Thursday, December 11, 2008

Internet Killed the Video Star - Thursdays

Me and Hot Neighbour are going to see this guy tonight.
Can't wait.

4 minutes to save the World.

Perhaps if I had one of thes ewatches, it wouldn't have taken me two weeks to post.

Wieden and Kennedy worked on the concept of these watches.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Internet Killed the Video Star Thursday - (RED)

Love this. Love (RED). Love the inspired concept of creative consumerism and aligning something for yourself with something for someone in need. Win Win.
I am trying not to be biased...but I think Starbucks has a winner with this one, if not only because it has the total scope of distribution to deliver this message in a meaningful way daily.
Plus, the GingerSnap Latte is beyond!

Watch the video. Check out JoinRED. And Happy Thanksgiving to our American friends.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Swedish for Common-Sense.

Ikea 4-ever, but not 4 everything.

I love Ikea. I do.
I love the store, the design, the names, the $0.50 hotdogs.

But I bought an expedit book case yesterday and they were short 12 little wooden dowels. Common sense would tell me... put more in there just in case.

Buzz kill. My books are homeless.

Here are some other non-Ikea non-wooden dowel missing cool design options.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Depression 2009: What would it look like?

"The New Depression would be largely invisible because people would experience loss privately, not publicly."

Recession, Depression... it's all so, well, depressing.

But aren't you curious. What does it all mean?

The Boston Globe wrote this article entitled Depression:2009, what would it look like? (thanks to Vicki L for sending) .
It is an incredibly thorough look at the hypothesized outcome. It's a bit of a long read, but worth it.

By way of interest, did you know?

  • early last month, the English bookstore chain Waterstone's reported a 200 percent increase in the sales of books on keeping chickens.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Naked Face or New Christmas Card?

This is a series called Naked Faces.

They look like magical children out of a Narnia fantasy story.

Click here for the artist's website and here for other pics.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

New York Times Magazine article: Multi-Screen Mad Men

Today's NY Times Mag article is a must read for anybody in the ad/marketing/branding/idea machine business.

I feel smart again. I feel inspired again. And I feel that although it may sound complicated, it is simple again.
Lately I feel as though my tires have been spinning 100mph, but in the mud. Getting an idea unstuck and gaining traction has been difficult, and AAA is not picking up.
This article in this week's New York Times Magazine has reminded me that marketing, advertising, entertaining, selling (whatever you want to call it) is at its purest always a creative process...and this is my preach to those in the industry, it does require magic and faith (formulas run out of gas). However, even with a great magic, faith-a-plenty idea, the mediums by which it is delivered has suffered from a lack of creativity. When delivered through relevant little layers, selectfully targetted, but all born from the same idea, a beautiful symphony takes place. People feel inspired through the discovery of a message, and one that feels like it has just come along at the perfect time for 'you'.

I also liked the collaborative idea generation that took place as the panel was each delivered a 'problem' to 'solve'.
I love my job, but it's refreshing to find moments that expand your thinking beyond your day to day. I so desperately needed tobe remembered that we can market and speak differently, and this article helped cleared the cob-webs.

Related links:
some of their work

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Land of Lotus Awards... and too many drinks.

Another reason why I miss living in Vancouver.
A big congrats to my former alma-matter TBWA/Vancouver for winning best of show.

So simple, perfect and delightful.

Click here to see all of the winners.

And click here to see another fave.

But this one is a tad too similar to this one and not quite as brilliant... which won a Lotus 5 year ago.
(note you have to go into her print section and scroll to find Oasis.)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

OPI'nail polish: Your Villa or Mine.

Is OPI the perfect brand?

1. Product is awesome. good quality, lasts and looks good (even if I do it).
2. Clever catchy names. every season they pick a theme. France, Chicago, Holiday and the names follow suit.

Lincoln Park after Dark
Yes I can-can.
No, I am not really a waitress.
Russian Navy

3. Market lockup (or distribution)
There are currently more than 9,000 day spas and 50,000 mani/pedi places in the United States and 1,300 days spas and approximately 4,000 mani/pedi in Canada, and the number of day spas has grown an average of 20 percent annually for the past eight years.

Rare is the outlet that doesn't have OPI products.

What's more....
Manis and Pedis are a $6 Billion/year industry (US figures).

According to industry data, Americans today spend an average of $200 per person per year on hair care and nail care in salons.

Average price of manicure: $20
Average frequency: 23% of respondants visit a mini of 1 within a 6 month timeframe.
Why they return: cheap, cheerful, affordable luxury (HELLO!!! very recession friendly!!!)

This simple math will make you think about ditching your inventions for the next zipper and start thinking about getting nich on a mass opportunity.

US figure estimation:
50,000 nail shops x approx.100 bottles of colors x go through each color 20x//year = 100,000,000 bottles a year.

estimate that each salon purchases each bottle for approx. $4 wholesale:
$400,000,000 US revenue per year!!! Not including for personal sales.

Amazing Grace!! (that's probably a color...)

Read more by clicking here and here .

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Internet Killed the Video Star

It's Thursday. Check out Kanye's new vid for Heartless.
This was filmed and then animated cell by cell by 65 animators.
He is my favourite artist... but must say, the smoking shocks me a bit.

Heartless from kwest on Vimeo.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Impossible Cool

This site is smart, sharp, simple and just like the title says its The Impossible Cool.

It is filled with slick pics and stunning quotes.

“There is nothing more frightful than imagination without taste.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Internet Killed the Video Star

Yep, its Thursday again.
This is a rap battle with an 19th century Shakespearean-esque voice over.
It's worth watching to the end for the pay off.

Again, thanks Laura.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

one percent

99% wrong can be overshadowed by the 1% that is right.
It just all depends on where that 1% comes from.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Bangin' Bond.

I love the pic with the smoking gun and red background.

She is so fierce. I wish I was this sexy and confident every day.I also wish I was a Bond girl. Which is up there with wishing I was a world-class snowboarder.

Click here for a list of BGs

Click here for more photography from Miles Aldrige.

Click here to read about the next Bond flick, Quantum of Solace.

There are 21 Bond films and the franchise has grossed over $4Billion USD. Adjusting for inflation 1965's Thunderball with Sean Connery was the biggest box office success. source

Quantum of Solace opens November 14th and will be the 22nd installment.

And for the record, Denise Richards was the lamest BG ever. A real Bond Girl doesn't have her own reality television show later in life.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

I love Sundays in 6 sentences.

I have a head cold today. It's likely because I have been travelling too much and eating too many mini Mars bars.

Outside the sun is shining and it's a crisp fall day. Inside I plan on making a Thai coconut curry and feeling optmistic about the week.

It is very special week personally and for the globe. There is an American election, I have 300 emails to get through and a trip to Los Angeles to look forward to.

THIS IS A DRAFT submission... I am going to work through a series of 6 sentences and will post to that site when when it feels right.

Friday, October 31, 2008


Happy Halloween.
Love this hat and love the other cool things Atypyk designs.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Internet Killed the Video Star

I haven't been posting all week because of my New Orleans trip.
or rather my new love affair with NOLA has kept me otherwise occupied.

This gets right to the heart of the importance of music in this community, and globally.
If you like what you see visit for more.


It has been more than 3 years since Hurricane Katrina. I just got bad from a week's trip. I saw the good the bad and the ugly.

The United States of America has never been more ignorant or blind to their own in justice.

People are still living in FEMA trailors, neighbourhoods are still abandoned, people have abandoned their homes or have had them taken away. People are homeless and heartbroken. New Orleans, Louisiana still need a lot of help. Years and billions of dollars of help.

These spray paints on the walls are badges of honour and for some heartbreaking reminders:

North quadrant is the date the house was checked.

East quadrant is code for hazards.

South quandrant is for the number of bodies they found in the house. Sometimes you'll see the death count for house pets.

West is the unit/squad that did the search.

Posters with a Purpose

I love simple, smart and clear cause advertising.

check out

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Fantasy, Function, Status, Anxiety

There four words are what non-branded American Apparel founder Dov Sharney thinks fashion is about. Conde Nast's Portfolio Magazine has a pretty incredible article about his vision, his willy-wonka-esque hyper-sexed behaviour. The article is entitled Barely Legal - click here to read.

Article highlights:
  • uses the word masturbate 5 times (he once masturbated in front of reporter)
  • he has 6 employees living with him, and he has them call him daddy.
  • he is a staunch supporter of illegal immigrant (or un-papered) workers
He grosses me out. He calls others selfish, but he is all about himself.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Internet Killed the Video Star

It's Thursday, all day.
Here is today's video... I think it goes well with yesterday's Old Spice post.

and a good follow up:

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Truth will set you Free.

An account planner I know was writing the bad ad for dealer promoted used cars. Essentially these are super great cars, all detailed, have warranties etc. and are now totally obtainable and being sold on the dealer lot alongside new cars.

Here are the two 'inspiring lines' what he came up with for the Bad Ad:

  • Champagne Tastes on a Beer Budget.

  • The hot girl in high-school is now in her mid thirties and a single mother.

The second one made me laugh out loud... but is it because it's super funny, or because (you never know) it may be my fate one day (although I would need to be in my mid 30s and have a kid). The truth hurts, but is bloody funny.

Men, Man, Manly, Magnificent

I am a sucker for a nice smelling guy. It's likely a throw back to high school dances when Drakkar Noir was the in fragrance. Mmmmm.

And, I am loving the new Old Spice campaign. Honestly, Douggie Howser and LL Cool J in the same campaign!!! Kitchy, Cheesy, Funny...Viral.

From a viral component, they have created this SwaggerizeMe application which takes the campaign to the next level. Apparently it helps build our on-line profile. I saw the ad on Kanye's Blog...good targetting. (I still haven't received my email from them yet... perhaps being swagger-y means not returning emails)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Wink ;)

My intention is not to get all political on yo' asses. But with so much good material these days its hard to not call out the little gems that are getting me through my day.

I wish my PR firm provided me with such a fool proof (fool?) debate plan.

Internet Killed the Video Star

It's Thursday.
I had another video scheduled for today. But this one came in last minute...hopefully you can see why I picked it.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Being in the Red is the new Green

Dear Ms. May,

Your performance at the Canadian leadership debates was impressive. You were articulate, well researched, tenacious and not obnoxious. I have a soft spot for the Green in the Green Party, I wasn't too sure about you. I am also not too sure why you will continue to try to win your riding when Peter McKay (likely Harper's successor) beat you to a pulp.

That being said, I am sorry that your party did not win a single seat in yesterday's Canadian election. I know you tried hard. Just curious though, how does a party get themselves $2MM in debt? Is that a normal process? Is this our tax payers money or funds you raised? Either way how are you going to account for the crappy ROI measures. Perhaps you faired better than your counter parts with respect to spend, but they have at least one bum in one seat. I have been trying to find other stats on campaign spend, but its pretty burried. hmm. suspicious all around.

On a side note, or perhaps completely related: don't you love this Chanel Bike?? Totally unaffordable at $12,000...but certainly Green.

Monday, October 13, 2008


I recently bought Bohemian Modern, a cool book about a pretty interesting neighbourhood called Silver Lake. I have heard its like LA's Williamsberg NY.

In addition to almost packing my camera and buying a ticket to California, it made me think about the immerging 'modern' class structure.

The Bourgeois Bohemian.


The Creative Class

There are two quick, but interesting reads I would suggest perusing. One from The Guardian about the BoBo(Bourgeois Bohemian) and the is a Fast Company Q+A interview ofRichard Florida, author of the book Flight of the Creative Class.

I think philosophically they are talking about similar concepts. Where the Creative Class concept speaks to gathering places and how people are attracted to each other in unique, environments. Organic or inorganic the liberal minded are seeaking each other out. The BoBo profile is more in wardly motivated and self-expressive, but motivated by the same cultural and creatively defining motivation.

Quote from BoBo article:

Combining the free-spirited, artistic rebelliousness of the bohemian beatnik or
hippie with the worldly ambitions of their bourgeois corporate forefathers, the
Bobo is a comfortable contortion of caring capitalism. 'It's not about making
money,' writes Brooks, 'it's about doing something you love. Life should be an
extended hobby. It's all about working for a company as cool as you are.' '

A quote from the Creative Class article:

It's been happening since the dawn of human civilization, people realizing
amazing productivity and creativity gains when they agglomerate. What my work
tries to do is link this phenomenon to specific demographic indicators and
economic trends.

Friday, October 10, 2008


I HEART Vancouver, Chicago and Paris.

I also HEART the idea of city branding. I am a rookie in this subject matter, but I plan to be an expert after I read this 145 page thesis on the subject. (seriously, I am going to read and provide a book report).

I HEART NYC is the first example of city branding that comes to my mind. I like it because its simple, clean, emotional and still fun.

It was commissioned in 1977, by William S. Doyle, the Deputy of the New York State Department of Commerce. He hired advertising agency Wells Rich Greene to develop a marketing campaign for New York State. Doyle also recruited Milton Glacer, a graphic designer, to work on the campaign, and created the design based on Wells Rich Greene's advertising campaign. Something they thought would only last a few short months has become a badge of recognition, honour and spoofing.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Internet Killed the Video Star

Starting today, every Thursday, I will be adding videos that I think are share-worthy to the column.

I am calling it 'Internet Killed the Video Star"... or IKTVS Thursdays.

This is a video of a super ninja-like Russian climber. Amazing.

Special note: Thanks to Lo for the inspiration and Rob for showing me this the first vid.
I love the MC Solaar track.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Big Easy

I am going to New Orleans for a conference.
I am so excited to experience and feel the city.
It strikes me as a place full of emotion.
Banksy thinks so too.
These are his pics, read about him here and here.

click on the pictures for a bigger view. All photos are from Banksy's website.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Brains in Advertising

Here are two very cool ads, for two very cool brands.
But, the catch is they seem to be derived from the same 'central nervous system' concept.

They came from the same ad agency, Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam. I love all things WK, but this coincidence is a tad to coincidental for me. Was the CD on vacation that week? I think these are a both a tad too similar in concept, albeint different in execution.


Here is the first one:

Click on the image it will take you to a site to view it.

And now the second:

Here are my thoughts, aside from the whole same agency brain concept similarity:

I always love Nike ads. It is truly the only true brand I am loyal too. However.... Coke Zero's 'jabba the hut' brain, eyeball and tongue ads have a soap opera quality about them that truly engages. I like their stories, their personalities... its all around great and it really carves out a new identify for this Coke product. Nike takes great creative leaps and its great to see that WK is able to do the same, and succeed for Coke Zero.

Monday, October 6, 2008


I was at two weddings this weekend. One very casual (camp chic), one very formal. Both were fantatic. But I have to say there is nothing quite like a sharp dressed man.

Fashion flexing was abound at the Saturday night wedding: narrow lapels, tie clips, skinny and fat ties, slim trousers. I loved ever second of it.

You see, I work in an office where golf shirts and khaki pants are the norm and the pink shirt is considered fashion forward, so hopefully you can appreciate my enthusiams for the 'styled' gentlemen last evening.

For more fun inspiration check out GQs Trad and True (traditional and true...that too me a bit to figure out). And for a daily dose of fashion fun visit The Sartorialist.

p.s. That's a cord suit in the top picture. Daring, but certainly dapper.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The F word is worth $63 million.

I have never been a big Louis Vuitton fan.

I never understood the aesthetic appeal. Brown and Gold aren't really that beautiful or inspiring. Although, truth be told, I do now have an itch for an LV fix in the form of a big carry-on bag. (I don't wear big brands, but I suppose if I were to, I'd scream it out loud).

But why haven't I loved it in the past?
Despite the colors, it is the overwhelming anxiety of people whispering 'is it real or is it fake?'. Let it be said there is nothing fake about me. And this past Christmas, when my brother received an LV emblazoned basketball, I knew they had 'jumped the knock-off shark'.

I have to give a big high five to LV for standing their ground and holding eBay accountable for slowing chipping away at the LV brand value. Recently LVMH (the parent company) sued and won $63MM from eBay because they felt eBay was supporting, by not interfering, the sale of knock-off goods. However, the on-line commerce site is appealing, as quoted in this CNN article:

"Today's ruling is not about counterfeits. Today's ruling is about an attempt by LVMH to protect uncompetitive commercial practices at the expense of consumer choice and the livelihood of law-abiding sellers that eBay empowers every day."

Is it the end of free enterprise and the start of uncompetitive practices? or is it the essence of the brand taking a stand and saying... stop adding milk, we like it strong.

p.s. poster comes from come on... send me one : )

Saturday, October 4, 2008


"It makes you laugh, make you cry, makes you wanna change your life.
And these are 3 reasons I'll be rapping 'till I die.
I am a hip hop fanatic,
microphone addict, its my purpose on the planet and
I just gotta get at
it. "

Introducing T-Train (born and raised on Main).

Friday, October 3, 2008

Salt and Pepper my Mango

She is so cool.
She is one of Kanye's FreshKids and one of Marc Jacob's muses.

She is an articulate outspoken, politically savvy artist and certainly a thought leader.

M.I.A., born Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam, makes great music and is now designing a clothing line and record label called NEET. Besides spelling TEEN backwards, it stands for Not In Education, Employment or Training. Essentially, if a Teen drops out, she'll sign 'em her new prodigy Rye Rye. I am still a bit confused about it...but I'll go with it.

She has a style and brand all unto herself, just like this pretty crazy video that showcases her wares. Its out there, but so are most fantastic artists.

Also check out her interview on the Hour for more about her story

photo: marc jacobs collection

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Black Album

In an incredible effort to mobilize the young African American vote Jay-Z is doing free concerts in Detroit and Miami for adults who register for the democratic party.

In an election where every vote and state counts its fascinating to see how surgerical the tactics are becoming. According to an article in the Washington Post Florida can be won if Obama increases black turnout by 23 percent over 2004 turnout. Same opportunity presents itself for Michigan, another swing state.


I love when a smart plan comes together.

design by:Deroy Peraza

ESP Update

Three timely updates.

Honestly, what kind of energy are the Mills Chronicles sending out into the blosophere?

Steve Jobs vs. __________

There is alot to like about Apple.

They likely already had the shuffle developed, when they launched the first iPod. They also revolutionalized the music industry by selling the music and owning the hardware. That's just smart, cool and a great business model. (note: interesting iTunes update oct 2)

But that isn't the only story that is changing MBA text books. Steve Jobs had intestinal cancer and continued to be Apple's CEO. The ability for Apple to continue to grow in his absence has been called into question by investors, which has its board of directors putting out rumours while trying to balance the books and develop a succession plan.

But can or should business results and investor confidence be tied directly to the ceo's health? and is it Wall Street's business if you are sick and running a company?

Read and let me know your thoughts.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Bill Gates vs. __________

Microsoft reported a 48% comp growth in July. But despite these incredible results PCs (Microsoft) have been taking a mighty beating in the brand wars from the Mac/Apple folks. And maybe it is with due reason, but I will not speak to the pros/cons... I have both and I am equally technically inept on either system. But I am curious about the direction their advertising is taking.

This year Microsoft hired Crispin Porter + Bogusky as their agency of record. They are a fantastic shop, and despite the Jerry Seinfeld spots (which one day I may consider genius, but still baffle me) they kept the gig. In a Fast Company article Alex Bogusky said the ultimate challenge and victory would be to get folks like him (ad folks) to use PCs... but that it is not about putting down one's iPod.

Microsoft/PC just released a new ad. Does it make you proud to be a PC or thrilled to covet your MAC?

Here it the new Microsoft spot:

And here is a Apple/MAC one for reference:

My thoughts:
Good ad. Nice use of 100 seconds of time. And I heart Tony Parker.
But despite the nice little smile I have on my face, Apple still comes out ahead.

What makes this so juicy is that PC didn't seem to have a choice, they had to define themselves through the lens of MAC. Is that a branding faux-pas or a gold medal? I say faux-pas; to win this thumb war PC will need to sing loud and proud off their own song sheet.

I am curious to see what comes next for PC, they have perhaps painted themselves into their own corner with this one.

...I am no expert on the art of wars. But this reminds me of some good 'ol Cola War ads.

p.s. as a follow up check out this Ad Age article. oct 03/08

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Monday, September 29, 2008

We 3 Kings.

It is almost my birthday so please allow my indulgence.

Here are a few of my favourite choice dudes.

Click on them to read why.