• Let Facebook Be Your Chair, Bridge, Universe
    Hi, everybody! I'm out this week, so welcome to the first edition of "It's New 2 U: Critique Classiq." This one is from October 2012 - a time of innocence, a time of confidences, a time when Facebook mistakenly thought it had to devote some of its attention to self-branding. Enjoy! Or re-enjoy!
  • I Miss My MTV
    I just finished reading "I Want My MTV," a book so briskly paced, super-informed and volcanically entertaining that it makes the Hunter S. Thompson oeuvre look like a government air filter RFP by comparison. Have any of y'all read this thing? It's an oral history of the channel's genesis and pre-Snooki glory days, during which a bunch of people who had no idea what they were doing birthed a massively influential cultural behemoth and, inadvertently, loosed Johnny Hates Jazz on our collective consciousness.
  • Tommee Tippee's #ParentOn Opens the Daddy Floodgates
    The clip's genius is its simplicity. It consists of a 75-second close-up on an infant's super-ninja-adorable face, which is framed by a hoodie so puffy and comfy-wumfy that I plan to order a cheap Internet knockoff version the second I finish this column.
  • Chevron's Feed-Clogging Videos: Worth The Bother?
    Chevron, which has plenty of coin to spend on self-insertion into the Twitter feeds of mumbly shut-ins who like baseball, Bruce Springsteen and not much else. Chevron's videos find me without fail. They haunt my feed as reliably as the incident with the Segway and the lawn gnome haunts my insurability.
  • Converse, Austin Drafthouse Bring The Cool
    The Converse video, in support of its reconstructed Chuck Taylor All-Star model, does exactly nothing a sneaker ad is supposed to do. It doesn't depict sweat-misted jocks levitating for a senses-reorienting dunk. It doesn't show hip young urbanites executing involved skateboard stunts. Heck, it doesn't even show the hip young urbanite's hip young urban buddies reacting loudly to involved skateboard stunts.
  • 'Meat Mythcrushers' Is Everything Its Name Implies, And, Yet, Somehow More
    Most days, this column shoots for thoughtfulness and relevance. It seizes on a single brand video as indicative of a grander trend within digital marketing, or uses a pair of clips to contrast disparate approaches to achieving a common goal. To that end, its diligent curator combs the Internet to find the newest and neatest brand videos before they've clogged your Facebook feed. When he's not feeling sad and frowny, anyway.
  • The Case Of Latest New Belgium And Beautyrest Campaigns
    My problem with New Belgium Brewery has nothing to do with its branding (consistent and imaginative) or its products (assuming they don't own a secret stake in the Lime-a-Rita franchise). Rather, it's that for all the company's efforts to distinguish itself, I still end up confusing New Belgium with the 65 other craft brewers vying for my not-Coors dollar. These companies have become increasingly bold and visible with their marketing; given the volume of messages and brand propositions flying hither and yon, I can barely discern which beverages are truly, authentically sub-micro-brewed in Brooklyn anymore.
  • GoPro's Latest Campaign Lacks Ambition
    I don't know exactly what to make of GoPro's most recent web-busting superclip, "GoPro HERO4 Session: So Small. So Stoked." I am a member and corresponding secretary of the "brand videos in which a product is used in a manner consistent with the way it would be used by normal beings" fan club, and "So Small. So Stoked" toes that line. It's nearly five minutes of rapid-cut highlights from activities that involve the intersection of water, cliffs and narrow footpaths, the types of leisure turbo-pastimes for which GoPros were invented to chronicle. There's no artifice here. We see what the ...
  • Latest Grey Goose Campaign Tastes Desperate
    So while I admired the frankness of Grey Goose's initial branding, I stuck to my usual routine of drinking only those vodkas in which one could still taste a hint of potato. In the meantime, the market caught up to Grey Goose, with a number of other double-super-premium vodkas (and gins and tequilas) battling for real estate in backlit bar displays. That's why I view the brand's recent video campaign, a tie-in with the inaugural Mic 50 list of "fearless young leaders putting our generation on the map" ("our generation" = "not yours, Grandpa Larry"), as a sign of desperation.
  • Buffalo Wild Wings And TGI Fridays Debut New Campaigns For Sports And Appetizer Fans
    It turns out that Buffalo Wild Wings isn't content to be perceived as a vibrant venue for watching the big game while inhaling deep-fried vittles; it wants to be known as "B-Dubs," a totally outrageous bunch of itinerant wingmeisters who are up for anything, except vegetables. Similarly, TGI Fridays is no longer a food-n-friends post-work destination; it's a place for urbane sophisticates who can grasp the Algonquin-esque wit embodied by anthropomorphized appetizers who sing.
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