Angela Natividad's Live & Uncensored!

31 December 2009

AdVerve Episode 12: End of Yearness

It’s our end of year madness. While it may be a little pretentious of us to run a year-end episode after only 12 episodes, eh, so what. Some of what makes it into this one are things we never got to cover during previous episodes but which we proudly beat the hell out of now.

Download the show directly here. Or subscribe via iTunes: Bill Green and Angela Natividad - AdVerve - AdVerve

We wander everywhere, from music and films to current stories floating around the net. Safe to say, we earn the explicit tag with this show. (Chapter breaks below, a loose guide at best.) Tarantino to Star Trek to Brad Pitt to Facebook sibling revenge sex lists and beyond, the show goes there. We’ve also included links to anything we mentioned throughout.

29 December 2009

The Future, As Scripted by Family

Uncle Who Speaks with British Accent Because He Spent, Like, 8 Months in the UK Once Many Years Ago (UWSBABHSL8MUKOMYA): Oh, so Angela couldn't come down for Christmas? That's too bad.

Mom: I know it's too bad. She changed jobs recently and decided to stay in Paris this season.

UWSBABHSL8MUKOMYA: Tell me if she needs any help. I still know a few people back in France, and they can do amazing things for her.

Mom: Oh?

UWSBABHSL8MUKOMYA: She likes children, doesn't she? She'd make a splendid au pair. The benefits for au pairs in France are unparalleled -- they even get their own rooms!

Mom: You obviously don't know my daughter. She's no au pair; she's more of a tour guide.*


*My dad also emails periodically to ask why I won't stop fooling around and get a "real job," followed by the names of airlines he's heard need flight stewardesses. This is Reason #209483093 why you should consider what Alain de Botton says in this video. Family may love you, but that doesn't mean ... well, I'll stop there.

...But Can I Get it Framed, Though?

Mainstream access to high-speed internet, coupled with the introduction of social networks, has completely changed our social rituals and the things we think represent us.

I never imagined how this might affect the memorabilia industry.

In any event, the above is "My Year in Status," created for me by a Facebook app of the same name. I'll let you guess what it does.

Choose from eight beautiful designs!

28 December 2009

Don't Think of Her as a Zombie, Think of Her as a Kind of Human Scarf.

There are probably a lot of things that can be said about this ad for Lanvin's Spring/Summer 2010 campaign, but my head feels empty.

For now that's fine: fashion ads are under no obligation to mean anything while provoking. Plus, Copyranter and ChatteringGem have already mounted their theories: Undead as the new dead? Homage to Generation Gaga?

If you dig deeply enough behind an ad's labyrinth of logic, however, there's usually a charming if forgettable story that means nothing to people outside the industry. In this particular case, Lanvin wanted to shoot coupled-up photographers with epic professional backgrounds.

27 December 2009

The Long, Gritty Holiday Decompression

Yeah, I know we still have New Years ahead of us, but might as well start grinding on some brainfood early so Jan 4 doesn't get you all depressed and looking for candles and razors and Enya.

AdVerve partner in crime (and blogga from anotha motha!) Bill Green sent me the above greeting. I think it is nice.

Anyway, as the season winds down and we recover from the funnel-fest of food, I imagine a lot of you are using your downtime to scope out Twitter, see what's hot or at least peruse-worthy. To help, as we traverse that short road back to the mills, here are some links that I promised myself I would read sometime today or tomorrow(ish):
A coupla links in French, for those of you that read it or want to make the best of Google Translate:
And some fun shit:

  • Gonna wrap this up with Violet Blue's Top 10 Sexy Geeks 2010, not just because Google can now index (and immortalize) evidence of my goddesslike countenance for time immemorial, but because... no, that's pretty much the only reason.

23 December 2009

Mother London Breeds a Fresh Crop of Gullibles for Next Year.

Nodding to all the estranged princesses and Nigerian CEOs that overrun your email with promises of untold fortune, Mother London decided to write its own such letter and give the entirety of the Christmas budget to the first guy to answer.

Turns out that out of hundreds of emails sent, demanding a full name and bank details, only one guy was dumb enough sufficiently compelled by the belief in Christmas miracles to respond.

So they pay him a visit. With a suitcase full of cash. Which the winner in turn decides to......

...well, you just have to watch it. This definitely wins the race for best agency holiday greeting though.* Guess the rest of you slackers can just hang out and colour until January.


*Actually this one by kirshenbaum bond senecal + partners was kind of all right. No, not really. What's ad land's fixation with self-aware body hair?

AdVerve Episode 11: The Sexism Song-and-Dance

Download the show directly here. Or subscribe via iTunes: Bill Green and Angela Natividad - AdVerve - AdVerve

Our extra-special pre-holiday Episode 11 features Åsk Wäppling of, infamously known among ad land old-schoolers as @dabitch.

This week we tackle Sexism™, one of the more obvious "isms" in this fair industry we call advertising.

Having clocked in at a number of European shops and freelanced at some American ones, Åsk gets gritty about why it's tough for women to ask for more money, why breeding potential is an irrational metric for hire and what made method's scrubbing bubbles ad so uncomfortable to watch.

You can read more of Åsk's sexism thoughts on Adland, where she synopsizes a lot of what we discussed, and hammers in points we didn't have time to talk about.

In case you plan to check out early this week, happy holidays and check the shower before stepping into it. If you can, catch our year-end pop culture roundup next week.

Send questions, comments or requests for newsletter inclusion to advervepodcast [at] gmail [dot] com. You can also leave a review.


22 December 2009

A Couple 'Casts As You Count Down to 2010

Bill Green and I just finished recording AdVerve #11, our sexism show featuring Åsk Wäppling of It's currently losing some fat to the cutting room floor, but in the meantime take a year-end listen to:

Adverve #10 - The Jordan Kretchmer Show. Listen to secrets behind the TwitteRFP and exclusive details on his new communications hustle, Livefyre.

The BeanCast's YES (Year-End Show). Join Bill Green, George Parker, John Wall and me as we jam fast and loose on all the shit in Ad Land that went down this year: crowdsourcing, pay-per-blogging, agency consolidations and the like, salted heavily by torrents of George. (Look lively, it's a two-hour segment.)

That's what-all I've been up to, in between holiday parties and torrenting Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging. Also keep a wily eye out for the aforementioned sexism show featuring Åsk; for those of you who like your "isms," we tossed in a little "nepotism" just for sport.

18 December 2009

Gaultier Lovers Leave a Scent Long After They're Gone

This ad for Le Mâle, the men's fragrance by Jean Paul Gaultier, has been all over TV this week. It kinda bummed me out until the day I randomly opened the My Little Paris app on my iPhone and saw the variant for Classique (pour femme):

Delectable work that speaks to the respective sexes. See the makings-of here and here.

Previous campaigns reveal Jean Paul Gaultier favors other-side-of-the-coin ads for his dual (and dueling?) fragrances, distilling how vulnerability and predatory instinct manifest in both sexes. This series is called L'Appartement.

You can see what kind of thought went into them, as well as clips from previous series, in this set of videos featuring "maître parfumeur" Francis Kurkdjian:

Kurkdjian on Le Mâle (with English translations):

Kurkdjian on Classique

Make the Girl Dance Inspires Brazil's As Apimentadas

Sao Paulo has French band Make the Girl Dance to thank for inspiring its Brazilian counterpart to drop trou with ghetto blasters:

The Paris version:

This was probably the best way to describe the contrast.

The concept, tamed down for American TV and packaged up nice, also wiggled its way onto the catwalk for Victoria's Secret.

Via @gregfromparis.

17 December 2009

Diagram of Geek Culture

Nice break from agency holiday cards, plus this bad-boy is geek-tastically colour-coded and detailed. Click for full-size, and hat-tip to beloved Candace, who pointed me here, which sent me there.

Choice comment ("John" on Ibo):

Pretty funny man, got us almost spot on, except you forgot a few of our types like a standard music geek (non-band), and english geek. Few Misspellings here and there and a few of your postings are questionable but over all not bad. Would recommend as said before a Venn diagram to gather the thoughts and ideas together

("Misspellings" is not a proper noun, but "English" is. Just sayin'.)

15 December 2009

Kris Kringle's Team iPhone, Apparently

Mrs. Claus knows exactly how to whip someone into codependence: get honey the device that does all the organizational management for you. For Christmas this year, interactive shop Modea gives us Santa's Lost iPhone.

Futz with apps and buttons, just the way you would a normal iPhone. The Calendar items are cute. Watch out, though; if you hang around too long, Mrs. Claus starts blowing it up in search of her hubby.

14 December 2009

A Pulpy Happy Holidays from Crush/Toronto.

Crush's '09 holiday comic, A Very Jolly Holiday, is now available to read (beware: extended scrolling ahead) and to download (for all you creative packrats out thar).

The 8-page oeuvre sports something for everybody: social media douchebaggery, self-effacing Facebook groupage, a venison charcuterie (don't ask) and even some cutback crisis action. GET YOU SOME. Or look at more action-packed clips below.

For those that don't know who Crush is or what it's done, aw, aren't you special. This is the agency that does the cool social media/audiovisual promotional shit for Douglas Coupland's trippy tech-meet-man novels. See the post-post-modern videos they did for Coupland's Generation A, as well as the still-gripping, if less existential, stuff for The Gum Thief.

12 December 2009

AdVerve Episode 9: Ageism and Advertising

Download the show directly here. Or subscribe via iTunes: Bill Green and Angela Natividad - AdVerve - AdVerve

That’s right frens, another “ism” show. This one features Ad Broad Helen Ross on the topic of age as it relates to the advertising industry. We cover a range of topics, from younger vs. older creatives, client challenges, and the changing agency dynamic.

Along the way we delve into Helen’s side gig as Mad Men fanista Betty Draper on Twitter. You can find her regular self there too. Plus her blog Ad Broad as well as new creation Brand Fiction Factory.

Send questions, comments or requests for newsletter inclusion to advervepodcast [at] gmail [dot] com. You can also leave a review.

Image credit: Dove via the Getty Images blog.

Baby Food on Amazon. Act Now and Save!

There are a lot of things in this email blast I could nip at, from the apathetically anonymous "Dear Customer" to the misguided guess at my dietary preferences.

But if the million-dollar Amazon algorithm, to which I've been feeding my personal preferences for years, claims I've demonstrated "an interest in baby food," then who am I to argue? I suppose I should just be pleased that, when a weebie finally does slip down the hatch, I'll never have to worry about whether my app for WIC gets approved.

11 December 2009

Breaking Twitter Etiquette

Chelsi: i twittered about you

Me: I just retweeted it even though that's a douche move

Chelsi: it's okay, you're drunk

Me: that merits a blog post!

Chelsi: cheers!

By way of explaining this behaviour, Le Web's wiped me out and I'll need two days alone, and gallons of wine, to recover. Also, I'm reading a copy of The Lovely Bones, which I won't say is bad, but which I'm not proud to admit I'm using as post-geekout therapy, either.

07 December 2009

Interactive Windows Put Wind Behind Hermès Scarves

This window display serves the Hermès brand in a way that's understated and charming in its simplicity. See? Tech savvy doesn't have to be complicated; it just needs to compel.

Installation by Tokujin Yoshioka for Hermès Japan. Via Grégory Pouy.

Le Wheat, C'est Chic.

Only in Paris would wholesome wheat and fiber be converted into gilding for a mannequin. This piece comes from a bus stop near my apartment in République.

04 December 2009

300 Kids, an Auditorium and Ingenuity.

That's what it took for a passel of business school students to create this nifty stop-motion video for ESCP Europe. There's even a little retro gaming action.


03 December 2009

'Every Search is a Quest. Every Quest is a Story.'

VOTW passed me this pretty video about an American expat finding love in Paris. Yeah, it's an old story; but in this case, it's told in the world's second language: Google search.

Embrace the warm fuzzies.* Or embrace the commenter who said:
I think one should be done on someone going vegan. Google definately played a big roll in me going vegan(along with peta)

See more search stories. Note the cinematic way in which new ones are presented. Doesn't it please you that Google and YouTube got hitched?


*Just so it's clear, I'm touched by this video. But that's because I'm living a cliché.

01 December 2009

How Poor Creative Destroys Great Product.

Today I found out about Knocking Live Video, an app that enables users to "knock" on other phones with the app and share live video in real-time. The first 50,000 downloads are free, so I snapped that bad-boy up before Pointy Heads could impose a payment wall.

How I discovered it: via Twitter and in the news. The message behind the Tweets and articles I saw were "See what I see." The functionality sounds cool; I don't even mind having to wait for other iPhone 3Gs users to get it before I actually try it out.

more.madame: The Lovechild of Chanel and Le Figaro

With a few helpful tailor's tugs from agency Mediaedge:cia, Chanel Joaillerie (Jewelry) and Figaro Group -- parent company of French publication Le Figaro and related subsidiaries -- have partnered to conceive more.madame. Running from November 21 to December 19, it's toted as the first-ever "digital standalone" -- or hors-série digital.

Part ad, part supplementary miniseries, the work celebrates the contemporary woman: a pristine if idle creature reeking of restrained force, moving like a hot knife through a man's world. Art, games, editorial and videos add colour and context to her tapestry.

30 November 2009

Two Things.

Thing 1: Indulgent Bob Knorpp invited me onto The BeanCast last night with Kelly Eidson, Joe Jaffe and Ian Schafer. The ep's called "The Cow Goes, Moo!" and we talk Black Friday, Wal-Mart, pay-per-Tweet and crowdsourcing, among other stizzy-stuff.

I warn you: there's more than one Blockbuster porn joke, and most of them originate with me.

Thing 2: In ongoing efforts to make sense of Google Wave, I've started a wave about the rise of the chic geek. If you've got a Wave account, you can participate by adding me to your list -- angela [dot] natividad [at] gmail [dot] com -- and asking to join the chic geek wave.

Elf Yourself Dancing Flashmob.

Yeah, they went there.

This marks year 4 that Office Max has whipped out its suite of festive dancing bodies, waiting for heads. Elf Yourself. And while the general idea of flashmobs makes me cringe, the memory of disco elves -- one of last year's indulgences -- does worse things in the general sphincter area.

Credit for the Elf Yourself movement goes to EVB.

26 November 2009

AdVerve Episode 7: The Thanksgiving show - iGod, Naughty Words and the Poetry of Tila Tequila

Download the show directly here. Or subscribe via iTunes: Bill Green and Angela Natividad - AdVerve - AdVerve

This week's AdVerve is an icon-heavy melange featuring social networks, Oprah, and ... yes, an angry poem by Tila Tequila. (LISTEN TO TILA GET ALL NSFW N’ SHIT!)

First, we kick this week's episode off with an email from Chris, a listener from Japan, whose words of love warmed our figurative cockles. Then, just for sport, Bill suggests Twitter's dying even though he doesn't actually believe it.

25 November 2009

Levi's: Love, Lust and Storytelling

In April I got to see an ad:tech talk given by Senior Director Michael Perman of Levi's. It was called "The Art of Storytelling," something at which the company particularly excels.

Anyway, I was doing my usual trawl of exceptional William Shatner videos* the other day when I came across treasure: the two ads that got me stuck on advertising in the first place.

24 November 2009

Your Domestic Flights Hurt Bears.

This stressful piece of web cinema is brought to you by Plane Stupid, with help from agency Mother and production firm Rattling Stick.

The argument: every passenger on a given European flight is responsible for the addition of 400kg of greenhouse gases -- the weight of an adult polar bear.

There's Too Much Vitriole in Here.

With that in mind, I give you a Bondi Beach flashmob, enthusiastically led by drag queen extraordinaire Joyce Maynge.

You got Spice Girls! You got Single Ladies! You got Whitney!

AOL's New Logo(s)

Read the straight-faced PR. If you don't feel like it right now, that's cool, this part explains everything:
The new AOL brand identity is a simple, confident logotype, revealed by ever-changing images. It’s one consistent logo with countless ways to reveal.
Oh, okay. Suggested slogans:
  • On the outside of LOLcat culture, looking in.
  • Why CEOs should text less and/or not take input from their 11-year-old daughters, or nieces, or their friends.
  • How to show your age.
  • We just don't care anymore.
  • Ftl.

22 November 2009

Things You Don't Have to Explain to Friends

: I overpee.

Chelsi: I know.

"Et si Noël durait plus qu'un Noël ?"

"What if Christmas lasted longer than a Christmas?"

This spot for Orange, where a sweltering city breaks out its secret snowball reserves to extend holiday spirit beyond its normal shelf life, is brimming with so much warmth and good cheer that you'd never guess parent company France Telecom is being pummeled by a wave of suicides.

26 (and counting!) since February '08!

20 November 2009

When Did Clean Become So Preachy?

I've always dug method's pure approach to household care, but this "Shiny Suds" ad makes people against dirty sound suspiciously like...

Maybe that's too strong of a comparison.

The ad's an emotional plea for the passing of the Household Product Labeling Act. This would obligate all household cleaning products in the US to bear a label sporting "a complete and accurate list" of their ingredients.

Any product in defiance of the ruling "shall be treated as a misbranded hazardous substance."

Sounds like a good thing in theory. Method would come out looking like a rose, but under the light of these lecherous scrubbing bubbles it doesn't quite smell like one right now.

It just crosses a line, you know...?

By the Way, AdVerve's Fixed.

The squirrels that chewed through the servers’ wires have summarily been dispatched and all AdVerve shows are available again. Download you some:

 Bill Green and Angela Natividad - AdVerve - AdVerve

Go West, Young Hipster.

Spread your seed, and the gospel of Coke!

That's all I have to say about that.

I Know How Silly This is Gonna Sound, But...

I think that, with the ease of data absorption gifted to us by YouTube, we should all spend at least a little bit of time learning about string theory.

Themed Blogs About Icky People.

Here's a collection of human archives I've seen around the internets. Even if it's not on this list, I can almost guarantee there's a site out there, waiting for a a saucy potshot of you for public amusement.

The internet is creepy like that: it feeds collectors' compulsions. Add a dash of social troll and, well, you're in the business of a blog!

I'm starting to see unnerving themes.

Sadly, no O-Face archive yet. Guess I just need to look harder. Any others?

19 November 2009

The Fear™, and Life's Terrible Truth(s)

Last night, in conversation with a Highly Successful Ridiculously Wise Investor: So you brought your life and your business to a whole 'nother country, where the culture and the language are different from everything you know and understand. Weren't you scared?

Me: Yeah, but I'm still scared. I'm scared every day. I am starting to think this 'fear' thing never actually goes away.

HSRWI: YES! It never does.

I guess depending on your worldview, the above revelation can either be highly motivating or the exact opposite extreme. In the event that you don't know what to think, have some ideological Cheerios.

AdVerve Episode 6: The French Connection

Fred. We interview Frédéric-Gérard Leveque for a unique take on the ad scene in Paris and the state of agencies in general.

One point that comes to mind after hearing Fred is that you realize the problems facing ad agencies in France are things ad agencies deal with all over the world. WE ARE NOT ALONE.

(BTW, there's a point in the 'cast where we forget the name of a good Swedish agency. I say 'Swiss' at the end of the show, but really it's Swedish. The agency we discuss is Farfar.)

Five minutes with... the other half of AdPulp, Danny Goldgeier, or “Danny G,” as he's called on the streets. He talks about getting out of the cubicle a little more. (Check him out on Twitter.)

18 November 2009

IKEA Turns Facebook Tagging into Brand Advocacy

Tag yourself on a $30 lamp. What do you win? The lamp. What's IKEA win? Impressions -- and the likelihood of more participation -- across your Facebook network.

(Via VOTW.)

Space: An Armchair Viewer's Next Frontier

With "Space Chair Project" for the Regza SV, Grey London aspired to bring Toshiba's "Leading innovation" tagline to the next level: stratospheric.

This is an amazing thing to watch, in part because it's something we've never seen before, but also because it represents the penetration of something utterly banal -- in this case, a chair -- into a sphere most of us can't even imagine crossing into ourselves.

IT'S (the edge of) SPACE, BITCHES!

Also, footage was taken with Toshiba cameras. More plus for the brand.

13 November 2009

Yes, Trust Me, You'll Need One.

To help spread AdVerve love, grab a badge for your... whatever. Sure, badges went out with, um, not really sure, but just grab one. Copy and paste the code from the box and throw it in your... whatever. (It’s 125px x 48px.)

11 November 2009

AdVerve Ep 5: Uptown PETA Mix.

10 for 10 is back. (You love it.) We talk sexy burka wearers. Assassin shoes. Grizzly Bear. The children of stars, and more.

Five minutes with... this time out features the rants of The Girl Riot and her inside voice on the mic. Buckle up kids! She gets all into Twitter updates! Bad moves by band members! Weezer Snuggie!

Then we try something new where we take one brand or issue on our minds and come up with a fix for it. That’s part of the advertising world: sometimes, a client lands on your desk and you have no choice but to work on it. The victim this time out? PETA. Buckle up kids is right.

Sesame Street Does 'Mad Men'

"Me too! I'm sad! Sad, sad, sad! We're SAD MEN!"

Sesame Street bitchslaps a series -- an industry, even -- and still manages to feel wholesome. It's ... sublime.

There's More than One Naughty Way to Go Blind

This revisit of a familiar parental scare tactic does a few things well:
  • It draws attention
  • It conveys useful information about its cause without being preachy or making you feel tricked
  • The punchline -- which ties it all together -- is actually funnier than the gimmick (masturbate -> go blind)
Solid shit, comrades. Only question remains whether it'll "go viral!" as the marketing directors say. (Two days already -- an eternity in internet time -- and just 640 views so far. Le sigh.)

10 November 2009

Speaking of Rejuvenating the Glossy...

...there's more than one way to skin a cat, and they don't all have to be digital. BONUS -- in this case, an advertiser's responsible.

For client BIC Uruguay, agency TBWA works with print mag Freeway to create an edition entirely in ballpen. It's beautiful; you can almost smell the ink! But maybe that's the pop music workin' its magic on me.

The work reminded me a little of this Mexican Scribe ad, where a boy's entire world is remade in notebook paper.

Will Augmented Reality Rejuvenate the Glossy?

It's my belief that there'll always be room in the market for a high-quality, well-designed print publication. Some reasons why:
  • Reading habits are different online vs. offline. Online we skim and multi-task; offline we absorb longer paragraphs and deeper reporting (think investigative news stories). This could change with the technological progression of tablets, but there's still a long way to go in that arena.
  • Online isn't the best place to appreciate an aesthetically-pleasing high-res graphic spread. Our experience of ads and art changes from medium to medium; pick up a copy of Monocle or Vogue, then ask yourself whether the images pop the same over the 'net. (Maybe this will change when everybody has a monitor at home that's the size of a plasma-screen TV. But that's not happening tomorrow either.) that anything like a Royale with Cheese?

There aren't many ways you can bring hot throbbing sex appeal to an assembly line hamburger, but McDonald's tries hard with Le M, a moan-infused food porn piece for the French market.

The money line: "Le M, sans doute c'est la plus belle création de la McDonalds." ("Le M, undoubtedly McDonalds' most beautiful creation.")

But wait for the plug for Le M Bacon -- when zoomed-in shots of lavish, languid bacon slices appear on three sides of this sin-tillating beef patty! Hissss.

For the track junkies, AdVerve partner in crime Bill Green obliges with info on the music: Flying Lotus' Camel (Nosaj Thing Remix).

09 November 2009

'Baby Baby Baby' Leaps Atlantic for Sizey Cups

Heh. The day starts with news that American band Grizzly Bear's Two Weeks gets a French ad debut -- and ends with news that French band Make the Girl Dance's Baby Baby Baby goes American with Victoria's Secret.

The ad's for VS's new Miraculous push-up bra, which promises to gift its bearers with two additional cup sizes. Baby Baby Baby pulsates in the background as three supermodel standbys strut across the screen.

Their mighty-mighty demeanour draws a weird parallel to the original Make the Girl Dance video, where three girls strut naked, one after the other, down rue Montorgueil in Paris. The difference: you're left with the sense that the size of their basoomas has nothing to do with their bite.

I guess it's cultural.

Validating Stereotypes

Kito: Does booking an appointment with the hairdresser make your mood better?

Me: I got my bangs done recently on a particularly depressing day ... I guess it kind of helped.

Kito: Wow.

Kito: Women are strange.

Grizzly Bear Penetrates Peugeot's Hot-Track Lineup

It mesmerized us, it inspired fan art, and now Grizzly Bear's Two Weeks makes its debut into banality.

Say hello to "The Doors," an ad for the Peugeot 5008. After a day at the fair, a dad packs his family into the car and swings open the drivers side door repeatedly, only to find that someone else -- circus performers, his kids, his wife, a double of himself, a sad clown -- has commandeered his seat.

Slogan: "La meilleure place est aussi celle du conducteur." (The best place is that of the driver.)

While the spot itself may be a little "meh," French blog Mixedtape says Peugeot is well-known for introducing some solid ear candy in its TV spots. Some examples: Bhangra Knights' Husan for the 206, The Film's Can You Touch Me? for the 407 and The Caesars' (I’m Gonna) Kick You Out for the 407 SW.

Suitably eclectic company for Grizzly Bear. And knowing Peugeot has an indie ear gives the brand a streak of appeal it previously lacked -- for me, anyway.

06 November 2009

Alain de Botton: Job Snobbery and a Healthier Definition of Success

"Next time you see somebody driving a Ferrari, don't think this is somebody who's greedy, think this is somebody who's incredibly vulnerable and in need of love." (*eager guffaws ensue*)

And a new way of looking at the old glass: "Any vision of success has to admit what it's losing out on ... where the element of loss is." Before leaping forward into the great blue yonder, make sure your ideas of success truly originated with you. Crucially, don't get caught up in the justice system of other people's eyes.

Don't know how secure you're feeling job-wise right now, but I personally found this encouraging.

05 November 2009

Mickey Gets Makeover.

I wanted him to be able to be naughty — when you’re playing as Mickey you can misbehave and even be a little selfish.
- Warren Spector, CD of Junction Point, game dev for Epic Mickey

Nothing is sacred anymore. But for what it's worth, a meaner Mickey is infinitely more palatable than a skanky Rainbow Brite.

Discreet Packaging

Liaison dangereuse, une e-boutique de lingerie fine, viens de lancer la pub "Sexiness for Everyone" ("Pouvoir sexuel pour toutes, partout"), où une femme s'habille d'une manière séduisante avec les culottes hyper-sexy -- et termine avec une burqa.

Peut-être que c'est un cas typique d'un pays d'Europe de l'Ouest montrant le côté fétichiste du Proche-Orient. Mais franchement j'adore la thèse que la burqa lèche les flammes qu'elle est chargée d'éteindre.*

04 November 2009

Hot New AdVerve: "Trojan Wisdom"

AdVerve's episode 4 is jam-packed with topics and experimental features: describing near-universal media/marketing norms that have no names, rehashing the problems of Starbucks, and a cameo rant from Jetpacks about how we're on a full-speed treadmill to a knowledge-retention wasteland.

Get the episode directly, on the blog or via iTunes.

03 November 2009

Evidence of Everything Exploding!

Graphic artist Jason Nelson has released a new "art game creature digital poem" called Evidence of Everything Exploding. Like his past work it takes snippets of phrases, images and sequences we recognize, then mashes it all up in a digital rabbit-hole blender.

It's simple but it will frustrate you. What I love about it is that at the start of each level you have to stop and reorient yourself, understand what's going on, then slowly venture forth into a world with no apparent order. Sometimes you have help; many times you die.

But mistakes made in the game are integral to understanding how it works: what's your friend, what isn't. Slowly, a logic -- a benign intelligence, even -- starts to manifest.

'Tic Tac tu craques!'

After over a month frozen on one non-working channel, I finally got the TV working again. And the first thing I see is this spot for Tic-Tac by agency Supamonks.

Tic Tac tu craques!

It ends. And I'm left sitting here thinking, Wait a minute. You're supposed to bite into Tic-Tacs?!

Why didn't anyone ever inform me of this crucial data?

01 November 2009

Brooklyn Fare: Branding Stripped Bare

Brooklyn Fare from Mr. Mucca on Vimeo.

One typeface. Four colours. A wee bit o' wit, and a happy ending.


29 October 2009

Episode 3 of AdVerve: 'Socially Inept'

He loves you, you know.

Alongside social media strategist Len Kendall and user experience designer/content strategist Robert Gorell, episode 3 of AdVerve digs into social media gurus -- what they are, what their value is in the space, and whether their talents scale to companies.

Toward the end of the show we play a wee game: how would each of us reposition a given company? Featured brands: Home Depot, Netflix and Microsoft Windows.

Download the show or subscribe to AdVerve via iTunes.

The Future of Tech Looks Suspiciously Like a Yoga Mat.

German designer Orkin released a concept video of the Rolltop, a touchscreen computer whose surface consists of little more than a segmentable OLED screen.

In addition to sitting vertically and serving as a laptop, it can be straightened, turned on its side and used as an entertainment system. When not in use, the whole thing rolls away and can be carried on your back.

28 October 2009

Apple Isn't Perfect, But Its Fanbase Loves it Anyway.

I don't know why this is. Maybe because it's unapologetic: historically social media-shy, not into competitive price-slashing (it makes price cuts, but usually only after the launch of a new-generation item, not because of cheaper rivals), and not terribly discreet about its feelings about Microsoft.

Why is Apple able to behave this way when other brands can't afford to?

26 October 2009

What All-Star Covers Taught Me About How Not to Run a Non-Profit Campaign.

I was watching Beds are Burning, a cover for TckTckTck, a climate change awareness campaign. It features Marion Cotillard, Duran Duran, Serena Ryder, and the Black Eyed Peas (which manage to ingratiate themselves in anything involving an all-star lineup), among others.

The production quality is exceptional, and the lineup is cup-runneth-over. But there are multiple moments of wince-worthiness: the flashing names of famous faces, or instances like timestamp 1:48, when a deer primly peers at you through his gasmask while Youssou N'Dour sings his heart out.

25 October 2009

Inklust #6: Promises of Plenty

"How much is it, this year, my man?" The tailor had come in while he was speaking.

"Well, it's been a doubling so many years, you see," the tailor replied, a little gruffly, "and I think I'd like the money now. It's two thousand pound, it is!"

"Oh, that's nothing!" the Professor carelessly remarked, feeling in his pocket, as if he always carried at least that amount with him. "But wouldn't you like to wait just another year, and make it four thousand? Just think how rich you'd be! Why, you might be a king, if you liked!"

"I don't know as I'd care about being a King," the man said thoughtfully. "But it dew sound a powerful sight o' money! Well, I think I'll wait--"

"Of course you will!" said the Professor. "There's good sense in you, I see. Good-day to you, my man!"

"Will you ever have to pay him that four thousand pounds?" Sylvie asked as the door closed on the departing creditor.

"Never, my child!" the Professor replied emphatically. "He'll go on doubling it, till he dies."

-- Sylvie and Bruno, Lewis Carroll

About the image:
The Professor by Harry Furniss, for Sylvie and Bruno.

What the dickens is "Inklust"? Boy am I glad you asked. Here's the manifesto: part I and part II.

22 October 2009

These People Frighten Me.

...and what websites were those? DJFetishJockey and

Next Stop, World Domination.

AdVerve yourself!

And Now for Some Acid-Triptastic Relief.

This ain't classic Alice in Wonderland, but it does make me miss the esoteric and lovely humour of Alice: from its hand-drawn animation to the '50s-faithful conservative flirtation with whimsy.

I look forward to Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland as much as the next nostalgia-obsessed Gen-Y ingrate but there is something precious about the way Disney used to do things. These old films were crafted in a way that doesn't exist now and will never exist again.

And really, at what other point in time can you find a hookah-smoking caterpillar in a kid's cartoon?

The Race to Own Real-Time Search...

...begins and ends in 24 hours, more or less.

Shortly after Microsoft is said to have inked a liaison to incorporate Twitter and Facebook updates into Bing, Google announces a similar deal with Twitter.

Success and usefulness of either will depend on how they decide to present that living breathing gangbang of real-time data. Can't wait to see how it pans out.

Interesting though how no one has yet come up with a freeform (and indexable) way to share thoughts in real-time that can viably compete with Twitter. I guess that's part of what Google's trying to do with Wave, but can't say for sure as I don't have it yet. (*scowls*)

21 October 2009

Center Stage, On tha Mic!

Podcast junkies: AdVerve Episode two is up and available here. Topics by timestamp:

00:04 – Bill makes me do an uncomfortable dance about limits and the French market.
05:20 – Our approach to podcasting.
13:30 – 10 for 10 -- a topic association game.
42:22 – The agency/PR landgrab for social media.
49:45 – On being a creative octopus.
54:09 – Wrapup and GO.

Housekeeping shite:
  • Still working on finding a good content platform for the website, but in the meantime listen to the first ep here.
  • We are pending approval on iTunes. Here is our show feed; you can also subscribe from FeedBurner.
  • Houston, we have email. Hate or love can be sent to

17 October 2009

Please Maintain a 100-Ft Distance Between Your Skank Pen and My Childhood.

You can honor a throwback in ways that are clever and amusing to watch, and then there's a way to mutilate every good thing we love about a standby from the past.

Here is where you explain to me how Rainbow Brite goes from this:

AdVerve Ep 2 is Coming! And Godzilla's In It.

In our ongoing quest to nail down the perfect vibe, Bill Green and I decided it would be neat to create little trailers for our upcoming podcasts. (This bad-boy's coming out Wednesday. We recorded it Thursday of last week.)

We figured we weren't going to beat the pitch we hit in the first show, so we didn't even try. (Only so many 'isms you can do before running out, man.) But we did talk a little bit about embargoes, press releases that piss us off, profile pictures and other minutiae that set the stage for an angry blogger day.

Listen in next week. And thanks to everyone that's supported us with encouraging words, publicity and indulgent friend time, including:

14 October 2009

On Treasure.

The Man™ came over the other day and observed this sign - CHANEL: 31, RUE CAMBON, PARIS - hanging over my bookshelf.

"Where did you get that?" he demanded.

"At a flea market in New York!" I gushed. "It's from the original Rue Cambon store."

"What did you pay for it?"

I told him what I paid and he started to laugh, even after I said I had it checked by a couple of lifer antiquers that assured me that forging this cardboard relic would cost more than the sign itself is worth.

"You're so impulsive," he sniggered.

"But it's treasure," I insisted pathetically. He turned away and quietly finished his giggle.

Okay. For him I may just be a 'tard who bought a really old sign for too much money (still less than the cost of a Chanel handbag!). But seriously: for me this is treasure.

(And here's where the post gets corny.)


  • It represents a young woman who carved an independent living with the resources she had,* creativity and gumption.
  • It represents a whim that became an icon, a name -- it could've been any name -- that leaped into history by both manipulating and defying the conventions of the time.
  • It speaks to a piece of entrepreneurial success forged in Paris -- just a handful of métro stops away from my house!
  • It represents the timelessness of a clean, straightforward brand approach. The Chanel of today also maintains fidelity to the founder's spirit and style, which you can see and feel in the (admittedly not great) film Coco Avant Chanel.
In a period where change happens fast, and user reactions are near-instant and highly vocal, it's hard for brands to remember the importance of holding your ground -- in terms of style, approach, persona -- when you have the conviction that you're right. This is true if you're just creating something, or if you're trying to change your existing position in the market.

People almost unfailingly react negatively to something unexpected. Get over the negging and give your approach time to simmer and set before deciding it's a certified fail. Otherwise you give users a sense you'll move where the wind blows you, and in that case you're effectively pasting a big-ass OBO on your forehead.

Greatness is forged with heat, provocation, commitment and a dash of volatility. Everything else is relegated quickly and efficiently to the bargain bin.


*Okay, the business was funded at birth by a doting significant other, but hey, work that shit. Let's think of him as an emotionally invested VC. And if you ever read her bio, L'Allure de Chanel, the cat that funded it was later dismayed to find he ultimately created Coco Chanel's ticket to financial freedom -- because he thought the whole thing was just a hobby.