Sunday, May 24, 2009

Cannes Young Lions and YouTube... The Future Sure Looks Bright

Greetings... I once said a few weeks back if you take a day or two away from the "bloggosphere" the world passes you by.

After spending the last few days in bed fighting a Bacterial Pneumonia and living off on antibiotics, a word from and to the wise... "be careful what lives in dust and mold".

That said, laptop at my side I spent a couple of hours scanning through what seems to be a billion entries to the YouTube Cannes Young Lions 48 Hour Ad Contest.
YouTube and Cannes Lions have partnered to search for two young creatives to win an all-expenses paid trip to this year's Festival and fill a new 38th place as Team YouTube in the 2009 Young Lions Film Competition.

Here are few that have caught my eye for many a reason. Brilliant concepts that get a point across only to fail when they over "info dump" details, the concept that gets lost behind "over production" and the few others that simple proved as always "K.I.S.S." (simplicity rules)... really the bottom line here is the future of creative looks very bright.

Some the finishing qualities make the contest seem unfair... there is professional broadcast quality editing and then there are those that look like someone needed a sharper pair of scissors when they edited their pixels.

These are not presented in order and the link provided will take you to the "voting" site where you can give these entries your own approval (thumbs-up) or disapproval (thumbs-down).

I look forward June 2nd when the world will know the winning entry. and type "videocrebar" into the search bar and give his video a thumbs up. and type "telethebhe" into the search bar and give his video a thumbs up. and type "JVG999tube" into the search bar and give his video a thumbs up. and type "rt1352" into the search bar and give his video a thumbs up. and type "TheSingingNerd" into the search bar and give his video a thumbs up. and type "juma" into the search bar and give his video a thumbs up. and type "luke" into the search bar and give his video a thumbs up. and type "gruppe001" into the search bar and give his video a thumbs up.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Future Looks Bright. Think fast. Think Smart... or Get Out of The Way.

Today Scott Goodson returned. (Insert dramatic SFX.)

I missed his writings over the past couple of weeks, and what a come back.


Scott and StrawberryFrog has always remained a very positive voice in this crazy ad world and in his blog today he pointed out the changes he is seeing in the current landscape and what the future is expecting.

Simple. Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) are looking for more, better, faster.

Here’s is a few highlights from his blog post:
Things are getting busy. Very busy. So much so that I simply haven't had much time to write on this blog. After the economic collapse in the back end of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009, the phones started to ring again in early spring. First there were one or two inquiries a week. Now it's a new call a day.

I have been in touch with a select group of other modern agencies, and it's much the same with them. We are getting a lot of calls, most of them from large clients that previously worked exclusively with the very big legacy holding company agencies or networks.

This is a phenomenal sign for places like the FrogPond.

We've noticed that clients are looking for smarter, better, more effective and more efficient partners. Partners that are part of the solution, not the problem.

If current contact growth rates hold up, we could be witnessing the first significant shift in business away from the traditional agencies… towards new, more innovative firms with the competence and pedigree to strategically steward a brand and scale it with creative excellence in all media. Far-fetched? Perhaps. But if you understand the pressures clients are under… then you can see why they are searching for new options...

When we started StrawberryFrog ten years ago, it was virtually unheard of for huge major clients to award multi-million dollar accounts to new challenger firms. This is no longer the case. We have proven over ten years that you can do what huge clients need and want, but do it differently than the dinosaurs. Many of the calls we've received the past month have been from America's blue chip companies wishing to meet us and understand how we can service their businesses and brands differently from the legacy agencies.

For agencies like ours this is a welcome sign. "Yeah, yeah yeah", you say. Sure thing. But even in the face of that semi-corny line, these call do signal the importance of brilliant ideas, the resurgence of strategic and creative excellence, and not the focus on money or the crushing weight of bureaucracies.

Today, intelligence, experience, innovative and being agile as hell counts.

The pressures of the economy mixed with the media revolution underway are pushing clients to take hard looks at their traditional agencies and this is blowing the cobwebs out of the advertising attic, and creating new opportunities for modern…
It was once echoed in a song “The future looks bright… I’m gonna need shades”.

Sign me up.

Scott and StrawberryFrog continue to inspire me to change the way I teach and how my students need to prepare.

You gotta be smarter, you gotta be faster, and you gotta adapt.

Seneca Creative Advertising and The YouTube/Cannes Lions

YouTube and Cannes Lions have partnered to search for two young creatives to win an all-expenses paid trip to this year's Festival and fill a new 38th place as Team YouTube in the 2009 Young Lions Film Competition and I have a couple of students who have entered the competition.

Since the close of entries, contestants have two weeks to generate as many views possible. Two separate winners will be selected by a panel of experts who will judge the ad based on creativity, number of views and video ratings. During the two-week period between May 17th and June1st for entrants to create a viral buzz around their video to drive as many public views and votes as possible by whatever means.

After June 1st, a panel of advertising experts will judge the shortlisted entries and select two winners based on overall creative execution of the brief and the videos' views, ratings, comments, votes and overall online footprint. The winners will be announced on June 5th: the prize for the two selected winners is an all-expenses paid trip to the Festival to take part in the Young Lions Film Competition as Team YouTube offering a fantastic exposure for young creatives looking to carve a role in the advertising or film industry.

The winners will unite and receive an all-expenses paid trip to Cannes to attend the Festival and compete as the 38th team in the prestigious Young Lions Film competition.

So I am hoping you will take the time a view my two student entries. It helps their cause, and feedback is always welcome.

Click. Enjoy. Vote.

Spencer Black – Art Director zig Toronto: and type “spencer” into the search bar and give his video a thumbs up.

Robin Soukvilay – Current Semester 3 Student: and type “billy” into the search bar and give his video a thumbs up.

Taxi Swims The Atlantic... Sort Of.

Taxi one of Canada's premier creative communication companies (since they are way beyond just an advertising agency... it may have redesigned the model overall) has opened its first office in Europe.

Taxi acquired the majority stake in Amsterdam digital agency Ottonico.

The agency, which officially rebranded as Taxi Europe on May 13, serves clients such as Foot Locker, Heineken (a Taxi client in Canada), ING, KPN Royal Dutch Telecom and telecommunications brands Hi and Telefort.

Taxi’s co-founder and chair Paul Lavoie will add the title of chief creative officer, Europe to his business card. Both he and Taxi co-founder Jane Hope will travel between Amsterdam and Taxi New York as the company integration continues over the coming months.

Ottonico’s co-founders Eric Verhage and Maarten van Huijstee, both former Heineken employees, assume the roles of general manager and executive creative director, respectively.

“Our creative visions are a natural fit,” said van Huijstee, in a statement. “We share the belief that there is no new and no old media. Every channel can deliver results when the choice is rooted in consumer insight.”

I figure this may be perfect for some Taxi staffers as Lavoie expects specific "talent and capabilities" will be moving to Amsterdam. Ottonico is primarily a digital shop offering a full range of design capabilities and has established itself as less traditional "advertising" than the other offices in Taxi’s network. It’s a safe bet those capabilities will be brought in from North America.

With a current staff of 22, Lavoie estimated Taxi Europe’s staff to reach 35 by the time Ottonico is fully integrated into the network.

“We want to be a European brand, a brand that’s popular in the Netherlands,” said Lavoie from his new European base of operations. “People from our shop can walk out of here and see our campaigns and feel that we’re part of this community. But at the same time, we want to use this as a hub for Europe.”

Taxi has been exploring the possibility of a European expansion for a few years, and with the growth of Canadian presence in Europe, Sid Lee Amsterdam recently, the timing was just right. Taxi considered starting an office from scratch, but opted instead for faster growth through acquisition giving the agency a client base at launch.

Lavoie met with several Amsterdam’s digital agencies “because that’s where Taxi’s shipping more and more of its work for clients.”

“I’ve got some guys who are really tough... If [Verhage and van Huijstee] could get through that filter, then we’ve got something. Everyone was coming back to me saying they were cool, smart and generous. They’re really Taxi people.”


New York, NY May 19, 2009 – TAXI has purchased a majority of Dutch digital agency Ottonico, TAXI chairman Paul Lavoie announced today.

The acquisition represents a crucial step in TAXI’s growth by establishing a presence in Europe. TAXI, begun in 1992, now operates five offices in Canada, as well as New York and Amsterdam.

Ottonico was founded in 2008 by Eric Verhage and Maarten van Huijstee. The 22-person agency offers strategic and creative solutions across all forms of media, including digital, gaming and mobile. Its clients include Heineken, KPN Royal Dutch Telecom, TNT Post, Foot Locker, ING and telecommunications brands Hi and Telfort.

The deal has been several months in the making. TAXI executives considered several European cities and partnerships before deciding upon Amsterdam and Ottonico. “This was a decision to invest in Europe to deliver local and global reach to both European and North American clients,” said Lavoie. “We chose Amsterdam because it is a creative and multi-cultural hub, and we chose Ottonico because they embody the future of integrated communications.”

Ottonico’s Verhage and van Huijstee take the titles of General Manager and Executive Creative Director, respectively “Our creative visions are a natural fit” said van Huijstee. “We share the belief that there is no “new” and no “old” media; every channel can deliver results when the choice is rooted in consumer insight.”

Verhage and van Huijstee will work closely with TAXI co-founders Paul Lavoie and Jane Hope in the coming months on integrating Ottonico into the TAXI network. “Our first responsibility is to existing clients, the integration of diverse capabilities across our network is aimed at delivering on their needs now and into the future,” concluded TAXI CEO Rob Guenette.

Prior to opening Ottonico, Verhage and van Huijstee worked at Heineken and other global corporations. The pair also developed a business dedicated to video streaming and brand activation.

Monday, May 18, 2009

UPDATE: Hello Alex... Hire Me.

Hey, I wanted to update you on Chris Kahle. Remember he is the former Publicis Vancouver copywriter was asking Twitter users to contact Alex Bogusky in the hope of landing his dream gig at Crispin Porter + Bogusky.

This young and VERY talented creative from Vancouver who created a very interesting and unique effort to get Cripsin Porter + Bogusky attention.

As a point of interest, as of May 17th the Twitter effort has raised $48 for the James Lee Foundation (in memory of one Canada's great creative and inspired minds who tragically was taken from us almost 2 years ago) and $29 for MS Society (a personal charity of interest to me).

There has been some interesting back-and-forth on this effort.

Some kind... others not so kind.

From Denver Egoist:

Twitter Spammer

Here at The Egotist we applaud innovative, new methods creatives are using to crack into great agencies—especially if they’re finding a way to do it with new media, like Twitter. The tactic Canadian copywriter Chris Kahle has chosen, however, is just plain fuckin’ annoying. He’s got a campaign going asking the public to Tweet Bogusky and interactive CD Jeff Benjamin at CP+B with a message about hiring Kahle in their Boulder office. Same level of irritation as Viagra spam, dude. If you were betting, would you put money on him landing a job from it?


steve · May 13, 09:03 AM

On the one hand, I don’t want to bug the CP+B guys. On the other hand, money to charity just for hitting cmd+c, cmd+v, return is pretty tempting.

Scott Fassett · May 13, 09:37 AM

as annoying as it may seem, aren’t you guys just giving his tweet thing some relevance by making a post about it. D’oh! I just helped his cause by writing a comment.

Chris Mackintosh · May 14, 08:26 PM

The Egotist is claiming this is like getting Viagra emails or getting calls during dinner…. um, and I thought I was new to twitter. How many bunk tweets do you get a day? Tons. I only follow around 150 tweeps and I get plenty of junk coming across the tweetdeck. Big deal if I get an @ reply suggesting I hire someone. If I was in CP+B’s position, I’d look at this and think, what a creative way to try to stand out from other resumes. Depending on his book I’d say he’s got a good shot at getting hired

I gotta say when you got a portfolio that sings... well let it sing. His stuff is brilliant.

I love the Rolaids campaign... not even close to big love I have for the Titleist ad... and the Lotus Awards piece, well last year at the ADCC Awards took my breath away. Brilliant!!!

Check this Chris Kahle's portfolio out. It sings.

PS: I am sending my Tweets tonight.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Portfolio Night. How Not to Use Portfolio Night.

I found this an interesting read on what to expect and what not to do when attending Portfolio Night.

The author, Journal of A Junior Copywriter, simply uses the following in his profile:

PJL - About Me

Christian, Husband, Father, Friend, Jr. Copywriter, Fat, Happy, Caucasian (cause it sounds better than Cracker), Illini Alumni, Curious, Ninja, Zombie Expert, Football Nut, and lucky.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

How Not to Use Portfolio Night

Makin' Ads beat me to the punch on posting about Portfolio Night, but I want to share my experience with Portfolio Night. I entitle this, how not to do Portfolio Night.

I failed at Portfolio Night.
I had 5 people review my book. All immeasurably more talented and successful than me. I got some great feedback, good feedback, and some awful feedback. And I didn't focus on any of it.

Pay close attention, because I'm about to tell you the most important thing you can do during Portfolio Night.


I had an ECD who had worked at my dream agency, and was working at one my favorite shops in town review my book. This man was a multiple Grand Lions winner, Multiple One Show winner, multiple entrant into CA. He was a former One Show Judge, and he reviewed my book.

I remember all of his compliments vividly.

I couldn't begin to tell you how he told me to improve my book.

This man told me I was talented, had a great future ahead of me, and wanted to stay in touch with me. He replied to each and every email I sent him within a day of me sending it, with thoughtful and encouraging replies. Until I sent him my "finished" student book.

I don't know why I never heard back from him, but I'm pretty sure I can guess. There were two campaigns I had showed him at the review. He loved the concept behind both of them, but told me they needed work.

I removed those campaigns from my book.

I didn't fix them, I didn't show him that I could follow feedback.

I didn't get a job at his shop.

After that, I resolved myself to making changes based on feedback of my reviewers. The next time I showed my book to someone I made their suggested changes, and it made a difference.

I got a job.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Really It's Fu@king Money. Creative Brilliance IV.

Abraham Lincoln and Clara Schumann in Bontrust ad

BonTrust, a German financial planning company, have provided a sexual take on the international financial market in "Money Love", an animated commercial developed at Optix, Hamburg for ad agency Grabarz & Partner, Hamburg.

The ad brings together the English pound, the American dollar, the Chinese yuan in a NSFW romp. Clara Schumann, whose face appeared on the 100 Deutsche Mark note, stars as the femme fatale with a British 20 Pound body. The explicit activity between Schumann and Lincoln is sure to elicit a range of reactions from the British, Germans and Americans who love their currency. Fortunately for the agency, Mao’s involvement with Clara is only hinted at. Yet who knows how the Chinese will react!

Optix has made a world completely made out of banknotes, with explicit characters, Clara Schumann, Abraham Lincoln and Mao Tse Tung. The team focused their research on the characters and the appropriate furniture, buildings, bridges, landscapes, and clothing styles. An origami feel for the world was created in 2D style frames. The team spent hours making origami figures out of dollar and pound notes, providing inspiration for the 3D characters were created in Softimage XSI. Each character received an individual animation rig. With this digital skeleton we defined positions, rotations as well as the movements of the particulars.


Title: Increase In Currency
Agency: Grabarz & Partner, Hamburg
Creative Directors: Fedja Kehl and Paul von Mühlendahl.
Animation: Optix Digital
Director Andreas Pohl

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Rebranding A Major Brand? America.

For years the battle cry was those "Ugly Americans". It was awful, but was it deserved?

There was a time Americans would neatly place Canadian flags on their backpacks and baggage while traveling the world. Why? It became simple, the brand was tarnished. It became a bully. It was seen all things wrong. Expansion without compassion. And time went on without repair.

So, now America is like any company teetering on bankruptcy -- having lost so credibility and brand currency, and never more so then
over the past eight years. What can be done? Well, a magazine named PAPER has invited some of the best visual communicators in the United States, from ad gurus to artists to create original advertising concepts that could redefine the country's image. A welcome to U.S.A. 2.0.

Here are the details and my personal favorites. But it is Alex Bogusky's "Flag" that blew me away. I believe his rationale is as brilliant as the design. When President Obama included non-believers is his inauguration speech he touched so many while equally surprising so many.

I sent Alex a note about my feelings on his piece and the rationale, he told me he would love to turn it into a painting if "I could only find the time". Let's hope he does... this piece is timeless and potent.

(To see all the results click here)


From: Kim Hastreiter
Subject: Rebranding America
Date: March 16, 2009 4:54:26 PM EDT

To: Alex Bogusky, Dan Wieden, Ivan Chermayeff, Kevin Roberts, Andy Spade, Shepard Fairey, Ron English, Peter Buchanan-Smith, Steve Powers, Chris Johanson, Jonathan Horowitz, Mike Mills, Geoff McFetridge, Bruce High Quality Foundation, Alex Kalman

Hello! I'm a great fan of yours so I wanted to approach you about participating in a piece I am producing for my annual Design issue of the magazine (themed "homesweethome"). I felt compelled to include you in this piece as you are truly some of my personal favorite fearless creative communicators.

As the times we are living in are so radical, I think radical ideas are needed to help save our proverbial asses and to create a new path forward into what I like to call the "new normal". The best part of being in deep shit is that with it comes a unique opportunity for progressive thinking because the status quo is desperate. I thought it appropriate to dedicate the issue to home, and so the subject of one piece I am producing is about our homeland: The U.S. of A.

I have chosen a stellar list of my favorite mavericks (you are one!) and invited you all to create a visual page ---as if it was an ad--- for America. HOW WOULD YOU REBRAND AMERICA??? (we certainly need it desperately!) How would you make people love us again? How would you change our brand image? Our perception abroad? How could you project our future to our citizens? If America had a new ad campaign, what would it look like? I will run the portfolio of these "Ads for America" as the editorial well in the May issue of PAPER.

I know you are big cheeses, and yes, super busy, but I really hope you are inspired to contribute something that will then inspire others. To me this is an opportunity to share with our readers some amazing ideas from the best thinkers I know of using our pages. Can you (or your team) come up with something for this issue?

With Admiration,

"Our forefathers had the brilliance to provide for the separation of church and state, but it hasn't really been adhered to. For example, in the '50s "under God" was added to the Pledge of Allegiance. I think the "separation" may actually be part of the issue. Perhaps it would work better to unite the nation, the states and all faiths -- including the lack of faith -- and sew it into the flag, so we never forget that this was what our forefathers wanted."

"My dream is for all Americans to reach out to the world and inspire everyone they touch to come together and rebuild a new world of optimism, joy and shared responsibility. Actions speak louder than ads."
Kevin Roberts is the worldwide CEO and creative force behind Saatchi & Saatchi. He works with a team of 6,000 people across 86 countries. Well known for his revolutionary marketing theory of "Lovemarks," which helps to connect brands with emotions, Roberts is also the author of marketing and management books Lovemarks: the Future Beyond Brands, and sisomo: the future on screen.

"America is a forever-young country, branding and rebranding itself incessantly. This is no country for old ad people to re-imagine -- that is best accomplished by the youngest hearts and minds. And that is why we turned to W+K12. They did not disappoint."

Peter Buchanan-Smith started his own New York-based graphic design company, Buchanan-Smith, in 2006. He also teaches graphic design at The School of Visual Arts in New York.

"For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth. And because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace." President Barack Obama, inaugural remarks (January 20, 2009)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Burger King... er Kingons!

Brilliance once again from our friends at Crispin, Porter + Bogusky.

Simply outstanding... Burger King has assaulted our brains with creepy-weird ads for years now, but these may be the weirdest... specifically the female BK-themed "Kingon" that does a "dance of seduction" to steal your Star TrekKingon Defense Academy, devoted to protecting you from these insidious attacks.

The Burger King Star Trek campaign is getting underway with the introduction of what may be the funniest promotion ever.
The offspring of an "alien encounter" between the Burger King and a Klingon woman (possibly when he showed up one morning in her bed with a breakfast sandwich as he likes to do, but didn't count on the aggressiveness of the species), the "Kingons" are here on Earth on a mission to collect all the Star Trek glasses.

I actually don't know where to begin with these ads... the "Kingons" are determined to steal them from you mostly using weird playground bullying tactics, such as wedgies and nipple attacks. Yes, really. A "Kingon" is going to attack your nipples. There's a whole website, the

The website "Kingon Defense Academy" which has just opened, has a series of hilarious training videos to help earthers learn the tactics of these glass-grabbing aliens: You have to visit it for a good laugh, I got a real "kick" out of it!

From The Website The Dance of Seduction:

From The Website Talaxian Limb Paralysis:

Television Spot:

Portfolio Night 7 - Toronto SOLD OUT!!!

They say he who procrastinates is lost.

With just under a month to go before Portfolio Night 7, Toronto becomes the very first city to sell all of its tickets! As a proud sponsor of the event this make me very excited about the event.

So what’s a latecomer to do? Well you could do what others have done: hop on a plane, train or automobile and head on over to another city. There are still tickets available for Canadian cities such as Montreal and Quebec City.

But let’s say you don’t think you could handle un marché québecois. If you act fast, you can still snag tickets for the other cities…. although Chicago, San Fran and Los Angeles are also selling quickly. And of course there will be some news about New York tomorrow.

To everybody else: if you’re thinking about getting a Portfolio Night ticket, stop thinking and start acting!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Taxi NYC and MoMA - A Film by Paul Lavoie

The short film, directed by Azazel Jacobs, marks a return to copywriting by TAXI chairman and co-founder Paul Lavoie.

G-d do I love this piece. Simple and something I have seen happen in front me... look around your life, the places you go and see, and you will see the "art" that lives within your life.

It's also the first of what will be a new, annual series of commissioned films by rising filmmakers, and will be shown before film screenings in the museum's Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters. The series is titles iSee.

In "I See," by TAXI, NYC, a character named "Frank" stands looking at Russian artist Vladimir Baranoff-Rossiné's 1913 sculpture, Symphony Number 1. He's got that bored look in his eye of someone forced to be there by friends or out-of-town visitors, until the robotic audio tour voice begins to relate the piece of art and the inspiration behind it, to Frank's own life. To that end, this project by MoMA reaches out to those who might not have the museum at the top of their visit lists.

Hello Alex... Hire Me.

They say that desperate times call for desperate measures.

We've already seen one unemployed copywriter willing to bare all to grab attention in his quest for a job. We even had a desperate plea from a filmaker/creative wanting David Droga's attention... fail.

Now, a former Publicis Vancouver copywriter is imploring Twitter users to spam Alex Bogusky in the hope of landing his dream gig at Crispin Porter + Bogusky.

The basic idea: Chris Kahle will donate $1 to charity for the first 200 people who send Twitter messages to Bogusky urging him to hire Kahle.

The message is to include a link to Kahle's site, where he's penned a "Dear Alex" (and interactive creative director Jeff Benjamin) letter that says he can't shake a recent visit to the shop's Boulder, Colo., headquarters. "Where normally I'd be playing free-association drinking games by myself and inventing new words to rhyme with smegma, now I just think of you guys." Touching. I have no doubt he'll get dozens of people to pass on his message—several already have—but I'm not sure this is going to fly. For one thing, Bogusky has already said he doesn't read his Twitter replies. More important, this effort is enthusiastic but comes up a bit short in subtlety.

It's funny that ad people can see a new media vehicle and immediately leap to the idea that the best way to use it is to bombard someone with messages. Sadly, it was a reason Alex left twitter in the first place. Now he is back, or is he? Remember that recently Current's Jordan Kretchmer, whose TwitteRFP led some shops to carpet-bomb him.

Okay, now if I can only get Alex to extend me the first "CP+B 50 Year-Old Internship Program" I open to any ideas... send me your thoughts.

Coke Gremlins Spot Update... Cat Piano!

If you enjoyed Mother London's "Organ Player" spot for Coke I posted the other day, there's more about them at The best part might be the biographies of all 10 characters over on their Flickr page. They have given each a personality, two that I like are the dimwits Crétin and Tincré, yes they sound about as dimwitted as they look. There's also a Facebook page and various other gimcrack.

The song from the commercial is available on iTunes in the U.K.

Meanwhile, some bloggers are wondering whether the whole campaign was inspired by this German cat piano from the 1600s. Yes, you read that correctly, "Cat Piano".

This crazy musical instrument was designed in 1650 by
Athanasius Kircher, a 17th century German Jesuit scholar.

The piano was designed to raise the spirits of an Italian prince who was too stressed out. The musician would select cats whose voices were at different pitches then arrange them in the pens accordingly. The piano delivered sharp pokes into the tails of the cats.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother Gremlins and Coca-Cola

I just can't get enough of this spot.

Really, Johnny Deep, Willy Wonka... imaginations run wild.

Coca Cola brings in the summer in the UK with “Organ Player”, a TV spot filmed in Auckland, New Zealand. Set on the top of One Tree Hill, the ad brings together gremlins, disco music and summer dancing, all fueled by Coca Cola.

These strangely cute gremlins sing for Coke, or rather become an instrument in a coke-organ, and the exclusive track has been written and produced by electro superstar Calvin Harris via EMI. The track is called La La La, Yeah Yeah Yeah and will appear on his album later this year.

As the keyboard player plugs in his barrels of Coca Cola, his piano casing unravels, revealing the true mechanisms behind the instrument. Each time he pushes a key, a squirt of Coke is released to a creature. The party gets going with furry singers and instrumentalists providing the beat for a group of carefree dancers.

Each creature was actually a puppet and had to be manipulated by two people; which meant that only two creatures were shot at a time. This in turn meant that each shot was a combination of 4 or 5 plates. As no motion control could be done on the hill, the individual creatures had to be tracked and composited together by the 2D team. Each individual had to be de-rigged and its eyes, nose and tongue were animated to create a more realistic look. For the pipes, straws full of Coke were shot in MPC’s rostrum and then integrated to the final footage. The squirts of liquid were created using some live action elements which were and composited into the shots to match the open mouths. Crowd replication populated the throng running up the hill and stop frame animation was used for the Coke bottles coming out of the ground.

Created by Mother London.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

A View From A Graduate.

Stuart Chan was a student of mine who was kind enough to email me the other day after one of my Blog items about Alex Bogusky caught his eye. After reading his email, I asked if I could post his thoughts. He simply replied:
"By all means, you may publish it... After all the next best thing to getting inspired is to be inspiring".
Stuart is currently a copywriter at Yield Communications in Toronto, a full service integrated communication company. There clients include, Cadillac Fairview, Sears, Epost, Altimira and 407ETR.

Here are of Stuart's thoughts... unedit, as sent.

From: Stuart Chan
Date: Friday, May 8, 2009 11:35 am
Subject: A Word to the Students

After reading your blog post on DOCTOR Bogusky today, it sparked that memory of the lunch with him we had. I believe... What was it, 3? Total students from our semester were invited? And I was lucky enough to be one of them.

It’s funny how memory serves you, and how things can spark from the slightest hint of other things, but I also remember one day in class now when you told us about the quote: “Always give UP.” and that’s stuck with me ever since.

So I figured since there’s so many prospective "adlanders" coming into and out of your program each semester, I’d write to you with a some words to the students. Not to the advertising students, but rather, to the students of advertising. The ones who have the passion, the ones who become believers of the religion of advertising.

Everything that you do is to add value to the program and I figure I might as well try and help.

Firstly, whether you’re Left or whether you’re Right, the old “1% Inspiration, 99% Perspiration rule applies.”

Take your inspiration, beat it to death, and when you’re done doing that, beat it back to life.

The best ideas in the real world always come last. (I know I know, that’s because you got the idea you wanted and stopped thinking about it, but seriously, with each passing idea, you’ll find a new gem.)

Here at Yield, I’ve had many meaningful conversations with colleagues, but the best ones always come with a takeaway that should be applied for the rest of your creative life.

So here are a few things that I’ve picked up, that I hope stick with YOU - The students of Advertising:

It doesn’t matter if you’re junior, senior, left, right, or completely sideways... FIGHT FOR YOUR WORK, until someone can legitimately prove you wrong. Sorry but out here, you’re not always going to get others to fight for it for you.

My creative director here is right about this: “As a CD, I can always bring you back. You can go as crazy as you want with an idea, and maybe I’ll like your 75th, 76th, and 77th concept, because I think your 78th concept will get you thrown into an asylum. But at least you got there. I can’t be the one to help you if you came up with 6 concepts and they’re all crap.”

Get used to killing your babies. This is the reason why you have to be full of ideas, ALL THE TIME. Take this example: You present 20 concepts, your Creative Director likes 10 of them, you present them to the client, the client likes 5 of them, and 2 of them are out of budget range, and another 1 of them is simply not executable. You’re down to 2 concepts from 20, so... By simple math, 18 of your babies died today.

A word on portfolios: Don’t think about building your book as a manner of “This is what I can do.” If you do that, your book will always be second rate. Think about it as building a book as a way of showing “THIS IS HOW I CAN THINK”. That became apparent to me when one CEO (who asked to see me specifically after the CD had already seen me) flipped through my book and asked me the following question: “The whole world is beginning to go engagement and interactive. Can you think like that?” Of course I replied that I could, and all he said was: “Well why is it not in your book?” Doh!

So touching on that topic, I think it’s about the right time now to include more than just print ads in your books. If you are an out of the box, crazy thinker, make sure your book says that about you. Lots of people are going to say “they just want to see ads”. I think that’s incorrect, I think they want to see “FRESH”. They want to see “CRAZY”. THEY WANT TO SEE YOUR 78TH CONCEPT. Because remember, they can always bring you back. They look at ads all day long, what in the world makes you think they “want to see ads” in your book?

Finally, for all of you set to forge your way into the real world: KNOW YOUR TARGET MARKET. No... Seriously... Know them! I’m not talking about the target market of your ads, I’m talking about the target market of your portfolio. I’m talking about the Creative Directors you want to get a sit down with. The same Creative Directors who get thousands of e-mails a day, and probably don’t have too much time for crap, so God help them if they haven’t gotten back to you after you’ve sent the generic “See my portfolio cause I’m a student” e-mail for the 5th time.

Find a way to stand out, and for fucks sake, be aggressive. SELL YOURSELF.

Remember, an ad isn’t worth anything if it doesn’t sell. And guess what... Neither are you.

-Stuart Chan, Copywriter, Idearator, Student of Advertising.

P.S. WRITERS: Never underestimate the power of “Knob Creek”. I landed my job in 8 words or less.

Thank you Stuart. You can contact him at:

When Media Goes Green. The Natural Media Company.

Here's an idea that has been part of our lives in Toronto for decades... at least for those travel along the Gardnier Expressway and The Lakeshore here in Toronto. But now here's a company that caught my attention on a much grander scale.

As I have said, "If you can think it... it can be done". It is the concept behind the ever growing need to be unique in the advertising world.

CURB claims to be the world's first natural media company. They offer a range of highly effective media solutions solely using natural earth elements.
We have created a portfolio of unique eco-advertising services and a crack green team of creative experts, to provide clients with outstanding natural marketing which impacts on their target consumer without impacting on the environment.

Our natural media has already achieved worldwide coverage and put simply we offer a viable and effective choice for clients and agencies looking to integrate nature into their marketing communications.

CURB has a unique portfolio of media ideas, all are considered "sustainable media", with a minimal cost to the environment. The idea is basic, a team experts use only sustainable earth elements to create everything from national advertising campaigns to astounding corporate art.

I know it's spring time, but imagine next winter, SnowTagging. Branding and advertising in snow. Quite simply Snow Tagging allows our clients to brand snow...anywhere!!! From 100 to 100,000 imprints, while generating publicity from campaign.

Some the most unique work falls in a category called, H2Show. The H2show media is the ultimate wow factor!

CURB's H2show (see video below) is a media which a creative solutions using just water. CURB uses a unique information waterfall which can literally shape brand logos and imagery in water, the waterfall can be set up anywhere from 6-60 meters while the "machine" can drop any message within a waterfall or as a stand alone water logo. Even more interesting is the ability of the H2show technology, it can be totally interactive and can be programmed so that audiences/consumers can text messages to the machine which would be dropped instantly in water. The technology can easily be integrated into an online solution allowing artwork and messages to be altered and dropped in water from any website around the world.

Is it real long term opportunity, publicity stunts or simply a niche.

Time will tell. But check the samples on their website.

WTF is in the Water at Seneca. Creative Advertising Greatness.

Hey, what a Friday May 8th turned out to be. One Show winners Aaron Starkman and Steve Persico, and now this.

The National
Advertising Awards announced their winners for the Young Creatives Competition sponsored by the National Post and Cannes Canada, and once again the Creative Advertising program at Seneca College will be sending a Grand Prix winner to Cannes in June and compete on the world stage with other young creatives... and that's not the only graduates bring home honors.

This year Dan Bache, Creative Advertising grad from 2005 who is now an Art Director at Taxi Vancouver won a Gold, Bronze and the much coveted Grand Prix. The Grand Prix includes the full-paid trip to Cannes. Along with Dan, past Cannes Young Creatives Grand Prix winner Steve Persico of Leo Burnett Toronto won a Bronze in the Print category and David Pigeon of Due North Communications received a merit in the Integrated category. For the first time one of the programs graduates received a Bronze in the Creative Media competition, Brad Henson of Starcom MediaVest.

Mr. Bache won his bronze was in the category for Out of Home for client Kellogg's, his gold was for a print ad created for Campbell's V8. The winning ad jokingly depicts an adult son and his mother with a recently severed umbilical cord between them claimed the Grand Prix award. The tagline? "Veggies you can get on your own."

Missy Robson, spokeswoman of awards producer and creator Adcam, said the ad for Campbell's Canada "was the clear favorite across all disciplin
es judged by the creative jury."

Dan Bache is not the first winner in the Cannes Young Creative Competition. We have now had 9 Grand Prix Winners in total over the years. The list include, Chris Taciuk (twice), Aaron Starkman, Michelle Spivak, Matt Bielby (twice), Steve Persico, Cam Boyd, and Chris Joakim.

The National Advertising Awards Competition is North America's only major brief-based advertising awards competition. The National Advertising Awards Competition melds the unleashed creative thinking of Canada's advertising young community with the needs of major clients.


  • Celebrate and reward outstanding advertising creativity
  • Deliver fresh ideas to Canada's leading brands
Ian MacKellar, Executive VP and ECD at BBDO Toronto, was this year's Lead Chair. The NAA 2009 judging chairs included: Brett Channer, Chairman and ECD at Saatchi & Saatchi, who chaired the Direct competition; Critical Mass CEO Dianne Wilkins chaired the Interactive; and Cathy Collier, Senior Vice-President and Media Director at Cossette Media, chaired the Media. In addition to his Lead Chair duties Ian MacKellar oversaw the NAA creative categories: Print, Young Creatives, Out-of-Home, Mobile and Integrated.

Congratulation's to all winners and sponsors who took part. Details of the competition can found on the NAA website.

AD: Dan Bache :: TAXI Vancouver
CW: Brian Quittenton :: MacLaren McCann

Friday, May 8, 2009

Canada @ One Show. A Good Showing for Canada. A Great Showing for Seneca.

The 34th Annual One Show announced the winners of the Gold, Silver and Bronze Pencils at the Frederick P. Rose Hall at Jazz at Lincoln Center last night.

Proudly, my program at Seneca College sends congratulations out to copywriter alumni Steve Persico, and his partner art director Anthony Chelvanathan, For their work on the James Ready outdoor campaign. They worked along side with another Leo Burnett Toronto team of writer Sean Barlow and art director Paul Giannetta. Judy John and Israel Diaz oversaw the work as creative directors. In addition to Mr. Persico, Seneca Alumni Aaron Starkman also brought home a Silver Pencil for IKEA - Carol's Lowe Voice Radio Spot.

Doug Agency picked up a Silver Pencil for its “Scooter” spot on behalf of the Canadian Film Centre’s Worldwide Short Film Festival. It was the first Pencil for Ian Schwey, associate creative director at Doug.

“The One Show is one of the most difficult in the world,” said Schwey. “We’re happy to win for something like a film festival, because the judges have been tougher with smaller clients like that in the last three or four years.”

Widely regarded as the advertising industry's equivalent to the Oscars, The One Show honored the year's finest achievements in print, television, radio, outdoor, innovative marketing, integrated branding and branded content.

More than 600 advertising professionals and New York VIPs gathered to celebrate the winners at the gala event produced by The One Club, the world's foremost non-profit organization dedicated to recognizing excellence in advertising and design.

One of the evening's highlights was the presentation of the first-ever Green Pencil Award honoring excellence in the field of environmentally conscious advertising, which was presented by famed hip hop superstar and Hollywood film star Chris "Ludacris" Bridges to Goodby, Silverstein & Partners/San Francisco for the Haagen-Dazs Honey Bees integrated branding campaign.

Top honors for "Best of Show" went to CumminsNitro/Brisbane for Queensland Tourism "Best Job in the World" integrated branding campaign. The campaign featured a contest where the winner receives $150,000 Australian dollars and a 6 month "job" as an island caretaker overlooking the Great Barrier Reef.

"The One Show has received support from all over the world. This year is truly a showcase of brilliant new ideas and it is inspiring to see so much cause-related advertising," says Mary Warlick, CEO of The One Club.

The top Pencil winners at this year's One Show include:

United States - 8 Gold, 15 Silver, 16 Bronze
Australia - 2 Gold, 2 Silver, 2 Bronze
Malaysia - 2 Gold, 1 Silver, 2 Bronze
Canada - 1 Gold (DDB Vancouver - Midas, Vancouver), 3 Silver (zig - IKEA, Doug - Canadian and Leo Burnett Toronto - James Ready)
United Kingdom - 4 Bronze
Argentina - 1 Silver, 2 Bronze
Thailand - 1 Silver, 2 Bronze
Brazil - 3 Bronze

A complete list of 2009 One Show Gold, Silver and Bronze Pencil winners and finalist entries (including agency and award title) at

Doug Agency: “Scooter” Canadian Film Centre’s Worldwide Short Film Festival

zig: Carol's Low Voice Radio IKEA Canada

Thats' Dr. Alexander Bogusky, LHD

Congratulations Alex...

Last year when I hosted Alex for lunch with my students here in Toronto, Alex told us about his college professor that would not grant him the opportunity to complete a "real" client project in place of a school project, forcing his hand and deciding that "this college thing just wasn't for me". And look who's got the last hurrah.

I reminded Alex of Jeff Spicolli (1982's Fast Times at Ridgemont High) and his relationship with his teach Mr. Hand, indeed there were similarities.

Today, the University of Colorado at Boulder will hold its spring commencement ceremony beginning at 8:30 a.m. at Folsom Field, where 5,282 degrees will be conferred, but only one really stands out for me, CP+B's Alexander Bogusky (that's how they referred to him in the UCB newsletter) will be awarded an honorary degree, called Doctor of Humane Letters. Here's hoping they didn't expect the Advertising grads to there for that early wake-up call.

The UCB media release makes the understatement of the century, "Bogusky is an influential and creative advertising and marketing innovator and pioneer in the field of social marketing. Time magazine listed him among the "Visionaries of Tomorrow" in 2004. He is chairman of the Crispin Porter + Bogusky advertising agency, an award-winning agency with offices across the globe, including in Boulder. Bogusky will receive the honorary degree Doctor of Humane Letters."

According to Wikipedia, "The degree of Doctor of Humane Letters (Latin: Litterarum humanarum doctor; D.H.L.; or L.H.D.) is always conferred as an honorary degree, usually to those who have distinguished themselves in areas other than science. But advertising is a science, no? So maybe Alex should receive the Doctor of Science. How about the way he has turned the art and craft of writing in creative, certainly it has become some fo the greatest advertising literature, these individuals often receive a Doctor of Letters degree. And least we forget the Church of Alex Bogusky and the Latter-Day Advertising Saints (I am personally a holder of a Cardinalship), Alex has made advertising a religion and should indeed receive a Doctor of Divinity degree.

So I leave you with this; congratulations Alexander Bogusky, Esq. LHD, DS, DL, DD, BFF.

(Okay, the BFF, kinda of... he has been a good friend to my program and has personally helped guide curriculum and added to my teach significantly)

PS: As for the picture, it is a much more fitting look for a college guy!

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