And The Winner Is…

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We are excited to share that we received six 2014 MarCom Awards! We were recognized in various categories from video production to design, and brought home two platinum and four gold awards for our work with Industries® for the Blind – Milwaukee (IB Milwaukee) and Miller Time Pub and Grill.

We received awards for the following projects:

  • Gold Award for We are IB Milwaukee in the Brochure / Company Overview category
  • Gold Award for Miller Time Pub and Grill Grand Re-Opening in the Media Kit / Special Event category

MarCom Awards is an international creative competition that recognizes outstanding achievements of marketing and communication professionals. MarCom Awards is administered and judged by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals, which consists of thousands of creative professionals who oversee awards and recognition programs, provide judges and set standards for excellence.

There were more than 6,500 entries from the United States, Canada and 15 other countries from corporate marketing and communication departments, advertising agencies, PR firms, design shops, production companies and freelancers for this year’s MarCom Awards.

To view a complete list of winners, visit

November 19, 2014 · Posted by in advertising, marketing, video, z2 news  

Apple – 1984

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Apple - 1984 (Big Brother)

It’s been 30 years since 1984, and I’m not just referring to the year 1984, but the famous television commercial for Apple’s introduction of the Macintosh titled “1984″ that was shown during the Super Bowl, to an audience that wasn’t quite sure what they were seeing.

Here’s a few notes on the ad courtesy of Wikipedia:

Originally a subject of contention within Apple, it has nevertheless consistently been lauded as a classic, winning critical acclaim over time. It is now considered a watershed event and a masterpiece in advertising, and is widely regarded as one of the most memorable and successful American television commercials of all time.

I was an Apple user at the time, and seeing the commercial was an amazing experience. Computer users were eagerly awaiting a machine that could do what the Macintosh could do, and 30 years later, when I look at all of the work I’ve created in part due to Apple, I’m thankful for what Steve Jobs and the Macintosh team did.

Take the computer out of it, and it’s still an insanely great television commercial, and to this day, remains unrivaled in the category of “clients taking a huge risk”.

Need more Macintosh? Here’s Steve Jobs introducing it.

January 22, 2014 · Posted by in advertising, video  

Years ago, I attended a lecture by Joey Reiman, then a Copywriter/Creative Director at an agency in Atlanta. One of the things that stood out most from his talk was the quote above, allegedly John Lennon’s rephrasing of T.S. Elliot’s ”Amateur poets borrow; mature poets steal” or possibly Malcolm Mclaren’s reworking of Picasso’s  “Bad artists copy, great artists steal. ” No one seems to know for sure. But that’s beside the point.

As Joey explained it, “Amateurs borrow, professionals steal” is not about plagiarizing other ads. That would be bad. Rather, it’s about taking elements from the language and ideas floating around in daily life and popular culture and using them in your work. Last week, I came across a great example of “Amateurs borrow, professionals steal.” At least as it applies to advertising.

The board here for the Chicken Scratch restaurant in Dallas is a great example of legitimate “stealing”: turning an offhand comment you heard someone say into a headline. In this case, it was something the client said. As Copywriter Dan Bull explained, the owner of the place “was talking about the challenge the restaurant faces and explained: “I mean, we’re between a trailer park and a condemned motel!” And I thought, “That would make a pretty great ad, actually.”

Indeed. That and the cool Robert Crumb style illustration.

June 3, 2013 · Posted by in advertising  

Divergent Advertising

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There’s a great post over The Society Pages that highlights a Molson Beer campaign that created two different ads, one aimed towards men, and another aimed towards women.


Above is an ad for Molson that ran in Cosmo magazine… obviously targeted towards women.

And below is an ad for Molson that ran in Playboy magazine, obviously targeted towards men.


There’s nothing wrong with running multiple ads geared towards different audiences, but the ad for men explains how the ad for women was “scientifically formulated to enhance their perception of men who drink Molson.”

At one level, it’s amusing, especially if you work in the advertising or marketing industry…

But on another level, it’s a little disturbing and insulting, to both men and women.

What I find interesting is that this campaign ran about 8 years ago. That’s not too long ago, but I wondered how many people would have seen an article on the web about such a campaign 8 years ago versus today.

And even more interesting is the divergence of comments on the piece.

December 6, 2011 · Posted by in marketing, misc  

Joe Camel Ad

Looking back in advertising history, nixing Joe Camel from cigarette advertisements seems obvious. Cigarette cause cancer, and a cartoon grabs the attention of children.

But hindsight is always 20/20, isn’t it?

According to the New York Times, the federal government is looking to make some similar changes to food advertising and marketing. With obesity being the epidemic it is, it only seems right to start putting bans on what types of ads can be aimed at kids for particular foods. As the article describes, “Regulators are asking food makers and restaurant companies to make a choice: make your products healthier or stop advertising them to youngsters.” Makes perfect sense to me.

Of course, it’s never that easy. You have the debate about exactly how healthy something needs to be to use a cartoon character, and so on… but you also have to wonder – how much should the government really control advertising?

I’m a nutrition nut, so I’m biased. I think that a lot of things need to change about the way we eat, and I would not be at all against stripping Toucan Sam off that box of Froot Loops. But is that fair?

May 10, 2011 · Posted by in misc  

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