Archives for posts with tag: advertising

Meme: pron. meem (noun) a cultural unit, an idea or value or pattern of behavior, that is passed from one person to another by non-genetic means (as by imitation); “memes are the cultural counterpart of genes”

Alright ad guys. Here it is, the reason that the Internet is made of cats. Memes are the germs of the Internet. You need these germs to make a healthy community. Social networking sites are built on sharing these cultural units. A meme is all about sharing, creating, and improving. Sites like “Today’s Big Thing” and “Know your Meme” are built on propagating and disseminating these cultural germs. It didn’t start with the internet though. Ever heard of Friends? They created a global phenomenon with “How you do’n?” That’s a meme. If you are in the ad business, it is important to know about and study the inception of current memes. People are successfully and often inadvertently doing what we are paid to do. They are creating culture, causing chatter, and affecting behavior.


Not what happens when I’m away

We are not as important as we all think we are. One of the biggest ways agencies benefit from their employees taking vacation is in the form of a big dose of worker humility. It is so wonderful to come back to the office and see that all the things that were life and death prior to your vacating have magically taken care of themselves.  Of course, I also smile a little inside when something has stalled out because I wasn’t there to imbue it with some old fashion “can-do.”  But, overall, it is a very freeing feeling to know that the “must achieves,” “must produce,” “must win” pressures that we face everyday are simply mice in front of up lights.  Now that the pressures feel so much smaller, I feel free to play and to appreciate the fact that I’m paid to do something that I enjoy so much. 

I have a sizeable brain crush on these ads, as does the rest of the world.  So, imagine my surprise this morning when I woke up and saw the final farewell.  It feels like the party was just taking off.  But, I have to admit, on W+K’s part, this was the smartest time to bow out.  We were getting smart to the device, starting to criticize, starting to be familiar.  No one thinks that the familiar is genius.  The main reason that these ads worked is because I can’t think of a person in my agency that would have presented these scripts, let alone someone who would have approved them.  That’s not a knock on my agency, it is a compliment to this work.  It was so unfamiliar that it shocked us into listening.  Once in a blue moon something really new happens and we are all lucky to be spectators as the star shoots by.  I think that this is the goal of my career, not to win awards, but to do something so new that everyone stops for a moment to watch.

You know, before this year, I was sure that the whole “taste of awards blood makes you hungrier” idea was a load of crap.  I still don’t think it is point on, but I do think that a taste of blood makes you an animal, a scared, quivering animal.  This was my first time winning a Cannes Lion, and to win 4 at a time was a huge and delightful surprise.  However, the bar was set early and high and while the expectations are there, the situation for getting stuff done isn’t much different from before the lions.

Of course, the clients are all clamoring, “We want Lions toooooooo.” But, we still have the same people creating, selling and buying as we did before.  What’s changed?!  It’s awkward. This should be the most exciting thing to happen in my career but, it feels like a huge hole being hacked into my self-confidence and my work/life satisfaction.  I feel like one of those people that has a heart attack and then re-evaluates everything. Except, what happened to me was good and I should be proud.  I should be motivated.  I should be excited.  I’m a little awe-struck.  Awe struck over the head.

Is this normal?  All I can think is, “Don’t let 2010 look like a fluke.”  See photo for alternative definition of fluke.

Here’s something that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. In advertising, you rarely ever get what you pay for. However, you always get what you buy. There’s a lot of responsibility on the client to pursue excellence because, let’s be honest here, we are unscrupulous enough to sell you what you want. I would never do such a thing. I’m way above that. That is, until they tell me my paycheck depends on it. Then I’ll do what you tell me to, even if it is to answer the question, “Which of these two options is the safer one?” I know I am part of the problem. And it is my dearest hope that someday I will be part of the solution, but until I’m in a role where I have a voice, I will keep churning out solid gold poo and trying to make something sparkly and good on my own time.

This past weekend we went to Bar Aurora and Boteco Ferraz and shook things up a bit.
In Brazil EVERYONE drinks and drives. How bad is the problem? 30 percent of the people on the roads on the weekend are drunk, even though there’s a new-ish law in Brazil that makes it totally illegal to drink ANYTHING and get in a car. (You can go to jail for eating three cherry cordial bomboms.) But no one really cares. So we tried to make people care.
We added the real costs of drunk driving to people’s bar tabs and taped their reactions. The bars that sponsored this action were really cool about letting us mess with their computers and customers. It was hil-ar-ious. People hugged the bar tenders, screamed drunkenly across the bar at their friends, and shook our hands as they left. We even got some drunken tirades for the camera.
Even though I’m aware that this weekend 30% of the drivers will be still be drunk, at least we touched some people and maybe eventually the conversation will pick up and things will start to change. I’d be killer proud if our little stunt had anything to do with getting things started.

I have an interactive DJ thing in my book, but when you are outdone, you gotta give it up and bow out. This is really trippy and awesome and while I’m not totally sure what the message behind it is, the execution could love me long time. So, I’m going to celebrate out my jealousy and give honor where it’s due. Good stuff. Now go play.