Friday, August 29, 2008

Gnarls Barkley - Going On

I love this video. In the beginning there are always going to be many people who are willing to follow you as you try to accomplish something (or in the case of the video go on a journey). On the way to attaining your goals you may meet even more people willing to follow you. But after a while the crowds will dwindle, and all those people will stop following you. The only people left will be the leaders (in the case of the video the 2 leaders of the group). Only those who follow their own path will follow it all the way to the end. The true meaning of the song: Be your own leader in life. follow no one else or you will be left behind.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

How much does advertising cost in NYC?

Created by James Sherrett

Found this video via Adhack

Steve Stoute

I have always been impressed with Steve Stoute's mastery of the promotional game. so here is a brand new bio article on him from Adweek.


Education: Stoute, who grew up in Queens, New York, attended five colleges in two years, searching for "something that made sense," he says.

Career: At 19, Stoute began working in real estate and invested in the music business, putting artists like Kid 'N Play in the studio and on the road. He became a road manager, artist manager and A&R executive, and has worked with stars including Mariah Carey, Eminem, Jay-Z, Nas, Enrique Iglesias and U2. "In working with these artists, you learn a lot about branding, but in the record business we never called it branding," says Stoute. He worked at Sony Music and Interscope Records before partnering with Peter Arnell of The Arnell Group in 2000. In 2004 he launched Translation Consultation & Brand Imaging, which was acquired by Interpublic Group in 2007.

Extra curricular: This year, Stoute co-founded the Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now with Mary J. Blige.

via Adweek - Full Article

In the article they briefly mention the "wrigley" gum jingle created by Chris Brown called "Forever" that was recently nominated for MTV Video Music Awards' Music Video of the Year. Overall both articles show that he is a very savy business man

Thursday, August 21, 2008

SUMO Greatness

Here are some funny comercials I thought were really funny.

From: DDB Canada, Toronto

From: Ogilvy Worldwide

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Funny Tracy Morgan Clips

Tracy Morgan is Hilarious so here are some funny clips

Tracy Morgan - Blackass

Martin feat Hustle Man - Pick Up the Pieces

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Walt Disney's Sin City...

Here are some funny pictures I saw Online.

-via The Art of Curt Rapala

Revolución - the new Dacia Logan MCV

I just ran into this Ad online and wanted to post it because it is impressive.

- via Great Advertising, Clever Ads

It begins in what I assume to be the heaven for revoluctionaries (with a slightly insipid jab at fidel's failing health by making him the newest resident there) and ends somewhat anticlimatically with a quick cut to an average car commercial. However, I am also a fan advertising treatment than what has been giving to others such as Hunter S Thompson.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Gnarls Barkley - "Who's Gonna Save My Soul?"

Beautiful Song that really grabs my heart (pun intended)

She and her Cat

This is Poetry in Motion!

Friday, August 15, 2008

More Music

Jimmy McGriff - Tequila

El Michael Affair - Hung Up On My Baby

Joe Bataan - Gypsy Woman

Joe Bataan - Latin Square Dance

Charles Bradley and the Bullets - This Love Aint Big Enough For Two Of Us

Lee fields - Could Have Been

via Soul-Sides

New York's Illegal Billboard Problem

Considering How I have been reading a lot of stuff lately about Graffiti Art and Advertising lately. This just seems like a great video/article to post from the Village Voice.

By Elizabeth Dwoskin

"Over the past seven years, Jordan Seiler estimates that he's taken down hundreds of billboards, posters, and other signs to replace advertising in public places with his own artwork.

Armed with a screwdriver and anti-vandal bits, Seiler commits his acts of vandalism both as an ongoing art project and as a political statement: Thousands of billboards in the city, he says, are technically illegal.

And he's right. According to the city, all billboards within 200 feet of "arterial highways"—the West Side Highway, the FDR, the BQE, and major thoroughfares such as Brooklyn's Eastern Parkway—have been illegal since the 1940s. All ads put up on scaffolding and construction sheds are illegal, too, unless they're advertising the business whose signage has been covered up.

As Seiler has discovered, once you know the rules, you realize that illegal ads are, literally, everywhere: on building walls, sidewalk sheds, phone kiosks, and alongside highways. There are so many of them, it makes you wonder if that city has given up on enforcing its own laws.

The city hasn't given up—over the past two years, New York has been fighting what amounts to a sign war with outdoor advertising companies. The Department of Buildings claims the ads are a threat to public safety and a major cause of visual pollution. The advertisers argue that the signs can't really be so bad if the city has neglected to take them down for decades.

In 2000, Mayor Rudy Giuliani announced that the city would be cracking down on the hundreds of illegal billboards lining the highways. The City Council raised the criminal fines for an illegal billboard from $5,000 to $25,000 and put size limits in place. Until then there had been no limit at all, and most advertisers had considered the fines to be "a small cost of doing business," according to city lawyer Gabriel Taussig. Billboards in high-traffic areas are estimated to draw more than $50,000 each month. Some can draw hundreds of thousands in revenue.

Eight years later, however, not a single billboard has been removed. After the zoning resolution went into effect in 2006, Clear Channel sued the city, saying that the laws infringed on its First Amendment rights. (According to SEC filings, the company had more than 16,000 advertising displays in New York that year.) Until the lawsuit is resolved, the buildings department can't take down any illegal billboards.

In 2007, the city was also sued by another advertiser: Metro Fuel LLC, which is owned by the hedge fund Och-Ziff Capital, has erected 360 illuminated "panel signs" throughout the city. By the company's own estimate, 90 percent of its signs are technically illegal—their brightness is considered a safety hazard, and their locations violate zoning ordinances. (Panel signs look like rectangular flaps or flags and are attached to the signs of buildings.) Jacksonville-based attorney Bill Brinton, who has fought more than 30 cases against advertising companies in the past two decades, says Metro Fuel is following a pattern around the country: putting up illegal signs and, when a city objects, challenging the constitutionality of sign laws. The strategy worked in Los Angeles, where a district court, ruling in favor of the company, struck down the city's outdoor-advertising laws (Los Angeles appealed the case to the Ninth Circuit Court. Oral arguments were heard in June). Fuel Outdoors, which is involved in another pending lawsuit in San Francisco, hired a mighty legal team in the Los Angeles case: Harvard constitutional-law expert Laurence Tribe and the politically connected Washington law firm Akin Gump.

As in the case of the highway billboards, the panel signs will stay up during the legal battle.

Like Clear Channel, Metro Fuel contends that the city has been inconsistent— and not only because it's been lax in enforcing its own laws over the years. The company's lawyers also claim that New York operates under a double standard, attacking privately owned outdoor- advertising companies while profiting off the city's own ads—ads that Metro Fuel argues violate the very same regulations.

And New York makes a lot of money on public advertising. The ads placed on the city's 13,000 public-phone kiosks— many of which contain phones that no longer work—bring in more than $13 million each year for the city. That's triple the amount of revenue that comes from the phone calls themselves.

But the real moneymaker is the city's 2005 contract to build thousands of pieces of street furniture, including bus shelters, newsstands, and public pay toilets. The Spanish company Cemusa—which beat out Clear Channel in its bid to build the structures—secured rights to place advertising on every piece of furniture, and has promised the city half the gross revenues from the ads: $1 billion over the 20-year life of the contract.

"The city has shot itself in the foot by putting up all this coordinated street furniture," says Vanessa Gruen, special projects director for the Municipal Art Society, which has been campaigning against illegal billboards since 2001. "They're breaking their own regulation—obviously. Sooner or later, some advertising company was going to come along and say, 'If they can do it, I can do it, too.'"

Seiler, the anti-advertising artist, has joined a group of activists who have been reporting suspicious ads to the city. "I don't have issues with advertising, but with your ability to turn it off," says the 28-year-old, whose day job is a freelance photographer for fashion magazines. Making his way back to his Chelsea studio after prowling for illegal ads, Seiler used his Verizon Key—a special key that the company makes to prevent vandalism, which he'd bought from a Verizon worker on the street a few years ago—to remove a movie poster from one of the company's phone kiosks.

"I have no remorse," Seiler says cheerily. "I think we can all agree that public advertising is a manipulative, powerful medium that isn't in the best interest of the general public. It takes up my mental space, and it's assaulting."

via - The Village Voice

This reminds me of an article I read online for a sociology class called Advertisement, Propaganda, and Graffiti Art written by Alex Kataras for his Master's Thesis. To summarize his article basically Advertisment = Graffiti and Graffiti = Art so Advertisement = Art.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

21st Century Art

The truth is this is not completely an original idea from the 21st century. However, the Use of magnets to create art that is remincent of something H.R. Giger would paint should still be noteworthy.

"science, technology and art rises like an eccentric thorny botanical form within the world of most peculiar botanical forms housed in the Cactus Conservatory. Employing electromagnets and magnetically-charged microfine particles suspended in oil set in motion through a computer controller, Kodama, who is associate professor at Tokyo’s University of Electro-Communications, explores an entirely new territory where the seductive glossy black liquid seems to turn into rows of solid spikes impeccably organized around a spiraling cone, only to dissolve abruptly into obvious liquidity once again –a rhythmic flow and ebb, an alchemic dance where the artist playfully communicates basic principles of physics without elucidating them."

via- SculptureSite

*UPDATE: Talking about H. R. Giger just reminded me that the Playstation 3 has an Ad on television created by a production company called Superfad that appears to have been very strongly influenced by H. R. Giger.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Racist Olympic Ad

Here is the most up to date coverage of the racist Ad created by by the spanish Olympic team:

"The Spanish Olympic basketball teams are sponsored by Li-Ning, the Chinese footwear company sometimes called “the Nike of China,” but the ad was shot for a Spanish courier company, Seur. See bottom of post.]

Thanks to a comment by a reader named Will, on an earlier post about Spain’s basketball team, we were alerted to an article in The Guardian by Sid Lowe — a Madrid-based correspondent for the site’s excellent Football Weekly podcast — about the photograph above. As Lowe explains:

Spain’s Olympic basketball teams have risked upsetting their Chinese hosts by posing for a pre-Games advert making slit-eyed gestures. The advert for a courier company, which is an official sponsor of the Spanish Basketball Federation, occupied a full page in the sports daily Marca, the country’s best-selling newspaper.

The advert features two large photographs, one of the men’s basketball team, above, and one of the women’s team. Both squads pose in full Olympic kit on a basketball court decorated with a picture of a Chinese dragon. Every single player appears pulling back the skin on either side of their eyes. The advert carries the symbol of the sport’s governing body.

No one involved in the advert appears to have considered it inappropriate nor contemplated the manner in which it could be interpreted in China and elsewhere.

Our own Pete Thamel, who covered Spain’s victory over China earlier today for The Times, writes in from Beijing to point out that “the typically sedate Chinese crowds vigorously booed the Spanish basketball team at times in Spain’s overtime victory here on Tuesday night. It’s unknown whether it has anything to do with the publication of insensitive pictures in which the Spanish men’s and women’s team appear to be mocking people of Asian descent by pulling back their skin behind their eyes.”

A fairly heated debate over whether the ad is racist has been going on in various places online, including a British site called The Spoiler and in the comments thread beneath Pete’s report on the game in an earlier post here on Rings.

Roberto Hernandez, the Spanish press officer for basketball, said he was not aware of the picture when reached by telephone. When told about its contents and asked if the Spanish team had made any effort to apologize, he asked a reporter to call Li Ning, the Chinese Olympic hero from the 1984 Games and the man who floated through the air at the Bird’s Nest to light the Olympic torch at the opening ceremony. The Spanish team is sponsored by Li-Ning, the footwear company.

Here is the Li-Ning Co. Web page noting its sponsorship agreements, including that with the Spanish national basketball teams.

Li-Ning’s sponsorship with Spain basketball was noted in the U.S. press as long ago as 2004 (as in this L.A. Times article), and the deal itself was signed in 2002, as noted a couple of years ago by the English-language Beijing Review in this article.

In Spain the association with Li-Ning is hardly a secret at all. A blog for the business paper El Comercio notes the visit of Spain basketball officials and players upon their arrival in Beijing to the Li-Ning hospitality center, Spain basketball federation president Jose Luis Saez among them.

Moreover, on Aug. 6 Spain basketball and Li-Ning renewed their sponsorhip agreement through 2012 — which apparently was what the ads in Marca was referring to.

So while the gesture of the Spanish teams in the ads might seem culturally insensitive at first glance, it’s a little more complicated than that when you look deeper.

The Madrid daily El Mundo asks whether the ad constitutes “Racism or a Casual Wink?,” noting the posts in the Guardian and on this blog.

The El Mundo story gives some background for the ad, for the courier company Seur:
The photograph, widely disseminated now by the press, was made during the preparation campaign for the Olympic Games in Beijing. …

Jose Manuel Calderon, an icon of the national team, explains in his blog at that it was a wink of the sponsor, something they thought appropriate and affectionate. He is blunt: “Whoever wants to interpret something different, totally confused.”

“It turns out that in the photo shoot for the submission of our team, one of our sponsors asked us to make, as a ‘wink’ to our participation in Beijing, an expression of Eastern eyes. We felt it was something appropriate and that it would always be interpreted as an affectionate gesture,” says Calderon. “However, some European media have not looked on it well,” laments the linchpin of the national team.

Calderon denies any racist tinge in the gesture and expressed his “great respect for the East and its people.” The Extremaduran highlighted his great personal relationship with several Chinese friends by his team in the NBA, Toronto Raptors, and recalled that the sports brand Li Ning China outfits the Spanish team as one of its sponsors."

-Via NYTimes Blog

Creepily this whole fiasco of cultural insensitivity reminds me of the chain of commercials created by SaleGenie CEO Vin Gupta.

Combined, these two different ad's prove that you need to have a culturally aware ad agency working for you or you might very well create a PR nightmare.

*Update August 15th 2008

It looks like cultural insensitivity is a national sports trend in Spain. Today there was a discovery of a picture showing the Spanish olympic tennis team copying the same racist gesture as their countries Basketball team.

Don Draper’s ‘Mad Men’ Bookshelf

This is an interesting article i found on a blog made by NYmag.


In bed with his wife, Mad Men's Don Draper reads The Best of Everything — Rona Jaffe's 1958 chick-lit classic about women trying to make it in the office world. Before getting into bed with his Jewish client, he reads Leon Uris's Exodus. And before he gets into bed with anyone in the second season — literary spoiler alert! — Draper is seen reading Frank O'Hara's Meditations in an Emergency. Clearly, Mad Men isn't just nostalgic for the days when men tossed back Scotch — but for the days when they tossed back Scotch and read books too! What else might be on the Draper's bookshelf? And what books about guys just like Don Draper might Matthew Weiner and the Mad Men writers have dug into for period detail?

The Hidden Persuaders (1957)
Vance Packard's hysterical exposé was the Fast Food Nation of its era — an alarmist romp through the "strange and exotic" world of Don Draper's cronies, from subliminal advertising to the feminization of men's clothes.

Sounds like Don: "The women are buying a promise," says one of the book's ad execs. "The cosmetic manufacturers are not selling lanolin, they are selling hope."

The Lonely Crowd (1950)
David Riesman's classic pop-sociology bestseller argued that Americans' pioneer spirit was being corrupted by postwar softness, while nuclear families crumbled. The result: Men were becoming "other-directed" — driven by communal peer pressure (like advertising) in an aspirational era of conspicuous consumption.

Sounds like Don: "The other-directed person is, in a sense, at home everywhere and nowhere, capable of a rapid if sometimes superficial intimacy with and response to everyone."

The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America (1961)
Daniel Boorstin was pop sociology's dystopic answer to Andy Warhol, diagnosing a new "age of contrivance" characterized by men like Don Draper who were "programming our experiences."

Sounds like Don: Like Theodore White's The Making of the President (1960), the book specifically focuses on the ways admen shaped the jingles, TV ads, and TV debates of the 1960 Nixon-Kennedy election, featured heavily in Mad Men.

Man in the Gray Flannel Suit (novel 1955, film 1956)
The title of Sloan Wilson's male weepie quickly became a pop catchphrase for conformist men, or what Theodore White dubbed the "organization man."

Sounds like Don: In the 1956 film, Gregory Peck played the role of a PTSD-rattled WWII vet who returns home from brutality of war to the common fear of becoming just another pencil-pushing commuter. When he takes a more demanding PR job at the Manhattan offices of a TV network to support his seemingly perfect family, he's nearly corrupted by the soul-deadening, square office job.

The Hucksters (1946)
Another ad-centric novel, starring another mysterious adman, Frederick Wakeman's scabrous take on advertising follows Victor Norman, a Drapery guy who returns home from his gig at the Office of War Information to a firm where his sole job is to keep a client happy with a new radio show.

Sounds like Don: Norman has an affair with a Jewish showgirl, a best friend who loves party girls more than he does, and a spectacular, romantic affair with a woman who forces him to see how unhappy he is. We guess that does sound familiar. —Logan Hill

-via Vulture


I've been and on again off again fan of this show for a while now and of all the articles I have come across that try to explain the themes of this show (Season one was fear, and so far season two is Emasculation). This aticle's explanation of the books the main character Don Draperreads during his spare time is the most concise description of his mental process.

For years now I have had the habit of reading the titles of the books my college professors or employers have had in their office. Reading the titles of the books of your professor not only is interesting from an academic viewpoint. It also goes along with a rule I have always tried to follow since a an upper classman told me the secret to success in college. Always visit your professors early in the semester and read the titles of the books on their bookcases. You'll then know what your professor knows and can then adapt your own knowledge in order to better interact with him/her.

So for the benefit of my readers (who at this point probably don't exist). I am going to re-state the obviouse to anyone who has seen more than two episodes of this show. Don Draper is stuck in a artificial world that he himself has made and consistently sells to people who are desparate to have some sort of control on their lives. He is not happy with his life (regardless of the level of control he has of it) nor will he be any time in the foreseeable future. I would not be surprised if by the end of this season, (or in one of the future seasons) Don quits Sterling Cooper and attempts to build his own Agency.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Art without borders

I first saw the video below months ago but it left such a strong impression that I had to post it here. The project called MOTU was created by a artist called Blu. At first glance I orginally thought it was just a simple graffiti stop motion cartoon. It soon became apparent to me after a few minutes of watching this video that MOTU is as much a border breaking cartoon as anything else.

Did you see the paper eating desk jockey..... however long it took to create this, it was worth it. I am a little miffed thought that other artist (or companies) haven't tried to emulate and improve upon this in some way or form. Its an original technique to stop motion animation and as a perk whoever is doing can claim they are actually cleaning up "graffiti" (though I have to wonder. What did the people whose tag's he crossed out do once they saw that they were tagged out? )

- via BluBlu

Free Rice

This is wonderful. It combines a few of my favorite things, puzzles and helping people.

Free Rice

FreeRice began on October 7, 2007. It was created by John Breen, a computer programmer from Bloomington, Indiana, who also created, and Breen invented the site, and typed in all 10,000 definitions after watching his son study for the SAT.

- via Wikipedia


Isacc Hayes Music

Here is a collection of songs that were created by Isaac Hayes either as composer/producer or as performer.

Ruby Johnson - I'll Run your Hurt Away

Soul Children - The Sweeter He Is

The Emotions - So I can Love You

Isaac Hayes - Walk on By

Isaac Hayes - Ikes Mood/You've Lost the lovin feeling

Isaac Hayes - Breakthrough

Isaac Hayes - Ellie's Theme

All of this comes from - Soul-Sides

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Marvin Gaye + Dream Team AD = Magic

I have always been a fan of great commercials and this one here is simply amazing. You have to give credit to the makers of this commercial "Independent Wieden + Kennedy" for creating magic.

Laser Street Art

For a while now I have been interested in GRL and their use of laser's and lights as a viable alternative to using spray paint in creating street art. In theory it allows the artist to create art without the danger of being arrested by the vandal squad. So, I figured I would post some interesting examples of what I feel the future holds for street art (and if done well street marketing)

Laser Graffiti (Graffiti Reasearch Lab, GRL)


Air Based 3D Graffiti (Jung von Matt/next)

R.I.P. Isaac Hayes

Another great entertainer was lost today. The world will miss your music Mr. Hayes.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

R.I.P. Bernie Mac

a comedy giant died today.

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