Jeff Goldblum Eulogizes…..Himself

June 30, 2009 at 11:22 pm (marketing, News) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

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Jeff Goldblum died June 25th. Apparently he fell off of a New Zealand cliff while filming a movie as reported by the Today Show in New Zealand. Both the New Zealand Police and many a Twitter feed confirmed this report. And as we all know, Twitter is more infallible than the rest of the world wide internets.

To further corroborate this story Jeff Goldblum appeared on the Colbert Report saying:
“No one will miss Jeff Goldblum more than me. He was not only a friend and a mentor but, uh, he was also…me.”

Jeff Goldblum has been appearing on the Colbert Report for the last week promoting his new role on Law & Order Criminal Intent. Each night he provides a monologue centered on a non-related topic, then ending with a plug for his show and a simple “Goldblum out.” I think it is a humorous and clever way of integrating product placement into the show – Colbert usually does this with the flair of the old variety shows, by using the product and prominently displaying the package, while saying the name.

Jeff Goldblum is one of the few actors who can pull a stunt like this off. Last night he finished eulogizing himself by stating: “I will be missed, especially Sundays at 9 pm on Law & Order Criminal Intent on USA Network. USA, Characters welcome…Goldblum oooouuuut”

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Shooting Miami Through a Pint of Guiness

June 30, 2009 at 5:20 pm (Art, Art Event, Education, free, Miami, networking, photo walk, photography, social event, Social Events & Networking, South Florida) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Anniversary_Speed_Graphic_II copy

Last night was my first venture to a Shoot Miami Meetup. Anytime you get a group of people together who are passionate about one topic, good discussions are sure to follow.  In attendance were people hailing from a wide variety of camera platforms – Nikon, Canon, Sony, etc – and photographic experience levels.

The upstairs room of John Martin’s Irish Pub in the Gables was filled with photographic portfolios from the members. Some of these photographs yielded stories of photographing gators from a few feet away, painting with light, and macro (or micro, depending on platform) shooting techniques referencing a variety of subject matters.

The gathering was informative and helpful. ZiZi, the group leader, is heading up the Photo Walk along Lincoln Road on the 18th of July – I’ll be leading the South Beach walk around the same time. They have a Fourth of July outing planned for Miami Beach, as well as a meetup for the Miami – Homestead Speedway FARA Race in early August.

I look forward to doing more with this group in the future. The seem very low-key and willing to share ideas and techniques.

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Airline Stunt Grounded

June 29, 2009 at 5:07 pm (advertising, Branding, economy, marketing, News) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Boeing_Wizz_Air

Remember when you think outside the box, there might be new dangers to consider.

Wizz Air, a Hungarian based airline decided to celebrate their 5th anniversary by releasing 1,000 balloons, each with a coupon attached, from the center of Budapest. The coupons were worth 10,000 forints or $49.45.

Here’s a quote from Reuters:
“Someone popped one of the balloons, hoping to get the gift coupon that was attached to it,” Wizz Air communications director Natasa Kazmer said. “As if on cue, the entire crowd attacked the net…The idea was that the balloons would spread far and wide, so we did not place a limit on how many vouchers they could use for a single purchase.”

The voucher-laden balloons were contained by a net and were planned to be release after a press conference by Wizz Air CEO Jozsef Varadi outlining the airline’s long-term vision. By the time the press arrived and Varadi completed his speech nearly all the vouchers were gone.

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Transformers – Mediocre Movie in Disguise

June 29, 2009 at 10:11 am (movies) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Transformers Poster

Transformers Revenge of the Fallen is a pretty movie. It has all the special effects and MTV-esque edited fight scenes you have come to expect. Storyline – not so much.

I enjoyed the first movie, the plot was there, the action was well done, etc. This installment had some enjoyable humor, and some aesthetically pleasing scenes. The fight scenes were cut so fast that half the time I didn’t know who was who. Some of the transformers (Autobots & Decepticons) from the first movie – Ratchet, Ironhide, etc – had barely enough lines between them to qualify for a SAG card. The movie is long and seems to be a victim of the new trend in Hollywood that they spent too much money in post-production to edit out scenes that add nothing to the movie.

Overall it was decent, I had no emotional connection to any of the characters, and feel like they combined Black Hawk Down and Transformers a little too much in this one. The first one was much better.

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Billy Mays – King of Clean

June 28, 2009 at 2:07 pm (advertising, Branding, economy, Florida, News, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Billy Mays

Billy Mays was known for such infomercials as OxiClean, OrangeGlo, and Hercules Hooks. He started his career as a pitchman on the Atlantic City Boardwalk, and was thought by some to be one of the last remaining true Pitchmen in America.

His personal branding of blue shirt, khakis, and jet-black beard were unmistakable when combined with that booming voice that yelled at us across the airways nearly everyday. He was telling us that we couldn’t live without some exciting new product in our lives – sometimes we may have given in to this pitch.

Earlier this year the Discovery Channel began airing Pitchmen starring Mays and Anthony Sullivan to showcase how direct response marketing works on their side of the business. It was a good show. Being a designer I work with inventors trying to springboard their products out of their head and onto the shelves. The show displayed how hard and expensive this process can be.

Mays was found dead this morning. Though his overly excited attitude may have kept us up on some late nights; he will be missed. He was one of the best-known sales and marketing people in the nation, and I thank him for getting the face of homegrown inventors in front of the public.

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Michael Jackson Breaks Internet

June 27, 2009 at 2:29 pm (Branding, News) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

michael_jackson_1As word spread about Michael Jackson’s hospitalize and death millions of people reached out to the Internet to get the latest reports. So much so that many sites ran slow or completely froze. The Chicago Tribune reported “when the first reports of Jackson’s death emerged, the average speed for downloading major news sites doubled to almost 9 seconds from less than 4 seconds.”

At the peak of Internet queries 3,566,495 visitors per minute visited news sites in search of updates, as reported by the LA Times. Twitter reached over 100,000 references to Michael Jackson per hour, and Wikipedia editors debated the accuracy of death reports so much that administrators decided to lock down the page. The last time such a major and nearly instantaneous Internet response occurred about an event was the inauguration of President Obama.

All this activity cements my belief that Michael Jackson was not only the King of Pop, but the King of Branding.

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World’s Most Interesting…

June 26, 2009 at 11:49 pm (advertising, Branding, commercials, print media, TV advertising) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Dos EquisHe once had an awkward moment to see how it feels.

He taught a German shepherd to bark in Spanish.

You can see his charisma from space.

It is said the sun comes up later on the 6th of May, in case his Cinco parties run long.

He’d never initiate a conversation about the weather, even in a typhoon.

He is The Most Interesting Man in the World.

Beer is one of the most competitive arenas for advertising. So when the creatives at Euro RSCG Worldwide were presented with a project for Dos Equis they wanted to take a new approach and set the brand apart.

Apparently it wasn’t enough to attempt the now-too-common viral video campaign, and clever commercials are funny, but not always memorable. The scenes of college-aged guys chasing after scantily clad girls are about as boring as they come, and most Mexican beer ads show pictures of beautiful beaches, blue ocean, or stereotypical Mexican flair.

Enter The Most Interesting Man in the World. He’s a seasoned, adventurous, and charismatic individual who performs amazing feats of interestingness and absurdity. Women love him; men want to be him. After all “the Mayans prophesized his birth.”

All the TV and radio spots end with “I don’t always drink beer, but when I do, I prefer Dos Equis. Stay thirsty my friends.”

Whooaa!? He’s not even telling us to buy the product, just mentioning that he enjoys it sometimes! There’s a good article from Slate that discusses this phenomenon.

So did the agency meet their goal “to do more than just create awareness… by generating conversation among the target audience,” and “find a way to insert the brand into culture, to present Dos Equis in a way that would spark chatter and pique curiosity…”?

The short answer is, YES – by over a third in yearly total dollar sales! I’ve been telling all my friends, and now the world, how much I enjoy this campaign.

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King of Pop – King of Branding

June 25, 2009 at 11:13 pm (Branding, News) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Michael_Jackson_sculptureMichael Jackson was one of the best-branded individuals of our time. His music spanned genres and generations, was instantly recognizable, and often imitated. He developed immortal dances such as the moonwalk and the robot. We’ve seen these dance moves inspire countless other performers, such as Usher and Justin Timberlake.

Michael Jackson was misunderstood by some, but loved by many. He was not only the King of Pop, he was a King of Branding. His product was himself. He dressed as flamboyantly as the royalty of yesteryear – he inspired trends, created controversy, and cemented his mark on pop culture.

How many people can truthfully claim that a nearly 33’ tall effigy of themselves was located in nine different European destinations – including one that was floated down the River Thames? Or hold a patent (US Patent No. 5,255,452) for an “anti-gravity lean”?

Wikipedia recounts his honors and awards including many “Artist of the Millennium” titles, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame double-inductee, and multiple Guinness World Records.

Whatever your feelings are about Michael Jackson the man, it is undeniable that Michael Jackson the legend is a direct result of the King of Branding.

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Extra Fishy Ad

June 24, 2009 at 11:52 pm (advertising, Branding, print media) (, , , , , , , , )

A special thanks to my friend, Dominique, who sent me more ads from AT&T in response to my last post. I especially like the Zimbabwe one with the cheetahs and the grass hands – the coral hands in the Jamaica ad are very nice, too.

All these ads display an almost instantly recognizable cultural feature from the destination, while keeping the graphic simple. They also reinforce the clear, concise, and memorable theme that Jorge Lázaro Díaz (www.careerjockey.org) discussed at freelance camp. The more I see from this campaign the more I like it.

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Fishy Ad

June 23, 2009 at 6:26 pm (advertising, Design, Graphic Design, print media) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

AT&T ad What do decorative Koi fish and cell phones have in common?

On the surface not much, that’s what caught my eye about this ad for AT&T. The color language allows the Koi to pop from the background and be instantly recognized. The fish frame the phone nicely as if playfully moving it whilst floating in a blue-green pond. It is only on closer inspection that the viewer realizes that the Koi are in fact painted on a pair of hands and arms – a nice detail and tie-in to the phone’s use as a handheld product. The Japanese imagery with an American phone company help to sell the tagline “Best coverage worldwide.” It is simple yet impact full. I don’t use AT&T as my phone carrier, but their ad did get my attention – well done.

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