August 31, 2006

Don't let the jet lag hit you on the way out!

chumped.0.jpgIf you didn't watch Project Runway last night, you don’t deserve to read this blog (Ha! Just kidding, sometimes I like to see if I could pull off ‘ruthless bitch’ for a day but I fail miserably by giggling behind my laptop). Speaking of bitches, the Coke Zero version of last season's Wendy Pepper, Angela, finally got the chump last night. The build up this season to her getting 'auf'd' was a tease but the climax was worth it.

The challenge was to design jet-set clothing for themselves and then test it on a first class flight to Paris. Potential turbulent champagne spills aside, they didn't show how long it took to go through security. Jeffrey had designed a metal happy trail for a zipper, though, from the looks of it, he may need a lot more help accentuating that area. Whereas Kayne went all out with a belt buckle in his own name, practically asking for a cavity search from security. I'd be quick to say that the judges didn't call it out because it might be below the, well... you know. If nothing else, I can't complain about sneaking peeks of Heidi Klum over a mimosa or two every week.

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August 30, 2006

If you were in the scene, you would know there is no scene

Picture%2017.pngUnderground clubs interpretively predicted the death of vinyl. One day I will need to come to terms with the fact that I may only need one turntable instead of two, and a couple crates instead of a few. Somehow that still feels like it'll be a lonely day, but perhaps I'll take an alternative route to satisfying my illegal online music fix:

"Apparently, during the 50s underground clubs in Eastern Europe & the USSR would play pirated music from the West, but the only material they had to record onto were old x-ray films. Which produced some rather lovely looking results."

Via: Protein Feed

August 29, 2006

Advertising builds street cred

signoutdoor082706.jpgWHUDAFUXUP with advertising? An advertising reporter in 2006 wondered if we should ban advertising. Because, according to her, addictive eye-catching boards are also illegal. The article compared the addictiveness of advertising to that of M&M's and cigarettes.

In an attempt to build some street cred sympathy with the Wooster Collective, advertising has now, too, become an "ephemeral art". New York has started a crackdown on what has become a $25-million-a-year illegal-ad industry. Despite costing $50k a month, illegal sites are sought after by creatives with a taste for the finer things in life for their campaign monikers.

Read more: Banned in the Big Apple (Thanks, Nicole!)

August 28, 2006

Pull out that midi player and cowboy belt buckle

Picture%2015.jpgDrunk girls and mullets, unite! Jeep offers an interactive karaoke - alas, instead of hearing peroxide-addicted women shriek out requests for "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy", you can watch this guy attempt "Oh, Mickey you're so fine, you're so fine, you blow my mind!" - which, I guess, is actually a decent trade-off.

Now, only if they offered "Forever Young" - I may be so tempted as to try my own. In the meantime, I might try and pressure Jaffe into making one since he is no stranger to his own renditions of podcast segment karaoke.

tags technorati :

August 26, 2006

Do brands have the power to reverse the ripple?

influence_1.gifDavid Armano over at Logic + Emotion has drafted up a presentation about blogs/bloggers, outlining levels of influence based on linking, and what roles the different levels play in the pyramid.

"The bigger point that I want to make is that bloggers at each level command a “sphere of influence”. The higher the “level”, the more people are exposed to a blogger’s influence."

So, what does this mean for a brand who wants to attempt to influence the blogosphere? Is bigger always better? By David's visual, Engadget remains as the Level 1 technology blog. Should a brand always reach out to top influencers or does it have the power to create a new authority in the blogosphere?

Level 1 blogs at times can be perceived as jaded when it comes to brands approaching them (it happens all the time and is nothing new). Brands hoping to create a large amount of buzz in the blogosphere could easily get lost in the sheer quantity of content that Level 1 blogs pump out. Their message would still be read by a large amount of people, no doubt, but it would also have a lot of competition to reach Level 4 on the ripple wave. For the most part, that can be positive, in that a brand should be of high enough quality and interest in order to not be nipped in the bud.

However, should all brands immediately target high level blogs or do brands actually have the power to reverse the ripple? Instead of crossing their fingers that a high level blog would carry their message - what if they gave Level 4 bloggers 'inside' information that the Level 1 bloggers did not have? For example, if wrote an article on a specific brand, and that brand had created a relationship with a Level 4 blogger, the blogger would then have the power to reference but also give a "backstage pass" of sorts to what's really happening behind the article - thus making a large number of blogs in search for information that no one else has want to link the the Level 4 blogger instead of

David is currently welcoming more comments to his Levels of Influence post as he prepares his presentation due for late September.

via: Jaffe Juice

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August 25, 2006

Designer deserves a smack on the fanny (pack)

Mr. Hall over at Adrants forwarded me a tip he received about some ads created for a high end women's athletic boutique in LA. Overall, I'm unimpressed to say the least. If this ad was in a magazine, I'd flip right past it after having a long, soothing mental rant about typography.

Mmm... typography rants. The creative, in its entirety, should never have seen the light of day. The concept, the typography, the red border, the photography, and the layout are awful and it looks like there wasn't much thought put into any of it. The typography was raped and beaten by the designer to the point that it was to be forever scarred. Take note, blossoming typographers, those little serif fonts can't hold a damn weight against the photography and reading-wise, it's best to avoid white type unless it's a bold short headline. I think they probably paid next-to-nothing for all of the creative and that's what they got – plus a throw back to the 90's.

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August 24, 2006

And this little piggy went wee wee wee all the way home

Picture%2010.jpgXeni over at BoingBoing originally broke the news to me about an article appearing in Forbes that essentially said that I should shoot myself now, as I'll apparently make any man unhappy by working more than 35 hours a week and making more than $30k a year. Watch out girls, I may have to turn to you for my pent up frustration.

As I pointed out to Xeni later, Forbes took the article by the little piggy reporter offline. Now at an attempt to have a good laugh about the debacle, they resurfaced the link with a rebuttal and a discussion form. Somehow, I'm still not laughing. The "rebuttal" is just a pathetic attempt at bringing a female writer down to Michael Noer's level (of mud). Instead of having (as some people call me) "balls of steel" and taking on the article and providing a detailed criticism, Elizabeth Corcoran just takes easy stabs at men. Overall, I think Forbes is cowardly trying to have a laugh and pigeonhole this debacle as just a silly gender catfight and nothing more.

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August 23, 2006

Everytime you order pizza, god kills a kitten

domofudge.jpgPerhaps it's just me, but Domino's latest commercial of a peculiarly named "fudgems" running through a field instantly reminded me of everyones favorite anti-masturbation propaganda poster of a Domo-kun.

The hip square also has a promo site complete with rave party dancing, fudgem-speak, and a national free brownie square day that (lucky for you, you have me as an insider for these kinds of things) is today.

August 22, 2006

RyanAir joins the mile high club

ryanairnudists.jpgExcuse me, Miss, are you smuggling peas in your blouse?

As BoingBoing reports, RyanAir gets a little sassy with security.

"RyanAir, the discount airline that's threated to sue the UK government over new security procedures has posted this provocative image to its website: a crowd of naked people running away from their piled-up clothes, with the caption "New Airport Security Procedures Put the Fun Back Into Flying."

They're onto something here. If the existence of a plot to use implausible liquid explosives against aircraft creates a global war on moisture at the airports, imagine what a similar plot to smuggle a bomb up a terrorist's ass would engender. The war on moisture is bad, but it's nothing compared to the inevitable war on body cavities."

tags technorati :

Videos targeted at teen girls are design-obsessed

Picture%2013.1.pngThere really is too much design in sex these days. People are always asking to find my spot color or to uncoat my pantone. Some days a short skirt, a wink, and a downtempo beat seem to suffice. But MK12 couldn't leave this music video alone. Sometimes sex is so design-laced, it makes me sick to work in this business. Shame on all of you - design is the devil's work!

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August 21, 2006

Chevy attempts to increase viral mileage

chevy.1.jpgOne might think after being skewered by SUV haters for its create-your own-Tahoe commercial promotion, Chevy would steer clear of featuring the much maligned vehicle in its next consumer generated media folly, Reduceuruse. But no. Smack in the middle of a cornfield on a page about E85 fuel is, yes, another Tahoe causing one to wonder if the Tahoe is the only vehicle that runs on this corn syrup.

The Reduceuruse site is being promoted by a low quality video-style commercial featuring a man with a bucket on his head, squatting in front of a baseball pitching machine. Every time he gets hit with a baseball, he turns the bucket around, and it ends with Chevy boasting their great fuel mileage and asking "How would you spend your time away from the pump?" Please, leave the quasi-viral video commercials to Vonage.

Reduceuruse is another try at the consumer-generated-media audience. Though, when visiting the site, it's not very clear what they're looking for. I'm sure it's buried somewhere deep in the extensive terms and conditions. Apparently, your supposed to submit a mobile video showing what you'd do when not at the gas pump, like, getting hit in the head with a baseball.

August 19, 2006

Sight for the week's end

UWCAM000800_01_L.jpgCeiling cat is now watching you masturbate via webcam.

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August 17, 2006

I like it when you play with my low hanging fruit

playtime.jpgMany women are familiar with this line being whispered in their ear in a room full of throbbing testosterone, over a dark, hot cup of coffee in a client meeting. While it gives some of us that familiar tingling, it triggers psychotic acid relapses in others, causing them to hear their pervy old uncle asking for a kiss.

A BusinessWeek article asks to “cut the raunch” saying that, “Girls cringe at overtly sexual ads, yet paradoxically, marketing campaigns targeted at teen girls are sex-obsessed.” Oh, so the girl who sits next to you in 5th hour that tells everyone she’s bi just so that guys will look shouldn’t be included in those demographic behavior charts? Outdated memories? I can practically open my day planner and see my teen years listed.

The article goes on to state that, “Modern teens are inspired by a deeper definition of feminine strength.” Does feminine strength not include the ability to admit to having an insatiable sex drive?

via: AdRants

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Professionals file metrosexual harassment lawsuit

metro.jpgThe Gadget Obsessed Status Symbol Infatuated Professionals (GOSSIP) filed a metrosexual harassment lawsuit against NBC's Today Show and other chump-filled morning shows, alleging that in addition to [the shows] being as news-worthy as a Snakes On A Plane spoof on MySpace, the metrosexuals were " fake their death after being editorially raped," including "pos[ing] in metrosexually explicit positions," and exposing their raw sashimi to be "photographed and shown" on Reuters.

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August 16, 2006

Old men can't get it up, erect blogs instead

bloggermen.0.jpgWhile youth-fixated, twenty-something media buyers like to lump the blogging demographic smack in the middle of the 18-34 crowd as they seemingly do with every other media buy, there is an established collection of older men that refuse to lose another hair over it.

Perusing through 300 or so blogs a day, it's easy to become numb to the plethora of blog content, no less start seeing patterns. Since recently having my cherry popped by the proverbial camera of the blogosphere, it's obvious that the majority of long-established, influential blogs are helmed, in fact, by older men.

While it's true that there are a few women in the Technorati 100, it still pushes heavily towards the older and male end of the scale. It also seems that younger bloggers tend to work in teams. So, with a good number of influential blogs being run by older men, is there wisdom in their words?

Who knows, but you can read their words at: BuzzMachine, Doc Searls Weblog, Micropersuasion, Seth's Blog, Wireless Muse.

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August 15, 2006

Aural emission

Picture%201.0.png"SoniColumn is an interactive sound installation that can be played by a person’s touch. The installation takes the form of a column-like cylinder, of a height that does not quite reach the ceiling but just high enough for one’s reach. Grids of LEDs installed inside the column light themselves on by the users’ touch and emit unique sounds. When a user cranks the handle, the column slowly rotates itself and plays the light patterns of the user’s touch."

The Music Box series of installations started showcasing in 2004. Jin-Yo Muk's creation is a reproduction from memory of his interaction with a music box he played with.

via: engadget

August 14, 2006

The lame word?

Picture%2012.pngOne of Adrant's friends sent in a few ads for (at the time in 2004) a new drama series. Not sure why old sexy ads are cropping up, but how can you say no?

Of course, I said no. Oh, trust me, I love naughty ads that make me giggle. But this one? Meh, I'm underwhelmed. The copywriting seems to just be easy rather than anything spectacular. As Steve points out, "what copy?".

I'm not one to speak (my headline to this post is worse than the copy I'm chatting about). I'd be a horrible copywriter. I always seem to drunkenly stumble over the line from too cheesy to too boring. So I did a quick search on American Copywriter to see if they had anything to say about it. Alas, Technorati turned me away with nothing.

tags technorati :

August 12, 2006

Sight for the week's end

Picture%207.pngWhenever I go to London, I stop by a little book store called Magma that is packed to the ceiling with only design-related books. It is my dream come true... Possibly also my nightmare considering that I can easily put myself hundreds of dollars in debt. I have come to terms with and accepted the fact that I have a graphic design addiction.

I picked up this little book by KinoDesign a couple years ago. Very cute and well written, including ways to dump a design agency:

"Unpleasant habits
Design agencies are like lovers - at first you think they're sex-on-toast but after a while you notice that they have a number of unpleasant and irritating habits.

Be aware that seriously creative agencies are immune to criticism and will take being fired as nothing more than attention-seeking by the client."

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August 11, 2006

Architectural DDR

3playerf.0.jpgI've spent all today (yes, I know it's technically Friday but it's Thursday to me - blame Seattle) traveling on the no liquid diet known as terror alert. It's a two day diet for me, so I'm only halfway through it. As such, why ramble about red terror alerts and flying planes into east coast buildings when I can ramble about red LED lights and playing DDR on west coast buildings?

2facader.0.jpg"Electroland's new work EnterActive is now live at the Met Lofts apartment building, 11th and Flower streets, in Los Angeles. A luminous field of red LED lights embedded into the entry walkway respond to the moves of visitors. When the walkway interactivity is triggered the impact is mirrored on a eight-story grid of LED panels on the building facade. When completed, a video camera facing the building will transmit images to a plasma screen in the lobby, so visitors inside can see the effect their footwork is having outside."

August 9, 2006

A niche to scratch

Picture%201.pngHas the interweb outdated traditional demographics?

Like a mint on a pillow with a dead hooker underneath the box spring, traditional demographics to me always come across as outdated ways of pleasing a client. Almost as an unnescessary assurance of professionalism, traditional demographics are still being used and requested in new online social media projects. The industry seems to be trying too hard to fit the same solution into new problems - essentially keeping us always behind the curve.

At yet another ad:tech session I sat in, the CEO of AdAge's Multicultural Agency of the Year gave a presentation on various projects and all the extensive demographic work behind them. But when she was presenting the results of each project, she didn't present who it reached, just how many. So what if you reach a larger than expected audience? Did you reach the right audience? There's so much talk about demographics, but in the end, people only care about numbers instead of the effectiveness, no less defining effective influence. Even in looking at the blogging community, the traditional M18-34 demographic doesn't cover the majority of successful bloggers.

An article that Steve Hall pointed me to seems to at least show that efforts are being made to break down the traditions. Chris Anderson of Wired Magazine was quoted last month as saying that "the internet favors infinite niches, not one-size-fits-all-fare." Admittedly, this is a quote that I have at the bottom of my outgoing emails.

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August 8, 2006

An electromagnetic experience

Picture%209.png"Cell Phone Disco is a playful experimental installation made out of flashing cells. By multiplication of a mobile phone gadget, only slightly altered consumer product, we created a space to experience the invisible body of the mobile phone."

I'm always up for playful experiments... The experiment consists of both a Mobile Aura and Mobile Drawing that are activated via interaction of an electromagnetic source. Sensitive cells follow the area of a user socializing while less sensitive cells react directly to the proximity of the device.

While more involved, I think it would be interesting to develop a way to allow the translated path of the LEDs to reflect back on the mobile phone. Essentially making a real-time visual loop of what is happening outside the phone, on the phone.

Below is a rough video of the installation.


via: we-make-money-not-art

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August 7, 2006

Is CGM an offensive term?

Picture%206.pngI've had this question on my mind since attending the ad:tech conference in Chicago and chatting over lunch (which provided food left a little to be desired) with Henry Copeland and Steve Hall. Steve recently posted about an email he received that claimed there was this 'hip new cool consumer generated media site'. The email went so far as to say "It's a great example of the power of users to support a brand without any resources and make creative content." Big surprise, Whois shows that it was created by an agency.

A commenter to the post: "This is overtly corporate and to pass it off as user generated content is insulting to our intelligence. I'm sick of brands being dishonest in feeble attempts to create the almighty "buzz"".

I'll save my lectures on 'how not to suck at viral marketing' and 'how to say no to viral marketers' (take note, Steve.) for another time. However, I do want to know, with all the talk of Consumer Generated Media in advertising agencies and conferences and client pitches, is or has the term become offensive? Henry Copeland had gone on a rant over lunch about how the term 'consumer-generated' holds no meaning and that we should stop using it altogether. He essentially said it was stupid of us (as advertisers or clients) to assume that people who create their own content are actively consuming the brand or should be branded as consumers.

In numerous pitches across the states, agencies/clients are recommending creating their own channel to 'allow consumers to be able to express themselves while interacting with the brand at the same time.' What they're trying to do is to gain control by providing a safe haven of a channel. "Consumer" Generated Media is not pre-determining content limits or channels! It should be no different than a solid Word-Of-Mouth strategy - organic and limitless. More times than not, especially over the years, "viral" and CGM-brand-sites are reactions to what's already going on, rather than an attempt at creating the reaction. So, is Consumer Generated Media a term that defines limited, pre-determined creation that coincides with an opaque brand?

tags technorati :

August 5, 2006

Sight for the weekend

Picture%202.pngI always get giddy whenever my Knickers Forever issue arrives in my inbox.

I suggest taking a peek at Agent Provocateur's scandalous online sale.

tags technorati :

August 4, 2006

Coasting down the rabbit hole

Picture%204.pngV-dub's Gypsy Cab Project is "an attempt to uncover and document (on hidden cameras) all the things that make urban driving truly unique." Steve, a filmmaker who has never been to New York, drives around offering free rides in the name of research.

Equipped with a hipster fidel hat and a pair of square-rimmed glasses, Steve is ready to throw caution to the wind and see how crazy them city-folks are! Unfortunately, the fare ride videos leave a little to be desired. While I appreciate them being authentic, a little editing would've helped. Most of the videos go on for longer than I have an attention span for, and don't really seem to peak my interest. Not to mention, combined with Steve's almost Jamie-Kennedy-style forced persona.

The city driving dictionary on the site defines the term Rabbit Hole as "a parking spot or gap in city traffic only big enough for a Rabbit to use. It's invisible to people with bigger cars." May I suggest that the site has rabbit-holed itself into being invisible to to people with smaller attention spans?

tags technorati :

August 3, 2006

Check out my guns

Picture%202.1.png Response to comments via AdRant's post about's flacid penis. Essentially someone saying that the entire debacle was intentional.

No one is fooled. This is just as bad as the Chevy Tahoe bullshit that surfaced and Chevy was practically pushed into a corner where they couldn't say anything but "oh, we did that on purpose because that's how much we care about CGM".

And seriously, it's bullshit to try and fit the old client-pleasing solutions of impressions and demographics to new problems like viral and WOM. It tells nothing of any interaction, engagement or syndication other than volume of buzz.

They put the video on YouTube because I bet that's the only technology/calculations they know how to use to track ANY kind of reporting back to the client. What do you want to bet that they pitch MySpace and YouTube as 'great new strategies'? Please. Wake me up when they actually go after something that is an actual challenge rather than low-hanging-fruit. Bottom feeders are chumps.

The end.

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August 1, 2006


Shake Well Before Use covers the intersections between art, advertising, sex, and technology.

Ariel Waldman is a Social Media Insights Consultant in San Francisco, originally from Kansas City. In addition to Shake Well Before Use, she's the Community Manager for Pownce as well as a columnist for Engadget. She previously served as a Digital Insights Analyst at VML, an interactive WPP agency she was with for 8 years. She has been a contributor for Suicide Girls, Adrants and the ad:tech industry tradeshow blog.

You can also find Ariel on Twitter, Pownce, Flickr, and LinkedIn.

Recent buzz about Shake Well Before Use:

"Ariel Waldman has the freshest perspective on art, advertising, sex and technology." — David Brain, President & CEO of Edelman Europe

"cheeky and provocative ... clear sense of good story ... strong voice ... excellent example of what is good in blogging -- originality of ideas, excellent delivery and a capacity to put [herself] on the line for the sake of the story." — Marketing Profs Daily Fix

"Art, Advertising, Sex + Technology' Ummmm.... who does THAT remind you of? Heh. Thanks, Ariel. Damn glad to meet you." — Hugh MacLeod, Gapingvoid

"Ariel is funny, smart and ruthless." — American Copywriter

Shake Well Before Use does not reflect the opinion of her employers/clients.