• What I Learned From This Year's Top Online Videos
    It is the end of one year and the beginning of another, meaning that I would violate my moral covenant with this column's tens of readers if I didn't do the look-back-and-look-ahead thing. But really: Video Critique is just one guy's opinion, and that guy is the proud owner of a toddler who doesn't sleep. What I'm saying, I guess, is that reasonable minds may differ, though they'd be wrong and probably not reasonable at all.
  • Apple Doesn't Fall Far From Advertising Tree In "Misunderstood"
    I've got a much younger relative who is a - how can I phrase this with the elegance for which this column is known? - sullen little sh*t. To be in his presence is to have every fear about the generation straddling Generation Y and the Generation After Generation Y confirmed. He rarely speaks. He makes eye contact incidentally, if at all. And, of course, he is physically and psychically tethered to his phone. There are times he wanders into the room and nobody realizes he's there for a solid 45 minutes. Were it not for the soft chirp that ...
  • The Joy Seen In 'WestJet Christmas Miracle' Is Contagious
    I'm tickled that at least one airline, low-cost Canadian carrier WestJet, cares enough about the customer experience as to selectively shower weary travelers with holiday booty and then broadcast evidence of their munificence to the masses. I'm sure you've seen the video, "WestJet Christmas Miracle," because it went viral within milliseconds of its debut on Sunday. And I'm sure you reacted to it precisely the way I reacted to it - by grinning warmly - because that's the only conceivable response to a clip so perfectly calibrated to the audience and the season.
  • 'Mustang Countdown' And 'Mustang Inspires' Don't Do The Beloved Brand Justice
    I've nonetheless been following Ford's build-up campaign for the 2015 Mustang, redesigned for optimal power, steering and conspicuous pride in American ingenuity. According to early reports, this isn't just a muscle car; it's a cage fighter with rear independent suspension, one that could simultaneously lay waste to Samuel L. Jackson, Jack Bauer and Seabiscuit. Following a sly teaser campaign online, Ford unveiled it for public consumption yesterday night via YouTube and then at events around the world this morning.
  • Vogue's 'Scripted Content' Video Breathes Life Into The 'Revealing' Celebrity Profile
    There are fashion dilettantes, there are fashion fans, there are fashionistas and then there's me. In my closet as in my soul, every week is Fashion Week. I possess no fewer than three distinct species of footwear. My epaulets have epaulets. That person you saw wearing sweatpants in public this morning, yesterday morning, yesterday afternoon, all weekend and maybe five or six times last week? Clearly not me, even if the person told the barista that his name was Larry and was overheard exclaiming, "Yo-ho-ho! What a delightful brand video! I should totally put that in MediaPost's Video Critique, a ...
  • Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" Video Is Both Technologically Impressive And Gimmicky
    For the longest time, the snare-drum clap that launches Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" has served as my phone's ring tone. I don't share this in an attempt to paint myself as a being of unimpeachable musical taste - I prefer brain-worm pop trifles to anything imprimatur-of-cool acts like the Velvet Underground or the Replacements ever put to vinyl - so much as to say: I effin' love "Like a Rolling Stone." The melody, the lyrics, the vocal sneer, the snaky deployment of Hammond organ - nearly half a century after its arrival, the song remains a singular achievement ...
  • Disney Moves Out Of Comfort Zone With 'Disney Side' Videos And Succeeds
    I live among prudes and pedants. After weeks of planning, my "One Night In Bangkok" theme for the little guy's second birthday party was nixed by a concerned group of community leaders. "Inappropriate," they chirped, questioning my ability to concoct a palatable Siam Sunray for the kids and stating that the pachinko parlour attendant costumes "hit the ignorant/racist/culturally condescending trifecta." I still don't know how I'm going to break it to the one-eyed croupier I engaged especially for the occasion.
  • Waldorf Astoria Is Too Pretentious With 'The Stories Begin Here'
    I've enjoyed many scandalously frolicsome evenings at luxury hotels. There was the time a visiting uncle treated me to a beer and a salad. There was the time a porter informed me that the oak-paneled stalls in the bathroom lobby were reserved for paying customers and their guests. I'm as at home in that rarefied milieu as I am using words like "rarefied" and "milieu." They might as well leave custom-embroidered LARRY bathrobes in every suite.
  • Fusion Network Scores With "We Wrote You A Song To Tell You About Ourselves"
    Halloween in the 'burbs is a different animal than it is in the big city. There, I donned a single ingenious costume ("person inside deadbolted and unlit apartment, who hopes the noise from the TV can't be heard by anyone who would bogart my Reese's stash"). Out here, by contrast, I feel a responsibility to rise to the sublime celebratory standards set by the community. To that end, I purchased exactly four pumpkins and have displayed them proudly at the foot of the front door. And, of course, I spent the week - graceless-segue-into-bulk-of-column alert - checking out brands' seasonal ...
  • Ford Fiesta Fails With 'Running of the Bulls' Video
    There are many reactions that Ford would like to prompt in viewers who happen upon the company's Fiesta Movement campaign. The company would like them to feel attitudinal kinship with the Fiesta Agents, a group of selfie-shootin' twenty-somethings tasked with championing the cause one Vine at a time. It wouldn't mind if they, you know, remotely entertained the possibility of buying a car. But most of all, it seems, Ford wants viewers to walk away feeling that the Fiesta is bold, bright and nimble enough to house the life-affirming forces of their own enormous personalities. "You've got a big honking ...
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