to speak their minds. We need more of those people on the lefty side of the political and social spectrum. The righties routinely show that they have the courage to say things that can be perceived to be against the norm. All hail Aaron Sorkin and let’s all hope and pray that the righties don’t take him down!

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TEDx Means Excellent? Extra? Extraneous?

Check out this interesting article in The NY Times about the expansion of the TED brand into local events. Way back in 1998-2001 I worked for two guys (at different times) who used to get invited to TED every year. I was so jealous and I wanted to go. I’d drop hints but neither of them caught on (or ignored them). Richard Saul Wurman, founder of TED, sold the conference to another group in 2001. Then, Al Gore used TED as a platform to hone his presentation about the environment, which eventually became An Inconvenient Truth. Then, TED, got really popular. I still wasn’t invited but by then I decided I didn’t really want to go, because even if you were invited chances were that you would be listening to the luminaries dispense their wisdom not from an auditorium seat mere feet from the speaker, but in a sweaty tent in a separate location via a big screen TV, and you would have paid thousands of dollars to do so.  So, now TED is democratizing its brand by allowing folks around the world to host their own TED conferences. I feel conflicted about this. On one hand, it’s great that so many people are taking the initiative to put their views out there, but on the other hand I think the thing that made TED great was that it was a group of great minds coming together to solve problems. Now it seems like it’s simply a badge of honor to have done a TED presentation. I dunno, maybe I just like exclusive groups from which I’m excluded.

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Replacing My FarmVille Addiction With …

Check out this article about Purina’s foray into the Facebook game world. In a move that may not give Petville a run for its money, Purina is launching a Facebook game where users can take care of their pets in a pet resort. I couldn’t get the beta site to work, but based on the graphics in the image at left it looks like they are trying to copy Petville’s style. I’m sure Zynga is thrilled, especially since they probably tried to get Purina as a sponsor. I’d love to try it out, if they only would let me.

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