3.5.10 :: Update your address books, rolodexes, google contacts, mobile phones, outlook lists, web-based project management tools and notify the mail room– we’ve moved.
After a year in what can only be called a traditional office space (minus the ping pong table), we’ve taken up residence in a loft office building in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. It’s safe to say we’re happy about the open space, natural light and something they call an ‘elevator’. As Julie said the other day,”Food even tastes better here.”
The new digs are located here:
833 W. Chicago Ave. Suite #206
Chicago, IL 60642
If you don’t feel like typing in any new information, download our new vcard and add it to the program of your choice. We’ll be updating Facebook and the blog with some new pictures once we remove the boxes. Other than that, be prepared for a brand new look this summer along with some new work.
1.14.09 :: If you haven’t been stimulated by any photon emitting devices for the past few week, then you’ve missed the NBC/Conan drama on TV. What I find more important is the Facebook page, ‘I’m with Coco’, who’s purpose is simply to show support for the orange-haired comedian after his ejection from his current Tonight Show time slot. This amassed 25,000 fans in its first 8 hours live (thanks to illustrator Mike Mitchell) and achieved web notoriety of some of the big blogs in its first day.
While some people might look at this as standard pop culture upheaval, I would like to remind you of similar situation regarding another beloved pop culture icon that was once pulled from our eyes– Classic Coca-Cola. In 1985, Coca-Cola execs came out with new formula for the timeless soft drink, calling it New Coke and sold it as the best thing since sliced bread. Despite all this, consumer outrage brought Classic Coca-Cola back to the store shelves a mere two and half months later. People didn’t want something they felt apart of changed.
Now, I am not claiming that Conan is anywhere as iconic as our beloved corn-syrup filled can of nostalgia. However, the idea of the Tonight Show is. For the past half a century, this veritable American institution has aired at 11:30 and promised to pass on the late night comedy torch every 15 or so years. Conan mentions this in his public announcement and you can see this supported in many responses across the web. To some extent, people are making sure their Classic Coca-Cola, The Tonight Show, maintains its integrity as an institution and a brand. Conan, is merely their shining knight in the moral battle for late-night comedy– a figurehead with great hair.
Now, will NBC listen? It depends on how big these groups grow. The next few days will determine if the idea of the Tonight Show belongs to its broadcasters or its viewers. At very least, NBC has to remember that this type of communication elected a president in 2008. Can it preserve the Tonight Show? Tune in at 11:30 for the next few weeks.
1.7.09 :: As some of you might recall, we sent out a New Year’s Eve e-card back in the ‘aughts’ encouraging you to tell us the craziest thing you’re thankful for in 2009. After tabulating the results, we have a winner–Will B. He was extremely thankful that the 7-year old web sensation, David, who’s popularity skyrocketed after an embarrassing visit to the dentist, didn’t incite revolt among mothers. William will receive a bottle of bubbly for his efforts (which seemed appropriate given his selection).
While we’re on that note, we’d like to thank the over 500 people who visited the e-card (including a handful of those from stumble upon and digg) and those that responded prior to celebrating the end to the last year of the decade.
So long 2009!
11.11.09 :: I am not so ignorant as to think all of my readers know what constitutes an ‘emo-hipster’. Quite simply, they are young, melodramatic trend seekers. (Listen to a few Bright Eyes‘ songs or go to your nearest Urban Outfitters and buy The Hipster’s Handbook if you want to get into it a bit more.)
Now, why are they shining examples of creative critics? For the same reason we can’t create a stable economy- they’re emotionally rational. This stereotype has a feeling about an experience and then is able to explain it in a 3 min 56 sec song with complex vocabulary and estranged metaphors to the point where you clearly understand what they’re feeling and why they’re feeling it. Because of this understanding, they can get like minded people to follow them and others to admire them. Simply put, they are good communicators and conduits of emotion.
Today, a lot of emphasis is placed on rational analysis and sometimes we forget each action that results from our communication is, at first, emotional. It might be a thrill created from a deal, the thought of fitting in, or the simple pleasure of being entertained by a talking gecko. Whatever the case, it’s emo. Now, this is no big surprise to anyone who has been around the conference table a couple times or watched enough Mad Men.
However, if you learned how to look at creative the same way an emo-hipster evaluates a experience (by feeling first), you can make short work of any piece. The key is being able to correctly identify how your audience feels and then being able explain why that is. As business people, (whos’ job it is to be rational in order to increase efficiency), we tend to be reductionist and forget the overall impact emotion created through this empathy. So, learning to speak of emo has its’ benefits, even if it requires putting yourself in the shoes of someone who insists on wearing skinny jeans.
9.24.09:: I am all for brand banner statements. I find these professions of faith empowering. However, I get a little uneasy when it has to deal with a condiment. Take in exhibit A:
This proclamation speaks to the product feature and ties in the audience. Day 1 stuff of any creative assignment, really. Now, may I present Exhibit B:
Same thing, right? Nope. Ask yourself what is more believable– the condiment with attitude or a movement of Americans who wear the standard in rebel fashion? Obviously, the latter. And this is just for one reason: Levi’s has a brand that can do this. They can actually have people take up their banner. Take a visit to both their campaign websites (Go Forth and Zinger) and this messaging becomes more apparent. Levi’s communication is something that people can join. They not only ask for photo submissions, but actually have visitors engage in ‘expeditions’ and writing assignments about the brand and its’ mantra. Miracle Whip’s messaging is merely entertainment, as they just ask you to ‘zing’ the web.
Please don’t think I am claiming that Miracle Whip and Kraft have no idea what they are doing. They are simply living the limitation of their product, and doing the best job they can at it. However, when you create a piece of communication that proclaims the beliefs of your brand and its’ fans, remember an authentic message people can join in on will always be more successful. If you don’t believe me, here’s the number of Facebook friends each effort has:
Miracle Whip: 18,607
And that’s the skinny.