Archive for the ‘trends’ Category

endings+beginnings

March 22, 2010

3 brilliant spots.

Each makes a different point about beginnings and endings.

The first celebrates the end of a soldier’s tour of duty. I love how honest and simple the execution is.

The next is the perfect sequel ending to one of the most popular viral videos ever.

And the last sparked imitators world wide because–in a brilliant twist–the ending is the beginning. (Stay to the end, it’s worth it.)

All three  spots move me in different ways. Two of them cost almost nothing to produce. They inspire by strong writing and unexpected twists.

Flannery O’Connor once said “Beginnings+endings are critical moments . . . the shorter the narrative, the more important their function and their import.” These short ads make the most of both.

I hope they start something in you.

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sounds like genius

February 22, 2010

First, a confession. I’ve always been a sucker for radio.

You supply the story, the audience supplies the pictures. Now that’s interactive. Plus, compared to print and television, radio is inexpensive to produce. $500 for an award-winning spot? That’s how much my first clio winner cost.

Turns out, audio is even more powerful that we thought. Two recent articles reveal how aural persuasion taps our unconscious.


In this week’s Time magazine,  Martin Lindstrom, author of the best seller “Buyology”, hooked up participants to neoro-sensors. He discovered that some sounds zap right past our thinking brains and compel us in primal ways. Irresistable forces.

The New York Times magazine looks at how the top two contenders for Best Picture, “Hurt Locker” and “Avatar”, both use sound to create entirely new worlds. The lush jungles of Pandora and the dry, still world of bomb defusers — would either movie be as effective without their world of sound? Not likely.

How are you using sound to change minds?

our favorite un-app

December 2, 2009

We love how, when everyone’s going in one direction, someone chooses to head in the other.

Like this spot for the Florida Keys. Simple. Memorable.

What’s your favorite twist?

live it out

November 25, 2009

Whether you’re talking business or personal style, standing out takes balls. And the ballsiest person I know is 88 year old Iris Apfel. Iris is outrageous, down to earth, and can count herself among the ranks of art geniuses.

Her medium?  Clothes.

Don’t laugh. Art museums around the country are showing her work, including NY’s Met and the Peabody Essex Museum. Last month we promoted her extraordinary exhibit on radio.

Now, meet Iris…

“Live it out!” Iris tells us. It’s true in life as well as business. The first question to ask is: Do you have the guts to be truly distinctive? All it takes is some balls and maybe a boa.

our favorite ‘lil ad this week

July 6, 2009

Hold onto your karma and meditate on this ad for Bayer Asprin. Your inner analgesic awaits.

Bayerwoman

Smart or misguided? Is Bayer stretching gracefully or plain clumsy on their yoga mats.  Let us know!

reverse the suck

June 26, 2009

“I try to think of things that suck.” That’s what inventor David Levy says—he helped to create the PowerBook. In other words, confront the problem—that which sucks—head on. Then use it for the basis of your solution.

powerbook_g4

When Henry Ford went into the car business, the typical factory floor was peppered with workstations and folks mulling around. Toes were stepped on, coffee spilt, and time wasted. So Henry, efficient man that he was, thought to bring the work to the people. He invented the assembly line and carpel tunnel.

Model_T_clean

Even the Middle Ages had it’s share of “aha” moments. During the Black Plague, it wasn’t always easy to tell who was holding on to dear life and who was actually dead. Huge issue here when folks started being buried alive. So, one clever soul stood up and said “Hey, let’s make sure people are dead before we bury them!”  A cheer rose from the crowd and they began systematically driving stakes through the coffins. From that day forward, no one was buried alive. 

coffin_~coffin_c

So, what’s the worst thing you’re dealing with right now? Turn it around, stick a stake through it, and be willing to look at it in an entirely new way. It works, cross my beating heart.

begin with personality

June 23, 2009

We gave a session on brand personality and writing at the 2009 North America Promax/BDA conference last week.

The conference was terrific and our morning session was SRO for the second time in as many years. Think the a.m. crowds were hoping for free cappuccinos? Note to conference committee, next year larger room and Barista. Nary a tomato was thrown. In fact, the crowd wanted more. Actually they wanted a link. So, due to popular demand and the bing of our blog here are some highlights.

Part one.

Picture 10

In the future, everyone will have balls.

We will have them. You will have them.

By balls, we mean personality. First, a quick question. Do you have a personality?

Please watch the following.

Did you find either one funny? Phew. You do have a personality.

Personality is what makes us distinct. It’s  how we relate to each other.

And the root of personality?

Personality.

All media is becoming more personal.

And so are brands.

Ever wonder what the opposite of balls, or personality, looks like?

Voila.

BUDWEISER

Those old ads make us laugh because they’re devoid of personality. Everyone is too perfect, and perfect just isn’t human.

Perfect balls.

So, when you’re filling out your creative brief, forget  “engaging, upbeat and likeable.”

Think cranky teenager, like Adult Swim.

Or . . .fun loving predator,

Shark

Or bitch.

PerfectBitch

Remember, you’re the mastermind of your brand’s personality.

When it comes to Network brands, their balls are in your court. Proof positive your job is more fun than being a massage therapist.

For a copy of the entire session and some unforgettable (but liscensed spots) check with Promax/BDA.

If you would like information on our critically acclaimed workshops on brand personality, writing and creativity, click here.

All right at the museum

June 11, 2009

How do you compete with 3-D movies and an x-box? It’s not easy if you’re a museum,  especially a fine art museum.

But you do have options. Consider banning the word collection – we can smell the dust on that one. Then talk about what your audience craves –  experiences more than exhibits.

The Peabody Essex Museum, one of the oldest museums in the country, is also one of the most innovative. They’ve built their brand on the museum experience and ask  “Has a museum ever made you feel this way?”

It’s one museum that makes us feel great, and not just because we work with them.

Contemporary Chinese Art, Tattoo’d bodies and Art of the Surf Board. Move over Nintendo.

 

 

Click here to see what this amazing museum is showing now.