Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sorry, I've been working.

It's been a while since I last posted here, and I have to apologize. My blogging career was side-tracked by a brief and traumatic tryst with actual work; but now, I've caught a few moments to get back to what's really important: Tweeting and blogging about stuff.

And, what better way to get back to internet geekery with some good old self-aggrandizing. Take it as an alcoholic's version of, "How I spent my summer."

Let's begin the show and tell...

Amacon's "District" campaign: This project actually began an entire year ago, with me and the team at Industrial Brand hashing out names for this South Main St. Loft development over way too much sushi. Things were great back then, with plenty of work. Then, the bottom dropped out of the local real estate market, and the project got shelved. But low and behold, things got better a few months back, and we got the call to go ahead with the launch.

The idea was to create the anti-real-estate real estate campaign. I actually hashed out this epic list of smarmy real estate words that we would ban for use. Stuff like: spacious, urban, luxury, lifestyle, and loads more crap that hides under the lapels of greasier estate agents. Check it out at www.southmaindistrict.com

Versus MMA and Fitness's "Flash-Fight" UFC Stunt: This one started out as a small idea, and just got progressively more and more ridiculous. I had been training at this MMA studio, doing kick-boxing and interval workouts, and trading my services as a copywriter for a monthly pass. Each month I'd write their newsletter, and each month their trainers would punch me in the face for a few hours. In a totally unrelated incident, I met a young videographer that was keen on doing a spec guerilla stunt. He asked me if I was interested in writing it, and if I knew of any willing clients. I said yes, and asked the guys at the gym the next day. The gym was really stoked, and within a week, I had come up with the idea of doing a flash-mob type of event—but with boxers and a collapsable ring. Client then made the suggestion of using the promo in conjunction with a gym-sponsored awareness campaign for the UFC, and its current banned status in Vancouver. After countless hours of rehearsing, story boards, and trying to talk girls into walking around a makeshift boxing ring in the middle of Vancouver, this is what we came up with.

Homeless Copywriter: This one has been a long time coming, with all sorts of crazy moving pieces. From a basic idea for new portfolio site, to a youth homelessness campaign with help from design firms, PR shops and one of my advertising idols, the project is finally getting ready to launch next week. I won't go into too much detail yet; you'll have to hang tight just a little longer. www.homelesscopywriter.com

Excel Tire: Working with the guys over at Brandspank, I was challenged with a mature brand that wanted a fresh position. The tire industry can be a tough one, with some very entrenched competition that own words like, "Trust" and "Service"; big words for people afraid of perceived shady mechanics. What we ended up doing, though, was going in the opposite direction, drawing attention to the big corporate conglomerates that lay down rules for the competition. Excel's Campaign would infer that they were simply good old-fashioned mechanics; ones that had a stake in their individual shops, and made recommendations based on what consumers needed, as opposed to what executives wanted.

Block Magazine: Been writing their monthly music column. Look for their next issue; up on only the hippest news stands across Canada. How can you tell they're hip? They're next to the cigarettes and Pabst.

Cactus Club Restaurants: Did a complete rewrite of their cocktail list, week night drink specials, and chef bio. Soon to be handed out by girls in short skirts everywhere.

Capilano Mall: Again with Brandspank, did a fun little ad for the touring British Artiques (no, that's not a typo) Roadshow that stopped in at Cap Mall. Here she be:

Tisol Pet Nutrition and Supply: Wrote and shot my first proper TV spots. Yay me. Can't show 'em yet, but all three 15 second spots will be airing this Christmas on local networks.

Ledalite: Wrote a brief 6000 word brochure for this crazy new wireless lighting control called Airwave. The whole thing runs on the kinetic energy created by flipping the light switch. Do they deliver it in a hover car? Yes, yes they damn well do.

Fraser Valley Wine Region: Total rebrand alert. Worked with the lovely and talented Brooke Bowie on a brochure and new identity for the Fraser Valley Wine Region:

Last but not least: New logo...

Need a fulltime writer? Dial me up on the internetz.

Friday, July 10, 2009

SPEC: A four letter word.

Ad folks love to hate spec work, and to be honest, so do I.

However, a colleague of mine recently ranted on the subject in his blog, and now I just have to chime in. It's one thing to hate spec, but let's face it—it's a reality. The trick is, how do we as creatives play the spec game to win?

Let us define spec. Essentially, it's free creative work done by a writer, designer or agency/studio. Make a clear distinction between the two usual types, though:

- Type 1 is spec work done by individuals to demonstrate their abilities on larger projects they may not otherwise have the chance to work on.

- Type 2 is done by an agency or studio on the behalf of a client request, and in hopes of gaining real paying work from said client.

It's important to make these differences clear, and I'll tell you why.

In the case of Type 2, (agency/studio for client) I feel strongly that this is nothing more than an abusive situation. The client has the carrot, and they dangle it for all it's worth. They say, "Alright creatives; you want my yummy orange bounty? Then dance for it. Dance!"
And dance we do. Over and over again, proving nothing, and building no body of work.

In the case of Type 1, (individually to flex muscles) I feel there can be a right way to do it, and a wrong way to do it. The wrong way, essentially, is choosing your favourite brand, and just toodling off on some giant creative wank-fest that shows no strategy, or real world application. This sort of stuff will impress the odd Creative Director, but does a piss-poor job of being relevant to any actual work you'll have to do in future.

So what's the right way? Well, first you need a real client. That's right. Good spec work still needs a client. One with a pulse. There are tons of cause-based organizations that are short on money, and high on morality. Environmental groups, humane societies, The Hair Club for Men, whatever. Call 'em up, and ask them if they want a free ad campaign. 10 to 1 they say "yes". They buy the media, you create the ad. The hitch is: you retain creative control. Sure, they can have some input, but you get the hammer—the final say. What this accomplishes, is the chance for individuals to bolster their own portfolios (with real, meaningful, work) in a way that truly expresses their style. Not the Account Manager, not the client, but themselves.
Ultimately, this—their clearly expressed individuality—will get them to the next level.

Please don't get me wrong here; I know that dolling out free work devalues what we do. In a perfect work, we'd all get paid for every gig from the day we walk out of school to the day we pack it in to work on our lawn-bowling game.

However, keep this in mind: we created this condition.

This industry is built on breaking rules. It's centered on creative problem solving. If we all want to erase the spec work phenomenon, we need to apply rules.

Rules that may be seen as stifling.

Senior Creatives would have to judge Intermediates and Juniors only on the actual work that had been done for pay. That means books full of banner ads and 15 second radio scripts. Then, ALL Agencies (and I mean every last one of 'em) would have to commit to never present free work again. Never ever ever. They would have to be content to be judged by an exactly defined criteria. past work, credentials, etc.

So what do ya'll think? Agree? Disagree? Want to lynch me?

Chime in, or forever hold your pee.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Pick battles, not your nose.

Recently, I had a chance to sit down with a Creative Director (unnamed here) over beer(s). We chatted about my work, his work, work we liked and work we hated.

Lager went down easy, and talk turned to the balance between advertising efficacy and creativity. Now, I agree that every ad should blend these two elements seamlessly, but when you're cranking out dozens of projects a month of various sizes and intents, I think it's more important than ever to keep in mind when and where the idea must be pushed, and when we simply need to get the sales message out in plain language.

Yes, we need to move product--if we didn't, we'd all be artists instead of "creatives". However, for every time there's a client telling you to quit trying to make an Opus out of a banner ad, recall this: advertising is public art. We are in charge of bringing interest to economics.

That said, here are my top five signs of a battle worth picking:

5. You're creating a campaign for a homogeneous product or service. Gas; beer; plumbing; etc. Unless the client has an actual defined Unique Selling Proposition, what else is gonna make the ad stand out other than the creative? What are you gonna do, try and tell me yours is the coldest beer on the market? Waitaminute, Coors tried that. Geezus.

4. You're bored.
Boredom usually means you've given up. Boredom leads to laziness; laziness leads to failing at life. Look at your desk; what's on it now? Pick a project, and work it like your job depends on it. These days, it just might.

3. You get a vague brief.
This usually means the client wants you to (or needs you to) take control. It's your job to be the most exciting part of their entire day. That's right, you need to be exciting. Remember? That's why you got into this business in the first place.

2. It's the client's most hated project.
You know the one. It sits there at the veeeery bottom of your Status Report like that last random drunk guy at your house party. He's too old to be there, you didn't invite him and he smells. Can't put lipstick on a pig, you say? Just watch me.

1. No reason at all. These days, you really don't need a reason to be better than you ever thought you could be. Why? Because our business is fundamentally changed, and you better pick up your crap and get a move on. Yeah, you may still have that nice fat account, or cushy gig now, but there are a lot of hungry people out there, and we're willing to do whatever it takes to earn what you've gotten accustomed to having.

On that note, maybe you should just stick with "good enough". Yeah... relax--everything's cool.

Why not head out for some Chocolate Martinis or something?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Dollars for Gold makes me weep for the future.

Disturbing Kiwi Narrator:

"Tired of all that dusty heritage clogging up space your precious jewel-box? Want to forget your grandma ever lived?! Then grab her holocaust ring and send that bad-boy to us so we can melt it down for scrap! C'mon! DO IT. PUSSY! What the heck do you care about art or tradition? Let us obliterate your past, and we'll send you 20 bucks! You can buy some liquor with that! BALLER!"

Seriously. This is some sad, sad stuff. Can you imagine opening packets of someone's keepsakes, and chucking them into a cauldron to be melted down for next year's shipment of Grillz?
Ah, yes; the American Dream comes to Canada. Err... on second thought, they can keep their nightmares.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Leibovitz attempts to "De-douche" Vuitton

I have always had a bit of a soft spot for Leibovitz. I don't know what it is. Her conceptual eye? A vague nostalgic quality to modern photographs, maybe? Anyway, she's been shooting for Vuitton as of late; trying to associate "old-glamour" or "forgotten heroes" with the brand. I see this as a De-douching (TM Geoff Vreeken's pithy verbs 2009) strategy to contend with shit like this:

Or this:

Sooo, anywaay, here's what they've cooked up; I kinda dig its subtle attempt to re-class the suddenly tacky brand:

There's Keith "Dude where's my coke?" Richards

Or Gorbie

Dame Deneuve (Am I insane, or is she still hot?)

Don't forget the Coppolas. Now available in Africa.

Finally, this got released today. Some old people who are clearly lost.

So what do you think? Is this saving the luxury brand? Does it need saving? Or should it go further into the ghetto fab realm?

Monday, June 1, 2009

Small brand done it right #1

As a new series here on Vancopywriter, I'l be doing quick profiles on local Vancouver brands that are bucking this loserfest of an economy to create styled-out thriving companies in our (recently blazing-hot) city. They understand the power of design, conversation, and transparency.

I believe that small and authentic is what will drive Vancouver's new culture and economy going forward, and I want to help foster it.

First but not least is a boutique (scratch that -- hate that word. Let's go with "small" instead) gym upstairs in one of Gastown's old bricked out warehouses. Located at 21 Water St, Versus21 is all about battling the inner lazy douchebag and realizing that carving your Pabst-chugging ass into tomorrow's Ryan Reynolds is mostly a mental barrier.

They run a bunch of bad-ass classes that are meant to work just as well as personal training, at a fraction of the cost. They also have a ton of fight-training stuff. Which scares me... I'm frail.

Anyhow, they've taken the time to create an engaging space, with a directed unique aspect (the group personal training), and built it all into a good-looking website that *gasp* is actually updated with regular new content.

Not to mention, they're all up on Twitter, Fbook, and all that free shit that actually engages people when done honestly.

Anyhow, I've started working out there; largely because of their marketing.

See how fickle we consumers are? Engage us! Pander to our tender vanities and weaknesses! Pleeeeeaaase?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Dear Media: You're too Damn Late

As I do every day, I got up this morning and read the poorly worded punny headlines of Marketing Daily. I'm really glad I'm paying $200 a month for them to throw pop-up ads in my face while I inhale Raisin Bran, but I digress.

I noticed their headline today was "Most economists see end to U.S. recession in ’09".

Ha ha freaking ha, says I. This is their little positive spin effort after seven months of 'round the clock soul crushing coverage of THE RECESSION? Only now, as giant corporations go bust, and agencies layoff unheard of amounts of creatives, does the media finally see the error in their fear-mongering ways. Newsflash there you ravenous blood-thirsty journalists: you did this. You just created the shytestorm that we're in. Now you're getting laid off too. Boo freaking hoo.

It's a new world out there in the ad biz, and it's gonna weed out anyone who's less than %100 talented, and %200 committed.

I'll tell you what, peeps: no amount of positive spin will take us back to the way it was, and I'm fine with that. 

It's a new world of smaller operations, independent media, and talent that's forced to be the very best iteration of themselves. I for one, am in.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Umm, Nova Scotia is like a cellphone how?

Here's the plan: We spend huge conceptual energy and 3D rendering dollars to create a cell phone that has everything. It's a metaphor for Nova Scotia! Get it? Get it?! Nove Scotia has everything! Like fish, and beer, aaand... beer.

Wow. This is all together a much too complicated method for communicating the fact that Nova Scotia "has everything you need". The statement in itself is likely the most ubiquitous Unique Selling Proposition I've ever heard.

As an example of how shoe-horned in this campaign is, and how little it has to do with Nova Scotia, I just had to go through this whole post and change everything to "Nova Scotia" - because I thought the damn campaign was for Newfoundland. What's the difference anyhow? Oh, I know, Nova Scotia is like a pink cell phone. Right?

Cool site though. Too bad it takes two hours to load.

See it here.

The death of the superstar makes way for millions of tiny bright lights

Unless you've been in a cave for the past 10 years, (Waddup Osama) you've watched an aging music industry creak and groan as its business model was stretched to its very limits. Metallica pissed and cried about it, Jacko went broke, and CD sales dragged like Rupaul on a Saturday night. On the other hand, Steve Jobs and his little company made enough money to buy black turtle necks and artsy glasses to last until the end of time. Music was free from the bonds of the record companies; people were sharing at an incredible rate, and they had no plans to stop.

In more recent times, a number of forward thinking bands have rejected the disintegrating label system, and made forays into new web-based forms of distribution. Radiohead with its "pay what you want" album teased our moral boundaries, and Phoenix offered their new single for free, as well as the layered track for DJ remixing. This is really the tip of the iceberg for a much better business model.

It's my feeling that the new model is this:

#1: Offer free single on sites like Big Stereo, Pitchfork, or the band's own
#1.5: Make the single not suck
#1.75: Get airplay on internet radio such as KCRW
#2: Sell the full album on iTunes
#3: Breathe deeeply as people share your album via Torrents, and your profits crumble
#4: Go on world tour. Make the lost profit back
#5: Grow as an artist, and make an even better album next time

Do lots of drugs, rinse, and repeat.

Now this does take longer then the traditional "get signed, get rich" model, but I think it opens the doors for a much wider variety of talent on the scene, and forces them to make the very best music possible. So I dig it.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I heart V.I.A.

Quick shout-out to Vancouverisawesome.

You know who's awesome? You are - for finally getting behind our little burg.

People are always complaining about the lack of culture and community in this city, so it brings a smile to my face to see a group that's committed to actually creating it.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Getting fat on great creative

I've been annoying the hell out of my lady-friend lately by losing my mind every time a new Weight Watchers spot comes on the tube. 
And no, it's not because I want us be the next couple on The Biggest Loser. It's because it's one of the best damn campaigns I've seen lately.

#1: The new look for the campaign: Minimal copy, simple fonts (yes, I am a sucker for Helvetica Bold; it must me the Northern European in me), and orange accent colours. 
Orange is the new black. Or red, or whatever.

#2: The name of the new program: Momentum. 
I think this speaks well to the fact that many people might lose weight, but then gain it all back after their initial goals are achieved. It says "we know this is a long-term fight, and we'll give you the tools to win for for the rest of your life".

#3: The new tag: Stop dieting. Start living. Shiiiit. That's good taggage. It's a call to action, it's simple, speaks about the consumer, identifies a unique aspect of the program, etc, etc... Love it to bits.

#4: The ads themselves. Okay, fair enough, I have a soft spot for Muppetish comedy, but that puppet embodying "Hungry" is brilliant - not to mention hilarious. When he slides in front of the T.V. Gold! Or when she opens up her laptop, and he opens the Pizza Box? More gold!

I can see the whiteboard in the strategy meeting now: 

Fat people =  jolly. Jolly people = like to laugh. Let's make these spots = hilarious.

Watch for yourself:


Hat tip to McCann Erickson NYC.   Know what? Keep the hat.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Adcentric geek out!

My inner ad-nerd is sweating clean through its metaphysical black turtle-neck over the upcoming film by Doug Pray, Art & Copy.

Recently screened at Sundance, the thing sort of looks like the ad-guy equivalent of 2007's Helvetica.

I know, I know, it's just a big ad reel set to a burbling American-Beautyesque piano track, but this is my craft, goddamit. 

I for one will be dressed up as Don Draper, and camping overnight for tickets.

Let's see, what to pack... cigarettes, scotch, scotch, oh ya - cigarettes.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Antlers. Music that bursts from your skull.

Quick post.
These guys have the sort of gentle melodies and epic scope that make the sky seem a little less cloudy.

Even if they do sing mostly about death, abuse, and terminal illness.


Monday, May 4, 2009

Rebranding thy daily bread

I love toast. I love it with Peanut Butter and Jam, I love it with Cheez Whiz, and I especially love it Dutch style: drowned in butter and Chocolate Hagelslaag. Nom nom nom.

For three years now, my bread of choice has been Silver Hills, a B.C. crafted number that comes in a dozen varieties, and is largely baked without flour, making it easy on my tum-tum.

So imagine my surprise when my little old loaf 'o' bread rocked up this morning in a funky re-designed package, sporting a saucy new moniker to boot. Being that my household is populated by one snooty writer (me), and one picky designer (my lady-partner), new packaging is scrutinized to the Nth degree. It is then chewed on by our third roomie, Luna (French Bulldog).

I'm happy to report though, the agency did one helluva job. The illustrations and bread names are authentic and not over-polished, and the copy is easy, smart, and conversational.

Nice work. Hat-tip to Karacters/DDB Vancouver.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Tricks are for kids. And lazy writers.

This is something I've been pondering doing for some time now: compiling a list of some of the go-to Copywriting wordplay gems that get ridden hard, and put away wet. Okay, maybe not wet, but certainly tired.

Without further a due, I raise the curtain, and shine a harsh light on the lazy Copywriter's Toolbox:

1: The high/low

Cold treats, and hot prices
Big savings, on small luxuries
Bad headlines, good God am I lazy

2: Hyperbole

Cold treats *Image of bro enjoying a frozen treat. In a block of ice*
Savings so big, you'll need a wheelbarrow for your change
Headlines that suck like the moon's gravity


Cool treats *The Fonze holding ice cream cone*
Save big *Life Ring around a Gorilla... no, Elephant... Whale... Oprah!*
You're a hack! *Axe severing writer's hand*

4: One of these things is not like the other

Cool kids, cool treats
Big service, big savings, big deal
Bad copy, bad copy, bad copy

5: Colloquialism McTwist

When life gives you lemons, have a cool lemon frosty
Live large. Save even larger
Live to work, work to live. I care not if you stop doing both.

Alright, enough of that. I won't have anything left in the bag for my hungover days on deadline.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Early Summer Muzak blitz

All we need is music right? My friends and I certainly feel that way, and summer is the season to bleed your feelings out from your stereo on volume 12.

Save money, eat styrofoam.

I know times are tough, (okay - toughish - we're still all enjoying cable TV and ass-wipe with built-in lotion) but is it really call for turning to space food to feed our cheese-dependent youngsters?

I see the fine dietary bastions of society - Frito Lay - have unleashed their "stimulus plan" (my god, if I see one more campaign based around this concept, I'm heading straight to Washington to drown myself in that big ass lake thingy they've got down there) upon the awaiting mouths of North Americans. Said plan consists of this. Giant Cheetos.

Seriously? With all the talk of organic food stuffs, sustainability, child-obesity, and a new era of personal responsibility in the good 'ol USA, and we end up with golf-ball sized cheese snacks?

Doomed I say, dooooomed.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Txt to Rgers - plz stp. TTYL

Over-produced, not funny, pedantic dialogue ridden, oh-so hateabley casted, soft-focus lit, crappy feature/benefit focused piece of maggot-ridden turd.

Nothing personal, but it'd be better to simply show the damn hand-set sitting in a bowl of oatmeal.

Monday, April 20, 2009

A ripe chestnut.

Had a sweet little piece of info come my way the other  morning -  thought I'd share it.

I've always wondered how I'd get started on work that's really award winning in it's calibre. Panicky clients and tight budgets rarely allow for One Show level creative. More likely they allow for newsletters. A never ending slurry of newsletters. *Shudder

I know spec work is one option, but I always figured it was a waste of time. Something you might do fresh out of school. I thought that an idea was an idea, and that great creatives could see the evidence of good work on any scale. But nay. Naaaay. 

These days the competition is stiff. CDs want to not only see the flickering of great thinking, but the whole baked enchilada with salsa, guac, and refried beans falling off the mother-fucking plate.

So spec work it  is, and the quote that really made it hit home for me came from likely the most praised CD in town. I won't shout his name out though; those in the know can guess.

He said, "Spec work will show clients and agencies that you can really do this level of award-winning, international work. Soon enough, they'll not only allow you to do this kind of work for them, but demand it."

So simple. So sensible.

Cheers to Mr B.C.

Friday, April 10, 2009

F@cking with the stars.

Oh yes. Keep an eye out for Starfucker. A three-man day-glo dancerock outfit from Portland that sounds like a mix between Cutcopy and the best day you've ever had. On acid. Saw 'em last night at the Media Club, (Shitty sound BTW. Fuck you sound-guy.) and ended up buying a CD PLUS a T-shirt. I haven't been that much of a fanboy since, well, ever.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Knee jerk, or capitalizing on an opportunity?

Some say that brands and campaigns should shy away from "knee-jerk reactions", and on the whole, I'd agree. I've watched many a brand go chasing the hot target market of the day, only to find their previously loyal customers disillusioned with their behavior upon returning home. Kind of like cheating on a partner. 

Porsche owners to Porsche after the launch of the Cayenne: "You were with who? American families of four? Gross."

But, the above stated, I have to question the brand that simply follows the line no matter what the circumstances. For instance, if I run a chain of high-end bakeries, who's to say I shouldn't offer a 1/2 price tasting Tuesday during these crappy economic times? It keeps the cash-flow going, and doesn't hurt my product range. On the other hand, if the same bakery were to start scrimping on ingredients to make the overall product more affordable at the expense of quality - then I would agree, it's a shyte move.

I suppose what I'm saying is that branding should be more about a set of core values, and less about rigid, unbreakable, rules.  You want to raise sales or traffic during a recession? Fine. Just do it within the style of you brand. 

To end with my first Porsche analogy, I would have much rather seen a sport-wagon than an SUV.  At least it could have had that Legendary Porsche nimbleness - the kind that wouldn't destroy the erections of millions of 911 owners. 

Or at least offer Viagra with every Cayenne.

Building memes; brick by brick.

As a lad, I have fond memories of Lego. Building cars and dinosaurs, putting it up my nose, etc. At a time, I may have even made some kind of bow tie or something. A very manly bow tie.

That's why I was was so blown away when Lego accessories started showing up on Scenester Party-pic websites like Last Night's Party. Belt buckles, bow ties, hair clips, and god knows what else.

Does Lego know about this? Surely some intern has gone foaming at the mouth to their boss with some of these shots. Should they care? Is it a new market vertical they can expand to? Should Lego sell minimally designed kits of bricks at American Apparel? Run cross-promos with design houses? Hmmm, maybe I should dig out my old bucket of bricks, and make some modern art out of it while the trend's hot.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Phoenix rises like delicious bread. Free taste anyone?

Bonjour; check this out. 

My favourite pasty white Francophones are at it again; this time with a Radiohead-style free download of the first single from the new album. Not to mention, the additional offering of a free downloadable multi-track version. That means producers and DJs worldwide can go ahead and remix the track, then play the snot out of it at clubs. That's what I call user-generated-content. Much more so than those inane Doritos Superbowl spots.  Think about it, you give away 1 free track, and DJs all over the world turn it into 5000 different versions in every genre, played from Botswana to Belfast. In a few weeks, the full album will be available for paid download on iTunes. Ka-ching.

Is this the new recording industry model to follow? Maybe not forever, but I'd say it'll do well enough for my Froggy hipster buddies to buy a few hundred cartons of ciggies.


NABS is having their Shindig party again on April 21. Wanna get totally wasted to help out an organization that supports the treatment of alcoholics in our industry?

I'll have a Manhattan, twist of irony please. 

Kudos to Koodo.

In my days and nights spent contemplating how, when, and why I'd enter the already over-saturated "Loud-mouthed Copywriter" category of the Blogosphere, there was one thing I promised myself: The first post would be a positive one. 

Why? Because it's so damn easy to shred the work of others. Not because I'm superior in any way, but as a creative, one can always find a loose thread in a campaign, yank it out - and trample it. We've all done it, but really: where we in the concept meetings? Did we hear the client's griping that lead to his concept? Do we know the two-year strategy. Nope, nope, nope.

With that said, I give a slightly-balding head nod to Koodo. At the onset of the "Fat-free mobile" campaign, I applauded the fact that they had actually gone with a concept to illustrate their services' savings that was better that say... a certain other mobile provider that trots out HD animals in EVERY spot over the last 10 years. But people looooove animals. Barf.

As the campaign moved on, it became less a message about weight-loss-as-a-metaphor-for-savings, and more about cheesy 70's porno-stached characters - over punny headlines. This, I felt, was one step too far to the left. I get that they had a signature style and lingo in the spots, but it had lost all meaning. They had crossed into the "funny but totally devoid of connection to the product/service zone", or FBTDOCTTPSZ for short.

Finally though, some brave soul must have raised a Wii-thritic hand and uttered "why not lose the fromage fitness thing all together until we choose a new strategy?" 

So now, we are left with Koodo spots that contain totally wacked out Sesame St. style graphics with punny headlines. Wait... that sounds familiar. But, at least they're being honest. 

Koodo's ads now proclaim: Our campaign is fun, stands out, but really doesn't mean anything strategy-wise. So buy the damn phones; okay?