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Whose job is it to name things anyway?

4 Sep

Nostalgia has an important message for 90s kids.

20 Dec

Of my younger brothers, Fraser was the second to arrive. His older brother Matthew and I would scrap like animals. So my parents were relieved to discover that Fraser was the most passive infant to ever roam the earth.

The only thing that would keep Matthew and I quiet and safe from harm was a Sega Master System II. California Games was one of our favourites.

We became experts at virtual Flying Disc, Halfpipe, Surfing, BMX, and the insanely difficult Footbag. All the while, Fraser would lie back in a little bouncy chair with eyes as wide as 8-bit pixels. Of course, the chair was designed in such a way that he couldn’t leave it even if he’d wanted to. He grew up in that little chair. His bouncy yellow prison. I’m quite certain that growing up captive to an inanimate object sharpened his faculty for the cutting retort.

My mother often laments the laissez-faire style of parenting that Fraser experienced while she was busy holding Matthew back from slitting my throat with kitchen implements. Then again, Fraser turned out smarter than any of us, so maybe California Games does have a powerful educational quality embedded deep in its code.

Fraser is at university now, but I like to imagine that his passive consumption of Sega Sports as a child will leave him predisposed and defenseless in the face of this California Games-esque message from MTV.

Just a casual reminder to teenagers that unprotected sex is totally bogus. Radical scriptwriting aside, it’s clear that nostalgia (even through something as subtle as an animation style) is a powerful tool in commanding the attention of an audience when there is a very specific age range. It’s also an awesome way to enhance viral potential. Awesome to the max.



(Thanks to Hannah JV for the link.)

A snapshot in time.

19 Dec

Human Clock is such a sweet and simple idea. It’s also a wonderful way to take a photo tour of the world. And now that it’s 10 years old, I like to imagine you’ll never see the same clock twice. Pictured above is Seattle, Washington, USA.

While we’re on the subject, it’s worth mentioning Christian Marclay’s video installation The Clock (2010). Certainly one of the most ambitious archival editing projects ever undertaken, Marclay creates a functional 24-hour clock face compiled from old movie footage. For this work he was awarded a Gold Lion at the Venice Biennale, where he was also named amongst the ten most important artists of today. Here’s an excerpt from the installation.

Siri, sentient and sentimental.

6 Dec

Beast pash.

15 Jul

I bet you thought you were open-minded. So jaded and cynical that it would be impossible to offend you.

You were wrong.

Yes We Cannes! Google.

27 Jun

So begins a journey through some of my favourite pieces in Cannes. There’s often little separating the finalists from the winners. Sometimes it’s a cultural reference that just couldn’t translate. Othertimes it’s the difference between a piece of work completed in August and one freshly conceived in March, right before entries open. That’s why I’m not only going to feature winners. And don’t expect me to jerk on about some multi-million dollar masterpiece of modern cinema – because if you can’t turn a $10m Superbowl spot for Nike into metal, you’re doing it wrong.

Winners of a Gold Film Lion and perhaps the best product demonstration series ever conceived – it’s Google Demo Slam.


Finally, an interactive interactive campaign.

30 Mar

The challenge for Skittles is to keep ‘Taste The Rainbow’ fresh without jumping the shark.

This viral series is right on the money. As a rule, I try not to drop my tone of voice around here but HOLY SHIT THIS IS SO FUCKING AWESOME!

Lately it seems there are about 3 US brands keeping advertising relevant for the 13-25 market. Skittles is one of them. Back in the day we called this Oddvertising. It’s been a prominent award tactic for at least 5 years, but I’ve never worked on a brand that was comfortable executing it. Dulled down it doesn’t work. Either Skittles’ marketing department is masterminded by one tyrannical asshole with a killer sense of humour, or the marketing committee at Skittles is on crack.

Still, you take your opportunities where they arise. Expect this to clean up at Cannes. Just in time, too. What a surprise.

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