Thursday, June 25, 2009

Fargin' Iceholes

Hardee's, one of America's beacons of culinary health, has just released Biscuit Holes. In a nutshell (ooh, that was good), it's dough rolled in cinnamon and sugar and served with icing. In a press release, Brad Haley, Hardee's exec VP of marketing, says, "They really are irresistible, and it's almost impossible to eat just one." Don't forget to tip those bartenders and waitresses...

Wow, Brad. Didn't see that one coming. I wonder what Executive Vice President, Marketing, Biscuit Hole Division, Hardee's pays. Maybe I should apply.

Regardless, check out the teaser from Mendelsohn Zien Advertising, Los Angeles:

Monday, June 22, 2009

Thanking the Academy

Today I learned that I'd won a contest through Compendium (blogging software) while blogging on behalf of my work. I didn't even realize there was a contest (nor do I know what I've "won"), but that's beside the point.

To trumpet this stunning accomplishment, I've developed my "acceptance" speech:

I consider this a victory for all of us – and could not have done this without you, the little people. And now, I’d like to thank Sister Mary Hippopotamus, my sixth grade English teacher at Our Lady of the Hurting Heart, for believing in me... To mom and dad: I’m glad the two of you met. Thanks to Playboy and Penthouse magazines for inspiration.

Profound thanks to all of my sponsors: Costco, Kerasotes Theatres, Pepsi, Steak ‘n Shake (how 'bout that chili!), Kellogg’s Pop Tarts, Buddig Beef, Slim Jim, The entire Gummi family: Gummi worms, Gummi bears and coming soon, Gummi ducks. To Spree, SweetTarts, Reeses’ Peanut Butter Cups... you guys are the best! To Anheuser-Busch: beer me!

To the NFL and specifically the Chicago/St. Louis/Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals... thanks for the years of being there (and elsewhere) for me. To Nissan for the car. And Mac for the unbelievable computers. Intel inside!  Yeah!! To Post-Its – thanks for the cool colors. To x-acto blades: stay sharp. To the iPhone... What can be said that hasn't been said? Of course, a lot. But, you kick ass anyway., XBox360, (what, offend me? no way), Madden NFL, most 70's hard rock and 80's heavy metal bands (not Stryper), Iron Maiden, Ronnie James Dio... a profound thanks. You rock! HBO on Sunday nights: so many memories. Bring back Rome, OK?! To DirecTV; fifteen years!! You did it! The NFL Network. NHL Network... SpeedTV...thanks. The Office, 30 Rock. Family Guy... keep it coming! 

To all the software designers and know who you are, don't you? PowerPoint, InDesign, Entourage, PhotoShop, Acrobat...the entire Adobe suite of products: muchos gracias. Whoever invented spell check – thnak you vrey munch. 

To Sharon Osbourne: free Ozzy. A big no thank you to HLN – Nancy Grace: you are a phony who feasts on society's bottom feeders. Go pound sand up your ass. To Carrot Top: ____.  To MTV: remember the "M" is for music, m'kay? To the Republican party: surprise! You might want to get your shit in a pile. 2012 will be here. Will you? And, to my beloved Quebec Nordiques, RIP.

Finally, to the people I’ve stepped on during my lifetime of incredible achievement(s), I offer an apologetic "oops." To those I’ll step on in the future – please move to your right.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Another one (or two) bite the dust

“Two of the most powerful names in wealth management have joined forces to create a new industry leader.” That's the intro found on the website for the latest corporate monstrosity, Morgan Stanley Smith BarneyIt continues, “In a financial world that’s being remade, Morgan Stanley’s global wealth management business and Smith Barney have joined forces to offer you thinking and resources to fit the times.” 

Translation: “We're fucked and had to merge resources. This sucks less than our other options...”  

Friday, June 19, 2009

Because it doesn't belong in a Rolodex...

Here's a funny satire with a guy bragging about his expensive business card while goofing on everyday, normal cards. I love the actor in this and some of the lines are brilliant ("looks like crap... it is crap")

Please watch the clip and then read the comments below from the YouTube link. I've kept the misspellings, incorrect sentence structure and lack of coherent thought intact for maximum realism: 
  • i would throw it away, it doesnt fit in my wallet, im not gonna hold onto it and just carry it around, its inconvenient, i would just get rid of it immediately
  • How many ways can you say douche bag?
  • This guy has some good points, but I wonder how he builds crowds "guaranteed" if people don't like him?
  • Highly efficient people like this often have a lot of money and few real friends...
  • His card is one of the most impressive looking business cards I've seen. The first impression is the most important in a business. He talks like a crazy dude, but he said it himself "even if they don't like you, they won't throw it out"
  • I guarantee I can do a b-card faster than 25 years pal...that's for sure!
  • lol douche... 25 freaking years... in that time you could make a hologram card dammit
  • That would not be considered a business card that is a flyer... but a great flyer indeed sir!
  • My business card is cooler than this, and more memorable. It came to me instantaneously. Also, this feller's business card doesn't fit in a card book, and because it looks more like a flier than a card, I'd be more apt to chuck it. Plus, I don't like the guy. Business is about relationships, and this guy instantly makes me want to wash my hands.
For now, I will assume most of these ass-clowns believe the WWF is sport, the Simpsons is a documentary set in Springfield, Illinois, and the phone company had JFK whacked. Because knowing these people also drive, vote and can legally carry guns scares the shit out of me...

Update: I have located the cute baby...

In an earlier post, I'd mentioned my inability to locate a cute baby in the picture tagged cute baby girl with pigtails sitting in wicker sleigh

With a little help from Photoshop, I've now made her cute. However, the revised description should now read: cute baby girl with pigtails, stubby fingers and no legs, helplessly stuffed inside wicker sleigh.

It was funny then...

I've always followed the career of a fantastic graphic designer, Jerry Herring (Herring Design, Houston), in part because of a close connection to a family friend, but also because of Jerry's terrific sense of humor.  

One of Herring Design's many memorable self promotions is now a part of the American Institute of Graphic Arts permanent collection – a brochure of Stock Trademarks sent out to friends, clients and prospects in 1975. 

At that time, this was a brilliant concept: "Are you in need of a dynamic new image... but you are hesitant to act because of the expense and uncertainty of selecting an image... that is precisely why [we have] produced this collection... [These] are not only inexpensive, but can be used for almost any company... All the designs are available in black, green and blue. A few are available in red. Allow 2-3 weeks for delivery"

A sample for your pleasure, the Arrow Trademark (please note: Specify whether going straight up or to the right):

Other offerings included a star (perfect for those doing movie, government or occult work. Special clearance needed to do red) and a crest (especially good for new restaurants in need of a long history). 

Herring immediately knew he was onto something when he began receiving calls specific to pricing... 

Fast forward to today and online offerings for "entire brand packages" from $99 and it's painfully obvious that Herring was ahead of his time. Only now, it isn't nearly as funny.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Breaking news: people die...

The Swine Flu over-reaction is now reaching unprecedented levels. I am continually amazed (well, not really anymore) at our government’s total over-reaction regarding the recent H1N1 scare. My initial thought when there had been only one (1) reported death that the response by media and government alike was akin to calling in the National Guard for someone burning leaves in a suburban backyard. That was May 11th.

Of note (and you’d think that any respected news organization would report this both before and after any mention of H1N1), roughly 30,000 Americans die every year from “regular” flu. It’s life: you might get sick and – depending on your immune system, level of health, and degree of care – there is a possibility that with any illness your body could fail. 

I'd be willing to bet that, statistically in the US, more people named Smith will die in car crashes on Tuesdays in Arkansas than from the swine flu this year. Yet, nearly eight weeks after the initial tidal wave of hype and over-reaction, the story still remains a top news item – although I must admit the death toll has risen to an "astronomical" 160 (worldwide). 

Hmmm... maybe I should wash my hands...

TLA talk

Today at the office, I received an email asking my input regarding some marketing initiatives we are doing specific to our own blogging. Among the items for review was the CTA.

Now, I'm fairly versed in TLA's (three letter acronyms). I'm cool with the meanings of a variety of top of mind (TOM) TLAs: ABC, CBS, CBC, NBC, QVC, HBO, CNN, TBS, TNT, IRL, IRA, CSS, CSX, DCC, DOA, ETA, VHS, VHC, DNA, DND, DNS, DSL, ENT, DFW, LAX, IND, ORL, FFA, FOP, FPO, FSA, TSA, FTP, RAM, ROM, GIF, JPG, TIF, DOC, PDF, PNG, HMO, HIV, PAC, ISP, KFC, KKK, LED, MBA, MBE, MGD, MIT, NEC, NPR, NWA, NOW, NYC, PMA, PMS, TLC, PSP, POW, MIA, SOS, JFK, MLK, FDR, FBI, CIA, MIA, FCC, FDA, DNC, RNC, NBA, NFL, NHL, CHL, IHL, MLB, MLS, PGA, PBA, ESP, SAT, SBC, SNL, STD, SUV, TBA, DND, UHF, VHF, UFO, USO, URL, USD, UPC, WTC, WWF (x2), WWW, WHO... and maybe another one or two (hundred).

But, with CTA I had met my match. My mind raced. Options seemed everywhere, but its true meaning eluded me. I thought perhaps customer tracking analysis or corporate training availability or critical task anomaly or ... I finally gave up. 

Oh, the answer? Call to action. I then remembered one more... WTF?

Yeah... uh, cow.

Here's an instant classic about vendor/client relationships from locally based Scofield Editorial here in Indianapolis. If it didn't hit so damned close to home, I'd really think it's funny. As it is, the truth hurts too much... 

Sir, you had the filet: "Yeah...uh, cow."

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Hairy fire engines and other things that suck

One of my all time favorite humor pages grades artwork done by children on an A through F scale. I love it. Check it out here. Below is a sample picture and critique...

Ding Ding! Here comes the shit-mobile. I've never seen a fire truck that needed to be shaved. I would rather be burned to death than be saved by this hairy piece of shit. F

Time for a caption contest

Special thanks to Kristen at the office for this beauty. Yet another photo of a woman holding a jumbo pink banana squash in one arm and a miniature schnauzer in the other. OK. Time for a caption contest. Here are some possibilities. Your mileage may vary:
“Damn, Toto...we ARE still in Kansas.” 
“Find ten – to twenty – things wrong with this picture.” 
“No, I said make it a Bud Light...” 
“Just another photo of a woman holding a jumbo pink banana squash in one arm surrounded by a collection of gay ass pillows.” 
“Trailer Park Women: the Babes of Wonkville, Kentucky” 
“Is that a jumbo pink banana squash? I’m sure hoping that’s a jumbo pink banana squash.” 
“When Total Home Makeover Goes Bad.” 
“Looks like the dude in Harry Potter has fallen on hard times...” 
“No, no... the curtains look good.” 
“Interior decorating mantra #3: to reduce clutter, integrate vertical stripes.” 
“Oh, Schnotzzy – did you make a stinky?” 
“I am smiling.”

Redefining cute

As a designer, there are occasions when we need to use stock photography. (Please don't tell the real photographers; they're still in denial and are convinced stock is a fad – like computers.) 

When searching for stock images, it's critical that the image description matches the attributes of the photo. If, for example, you type in "strawberry shortcake" your search results would be filled with pictures of strawberries. And probably shortcake.

So, when I searched for "cute baby" I was waiting for pictures of cute babies. Well, the following photo came up with the following (more in depth) description: cute baby girl with pigtails sitting in wicker sleigh

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Holy shit...While I acknowledge there is a wicker sleigh (and a pair pigtails), to date I've located exactly zero cute babies in this picture. Unless Webster changed the description of cute to “breathtakingly odd looking”...

Well, that takes balls

You must hand it to one Erik Anthony Slye of Belgrade, Montana. In his signed affidavit requesting excuse from jury service for Judge John Brown's court, the eloquent and thought provoking Mr. Slye writes the following:
Apparently you morons didn't understand me the first time. I CANNOT take time off from work. I'm not putting my familys (sic) well being at stake to participate in this crap. I don't believe in our "justice" system and I don't want to have a goddam thing to do with it. Jury duty is a complete waste of time. I would rather count the wrinkles on my dogs ball than sit on a jury. Get it through your thick skulls. Leave me the f__k alone.
Um. Yeah... I'm a little concerned with our justice system myself, but, uh... I'll just keep my thoughts to myself, thank you.