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Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category

The challenges of parenthood, especially in the early days, often include how to keep one’s profession healthy while also having the time and energy to be a good parent to your kids. For creatives, often this means trying to work from home and fit both lives together into one harmonious blend. One illustrator met such a challenge when her 4-year-old found a new sketchbook and insisted that mother “share.” The result is a genius mix: a level of kookiness that no adult could simulate, with a lovely level of quality from a skilled illustrator.
It’s a good reminder for creative professional parents that sometimes it’s a good thing to let the left hand meet the right.
Illustrator draws faces, lets 4-year-old draw bodies
Via Twenty Two Words

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Well, I’ve taken a bit of a hiatus from posting on this blog, but what better way to come back than with another witty holiday skewering of life as an advertiser by the folks over at World Wide Wadio. Last year I enjoyed their “Make the Logo Bigger” video. This year, they have a more musical take on things with a rousing Christmas carol created by committee. Spare but well-timed animated type accompanies this timely commentary on the frustration of the cut & paste client. Enjoy!

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The BBC loves an April Fools Day prank, and this year they wanted penguins to fly. Take a look: 

And of course, the “making of,” which doesn’t go into a lot of detail but does show how much effort went into this fun spot, which did dual duty as a prank and as a promotion for their iPlayer. Fun stuff.  

Found on AdFreak.

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Dories

Found today on my favorite packaging design blog, a challenge to a student was to create a package for “sweet green mung bean durian cakes” that would appeal to the American consumer. In case you’re not familiar, a durian is an asian fruit that looks like a spiky avacado on the outside, with pods of yellow, pulpy, stringy flesh on the inside that smells strongly like a mixture of dog waste and rancid cream cheese. I’ve never gotten past the smell to actually taste the stuff, but apparently the flavor is quite lovely, like almond custard.

The “cakes” themselves are spirals of green and yellow hard gelatin, a bizarre kind of exotic treat. The original packaging appears to be something in which you’d expect a breast of chicken to be wrapped at the grocery store – styrofoam tray with clear plastic wrap and a sticker. The student designed new packaging for these treats and won a design competition. The result is a lovely, clean sleeve-and-box configuration that looks to me more like something I’d expect to buy at Bath & Body Works with decorative soaps or candles inside. Would it appeal to Americans? Would they buy the pretty packaging and discover this most overlooked exotic fruit?

My opinion, having experienced the fruit as well as the hard, oddly-textured “jello” stuff that the bean cakes are made out of, would be absolutely not. There may be a few brave souls who would give them a nibble or two, but when it comes to our treats, we don’t usually prefer the very unexpected. And I doubt that these “Dories” could have gotten rid of the smell, which brings us back to the very reason durians are still considered quite exotic and very much an acquired taste.

And what’s up with the “sweet green mung bean” thing? Mung is usually a word that means to destroy (Mash Until No Good). Green mung just sounds like something that has gone bad. All in all, a valiant and well-designed effort to dress up a product that won’t be going anywhere very soon.

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Posted on Veer yesterday, a fantastic student project hypothesizing what the Star Wars titles would have looked like if the fabulous Saul Bass had done them. Complete with jazzy soundtrack and spot-on for the distinctive Bass style. There’s also a link in the video responses where someone took the titles and “remastered” them á la the “improved” version of the original classic movie. Absolutely fantastic, and an especial pleasure for those film/design geeks out there.

Also on Veer, an intriguing series of art pieces has been created by distilling the pages of certain magazines down to specific elements (advertising logos or headlines, for example) and then combining them on a single black and white page. It’s a fascinating look at the style of certain magazines, either quite restrained and clean (National Geographic) or in-your-face advertising hurricane (Vogue). They are also very pretty, from a stark graphic point of view.

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Ok. So you want to build a new brand, specifically one that competes with a global powerhouse. In a brainstorming session, some genius suggests giving away money. Who doesn’t want money? That would make people love us! So you pick a huge, overcrowded city and hide your signature vegetable in a public area, then release a press release telling everyone in this huge city to go and find the vegetable which will have cash attached. What could possibly go wrong?

Of course, the result of this colossally stupid idea is that mobs of people, seemingly desperate for a few bucks, rip the public area to shreds and attack the person who finds the money, sending him to the hospital and summoning the police to break up the riot. All of which is captured on video, posted on the new company’s global powerhouse competition, and the new company has successfully gotten its name out to lots of people who now think they are complete idiots. Worse, the event organizers leave the scene without cleaning up their mess (remember the time the raccoons got into your trash cans after a particularly big house party? You get the idea) and any possibility of good PR is lost.

A company representative is quoted saying, “Maybe next time, I would plan this better.” Brilliant!

Found on AdFreak.

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Ever work for a company whose main goal, it seems, is to sell itself on a pile of words that actually don’t mean anything at all? Communications, digital, solutions, marketing, strategies… seriously. What company is going to tell its customers that they do NOT offer solutions? Instead these words are tossed around interchangeably in a desperate attempt to make some companies seem to be on the “cutting edge” and “integrated” with all the latest “digital solutions.”

Ad Age posted an article today by Maureen Hall on this subject today, which happens to be one of my pet peeves. It’s one thing to toss these words around in meetings in an attempt at sounding credible or informed, but it’s another thing altogether to decide to make these buzz words part of one’s company name or part of one’s everyday speech (worst: bringing it home with you – “Honey, we need to review our strategy of financial integration with digital offerings and a multimedia tier-structure proposed by this direct marketing platform.”). The most grating can be when some puffed-up clueless manager-type starts spouting buzzwords without a clue what they mean, and often quoted incorrectly to boot (“We need to start thinking outside the square. I’m just talking out loud right now.”)  

I’ve discovered that the best therapy for this pet peeve is to make it into a game: watch for company slogans and advertising campaigns that use these empty words, and replace them with blah blah blah – and I think I end up with a much clearer view of what they are selling.

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