Here’s a quick tune to help you get up, get energized, and light the rocket on your creative, idea-filled work week.

Feel Like Funkin’ It Up by The Rebirth Brass Band filmed here live in 2005 at a Jazzfest after-party.

At a record $4 million-plus, advertisers are way past counting on the element of surprise to make their ads a big deal on Super Bowl game day. Most brands are trying to get their money’s worth by starting the conversation early. Oreo already got their Super Bowl ad hype machine going. It began in October. Ads will be pre-released, there will be contests. Lincoln asked fans to contribute to their script via Twitter. Paramount’s ad for “Star Trek Into Darkness” will be enhanced if you download an app.

Advertising genius/dropout Alex Bogusky got great hype already for SodaStream by cleverly getting the ad banned. In Britian. For “denigration of the bottled drinks market.” But the ad strategy is brilliant, and SodaStream could be one of the biggest financial winners among Super Bowl advertisers. They likely lead in brand impressions at this point because of the ban.

CBS Chief Les Moonves called it “probably the biggest day of the year for this entire corporation.” Shyeah. Let’s see, $4 million times about 60 available ads = $240 million for CBS. Yes, that’s a good day.

I’ll be having another Super Bowl ad party here on at the Idea Bucket. Stay tuned. Meanwhile here’s an excellent scorecard summary on this year’s ads.


A musical model found in the subterranean depths of a basement in Portland.

A musical model found in the subterranean depths of a basement in Portland.

This is a wonderful story about an old basement in the old Pittock Block building in Portland. Wait, don’t go! It’s really about the magic mojo of urban spelunking. The kind of mojo that’s discovered quite freakishly, what with all the urban spelunking, the cha-cha bathing beauties, and World War I updates on tattered old paper plastered on the walls, deeeeeeeeeep in the bowels of a big ol’ building. It’s old-meets-new. It’s historic preservation. It’s cool discovery. The ironic twist part at the end about old communications intersecting with new communications is just wonderful. As basement stories go, it’s a a dandy. Click, read, enjoy. Here’s a story about it from the Oregonian.

Very old meets very new.

Very old meets very new.

Expect the 28th to follow the 27th again this year.

Expect the 28th to follow the 27th again this year.

I’ve spent literally seconds scouring the world wide internet for stories of the Pantone color system’s 2013 calendar written in French, and I really feel this is the best one. It’s a really cool idea for a calendar.

It was created by the one and only Pentagram Design‘s Eddie Opara and Brankica Harvey.

You can buy one for $15.00.

Via Fubiz.

Here’s a quick tune to help you get. On. Up. Turn. It. Up.

Move on Up by Curtis Mayfield, off the 1970 album Curtis.

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