Angela Natividad's Live & Uncensored!

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 m├ętro 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.

09 October 2009

Say Hello to AdVerve. Bitches.

After months of discussing it (then rehashing it, then making jokes about it, then bitching about the lack of it), me and Bill Green of Make the Logo Bigger have decided to start our own brand-spankin'-new ad podcast.

Say hello to AdVerve!

Why? Because there are things that go unsaid about our industries -- advertising, marketing, online engagement and technology (but mostly advertising) -- that we'd like to say, not just blog about. Hopefully they're things you find fresh, validating and/or provocative.

We want you to feel!

Our first topic was racism in advertising. It features Hadji Williams, author of Knock the Hustle. Check out parts one and two:

Adverve #1 - part 1

Adverve #1
- part 2

For fans of The BeanCast hosted by the magnanimous Bob Knorpp, this won't affect anything we're doing there. (Me and Beeg are both regulars -- complete with jingles!) The BeanCast's about digging deeper into ad land's latest news and trends; AdVerve's about poking the shit out of stuff until we can finally see what it's made of and why.

Why the fuck not!

The show isn't yet available on iTunes because we don't have enough episodes, so bear with us while we gather bearings and whatnot. There's a coupla thoughts floating around for next session, but say something if there's a topic you'd particularly dig us analyzing the shit out of.

Also, and in case you wondered, yes, we are scared shitless. So 'scuse me for a sec while I recline, board-stiff, and listen to the 20th circulation of Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch.

PS. Thanks Kelly for being Our First Fan™, even though you haven't heard it yet.

06 October 2009

It's the AdForum Magical Mystery Tour!

Just FYI: I'm in NYC this week for the AdForum Worldwide Summit. It's the biggest conference for search consultants.

Mostly we're doing tours of agencies and listening to them describe their businesses. Yesterday we heard some PR companies, and sometime this week there'll be a sesh on procurement.

If this lesser-known side of the business of advertising is interesting to you, check out the programme. We're here all week. My posts summarizing the days can be found at the AdForum Summit blog -- and, of course, catch my frenetic tweetage by following AdForum on Twitter.

Gotta run. Lunchtime draws near, my fingers ache and I have to wee like a racehorse.

01 October 2009

For Maximum Happiness...

...I may require these.

What is it about Maurice Sendak that resonates long after you're too old to ask an indulgent parent to tell you a story? Maybe it's that he doesn't shy away from the fears and the nasties that characterize being a kid. All those things that made you scared, and made you cruel, are put into their proper context: an innocence that comes with not knowing.

It's actually not so different from being grown up.

Anywho, the Contemporary Jewish Museum is running a Maurice Sendak exhibit, There's a Mystery There: Sendak on Sendak, from now 'til January 19th. I hope I can catch it sometime when I'm in the States. (Look look, it's even mommy blogger approved.)

Even if I miss it, try seeing it if you can. That's why I share these magical things: so you can do everything I can't, and on the day we can finally plug into the HiveMind™ it'll be like KAPOW!!!!! -- a seamless symbiosis of desires, experiences, skills and insights, where I can't see where my memories end and your fetishes begin, and our triumphs become collective, and we suffer with those in childbirth or agonizing pain, and......!

I mean, if you're into that.