Archives For January 2013

Nike 1, NHL 0

January 6, 2013 — 1 Comment

Welcome back NHL. Dozens of people missed you. While you were busy trying to make more money, Nike showed you how selfish you are. Could be that this ad is the most memorable thing about the 2012-2013 NHL season.

Young monsters looking for an excellent post secondary education should strongly consider Monsters University, says the beautiful new recruitment television ad. It’s a place “Where those who embrace their history become those who create it.” Potential applicants can learn more about MU at a nifty new website.

But wait – the ad isn’t meant to recruit monsters to go to a real animated university for real animated monsters. The ad’s job is to promote the Monsters University movie, premiering June 21, 2013. It’s a spot-on parody of the awfully scary, terrifying ads for colleges that we’ve all seen. Some are gouge-my-eyes-and-ears-out-awful. Hey Appalachian State, you are not, in any way, hot hot hot. Sorry.

But wait – the website’s job isn’t merely to sell movie tickets and toys. It’s to boost the whole Monsters franchise, which is smaller than Cars and Toy Story. The movie Monsters, Inc. will be 12 years old when the sequel comes out, so the website will give the whole franchise another thing for fans to talk about, which helps Pixar, which helps Disney. Oh, happy anniversary Disney. It’s almost seven years to the day since you and Pixar got married.

The Monsters University campus map.

The Monsters University campus map.

It’s a great website, spoofing education communications really well. At the Alumni page: “Seeking intern or employee talent? Don’t forget MU’s ‘Monsters Hiring Monsters’ initiative.” Easter eggs and surprises are baked in, and the writing pimps the platitudes of communications in academia. There’s a login feature, but it goes nowhere. Gotta be a tease for future functionality as we get closer to the premier.

Back in June 2012, this Monsters University trailer was released, but it was just a typical, average trailer, and the site was launched back in October to little fanfare. That’s a pretty fractured and boring release strategy. But this parody spoof campaign seems new, and really smart.

The movie is an animated cartoon for kids, right? But wait – the recruitment ad and the website aren’t targeted to kids. Hey, the recruitment ad broke during the Rose Bowl, which doesn’t exactly pull in the youth market. And kids won’t get the parody of the ad, or the website. Disney/Pixar’s target is old people, like me. The strategy here is “get adults into Monsters University.” That’s smart business. 

(Here’s a repost of a favorite video – a recreation of some great Blue Note album covers, from August, 2010.)

What a cool idea: take some classic Blue Note album covers from the 1960’s, and recreate them with live action and animation. What a big job.

Check out the original covers below.

The video was created by Bante to promote the Bellavista Social Club‘s concert season. Here is another wonderfully-designed music video he/she/they did.

It would be appropriate at this time to offer a four beat rest moment of silence for iconic jazz photographer Herman Leonard, who passed away this week. Leonard invented (accidentally) a style of side lighting for photographing jazz musicians in clubs that perfectly captured the feeling of the clubs, the players and the music.

Herman Leonard’s photo of Duke Ellington in Paris, 1958

It’s a really great ad. It’s shot, edited and acted flawlessly. (Way to go TBWA.) That’s Jeff Daniels with a perfect VO. The ending looks were perfect, despite them being totally fake and probably computer-generated because in real life the Williams sisters probably would have been much crankier, and something would have been tossed. Hey, a famous Williams grunt would have been funny too.

And as an Apple ad, it shows more sizzle than steak. Most Apple advertising, at least under Steve Jobs anyway, is all steak, showing nothing but features. This ad features just one simple and not-so-awesome feature, the Do Not Disturb button.

Regardless, it’s probably Apple’s best iPhone ad. Unfortunately for Apple, the feature that’s being promoted here doesn’t work for everyone. There is an iOS 6 bug because of the calendar switch to 2013 making the feature wonky. Apple is on it, saying this morning that it’ll fix itself January 7th. You’d think they would have tested the hellllllllll out of this before releasing a new ad. Huh.

I wonder if the Tim Cook era of Apple is more of a software philosophy of “release it now and we’ll fix bugs later,” versus a Steve Jobs hardware philosophy of “release only after you test the hell out of it – twice.” Because the tiny little buggy things seem to pop up more frequently with Tim than Steve. Maybe Tim’s all like “Don’t sweat it man, the iPhone 6 and iOS 7 are right around the corner!”

So is Tim more okay with buggy stuff than Steve?

Laser-zapped map chart art, from belowtheboat.com.

Laser-zapped map chart art, from belowtheboat.com.

See what happens when that the old school nautical map vibe gets together with talented laser woodwork supercrafters?

The folks at belowtheboat.com bust out really nice craftsmanship and detail that combines cartography, topography, information graphic-ography, Mr. Remke’s 11th grade Geography, and Great Lakes lunker hunter sweet spot-ography.

Great execution of these disparate -ographies help make a good idea become great.

Thanks Colossal.

This video is a from a really cool site, Brain Pickings. (Creative pals, bookmark it.) Click here to read and watch a great John Cleese creativity curation that Maria put up today. He quips, “Creativity is not a talent. It is a way of operating.” Love it.

Man, Cleese could read a recipe and be fascinating, but this stuff is also valuable. His “let your mind rest against the creative subject” is great. Have space, time, time, confidence and humor. Be creative.

The path to 2013.