The Ultimate Super Bowl Commercial
I picked up the phone and it was Al Jazeera, seeking my opinion on Super Bowl ads. "Gotta put you on hold," I said. "I've got E! on the other line asking me about Egypt's constitution." Okay -- that's not what I said, although I would have if I'd thought of it.» 10 Comments
Hey, Look At All These Cute Babies Failing In Various Ways!
There's a new TV spot for TurboTax and it is very, very interesting. Not because it's a tax-prep ad. What caught my attention about the ad was the story Wieden+Kennedy contrived to pound home the self-reliance message. The video opens tight on a baby girl, about 6 months old. Her face is covered in what looks like strained carrots and green beans. Then comes the voiceover.» 2 Comments
Cultural Preservation, American Style
Once again, those haughty French are mocking us. To fund its anti-imperial campaign of terror, the French government is greedily eyeing the coffers of our very own Google, our Netflix -- merciful heavens -- our Apple. Yes -- your iPhone will be more expensive so the world can have the next Marcel Proust, as if the world weren't already overstocked. That is war -- a French government-hatched insurgency against the American Cultural Empire.» 1 Comments
Literally The Worst Thing Ever
Last night, my 12-year-old cried herself to sleep, heartbroken and inconsolable. Nobody had died. Her parents hadn't battled in a drunken rage. She hasn't been reading "Little Women." And there was no seventh-grade romantic melodrama afoot. It was just a case of lost innocence, more or less my fault. I don't know what came over me. She's still a little girl, yet I had told her something no child should have to reckon with: "Literally" is now deemed an acceptable synonym for "figuratively."» 31 Comments
A Nasty Pile-Up At The Indie 50000
When it comes to digital mayhem, no medium has been more disintermediated than independent film. Twenty years ago, with the likes of Sundance and Miramax building both distribution channels and demand, indies briefly enjoyed something akin to an orderly marketplace. Now it is utter and nearly irretrievable chaos. I's kind of like an auto race. To prevent a mass pile-up, obviously, first everybody needs to be headed in the same direction.» 2 Comments
My Name Is Bob, And I Am An Addict
See you sometime next year. Yeah, I'm checking out -- not because of the approaching holidays or accrued vacation days or seasonal affective disorder. What it is, see, is the boxed set of "The Wire" lent to me this weekend by some dear friends/enablers. Somehow I've managed to avoid this moment for 11 years, but now I have all five seasons in one easy-to-grip package. If "The Wall Street Journal" has it right, binge viewing has now been demonstrated to be the natural order of things.» 13 Comments
Between Stupidity And Gigantic Stupidity: A Fine Line
In the social-media age, nobody -- not e-tailers, not governments, not Vaticans -- can suppress speech without backlash exponentially more damaging than the offending speech itself. In the long run, this will be the ruination of the regimes ruling North Korea, Iran and China. In the short run, it will be the ruination of KlearGear.» 10 Comments
Running For The Exit
Whoever is considering bidding on Forbes, which announced Friday that it is up for sale, must first address two questions: Is revenue growth based on its aggressive branded-content and unpaid-blogger strategies sustainable? If the answer the first question is "yes," why would the owners sell? Hint: If the answer to question #1 is "no," never mind question #2. So where does Forbes get off seeking a sum that would represent a mere $130 million haircut over its 2006 valuation?» 10 Comments
CEOpen Mouth, Remove Foot
Not for no reason, corporate managers are terrified of social media. Dear God, what if someone out there says something false and damaging to the company? Worse yet, what if someone out there says something true and damaging to the company? And worst of all, what if someone inside says something damaging to the company?» 5 Comments
An Open Letter To Time Inc. CEO Joe Ripp
Joe, are you not aware that Time Inc.'s legacy, and till now Pearlstine's, has been to maintain an impervious firewall separating business and editorial so as not to corrupt the latter with the former? Well, of course you are -- or you would have seen no need to rationalize this obvious cultural and ethical retreat by alluding to the existential crisis that afflicts you and the rest of journalism:» 23 Comments
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