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. 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.