Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I confess: I suck at recycling

That's a pretty big confession for a superhero who wants to save the world, but I do suck at recycling. It's true. I'm a part of the problem, even if I am a part of the solution too.

It isn't that I don't care. It isn't that I don't make an effort. It's that I don't go far enough out of my way. My town doesn't pick up recycling so I have to separate and haul it. I do some, but not all. I'm no better than anyone else in this lazy society.

For example, I have lots of cloth bags for shopping. I carry them around in my car everywhere I go. I park my car, go into the grocery store, load up on groceries that are come in excessive packaging and wheel up to the checkout. "Paper or plastic?" Dammit! I realize that I forgot the bags in the car. Again. Head bowed in shame, I mutter a quiet "Plastic" as I picture the mountain of plastic grocery bags shoved to the side of my refrigerator at home. I do bring them in for recycling eventually, but still, they shouldn't even be there!

The truth is, recycling isn't enough. Something else needs to happen, too. Abstinence. If we abstain from using the plastic bag, we don't have to take it to be recycled. If we buy digital movies, we won't have any packaging. I still buy dvd's so I would like a redesign on dvd and game packaging. I really enjoy the covers, being a movie buff and a graphic designer. Can't the dvd's come in a sleeve, which can be put into a binder?
I just went through and pulled out the cover and dvd from about 60 or 70% of my movies, so I can put them into one binder. That mountain of plastic cases all fits into one shoebox, packed loosely even. I had to spend some time searching online, but I finally found a company who makes holders with tall pages {see sleeves here} so I can see the covers {see case here}. Now that I saved myself all that space, I'm left with the waste to figure out where to take for recycling.

It doesn't quite seem like enough, does it?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The World Flag – from ten years ago

Without question, 911 is among the most dramatic days in our history. On this ten year anniversary, most people's reactions are similarly that of pensive, respectful remembrance. Ten years ago, however, people's reactions were not all so similar. There was anger. There was fear. There was sorrow. Support. Solidarity. Patriotism. Racism. Conflict. Bravery. Sacrifice. Unity. There were cries of nonviolence met with anger and violence. Money and blood poured into the Red Cross faster than I've seen in my life. Candles were lit. Flags were displayed. Oh, the flags!

It must have been a great time to be in the U.S. flag-making business. I wondered if they were all made in the U.S.  They were for sale on the side of roads and in gas station shops. They were hung outside of houses and stuck to sides of cars. They were everywhere. I had a few. I found comfort in our "united we stand" philosophy just like the rest of America. It wasn't enough for me though. I tend not to think as a citizen of the United States, as much as a citizen of the Earth (or even farther, the Universe, and so on). To me, the world had taken a hit, not just the United States. It was a dark day and the world would move forward together. We are interdependent. 

Since I am an artist and graphic designer, my reaction was to design a "world flag." At that point in time, just about everyone had an email address and there were chat groups and websites a-plenty, but there was no MySpace or Facebook ... in fact Google was a fledgling still in Yahoo's shadow. I designed the flag and began emailing and posting it around the internet, encouraging people to display it along with their country's flag (not instead of). It promoted true unity, recognizing that we are all citizens of this world who celebrate our differences while we stand together. 

The flag circulated and amplified in number a bit, and had some good reactions, then eventually fizzled out. Every once in a while I find my files and look at the flag that never made it to the level I envisioned. I didn't try very hard to get it to the world, after all. Maybe it was just my own personal processing of the most dramatic day in my life. I am dusting it off now, on the ten year anniversary of that day.
The World Flag – for all citizens of Earth
    • The circle represents Earth, Unity
    • The stem and leaf represent Life
    • Together, they form a face representing Humankind
    • The green represents land
    • The blue represents water and sky
    • The white represents Peace
    • The placement of the circle to the right represents growth and progress

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I confess: I do not know the 5 secrets to instant entrepreneurial profit and eternal success…

… and neither do they. 

There aren't 7 SEO techniques you can implement in your website to ensure you 10 new customers every 30 days. There are not 3 lessons you can learn from General Patton that will guarantee you will exude leadership skills that inspire your employees to sell for you in their sleep. Google+ will not make your business the next Google, and neither will Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. There is not one white paper you can download that will change your life as soon as you read it.
I have a very short romance cycle with buzzwords. About the same amount of time a pear is good. The first time I hear one, I don't know it's a buzzword yet. It's still a word that sounds really smart because a small group of people use it in a specific way. For a little while, I feel cool if I know one before everyone else does. I seem really smart and on-trend if I use it while describing something to a client. But that's it. That is the peak after which the buzzword gets more popular and starts being compulsively spewed out of the mouths of the masses. At that point, it's lost its value to me and becomes merely another common word. It's over.

For some reason the rest of the world doesn't realize this.. Instead, for years, if anyone just says one of these buzzwords, they are looked upon as an expert. It doesn't even have to be used in a sentence! They don't even have to know what it means or where it came from! It just has to be uttered. While the majority of the population is being wowed by these experts, I'm itching all over from the merciless assault of buzzword overuse out there. Make it stop!
In the past 24 hours these headlines came straight to my inbox/feed/stream:
  •  5 ways to succeed as a startup in an industry awash with competitors
  • The 1 Question That Inspires Innovation
  • 4 ways to harness the power of co-creativity
  • 5 Ways The Kardashian Family Built A $65 Million Brand
  • How to manage a team of robot workers
  • PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, on the 5 C's of leadership
  • 3 ways for CEOs to avoid overconfidence
  • The best apps for building a business
  • 6 Google+ Myths Debunked
  • 25 Questions To Ask Before You Outsource HR
  • Five Things Hollywood Teaches us About Product Design
  • 4 social media case studies from the tourism industry
  • 5 key questions to ask about your social campaigns
  • 6 Creative iPad Uses For Small Retailers
  • Top 5 Legal Issues Of A New Company
  • 100 Websites You Should Know and Use
I know, I know, you're wanting the link to a couple of these because they just might contain THE answer. Well I'm not providing them. These headlines are just to illustrate the weight of the world that is on my shoulders. Realize that the reason all of these came to me is because I actually subscribe to the sources. They really do have something smart to say, even if it isn't going to change my life. I have to keep up with trends and technology because it's what I do for a living. Besides, some of these articles might have the next buzzword in them, before it becomes an overused and sales-pitch-ish.

Monday, August 1, 2011

I confess: I hate false [eyelash] advertising

In the world of makeup, beauty (on the surface) trumps reality. Makeup's number one mission is to decorate. Why be plain? With makeup we can accentuate the best in ourselves and cover up the worst. Like fashion and hair, it's an accessory – an accent – to our image. It allows us to look different with different moods and events, too. Who wants to look exactly the same all the time? That's all fine as long as there is some kind of integrity to the image we make of ourselves. Unfortunately, there is a point when makeup crosses over from being decoration to being disguise. Why don't we see beauty in our natural selves? Because of advertising.

Yes, advertising – that insidious, brainwashing, sales pitchy, repetitive, starburstish, spammy, manipulative, interrupt-your-entertainment, get-in-front-of-you-hundreds-of-times-a-day industry that I am in. Of course, it doesn't have to be that bad. There is a manipulative and brainwashing power behind advertising and design strategy, but if used for good, well, it's all good. That's why it's so important to self-regulate. Advertisers have big a responsibility to be honest.

My latest pet peeve is mascara ads. What the hell are they thinking? What the hell are the consumers thinking if they believe a little bottle of mascara is going to give them eyelashes like this? How are we supposed to choose mascara based on that misinformation?
Dishonest advertising is more than just a con to get your money… it can be damaging to the health, wealth and happiness of society. When people begin to identify more with the ads they see than they do their own reality, self esteem plummets and their wallets empty out. When people begin to want what they see in ads more than what they have in real life, their life becomes one big failure in search of the unattainable.

Three cheers to the U.K. for cracking down on L'Oreal and Maybelline for running these misleadingly-airbrushed ads of Julia Roberts and Christy Turlington (read more here).  It's a giant slippery slope that starts with something simple like covering a blemish. Who doesn't want to smooth out their skin a bit? Heck, if I could Photoshop myself every morning, I would!

The answer lies not so much in refraining from using makeup as it does in creating only honest advertising. Decorate but don't lie. Emphasize but don't lie. Communicate the strengths and leave out the weaknesses, but don't lie. I'm all about honest propaganda for a good cause!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

I confess: I have better taste than you

No, not YOU! You have great taste! You're reading my blog! Don't be silly.

I'm speaking to those other people, the ones who smell like Old Spice. The ones who can't discriminate between a great story and its shallow, more expensive sequel. Yeah you guys. (No, not YOU dear blog reader. You know who I mean by now, right?).

Yes, I have better taste than you. I like independent, cerebrally thrilling and ironically funny movies. The movies you like will never become cult classics and you don't even know why that sucks. I like design where form follows function and melts your soul with beauty. You think the name of your company is a headline and and that nothing stands out if it's not bolded, in quotes or in a starburst. You don't even know that quotation marks aren't "attention-getters."

It's not just me that has better taste than you, the reader of this blog has better taste than you, too. Lots of people do! Alas, there are more of you than us, which is why mainstream stuff, by definition, isn't very deep. It has to please the masses and go with the flow. For the most part. Thank God, once in a while someone breaks out of that mainstream mold.

For example and more evidence of my fabulous taste, I love the Old Spice campaign starring Isaiah Mustafa. He is stunning to behold and plays the role perfectly. Hilarious concept, great filming, groundbreakingly communicative and social, that campaign actually got me to almost buy some Old Spice for my son. Almost. Until I smelled it. Oh well. Still, I'm a huge fan of the ads now and their sales have gone way up because of people like you, which is cool for them. 

Maybe it had run its course already. Maybe Weiden + Kennedy hadn't thought past the year's brilliant campaign. Maybe people like you were disappointed that they didn't get chicks any easier while wearing Old Spice. 

I don't know the reasoning, but Fabio happened.

I finally clicked the "New Old Spice Guy Fabio" ad tonight because it's stalking me. They've spared no expense with the Facebook ads, apparently. I was hesitant because I'm neutral at best in my opinion of Fabio. He doesn't do it for me but I thought maybe they could really dig into the cheese factor. So I watched some of the commercials. They're like a bad mix of Sprockets and Hans and Fronz skits on Saturday Night Live. Are you kidding me? *Sigh. They sort of, brought the concept of Isaiah's ads along but Fabio can't carry it. He's dropping it left and right. Choppy. Confusing. Cheap. What is happening in this one??:

I wish everyone out there had great taste like me and you (yes, YOU this time!!) – then we wouldn't have to waste our time on sub-par stuff unless being sub-par made it cool.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

I confess: If I see one more social media expert advice headline I'm going to ...

A. Unsubscribe from whomever sent it to me.

B. Throw up a little bit in my mouth.

C. Re-tweet it because it seems like good information even though I only skimmed it.

D. Click the link only to realize that I've been "Rick Rolled."

E. Read it despite myself and get distracted from what I was doing, get most of the way through it and feel empty inside because it wasn't worth my time.

F.  Read it and actually learn something, click a link about the writer, like their Facebook page, and never notice their posts in my over-crowded stream ever again.

G. Click the link and WISH I'd been "Rick Rolled" once I see the boring page, get distracted by thinking about how "Rick Rolling" is actually one of the more brilliant viral-marketing-social-media-campaigns out there because it isn't marketing at all.

It's annoying to see so many experts dishing out fast-food advice as if you can follow a formula and *poof* your business will explode like a viral disease with no vaccine. The truth about it all is much more simple than all of the mountains of advice out there make it seem. 

Social media isn't really new. Yes, there's new equipment, new delivery methods, new technology and yes, it offers the potential of getting up close and personal with a few billion people. But the concept is as old as we are. Humans have been practicing social media since before the written word. We've always had a voice (just maybe not as strong as Rick Astley's).

Whether or not your message goes "viral" hinges on good old fashioned principals like communication skills, creativity and hard work. I would go into more details on that, but then this would be a social media advice blog post and I really don't want to read or write another one of those for at least a day or two. 

Friday, July 1, 2011

What's Your Super Power?

You already have it.

Whether you acknowledge it or not, it's in you. Let's say you get hit with a super-mega-gama-ray of randomly scientifically amplificating uber-you-ness that turns you into Super ______(insert descriptive name here).

What's your super power?

(Click here and then leave a comment with your answer!)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

d [is for divinity] • an alphabet exploration

Why the world is worth saving, one letter at a time.

A    B    C

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

3 examples of excellence in social media + advertising

In the future everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes. ~Andy Warhol

Do you think social media is cutting-edge? Think it hasn't gone mainstream yet? Think again. Three brands that are making positively brilliant use of social media in their advertising strategies happen to be three of the most white-bread, mainstream, non-exciting brands ever. These brands might make you think of childhood in middle-class middle-America, but they wouldn't make you think of cutting-edge social media campaigns, would they? Think again, again.

The beauty of social media is the conversation. Twitter turned five last week. Five years ago, there was no way these middle-weight giants would be taking consumers' chatter and turning it into national commercials AND publicly mentioning these consumers by name. These middle-of-the-road brands are playing the game perfectly and running a great race. Most importantly, it's real. 

Take a look at some of these commercials, and then go tweet something about your favorite brands. You never know, you might get your 15 minutes of fame thanks to a Twitter mention via a television commercial that plays on YouTube and goes viral internationally. It could happen. 

Wheat Thins. Surprising tweeters in their real life, bringing the brand to them.
Agency: The Escape Pod

Kraft Macaroni & Cheese. Making a commercial out of a tweet, as artfully as possible with a lightning-fast turnaround.
Agency: Crispin Porter + Bogusky

Old Spice. Holding conversation with real tweeters with "The Old Spice Guy's" surreal machismo.
Agency: Weiden + Kennedy

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

and the winner is ...

Last week, I won seven ADDY® Awards, Best of Show and the AAF Silver Medal Award. In the wake of these wins, all of the ADDY Galas happening around the country and the Oscars, I explore: what do awards really mean, anyway? To hear many say, they don't mean a thing.

Awards are meaningless to me, and I have nothing but disdain for anyone who actively campaigns to get one. 
~Bill Murray 

Awards are only a publicity gimmick. 
Tony Randall 

Awards are so unnecessary, because I think we get so much out of our work just by doing it. The work is a reward in itself. 
~Natalie Portman

On one hand, they are totally right. After all, the work itself is satisfying. Hopefully we all have a better motive to do good work than awards. Hopefully we're saving the world one project at a time and loving the process. 

On the other seventeen hands, however, they are wrong. For entertainers, artists and designers, what we do has to be well-received or it doesn't work. Awards highlight work that works. I don't mean people's choice awards, like American Idol, I mean awards that are judged by experts. These judges have the privilege of honoring and celebrating great work. In doing this, it encourages more great work to be produced year after year. They give deserved recognition to many who are often underpaid and unsung.

“This award is meaningful because it comes from my fellow dealers in celluloid.” 
~Alfred Hitchcock 

There's more. Awards help validate a smart and talented artist's position, thereby educating clients. All too often, businesses hire creatives to do their design work but don't trust them enough to let go of the reigns. They often dictate unreasonable parameters, then make choices based on their personal taste or untrained opinion. One of the biggest challenges to creating solid, effective work can be the clients themselves. Awards can also help to get more clients, too, by increasing the credibility and visibility of the recipient.

Awards sell tickets, and they're a clever publicity stunt. 
~Tony Randall 

It's easy to say that awards don't mean anything, but if you work your ass off and are rewarded with an award, you can't honestly tell me you aren't thrilled to get it. Natalie Portman's quote above doesn't foreshadow her tearful and joyous reaction to winning the Best Actress Oscar this year.

"This is insane. I truly, sincerely wish the prize tonight was to work with my fellow nominees. I am in such awe of you."
~Natalie Portman

What I feel most for my wins this year is validated. I am especially proud that the Best of Show award was for an inexpensive yet highly conceptual, one-color piece. It demonstrates that a great concept doesn't need a giant production budget to succeed. In a town like Ocala, that's valuable because it means small businesses can have stellar creative, too.

“To those of you who received honours, awards and distinctions, I say well done. And to the C students, I say you, too, can be president of the United States.” 
~George W. Bush

Saturday, February 19, 2011

#Fail #Learn #Succeed

I started 2011 out with a self-imposed assignment to blog every day. I had been pretty irregular with my own blogging, which completely goes against my own advice. I figured if I blogged every single day for a year, the habit would become well-formed and I could then back down to once or twice a week without even breaking a sweat. To the people who said, "How will you ever do it? You don't have that much time, Jessi," I answered that I would be able to post quickies some days. I wouldn't have to take time for every single post, thoughtfully writing insights and creating original illustrations. 

I made note of my analytics before I began so that I could track my progress, weighing-in my blogging muscles periodically. On average, during the month of January, my blog visits doubled. Comments began to appear where there had been none. Daily blogging was definitely boosting buzz. 

There was just one problem, though. I wasn't actually doing it every day. Right from the starting line, I had trouble with it. I hadn't done work ahead of time and created a lot of posts - I wanted to do it as honestly and real-time as possible. Some days it was no problem, but other days found me wrapped up in life and work more than allowed for the hour or two it sometimes took to blog. I missed days. My Klout score actually went up and down, reflecting this. 

The main flaw in my thinking lied with the "quickie" posts. When it came right to it, I couldn't do it. A quick sentence or two or three seemed no different than a tweet to me. Why would I waste a good blog page and readers' valuable time on a quick albeit insightful post? Why make someone click a link just to read what could be said in a status or a tweet? It didn't sit right with me, so I never did it. 

For a while I thought I would catch up but before I knew it, I wasn't just skipping a day here and there. The idea that I was behind stopped me from posting out-of-time, creating a growing snowball of white blog space.

It's February 19 and my experiment is failing so I'm stopping it before it becomes #epicfailure. I'm not about to wait until December to admit that I'm not going to blog every day in 2011. It's not worth my time and it's not worth my readers' time. So, I'm going back to thoughtful posts without quickies, but with a strategy change. This time I am going to be my own client. Once a week, more if something timely happens that needs commentary, my blogs will consistently appear. Oh, and I've added an email subscription button, to make life even easier for you, dear reader.

Now, go fail at something. It's fun!

Friday, February 4, 2011

c [is for civil rights] • an alphabet exploration • 24/365

Why the world is worth saving, one letter at a time.

A    B

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Another Unexplained Facebook Mystery • 23/365 •

I excitedly went to Stella Artois' Facebook page to watch a behind-the-scenes teaser for the "Crying Jean" commercial that will air during the Super Bowl. It stars Adrien Brody, who I love, and is all smoky-beatnik-jazzy-moody, so I just had to see.

While on the topic of Stella Artois, I wondered about the making of the brew itself, so I went to the "info" tab. Info tabs are much easier to find on business pages than on personal profiles lately. Facebook keeps moving stuff, coming up with new stuff, giving away our personal stuff, and stuff. Sometimes it's a great improvement - other times I just get confused. For some reason, on the info tab, Facebook has created a section to list the url of your ... Facebook page? Yep. WTH? 

Why on earth would anyone need that right there, when they are already on the page itself? I think I just have to get used to not having every mystery solved when it comes to Facebook. Live comfortably in uncertainty, very Zen. Facebook is teaching Zen lessons. Nice.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Advertising is Alive and Wall in Knoxville • 22/365 •

I had the privilege of judging both the Knoxville and Chattanooga, TN ADDY competitions this past weekend. It was a long and tough judging weekend because there was a lot of good work. Here in Florida (AAF District 4), ADDY entries have been down, reflecting the economy in general. Up there in AAF District 7, though, they are up! I was encouraged to see that, as well as inspired by the work I saw. I'll be happy to share about some of the highlights once the official announcements are made. In the meantime, there was another observation about advertising that I made. The art of "wall advertising" - which I rarely see where I roam - is alive and well in historic Knoxville. Many old signs and murals are still there, and some of the newer ones look like the old ones, only fresher. A sign is more than just a locator, it's an ad. I almost wonder what the city looked like back then. Sort of like Tokyo without the lights?

I had a couple of hours before my flight on Sunday morning, so I took a wall-advertising-photo-tour. Here are some highlights:

Thursday, January 27, 2011

b [is for baby butt] • alphabet exploration • 21/365 •

Why the world is worth saving, one letter at a time.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

An Ode to the Overwhelmed • 20/365 •

I got this in my e-inbox the other day from Dyana Valentine. It's by Samantha Bennett. I don't know why I find it remarkable that I'm not alone in the world, that there are people who go through the same thing day after day, but I do. When it comes to our struggles, we all feel like the only one in the world feeling our own special pain. I don't know if it's comforting that thousands of someone elses are living my life, or if it's scary because overwhelm has become an epidemic. 

Last October I painted a monster and titled it "Overwhelm" and at some time, somewhere, someone I've never met wrote an ode to me:

An Ode to the Overwhelmed

And as you stand there
Late again
Because you forgot to allow time to park
And the elevator was slow
And you left 10 minutes late to begin with

With your shoes that pinch
And your pants that are a little too small
Since you started eating white bread again

And as you paw through your bag
Looking for the suite number
That you're not sure you wrote down to begin with

Let us now praise you

You, the untidy
You, the careless
You, the easily distracted by sparkly things

The money you spend on late fees alone
Could feed a family in Africa - Which reminds you that you meant to send in the kids' Unicef money and

And that despite your best efforts
You rarely eat a square meal
You almost never get enough sleep
And exercise seems like a word that magazines have developed
Just to make you feel bad about yourself

But you are good and brave

You, flying by the seat of your pants
Making it work
Putting out fires
Saying your prayers
And dancing your dance of now and later and maybe and

As innocent as each morning's sunrise
You are a fount of good intentions
Your good humor is as graceful as a baby giraffe
Even if that joke you were trying to make to the hotel clerk fell flat
And your toast at the wedding came out sounding a little...funny

But you have gifts that no one knows about
You have the strength to bend in the wind
You have the joyful spirit that loves a good belly laugh
You have the wisdom to understand that everything will all come out all right in the end and
You have the faith to light a candle rather than curse the darkness

That is, if you could find the book of matches from that romantic restaurant that you went to for your anniversary but since you didn't have a reservation they made you wait at the bar for half an hour during which you had two apple-tinis and the rest of the night is a bit of a blur
So much for the overpriced lingerie

You are beautiful

You are beautiful

Frazzled and overworked and underpaid

You are the one who forgot your wallet
And forgot your receipt for the dry cleaners
And forgot your keys which you just set down five seconds ago, so where could they possibly have gone?

But you never forget to say, "I love you"
And you never forget to give a big smile to that nice parking guy
And you never fail to show endless patience when the
Too-tightly wrapped and overly-conscientious start to offer their
Oh-so-helpful suggestions about how you might feel better if you would just learn to alphabetize your spice rack

You are beautiful

So, wear the lingerie on Monday for no reason
And why not just refuse to participate in the bake sale this year?
And give yourself a compliment for something you did well today
Because you are the most beautiful person I've ever known

© 2009 Samantha Bennett

a [is for arbor] • alphabet exploration • 19/365 •

Why the world is worth saving, one letter at a time.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Watch where you're going! : New [to me] Media Sunday • 18/365 •

When you walk, where are you looking? Do you watch the ground, kick pebbles and avoid stepping on cracks? Do you look all around and take in the scenery? Is your gaze in the clouds, trees or building tops, so you almost bump into light posts? Or are you texting into your phone and missing all of it?

At some point in my childhood someone must have told me that I was wasting life by looking down as I walked. Some kind of "stop and smell the flowers" advice that has stuck with me enough to make me wonder whether I should be looking up or down when strolling along. It's a dilema. 

Take the beach for example. The scenery is beautiful, but there are treasures in the sand, too. Imagine all the shells that would never be found if everyone was only looking up. I took this picture on Daytona Beach today. There were bazillions of these washed-up jelly fish. There's no way I was going to be texting while I walked around there, or even looking up and around, because I might step on one of those slimy suckers!

Necessity is the mother of invention. This weekend I learned about an app that eases the burden of deciding one over the other, texting or talking. Now you can text into your phone while seeing where you're walking all at once. I downloaded "At Once" and tried it. Kind of funny. Worth the free download to try it out. You can tweet, Facebook, email, LinkedIn and Google Buzz, all while seeing where you are going. 

It doesn't offer any solution for if you are chewing gum at the same time, though. If you download and play with it, let me know what you think? Is it really useful, or just a funny gimmick? 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Internet didn't kill the video star, it made video a star • 17/365 •

Evolution is here. Advertising as we once knew it is dead and we are now at the point where even the old school mad men are hip to the new ways. Two-way conversations are in, one-way ads are out. While print is suffering in this time of change, video is blossoming! Traditional broadcast might be in trouble, but video is king of the world on the internet! 

No longer do you have to try to explain something on a page. You're not limited to type and photographs, illustrations and paper. Print's boundaries are gone, and so are even the boundaries of one-way TV commercials. Need to say more than a brochure or business card can? Website. Need to say even more without having people read for an hour? Video on your website. Need to draw people in? INTERACTIVE video on your website. Fantastic!

Enjoy one of my favorite examples of interactive video advertising:

Thursday, January 20, 2011

When did kids start buying auto insurance? • 16/365 •

Did I miss where kids started buying auto insurance plans? Are they whining and asking their parents to go with the "cool" insurance agency? Just how much say do children have in the insurance buying process? None that I know of. Auto insurance is a serious business, pretty boring and mandated by law. I asked my kids which company they preferred once, and I actually got an answer. They had definite opinions. Isn't it remarkable that they even know the names of insurance companies? It's the advertising. It seems to target children and teenagers more than adults. It entertains more than it informs. Personally, I find it impossible to make a buying decision based on the advertising, fun as it is.

Have fun with these commercials from three of the top auto insurance companies. I'm waiting for them to come out with the "auto insurance happy meal deal" where they give a free toy with every purchase, and maybe a lollypop or a sticker just for getting a quote. Just don't make the free toy something distracting to Mom or Dad while they're driving, okay insurance peeps?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

So, Comic Sans walks into a bar ... • 15/365 •

Comic Sans walks into a bar, bartender says, “We don’t serve your type.”

Comic Sans is so hated, it gets more press than other typefaces. Comic Sans is so annoying, I wouldn't use it in this blog about it. 

But then again...

51 reasons why typographic rules are BS