Angela Natividad's Live & Uncensored!

29 March 2007

A Little Help Here, Please?

One of my biggest pet peeves is bad spelling in the professional world. Words on an ad, in books, in official documents or on any other traditional media riding the wave of public view possess an element of sanctity that's totally obliterated when a typo is overlooked. I never forget it. It's like trauma.

I'm in Southern California for a conference. This afternoon in desperate pursuit of coffee I halted my sassy walk and choked on a cashew when I saw a large banner reflecting the day's break-out sessions.

I can't even quite remember what it said. All I recall is the word PROFFESSIONAL. All huge, all extra-extra, in all its pre-fab pop-up synthetic print glory.

Please spellcheck your creative before blowing up 20 copies and slathering them from end to end of a convention hall. Particularly if you're an education association that shall not be named because I am nice like that.

Ugh. No wonder high school students can't read.

16 March 2007

Business Manager Opportunity with Impact Theatre

What's up, my scrilla-minded chums. I wanted to let you know that Berkeley's Impact Theatre is looking for a business manager to assist in the following:
  • managing financial statements
  • tax assistance
  • business development
  • licensing
  • non-profit guidance
The position lends a great deal of responsibility and hands-on experience alongside one of the most well-known theatre groups in the Bay Area. Consultants with a good eye and some dollar savvy are also welcome.

The job commitment at outset is minimal, approximately 10-15 hours per month with additional opportunities as the relationship progresses. It's unpaid but immensely beneficial for building professional clout in a creative field where your opinion and output will matter immensely.

Impact Theatre is a grassroots organization known for its interactive and edgy onstage work. They've been around since 1996 and have helped launch a number of fledgling actors onto the professional stage and on film. They operate on the north side of campus in La Val's Subterranean. Check out Impact's marketing material to get a feel for the culture.

Currently Impact is working on building momentum for the upcoming release of Shakespeare's id-ridden Measure for Measure with an urban twang.

If you talk to me on the daily you've probably already heard me chat the opportunity up a few times. Let me know if you're interested.

RIAA: Still Suing Kids? Get Over It Already

I'm loath to elaborate on the goings-on of the diversity conference for a second time, considering I covered the main points on Adrants the next day. But there is something I didn't mention simply because there was no graceful way to include it without making the write-up sound awkward and unfocused.

During his keynote Larry brought up the Youtube copyright situation and flabbergastedly cried, "Everybody's still trying to own stuff. Owning stuff is over." (Not quoted to scale.)

To explain, he noted that information is digital, totally fluid. What can you do in the face of a flood, raise a hand and say stop? Fluid has an amazing capacity to get around you and even through you if necessary.

Tough luck for those whose professions revolved around licensing content and distribution rights. But hey, it forces us to find different ways to make money and improve upon the landscape of communication altogether. I don't have a problem with that. Growth is tough but not without its rewards. (One such reward: evading death - or worse, complete obsolescence - a wee while longer.)

All right. It's nearing 2 AM. Sleep: FTW.

13 March 2007

Prelude to the Diversity Conference

So, the Advertising Industry Diversity Job Fair and Leadership Conference (we need a clever acronym for that) hits SF. Adrants, a sponsor, conveyed me out yonder to represent in the flesh, though the snark ain't out to play. (I'm really sort of shy.)

This evening I attended the networking reception at the Academy of Art student gallery. To start with, I was just blown away by a lot of the work the students in the advertising school are doing. The focus of the exhibit sought to define humanity, a broad and esoteric cat-chase that is really what advertising is all about. While the point of advertising is to sell, great ad people manage that by telling a story about society or the person encountering the product.

In many ways advertising helps relate our values to us, tells us what we want and lends a glimpse of who we want to be. Just ask an Apple fanatic or a Google employee. That's not to say there aren't two edges to that sword.

This networking event notably marks my first group encounter with other members of the marketing and ad community. I started to get pretty stoked about the panel I'll be moderating tomorrow, a dialogue between professionals on what it's like to work in the ad and marketing industry. I got to speak with the panelists beforehand and a lot of hot topics promise to rise to the forefront. A few button-pushers include the issue of diversity and the upsurge of women, who are shaping the industry as both consumers and advertising entities.

I have to say there's probably never been a more exciting time to get involved in this industry. It literally seems to be rebuilding itself: conversing more with consumers instead of at them, and marrying the technical with the creative. It's like the wild wild west all over again, except with no horses and better media.

I'm also inclined to think people smell better now too, not that I'm all leaning in and checking or anything.

The job fair is free for students or people looking for work. If you're in town, drop in.

02 March 2007

"Dooby dooby do..."

The obsolete Bud Ice's "Beware the Penguins" campaign, featuring a creepy penguin that goes "Dooby dooby do..." in a haunting manner, came at us over a decade ago and horrified me and my cousins.

Turns out we weren't the only scared ones. A friend of mine (this one, actually) brought it up recently and coolly divulged, "Man, that penguin scared the shit out of me."

Because any memories involving TV now lead to a frenetic Youtube search, we dashed to our computers to see if we could find it. This proved tough because we had no idea who made it. I felt certain it was Coke and he thought it was some kind of food purveyor. Add to this the trouble of how one "officially" spells "dooby dooby do."

I don't know how we did it (actually, I do: I won the "dooby dooby do" spelling contest) but before long we reaped the fruit of our labours (pardon the pixellation, beggars can't be choosers):

Most things that leave an impression in childhood turn out to suck when revisited in adulthood, like the actual size of redwood trees and the Christmas episodes of Alvin and the Chipmunks. But to this day - to this day! - that penguin ad still gives me chills. I couldn't really even tell you why. Why is he so haunting? Why does he say "dooby dooby doo"? It's genius, I say.

Sucks about Bud Ice though. Even after learning the product name we still couldn't recall it from childhood memory. So much for subliminal advertising. Or in this case, would it be latent advertising?

Either way, apparently kid-beguiling ad icons don't necessarily ensure cradle-to-grave loyalty to - oh horror! - vice industries like liquor or tobacco. So maybe Joe Camel can keep hocking ciggies. He wasn't all that interesting to us as kids anyway, plus smoking is a lot safer for him than for Marlboro Man.

01 March 2007

Kaiser is the Devil, Ads are His Bait

Contrary to popular conception, I'm not the super-sexy, hyper-awesome, ad-livid hard-ass I make myself out to be. (I'm sure this goes against everything you've seen and heard.)

At heart I'm an impressionable consumer. A consistent campaign, or a sense of shared values, makes a big impact on how I feel about brands in the arena.

Ever since I was a kid I've had negative feelings about Kaiser. My parents plainly avoided them. And while their preferences about healthcare providers aren't topics one cares much about as a kid, one does inherit the prejudices. I admit I brought the bad vibes with me in my journey through time.

In the last year I began to re-examine those feelings. While I'd like to say it's because I've grown more mature and reflective about everything around me, that simply wouldn't be true.

The reason is its "Thrive" campaign, whose billboards are everywhere I go - mostly on BART, greeting me at the very beginning and end of my workday.

I like it. As a Responsible Adult In-the-Make, I feel it reflects many core values. Sweetness, purity and an underlying promotion of inner well-being just oozes out of the simple-things imagery.

So when I found out my company chose Kaiser as our healthcare provider, I was stoked. I felt I was embarking on an adventure. KAISER! I'm ready to fall into your clean clinical arms, nodding vigorously at any concerned assessments you'll (doubtless, thoughtfully) make.

Recently my whole body rebelled. I thought it was the flu but my parents, deathly concerned, conveyed me to the big pretty medical center Kaiser keeps near my home.

The first thing Kaiser did was hit me with a massive co-pay. That was cool, I could roll, the big guys cost more, I get it. Some girls brought me into the doctor's office and took my temperature.

"You're at 108," one said, tsk-tsking. I could believe it, I was not feeling cool.

After a few moments I heard jokes and loud laughter outside my door, then the doctor walked in. She couldn't have been much older than me. She looked at me, grinned, asked what my symptoms were, and feigned concern at my response. She seemed to be on the verge of giggles the whole time.

Finally she said, "I doubt you have it but I'm going to have you X-rayed for pneumonia. Head down to the basement."

I was appalled. I could hardly stand! Worse still, the basement was in another building on the other side of campus, where I was hit with another co-pay. And when I returned from the X-ray (all stumbly and shit), I was locked out.

This sucked.

A janitor eventually walked by and let me in with her spare keys. By then I was exhausted. I stumbled into the doctor's office, panting dramatically, world spinning, and collapsed across the counter. She walked in, burst out laughing and cried, "What's wrong with you?" Then she prescribed drugs for sinusitis and sent me on my way.

My parents, tight-lipped, spoonfed me back to life over the next few days. "We told you," they said about 67,000 times, shaking their heads and glaring. "We told you about Kaiser. Didn't we? Ever since you were small."


Great marketing that belies a horrible product or service is just as bad as lazy marketing. In fact, one could argue it probably hurts a company more over the long-term.

An awesome prospective ad for Kaiser:

A tower of made of splintered toothpicks, shooting high into the sky with the tagline: "We may not do our job, but we're pretty damn big, yo. Kaiser Permanente. Even inexpicably, thrive."