Saturday, April 29, 2006

Industry: The cutthroat business world

Remember Jay Williams? The 2002 NCAA male college "baller" of the year from Duke?

Well, he was in a horrific speedbike accident in 2003 and he is currently rehabbing to try to get back to the NBA. In the meantime, he's an ESPN college basketball analyst. He wrote this brutally honest article about whether college "ballers" should go pro or stay in school.

"...The next level is the business world. It's cutthroat. Guys are going to do what it takes to keep you down.

It's a long way from the carefree environment of college basketball.

I know from experience that kids going to the NBA don't grasp that concept. They think, "This will be fun. I'm playing basketball." They're not approaching it like a veteran does: "I've got a wife and kids at home. I've got to come out here and put that rookie on his butt."

In my rookie year, even though I was coming in as the No. 2 pick in the draft (after Yao Ming), I found out that the NBA wasn't necessarily welcoming me with open arms. My teammates were really my competitors, fighting with me over playing time. Sometimes the guys you lived with and ate dinner with were quoted in the newspaper ripping you, and you're standing beside them in the locker room, saying to yourself, "I can't believe you're saying that about me."

Coming from college, that's not something you're used to hearing. You want to be buddy-buddy with everyone, like you were at school, but the NBA doesn't work that way. Instead, you're surrounded at least 82 games a year by guys who want to take something from you...You have to be mature enough to understand all of that..."

Could this be related to working in a corporation/company/agency too? Just replace NBA with company and teammates with coworkers...

Friday, April 28, 2006

Culture: Pay $. Be a celebrity.

There's a CNN article about party buddys.

It's a company that arranges for us, normal, anonymous and boring people to be hounded by paparazzi and given the VIP treatment for six hours to, from and during clubbing.

official site

What does this say about our celebrity-obsessed culture?

On a side note, now you can get your own doll!

Submit a picture. Poof. Your doll is made.

Springwise newsletter

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Award: One Show College Competition winners

Congrats to Shaun Bruce, David Roth, Chase Quarterman, Shannon Burke, John Rekoumis, Matt Goodman and Cesar Torres for being print and logo finalists for the One Show College Competition!

Ads Showcase: The Canadian IRS ads

click on images to enlarge

Who are the clients with great ads out there? Nike? Budweiser? Volkswagen? Target? Sony? Axe? ICBC? Richmond Centre?

Well, how about the Canadian Internal Revenue Service (Canadian Revenue Agency)?

DDB Canada (née PJ DDB) has long been one of the creative powerhouses of Canada, with the typically wonderful DDB culture, and now they've created some undeniably cool work for the the Canadian Revenue Agency.

I asked the art director Dan Strasser, who helped think of the Bud Light "Skydiver" Super Bowl commercial, how in the world did they think of origami heathen mini-demons to sell tax collection?!

"My ad partner, Kevin Rathgeber and I were sitting around trying to come up with an idea for SnapTax. We discussed how paper can be deadly, as in the case of extreme paper cuts. We explored that area for a while and that lead us to the thought that if paper kills, then it is evil. How can paper be evil we thought? We then decided to create this evil origami monster that would do 'evil' things around the house. And that basically is how it all went down. Not overly glamourous, but definitely a fun thing to produce. We used an origami master, Joseph Wu, to create our monster, and Alastair Bird to photograph everything. Oh and we did all this in about a week. It was one of the faster turn arounds I've had. It doesn't usually go that fast. "

Agency: DDB Canada, Vancouver
Creative Director: Alan Russell
Copywriter: Kevin Rathgeber
Art Director: Dan Strasser
Producer: Wendy Moriarty, Gary Taylor
Photographer: Alastair Bird
Origami Artist: Joseph Wu

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Award: 2006 Pulitzer Prize winning photographers

"...To Irwin Thompson, conveying the misery of Hurricane Katrina through photographs required a steady professionalism, guided by human empathy. Mr. Thompson was part of an eight-member team of Dallas Morning News photographers that received the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography Monday for their visual narrative of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina."

view Eye of the Storm here.


Sunday, April 23, 2006

Interview with Peter Rosch

I recently asked Peter Rosch about his time at UT and how he switched from being an AD to a CW. He also talks about how crucial it is to have a good partner. He is currently an Executive Creative Director at Lowe in New York City. And you know those ESUVEE ads that everyone was talking about in 2004-2005? Well, Peter certainly does; his partner, John Hobbs, and him created those.

brief biography taken from UT advertising homepage

"After graduating from the University of Texas in 1995, Rosch first went to work for Young & Rubicam as a Junior Art Director. At Young & Rubicam, he was promoted to Senior Art Director, but he eventually left to work at the Cartoon Network, Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners and BBDO. He has been both a copywriter and an art director. Rosch moved to J. Walter Thompson (JWT) in 2000 where he met his partner, John Hobbs, an art director from Detroit. They left JWT to freelance and then moved to permanent positions at Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH) after starting to work on the Levi’s account.

Rosch and Hobbs have been a successful team, creating the Levi’s spot “Dangerously Low” that won silver and bronze Clio Awards. Their “Atlas Bakery” spot was recently place in the Museum of Modern Art as part of the permanent collection, something Rosch considers the highlight of his year and perhaps his career..."

How did you get into advertising?

I took the intro to advertising class as an elective. A friend of mine had taken it, and he loved it but didn't get the grade to move forward. He was taking it again, and i needed an elective. At that point I was two years into school, and had changed my mind on majors multiple times. I enjoyed the class very much, and needed to major in something to get my mom and dad off my back, so I picked advertising – but only after I made the creative sequence.

I toyed with being a photography major, and might have done so had I not made the sequence. Even after picking it as a major, I don't think I really thought I’d actually go straight into it after school. But after visiting New York on the Spring Break trip (with Texas Advertising Group-TAG? ), I fell in love with the city, and advertising seemed like the quickest way to get there.

Who did you have for portfolio classes? Has Deb's hair always been "reddish"?

I had Jack (can't remember his last name), Patricia Alvey, and Deborah. I don't recall it being reddish back then, but that was a long time ago.

Do you miss Austin? Do you miss Texas?

I love to visit Austin, and the rest of Texas, but truth be told I don't miss it much. I miss my immediately family who all still reside there. I could see living in Austin again someday, but probably not until I retire. I miss the food in Austin. New York has some great restaurants, but there's nothing here like The Salt Lick, Trudy's, Texadelphia, etc.

I miss the warmth, as New York is cold for a good part of the year. Even so, I have so many great friends here, and I enjoy the energy and opportunities that New York offers.

How did TX Creative and UT prepare you for a career in advertising?

Well, at the time, you pretty much worked as art director and copywriter on all your own stuff. Pairing up wasn't really encouraged. I think this helped and hurt. It helped me develop skills in each, and an appreciation for what it takes to be either, but it hurt me when it came time to work with others. I was really confident that I could do both, and wasn't that cooperative with partners at first. The University’s reputation in the business, and the network of Texas Exes was certainly helpful.

A big part of getting a job is connections. Remember everyone you talk to or meet, and use any connection you have to get that first break. It might feel like you are being a pest, and you are, but everyone is used to it. And anyone worth talking to will remember how it felt to be looking for that first job, and should give you some time.

You've worked at Y&R, Cartoon Network, Kirschenbaum Bond & Partners, BBDO, JWT, BBH and now Lowe. I would assume that each agency has it's own unique culture. For example, because BBH is British they might have a different slant on things. Also, agency size also affects things. Can you talk about this?

It would take me a while to answer this completely. They have all been different for sure; take Cartoon Network out of the mix though and there would be one thing the others all have in common: it took a lot of things to happen (luck, a client in a good mood, an account person willing to fight, a creative director who didn't want to sell his own stuff first, and so on) to get a great idea bought, and produced. There are many obstacles in the way of ideas, I suspect there has always been, but it seems to me that everyday someone creates a new title or test, or layer that makes getting an idea through the process that much harder. BBH was smaller than the rest, but it was still a very rigorous process to get an idea bought and produced.

Why do you think the turnover rate (switching jobs) is so high in the advertising industry?

I think creative people need change. You need new surroundings, and opinions, and faces to keep fresh. Or it could be because it's the easiest way to climb the ladder in title and salary. It’s probably a little of both.

Having a great coworker/partner is crucial in advertising. And you've, obviously, found a great partner in John Hobbs. How did y'all (Texan for you + all) "click"? What makes a good creative partner?

John Hobbs is a god to me. Not a day goes by that I don't thank my lucky stars to have him as my partner and friend. And it is important. Working with someone that you don't quite mesh with, makes life miserable. I say life, because it is more than work. In this business you see your partner a lot, more than your friends, spouse, girlfriend or boyfriend. I'd put it at roughly 70% of the hours in a week. It's sick when you think about it too hard. I don't know if there is anything black and white about what makes a good creative partner. For John and me it has been mutual respect for what each brings to the table - talent, hard work, and a healthy dose of hatred for many aspects of this industry.

A lot of students face the "Am I a CW or an AD?" dilemma. How did you figure it out?

I left as an Art Director. My first job was as an Art Director. In numerous interviews with agencies here and in San Francisco I was told that my writing was very good, and asked if I had considered being a writer. I just didn't want to do it. I liked writing, but I really like the control an Art Director has over the final product. My first partner, Darren Wright, is an excellent writer with no ego. He let me write a lot of the time, and after a while, I just realized that I enjoyed writing more. Truth is you end up doing a little of whichever you aren't anyway - if that makes sense. There is one other factor in my decision to switch - ART DIRECTORS PUT IN WAY MORE HOURS THAN WRITERS. You spend all this time trying to concept the idea, and then someone approves it, and there's maybe a day to get it ready for the meeting, and the Art Director now has that responsibility. I've always tried to help John as much as I can, but in the end, he still puts in way more actually hours. It's just the nature of that position.

Is it hard going from Jr. Art Director to Executive Creative Director? What new challenges/responsibilities does being an ECD entail?

It was hard I guess. I've never really though of it that way. I took a lot of leaps when others advised me not to, and I think every time I did it worked out for the best. It was very difficult to leave BBH, because it is a great place to work, we were doing great work, and we had some incredible friends, but again - we needed a new scene, and I was really drawn to the challenge of being the ECD of a New York agency with a lot to prove. The biggest challenge so far has been finding time to do actual work. You can lose yourself in meetings at any level in this business.

For lots of people having meetings is their work, so they don't have any reason to keep it under thirty minutes, but as a creative you just want to get back to thinking about ideas. So, the many demands on our time have been challenging, but I really love it.

I read that "The Esuvee campaign has drawn the ire of SUV enthusiasts, who are suspicious of its lawsuit-inspired origins, and SUV critics, who say it glamorizes the problem without getting to its root." Can you talk more about the Esuvee campaign? How did the idea of it come about?

Well, I thought it was a pretty complicated subject, so i wasn't surprised to be attacked from both sides. I think we did a great job of talking to the target about driving safer, without preaching, or using scare tactics. Our clients, who were incredible by the way, were all lawyers - District Attorneys from eight different states. They had enormous cajones to go with that idea. They could have done something very safe, that both sides would have ignored, and our target would have ignored it right with them. I still marvel at all the links the word "esuvee" gets on Google.

click on image to enlarge

Your "Atlas Bakery" TV spot for Levis, is in the Museum of Modern Art's (NYC) permanent collection. You've also won Cannes, CLIOS and other awards for Miller and Levis. Of all the work you've done, what are your personal favorites?

I think the work we did for Axe Dry with Pitman was probably my favorite. It never won a damn thing, but it always makes me and john laugh, and it was a huge challenge to get that campaign sold. Never was quite sure why it didn't win anything. It was quite polarizing to the public, so i assume that it was equally polarizing in the jury rooms. But, we produced and moved something like 20,000 Armpit Keychain Toys, and it was available on eBay, and written about by some people who hated it by major publications. That response far outweighed winning anything.

click on images to enlarge

What's your personal creative philosophy?

Fear. Lots of people are going to see what you do, and you don't want it to suck.

What's your top ten list of advice for Jr. ADs and Jr. CWs?

(in no particular order)
1. Hold out for the job you want.
2. If you can't get it take one somewhere, and get in the biz (don't keep working at chili's and living at home.)
3. Meet everyone you can, and don't forget them.
4. Investigate where you are going to take a job - who is your boss, what has he done that makes you think you'd like to work with him, and who will you be working with.
5. Bust your ass, but make time for something outside of advertising or you'll burn out.
6. Your mom and dad do not understand this business, so don't get frustrated when they hate you for not taking a job at Grey.
7. Accept that this is a business and not Art, but push to make it more like Art everyday.
8. Don't ever stop trying to make your book better, but only listen to people whose work you admire.
9. Invest in your 401K the minute the company lets you!
10. And finally, invest in your 401K the minute the company lets you!

What does one need to do to sustain a career in advertising and not burn out?

Remember to live a life outside of advertising. Not as easy as it sounds.

How do you get over mental blocks?

I walk a lot. If that doesn't work I drink. If that doesn't work I see a movie. If that doesn't work I ask John for an idea. If that doesn't work I run a brief by my mom. If that doesn't work ignore it.

I've experienced and heard that advertising is a learn-on-the-job business. For example, getting work approved through multiple levels is an eye-opening process. But at the same time Tx Creative prepares you by helping build a sound strategic thinking foundation. What else can a portfolio program do to help prepare students?

If I knew I'd open my own portfolio program.

What was the best advice given to you?

Best advice was from John Hegarty who told me "to come in late and leave early" when it comes to storytelling. He was totally right, but until he said it, i didn't notice that most of my favorite things did exactly that. In other words, it can be a lot more powerful to let the viewer fill in the blanks. You can find our spot for Levi's French Dictionary (it stars Gael Garcia Bernal of The Motorcyle Diaries fame) on as an example of this. As a viewer you get what's happening, but you watch and wonder what must have happened before, and the "what will happen next" is left to the viewer's imagination too. It's like a good horror flick, you don't have to show somebody what happens when you take a chainsaw to a person's midsection - a viewer's imagination will probably do a way better job of making them squirm.

What is some work out there today that you really like?

Right now I am absolutely in love with the adicolor short film, pink - written and directed by Charlie White. I'm not sure where you can find it, but you should. Honda's Grrr spot last year was everything a great ad should be, and then some. I never once grew tired of watching that spot. That is very very hard to accomplish.

adidas- adicolor: Pink

adidas- adicolor: Blue

adidas- adicolor: Green

Mark Wnek has really assembled an all-star Creative team at Lowe with you, John Hobbs, and Fernanda Romano. What do you foresee for Lowe? Does Fernanda (she's Brazilian) ever rag on Americans about the World Cup?

What do I foresee for Lowe? Nothing less than world domination of course. Fernanda has dissed American beaches many times, but hasn't mentioned the World Cup once.

Here are some samples of Peter's print work and some screen grabs of the ESUVEE, Atlas bakery, and new work he's done at Lowe.

Blogs need to be brief

Seth Godin runs an excellent blog about the current and future states of marketing, media and whatnot and he posted about blogs in general.

"Blogs are different than most other forms of media in one key respect: they stretch.

TV and radio confront the reality that there are only 24 hours in a day. They can't put on more content, because there's no down time.

Magazines and newspapers have to pay for paper, and that means ads, but there are only a finite number of people willing to pay. So the length finds a natural limit...RSS fatigue is already setting in. While multiple posts get you more traffic, they also make it easy to lose loyal readers...I think the answer is subtle and simple: over time, as blogs reach the mass market, the number of new readers coming in is going to go down, and the percentage of loyal readers will increase. The loyal readers are going to matter more.

Blogs with restraint, selectivity, cogency and brevity (okay, that's a long way of saying "making every word count") will use attention more efficiently and ought to win."

I agree with him that blogging, which is writing, should be to the point and not like textbooks which are full of twenty-five word sentences that can be said in ten words. A blog is an extension of a company, a school, a person's mind and a brand. Because of this, it should provide different details and insights about those publics; it should not repeat the same staid corporate mantra over and over again.

A good example of this extension is GM. They've had Corvette blogs written by Corvette engineers before but now they've launched a new blog, written by employees of all levels. The employees are contributing under Charlene Li's Blogging Policies:

Sample Corporate Blogging policy

  • Make it clear that the views expressed in the blog are yours alone and do not necessarily represent the views of your employer.

  • Respect the company’s confidentiality and proprietary information.

  • Ask your manager if you have any questions about what is appropriate to include in your blog.

  • Be respectful to the company, employees, customers, partners, and competitors.

  • Understand when the company asks that topics not be discussed for confidentiality or legal compliance reasons.

  • Ensure that your blogging activity does not interfere with your work commitments.

  • And now, TV Guide has unleashed sixty five blogs in to the world (from adrants).

    May God save our souls.

    Wednesday, April 19, 2006

    Haha: Honda "Choir" Spoof

    If you havn't seen this Honda "Choir" spoof by The 118-118 Team, you're in for a good laugh.

    Viral: Young Guns vs Old Ones

    Check out this funny little flash game called Young Guns vs Old Ones:
    It was done by Truth Dare Double Dare
    Also, check out the nice little agency blog that I found it on: Provokat

    Tuesday, April 18, 2006

    Haha: Titanic Two: The Surface (Jack Dawson returns)

    Mr. Derek Johnson has made a parody movie trailer for the obviously inevitable Titanic Sequel.

    Watch it here at the official site

    Monday, April 17, 2006

    Ads: Sony Bravia

    By Fallon London

    Not by Fallon London

    And this is a web ad I saw from TLC. This is a campaign to "generate interest in it's new programming philosophy (Mediaweek)". The rest of it can be found at TLC Life Lessons.

    Sunday, April 16, 2006

    Industry: The Outdoor Advertising comeback

    pictures from OBIE winners- Outdoor Advertising Association of America

    "...Industry insiders and analysts say there are several good reasons why an outdoor ad renaissance could just be beginning.

    For one, billboards, unlike other "older" forms of media, have not faced the same pressure from the Internet, iPods, satellite radio, TiVo and other technology. When you're driving on a highway, the only way to not see a billboard is to not look out your windshield. Needless to say, that's not a good idea.

    "Technology helps people avoid other advertisements, but we are the one unavoidable media. There is no mute button, no off switch. You can't change the channel. We're there," said Paul Meyer, the global president of Clear Channel Outdoor..."

    This is a very interesting article especially because more and more agencies want to do work beyond the :30 spot. More and more campaigns are becoming integrated marketing or viral advertising. If one flips through the Time in the supermarket check out aisle, he or she would notice that the ads in there are, for lack of a better term, lame. This is probably why people always flip through magazines.

    But then again, what makes OOH more effective than TV? Do most drivers even pay attention to billboards? When I'm riding shotgun with my friends they will only pay attention to billboards only if I say, "that's a cool billboard." The only billboards my friends seem to notice is the Dr. Pepper one with the four caramel apples and a Dr. Pepper can.

    Friday, April 14, 2006

    Help: Got a creative creative process?

    There's a very beneficial article in the latest strategy magazine (Canada's version of Adage if you will) click here
    On a side note, Strategy Magazine is probably better for creatives than Adage or Adweek.

    "Fostering creativity in an ROI-focused, cubicle-ridden environment ain't easy. Here's how to get your team's juices flowing...We asked industry experts what they do to get the creative juices flowing within their own cubicled hives and how they ensure that the results are profitably channeled..."

    Thursday, April 13, 2006

    Help:'s Portfolio Night IV

    Portfolio night IV started as Portfolio night in Canada and only ran in Montreal, Vancouver, and Toronto. Since then has expanded into the United States and look to take the event to Europe next year. Ihaveanidea's Portfolio night is the largest simultaneous portfolio review in the history of advertising.

    It runs simultaneously in 9 cities across Canada and the United states (from east to west: San Francisco, Vancouver, Calgary, Chicago, Toronto, New York, Montreal, Boston, Halifax). They invite the top creative directors from each city and give juniors, students and hopefuls the chance to sit down one on one and review their portfolio's with the best of the best.

    They're just trying to strengthen the ad industry and show the advertising world that we can all unite at anytime and work together to improve our industry. Every creative director, every sponsor, every participant is taking the future of advertising in their hands on May 4 to make sure that the next generation of advertising is the best generation of advertising.

    On their site you can check out all the press releases and galleries from the past 3 years and see all the schedules.
    Ihaveanidea's Portfolio Night 2006

    Now what are you waiting for? Go. Go. Go.

    Marketing: Spiderman 2: LEGO style

    Spiderman 2 LEGO movie

    Spider-Man: The Peril of Doc Ock. is the exciting new animated short from Spite Your Face Productions Ltd, commisioned by Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios/The Lego Group to accompany the release of Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 2.

    Apparently, cross-promotion in movie marketing has taken on a whole new level.

    Wednesday, April 12, 2006

    Award: One Show Finalists

    The One Club has released the list of One Show 2006 finalists.

    Congratulations to UT alum David Baldwin at McKinney+Silver for Art of the H3ist work! and to William Gelner at BBH for Axe work!

    Please contact me if you know of any other UT alum who won.

    The international scope of advertising is reflected in Ogilvy Beijing, Ogilvy Guangzhou, Santiago and other exotic sounding locales.

    Take a look here

    Tuesday, April 11, 2006

    Industry: Video Game Advertising

    Inside Video Games (By the publishers of Adweek) has interviewed the Massive CEO about advertising and product integration in video games.

    "Massive Inc. CEO Mitch Davis talked with us about product integration and advertising in Video Games. He shares his insights on:

    -How the Massive Video Game Advertising Network Works
    -Video Game Player Demographics and Behavior
    -How Brands Develop Successful Strategies for Integrating into Games
    -Measurement, ROI, and Costs of Video Game Campaigns
    -Examples of Successful Campaigns
    -Video Games and Music
    -Future of Advertising and Brand Integration in Video Games"

    To all y'all who took ADV 345J with Prof. Lisa Z. Dobias, do you remember talking about Massive Inc. in class?

    Awards: Webby Award Nominations

    Browse through these websites- they have all been nominated for the Webby Awards (different categories).

    A lot of it is really cool and very interactive. They have a minicooper site that lets you design a custom roof for your mini. I liked the Big Ideas Come From Big Pencils site, too. They list the sites by award topic, as well as by the organization/agency that created it.

    10th Annual Webby Awards

    Saturday, April 08, 2006

    Viral: The Lenovo Tapes

    Has anyone seen this viral about Lenovo? Lenovo is China's largest computer company and they bought out IBM's thinkpad division last year.

    The Lenovo Tapes

    Could this be done by an ad agency? Or from in-house?

    Friday, April 07, 2006

    Viral: Apartheid is back.

    I found out about this viral from a UT-ex (RTF grad) who's finishing up work on the film, Tsoti (which just won the Academy award for best foreign film).

    His name is Ryan Haidarian and his reel is in the Production Section (scroll down).

    Thursday, April 06, 2006

    Culture: reese witherspoon totally has it in the bag . .

    . . . or does she? well if james carville and mary matalin have any say in the matter she doesn’t. unless of course they were her designated campaign manager in running for school president, which is soon to be the case in the duo’s upcoming reality series on lifetime television, appropriately named, “election.”

    as reported on yahoo! news:
    Women's cable channel Lifetime Television has given a vote of confidence to "Election," a reality series pitting husband-and-wife political consultants James Carville and Mary Matalin against each other as part of a high school election.

    The network has ordered six half-hour episodes of the show, titled "Election," which is set to premiere in the fourth quarter.

    The series will see Republican Matalin and Democrat Carville put their White House experience to use when they become rival campaign managers in what's described as a "hotly contested" election for student-body president at a high school in Washington.

    first flavor flav, then hulk hogan and now this?! I guess no one is safe from the allurement of reality tv.

    Olivio Barbieri, The photographer


    Can you identify what and where each picture is of?
    A. Disney Concert Hall
    B. The Queen Mary, Long Beach, California
    C. Hoover Dam
    D. The Coliseum
    E. Mussonlini's EUR suburb
    F. New York-New York Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas

    These are all shot by photographer Olivio Barbieri. from Metropolis

    Tuesday, April 04, 2006

    Ads: Gotham NY: Rejected by Religion TV

    Gotham NY has released some more TV work for The United Church of Christ. But all the major TV Networks have chickened out and refused to air it. So, it's being spread through the internet instead. The campaign also has two websites: Rejection Hurts and Still Speaking

    Download Gotham- rejected by

    Any thoughts?

    Saturday, April 01, 2006

    Culture: Purpose-Driven Media

    Richard Siklos of the the NY Times has written a very interesting article about the future of media.


    Media Frenzy
    Death by Smiley Face: When Rivals Disdain Profit

    "The tectonic changes facing media companies are by now the topic of an often-recited sermon. Put briefly, digital technology is placing control over much information squarely in the hands of consumers and creating all kinds of opportunities for new entrants who can push the revolution forward.

    Understandably, attention in this race is focused on the companies that are, as the management consultants like to say, transferring value from conventional outlets to new disruptors that deliver personalized media more efficiently and hence with greater profitability. In other words, to the victor go the spoils.

    The obvious standouts are Google and Yahoo with their aggregation software, prominent brands and ability to layer advertisements all over the Internet and perhaps beyond; or Apple Computer with its iTunes and iPod and their utter dominance over portable music.

    Consider Monster Worldwide, the online employment advertising company, where the numbers tell the story: Monster, the owner of the site, has a stock market value of $6.2 billion, some 40 percent greater than the amount for which Knight Ridder, the newspaper chain owner, is being sold. But Monster has only one-third of Knight Ridder's $3 billion in annual revenue.

    There is another breed of rival lurking online for traditional media, and it is perhaps the most vexing yet: call it purpose-driven media, with a shout-out to Rick Warren, the author of "A Purpose-Driven Life," for borrowing his catchphrase.

    These are new-media ventures that leave the competition scratching their heads because they don't really aim to compete in the first place; their creators are merely taking advantage of the economics of the online medium to do something that they feel good about. They would certainly like to cover their costs and maybe make a buck or two, but really, they're not in it for the money. By purely commercial measures, they are illogical. If your name were, say, Rupert or Sumner, they would represent the kind of terror that might keep you up at night: death by smiley face.

    Probably the best-known practitioner is, the online listing site..."

    Could this be a sign that society is reflecting some kind of "new moral resurgence"?

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