Monday, December 21, 2009

Monday Morning Musing

I saw this on 20x200. It's a great little website with lots photographs for sale.
It reminded me of this WK video... I posted it a while back.
Failing, falling, f'ing up sucks.
But learning and feeling smarter because of it is perfect beauty.

Friday, December 18, 2009

GAP - Baby it's Cold Outside.

I have been a bit obsessed with the song 'Baby it's Cold outside' lately. Especially the Dean Martin version. It's a cross between charm and 'taking advantage of the situation', so to speak... Oh Dean, you and that Rat Pack certainly had alot of charm.

There are a few brands that do 'christmas' well.
For those who read this on the regular... you can imagine that I believe the green-circled coffee proveyor does a bang up job.

But the other mass-brand that does a great job is the GAP.
Delightful multi-page magazine pull out ads, quirky celebrity musicals featuring their oh-so fun stripey, bold sweaters.

I really like that GAP has stayed pretty true to its original advertising roots... there has been lots of opportunities over the last decade when they weren't the darling of khakis to switch it up and forge a new path. There has been alot of criticims about their advertising being more about style than substance. But the work they do does deliver an experience and it actually makes me feel something positive about their brand, and the season. They make no apologies for going big in a fun way.

One other non-Christmas spot from the GAP that I loved is this Audrey Hepburn+AC/DC spot form a few years back. click here to watch.

And on a GAP side note - read about their SPRIZE loyalty program here. Pretty amazing way to encourage incremental spend, frequency and loyalty. click here to read.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Phat Branding Poster.... aka Christmas Pressie??

Using no ink whatsoever, these 18"x24" posters are foil stamped and embossed to create an alphabet composed of letters from many of the more famous (and some infamous) logos of all time. Printed in two different colorways, you have the choice of silver foil on black paper or gold foil on cream, both stocks are 100 lb. French Pop-Tone and include the artist's signature on back.

Numbers are limited to 500 prints of each color

Order here from THE BEST PART

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

How You Tube can make money.

a very expensive, but uber cool digital media buy.

Click Here

Product Placement Mad Men style... now pour me a scotch

"Believe me, somewhere in the business, this has happened before"

- Roger Sterling, Mad Men season 3

I just read a nice little article about product placement on Mad Men, the AMC series hit about the origianl Madison Avenue ad execs of the 60s. (read article here) One might think that their product placement was limited to just smokes and booze. I don't know if it's a matter of ethics or a matter of time, but neither of these devious vices are ever called by name brand... but there are certainly others who get the spotlight on the hour long program. Hilton, Gillette and John Deere to name a few.

It got me to thinking about product placement. Starbucks never paid for it.... maybe that has changed, but that was the case when I was on watch. I am Sam, Shrek, Sex in the City.... they all had Starbucks product placement. Anywhere from the cup to the actual cafe, and Starbucks didn't pay a dime. Why? Well, it was authentic to the pop-culture landscape and to the story itself. No other 'Central Perk' would do, it had to be Starbucks or the story didn't feel right. Recently however, they have paid for positioning on a morning show called none other than Morning Joe on MSNBC.

Starbucks is in a unique position because its a daily lifestyle brand, meaning it can more easily fit into a story authentically. Other products like Clearasil, Dr. Pepper etc. need to work a little harder, and pay a little more to even be considered for placement. In the era of TiVO, Hulu and the like, where traditional 30second advertising is getting tossed by the way-side its critical for brands to get creative about sharing their story. Brands message either evolves or dies (so says Darwin and the girl who stepped back into advertising).

A few stats to chew on from the Canadian Business article:

  • 2006-2007 product placement in mass media grew 33.7%
  • 2007 -2008 product placement in mass media grew 39%
  • In 2008, $3.6billion was spent onproduct placement.
  • The last season of American Idol featured 4,636 instaces of product placement.

My Two Cents:

I think the only value American Idol has provided in its last 7 or 8 seasons is its incredibly creative product placement. They have provided Coke and Ford some great out-TiVoing opportunities).

For the Record....John Deere was never consulted on this product placement:

Lululemon usurps Vanoc

Lululemon TXS: LLL just introduced a line up of athletic gear thematically marketed around the Vancouver/Whistler 2010 Olympics. They are not official sponsors, but they delicately hugged the global event by calling their line up:

"Cool Sporting Event That Takes Place in British Columbia Between 2009 & 2011 Edition" (read CBC article here)

Brilliant move. Until this announcement, they were pushed into a corner by other offical and un-official partners. Bucking the Vanoc trend is certainly in fashion, and not just with clothing retailers. Unoffical banks, thrwarted tel-cos and the like have been try to get in on the Olympic movement.

I have been trying, without much luck, to get our ad agency to do a "you've been Van-oc'd spoof". The regulations around branding and badging have been so tight that its making it hard for marketers to play with the games in any capacity. The Hudson's Bay Company has the exclusive rights. And some how Aritzia got their fingers in the pie too... Chip must have been pissed about that. No Namaste for the wicked (I have heard rumours of gentleman's quarrel between Brian Hill and Chip Wilson for years).

Good for Lulu for coming out with a tongue and cheek approach. Roots did a similar one with their alignment with Right to Play and Mastercard a few weeks back. Root had the rights to the Olympics up until Beijing and then lost it for Canada, kept if for the US Olympic team and just lost the US business to Ralph Lauren.

This certainly won't be the last of the Vanoc bucking trend. But I must say, I do love a little competition.... but question to be answered is whether this is fair play or poor sportsman ship?

Clicker here for their Flickr pics of the merchandise

Monday, December 7, 2009

Starbucks (RED) and a good viral story.

What does a whole bunch of strangers singing the Beatle "Love" have to do with coffee?
Nothing!! that's why I love it.
I love when a brand focuses so acutely on emotion and experience....
and when one does, and does it well, this is what you get.

BTW - it does have something to do with coffee. 10-15% of Starbucks coffee comes from Africa. AIDs in Africa is a rampant disease. By helping to provide relief for victims of AIDs, they help make a healthier community, and a healthier community makes from a vibrant country, and a country that is vibrant, contributes positively to their continent, the globe and more important back to the healthy people that live within its boarders. Its kind of a good news viral story.

perfect integration - LG's Give it a Ponder

Seriously, this is brilliant.
I have been holding back on posting lately because I have been rethinking how I want to leverage this blog... more to come on that late.
But this from LG is pure brilliance because:
  1. It found a fun insight, owned it and exploited it for all of its humour. Similar to a drinking and driving awareness campaign, this LG found something they could stand for, something that felt cellphone company agnostic and by advertising for the category this way - they actually expand their universe of influence and relevance become the text message experts.
  2. Seamless integration of social media
  3. Its target relevant. They knew their target and went for it. Target was probably 18years old... not 18-35....I can't say it enough. Know your Target people and be laser focused on them.
watch one of the many videos/commercials here and below:

Friday, December 4, 2009

Fashionble PR pop-up stunt by Holt Renfrew

This week in the westend strip of King West, which is home to Toronto's ad agency alley and oyster shucking hipsters with too much money, Holt Renfrew, Canada's leading luxury retailer set up a temporary boutique shop in the sales center of Fashion House condominiums.
What it is.... its an aesthetically-pleasing, well-curated sampling of gorgeous HR merchandise. It felt like a Barney's Co-Op and Anthropology experience. Expensive high-end merchandise was on display, open and touchable. It was a wonderful sampling experience and great way to show case affordable luxuries in real life situations - and bring them to the masses. The lunch hour lurk was in full force. I fell in love with raspberry headphones and Philip Lim sunglasses.
Pop-Ups are not new thing. They are fantastic way to build up a brands experience by giving it more liscense to curate and target in a more dramatic fashion.... and it gets a heck of alot of PR. In 2009, Ikea created one in the furniture district to launch their new catalog. My favourite is when Target had taken over a few neighbourhood bodegas in New York to display their limited edition designer series. Read more about that here.
Its the PR aspect that intreges me. I love how the untraditional is what gets this thing off the ground. I received an email about the event (because I am on their email list), there are wild posting posters all around the neighbourhood, plus the pop-up is street level, on a very pedestrian busy downtown street.... a street with no banker or brokers, so there is a bit more license to have time to browse.
And read more about Holt Renfrew's pop-up here: Fashion Magazine's article. (photos courtesy of this same article)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

She-Wolf by Chester French

I wrote about Chester French a while back... and most recently I have developed a bit of an obsession with Shakira's She-Wolf song.
And while googling the video on YouTube, look what I found - a Chester French cover of it.
Pretty funny.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

BMW crushes two cars in the world's worst parking job.

A week ago 1.5 million people saw a bmw crush two other cars. One of the guys in my office noticed one of the cars was a Hyundai. Hyundai is our client. They suggested they act quickly and test what could happen if they reacted positively, and quickly to the situation.
Watch for yourself. What do you think?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Carry On - 2010 Calendar design idea

Keep Calm and Carry On has been the design blogosphere poster darling for 2008, 2009 and it looks like 2010 will be no different.

These adorable poster/calendars are designed by little brown pen.

Like this poster? Buy the PDF from Etsy by clicking here. Added bonus... you can print, and reprint to your heart's delight.

Idea Paint - Brainstorm every inch of a room

Admittedly I am one of those home decor people who painted a bedroom door with black chalkboard paint. A bit passe now that I see this bit of a brilliance.
Idea Paint is downright genius. Right up there with giant post-it notes.
Imagine a whole room, wall, hallway, painted with this stuff to create a writeable, wipe-able white board. Its is genuinely a high-performance product.

Read the Fast Company article here.
Check out Idea Paints very cool website here.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Face Detective - Dopplegangers beware

A very funny, talented writer friend of mine has a keen eye for finding the familiar in the unexpected.

She is none other than the FACE DETECTIVE. ( )
Although I didn't post them here, she also has an obsession with mouse-faces....

Enjoy sleuthing... its amazing.

Pretty as a Polaroid Picture

Designer Jung Hwa Jin has created the Polaroid Flower Vase, a small planter that recalls the nostalgic form of polaroid, with the plant becoming the focus of the "picture." The planter is suspended with a clothespin on the end of a cord, with a small embedded lamp illuminating its subject.

source: here

Crispin Porter Bogusky

It is likely because I think Alex Bogusky and I might make a sweet match that I really like their new agency website.

Smart. Interactive. Engaging.
Non-traditional use of what is now a Traditional medium.
(Yes that's right TRADITIONAL!!! its not new lug-heads).

Good stuff CPB.

Try it out here.

Pantone 2010 - what are the season's hottest colors?

I would like this job. I'd be quite good at going to the ends of the earth to sus out colors, and assinging themes to them.

That's exactly what the Pantone folks do as part of their annual Pantone Color Insitute.

This season's new colors:
Aurora Coming on the heels of Pantone's 2009 color of the year "mimosa yellow," Aurora is a yellow tinted with green that gives off a burst of energy.

Tomato purée This season's classic red can be paired with turquoise, another Pantone hot hue, for a retro look.

Eucalyptus For the ever-practical, Pantone says this hue is cool and classic. To pump it up a bit, throw on some bright shoes and grab a vibrant handbag.

Read Fortune Mag's article.

Read here to learn more about what Pantone is and how it came to be.

Kanye's mini movie "We were once a Fairytale"

Those of you who read my posts know I have a bit of a Kanye obsession. Yeah, okay, the TS incident wasn't cool. Get over it, he went too far, that's what he does. Love it or leave it.

Since then Kanye has been less than vocal, but this week a 11 minute collaboration with Spike Jonze hit the internet. Its a tragic story that straddles a booze filled reality and hallucingic delusion.

I am not sure what all of the drunkness ego blasting embarrassment is about in the beginnng... is it about his insecurities? is it about how blinded one gets to other's when one is only concerned about themselfs in that moment? What is the stabbing about? is it punishing himself, or trying to cleanse himself? And that dramatic moment with his animal spirit (which I loved.... that interaction with just two of them could've been the whole thing and still as powerful). But what was that moment about? It was a rebirth and a death at the same time. Was it like having a lamb that died for your sins? I have more questions than answers, but what I do believe is that its a very personal film in that whether or not it reflects the personal insights or struggles of Mr. West or Mr. Jonze, or me or you, it stirs something morbid and vulnerable inside of us. There is something really confusing and really real about it at the same time.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Running in Video Games

I grew up playing Nintendo, and all of the Super Marios... and playing Sega Genesis and Sonic the Hedge Hog.

Add both of those into a blender with a pair of Nike shoes and this is what you'll get.

Nike Free Run Supernatural from Joseph Cartman on Vimeo.

p.s. love that Nike does some rad non-30second TV spot regulated creations. Brilliant... what do they know about media that everyone else doesn't?

Friday, September 25, 2009

There is still no cure for AIDS

This is my first broadcast project in 7 years!
Its the creative work of Kevin and Matej at Bensimon Byrne. The music is from The XX. Its an all around creative and inspiring video with an important message - AIDS is still a big problem; how long will it take to make it stop?

I am proud of it. What do you think?

Why does music make you happy?

While you think of your answer... take a gander and let me know if this makes you as happy as it makes me.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Happy Weekend

Oh, The Temptation from Steve V on Vimeo.

Have you ever heard of the psychology experiment about willpower, where a professor would give kids one marshmallow and tell them that if they waited to eat it until he got back, they could have two? The New Yorker ran a great story about it, and now this hilarious video shows kids having the same struggles. Oh, the temptation!

(Video by Steve V, via Swiss-miss and article from Cup of Jo)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Toronto International Film Fest 2009

I love film, and I love TIFF.
so far I have seen 10 films this year.

Here they are in no particular order:
1. Precious
Unbelievable story. Emotionally violent. Incredibly moving. Thumbs up.

2. The Road
Kind of like the Blindness. Very post apocalyptic. Hard to watch at some moments. Gorgeously shot, masterful cadence.

3. Capitalism: A love Story
I am done with Michael Moore documentaries. Same formula. Interesting, but barely.

4. Bright Star
Period piece. I felt like I had damn socks the whole time.

5. Machotaildrop
Skateboard cult movie meets Lord of the Rings. I walked out half way through and didn't look back.

6. The last days of Emma Black
Dark comedy. Interesting character development. Dutch film.

7. Schmatta: Rags to Riches to Rags
Documentary about textile industry, primarily focused on NYC. Good story, I benefited from seeing Capitalism earlier in the day... alot of similarities.\

8. Turtle: The incredible Journey
I thought I would leave halfway through, but stuck with it. Gorgeously shot doc about Sea Turtles. I love Nature.

9. The Damned United
Football fans unite in history of the a beloved coach... nice film. well acted. Thanks Bell for the tickets.

10: Coco Channel and Ivan Stravinsky
okay.... haven't see it yet, but I will see it on Saturday.

11: The House of Branching Love
Very quirky loveable story of jealous. A finnish Film.

What I want to see:
1. Good Hair
A documentary, narrated by Chris Rock about African American hair rituals, beliefs.

2. White Stripes under great northern lights.
Jack and Meg White's 2007 Canadian tour, documented. Amazing!!! must see.

And every other film.....


WWF - world wildlife foundation - in collaboration with DDB Brasil created this campaign.
Watch the TV and read another article here.

My POV is that unless one is doing a 'lest we forget' ad about 9/11, the holocaust, Tiananmen Square, Columbine....that those terrible tragedies shouldn't be used as a reference or belittle to tell a bigger or different story.

The Tsunami was terrible; was it more terrible than 9/11?No, it was different.

There are 1000 creative ways to tell the impact of the Tsunami, the force of mother nature, the importance of respect for both of those without having to crutch it against another tragedy.

I think its a cheap and lazy potshot.

Fantasy Fish Food

I am on a diet.

I know no one is supposed to tell anybody that, but I am. I gained 3kg over the past year and I am not pleased. So I am trying to eat more salad. And while eating salad today I came across this picture. Its part of a larger series of fast food picture... its an attempt to make the 'tempting' not so tempting.
More can be seen here.

I chose this picture because I am a F-FoF, a Friend of the Filet o Fish. And although my beet salad is delish... the taste of that american cheese, the tartar sauce, fluffy white bread... even this photo can't deter me.

Its a small but mighty group. A friend of mine who used to work on McD's advertising told me all about the crazy nutty subculture that is the F-FoF. So I was thrilled when they finally gave us F-FoFs our very own commercial.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Fangtasia - True Blood

I am obsessed with True Blood.
This opening sequence is so hot, it kills.
It makes almost anyone become a fangbanger.

I need HBO so that I don't have to wait for DVD releases.
I love LaFayette"s character, but Vampire Eric is where its at (even in spite of this creepy video).

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A whole Lolla' love.

Lollapalooza this weekend in Chicago!

I am excited for Kings of Leon.
I am pumped for Gomez to sing this song.
I am gonna dance all night to this DJ. LARiots
And I couldn't be more excited to be reunited with my Copenhagen besties, The Killers.

This is the 3rd time I get to celebrate summer, music and my favourite city.
I think this go around will be channeling Glastonbury (calling for thunder showers), thankfully I have some super functional adorable Marc Jacobs wellies, and a camera (Canon G10) that I can count on.

Coke + Pepsi - somethings never change

A case for consistency... read more here.
Click here for more coke related blogging.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

information IS beautiful

You know how in every issue of FastCompany there is a gorgeously art-directed chart of information that demonstrates information in such a pleasing way that you don't even realize you are learning statistics.

This guy doesn't do them, I don't think, but he could. Check out this link.
The chart below is relationship between the monster and how much the movie made.

Tuesday is the best day to Twitter... but who cares?

read here for more about twitter usage.

Sunday, August 2, 2009


"I am your biggest fan. I will follow you until you love me."
- Lady Gaga

I know I need to stop with the videos and actually write - but this one is a gem.
She amazes me. Her creativity, her strength and fearlessness.
She'd probably freak or kiss me on the mouth, but I think she's the very madonna-esque in her ability to not give a shit and come up with even crazier shit and pull it off.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Olympics - Celebrate Humanity

You know how sometimes you feel like you need a good cry or a loud shout or a spontaneous fireworks display in your soul. Or that time when you want to feel connected to well, feeling.
You know how sometimes you just want to surround yourself with possibility and greatness.

That's how I was feeling 5 minutes ago. So, I decided to watch some Olympic anthems...notice I didn't call them ads. These transcend, these connect. These don't have a limited time offer.

Celebrate Humanity.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Post It

While everyone else is talking about United Break Guitars , a cute little diddy about well, breaking guitars.

I thought I would share something that puts a different kind of smile on your face, its a perfect expression of imagination, coupled with the Roykstopp music, I think its genius.

Happy Friday.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Happy Birthday to my biggest younger brother. 
I love you. 
Happy 30th. 

May the next 30, and 30 beyond that, be happy and healthy.

I love this picture. Its a photo of a photo of Spencer (in the foreground). He is playing Nintendo. I love how he and his friends are glued to the screen.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Chester French - June 9th London, England

I am in London. 
I get to see these rad dudes tonight for a $8. Two Harvard graduates with big music ambitions. 

They are Star Trak's newest prodigy. See video below for why Pharrell signed 'em up.

Chester French's website.
Chester French MySpace.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Let there be Light

I have a friend who, in addition to his day job of saving lives, has decided to renew his passion for photojournalism.  His first assignment 300 photos of light. I am kind of jealous I don't have this assignment. Sound super rad... and super daunting.

In my attempt to figure out what I would do, I went to flickr and to contact photography for inspiration... and then I went to Shanghoon .

Shang and I played basketball together. He's got game, I don't.  But I do make dinner, so we're friends. He is also an award winning, ultra talented photographer.  I thought I'd pull a few of his pieces that remind us that photography born out of a lightbox, but in Shang's case, a very sophisticated lightbox...

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Was your coffee loved as a bean?

This was the headline from Wieden + Kennedy's Starbucks brand campaign.

If it is the truth in advertising that lures you to love a product - this headline was cupid's arrow. It never really did make it to market. Its a shame, I always thought it was perfect.  click here for a link to the photographer's website.

I have worked at and with Starbucks for over 7 years. Friday was my last day. (BTW, voluntarily... I feel in these times its important to call that out.) It has been an amazing journey.  I have learned a great deal. It was the cheapest MBA I ever could've received. 

It truly is a people company serving coffee.
Thank you.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Happy Weekend - Leroy Smith

Check out NIKE's tribute to Michael Jordan's induction to the Basketball Hall of Fame.
click here for the microsite.

Here are few pics from their wallpaper collection... love 'em.

click here for ESPN's article.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Internet Killed the Video Star - Thursday

Chuck D. Public Enemy. Watch. Amazement.

click here to watch the On the Real with Chuck D series. Brilliant. 

Perfect Happiness

I have found bliss with the Shift house.
In this month's  House and Home magazine they feature is this incredible modern gem of a cabin. Designed by Toronto based firm Superkul, this gorgeous home in Parry Sound reminds me of my favourite place on the West Coast. (Pete... I need to visit!!)

My lifelong dream is a cabin.  And this might just be my dream come true. Perfect in every way, except that it isn't mine. and the owners will likely shoo me away if I go poking around.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

download bars used to be so last season...

I have seen the download bar used in so many terrible ads. An icon of the internet, the download bar has been wallpapered across anything from cable internet to well, telephone internet. Ever so cliched and expected.

But these... well, these are the best I have seen using the download bar.  And a little TnA never hurts to sex up would could be a boring execution. But its a smart idea. Its clever. Cyber geeks and their fashionista housewives now something to talk about.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Happy Weekend

Spring is here and so is my Dad. He's visiting Yeah Daddy-O.

click here for more work by this artist