Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Christmas came and went. A glorious time was had by all, especially Berlin. While I'm quite certain she didn't really understand the nature of the holiday, the idea of copious amounts of candy and brand new toys clicked in her mind rather quickly. Additionally, she proved to be a natural at unwrapping gifts. So much, in fact, she didn't even pay mind to what was in said presents, but would quickly move to another wrapped gift, regardless of who it was addressed to.

Naturally, all this excitement and physical energy tuckered the lil' tyke right out.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Thursday, December 15, 2005

At the risk of sounding like a bad stand-up comedian, I'm still going to make this post. Unlike said comedian, to me, this isn't a stand-up bit, but a real question, concern, and issue. And with that, I would ask that you treat it with the appropriate level of seriousness and concern.

What's the deal with pants?

Specifically, why are they referred to in the plural form?

Example sentence: "Oh Monica, those pants are like so stellar on you."

Clearly, the pant is one embodiment of fabrics and threads and thus is being misrepresented by the popular designation. Take for example, socks. By their very nature, they travel in packs of two, thereby earning them the correct plural status. Meanwhile, there is the shirt. Just like the pant, it is one embodiment of fabric and whatnot, and yet we respect it by referring to it in the singular. Shirt.

Now I don't want to cause a global stink here, but I just can't turn a blind eye to this massacre of civility. It is my intention to use the proper singular nomenclature from now on. It is my prayer that you'll do the same. Except in the case of leather pants. They don't deserve any respect.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

It has been well over six weeks and I've yet to see my designer knock-off suit from Taiwan.

It has been well over six weeks and I've yet to see my designer knock-off suit from Taiwan.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The industry of advertising, in which I work, is an interesting one. But of all the peculiar elements, none rival that of the focus group. This leads me to today's blog post. As I write this, I'm sitting behind a large one-way mirror witnessing a small group and a moderator discuss some campaigns I recently helped develop for the state of Utah.

Earlier this morning, I boarded a plane to Orange County to attend two two-hour focus groups, each with six individuals. These individuals were all pre-screened to fit the target audience criteria in which the campaigns were developed. The two groups were also separated by age. The earlier group consisted of the young rebel rousers, while the current group consists of the moldy oldies. In the earlier group, one particular individual stole the show. Allow me to introduce you to Brian, a young, single asian fellow with nothing to lose.

MODERATOR: So, what do you look for when you go on vacation?

ALLEY: Good food.

MODERATOR: Oh okay. So good food is something that's important to you?

BRIAN: Yes totally. If you get some bad food, you might be sick for the rest of the trip.

MODERATOR: Oh, okay...

Later on, the moderator left the room for a moment leaving the group all alone. Brian saw this as an opportunity.

BRIAN: Hey guys, want to hear a joke? A blind guy walks into a room holding up a stale piece of bread and says, "Who the hell wrote this!!??"

The moderator returned and continued the focus group. At this point Brian decided to start inventing words. My personal favorite was, "imagistric." I believe he was referring to our ads having a lot of imagery, but when it comes to Brian, one can never be too sure.

The current group is skewed much older in age. I'll walk you around the room to give you a better visual of what I'm working with here. At the end of the table we have Tamara. She's in her late 40s. She's single and enjoys riding her Harley. She has a son and a grandson. Oddly enough, I'm wildly attracted to her, but that's neither here nor there.

Next to Tamara sits Maria. She hasn't said a word all night. Next to Maria sits Donna. Now let me tell you, Donna has some amazing teenage kids. Her daughter is all-state in track and volleyball, while her son is the captain of the football team. And oh boy, do they have some good times. How are said times relevant to our focus groups? Good question.

Across the table sits Gary. No doubt about it, Gary is publicly intoxicated. It is quite obvious he hit the sauce in preparation for this marketing exercise.

GARY: Is it just Utah or the whole state?

Next to Gary sits Rick. He's a stern grandfather type. He owns a yacht and a plane. How do I know this? Well, because he's only managed to include this useless information in every single thing he's said.

And finally, we have Michael. Michael comes from the school of hard knocks. His slicked back grayish white hair mingles with a matching cookie duster, separated by a pair of dimmed prescriptions. He's a man of simple words and for some reason has a cocktail napkin sticking out the back of his collar. For the life of me I can't figure out how it got there. In your front pocket? Sure. Sticking out of your sleeve? Perhaps. Stuck to the bottom of your shoe? Sure. The back of your shirt collar? Amazing.

Finally, the group is wrapping up. It appears Gary wrote down some Utah taglines and wanted us to consider them.

GARY: I wrote down a slogan. I don't know, these things just come to me.

UTAH: Think Global For Change.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

It takes a certain type of person to brave the thin ice known as, The Christmas Sweater.

This decorative thorax cover not only offers climate control, but it also helps the wearer proclaim to the world that grandma did, in fact, get run over by a reindeer. On occasion, said garment of questionable sexuality will be mingled over a traditional turtleneck and atop pleated khakis. When this happens, rest assured the wearer means business. Make no mistake about it, he/she isn't fairweather when it comes to the spreading of cheer via crocheted snow-covered cottages, decorated trees, religious stars, illuminated candles, and herds of magical reindeer. No, this is passion we're talking about here. Pure, unadulterated, yes-this-mustache-is-on-purpose, holiday passion. Bring on the egg nog and divinity.

The pros and cons of the Christmas Sweater?

Pro: Climate control for the wintry weather.

Con: You're gay.