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Larry Dobrow is a contributing writer for MediaPost. Reach him at

Articles by Larry All articles by Larry

  • Axe Sinks To A New Low With The 'Matte Effect' in Video Critique on 05/28/2015

    So you'll forgive me if, for today's exercise, I feast on the fruit so low-hanging that it's practically subterranean and babble once anew about the world's easiest brand to unpack, Axe. Before I even click on "New Axe Matte Effect Styling," the company's most recent offering to the Gods and Goddesses of mindless virality, I know exactly what I'm going to get. Fumes! Genial crassness that borders uneasily on misogyny! Winks at the audience so overt that they might as well be accompanied by actual winking!

  • Callaway Live Is Ambitious Piece Of Content in Video Critique on 05/21/2015

    I lack the chromatic diversity of pantwear to be a true golfer. As much as I enjoy leisurely allergic strolls in marsh-grade humidity, I can't bring myself to self-attire in a way that'd make me a hot ticket at the Bingo parlor. Also, from a hoping-to-remain-married perspective, the temporal demands of a job and kids render unwise the commitment of several hours per week to ball-striking. Mostly it's the pants, though. I like jeans. You can't golf in jeans. Golfing in jeans is like power-sanding in a frock.

  • This Year's Crop Of Mother's Day Ads Tries Too Hard in Video Critique on 05/07/2015

    All this said: It is time for brands to pull back - waaaaaay back, judging by this year's crop of interchangeable thanks-mom piffle - on their attempts to burnish themselves by association with attentive mothering. This isn't just low-hanging fruit at this point; it's a stray banana on the linoleum. Genuine feeling - or the attempt to convey genuine feeling, anyway - can't atone for a complete abdication of the process that generates creative thought.

  • What David Letterman Means To Me in Video Critique on 05/01/2015

    Now that the first (and only?) valedictory interview with David Letterman has been published, I wanna be the first writer-type person to attempt -- and fail, in the most obliviously self-aggrandizing way possible -- to explain how much Dave has mattered to me, in a way that's super-different from the way he's mattered to everyone else, over the years.

  • 'Bevel Classics,' A Hair-Raising Tale in Video Critique on 04/23/2015

    In the days since my baldness doomsday clock recently began ticking, I haven't been able to stop noticing that many guys do stuff with their hair. They part it and tease it and goop it stupid. Which is why I viewed it as a sign from above when I happened upon "Bevel Classics," a new video series from Bevel, a maker of high-end groomingstuffs. Surely this would give me the guidance I'd need as I transition from one era of scalp-sistence to the next. It didn't, at least not in its first installment. But the series could well accomplish the impossible, at least for a historically coif-indifferent fellow like me: Make hair and the styling thereof legitimately interesting.

  • Video-Makers, Stop Disobeying Laws Of Natural Order in Video Critique on 04/17/2015

    Maybe it's the pique or impertinence that comes with advancing age, but I'm having a harder time digesting content in which the laws of natural order are treated as a mere inconvenience. As an example, consider the piece of programming I happened upon just the other morning.

  • Three Content Marketing Campaigns Gone Bad in Video Critique on 04/02/2015

    In the clip force-fed to me, Pandora Pulse "gets real" with SXSW marketing dignitaries about selling to Millennials. Much in the same manner that 30-something guidance counselors lay hard truths on high-schoolers trending towards truancy, PP shares advice like, "If you can't personalize, at best you'll be ignored and at worst [Millennials] will hate you and they'll tell their friends they hate you."

  • OK Go Gets Creative For Red Star Macalline in Video Critique on 03/26/2015

    It appears that OK Go's distinctive visual wit can be bought (and anyone who wrist-slaps a circa-2015 artist for playing nice with brands probably ought to take a look at music sales figures during the last 15 years). The most recent beneficiary of the band's creative largesse: a Chinese furniture chain called Red Star Macalline.

  • Air France's Safety Presentation Does Little On The Safety Front in Video Critique on 03/19/2015

    That said, there is a single place on the planet where I am incapable of finding humor: the airport. It's not because I fear flying - as a worshipper at the altar of statistical probability, I realize that I'm more likely to meet my end during a charity dance-a-thon - but rather because I don't take well to being treated like discarded gum.

  • Coors Light's 'For The Love Of The Game' Is 50 Shades Of Okay in Video Critique on 03/13/2015

    The video comes to us from Michael Rapaport, an actor who occasionally reminds us that he hails from New York City and that his hometown is embedded in his soul and psyche, not unlike a traumatic childhood encounter with a raccoon. Underwritten by venerable local brand Coors Light - as much a part of the city's sociocultural fabric as choleric pigeons or The Ramones - "For the Love of the Game" is a nostalgic tribute to NYC basketball courts that attempts to explain their lasting effect on the auteur. The clip is, in every way that matters and many that don't, not bad. Not bad at all, really.

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