Wednesday, January 28, 2009

2009’s “We” Approach

Because times are hard, companies have directed their ad campaigns to be more “we” oriented. Times of uncertainty, crisis, and danger remind us the importance of family, social, and individual values. This is a great time for companies to capitalize on their “we” factor. Businesses, like Ikea Family, that are already branded using the “we” approach have a great advantage.

Though companies have been using the “we” approach for a long time, now is the time we will be seeing it implemented more and more. says “It will be an interesting thing to see which of them (companies) get this right in 2009. They will be the cases we talk about in 2010.”

T-mobile’s new viral ad campaign is a great example of the type of “we” campaigns we will be seeing throughout the year.

This was brilliant. I’m not sure yet if all of those people were dancers, but I’m pretty sure not all of them were. What a great way to visualize people getting together eh?

Read more on this on

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

My inauguration day recap

Just in case you missed it:

What an uplifting and emotional day. My favorite part was right before he was sworn in, he made a face that read "oh man, this is it, it's my turn!"

As great as it must be to be President Barack Obama right now, it equally sucks at the same time. His campaign proved that YES "HE" CAN make it all the way to the white house and YES "HE" CAN give America hope. But now, in his hands he holds America's trust and dreams. I hope he pulls through because as much as American's love to love, they love to hate too! The pressure is officially on!

The secret service must actually have work to do now though eh? Guess he's already started creating jobs.

On a side note, I must give my props to Michelle Obama for wearing a dress by an unknown, 26-year-old, American designer Jason Wu. The white chiffon, one-shoulder gown covered in fluffy appliques will now become a part of fashion history. Get ready Wu, because Michelle Obama just put you on the map. Now, all over the nation, aspiring fashion designers are inspired.

They both looked stunning.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Movie Suggestion - NOTORIOUS

I have to admit, I didn't think the movie was going to be any good because the trailer seemed a tad cheesy. However, I just got back from the movie theaters and I was surprisingly impressed with the acting, story line, and how the actors looked identical to the people they were playing (except for Puffy...horrible). Lil Kim, played by Naturi Naughton (a former member of 3LW), showed more than I would have cared to see but was my favorite. Faith Evans looked hotter in the movie then in real life and sang a little better too. The only criticism I have is that the story about the rival between East and West was one sided and a bit too cookie cutter clean. Even so, NOTORIOUS gave a good inside look on Bigy's rough beginnings, relationship with his father, womanizing, and climb to fame. I rate NOTORIOUS a "B" which, in my book, means its a good enough movie to pay $11 for at the theaters!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Lays Potato Chips, healthy? Since when?

Lays Potato Chips have a new ad campaign that might slightly falsify the product... or does it? You be the judge. On January 18 new spots for Lays Potato chips will air that shifts the way people view this snack. This multimillion-dollar campaign will remind consumers that Lays Potato chips are only made of 3 ingredients: potatoes, sunflower oil and salt. Their new tag line is "Happiness is simple."

"The first TV spot begins on a farm, where family and friends carrying coolers are gathering for what appears to be a barbecue. As everyone assembles, potatoes shoot out of the ground in a mock fireworks display."(

Like most businesses Lays Potato Chips is just now joining the go green band wagon and is trying to convey the message that this snack is healthy "with 0 trans fat!". So I put it to the test, on my way home today I picked up a bag of original lays potato chips and munched on them in the car. As usual my fingers got oily and when I wiped my hands it left a transparent mark in the tissue. And though this new ad portrays lays potato chips to be a healthier choice the facts remain that it is high on sodium(160mg) and in a 1oz bag has 160 calories. On they grade the snack a D-.

In the post on adage Gannon Jones, VP-marketing, Frito-Lay North America said that while potatoes are grown in several U.S. regions, Lay's has 21 manufacturing plants around the country so as to ensure freshness on delivery.

However Ms. Simon (unknown ad person) balked at this concept and said "They have factories all over the country so they're locally processed? Give me a break, that's hilarious. You might as well say 'I rolled this cigarette in my backyard so it's local.'"

The new campaign has me feeling a little cheated. Maybe it's just me. Any thoughts?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Noteworthy Spot

Here's my new favorite Ad! Take a look!

Virgin Atlantic:

What can I say, I'm a sucker for the 80's, big hair, hot girls, and stilettos. This spot stays true to the Virgin Atlantic brand image and has a very rock star quality to it. I also love the flash back of the pack man video game, big ass cell phone, and the looks on the other hostesses faces as the hot VA hostesses pass by is priceless.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Helpful Ad Portfolio Video

As I was "youtubing" I came across this video that has some insightful hints about putting together an advertising portfolio. Thought it might be helpful! ;) Check it out:

Ad Age Today - WTF is G?

Now and then I will be blogging about things I've read on adage, adweek, and any other sites that post things that are controversial, interesting, news breaking, or just plain retarded.

With that in mind, yesterday on they posted about the new Gatorade ad campaign, "What is G?". Have you seen them? If not, take a look. The ads are starring multiple athletes that are being panned through with a voice over of the one-and-only, are you ready for this... LIL WAYNE! At the end of the spot, a big fat capital serif G appears.

Just for reference here's the spot:

Apparently, gatorade is looking for a better way to brand themselves. With this campaign TBWA/Chiat/Day, Los Angeles, tried to generate buzz by leaving the spots open for conversation. However, even after seeing the commercials some people, including myself, were confused as to who the spot was for: Guess, Gap, G-Unit? Some commenter's even thought it might be an ad for Nike, God, a new African-American television channel.

On the first day the spot aired on their youtube channel (whatsG1965) it received 70,000 hits. But a second version of the spot aired on their channel only 4 days later and only received about 900 hits. Way to miss the ball eh?

Personally, I like the concept but most people are slow and if you don't tell them who or what the ads are for they wont care. In the post on adage Josh Warner says, "when you're using celebrities, why not make the brand connection more obvious? Celebrities can compete with your brand, if the message is too subtle." I heavily agree with this and am curious why they didn't even use the Gatorade lightning bolt to associate the brand with the spot?

I wonder what was wrong with the past ads? The orange sweat dripping down athletes faces? That for me, was memorable and created a better brand image then the "What's G" spots (hehe). Couldn't they have extended that concept? What they should have called it is "WTF is G?" Additionally, why Lil Wayne? Are you serious? What's his association to sports? I googled "lil wayne athlete", "lil wayne sports", plain "lil wayne" and I could not find any association. I don't get it.

Oh and just in case you don't know or forgot what Lil Wayne looks like here's a visual:

Along with that, they decided to rename their drinks from Rain, A.M., Fierce and X-Factor to "No Excuses," "Shine On," "Bring It" and "Be Tough." Who the hell named these drinks? Why would any athlete pick up a drink that said "Bring It" or "Shine On?". Doesn't that remind you a bit of cheer leading or rainbow bright?

The campaign is starting off a little rocky but, Matt Cutler, VP of marketing and analytics at Visible Measures, seems to be an optimist and says that it's still early... but he ads that if the videos don't take off within four weeks of being posted, they likely never will. (

I hope the ratings get better or people are actually buying more Gatorade because their other spots received less then 7000 views. Soon Gatorade may be looking for a new agency. Ouch!

Click here to read the actual article on

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Fashion Plantation Shoot

Last week I was taking a walk on a trail of the Hayward marshlands which is conveniently located behind my house (it's actually not that cool, it reeks of marshland musk in the mornings). I've lived here for the passed 3 years and just recently discovered the trail. Last Monday morning I decided to go on a stroll alone. I was pleasantly surprised because it was really beautiful. It had a very interesting contrast of nature and... well... electrical towers. Here is a photo I took of the site with my phone:

It reminded me a lot of a nuclear plantation for some reason. So I got the crazy idea of doing a fashion photoshoot based on that concept. The very next day I called up a model I knew, Teresa Navarro, and asked if she and Donna could meet me at my house for a gorilla photoshoot. Luckily I know people that are willing to play out my crazy ideas. Thank you again ladies!

Here is the outcome:

I wanted it to seem like she was in her very expensive white lab coat looking very posh taking a stroll in her very toxic neighborhood. I guess my message for this shoot was that no matter where you work, even if it's in a polluted marshland, you should always look fierce. :)


KOAN Clothing Photo Shoot

This past weekend I wrapped up a photo shoot for KOAN Clothing's online catalog. The photos are being edited right now so until they are finished I wanted to share some goofy photos of the crew.

(not photographed: Donna Macanan. Great job on the make-up)

I had a really great time at the shoot. The models were easy to work with and the shirts looked awesome. It was also really great finally collaborating with Allison and the KOAN crew. I've worked with Allison on shoots before but nothing concept based, just more beauty stuff. It has actually been a long time since we've done a shoot together so it was really cool to see how much Allison and I have grown. I'm sure she remembers when I used to use a point and shoot and go to the park to take photos. I was still a novice to photoshop at the time too. It was my ghetto fabulous days, but hey, it worked!

If you don't know about KOAN clothing you should definitely check them out. To sum them up, they are an urban up-and-coming graphic-t company with depth. Here's their link: KOAN CLOTHING . Check out their shirts and let them know I sent you. ;)