Bill Green

Name a brand or media channel and Bill Green’s probably worked on and in it. An art director by trade, he’s focused on an overall holistic approach to brand madness that merges the worlds of traditional, digital and social – whatever it takes.

Having worked previously with Darryl and Humongo and current AdVerve podcast partner with Angela, he’s currently doing creative strategy and pitch development with BFG in Hilton Head. The ad blog Make The Logo Bigger is about his experiences in the world of advertising and beyond.

Angela Natividad

Angela Natividad is a strategist, copywriter and journalist based in Paris. She writes MarketingProfs’ #SocialSkim, is a frequent guest on marketing podcast The Beancast, and co-hosts AdVerve the podcast. Most of her secret thoughts are on her blog, Live and Uncensored.

Darryl Ohrt

Darryl Ohrt is a former punk rocker, and Executive Creative Director at Carrot Creative, in NYC. In addition to his posts here, he also writes for Advertising Age’s Small Agency Diary, as the voice of the small guy in a big, big world.

After founding the legendary agency Humongo, he sold out to the man, left the entrepreneurial life and joined Carrot. Now he’s the self proclaimed Prime Minister of Awesome, and he’s tweeting, blogging, and exploring the internets as if it matters. He knows just enough to be dangerous, and is always ready for action.

IKEA experiments with in-store time travel. Seriously.

Guess we’re on IKEA’s radar now. In an “experiment” conducted with help from Be On, an IKEA-trawling couple experiences the next few years of their daughter’s life with help from hypnotist Justin Tranz. Apart from freaking us all out about children, the campaign’s objective was to encourage you to find your future bedroom and bathroom. (Future ornery teen not included. Unless you end up having one. Then, good luck.)

In a video that follows, Justin Tranz explains hypnosis, which may (or may not) help you get a promotion.

IKEA lets you invade a typical family’s home

IKEA’s introducing its updated Bed & Bath to Norwegians through an interactive film. The video above is a preview of the family, depicting a dad discreetly cleaning before his wife gets up in the morning. 

Play with the interactive portion here, where the family interacts and walks around the house, prepping for the day. At intervals the page will invite you to click on the SPACE bar, where you can check out the cost of items or get insights into the family members, including memories they’ve shared (in one portion, the little girl becomes a baby in her father’s arms).

Work by Norway’s SMFB and production by MediaMonks (whose Cannes Lions parties are decidedly far from everyday). Per SMFB creative Alexander Gjersøe, this celebration of the ordinary “isn’t so much about the latest IKEA products but about the role these products play in our lives.”

Which is to say they’re props in a bigger story that really only means something to the people quietly living among them. It’s an interesting angle for IKEA, even if it’s already been explored in ways less banal: in its effort to court nomads, its surreal love letter to sleep, or in “Kitchen Party" with Jona Lewie, which admittedly has nothing to do with real-life at all but adds sex appeal to the notion of a showroom while giving the everyday IKEA buyer some stylish cred.

But I guess everyone has to wake up in the morning, and the grace in this work lies in its ability to mine out the poignant in those small, forgettable moments.

You didn’t notice that tree, but McDonald’s apparently did.

We read on Facebook the other day that in any given minute, as many as 100 people in the world are eating McD’s. And at an ad conference once, a McDonald’s marketing executive told us that every time McD’s changes its menu, even slightly, it alters the entire ecosystem around it. That’s how much food it’s obligated to produce to sate an inexplicable but unlimited appetite for Chicken McNuggets.

So while we’d like to think a company with an environmental footprint that big is responsible, we realise it isn’t necessarily feasible because our own demands, taken in aggregate, are unreasonably high.

But maybe we’re wrong. Because with help from Leo Burnett London, McDonald’s UK is pulling a Chipotle, except with more dirt and less CGI.

Did you know that its eggs (the curiously square-shaped ones in our McMuffins) are free-range? Did you know the farmers it uses to supply you with Quarter-Pounders at a penny-drop are local (at least in the UK)? 

You do now.

This ad’s part of its “here’s to what matters" (no caps!) campaign, whose aim is to educate people on how McDonald’s contributes to the community. There are pieces on what Ronald McDonald House charities do, and spotlights on young British farmers.

Insisting that the campaign “marks a significant step change – not in what we do, but in how we talk about what we do,” McDonald’s UK svp/chief marketing officer Alistair Macrow calls it an effort to “help people understand the bigger picture – what McDonald’s is all about and show the difference that we make to people’s lives.”

Here’s to hoping. If nothing else though, maybe it won a bit of brand recognition for the trees.

Misty Copeland makes her own destiny. Sponsored by Under Armour.

Snark aside, Under Armour’s “I Will What I Want" ad, featuring Misty Copeland, the American Ballet Theatre’s first African-American female soloist in two decades, is packed with legend-making tropes. There’s the hardened, athletic body, pristine and almost unnatural in its spare surroundings, juxtaposed with the lilting narrative voice of a child, reading a rejection letter Misty received at 13. Then there’s the body in action, sweeping you along in a rebuttal as much physical as it is an act of the spirit.

We’ve all been to the place where we’re told we’re not good enough, but Under Armour reminds us there’s light at the end of the tunnel if we power through it. What the ad only implicitly says, and what many may miss for the trees, is that pushing past rejection will transform you; and like that lone and chiseled soloist’s body in her monastic training room, you’ll be alone in carving the path you make for yourself through the dark.

In an increasingly connected world, such agonizing but necessary work is harder and harder to withstand. When now do we opt to be alone besides in death?

Anywho, forgive the maudlin, we just rewatched “True Detective” and Sad Slug Matt McConaughey is all up in our veins like a wasting disease that can talk. The agency behind this minimalist gem is Droga5, with direction from Johnny Green of Reset Films. If you love you some Misty, check out her interview with Fusion.

Kevin Spacey pranks Hillary for Bill Clinton’s 68th birthday

While waiting for your next methlike dose of “House of Cards”, this video of Kevin Spacey — posing as Frank Underwood, posing as Bill Clinton — pranking Hillary (for an elephant!) might scratch the itch.

Fun fact: Hillary’s coquettish “This is a very personal decision I will make when I’m ready” is her go-to response for when asked whether she’ll run for POTUS. (It is also what we say when people try to make us leave our homes.) And while it’s a smidge too posed to be funny, the mere idea that, in our generation, world leaders and serious actors alike are down to whip out their zany just to make us happy is enough to send us to bed with beatific smiles.

'Misunderstood' scores Apple an Emmy

This weekend Apple left the Creative Art Emmys with the 2014 Emmy Award for best commercial. The winning spot, “Misunderstood”, ran over the holidays in 2013 and depicts a boy who seems to be enduring his family by self-medicating with his smartphone, except — TWIST! — he’s actually making them all a present with his subtle directing skillz. Everyone is touched, perhaps not least because they’re ashamed of how judgey they are. (Although when was the last time someone judged you for spending an entire party with your phone? The last family bash we went to, everyone was doing it. There was literally no talking).

"Misunderstood" was created by TBWA\Media Arts Lab and directed by Lance Acord of Park Pictures. Per AdWeek, it beat four other nominees, including two lauded Budweiser Super Bowl ads by agency Anomaly: “Hero’s Welcome” and “Puppy Love”.

Other nominees included “Childlike Imagination” by BBDO for GE, and “Possibilities” by Wieden + Kennedy for Nike. The latter actually beat “Misunderstood” at the Lions, where it won a gold in Film to Apple’s silver. You can see all the ads over on AdWeek (hyperlinked above).

Check out the other Creative Art Emmy winners (pdf). If you’re anything like us, it will give your belly a tickle to know that Uzo Aduba (a.k.a. Crazy Eyes) won for “Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series” for her work on Orange is the New Black. If you dig her, you should totally listen to this NPR interview, because she mimics her mom’s Nigerian accent like a pro and is just generally amazing.

You’ve seen the 50 Shades of Grey trailer. Now see it with kittens.

Brought to you by The Pet Collective. Compare and contrast with the original film trailer, which sadly features way less fur and yarn.

Cheerios teaches us #HowtoDad

This new ad by Cheerios recasts dads from bumbling and bewildered (or, in Albert Maskeroni’s words, “sniveling idiots with no parenting skills whatsoever”) to get-up-and-go rockstars who never say no to dress-up and who lead by example.

"Being awesome isn’t about breaking rules, it’s about making them," this dad says as he wanders through the house dishing various acts of cool for mom and kids alike.

Consider this a fresh iteration in what Cheerios is doing to reposition families with an emphasis on parents. Because this — shining a warm glow on epic daddery — isn’t any less revolutionary than Gracie and her loving mixed-race family.

Learn to make a pub sign.

For everyone we ever met who wanted to start a bar.

(Source: helloyoucreatives)

Artist Dan Meth’s magical Robin Williams GIF
"Many many characters, but only one Robin," he writes. See more of his work.

Artist Dan Meth’s magical Robin Williams GIF

"Many many characters, but only one Robin," he writes. See more of his work.

(via buzzfeed)

"Genie, you’re free."

Here’s to Robin Williams, who gave us so much of himself and asked for nothing in return.

See his debut as Mork the alien, and his consequent (EPIC) finger-fight with Fonzi. Alongside the genie in Aladdin or the grown-up Peter Pan in Hook, it’s among our favourite Robin William moments.

Does the internet have dialects?

The PBS Idea Channel contemplates whether INTERNETLAND has dialects, and whether yours reflects “where” on the ‘net you’ve grown up.

Wee gems: Meme language can be considered modern street-speak. “General Internet English” is used by people who are old. Then there’s 4chan language.

Off-topic: why does this guy pronounce “GIFs” as “jifes”?

Joan time warps to the modern office…

Where she teaches us a few important lessons in gender parity. While smoking indoors.

The Spirit of Bacardi: Advertising dressed as a free graphic novel!


Which, in this case, isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because we’re loading this onto our Kindles right now. The Spirit of Bacardi, written by Warren Ellis and illustrated by Mike Allred, tells the story of the man and the family behind the whisky brand you swig when you’re feeling adman-fancy at open bar. (Because they won’t let you have Nikka for free.)

Download it here. And if you’re outside the US (like me), use Hola because that shit ain’t meant for us. You can also read an Ellis/Allred interview here for goodies on the project. Our favourite line comes from Mike: “But there were two major draws: one, working with Warren which took all the pressure off, and two, the first photo I was shown of Emilio Bacardi which looked like he just stepped off the set of Deadwood.” 

SMART AD MAN BONUS: Use this as ammunition to:

  • Refute John Oliver’s colourful, spirited and scathing attack on native advertising
  • Agree with John Oliver while showing that native advertising, at its best, is in cahoots with the user who is gleefully downloading this bad-boy as we speak.

We give you Pinterest Messages.

Pinterest now lets users send messages to each other. You can do this by sharing Pins with someone and then creating a message to go with them. Users have to be following each other to be able to message.

This is great because it makes Pinterest feel more cooperative, cultivating conversation around image-sharing (and probably encouraging more of it). It is also weird because I really don’t want people to engage me in conversation about the contents of my digital hope chest. Just sayin’.