Angela Natividad's Live & Uncensored!

30 March 2012

Catch Us at MIPTV.

I'm at MIPTV to liveblog the sessions alongside The Guardian's Stuart Dredge and Fearless Leader James Martin. Here is our first-ever videoblog. More to come, and I'll be doing them, so huzzah for experiments!

This afternoon we'll be meeting a bunch of hackers on a yacht called the Mojito. Their challenge: to hack up some game-changing TV-mutating magic in the next 48 hours. Can't wait to see what they've got on the plate, but more crucially: will there be hot tub hacking?

28 March 2012

New Logo.

Instead of embarrassingly self-important potential trainwrecks like The Pitch,* advertising could use a mockumentary-style series on what it is actually like to hear things like this all day. It can be a nice postmodern response to Mad Men that brings to light how many wrong turns you can take on your merry route to finding a brand's soul, not to mention the ongoing battles between clients and agencies on how that soul should manifest.

We'll just use satire to protect the innocent, and maybe along the way there will be those rare moments of gold and of conviction. But most of our players aren't Don Draper, though they all bloody well believe they are, and that can be part of the fun.

And the conferences! God, you could devote a whole thread to the conferences alone. Most industries use them to get trashed and forget work for a week; only in advertising do you find that people are getting trashed because they think it's making their ideas richer, fuller, more palatable. But after 4 days of sleeplessness and your eighth drink of the night, all that's really happening is that you've lost all capacity to catch subtle (and ever-increasing) human cues of disinterest and derision.


*It's possible that I'm being too hard on The Pitch. In a way it could be exactly the mockumentary I imagine, except not on purpose, and that will be just as good.

The Morning After the Night Before.

What work! Elegant, seductive and curiously timely given Mad Men’s return. After a day when most of the stuff you see and hear sounds verifiably insane and dangerously front-loaded, it feels almost like a wash to see an ad like this.

Not that today was like that. Today I had one of those meetings that actually yields something, with people who are smart and dry witted like vermouth, then got to travel home on a train, which is one of my most favourite things in the world to do. (They remind me of Amtrak trips down the coast with grandma.) So the last 24 hours were doubly awesome because I did those things and got to revisit this.

21 March 2012

It's not just a design identity; it's a manifesto.

Designer Silvio Teixeira developed a poster that can be cut into 100 business cards which can also be brought together as a flip book. That sounds reasonably cool already, but the video makes it about a thousand times cooler. From Teixeira:
100 Ids is a project that defines my identity as a designer and it is also a self promotion campaign. The poster (50×70 cm) is cut to become 100 business cards and 1 video. The logo is a pseudo coat of arms that is reinvented in many ways to present my individuality.

19 March 2012

Awkward Smoking Co-Worker Talk.

Him: Salut. Have a good weekend?

Me: Yeah. You? Do anything special?

Him: Not really, I just relaxed.

Me: Yeah, me too.


Him: If you really want to know, I planted tulips.

Me: Ooh. Yeah, I guess the weather was good for gardening.

Him: Not really, the weather was horrible. We just brought some bulbs back from a trip and I planted them.

Me: Oh.


Me: So, plans to start the next Tulipomania?

Him: What?

Me: Never mind.

Stay the night, steal a Banksy.

In keeping with AdVerveBlog reader Zed's incendiary appropriation of Banksy's anti-advertising manifesto, Melbourne's Art Series Hotels attracted guests and plenty of earned media by inviting them to stay the night and try to steal Banksy art hanging on the wall. If you could get it out of the hotel without getting caught, it was yours.

The hotel tracked the thieves via GPS so it could contact them afterward to send authentication documents and campaign follow-up. This looks like it was lots of fun and the hotel's stories about the burglary attempts are great. Even celebrities got in on the theftery. More importantly, it apparently also resulted in a 300% ROI and nearly 7 million impressions on Twitter alone.

So what are you guys waiting for? Go disrupt, go make culture. In the world of subversive anti-art, all's fair.

Spring Self-Improvement.

This is not me, but I would like to hoist rope while flying.

You can’t change your life all at once, but you can improve some things, and I suppose spring is as good a time as any because you’re in dust bunny-slaying mode anyway.

So here are a few nice changes I have made and quite like:

  1. Regular cooking. It helps to have a partner in this programme, which I’m lucky enough to have. With time my eating experiments have become less hazardous, and hey, who would have guessed that zucchini had so many facets? A few months ago, who would have cared? (Short answer: not me.)
  2. More physical activity. One thing I discovered about myself is that I get bored with over obvious rituals, so I’ve managed to keep this up by registering for a variety of things: the tango, swimming, yoga. It is okay if I only do one of these things a week, but on a great week I do all three. And sometimes I reward myself with hammam, which in my mind also counts as physical activity because wow, sweating is tiring.
  3. Taking an online class on model thinking. This is actually pretty rigorous, but now I know how to calculate standard deviation and build decision trees. Think of all the applications!
  4. Joining a writing workshop. It happens in April but the teacher has already given me homework: five minutes of daily freewriting on a random theme, which will apparently teach me how to divide my writing capabilities between the daily-grind mercenary stuff and creative pursuits. Today I wrote about mice, and curiously, five minutes is not nearly enough time to say everything I want to say about them.

Maybe in a year I will be significantly different as the direct result of one or all of these changes. But even if not, hopefully I’ll still know how to calculate standard deviation.

08 March 2012

Razors on the Doorstep.

Here's a video* for Dollar Shave Club, which takes the hassle of dealing with newfangled razor styles at the supermarket by delivering perfectly good fucking great razors to your doorstep for $1 a pop. In the future, they'll even let you crowdsource your shaving cream!

Quotable: "Your handsome-ass grandfather had one blade. And polio."

It merits noting, for noting's sake, that a European startup called Raz*War does the same thing, with the same DISRUPTIVE! convictions, and has been in business for the last several years. Minus the charismatic video and crowdsourced shaving cream fomula -- although they do punt pretty balms and oils with clean apothecary-style labels. (Just sayin'.)



*Is anyone else getting tired of this irreverent style?

On Kony 2012

Most of you have probably already seen this video by Invisible Children. It managed to rack up over 15 million views in 72 hours and, impressively, presumably got as many people to actually watch something made for the web that is a half-hour long.

Let yourself react, then take the time to read a couple of articles by people who agree with the video's general purpose, but not with how the information was presented or, in at least one case, how the organisation itself is run.

I watched the video and was moved. A large part of me even wanted to run out and order the campaign kit immediately. But I was left with too many questions: how does one man enslave so many children for so long without deterrence? If he has no support, who is the LRA? Does removing him from the picture take a big enough bite out of this problem?

It's okay to feel something after seeing a great ad. But afterward, and especially when the objective is social mobilization (as opposed to, say, buying mascara), give whatever questions rise to the surface the dignity of an answer. Find the story's hidden side.

You may agree with that hidden side, or you may not, and what you do afterward is up to you. But at least you'll be moving forward well-equipped instead of riding an emotional high. You'll be glad you pursued a fuller context than the one that was framed so nicely. And you'll act with more certainty and greater precision, in part because you'll also find other ways to act (here are a handful).

Your actions then are more likely to sustain themselves, and to persuade.

I know a ton more about Joseph Kony and his injustices today than yesterday. A lot of people do. Already that is better than not knowing. But it's equally important to conduct research about the org providing this information, and just generally to be wary of two-dimensional "kill the bad guy" rhetoric. It is not nearly sufficient reason to take up arms, even if those arms are only posters and bracelets. 

06 March 2012

AdVerve Podcast #84: DisPinterested

But will it print you a dream...?

Play the show now. Subscribe in iTunes.

Get your rage rant about social media lunacy, whether there's a point to Pinterest and Bill's latest discovery: We take on pirates and breach Kevin Smith's reality TV series Comic Book Men and Angela talks about the Pirate Bay's new project: 3D Printing! Never buy a pair of Air Jordans again, not when you can make your own and fill that shit in with a Sharpie.

02 March 2012

Is Monocle the New Louis Vuitton?

I’m not sure the people at Monocle would like their well-cared for magazine to be positioned as a luxury product brand — but it’s not always up to the people who work at a brand to decide what the brand is about. Today, many luxury brands feel manufactured and the holding company’s strategy of putting them through a BCG Matrix lifecycle of stars to cash cows must be plainly obvious to any premium product-buying customer. They want more. They want better. Brûlé and his team have not only had the opportunity to write about fashion, travel, automotive and jewelry — they have had the opportunity to create world-leading businesses in each market by leveraging a very 21st century top-of-the-market brand.
- Piers Fawkes, "Is Monocle the New Louis Vuitton?", PSFK.

I am inclined to agree. It's the information age, and Monocle is a luxury purveyor. You can feel it at first touch; even its ads are a tribute to content.

Obsessively Interested ... in Everything.

Today on AdVerve, Darryl posted this beautiful video featuring Michael Wolff for Intel Visual Life. I just felt so much better after watching it. It's pleasing to the eye and commands your attention, but in quietly; something in you just gives pause. It's the story of the work that we do and the story of us, as individuals, traveling quietly through our lives.

You'll see here that Wolff emphasises the importance of curiosity, appreciation and imagination -- none of which are possible without really taking the time to see. We know this intuitively but it's harder to live; our inherent desire to be simpler is in constant combat with the world's desire to populate us with itself. I wish I could carry this sensibility with me all the time.