• Honda's "Leap List" Works When Scaled Down
    My current fave TV commercials hawk Honda's newly redesigned and rejiggered CR-V. In one, a scruffy young turk responds to his wife/partner/whatever's suggestion about having a baby by hallucinating about spelunking and robot pugilism; in the other, a bright-eyed ladygal responds to her boyfriend/cabana boy/whatever's marriage proposal by rhapsodizing about drum lessons and roadtrips with her estro-genius clique.
  • Coast Guard Skips Recruitment Spiel, Adds Informational Videos To YouTube Account
    As a northeasterner with a pronounced political bent, I only avail myself of certain specific advantages that come with my citizenship: the freedom to burn flags and religious texts on the front lawn of grade-school campuses, the right to use magazine-fed semiautomatic rifles to protect my breakfast nook from Redcoat infestation, the liberty to eat cheeseburgers while ogling co-eds in star-spangled bikinis, etc. But like any U.S. citizen with a brain and a conscience, I support the heck out of the troops, who put their lives on their line for me and everyone I love - yes, even you, Slow ...
  • Axe Unleashes Anarchy
    When I last checked in on Axe, it was reveling in the silly, self-aware provocation of its marketing and making the eyes of lab animals bleed with the fetid pong of its musks. Turns out that I might've been premature with my big-picture video assessment dealie, as four weeks later the brand unveiled a monster online push for its first-ever fragrance for women. And it's friggin' amazing... the campaign, that is. Based on previous Axe products, I have to assume the fragrance itself incorporates hints of patchouli, diaper and wet ferret.
  • Prudential's "Day One Stories" Arrive Days Too Late
    I can't wait to retire. I'll spend my mornings napping, afternoons in a state of siesta and nights profoundly, supremely inert. If I happen to rouse, it'll be due to a fire alarm or the arrival of a pizza. Alas, my retirement is far enough away that it seems more an impossible dream of magnificent sloth than something that should blip on the planning radar. Thus Prudential's "Day One Stories" compilation of retirement videos and resources isn't for me, nor for anyone who, in his later years, similarly dreads the prospect of tucking in his shirt or - disdainful snicker- ...
  • Less Snobbery, More Appeal on Jaguar's YouTube Channel
    Jaguar executives don't have a sense of humor about the pronunciation of the company name. I learned this while interviewing a marketing higher-up a few years back, when the guy went out of his way to draw out the middle third syllable (JAG-oooo-er). Annoyed for no good reason, I retaliated by double-exaggerating the pronunciation myself (ZHAAAAG-eeeee-WAHHRRR) and throwing in creative takes on Target (tahr-ZHAAAY) and Facebook (fa-CH-boog) for good measure. I didn't get too many usable quotes for my story.
  • Note to CES Attendees: Booth Visits Trump Video Pitches
    As a reporter for an electronics trade pub, I spent several January weeks swimming in the sea of khaki trousers and diluted testosterone that is the Consumer Electronics Show. Truly, my memories could fill a memory book: Clock radios that could accurately be characterized as "feature-laden"! Bible-sized MP3 players that held as many as 300 songs! Each year I entered the Las Vegas Convention Center a blank slate; I departed rich in business cards and knowledge about cellphone accessories with a four-month shelf life. Once, I came into possession of ducats to Monster Cable's exclusive Boz Scaggs concert. He encored ...
  • Con Ed's "The Power of Green" Stars Employees in Simplistic, but Effective, Videos
    The Missus and I prepared for Hurricane Irene and the Great Freak October Snowstorm of '11 the way any media-spooked survivalists would: By stocking the pantry with batteries and willing our earthly possessions to West Coast kin. As it turns out, we dodged the trees and raging hellwater that crushed atriums and moldified basements in neighboring areas, partly due to luck and partly because we closed our windows.
  • Cathay Pacific Campaign Humanizes Its Employees. Will More Passengers Fly?
    I have no idea what kind of hook airlines can hang their branding and marketing efforts upon nowadays. No longer can they play up convenience, comfort, glamour, value, promptness, service, efficiency, flexibility, orderliness, odor or abundance of mass-produced beef stroganoff. What's left? "Fly Braniff, where a majority of the seats are firmly affixed to the cabin floor"? There seems to be a single strategy left: the dreaded people-person approach. You know, like "to some minimal extent, our employees are decent human beings who have a passing interest in treating our passengers like petting-zoo denizens, if not social equals." For its ...
  • "The Sea is Calling." Should You Answer?
    To commemorate a milestone anniversary a few years back, my family went on a cruise. We entered it anticipating community-grade productions of Guys and Dolls, conga lines that snake from stern to bow, and pudding on demand. We exited it, or at least I did, frantically swimming away from a U.N. dingy just off the coast of Labadee, Haiti, all the while screaming, "I'm not going back on that ship! You can't make me go back! I am a sovereign entity!" A spirited discussion about international law and nautical territoriality ensued. It's a long story, one better told under threat ...