I need to see this movie.

July 23, 2008 - Leave a Response

Came across these two clips from the 1990 film “Crazy People” while doing the daily you-tube dance. The plot: an ad executive has a mental breakdown and starts to work with the people he met at the asylum.  

Hilarious satire of the ad world.  Not to mention disturbingly resonant.


Diary of a Bored Intern

July 2, 2008 - Leave a Response

When no body copy needs writing

When no concepts need executing

When no coffee needs getting

There is Julie. There is Gong. And there is a computer.


9:18:  Arrive at work.  Check email you’ve already checked at home before going on the subway just incase someone has decided to acknowledge your existence in the past half hour.

9:58: Practice “intelligent” face and make note to dress really interestingly. Tell art director partner he needs to grow creative facial hair.

10:00:  Come up with brilliant idea.

10:20:  Ignore partner when he tells you said idea has been done.  By everyone.

10:27:  Cry naked and alone in company bathroom. 

10:30:  Spend a good half-hour trashing sucky ads to boost self-confidence.

1:00:  Watch Mad About You online during first half of lunch hour.

1:30:  Defend Mad About You during the second half of the lunch hour.

1:59:  See: 10am – 10:30am

3:00:  Make others feel awkward by displaying overly-enthusiastic attitude towards pingpong.

3:45:  Shop online with money I don’t have.

4:15:  Stalk facebook.

4:30:  Photoshop myself into weird situations.

4:45:  Buy dark chocolate M&Ms from the vending machine only to throw half of them out; praise oneself for having the self-control to only eat half a bag.

4:59:  Contemplate digging through the trash for rest of M&Ms.

5:15:  Google myself.

5:28:  Leave.

This is awesome.

June 19, 2008 - Leave a Response

above: [full ad]        below: [copy]


Check out what got M&C Saatchi Sydney the Silver at Cannes this past week…

Just goes to show you don’t have to get all up in crazy cutting-edge technology to make a good ad. Congrats, print. You’ve still got it.


Re: my last post

April 30, 2008 - 2 Responses

Yeah…so I looked up cost/benefit analysis and I’m pretty sure it doesn’t mean what I think it means.
My half-hearted apologies to those who make more money than I ever will.
In other news, I also looked up Phil Collins in the dictionary.
Know what I found?
The word AWESOME.

I’ll finish this post later, unless by some weird satellite serendipity an episode of any type of Law & Order comes on within the next twenty-four hours on one of the two-hundred channels I get…

April 29, 2008 - One Response

You know those people that clean when they get stressed?

I had a roommate in college like that. She’d hover around my desk until I left the room to go somewhere and then she’d break out a rather impressive arsenal of pastel blue spray bottles and some Bounty, and by the time I had returned I realized for the fiftieth time that no, I did not need to go buy anymore black pens from Staples, and that yes, two-week-old diet coke does kind of smell like black licorice. The best part about all of this was that she would apologize, almost like she had given into some demonic impulse. She’d have this guilty look on her face, the kind binge eaters get in those Lifetime movies I spend half my Satur…I mean, those movies lonely women with many cats watch.

To me, that was crazy. She did me a big favor. She made me look like I had my shit together.
Clean rooms make me want to do cartwheels. They make me do crazy things like make workout schedules and plan uncookable dinners and high-five people.
They make me want to DO stuff.

But cleaning to her was different. Cleaning to her was a coping mechanism, one she indulged much in the same way I give into a compulsion to watch cheesy, contrived romantic comedies.
The thing is, when we do one thing, we’re always putting something else off.
Hierarchies are automatically created in our head. It’s like cost-benefit analysis. Or at least what I remember cost-benefit analysis to mean (attendance was not taken in my Econ class). Which meeeeeans (follow-my-midnight-logic-train-please) we’re always procrastinating.

So, recap. I like my room clean, I hate to clean, I may or may not watch Lifetime movies, cost-benefit analysis, life is procrastination.

Anyway, I was thinking about all of this when, armed with my very own pastel blue spray bottle, I found myself cleaning my desk. Shocking, of course, until I realized what I wasn’t doing, and that was writing ads.
Aha, I thought to myself, gotcha. Stop cleaning, start writing those ads.
Blank paper. Two minutes pass. Hmm…lets check out the blog.
Truth? I only write in this blog because I’m trying not to do something else.
That’s also why I clean. Or return phonecalls from distant family members. Or write Thank-you notes.

I accomplish a lot of good things simply because I don’t want to do the other things.
Procrastination actually fuels my world.
Exhibit A – this very blogpost. Rating: 8 out of 10 tv remotes.
As much fun as this has been, it’s seriously time to go into ad-mode.

Although, on second thought, my books aren’t going to alphabetize themselves…

Dove “Body & Lift Volumizing Mousse with Natural Movement”: The New JB-Weld.

April 5, 2008 - Leave a Response

Something big happened in my life last night.
As I was getting ready for Brandcenter Prom (a magical night, indeed) I applied this new product to my hair in hopes of pumping it up a bit. Seconds later, my roommate was tasked with trying to ply my hair, strand by strand, from the brush I had been using, while I sat teary-eyed and consumed five 100-calorie-bags of chocolate-covered pretzels.
It took close to a half an hour. I was late.
Apparently, this mousse is made out of superglue.
I feel cheated, betrayed, and not warned properly. My hair has not yet recovered.
Clearly, I’m not over it either.

Do Yourself a Favor: Go Out More

March 30, 2008 - Leave a Response

Whether you’re going for one year or seven, trying to put out good work in grad school is a battle.

In most graduate programs, there’s a thesis. Or a dissertation.
But at Brandcenter, it’s a bunch of little battles.
No matter how hard you work on a product, or how great your big idea is, there’s always another hill to climb the next day.
Your biggest accomplishment is reduced to a couple pages in your book.
That’s it. A few pages. Five seconds in a Creative Director’s day.

The roughest part about it is trying to convey your frustration to your friends – especially because no one really understands what going to school for copywriting entails.
You might as well say you’re going to school to learn bookbinding, with a concentration in “the 18th century use of goatskin.”
(Incidentally, this program exists. It’s called Colonial Williamsburg.)

Particularly sad is when you have to stay in on a Saturday night.
The conversation that typically ensues goes something like this:
“Come ON, it’s Saturday night”
“I’m aware.”
“So what are you doing anyway?”
“Trying to craft religiously irreverent yet inoffensive lines about pork meat”
“Lame, call me tomorrow”

If I were in law school, things would be different.
“Why can’t Jules go out again?”
“She’s in law school, so, ya know.”
“Oooh yeah, I forgot. Poor thing.”
“I know, she’s so driven.”

And med school? Forget about it.

Now, I’m not saying that people beg me to go out every night. I’m not that cool.
But on occasion, the cold hard truth remains that unless it’s been universally established that your graduate program is difficult (or they’ve at least heard of your profession) your “regular” friends (in a program like this you start referring to those outside of the program as “normal”) are just going to continue telling you you’re a loser and that you’re 22 and you should go out and have too many red bull & vodkas and flirt with bankers and eat an entire diGiornos pizza before going to bed.

So one weekend, you finally give in. And you do just that.
And you go to school guilt-ridden the next day and deal with the inescapable consequences of your actions:

Your work is better.

By surrounding yourself with people who have decided to let their brain default to autopilot, you do the same.
So the next time you tackle a project, you hit it with a fresh perspective.
Which might actually not work for med school. Or law school. Or any other school that requires memorization or constant fact digestion.
Good. Our way sounds much more fun.

So yeah, all of this is true.
Either that or it’s all bullshit.

Stuff I Like Right Now and You Should Too

March 6, 2008 - Leave a Response

I have this awful habit. Well, I probably have a lot of awful habits. Like painting my nails only to peel the polish off an hour later, or my excessive use of a dance move I like to call “the windmill”. But if you were to poll my friends about the worst, they’d probably tell you it’s this: my over-insistence that they buy into whatever media-exemplified comic, literary or romantic gospel I happen to be subscribing to that given month/week/year. One reason I like doing this is that watching people discover cool stuff allows me to take part in the discovery all over again. But more than that, it’s about sharing the passion. The way I see it, there are two kinds of people in the world. The people that like to share cool stuff, and the people that enjoy it more if they treat it like a secret. I don’t consider either method “good” or “bad”, I just happen to subscribe to the former.

On that note, below are some random bits of pop culture that make my world a little bit more fun.

Don Delillo, author.

Don Delillo, author.

The most brilliant, insightful writer I’ve come across.
Start out with White Noise (no relation to that Michael Keaton thriller).
It’s the best.
Here’s an eyeful so you can get a feel for how he looks at things:
“To be a tourist is to escape accountability. Errors and failings don’t cling to you the way they do back home. You’re able to drift across continents and languages, suspending the operation of sound thought. Tourism is the march of stupidity. You’re expected to be stupid. The entire mechanism of the host country is geared to travelers acting stupidly. You walk around dazed, squinting into fold-out maps. You don’t know how to talk to people, how to get anywhere, what the money means, what time it is, what to eat or how to eat it. Being stupid is the pattern, the level and the norm. You can exist on this level for weeks and months without reprimand or dire consequence. Together with thousands, you are granted immunities and broad freedoms. You are an army of fools, wearing bright polyesters, riding camels, taking pictures of each other, haggard, dysenteric, thirsty. There is nothing to think about but the next shapeless event.”

30Rock, primetime NBC sitcom.

30Rock, primetime NBC sitcom.

I believe anything Tina Fey tells me to. Plus, the writing is ridiculous. As are Judah Friedlander and Jane Krakowski.

In Treatment, HBO series.

In Treatment, HBO series.

Haven’t you always wanted to sit in on someone’s therapy? (Particularly when Gabriel Byrne is the therapist.)

Eddie Izzard, standup comedian.
Most comics serve up jokes like fast food. This one prepares you a five course meal.
Here is a short clip.

Oh, and mind the outfits. It was the 90s. And just incase you were wondering, he is in fact wearing heels.
Go Eddie.

The Weepies, singer/songwriters.

The Weepies, singer/songwriters.

They’re a small sigh in the face of the California music scene. But they’re a powerful one. Good songs: “Gotta Have You”, “Happiness”, “Take it From Me”, “Big Strong Girl”, “Not Your Year”

What Would Dick Clark Do?

January 28, 2008 - 2 Responses

New Years resolutions are a funny thing.

I read an article the other day about how beginning-of-year promises are a farce. That they’re simply a big lie we tell ourselves as method of placation, a reassurance in the face of change. If this is the case, then why do we take the time to address seemingly random areas of improvement in our lives if most resolutions never make it past Martin Luther King Day?

The answer is simple: people love to-do lists. Or, rather, they love writing to-do lists. The act of naming our goal, of physically writing it out on a piece of paper, brings us closer to achieving it. After all, the first step in any ‘recovery’ program is admitting that you have a problem.

No one is a bigger list-writer than I am. My college notebook margins were filled with mini-lists, usually written during boring lectures or (worse) student presentations. Neat handwriting, proper grammar and punctuation. Cute little bullet points that line up perfectly. While the content has changed from “workout before tonight’s party” to “bang out 50 lines for SPAM,” the function remains the same: a sense of accomplishment.

The thing is, the author of that article is right. I don’t know about you, but to-do lists prevent me from actually doing anything.

I thought about this during break on a plane ride back from Boston (I’m pretty bored in transit), and by the time I touched down at Dulles I figured it out. So, instead of writing a list of New Years resolutions, I’ll just write about them.

The way I see it, there are two ways to turn a “should” list into a “will” list.
First, we have to get specific.
Kind of like in advertising.

Great ads follows you around like a pair of eyes in a painting. You feel as though the eyes are looking straight at you. So does the person standing next to you.
That’s why great advertising doesn’t speak to an individual. It speaks to a world full of them. In the realm of to-do lists, this means you have to speak your language. You have to buy into what you’re writing, because you are the client. And clients (so I’m told) respond to specifics.

Implicit in our goals, of course, has to be a means of achieving them. Which brings me to my second amendment to the list: The “how.” Writing “quit smoking” is a step, surely. But writing “join a program to quit smoking and if you deviate have friends beat you over the head with their peep-toe pumps until you cry sad, hiccupy tears and beg for mercy” is a leap.

If masochism isn’t your jam, just make sure give yourself a couple more rungs on the ladder so you’re not stuck deciding which foot goes first. In short, have a plan of action. It might be hard for you to achieve your goals, but it’ll be easier when you delineate a plan, if only because it limits the number of viable excuses that’ll fly.

That’s the advice I’m giving myself. My resolution is to write more.

So I started a blog.

Happy New Year!