Thursday, May 28, 2009

Summer Vaca Alternatives

Tourism boards are eating up the opportunity to stimulate the local weekend getaway. I read today in the AMNY of course that the NJ tourism board is opening up a pop-up store in Union Square to act as a little travel agent...not as creative however as what Pennsylvania has done with PAstories. This campaign actually peaked my interest with an ad on the Long Island Railroad. I tried to keep reminding myself to check this out until again I saw a NY double decker bus wrap promoting the series. Didn't realize it was a tourist campaign until recently.

The webisodes boarderlined with my attention span but love the production quality and the main character is adorable! And have to give PA props for a really creative attempt at getting people to visit PA.

http://pastories.com/

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The art of the Print Ad


Sometimes we advertisers forget the beauty of what a print ad can communicate. Ads like this remind of why I wanted to go into advertising in the first place. Art + brand = ad

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I LEGO NY!


Artist Christoph Niemann's interpretation of NY, through Legos!
http://tinyurl.com/cpn6p9

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Answer to Pets in the City

Facebook has a great way of really choosing advertising that fits the demographic of the user. Somehow it must have tracked that I sent Happy Birthday Wishes to my friend's dog and hence put this ad on the sidebar.

I checked out PetaPotty and it's pretty revolutionary. Maybe one day when I get a dog I'll get him a little grass patch to make him feel like he lives in suburbia and can pee on grass instead of streets.

The "Lifestyle" video is pretty funny too:

http://www.petapotty.com/PETaPOTTY60sec.mov


Interesting choice of music.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Roll out the Oats Continues

A few weeks ago Hosea + Nicki former Top Chef contestants were in the Flatiron plaza doing a cooking demo. Upon our arrival we found that the whole event was taken over by Quaker Oats. Thinking it over, I recalled one of the Quick Fire Challenges of the past season was to make something using Quaker Oats. Magnificent product placement and integration, however I don't know how applicable Oatmeal is to a culinary competition. The Oats demo that day was some oat/granola poached pear dessert. Booths were also set up where Oat event staff was preparing smoothies [with oats in them] for everyone. The catch however was that you had to blend your own by using a stationary bicycle. All of course while the Oat event staff cheered you on screaming 'Go Humans Go!!'

Corny or clever I ask myself?

I'm gonna go with clever and here's why.
1. The idea behind this whole campaign is that the oats give you energy and nutrients
2. Smoothies are a great form of energy
3. Riding a bike relates to the whole exercise, energy component
4. The event staff borderlines corny, but they are verbally re-inforcing the message
5. The user Oat experience hits multiple levels of interaction and engagement which in turn...
6. Creates a positive brand experience, retention and hopefully loyalty

A bold move to align your brand with Top Chef, I'm interested to see who else will follow suit.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Battle of the Bacon!


As I follow a lot of the food bloggers I've been noticing this really strong niche market of people obsessed with bacon. Bacon t-shirts to bacon alarm clocks that actually cook your bacon.

I was lucky enough to make it into the Bacon Takedown in Williamsburg this weekend. Held in the German Medieval times like beer garden of Radegast Beer Hall: the mood was set for battle. And battle we were ready for after standing in line for an hour but patience always a virtue, we made it! I heard the contestants were to prepare food for 300 so my anxiety dropped a bit.

There were 30 different bacon concoctions. Highlights included, bacon bourbon ice cream, deep fried bacon in panko breadcrumbs with pickles, homemade apple pie infused bacon, bacon cupcakes, bacon blitz [play off of a potato skin]. Hopefully they'll post winners and recipes!

Julia and I ask, "Where's the Bacon?!!"

Just when I thought the battle was over there was a little Medieval times reenactment in my stomach last night with tiny little lancers grasping onto my arteries.

But it was worth it!

Really fantastic event and hopefully they'll be more to come from http://chili-takedown.com/.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Mets Meets Meyers and other Upgrades


Wow so much chatter about the new Citifield and the dawn of the Mets opening season! I'm trying to formulate an opinion on how I feel about the ticket hikes and the new food court.

Okay ticket hikes suck. Most importantly you loose the true fans to business executives taking their out-of-town clients out for a night. Tickets are ranging from $11-$280 depending on location and who it's against. Big games between our rival Phillies will cost between $60-$84.

Now here's the flip side. WE GET DANNY MEYERS! The great Danny Myers of Tabla, Gramercy Tavern, Union Square Café, Eleven Madison Park and his latest venture, Blue Smoke and of course the Shake Shack!

As a self-proclaimed foodie I can't help but support the hike in tickets knowing that a portion of that is going to upkeep of the following:

Blue Smoke: the pioneer of urban ’cue, Blue Smoke will offer mouthwatering real pit barbecue (Highlights: Pulled Pork Sandwich and Kansas City Ribs)

Shake Shack: the enormously popular hamburger and hot dog stand that made a splash with its original location in Madison Square Park will griddle up game day favorites (Highlights: ShackBurger and Shack-Cago Dog)

Taquería (name TBD): this new concept will feature authentic tacos

Pop Fries: this frites stand will serve freshly-cut, Belgian-style fries with a variety of dipping sauces

Does this make me less of a Mets fan? Of course I'm in it for the great American sport but when you couple that with some find food establishments I'm forced to re-examine my priorities. And I feel like I've paid WAYYYyyy more money to go to concerts at MSG which is on it's way to de-sheveled-ville.

Another argument to be made is, "What happened to the peanuts, cracker jacks and hot dogs?" Last year I found myself taking a hot dog over the sausage a pepper sandwiches. Baseball and hot dogs are like peanut butter and jelly.

Time will tell how fans embrace these new upgrades, but for now I'm going to ride the Danny Meyers hype a little longer.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Roll out the Oats


Quaker Oats a real American brand is unveiling a new umbrella campaign that will unite all of their products. 'Go Humans Go' is the new tagline intended to evoke the oats as a "super grain" that helps power people's minds and bodies. They will be launching TV, OOH, and of course social media next week.

Maybe I should see the creative before I pass judgment but 'Go Humans Go' sits a little strange with me. Kind of positioning the oats as a kind of alien life-force in support of their effect on human activity.

Could the copywriters have taken out the good'ole Thesaurus and considered 'people,' or 'America'

They've done some good work this year, their Top Chef challenge [although some may argue a little out of context for a cooking competition] and I actually really like their Oatmeal commercial with the kids getting ready for school. My favorite is the kid that mixes them all together.

A real 'wholesome' brand I would hope that this new campaign sends a clear brand message and tonality. Rather than a message from outer space.

I did a Google search and it seems some bloggers are already confused
:

http://geeks.pirillo.com/photo/go-humans-go



Monday, March 2, 2009

Idiosynricies of my Italian Family

I've been giving my mom and dad regular updates on my recovery from the removal of 3 wisdom teeth last Thursday. Today, Monday was my first day back to work. I called them this morning upon my arrival to let them know all was well.

A little back story, my mom is the drug/alcohol gestapo. Whenever my brother and I drink too much or in this case take too many pain killers she goes nuts. My dad is usually the more realistic one who balances her paranoia. Something along the lines of, "Barb- [accentuate the Brooklyn/Italian vowels to make it sound more like Bob] wouldga relax, give it a rest."

So this morning I'm sitting at my desk on the phone with them and of course my mom says, "You're not still on the Perkaset [spelling] are you?"

"No...I mean I took one last night why?"

Dad goes, "You can't take that shit at work you'll be stunadd!" [Stunad is Brooklyn/Italian slang for stupid, pronounced 'stew-nod']

For once the calm voice of reason breaks through! Hysterical!! This may only be funny if you really know them.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Slumdog Awards


As usual there is one picture that takes it all. But I found it interesting that none of the actors from that film were nominated in any actor/actress category. I haven't seen it yet but to Colleen's point it was an ensemble cast and no one really out shined each other.

Very happy for Kate Winslet, what a Hollywood gem and The Reader was a great picture.

From the moment Sean Penn walked onto the scene I knew he would deliver a performance of a lifetime next to Mystic River. Milk was a powerful film that really put things into perspective from the other side of the line. James Franco was excellent as well! America is so rich with history and so glad people can dig up these stories and adapt them into a screenplay. [Which it won as well!] I did feel it deserved something for the editing but can't win em all!

Yay Penelope!! Such a great film. Me and Woody Allen are on a case by case basis and this film was fantastic! So glad she recognized his ability to really create wonderful/strong female characters.

Heath Ledger no surprise there. Nor was the emotional speech from his family. Its a real shame to have lost a man of such potential. Someone needs to give Brad Pitt a run for him money!

Speaking of Brad, had no interested in Benjamin Button but maybe I'll put it on the Netflix Cue along with Changling. A real powerhouse couple for sure. Way for the camera crew to cut to Angelina when Jennifer was presenting with Jack Black.

Hugh Jackman was an impeccable host! Can't believe he hasn't done it before what a natural and love they dribbled in Broadway! Wow who knew Anne Hathaway had pipes!

I also really liked the the showcase of actors that introduced the actors of each nominated category. Made it very personal and profound to see entertainment legends compliment each other on their performance.

I'll spend the next few months catching up, now the box office can release all those low grade films they've been holding onto.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Billy Joel's Wife to Defend Burger Title


He's the piano man, she's the burger woman. A match made in heaven for sure! Kathie Lee Joel won the New York Food and Wine Festival's burger competition last fall beating out the likes of the legendary Shake Shack, and accomplished chef's Laurent Tourondel, Michael Lomonaco, and David Burke. Is it a case of rooting for the underdog? Or maybe the simplicity of her campaign got the best of the judges? Nonetheless let's keep an eye out for her defending her championship at the South Beach festival this week. Maybe Billy will write a song about it?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

YAY Mafia at Denny's


One of my favorite Super Bowl ads is actually helping sales!! Mafia sells apparently. The $3 million commercial yielded $2 million people into its 1,600 outlets in North America and Puerto Rico. The total expense of $5 million for the promotion also yielded $50 million in news coverage. Also it's been blowing up all over the social media index! Good for them! Read the whole article on Media Post

Update on Coffee Wars


For all of you who come to me for my knowledge of the coffee industry here are some updates.

Dunkin' Donuts Waffle Egg sandwich...interesting. I think they are the only ones to have waffles on a fast food breakfast menu so thats originial. But according to my trusted food blogging site Serious Eats there is no comparison to the McDonald's McGriddle.

An unlikely partnership, McDonald's new McCafe and NYC Fashion Week. What are they saying here, our coffee is good enough for Ana Wintour and the Olsen Twins? I think their strategy is to hit the tabloid obsessed women who will find stalker-like like pictures of high fashion sipping on McDonald's lattes. Aren't most models automatically programed to have gag reflexes at the site of the McDonalds logo? Full story on AdAge

And rounding out this editions update is according to a WSJ article, Starbucks is telling its baristas to really communicate the affordable nature of their products. They have also concocted a breakfast special for under $3.95. Ohh Starbucks not sure if you will ever be able to play with the big kids.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Comic Con meets Karaoke



Saturday I got myself out bed to attend the New York Times annual Travel Show at the Javit Center. There was an 0pportunity for me to go through work and I was personally curious as well.

I had heard buzzing of Comic Con taking place the same day but didn't realize the Javit Center could house two shows at the same time.

On my journey over to the west side people in costume, strange colored hair, and swords filtered the streets. A wave of panic came over me that I was there on the wrong day.

Low and behold I was there on the correct day and travel enthusiasts as well as comic book junkies were meant to co-exist in the same convention center.

I was torn between 'Wow these people are freaks' and 'It's kind of nice that these people are so passionate about something and go to such extremes.' [mostly the latter.]

Later that night my friends and I went to Stout a bar near Penn Station for some drinking and karaoke. The upstairs of Stout is really nice, downstairs where karaoke is, more like a dungeon. The dungeon-esk was probably magnified by the fact that half the people in there were from the Comic Con event, still in full costume and in character.

The karaoke night was split dead even between us normal people singing 'Jackson Five' and 'Journey' and the Comic Con freaks sining 'Metalica' and 'Puppet Master.'

I said to myself one day I'll find myself in a scenario and make some kind of comparison like, 'Man this is like Comic Con meets karaoke!' However I have actually witnessed this twilight zone-like third dimension.

Just when I thought my weekend was clear of Comic Con, I got to my uncle's house for birthday dinner and all three of my cousins came from the Sunday portion of the show.

I ate my pasta and meatballs over conversations of inter-galatic bla bla blaaa.

Make it stopp!!!! Maybe it's the universe trying to tell me I missed my chance of being a comic book freak.

Monday, February 2, 2009

All I really wanted was Buffolo Wings

It's not secret that that I am clearly the farthest thing from a football fan. But I do recognize the Super Bowl as a cornerstone in American culture. In no other country does one single event celebrate sports, camaraderie, lend itself to an entire cuisine and capitalize on an opportunity for brands to spend millions of dollars in advertising!! I really thought due to the economic landscape the advertising wouldn't be so good this year, but the star players came through, while others...well missed the field goal [okay my last attempt to put football jargon into this post].

While I did catch some of the spots live I was able to get a real recap online at AdAge . Here's my thoughts [for the most part you can follow along with the AdAge link. Some I skipped over b/c of lack of interest]:

Budweiser Clydesdales
They did a few of these, my favs were definitely the Circus spot and fetch. I love at the end of the Circus spot the little Indian man says, 'I didn't know Daisy was dating"

Bud Light definitely missed the mark all the way around.

Car category was just 'ok' this year. The Audi: Chase was kinda fun retro style, and chase scenes for car commercials is kinda unique. For being a major sponsor of the SuperBowl I thought their two [or was it 3?] ads were very unrelated. If it wasn't for the fact that they kept mentioning Bridgestone as a sponsor I would have never paid attention to their spots. The Potato Heads were pretty funny though. We'll see if it sells tires.

Cars.com definitely taking a different direction this year from the brownies/horse laxative and shrunken head spots. From doing some work in the used car category I think they definitely got their message across that you can have all the confidence in the world but when you step on that used car lot it's scary, unfamiliar and who knows what they'll try and sell you. So well done from a messaging standpoint, creatively...not bad.

CareerBuilder was a definite favorite this year. Just about all my creative directors here loved it! Very unique production value. The repetitive nature in this situation really worked, and was very funny. The punching small animals is the real kicker! These career sites are clutch in this economy right now, hopefully they can deliver.

Cash4Gold might be my favorite!! I've seen those dumb infomercials and I can really respect a brand when it can make fun of itself. Ed McMmahon is AaaMAzing!! My gold hip replacement and the gold toilet are hysterical. A simple message but not sure if it will push people to use the service. But hey! In these times people are desperate for any kinda money they can get.

Castrol with those monkeys put a knife in my Mobil 1 heart but whatev! It really says something about your brand when you have to call out your competitor as the weaker product. Mobil 1 is better product and the reason why they have so much money is that they don't waste it on SuperBowl ads.

Welcome back Cheetos...however I wouldn't say break out the balloons and champaign, not much to say here.

Coca-Cola did some nice work. Expected I'd say. The animated one with ladybugs was cute. And the parody of the Mean Joe Green spot was clever. However, if you know the history of the Mean Joe Green spot, they ended up pulling it right after the SuperBowl b/c it wasn't selling Coke. People loved it, but sales didn't pick up.

Denny's was a riot! Maybe its b/c i'm a little guidette and Mafia stuff makes me laugh. I won't say Super Bowl worthy but way to get your brand in the mix.

Some people liked the Doritos work. Piggybacking on last year's consumer competition I think it's nice from them to their brand advocates involved. I wonder if they save in production costs and creative payroll? I guess the 'Power of Crunch' was my favorite out of the two. Both very much hit the male demographic target.

Baby from E*Trade was back. I think people were happy to see him back, a definite favorite from last year [That Bobo line was priceless].

I liked the GE spot just b/c I love the Wizard of Oz. Very risky though to equate the scarecrow w/o a brain to your brand. I get they are claiming the opposite but could be the cause of competitor ridicule. Smarter energy is a HUGE topic right now, so good messaging to come out with.

GoDaddy was just dumb

Heineken was a little much with the Warrior analogy...didn't like it.

H&R with the grim reaper was a little much. Not really an original concept with a imaginary figure coming into a situation like this. The button at the end was funny though, 'Can you validate my parking'

The much talked about Miller 'One-Second Ads' was original. Definitely memorable. Beer category is a stuff place to play. In no other category do I feel that people are more brand loyal.

Monster's 'Double Take' with the moose butt was pretty funny. Tough completion with Career Builder though. Both were definitely memorable but I think CB won this round.

The Pedigree spot was a little weird. I totally support adoption and glad they made a presence. this year. The old lady clapping her hands after the ostrich was great!

Pepsi had a lot of coverage this year. The Will.i.Am was my favorite, well done. 'I'm good' was just dumb. I think they were trying to be the ones who conquer the 'Super Bowl Phrase of the Year.' The 'WassUp' ones and the Budweiser Frogs will always be remembered for this. Pepsi not so much.

The Sobe 3-D stuff eh whatever. I guess the dancing football players were funny. But I'm guessing like me, most of you didn't have on your 3-D glasses to make it cool.

Teleflora was one of the first spots we saw...very weird and pushed the envelope I'd say.

I really liked the NBC promos especially the Laugh Your Ass Off one. But sadly it seems that their ratings haven't picked up so far.

http://tinyurl.com/cowuku

Friday, January 23, 2009

News Anchor beat up by Puppy


How endearing. Lester from the Today Show [who I've seen eating brunch at Rocking Horse in Chelsea!] gets beat up by a little puppy but maintains a positive demeanor about pet adoption regardless. Well done!

http://allday.msnbc.msn.com/

Friday, January 16, 2009

The New Facebook!

I went to a networking event last night sponsored by Mashable + Peroni Beer! [I was a tad bit more excited for the Peroni]. The small venue quickly filled up like a McFaddens happy hour. I was able to talk to a few people but didn't really gain much. Most were desperately looking for work or trying to promote their lastest and greatest idea. My favorite was this one guy Eric. The conversation went as follows:

Me: 'So what do you do'

Eric: 'Well I have this great new idea for a social networking site for college kids.'

Me: 'Oh like Facebook!' [kinda mockingly]

Eric: 'Well it's going to be better than Facebook b/c it's going to be connections to people you've actually met'

Me: .....

Me: 'So what would you say your objective for the site is?'

Eric: 'Well...it's going to be very visual, and....and you are going to connect to people better b/c you've actually met them, it's going to be very visual and it's going to be better than Facebook'

Me: 'I see, what's it called?'

Eric: 'Crowd Freeze' and he proceeds to pull up his sweater to display a t-shirt with the logo.

Me: 'Well good luck I'll look out for it'

FOR REAL PEOPLE!!?!?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

1,000 Hits!!

I've made it to 1,000 hits [since the addition of the site counter a few months ago]! Thanks to all my readers hope I add insight, useless information or at least a light chuckle to your day. Feel free to make comments and start conversation as in the true nature of a blog.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Fresh Direct in Vending machines!


Holy Cow Fresh Direct what a genius idea! First of all I LOVE Fresh Direct. I'd wear it on a T-shirt! And for them to come up with this idea of putting their 4 minute meals in offices is remarkable! I've had experience with food in vending machines before, but this has got to be better than the lasagna that came out of the vending machine across from my marble studio in Italy.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Dunkin takes the lead!


Just saw the new commercials Dunkin' Donuts are 'out to launch' on MediaPost.com

They are going with a new slogan 'You Kin' Do It' and I really like it! The ads stay true to this notion of we are the coffee of the American people. We keep the hard working, goal setting people of America running. I really like the runaway bike, that woman cracks me up. Also, really nice product shot on the last one. Also I read somewhere that its always important for brands to appear busy. Meaning don't go away for too long because people may forget about you. Well DD is definitely busy and probably running some really interesting production costs with all these new commercials. But best of all no more big bad bully to poor Starbucks. Hopefully they've made their point in the taste test spots.

See the ads here, here, here, here and here.

New Calendar!

Finally ordered a new wall calendar for my desk yesterday. I usually go with the wall one and then a little box tear one on my desk. I was sad to find that I couldn't find a new Muppets box calendar to replace my 2008 one. That thing really made my day. I went with a vintage food advertising one for my wall. I ordered from Calendars.com which I must have ordered from them last year too b/c all year long they have been sending me annoying emails. Dude don't you get it, you order 1 calendar for the entire year! No need to email me about special deals in April! Must be tough though to be a Calendar company...busy in December and January and then no sales for the rest of the year!