All posts filed under: Advertising

Branded Entertainment from the San Diego International Film Festival

My favorite six selects from the branded entertainment program at the San Diego International Film Festival. We live in what is arguably the most creative period in human history, but it isn’t demonstrated in the “creative industries” of marketing/advertising nearly as much as in other industries, tech, culture, pop-culture. This selection is an outstanding exception. The most enjoyable hour I’ve spent in front of a screen recently. The bummer came at the end of the program during the panel discussion which was dominated by talk of the business justification of branded content, metrics and the state of the industry. Tedious for an insider, unbearable for outsiders. The pervasive fear and confusion regarding disruption and change within the industry is understandable but the never ending discussions, the venting and self-reassuring is exhausting. The reality is that rate of change is outpacing us. What most of us are trying to get our heads around just doesn’t exist anymore and we are notoriously horrible at predicting the future. Reading related posts is like watching people in Plato’s cave …

The Huffington Post’s Treachery of Images

The homepage and section homepages of the Huffington post have an interesting format for a digital publication. It’s closer to that of a print newspaper’s front page: a bold headline over a large attention grabbing photo. What’s different and intriguing is that many of them lack any sort of lead-in or explanatory text. Just bold juxtapositions of word and image that are sometimes quite oblique. A recent favorite. Even the NYPost’s digital edition, arguably the paper that owns “front pages” from a cultural conversation perspective doesn’t go as far. They have a cascading heirarchy of images with headline overlays. One primary and two secondary stories share the prime real estate followed by four tertiary stories that flow into smaller groupings of articles down the page. There is something very modernist and non-digtal about The Huffington Post format. The big type image combo feels like paste-up, collages, or like old print ads. The mechanics at work on The Huffington Post’s front pages are actually similar to those behind the classic VW ads created by Doyle Dane …

The Scarecrow

I’ve always maintained that great advertising reconciles the paradoxical problems produced by the products it promotes. (a lot of pee in that first sentence). AT&T’s “reach out and touch someone” campaign is a classic case in point. The invention of the telephone encouraged people to “leave home”, live live’s of geographic dispersion and long for intimate, personal connections. Connections that could be reestablished… with a phone call. A beautifully crafted piece, but there’s that uncomfortable, uneasy feeling I get when a brand connects on an empathetic point and makes a cultural commentary on an issue that they are, in reality, a contributor to not a solution for. Still. Beautifully done.