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Sleeping Your Way To The Top
Confronted with an unsavory request to sleep with a client rep in order to snag a major account for the agency, Joan moves beyond the insult in time to cut a big slice of the pie for herself. Along with the fifty thousand dollars offered to her, she demands 5% of the agency as well. She wants to be a partner. Pete was the snake to approach her with the proposition. That did not come as a surprise. Who else would be so willing to stoop that low? And the other partners agreeing to it? That wasn't much of a surprise, either.

Who Doesn't Like Advertising?
An interesting article ran in Ad Age the other day. There was a study conducted by McCann to determine if the general consumer actually likes advertising. And guess what? Yes. They do. Not only do those surveyed like advertising, many claim to love it. But ad agency employees were a part of the study as well...

Got Lemons? Make Lemonade!
I missed the Big Trip on Oscar night. Until that moment, Jennifer Lawrence had not made it onto my personal radar just yet. Although she's on the cover of last month's Vanity Fair, which I was actually in the middle of reading, she simply hadn't registered with me. So after her name was called as Best Actress, uninterested, I turned back to my computer monitor and missed it — the trip heard 'round the world.

How Important is the Pitch?
A Facebook friend hooked me up with another friend the other day, a project manager for a marketing firm in Chicago. They are currently pitching a PR campaign to a potential client and needed an illustration featuring the products’ brand ambassador at point-of-sale locations. I would design the actual costume that the ambassador/model offering samples to potential customers...

Is Your Kid Model Material?
For a few years as a retail art director I worked primarily with children, from babies to size 14. And I met all kinds of children. Some were onlies, used to being the center of attention. Others were part of a crew of two or three. A few families were large — four, five, even six kids. All of them working models. They would roll up in SUVs and mini-buses and pile out with their backpacks and schoolbooks. Mom may drop one little model off at your shoot and then cut out with a second kid for another shoot. Most successful young models are very smart, outgoing, and above all, they’re well-behaved. Their parents are laid back but totally in charge. While they are kids first and foremost and may run around the photo studio screaming at the tops of their lungs...

Anybody Can Be a Creative Director, Except a Creative Director
What in the Sam Hill is up with companies these days? Musician Alicia Keys is appointed global creative director for Blackberry? Fashion designer Marc Jacobs appointed as a creative director for Diet Coke? And last Thursday Anheuser Busch Bud Light Platinum announced their newly appointed creative director— “Justin Timberlake is one of the greatest creative minds in the entertainment industry..."

Target Uses High Fashion to Sell Everyday Items
Some women are screaming that the ads are sexist. Others say it’s just stupid to show a woman climbing a ladder and changing a light bulb in heels. Well, for crying out loud, must we take everything so literally? These ads are gorgeous and nothing more than a great-looking and harmless way to put more excitement into the selling of everyday items.

JR Ewing Speaks From The Grave
DALLAS has way over a million fans on Facebook. This blogger has been an FB fan since 2010, just when the rumblings of the new television series that premiered during the 2012 season were beginning to stir. I think it’s pretty clear to everyone why the bulk of the fans are there. For the same reason we watched each new episode all season with hopes for an appearance, no matter how brief. There’s only one character who kept us coming back every week. No question. It was and is Mr. JR Ewing. As a fan, I’ve been wondering what in the world are they going to do now that the incomparable Larry Hagman is no longer with us. Can they keep the momentum of the show going...

What Could He Possibly Sell To You Now?
Lots of tall tales are told in AdLand*. All day every day. But when a person boosts his own value and marketability by serving up a heartbreaking story, only for that story to be exposed as an enormous lie, there's no coming back from that. Is there? Manti Te'o of Notre Dame thought he could ride the saga of his dead girlfriend all the way to the Heisman trophy. Even after discovering that he’d been catfished — and that’s only if you believe that he wasn’t in on the fabrication from the very beginning — he continued the lie, keeping it going at the school...

Google Delivers 30 Secs. of Greatness
I’m willing to go out on a limb and declare this ad for Google, by San Fran agency Venables Bell & Partners, as one of the best 30-sec spots I’ve ever seen. Everything works with this one. There aren’t a lot of lines but the few there are flow as naturally as those in your house on any given morning.

Bringing Fashion Illustration Back From The Dead
The other day I gave a set of note cards featuring my fashion illustrations to a new friend. She lamented over what she deemed ‘the death of fashion art’ and spoke wistfully of the days, many years ago now, when designers and big retailers, Saks, Bloomingdales, Lord & Taylor, etc. used illustration almost exclusively for their fashion ads. “Everyone looks the same now,” she said. “You can’t tell one from the other.” And I guess that’s true for many because even if like my friend, you knew absolutely nothing about fashion illustration, in time you learned to recognize the print ads of each retailer or fashion house not only by their logo but by their style of art.

Why Hire A-List Actors for Faceless Voiceover Work?
You’re kicking back watching your favorite program on television when a commercial comes on. It’s for Honda. Or Budweiser. Maybe Visa. Tuning it out, you check your phone for text messages or tap your iPad awake for a quick peek when suddenly your ears, on their own, zoom back in on the TV ad. That voice. It’s someone you know. Maybe someone you’ve heard for years and years. But…you just can’t put your finger on it. Who IS that? It could be George Clooney. Or Morgan Freeman. Maybe it’s Lauren Bacall. Or Wanda Sykes. It’s a well-known movie actor or performer with a voice that some might recognize. Morgan Freeman smoothly presides over the Visa spots.

Can Boys Create Advertising for Girls?
Women are more creatively diversified, designing for products that are geared towards men with ease. But can a man do the same with much success? Okay. Let’s be specific. We're talking about straight boys here, because we all know our share of wonderfully terrific male designers and directors who can out-strut Tina Turner in the highest pair of Louboutins created. But today we're talking straight. Don Draper straight. Never-wore-a-pair-of-pumps-not-even-while-in-drag-on-Halloween straight.

The Question of Accepting Image Retouching
Retouched imagery. Is there a line drawn somewhere in our subconscious mind that allows for just so much of it? Everyone by now knows that the printed image we see in an ad, any ad, has been slapped and tickled with Photoshop wizardry. Even your grandmother knows it. But is it accepted? And are we even conscious of it? Does Jane or John in Tatertot, Iowa realize that the image they see of Madonna today in the ad for her new “Truth or Dare” fragrance is not just a photo, but a painting?

Baileys Irish Cream: Impressive? Yes. Effective? Oh Yes!
There’s a stupendously original campaign running at the moment. And it deserves a really BIG shout-out. The new ad for Baileys Irish Cream liqueur from London’s award-winning agency, BBH, absolutely rocks its 60 seconds of airtime. A tribute to the old Busby Berkley musicals from the Depression-era '30s and featuring Blondie’s 1981 hit “Rapture,” Cream With Spirit is stylish, contemporary, and the most creative spot airing today.

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