Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

At first I was too traumatized to post this. Thanks to GBostwick ('06) of Point to Point for the link.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Ode to the holidays

This is hilarious and very catchy. BBH has done a great job at extending the Axe brand in to all forms of media. The media that I have personally seen are direct mail,interactive, commercials, viral, and guerilla advertising.

Directed by Peter Rosch.
Client: Unilever (Axe)

Friday, December 07, 2007

Close to perfect sub-branding

This is brilliant sub-branding.

Found at Brands of the World.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Ads infect PDFs

The virus that is advertising has made its way into the PDF, Adobe's popular file type. Yahoo! reached an agreement with Adobe that will allow the search monster to place dynamic advertising into the sides of PDF files. It's unclear if the ads will be incorporated into Adobe Reader or the ads themselves. The BBC article makes it seem like the ads will be accessbile from any PDF reader. So, say goodbye to the integrity of the PDF, since the whole point of a PDF is to allow the designer to have total control over the content of the document.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Directed by Peter Rosch and John Hobbs for Samsung.

Hopefully PETA hasn't seen this yet.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

GSD&M's Idea City to cut 100+

GSD&M might've laid off as much as 30% of its workforce, and over 100 employees have already jumped ship in the past few months. I say "might've" because GSD&M hasn't disclosed an official number. But it's between 100 and 200.

What exactly went wrong, here? Some kind of horrible client-loss domino effect? In one year, they've lost Wal-Mart, Chili's, AT&T, and AT&T's media.

I wonder how Southwest Airlines is feeling right now...

Friday, November 02, 2007

UT does Chipotle

If God wanted a burrito, he'd go to Chipotle.

Well, at least, that's sort of what an ad two students from UT's Portfolio III class think.

Chipotle is holding it's second "30 Seconds of Fame" competition where universities from around the country are asked to submit a 30 second TV commercial promoting the Chipotle brand. The contest boasts a $30,000 grand prize for the winning team. $15,000 goes to the winning team, with the remaining $15,000 going to their university.

Zach Vernon and Suzy Elizondo, as well as Josh Horn and Andrew Goldthwait accepted the challenge and came up with some good work.

Team Stop! Animation (Zach and Suzy) were fortunate enough to make it into the 12 finalists chosen by Chipotle.

It is now up to the web-surfers and procrastinators of America to cast their votes for the best commercial of the 12 by going to youtube and watching their favorite ad (and possibly giving it a good rating and maybe adding it to their favorites...).

In order to support the UT - Austin team, follow the link accompanying this post (click the title of the post) to view their commercial, aptly titled, "Natural Selection."

I'm sure Team Stop! Animation would really appreciate it. I'm quite certain they would, actually.


-Zach Vernon

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

New Louisville tourism campaign

I got back from Taipei, Taiwan a couple of weeks ago and one thing I noticed about their advertising scene is it's cluttered, due to lack of space, and it's heavily dependent on that cardinal marketing rule "sex sells." I wish I took some pictures of the ads!

Here's a new tourism and PR campaign for Louisville, KY that openly mocks residents of Dallas, Atlanta, Ohio, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Boston. They say it's made in-house but I wonder if an ad agency is secretly behind this.

See the rest here.

From Coudal Partnersand AdFreak.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Upcoming: Q&A with The Richards Group

Instead of hearing from my boring self all the time, I'd like to invite you to ask questions to successful advertising pros. Just leave your question as a comment in this post and I'll post their answers in a future post.

The Richards Group is the largest ad agency in Dallas with scores of regional and national clients (Chick-fil-a, Home Depot and others). UT alums Mike Renfro, Group Creative Director, and Tina Johnson, Creative Director, are willing and ready to answer any type of question you may have.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Paper cutting to the max

We never did this kind of paper cutting in elementary school.

The work of Peter Callesen.

via Good Magazine.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

How to write headlines and why your career depends on it.

I found this lengthy article by Suzanne Pope, a Group Creative Director at John St. in Toronto over at ihaveanidea.

I particularly liked this excerpt because it talks about meeting deadlines. As a junior level creative myself, I can say that learning to meet deadlines, with quality work too, is one of the first skills students should master because life is full of deadlines.

But you're not a wannabe art director. You're a copywriter. That's what you want to be. And if you really want to be a copywriter, you will be one. But that means learning to love words even more than you resist them. It means getting over your fear of the blank page. It means developing the confidence that you can write five decent headlines ten minutes before they're due.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Seems Joy is the topic. Who can deliver?

Talk about tying unrelated topics to a brand and making it relevant.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Re: The problem ad agencies have got at the moment

diagram from www.adliterate.com

Danny Nathan, a Texas Creative Ex in NYC, has posed this open-ended question of his fellow ad bloggers over at Beyond Madison Avenue.

"The problem advertising agencies have got at the moment is…"

"...that people who are in the industry care too much about advertising and people who aren't in the industry care too little."

-David Wen

update: Check out this Adweek Survey of perceptions of advertising.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Woes continue for GSD&M... err, Idea City.

AT&T gave a major slap in the face to Idea City on the VERY DAY of GSD&M's name change!

Read what they did. Dramz!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Woes of GSD&M

Adage has an interesting article about Austin's own GSD&M. The agency will officially change its name to GSD&M's Idea City tomorrow. They haven't announced a reason for this, but I am going to venture a guess and say, maybe it's because they want the acronym to be GSD&MIC?

Read the full article, which discusses recent ups and downs of Austin's biggest agency, here: http://adage.com/article.php?article_id=120090

Friday, August 24, 2007


Interesting conference and POV from the past annual planning conference, TED, held in San Diego, California.

edit: You can also download and watch this "Do schools kill creativity?" talk by Sir Ken Robinson at the TED conference official site.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Any thoughts?

How many times have we been victims of the phrase "it's been done before" on our everyday idea seeking brainstorms? I certainly have asked myself that question many times, and my partner has brought it up even more times that I would sometimes care to know about.
I wonder what do you guys think, the spot from Telecom won a Gold Lion and was 2 points away from winning the Grand Prix on 2002, are we to assume that the Pepsi Max commercial will achieve the same on next year's festival?
And more so, does different concepts/communications justify "same style" execution?

Friday, August 10, 2007

The thing I hate most about advertising is...

From Bryan over at Room 116.

Banksy is perhaps the world's most famous and notorious (He's wanted in two countries) graffiti artist.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Crispin loses Deadenbacher, Slim Jim

You probably remember the creepy Orville Redenbacher ads from a few months ago. Poor Orville didn't quite look himself. His skin was rubbery, his eyes soulless and vague, and his speech didn't quite sync with the movement of his lips. What ever could be the matter with him?

Oh, yeah. HE'S DEAD.

Crispin Porter and Bogusky resurrected Orville through CGI--evil, Satanic CGI--and it cost them $34 million. To add insult to injury, ConAgra also pulled the Slim Jim account, which Crispin did some funny, award-winning stuff for.

The hot Venables Bell & Partners cleaned up after Crispin, winning the ConAgra account.

The lesson? Being weird might win awards, but does not necessarily sell products.

Are they selling iPods or popcorn?

And you thought J. K. Rowling was creative

The magical minds at Leo Burnett Colombo/Sri Lanka came up with a super simple way to promote Harry Potter 7. Watch as captivated individuals take pictures & video with their camera phones and even flip through the book, as if it is powering the bewitched object. Perhaps it is? Who knows!

Credits: Ramesh De Silva, Lalindra Amarasekara, Ifaz Bin Jameel, Selonica Nalawansa

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

What is Viagra all about?

New Viagra commercial premiered last night during NBC Nightly News, although I saw it later on Jimmy Kimmel. It caught my attention for a couple of reasons: one, it showed several guys singing Viva Viagra to the tune of Viva Las Vegas, and two, it showed several guys singing about Viagra to each other!

Not only did this strike me as weird, because I doubt any man would ever openly admit to using Viagra, let alone sing about it with his friends. I guess perhaps that's the point, the ad is supposed to make men feel less embarrassed and inhibited about taking Viagra.

However, AIDS Healthcare Foundation attacked Pfizer for supposedly promoting Viagra for recreational use and contributing to an increase in STDs. They suggest that Pfizer is using the success of the Vegas campaign ("What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas") to promote Viagra.

Personally, I don’t think Pfizer is guilty of anything else but using the same old strategy to sell Viagra. When are they going to come up with something more original than showing men being happy again after reuniting with their erections?

Monday, July 23, 2007

Not enough talented advertising graduates

Thanks to DRoth for the heads up about this article. Scroll down for the article or click on the post title.

I'd like to comment on two of his points.

1. The shortage of talent has also driven up salaries to record levels.

The average starting salary for advertising graduates is around $30,000. Although the source is only one school's Career Office, I know that estimate is accurate based on my conversations with people around the country.

$30,000 is not a record level salary. I have a friend who works at an interactive SEO agency and her starting salary is around that range too so I'm not sure if he's referring to traditional or interactive agencies.

2. The problem begins in the universities.

Geoffrey Roche, a very successful ECD in Canada had this to say about the way the advertising industry treats its jr. level employees.

"The greatest paradox in our industry and the most cruel joke in the biz. Kids save their money, their parents mortgage their homes, they take out student loans, attend prestigious design schools for 4 years, finally get their degree and what do we tell them? “You need experience for this entry-level job that pays a little more than a waiter earns!”

Deb Morrison, the renown former Chairperson of the Texas Creative Program had this to say about teaching new media and the convergence of industry and academia.

DWen: Do you think portfolio programs should take into account the current and future trends of interactive and viral advertising when teaching jr. creatives? What about direct mail and direct marketing?

Wow. The convergence + the immense growth of so many creative content opportunities tells us that 1 -- careers can shake and rattle in so many ways and 2 -- advertising curriculum has to keep up. That's not easy. But we should be ready to bring smart and engaged people in, to flexibly reform classes, and to help guide trends, not just react to them. Academe should be a partner with industry, not simply ask for money and support.

I just wrote a column on this for Talent Zoo...you'll see it next week or the next, I believe.


Art & Commerce: The Education Gap
July 23, 2007
By Bob Greenberg

NEW YORK Without a doubt, cultivating new talent is the most pressing issue facing our industry. As we all know, we cannot move ahead without new talent and right now, there is a dearth of it-particularly in new media disciplines like interactive.

The problem begins in the universities. We are all struggling to attract the best and brightest to our industry. There was a time when advertising was considered a sexy, desirable profession. In the 1970s and 1980s, top graduates from the best colleges and universities pursued careers in advertising, fueling the industry and creating a body of work that built brands and changed the world. In the mass-media era, the lure of advertising was strong: Agencies were a great place to make one's mark in terms of both money and cultural influence.

The invention of the Web, which ushered in the era of consumer control, changed all that. As consumers gain control of the marketing landscape, advertising has lost its luster-ironic considering there has never been a better time to join the industry. As those who attended Cannes last month can attest, the diversity of work today is breathtaking. We saw campaigns that range from Dove "Evolution" to Tate Tracks to Burger King Games to Nike+. The days when award-show winners were synonymous with television spots and print ads are over. We've come such a long way that there is now recognition for everyone in advertising.

The shortage of talent has also driven up salaries to record levels. It's as if we are living inside another dotcom-style bubble-minus the flocks of people migrating to our industry as they did back then. Without the inflated stock prices of those days, I can't see us going back to recruiting parties, stock options and signing bonuses.

To change perceptions, we must begin inside the university programs from which agencies draw their talent. Whereas Goldman Sachs and McKinsey need target only one kind of student—graduates of the nation's top MBA programs—the advertising industry must draw from sources as diverse as business schools, design schools, and specialized programs like VCU Adcenter and Miami Ad School.

Digital agencies also need to target students in computer science programs as well as programs like MIT's Media Lab and New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP).

As agencies and clients, we need to take a proactive role inside all these programs if we're going to capture the hearts and minds of the next generation.

I serve on the boards of four universities: VCU Adcenter, NYU's Tisch School of the Arts (which houses ITP), Parsons School of Design and, most recently, the Berlin School of Creative Leadership. My involvement with these schools has been rewarding personally and professionally. From VCU, we recruit some of our hottest young account planners. NYU's ITP program is the source of dozens of our top interaction designers. Our visual design department is loaded with Parsons grads. And I'm counting on the Berlin School to feed us top creative talent in the future.

By providing us with first-rate recruits, these schools are helping my agency.

Coming full circle, my participation is helping them shape their curriculum to fit the needs of agencies in our new marketing era. The kinds of professionals needed today have changed dramatically in the past 10 years, but in many cases colleges and universities haven't entirely caught up with the new reality. Just as agencies and clients have too many people working in the old marketing model, colleges have professors who use outdated methods to train the next generation of ad-industry pros. Take copywriting, for example. Whereas copywriters in the past focused on the narrative arts associated with television and print, the next generation of copywriters needs to tackle a more diverse mix of assignments, from response-generating copy in banner ads to viral videos, Web sites and mobile campaigns. In this one area alone, there aren't enough professors with diverse backgrounds, and the problem is replicated across disciplines like planning, design, data intelligence, media and all the departments that make up the modern agency.

As much as these schools need members to serve on their boards, they also need money to help attract faculty and students, and to upgrade their curricula to serve the needs of today's agencies and clients. That's why it is so important that the industry contribute its share, as IPG recently did with a gift of $1 million to the VCU Adcenter. Putting money where my mouth is, R/GA has donated pro bono services to schools including NYU, Rhode Island School of Design and Parsons (and VCU, which is in development as I write this) to help them develop world-class Web sites—one of the most important pieces in the recruiting puzzle.

Like schools, various industry associations play a critical role in ensuring that there is a new generation of advertising talent. All agencies and clients should support the Advertising Educational Foundation and, in particular, its online curriculum project, an excellent source of content for professors and students wanting to learn about our industry.

We should all get involved in the education scene, as a matter of both self-preservation and self-satisfaction. I can't think of a better way to give and receive at the same time.

Bob Greenberg is CEO of R/GA in New York and a regular 'Adweek' columnist.

Mad Men

Hey ad students, if you want to feel bad about yourself and your chosen profession, tune in to Mad Men, AMC's new show about the ad world in the 60's. Sexual exploits, corruption, sleazy salesmen: what's not to love?

I haven't actually seen the show yet (debuted last week) but I've heard it's not bad. Would love to know people's thoughts on it, particularly anyone was around during that era.

Update: Speaking of people around during that era, there's a TV spot that shows that old-timers (60+) can still work and thrive in todays agencies at Duncans TV and here.

Friday, July 13, 2007

ads from Turkey

Someone from an international agency sent me work to post! They must think that highly of this mere blog...

I received these print work and interactive work from Clara from DDB Istanbul. Their interactive work (kindly hosted by James at Adverlicio) really grabs your attention.

On a side note, after work today I went to a UT advertising, mostly Texas Media graduates, alumni and professor happy hour at Ozona Grill and I met a lot of great people who work at Dieste Harmel & Partners, Tribal DDB Dallas, Is7, true.com, Sabre Travel Network and many others. I was one of the younger people there and I caught up with Prof. Dobias and Gene Kincaid too. Based on my many conversations, it seems like interactive really is the future.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Speaking of controversial images

I saw this ad on facebook the other day. Is the American Civil War really a good image to associate your website with? If these are Confederate troops in the picture, I certainly wouldn't brag about my ancestors being involved with them.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Texas Rangers advertising

When I first saw these simple TV spots, they really caught my eye because typical Rangers commercials are basically announcements. So, I decided to find out who made them. Being the Texas Rangers, in DFW, I thought the agency might've been The Richards Group or another local agency. Lo and behold, the AOR (Agency of Record) is Door Number 3 in Austin! Here is what the Creative Director, Prentice Howe, had to say.

For some odd reason this is the first Texas-based agency to have their work featured in the ads showcase.

How in the world did a 20-person agency win the prestigious Texas Rangers account?

Hard work. Seriously. This was the type of account we wanted so we put in the time and energy to get it. I think winning Dallas/Fort Worth Area Tourism helped give us a presence in the area. From there, it was about building relationships, getting in the door and impressing the Rangers organization with our thinking. It was a very competitive review process so we knew we’d need to give it everything we had. We burned more than a few weekends preparing.

Now, a question from a disgruntled Rangers fan (me). How do you think they're going to do this year? World-Series bound?

As the ad agency for the Rangers, we’re not at liberty to comment. But I will tell you this. There’s a Rangers T-ball team in town that’s looking really strong this pre-season. They have a cleanup hitter named Lil’ Grande. Keep your eye on that kid.

What was the inspiration behind the campaign?

Like anything, it begins with a good strategy. Suzanne Kyba (Director of Account Service at Door Number 3) and the team put together a very smart strategy based around people’s insatiable desire for shared experiences. We’re living in a time when people hold their Blackberry more than their kids. With this campaign, we’re offering up the ballpark as a place where – win or lose – people can reconnect and get back to what really matters in life.

I noticed the ads don't show any of the players. Are they going to be in any future work?

Not in the TV, outdoor or print. We’ll have players’ voices in radio spots and we may find a way to weave them into our alt media tactics. Stay tuned.

What's it like working in LA compared to working in Austin (Prentice used to work in LA)? And what's the future for Door Number 3? Stay small or go big?

The differences have more to do with the vibe of the city than anything else. The processes and the minds are very similar. Austin is loaded with people from California, New York and everywhere in between. The creative class chooses location first, job second. Which means if you’re living in a cool city, the talent pool will keep growing and the work will find its way to the national stage.

The future for Door Number 3 is all about growing, getting better and continuing to bring out the personality of every brand we represent. I don’t think we’ll use an employee headcount as a benchmark. We’ll have met our goal when we all have matching PT Cruisers with the Door Number 3 logo airbrushed on the back.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Turn on Your Cell Phones!

During Intermission, Cellphones Are Brandished in a Promotion

Published: June 18, 2007

Typically you are told to turn off your cellphone before a performance. But at a recent Saturday matinee of “Spring Awakening,” the Broadway musical that garnered eight Tony Awards last week, the audience was told to do just the opposite.

“Win Your Chance to Come Backstage!” said a flier inserted into the Playbill, which encouraged theatergoers to send the text message “bdway spring” to a five-digit number before the end of intermission.

After the show, Becky Mitchell, 18, received a text message that she had won, and she bounded onto the stage with Alyssa Navia, 19, a friend from Boston College, where both are freshmen. “This is my first Broadway show,” said Ms. Mitchell, who wore a rugby shirt and Ugg boots. “This is fantastic.”

The production’s company manager, John E. Gendron, showed them the trapdoors in the stage from which, only minutes before, two actors had risen from a dry-ice ground fog.

But what the play’s producers hope to make magically appear in the future are audiences. At the performance, 62 people sent text messages, which included their telephone numbers and e-mail addresses, in hopes of winning the contest. All of their information went into a database that will be used to pitch Broadway tickets and other promotions.

In exchange, contestants were sent a ring tone of a popular song in “Spring Awakening” and a photograph from the show to use as wallpaper on their phones. Both of the souvenirs are potential conversation starters with friends, whom the producers think of as would-be ticket buyers.

“Those are numbers talking to numbers talking to numbers,” said Damian Bazadona, president of Situation Marketing, who is working with the producers and the owner of the theater, Jujamcyn Theaters, on the pilot program. “A year or two years down the road, that’s how you’re talking to markets.”

Americans sent 18.7 billion text messages in December 2006, nearly double the 9.7 billion that were sent the previous December, according to CTIA, a wireless industry trade group. While various companies have tried to beat a path from consumers’ phones to their wallets, theater promoters, weary of phones ringing infuriatingly during denouements, have held back.

Until now.

“There’s a tendency for Broadway not to be an early adopter, but that’s changing,” said Jordan Roth, vice president of Jujamcyn, which owns five theaters in New York, including the Eugene O’Neill Theater, where “Spring Awakening” is being staged. “Most producers now are really looking for new ways to communicate with our audience.”

The musical’s producers are sharing data with Jujamcyn, which is signing up participants for Broadway Phone, its wireless service for ticket deals and show information. Since the production draws young audiences with its themes of adolescent angst, it was chosen for the maiden cellphone effort. “But our goal is to expand what we’re doing to many shows,” Mr. Roth said.

As for whether this will result in more ringing during performances, Mr. Roth said that it has not been a problem, but that the promotion might not suit every production. “Will it interfere with the show?” he said. “Yeah, that is one of the things that is open for discussion.”

About 8.5 percent of audience members have been sending text messages in the 14 contests that the production has done so far, but organizers expect participation to reach 10 percent.

For a similar promotion with a tour of the rock-oriented theatrical production Blue Man Group, an average of 16 percent of audience members sent text messages, Mr. Bazadona said.

In a tour that covered 60 cities in 90 days, about 50,000 people sent text messages. “This means that each night, 16 percent of the house is leaving the theater with Blue Man Group somehow represented on their mobile phone,” Mr. Bazadona said.

At the Eugene O’Neill Theater that afternoon, the two students were enjoying their behind-the-scenes access when Stephen Spinella, who plays several characters in the musical, strode onto the stage on his way out of the theater. He asked Ms. Mitchell what she had done to win the contest.

“I texted,” she replied. “One of my favorite things.”

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Designers vs. Steel Cage Match

There's a really low-cost stock photo site called istockphoto and they're running a Designer vs. Designer tournament. It's a great place to go to get the creative juices flowing.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

crazy edible car ad

From the NEXT BusinessWeek blog

Agency: Fallon London

OK I have two questions.
1. Did it cost a fortune to license that song for the spot?
2. What are they going to do with it? Donate it to a food kitchen?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Blog undergoing change

Please pardon the messiness of The Ranch. We are currently updating the layout and also adding exciting new features.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

New student work

Check out the UT student work that dominated the 2007 Austin Addys.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Talk the talk, walk the walk

Carol Watson runs an advertising job placement firm specializing in multicultural talent. She had a post on their blog recently about a Talent Zoo article. It stressed how it's important for co-workers to understand each others perspectives. I particularly liked this excerpt from account person and author Vonetta DeVonish.

"So in working with “creatives,” I feel it’s imperative to be one yourself—talk the talk, walk the walk. Try to understand their perspective. Participate in the process."

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The honest truth behind branding

101 Brand Names, 1 Manufacturer

The Mass Pet-Food Recall Reveals a Widespread Practice:
Many Competing Products Come From the Same Factory

By Ellen Byron

May 9, 2007; Page B1

Pet owners have been reeling ever since tainted pet food led to the confirmed deaths of more than a dozen dogs and cats and likely sickened many more.

Some owners were also startled to learn that dozens of competing brands, from discount to premium, are all made by the same company, Menu Foods Inc. of Ontario.

Menu has recalled more than 60 million cans of pet food under more than 100 brand names ranging from Procter & Gamble Co.'s Iams and Eukanuba brands to Hill's Pet Nutrition Science Diet, owned by Colgate-Palmolive Co., to Ol' Roy pet food by Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Each was apparently affected by wheat gluten contaminated with melamine, a chemical substance with no approved use in food.

The mass recall lifts the curtain on a common practice in consumer products. From jeans to diapers to frozen fruit, competing brands, up and down the price spectrum, are often made by the same manufacturer.

In many cases, the maker of a brand-name product will also produce private-label versions. For example, Kimberly-Clark Corp., which makes Huggies diapers, also quietly produces training pants for Wal-Mart. Some companies make multiple brands in the same product category. P&G, which doesn't make private-label goods, produces both Pampers and Luvs diapers, targeting different consumers, just as it makes multiple detergents -- Tide, Gain, Cheer and Dreft. In fashion, low-profile licensees often work for many different designers. Kellwood Corp. sews clothes bearing labels from Calvin Klein to Sag Harbor.

To be sure, ingredients, designs and quality may differ substantially among the labels made under the same umbrella. "We have more than 1,300 recipes," says Sam Bornstein, a spokesman for Menu Foods. "Brands are very specific about what can go in the product, and we are governed by strict contracts and quality control and testing."

But often the main difference is marketing -- and price -- and that can be hard to sustain once products are perceived as commodities. A recent survey by GfK Roper found that 54% of respondents weren't aware before the recall that both premium and standard pet food brands were made by the same supplier. Knowing this, 26% said they were less likely to buy premium pet food, though 60% said it made no difference.

"The sheer magnitude of how many branded products come from one source erodes the whole basic premise of what branding is in the eyes of the consumer -- they feel duped," says Eli Portnoy, who heads Portnoy Group Inc., a Los Angeles-based brand-strategy firm.

What's more, when many brands are made by the same manufacturer and a problem occurs, it's harder for consumers to find a safe substitute.

The growth of contract manufacturing reflects a number of changes in manufacturing and retailing. Decades ago, most branded products were actually made by the company that owned the brands. But over the past 20 years, many big retailers have tried to differentiate themselves from competitors by offering private-label brands, which they needed to have manufactured by outsiders.

Meanwhile, consumer-product makers, facing competition from store brands, sought to increase efficiencies by making private-label versions of their own branded products, or by outsourcing their manufacturing to third parties that could do it more cheaply.

Some consumer-product companies have been forced to make both generic and branded products to please retailers. "If a major manufacturer is unwilling to produce private-label products, there's a possibility the retailer won't sell their branded products," says Burt Flickinger III, who has advised companies such as Alcoa, Del Monte Foods and Heinz on how to better manage their branded and private-label businesses. Alcoa, which owns aluminum wrap maker Reynolds, for instance, makes both private-label and Reynolds aluminum foil and plastic wrap.

Making both private-label and brand-name products does give manufacturers a hedge against downturns. But, says Jack Trout, president of Trout & Partners, a marketing strategy firm in Old Greenwich, Conn., "If the public begins to get the perception that there's not much difference, then you can't hold your prices -- that's the bottom line of the whole [pet food] scandal." He adds, "Commoditization is the real enemy of branding."

In the past, branded pet foods had an emotional advantage: Many owners were loath to give low-quality food to their pets. But even veterinary nutritionists say they have difficulty telling brands apart. "The money you spend on a [premium-brand] diet does not always equate with the quality of the food," says Andrea Fascetti, associate professor of nutrition at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California, Davis. "There are no requirements around calling something a 'premium' or 'super-premium' product."

P&G argues that even products with identical ingredient lists aren't necessarily equals. "A less-expensive brand can copy an ingredient list but might not have the same combination to the way the recipe is put together," says company spokesman Kurt Iverson. The quality of ingredients and the way they are combined affects how nutrients are absorbed by the animal, he says.

Still, the labels of two similar products -- the Iams and Supervalu Inc.'s NutriPlan beef entrees -- suggest only marginal differences. Both Iams and Supervalu say their beef entrees are formulated to meet nutritional levels established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials. Each product contains at least 9% of crude protein. Iams' product has a minimum of 6% crude fat and no more than 1% of crude fiber while Nutriplan's crude fat is at least 5% and crude fiber a maximum of 1.5%. The biggest difference may be the price: A 13.2-oz. can of Iams is 99 cents, roughly double the 50 cents for a Nutriplan can of the same size.

Both products say that moisture comprises a maximum of 78% in the product. The Iams product also lists omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, but notes that these aren't recognized as essential nutrients by AAFCO.

Hill's, owned by Colgate-Palmolive, says its pet-food products contain nutrients tailored to a pet's life stage, activity level or health condition. "Many generic brands offer 'all-life-stages' products that do not tailor key nutrients like protein, calcium or sodium to health requirements of different ages," according to a company spokesman, who notes that Hill's manufactures more than 95% of its products in-house and is building additional plants to further increase in-house production.

Still, some veterinarians aren't convinced. Jeffrey Barrow, a veterinarian at the Marshfield Animal Hospital in Marshfield, Mass., says he used to recommend Iams and Hill's products, but for safety reasons now advises pet owners to make their own pet food, supplemented by multivitamins, until the recall fully concludes.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Critique please: Michaels

Matt Crump: Art Director/Idea Maker
Nancy Jeng: Art Director/Idea Maker

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Former Texas Creative Students Named Top Creative Team

This was a press release sent to me.

May 2, 2007

Contact: Sean Thompson (512.471.8153 or contact via e-mail.)

Former Texas Creative Students Named Top Creative Team

NEW YORK, NY – Two recent University of Texas advertising grads, Dave Roth and Shaun Bruce, were named the best creative team in the entire business with less than two years of experience. The team recently picked up their “First Boards Award” clapboard in Los Angeles from ‘Boards magazine, an industry publication.

Roth and Bruce, both May 2006 graduates, were hired full-time last fall at Amalgamated, a cutting-edge New York ad agency, following internships at the agency.

Asked about their favorite account they’ve worked on thus far, Roth mentions the Ben & Jerry’s brand. “Since we’re part of the production process, we’ve gotten to do lots of stuff we haven’t for our other clients – like pitch scripts, look over production company reels, chat with directors, cast talent, edit, and such. We’ve taken some really fun trips out to Burlington to visit headquarters where there are bountiful free pints of test ice cream.”

Beyond the ice cream perks and working with Ben & Jerry’s, Roth and Bruce are also working on renaming Court TV and the promotion of a new series called “Bounty Girls.”

“What’s made Shaun and me really lucky to have jobs at Amalgamated is that the conceptual phase starts with the same freedom we had in Texas Creative. We still make thumbnails like Sean Thompson had us do the first week of Portfolio I.”

What makes the creative sequence at UT standout according to Roth? “Like Texas, at Amalgamated, we’re all rooting for each other and helping each other out, and I definitely work better in an environment that’s mutualistic and not competitive.”

As the only UT graduates at their agency, they’re encouraging Texas Creative students to send their portfolios, so they can recruit more Longhorn talent.

Before coming to Austin for the same program Bruce, a Colorado native, pursued journalism at the University of Colorado. Roth, a graduate of the University of Michigan, pursued a degree in dramatic arts.

Located in New York, Amalgamated was founded in 2003 providing their clients with a service that is unique to the world, combining distinctive brand consulting with a full-service multi-platform advertising agency.

Housed within the University of Texas’ Department of Advertising, Texas Creative is one of the leading creative advertising education programs on the planet. Rooted in sound strategy and conceptual process, Texas Creative molds students into fearless experimental thinkers who are primed to create innovative advertising, branding, and social messages that are delivered through a variety of integrated traditional and nontraditional media.

Advertising is one of five academic departments in the College of Communication, which specializes in Advertising/Public Relations education and research and provides a training ground for creatives, account executives, media planners, account planners, interactive specialists, researchers and public relations executives. The University of Texas is located in the center of Austin, Texas.


Saturday, April 21, 2007

Why Agency-Client Divorce Rates Are Soaring

Give It to Me Now or Else

There is a rare breed of client out there in 2007: the one that commits to an agency through thick and thin. Look around. Read the recent articles in Advertising Age, The Wall Street Journal and others. The trend is disturbing. Agency-client relationships are shortening, averaging two years now. They're becoming project-based; retainers are being questioned and results constantly scrutinized.

Marc Brownstein
I just read that Kraft left JWT after 80 years. That's an amazing run. And extremely rare. The fact that they left now is really the story, however. It's a symptom of a shift in approach by today's marketers at client companies. When I look at my own agency, it's no different. We used to get and keep clients for many years, even decades. Now I look at my client roster and see only half are on retainer. And keeping them on retainer, and at my agency, is a daily challenge. More so than just a few years ago.

In fact, a current client of nine years just put us in review. Why? New marketing director on board, with friends at another shop. Sound familiar? (For the record, we're not re-pitching. Hell no. Great brand, mostly great people. But a no-win situation. Fortunately, we have plenty of new-business leads now, and will focus our valuable time on winning new relationships.)

Nevertheless, the short marriages between agency and clients are a problem. It's harder to get paid for strategic thinking. You have to repeatedly justify the talented team you put on the client's brand because clients constantly question fees. And when agencies want to measure ROI, getting alignment on the metrics is just a ton of fun. What we all got into the business for.

What's going on?

Some say it's pressure on marketing directors to perform. I won't argue that, but I think it's also something else. I think it's the environment in which we do business. We now operate at the speed of the internet, with fast, impersonal transactions. It's a give-it-to-me-now-or-I'm-going-elsewhere-to-get-it world. That mentality has seeped its way into our industry. You can take a client out for a round of golf to build the relationship. But if he doesn't get results on the promotion next week, he'll thank you for the 18 holes and take his business elsewhere. Nothing personal.

What that does is put agencies in a very insecure place. We never really know how long a client relationship will last even if we believe we are performing well. And the number of pitches goes up -- you have to replace the recently-departed client, as well as the recently-completed project. Exhausting!

My advice is to covet the good clients still left. Spoil them with thinking and service.

And for the project clients? Take them on if they're going to make your agency better creatively or financially, or give you experience in a new category.

But don't waste your time on the golf course. Save that for your family and friends.

by Marc Brownstein on 04.18.07 @ 01:46 PM

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Nike and Don Imus

I'm a subscriber to Nike newsletters and I received this email just now. What an interesting, efficient, and cost-effective(free) way for Nike to take on the issue. Why spend $400,000+ making, producing, and placing a TV spot when you can send out a simple email?

Click to enlarge.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Pitches: No Longer a Death Sentence for Incumbents?

It used to be that a new client CMO = death sentence for incumbent agencies. Yet in the past couple months, we’ve witnessed several examples of incumbent shops beating the odds and retaining the account. MediaCom recently pitched against several other media shops and emerged the victor for Staples, even adding the UK and Canada to its existing domestic duties. Philips Electronics is re-awarding Carat London with its global media duties and Revlon has come running back to Carat after briefly handing over the reins to Initiative. To top it off, Initiative has also retained and added duties to their Big Lots account, after a review which included several other shops.

Notice that all of these incumbents are media shops. Perhaps it has to do with accountability: media shops are particularly good at pulling out the numbers and wooing clients with results and figures, while creatives…. Well, here’s a pretty storyboard we made??

Regardless of the cause, this could be a sign that incumbents may actually have a fighting chance in the crazy world of pitches.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Google buys DoubleClick for $3.1bn

Who makes huge decisions on Friday the 13th? Google does! DoubleClick, the online enabler between advertisers and agencies, was purchased yesterday by the googopoly in its biggest buyout yet--just six months after the $1.65bn YouTube acquisition. By my calculations, Google will own the entire Internet by the end of next year (really, the only things left are Wikipedia, MySpace and Facebook. And maybe Perez Hilton.).

"It has been our vision to make Internet advertising better -- less intrusive, more effective, and more useful . . . Together with Doubleclick, Google will make the Internet more efficient for end users, advertisers, and publishers." -Sergey Brin, Google co-founder and president

For some reason, antitrust laws don't apply to Google--but who's complaining? Google has made everyone's life easier by making Internet advertising--and the Internet--more relevant and less intrusive through, arguably, the best quality control systems on the planet (hehehe!). But seriously, I challenge you to give me a reason why Google Internet domination is a bad thing. Do it.

And what about after they've conquered the web? They'll begin purchasing third world countries, working their way up to the Big Seven--ultimately making the world less intrusive, more effective, and more useful! Shhh, just let it happen. It's inevitable.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Texas Exes in Super Bowl Ads Part 1

This is the first in a two part series.

Here's an interesting article. Griffin Creech, a 29 year old copywriter who graduated from UT-Austin in 1999 was also the actor in the Careerbuilder "Office Monkeys" commercials. Other campaigns where advertising agency employees are used as actors are the UPS "Whiteboard" commercials where The Martin Agency Group Creative Director, Andy Azula, is also the actor drawing on the dry-erase board and the Bud Light "Ted Ferguson" commercials where a DDB Chicago copywriter, Jeb Quaid, plays Ted Ferguson.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The Voice of God gets Face Time

CNN has a story about Don LaFontaine that I think everyone should read.

The meat of the story is basically that Geico has taken the "Voice of God" and given him a face. By placing the VoG in one of their recent commercials, everyone and their dog is staring slack-jawed, saying "THAT'S what that guy looks like!" Everyone knows his voice, and now, with the help of advertising (I might add), everyone knows his face, too.

Just a little picker-upper piece that I felt the community should look at.


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Maturity is Overrated.

This MTV campaign is currently running...and I have to agree, maturity is overrated.

I think we all know that.

We all secretly like those corn in your poop jokes. We all still laugh when someone farts in a public place. And boobs? Zits? Yeah those are funny too. And they always will be, because maturity is simply overrated. MTV is one of the very few who admit to it, embracing the fact that they, themselves, are immature...which I think is a great idea.

I love immaturity.

Friday, March 23, 2007


Everyone knows that Google--owner of, um, the Internet--recently purchased YouTube for like a hundred bajillion dollars (or $1.65 billion, whatever). Back then, it seemed like a pretty awesome business move (all those impressions!!!!), but the conglorporation might be kicking itself after Viacom--owner of, um, television?--announced it is suing Google for $1b over copyright infringement.

Marc "Smarty Pants" Cuban, the self-proclaimed Blog Maverick, whatever that means, and founder of broadcast.com said this was gonna happen: "Google will get sued by thousands of rights holders." And boy, was he right! Viacom alleges that about 160,000 unauthorized clips are floating around on YouTube and have been viewed more than 1.5 billion times, so lawyers are pretty happy.

But why didn't Viacom sue YouTube a long time ago? Well, if you possessed the mental capacity of Marc Cuban, which you don't, then you would've figured out long ago that lawyers were stealthily waiting around for Google to buy out YouTube so they could jump into their infinitely deep pockets and swim in sweet delicious money.

And Google's response? They're claiming innocence, meaning they're stalling while they scrape up enough money to buy Viacom, which they could probably find under the cushions of the couches in Google's break room. I heard there are million-dollar bills under there.

But in the end, guess who benefits? You! NewsCorp & NBC have teamed up for a more proactive response--to develop an online video portal, chock full of content like House, Heroes and 24, plus hit movies... allegedly. I'll believe it when I see it. But if it really happens, it might be the beginning of the end of TV as we know it. Just kidding. And what does Marc Cuban have to say about all this? "It's a great idea." Thanks, Marc.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

e-Books or real books?

On the Locus magazine site, Cory Doctorow wrote a really interesting article about e-books vs. novels and new media vs. traditional media. I think it brings up some very good points. My personal opinion is that nothing can take away the tactile feel of flipping through a newspaper, a magazine, or a book.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Critique Please: Orion Telescopes

Art Director/Idea Maker: Nancy Jeng
Art Director/Idea Maker: Matt Crump

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Austin Agencies: Goings-On

Austin agency, Door Number 3, has launched "Behind the Door", a SXSW blog covering the Interactive & Film Festival as well as the music scene. A quote from Bryan Keplesky (Art Director), "We are digging into all the lectures, panels, films and events that we believe have relevance to the world we work in everyday." Check it out to get an advertiser's take on the craziness that is SXSW.

On an unrelated note, Adrants and the Acadamy of Art: SF are hosting an Advertising and Marketing Industry Diversity Job Fair and Leadership Conference in San Francisco tomorrow. Austin ad agency, T-3, will be there in the morning and Gay Gaddis, president and founder, will be speaking on a panel discussing "What it's like to work in the advertising and marketing industries". If you're in town, check it out (you can crash at my place if you need to, Longhorns are always welcome).

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Animator vs. Animation Part II

This was created by 17-year old Alan Becker of Ohio. Also, at some Flash conference blog I recently saw (The name escapes me at the moment), there were some pictures of a 14-year old boy flash extraordinaire as a guest speaker. This shows that technology isn't just for grown-ups.

Friday, March 02, 2007

ADDYS wins

With a total of 17 winning campaigns including a Best in Show, 26 Texas Creative students were awarded Gold (7), Silver (6) and Bronze (4) ADDYs on Friday night at the Austin Advertising Federation’s 2007 Austin ADDYs at the Crocket Center. More info here.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

St. Basil's Cathedral by Motorola

These are all Motorola PEBL cell phones. I wonder if they're real phones or just those plastic display models. From Russia Blog

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Alumni Showcase: Crazy skateboarder

TX Creative alumni name(s) in bold.

Title: Human Skateboard
Client: Sneaux
First Air Date: 02/05/07
Agency: Margeotes Fertitta Powell/ NY
Chief Creative Officer: Neil Powell
Creative Director: Luca Grelli
Producer: Dan Kaplan
Art Director: Kris Delaney
Copywriter: Mary Williams
Managing Director: Lisa Fabiano
Account Supervisor: Marnie Baretz
Account Executive: Aly Christianson
Director: PES

How long did it take to make it?

Mary Williams, Copywriter, says...

It took about 3 days of shooting to make the spot. Each trick from grind to flip to jump took about an hour to two hours to shoot plus set up time. It’s a pretty tedious process because you’re doing 1000s of shots, but it went by much faster than I thought.

What's the inspiration behind it?

The inspiration? Hmmm. Well, I guess you could say it was inspired by professional skate videos. Before we tried to tackle our version, we watched a lot of skate videos by different pro skaters to get the feel and attitude. Plus we needed to figure out which tricks would look cool and could work in stop motion. Other than that, we just wanted to do a fun, irreverent short film that shows the attitude of the brand. We didn’t want to do a hard sell that would come off as too obvious and corporate for the 14 year old audience. We just wanted to make something cool that they could enjoy without telling them to “go out buy our shoes and buy our shoes today! While they’re cool! Because they make you cool!” Kids tend to see through stuff like that.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Do your own adventure with Sue Teller

This is an example of a soft-sell, albeit hilarious, viral video. An example of a hard-sell ad are those local car dealer ads that constantly repeat the dealer name and sale price. Another good example of a soft-sell viral video is BBH NY's Tea Partay. The advertising textbooks of the future will surely include a section about soft-selling and viral videos.

Creative Credits:
Client: Mountain Dew
Agency: 86 the onions
Creative Director: Chad Rea
Copywriter: Chad Rea Steve , Porcaro
Agency Producer: Margaret Overlay

Thanks to Dabitch for the link.

They were wrong about TiVo

February 16, 2007
Viewers Fast-Forwarding Past Ads? Not Always

People with digital video recorders like TiVo never watch commercials, right?

Add that to the list of urban — and suburban — myths.

It turns out that a lot of people with digital video recorders are not fast-forwarding and time-shifting as much as advertisers feared. According to new data released yesterday by the Nielsen Company, people who own digital video recorders, or DVRs, still watch, on average, two-thirds of the ads.

One big reason is that many people with DVRs still tune in to watch about half of their shows at the scheduled start time, meaning they must sit through commercials.

And even when people watch recorded shows later, many are not fast-forwarding through the ads. On average, Nielsen found, DVR owners watch 40 percent of commercials that they could skip over — perhaps because they like ads, don’t mind them or simply can’t be bothered.

“People are actually playing back more of the commercials than we thought,” said Steve Sternberg, executive vice president and director of audience analysis at Magna Global Media Research, an ad-buying agency. “People are buying DVRs not because they want to time-shift all of their viewing and skip all commercials, but because they want to time-shift some of their viewing.”

While the new data may well be fodder for cocktail party chatter, it also has major financial implications. Largely because many advertisers thought that people with DVRs were not watching their ads, they have not been paying for time-shifted viewing on DVRs. Now the networks could use the new information to try to charge more. And advertisers may begin pressing networks to rethink commercial breaks — maybe making them shorter.

People who have DVRs often insist that they never watch commercials, as if skipping commercials is a badge of honor. And while it is true that some DVR owners probably watch no commercials, others never touch the fast-forward button. Most people are probably in the middle of those two extremes.

“That’s part of the reward of taping: being able to zip through the advertisements,” said Marjorie Elson, a 62-year-old psychologist in Maryland. “But sometimes I do watch them — only if they capture me.”

TiVo has found that its customers view the last commercial in a break the most, followed by the first commercial. (Viewers sometimes do not start fast-forwarding right away, and they often stop a bit early so they do not miss the next part of the show.) Commercials in the middle fare the worst, said Todd Juenger, vice president and general manager for audience research and measurement at TiVo, which serves 4.5 million of the roughly 15 million DVR viewers.

Nielsen announced the data as part of its preparations to release commercial viewing numbers for every TV program, starting in May. Nielsen, which collects data every few seconds through its set-top boxes, added DVR households to its sample in the last year; its commercial ratings data reflects the total time viewers spend watching ads, including viewing of partial ads, rather than whether ads are watched from start to finish. Advertisers spent upward of $70 billion last year for their TV spots — more than in any other type of media.

“The cable operators that have the subscribers, the programmers who have the content and the marketers have to get ahead of this,” said Curt Hecht, chief digital officer at GM Planworks, the part of the Starcom MediaVest Group that manages General Motors’ ad buying. “They need to figure out how advertising can remain sustainable and effective in the new landscape.”

Advertising and television executives have not yet figured out which DVR owners are more likely to be commercial skippers, though Nielsen has found that younger people generally skip more commercials and time-shift more of their viewing than older people.

Nielsen has also found that commercials are more often watched during playback if the viewer is looking at the show the same day it ran. Commercial viewing drops significantly over time after the original showing. If advertisers start paying for DVR viewing, one question is whether they will pay just when viewers play back shows within a few hours.

Without DVRs, people can, of course, change the channel, leave the room or not pay attention during commercial breaks, but those activities seem to have only a minor effect on ratings during commercials — only 5 percent, according to Nielsen data.

“DVRs are really the big X factor going forward,” said Brad Adgate, senior vice president for research at Horizon Media, an ad-buying agency. “People’s DVR behavior is going to drive the marketplace.”

DVRs, which were introduced in 1999, are becoming more popular every year, and the cable operators are increasingly offering the feature in new set-top box packages. Analysts say DVRs are now in 12 to 20 percent of households. DVR owners tend to be wealthier and more educated than the average TV owner. DVR owners tend to have more children, and some own more than one DVR.

DVR owners account for about 6 percent of all TV viewing, but that figure is likely to grow, said Tracey Scheppach, vice president and video innovations director at Starcom USA. “Four of five people use the word ‘love’ when they describe this product, and when you have a product that powerful, it is going to become mainstream,” Ms. Scheppach said.

Starcom USA signed on last month to become TiVo’s first customer for a new monthly rating service in which TiVo will sell viewership numbers for commercials and programs seen by its customers. Companies like Nissan have already bought TiVo data to analyze how often their commercials are fast-forwarded. TiVo has long been tracking what its viewers watch, down to the second. But it is just now beginning to develop demographic data, using a panel of customers.

In some households, children are exposed to TV only through DVRs. Patricia Bowen, 35, a commercial property manager in San Antonio, said she liked being able to control what her children watched by programming acceptable shows on the DVR. She said her family liked to stop fast-forwarding during commercials to watch Apple and Geico ads.

“My son doesn’t understand why other people cannot pause their TV when they need to go to the bathroom,” she said.

Advertisers are well aware that coming generations may be DVR users. Visa decided to use brighter colors in its recent “Life Takes Visa” commercials in an effort to get fast-forwarders to stop and watch for a moment, said Susanne Lyons, chief marketing officer for Visa.

“We’re trying to make a bigger-than-live color statement so when you’re flipping through quickly, the color jumps out,” Ms. Lyons said.

But Visa also decided not to advertise on TV at all in its new campaign for Visa Signature, a card for affluent consumers, in part because DVRs tend to be in wealthier households, Ms. Lyons said.

Emma Staples, a 29-year-old sales manager in Knoxville, Tenn., says she fast-forwards the commercials at a slower speed than her husband in case she wants to stop and watch one.

“I like to see what is going on in commercials,” Ms. Staples said. “Sometimes I’ll stop if it’s a preview for a movie I might want to see.”

Advertisers generally do not get to purchase particular positions in commercial breaks, even though it has long been known that the first and last position are best for brand recall. Now, networks may have to consider what happens to advertisers that follow a boring ad.

“If you have a horrible ad in the first position and it just basically drives people away, whose fault is that?” said Alan Wurtzel, president for research at NBC Universal.

Network executives said they had talked to a number of advertisers developing commercials that remain visible even during fast-forwarding. TV networks are testing to see how often DVR users remember ads even when they fast-forward through.

The cable operators are also experimenting with ads shown through video-on-demand and promotions for ads that run along the bottom of screens during TV viewing. Advertisers like Burger King and General Motors have purchased a new offering from TiVo that asks people at the end of shows if they would like to see a commercial.

Network executives said that commercial skipping has been overblown.

“When you talk to an advertiser it is like ‘Oh god, I’ve got to go on to the Internet because on television these people are fast-forwarding through the commercials,’ ” said David Poltrack, the chief research officer for the CBS Corporation.

Mr. Poltrack also said that the networks had always focused primarily on attracting the most viewers to their programs. As DVRs become more popular, he said, networks will be forced to find ways to keep more people watching commercials.

Katherine Bryant, 29, owns three DVRs — two in her home in Charleston, S.C., and one in her Oklahoma City apartment. Ms. Bryant, a dentist, said she watched more TV shows than she used to because she no longer had to sit through all the ads.

“Once you have one,” she said, “you can never, ever go back.”

Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Immigration ad

Agency: Duval Guillaume is one of the top agencies in Belgium.

I think this message is so profound because it's a universal message. It also applies to the way American society treats professional athletes and celebrities. If someone's famous, then they are held in a higher esteem; they're treated differently.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Very helpful podcasts

In iTunes there are some really useful and helpful podcasts dealing with creativity, photoshop tutorials, cool-hunting, and other related topics. Just open up itunes, go to the itunes store, click on podcasts and browse the different categories. I've been using the Chinese podcasts to brush up on my Mandarin. Warning: these podcasts take up a lot of hard drive space.

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