Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The smart growth manifesto

Tired of looking backwards and finding, each week, something new upon which to hang the blame for our current economic woes?  Look forward for a sec with Umair Haque of the Havas Media Lab, as he lays down a road map for Capitalism 2.0:  The Smart Growth Manifesto.  Its basic pillars are:

1. Outcomes, not income.
2. Connections, not transactions.
3. People, not product.
4. Creativity, not productivity.

Read the whole short thought-starter of a piece right here:

Monday, February 2, 2009

2009 Super Bowl Ad Round up

As is our longstanding habit, since the days when videotape recorders could first pressed into our service, this year, once again, we skipped the Super Bowl action all together and watched only the commercials. A dismal array of crappy, crummy and jaw-dropping badness interrupted by the occasional shining star and decent spot. Here are the highlights:

Pepsi. “Forever young” The spot opens up with Dylan and rolls on to, both of them eventually singing along to “Forever young.” It’s a great illustration of the span of Pepsi’s relevance in American life. Very nicely done. Check it:

Bud Light. Didn’t they used to have the best ads of the Superbowl?

Doritos. Didn’t they used to have the best ads of the Superbowl?

Castrol. “Grease monkeys” In the “weird creative” category, this spot wins for finding the perfect balance. Just weird enough to be enjoyable not so weird to be off-putting. “Strange days indeed.”

Teleflora. “Rude flowers” Nice idea, coulda used a little more polish.

Nextel. “Roadies” We like this campaign, the ‘what if everything were run with Nextel push to talk technology’ idea. “Roadies” follows the school spot that’s been on tv for the past month or so.

Budweiser. Holy crap. What happened to them? Is there some new research out there that's made them decide to target women with sappy Clydesdale love stories? Were they aiming for a wink to kitsch and missed? Terrible.

Toyota Tundra. Awesome guy stuff but I want more. If you’re gonna build a spiral ramp to the sky and drive a huge truck towing a huge load up there, I wanna see more. I want to see the ramp being built, I wanna see the driver, I just want more of the coolness. Also, lose that damned folksy voice over. It’s too much.

Careerbuilder. Perhaps our favorite spot of the year. Watch it here:

Coca Cola. “Picnic” Very cute and nicely done, but really made me think about how bad Coke can be for people and kids and teeth and whatnot and seeing it enjoyed by all the creatures of the glade made it all seem a little eco-menace. Favorite moment: when the butterflies make a Coke bottle.

Heineken. John Turturro in another serious mock serious double reverse reading nice copy for this esteemed beer. Classy and engaging and a little bit fun. Sounds like the brief. This was the biggest jaw dropper. Famously broke celebrities encouraging us to put our gold in an envelope and send it off to get cash in exchange. Whoa. Ed McMahon and MC Hammer dropping everything but their gold teeth into the bag.

Hulu. We love Alec Baldwin as a comedic actor and loved his performance here for Hulu.

GoDaddy. A great service for a great price and these juvenile ads. Are 15 year old boys really the main target for a domain name registration service?

We're thankful to Fanhouse for posting the ads. If you want to see them all, click here.