Tuesday, December 25, 2007


I hate this font.

And I see it everywhere. On the billboard for a suburban real estate company. On a cheesy photo Christmas card. Law offices, business cards, and trendy boutiques.

Does it come standard with all editions of Microsoft Office? And is it on every template in Publisher?

Maybe it's because it really adds that extra touch of worn, antiquated authenticity that you're looking for. It definitely adds a little style and flair to your typography and really brings the already crappy design full circle.

You know it would look really good on a restaurant menu... maybe Italian cuisine.

I know. It's an unusual roman typeface that effectively merges the elegance of a traditional roman letterform with the hand-crafted look of highly skilled calligraphy.

Next time, let's try something different. Anything.
(Before Papyrus becomes overused.)

Monday, December 24, 2007

stand-up comedy

Are all comics infatuated with telling racial jokes?

The external differences we have are the most obvious so maybe they are the easiest to exploit when you're trying to think quick. But it feels like so many comics are making a living by capitalizing on these differences for petty, shallow laughs.

Or do these jokes serve a greater purpose? Humor does help unite people. But can it help us actually understand someone who is different? Break down barriers?

People seem more amiable, approachable and non-threatening when they're laughing. And when people are sharing in the same joke it humanizes them. The unfamiliarities and diversities between the individuals don't matter. Everyone is human and everyone is laughing. Everyone shares something in common.

I think the above is true, but I think that too many comedians resort to jokes using stereotypes and race. Why is this so prevalent? Are we really required to have stereotypes to understand our world?

Here are some I heard recently at comedy club: blacks guys have big dicks, people from the Middle East wear turbans, Asians have suped-up cars but drive slow, or all white people are middle class suburbanites. And why assume that two guys sitting together at a table are always gay? And almost every other joke involved sex and race... in the most elementary of terms.

So is this phenomena progression and changing attitudes, or is it regression? Are we still just boiling things down to offensive yet comical stereotypes? And in doing so, are we creating a negative conscious or subconscious mentality among those who tell and hear them? Do we have to continue the trend of highlighting our differences rather than discussing the things we have in common?

Maybe humor can teach us, but it is the comics' responsibility to enable our learning. Comics must be smart enough, savvy enough, and clever enough to really tap into culture and society and avoid resorting to lowbrow, ignorant and insensible humor. Try talking about universal truths, feelings, thoughts, relationships... things we all share in common. How about a Muslim who identifies with Woody Allen?

Talk about differences but remember we still share so many things. We're both still human. We still share a laugh.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

strike at the cracker factory

With all the hub-bub about the Writer's Guild strike, I have heard nothing about the under publicized strike in the cracker industry. But I have seen evidence that it's happening.

For a while now, I've been questioning the reputation of Cheez-Its. I think their quality control guy took off months ago. Those little baked orange goodies have been showing up brown on the underside. Someone is letting those wee suckers cook too long and that leaves a foul, burnt taste in my mouth.

And now even the uppity, "melt-in-your-mouth" gourmet crackers by Breton were a tad too toasty on the backside.

The proof is in the boxes ladies and gentlemen. And it's not going to get solved on its own. Write your senator. We've got to fix this dilemma before it gets any worse.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

cool ny times content

The New York Times' website has been reinventing how we read the news, and lately it has featured plenty of cool, alternative, and interactive content, including this awesome piece of animation.

Done by Jeff Scher, check out more on his NY Times blog.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

maxïmo brown ale

Maxïmo Park was just honored by Newcastle Brown Ale with this label.

Pretty sweet honor considering that the only other person to get it was Alan Shearer upon his retirement from Newcastle United. Check out the Park... they're poppy, high-energy rock and put on a good live show.

soda, milk and cigarettes

Part of a complete breakfast. These were the top 3 items in terms of retail sales in 2007: soft drinks ($17.6 billion), milk, cigarettes ($7.8 billion), according to Nielsen's latest numbers.

And let's not forget the top 10 packaged goods (in order): fresh bread, milk, toilet paper, eggs, cookies, ready-to-eat cereal, canned soup, chocolate candy, potato chips, and batteries.

Good thing that cookies, cereal, chocolate, and potato chips beat out fresh fruit, vegetables, and any other thing remotely healthy. Maybe this is why America is so fat.

Among other things I'm not proud of, see more of the list here... but don't get too excited for this year's most popular ringtone.

Monday, December 10, 2007


You know, every few months I just seem to come back to this video. When the world has thrown you out, kicked you to the curb, and you're down on your luck.

You may feel like everyone has turned their backs on you and forgotten. But just remember, you'll always have this. Thank you and goodnight.

Friday, December 7, 2007

burnt out letters

Burnt out letters on store signs are tacky. You'd think that as soon as one of those lights go out, it'd be a top priority to get it back up and running. Besides, it's all about the first impression. And those missing letters just make you look sad and rundown.

I'm all for the shabby look when we're talking about crappy, old motels next to Jack In The Box because those places are ailing anyways.

But on Hollywood Video. C'mon. It just looks bad. You're in a sleek, urban shopping center sandwiched between an up-scale, all natural grocery store and a Starbucks. And your sign reads "Hollywood Vid."

Get your shit together.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

dutch advertising

This one takes me back... could this be what inspired me back in the 6th grade to be so interested in advertising?

When I discovered this ad, it didn't make me want to learn English, but rather it fueled my desire to learn more about The Outhere Brothers.

Now if only I can get clients to approve advertising using this kind of music...

Monday, November 26, 2007

backwards-ass blogging?

Bloggers write about new products that they're interested in or passionate about... take all the Apple evangelists and their respective blogs for example.

Companies also want to promote their new products and stir up conversation, opinion and debate among influential bloggers to spread the word about their latest and greatest.

But here's a blurb from The Wall Street Journal:
Marketing site uses pay-per-click model to reward bloggers
"French Web site BlogBang, whose major investor is Publicis, is a new channel for marketers that rewards bloggers who write about particular ads with a commission based on the number of times users click on the ads."

This sounds like pretty touchy ground here... experimenting with the whole nature and existence of blogs being individual, user-generated content, opinions and reviews. To what extent will the advertising go? And will it ruin the whole blogging atmosphere by making it just another paid advertisement online?

Read the whole article here.

Monday, November 19, 2007

tv online

Here's 3 cool way I've found to watch real, broadcast TV on your on your computer.

1. Joost
A free, downloadable player where you can see tons content from around the world including music, sports, news, and cartoons. It has a contract with Viacom to show things like MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central.

2. Hulu
A joint venture between the parent companies of NBC and Fox, which offers full episodes of their programming including the Simpsons, Family Guy, Saturday Night Live and The Office. You watch it in your internet browser and it's got an embed feature like YouTube. But it's available by invite only for now.

3. Slingbox
Slingbox allows you to watch your home TV from anywhere. Buy the box (which may cost you a bit) and download the free browser. Then you have access to your local, personalized home programming from anywhere in the world, including your recorded programs. Pretty cool for watching your team or favorite shows while traveling.

Which one of these will be the next YouTube? None. YouTube still provides free, user-generated content. But these new programs (especially Hulu and Joost) are trying to figure out the best way to get network or copyrighted programming online where people demand it... and of course, trying to make the money for themselves by removing any middlemen, like NBC did with iTunes. All of these programs do require an internet connection and this is where downloadable content still trumps the competition. You can watch it anywhere at anytime and it will never skip, freeze or be taken offline. Regardless, this is still some pretty cool technology and high-quality content.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

no oranges allowed

Who gave orange juice the right to be called orange?

There's plenty of other fruit and vegetable concoctions out there with an orange color. And many of these don't involve Orange as a crucial element. Just take anything with carrots in it for example. There's also orange drink, Fanta and Hi-C, all of which are made with no oranges.

And what about Pumpkin. Didn't anyone remember that he's orange too?

Now, you tell me who came first: Orange or Carrot? It's been widely disputed throughout the ages, and I think we can agree that both have been around for a pretty long time.

Let's look at the facts. Not all oranges are even orange. Oranges cover the whole red to yellow spectrum. From blood to Sunny D. And when you look at the juice, a lot of the time the color is not even a TRUE orange. Often, it toes the orange line, looking more like it has been diluted with some pee yellow rendering it only a light orange. Now carrot juice... that my friend is a TRUE DEEP, RICH ORANGE that you can get lost in.

Take a look into any Carrot's family root. Let's just see how many of them are orange. EVERY SINGLE DAMN ONE. Every brother, sister, mother, father, grandfather, and great-grandmother is ORANGE. We're all orange. So who gave orange the right to be called orange?!?!


Caviling Carrot

Monday, November 12, 2007

seeing into the future

Whoa, this is cool. This reminds me every futuristic movie I've ever seen from Demolition Man to Judge Dredd to something else starring Stallone.

If I had this, I'd be... Part man. Part machine. All cop. The future of law enforcement. I'm gonna get out my rapid fire Nerf machine gun and start mowing down civilians while I'm waiting in line at the post office watching Terminator. I know now why you cry, but this is something you will never own.

But seriously, this would be pretty nice for trips, and it seems to have received very good reviews. Check it out.

free music from artists

Do musicians approve of giving away their music on the internet now?

Many artists post new or demo songs, live performances, or other free music downloads their websites. Record labels are teaming up with magazines, like the Bloc Party vs NME CD where their new single "Flux" is remixed and the CD is attached to the cover of the magazine.

It's a great way to promote unknown artists and get cheap exposure. Everything from famous to obscure is posted on Spinner.com.

And Radiohead has the clout to subvert iTunes or any record label to sell their album by themselves on the internet. They even let fans pay whatever they want for the album.

So Saul Williams is following suit. But Saul doesn't have the reputation of Thom Yorke and Co., so you can get it for free... or 5 bucks.

Saul does create a cool hip-hop/rock fusion that is backed by producer Trent Reznor and features him on vocals in several songs. This is the most involved Trent has been in an project outside of NIN for a long time, so it's worth a listen for any fans out there. Plus, it's got a kick ass cover of Trent singing "Sunday Bloody Sunday."

Now I'd like to know the return on an endeavor like this. How many people pay upfront? How many download for free? How many pay after-the-fact because they liked the album so much? You decide. And in the meantime, check out Saul Williams... for free or throw him a couples bones.

Here's another innovative promotional piece that I grabbed from Saul's website. The content changes and you can download the album right here.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

this is advertising

Now here's a campaign with infinite possibilities. Imagine this OOH? Or maybe guerilla... with a guy live on the street? But that'd just kinda be like the Party Boy from Jackass. Anyways, I like this. His hair and outfit are way cooler and I'd wouldn't mind working with that production team.

Here we go again:

Thanks for reading. It was worth your time.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


Dear Crest,

As an innovator in toothpaste technology and futuristic toothpaste formula, why mess with something when you already got it right? Why change the packaging design? Why change the formula?

On to the Crest Pro-Health formula:
#1 Why change the tried and true packaging that has served consumers for years to this new-fangled design? I like my toothpaste on my brush, not on the inside of the cap. This new design is just a mess, and there's toothpaste everywhere.

#2 The Crest Pro-Health formula is too thick. I can hardly squeeze it out of the tube. And it's difficult as hell to push that extra little bit up from the bottom of the tube. It's got a funny texture too... kinda grainy, like sand in my mouth. But I guess it does leave my mouth feeling clean, if not a bit odd or different than normal.

I understand that you're trying to be innovative, find a new niche in the toothpaste market, differentiate your brand from every other toothpaste brand that tries to accomplish the same exact thing as you. You want to be the dentists' number one recommended brand. We all do.

But for Crest, or anyone else for that matter, it's about building brand loyalty. That's what separates a Crest buyer from a Colgate or even store-brand buyer. I like Crest, I've used it forever. Why? I couldn't tell ya. I guess it's what my parents bought or it's the brand they sold at the dentist's office. Am I strictly loyal to Crest? Nope. While living abroad, I tried some other brands that were cheaper or more readily available. Do I like Crest? Yep. But stick to the original formula... this new one is just not for me.