Sunday, May 31, 2009

Too much of a good thing, Part 2- The tipping point

I was finally tipped over the edge when I saw that Target had jumped on the bland-wagon with a redesign of its store brands. Never mind the years and millions of dollars in brand equity and trust that Target has built behind that iconic red target. Never mind that at a minimum, their store-brand of home goods had interesting, comforting, rich colors and patterns that fit the products and made you think of the comfortable, relaxing home you could enjoy with them. Scrap all that.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Too much of a good thing, Part 1- Ubiquity

Since you were a kid, people have been saying that you can never have too much of a good thing. Well, they’re wrong.

I believe clean, modern design is a good thing. However, that does NOT mean it’s something that everyone needs to use all the time. Lately I’ve seen more and more ultra-minimalist wet dreams of fields of white space touched with single color accents and Helvetica (or Helvetica-esque) fonts. I really enjoyed seeing this sort of look originally, because at the time it was, well…original. But when Walmart has taken on the style, it just may have reached the point of ubiquity.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Email babushka

Working on an email campaign recently, one of my co-workers had created several HTML documents to be emailed out. In order to send it, he had to package the files for me to email to our client. My co-worker came to my door and tried to figure out how to tell me he emailed me an email containing the emails. It was at that point we realized that we could create an endlessly digital babushka doll of emails, one contained within the next. Consider forwarding, replying and CCing and it could grow exponentially. Think about that after couple of drinks at happy hour and let your mind expand.

Wannabe a filmmaker?

I've made it no secret that I'm not a big fan of the Geiko Caveman campaign. In more recent history, I find their easily and ostentatiously offended nature not only annoying, but a sad commentary on the state of political correctness in this country. The spots have been slowly veering away from having much to do with insurance at all an more an excersize in what I call advertising masturbation- somthing that feels great to the people doing it, but that not one else really wants to watch and that no one else really gets anything out of. Well, it's come to a head.

In the most recent spot, it's simply a caveman bemoaning his plight to the tune of a popular rock band. The caveman says nothing. There's nothing that Geiko insures in the commercial. The logo doesn't show up a single time. There's not one word of copy. The only thing that even gives you a clue it's a Geiko spot outside of the caveman screaming silently at the sky in the rain is a wall of TVs in a store (the catalyst to his breakdown) that all show the old line, "So easy a caveman can do it." For aspiring filmmakers it's great, but I think it's gone beyond serving any marketing function at all. At least it feels good for the guys making it.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Image isn't everything

As much pride as we ad folks often like to take for the rise and fall of corporate empires, the credit, or fault, is not always our own. No amount of advertising can save a truly inferior product, and Chrysler is one such example.

If you want to know what did in the automaker, just check out this CNN article. Then, feel free to speculate on if and how Chrysler can make a comeback.

Good luck Fiat.

Friday, May 1, 2009

from Honda. with curious grammar.

If you thought the choice of punctuation and capitalization on that title was odd, you’re not alone. I do too, and I can’t think of a scenario where I would choose to write a headline in that fashion. However that’s exactly what a new billboard from Honda does.

I see two different schools of thought crammed into one odd and hard-to-support execution. You can use periods, you can use lower case, but you can’t use both.

1) If they wanted the periods, they should have capitalized the first word in each line. Though they may lack the standard subject/verb construction, the periods clearly make the thoughts into sentences, and starting a sentence with a lower case letter is not common usage in any medium except, perhaps, text messaging- something board was not alluding to.

2) If they wanted to go all lower case, which is very much in style these days, they should have left the periods. The fact that the phrases that make up the headline are on separate lines makes it perfectly clear that they’re separate thoughts. And if that weren’t enough, “from Honda.” is in a bright green and “for everyone.” is in grey. If someone doesn’t understand that those are separate thoughts, they’re not going to understand the car-buying process well enough to put their John Hancock on the loan papers.

In essence, it’s a very odd choice, on that I can’t find any grammatical, graphical, conceptual, legal or common-usage reasoning to support. My guess is, either someone was trying to be edgy and missed the boat or it was a Frankenstein-style compromise between two factions as to how they should visually delineate two thoughts in a four-word headline.

The summary? Not horrible, not earth-shaking but a little odd.