• Break Out the Tissues When Watching P&G's Mother's Day Tribute
    I just did some calculations. If I were to thank my mom for everything she's done for me - all the cooking and cleaning, all the nurturing and encouraging, all the alibi-providing and bond-posting - it would take 42 days, at the rate of 15 seconds per incident-specific allocation of gratitude. Were I to throw in some apologies for individual instances of inappropriate conduct, it would add another three months to the appreciation/atonement binge. I was a pain in the ass of a kid - think Burning Man reenactments in the playroom and unlicensed goldfish autopsies on the kitchen counter.
  • More Dullness Than Light in Latest Dulux "Let's Colour Project"
    As an individual whose lot in life is to trawl the web for brand-burnishing video, I often find myself confronted by daunting philosophical questions. Like: "Is it possible for a brand to do more harm than good by seeking attention for its feats of charitable largesse?" Or perhaps: "Is that the CEO's wife singing the song in the background?" Or: "Seriously, a global megaconglomerate wouldn't really pay someone valid currency for something that sounds like a distressed beagle cooing over a rejected ABBA track, would it?"
  • Brita's Conservation Efforts in "Music Sustains" Leaves a Disingenuous Taste
    I don't attend as many concerts as I once did, because I'm old and have come to believe that life is best lived on the couch. But after watching Palladia's dispatches from the summer circuit, it dawned on me that the festival experience remains more or less unchanged from the halcyon days of Zep and Frampton. Yesterday's kids had lighters and early-adopter cred in the headband/scarf department; today's kids have smart phones and hydration mandates. It's all good; no one generation has dibs on "our scene was the purest of them all, man."
  • "First Car Story" Takes Drivers Down Memory Lane. But What's The Brand Behind It?
    Oh, so you want to hear my First Car Story, do you? It dates back to the late 1980s, when I was but a lad with shaky confidence and a few wisps of hair-like filament sprouting in the uncharted terrain between my nose and upper lip. Partly through the frowned-upon sharing of Algebra II notes, I managed to secure for myself a single date with a young miss who I'll call "Phoebe Cates." Phoebe and I had a fine time during dinner, owing mostly to my probing, conversation-fueling questions ("so, what's going on?," "everything good?," "can you please pass the …
  • Let's Get It On: "Safe Sex For Seniors" Launches PSA Campaign.
    The scene: A condo community in Florida, early evening. Sated following a pre-gloaming meal, a visiting child sits on the worn couch watching TV, his young son in his lap and his snowbird parents flanking him on either side. As the buzziest show in Boca breaks for commercial, they exchange field notes ("wow, The Mentalist is really good at solving crimes! It's like he has superpowers of mentalism!"), three generations united in cultural consumption.
  • No Game for Nintendo's 3DS Marketing Push
    Okay, here's a new one. To give a needed boost to its 3DS gaming system, Nintendo has shot a viral-video-with-two-capital-Vs that knows it's a viral video - but one that views the viral-video genre with contempt, even as it is clearly designed to go viral itself. Got all that? Posted by Nintendo to its YouTube page last week and tweeterfied to the masses yesterday afternoon by Joel McHale, who stars in it, the clip drops McHale into a generic conference room.
  • A Breakdown of Kony 2012: Part II - Beyond Famous
    When we last checked in on those crazy Kony kids, they were busy fomenting societal change by wearing color-coordinated shirts and raising their fists on cue. So it wasn't any surprise when the film's immediate success prompted a vicious backlash, claiming one of the filmmakers in its wake. Hey, they kind of asked for it. But that presented a real problem for Invisible Children, the group behind the campaign. Jason Russell's public meltdown, coupled with extensive debate over the film's tone, tactics and loosey-goosey conveyance of the facts, threatened to overshadow its efforts to focus attention on the barbarism of …
  • Columbia Sportswear Excels With "Great Moments In Trying Stuff."
    Before we get into the nitty-gritty of their excellent "Great Moments In Trying Stuff" campaign, I'd like to thank Columbia Sportswear and agency Social Radius for bucking a noxious trend: Heralding new videostuffs with emails subject-headed "Viral Video!," as if the collective will of the recipients is all it takes to embed a clip deep in the public e-consciousness. I bring this up because a recent Columbia announcement arrived with the less-than-provocative subject header "New Columbia Sportswear Spots Released Today." In a mere six words, it answered my tough-but-fair questions about who/what/when, plus the release that followed filled me in …