Archives for category: advertising

I wanted to pick up on a thread I started yesterday on my posterous account (I know, a tumblr and a posterous? Microblogging overkill!)…

The music nerd in me (combined with my undergrad marketing background) always notices when indie-ish bands are featured in commercials.  While I suppose lots of the folks who are working on Madison Avenue are either in my age cohort or younger and, therefore, probably have similar tastes in music to me, I am often confused (and a little put off) by their choices in background music for ads.

This commercial for Absolut Vodka features a Joy Division/New Order song, Ceremony:

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… or attractiveness, as Po from Kung Fu Panda says.

We can thank the internet machine for the awesomeness and attractiveness of these Diamond Dave nuggets to kickstart the work week.

The first is the David Lee Roth Running with the Devil Soundboard.  [h/t: Marko] Guaranteed hours of fun.

Or, if you want to take things to the next level, you can bask in the glory of/recoil in horror from this truly mashed-up mashup of Diamond Dave colliding with Microsoft’s Songsmith [h/t: Gizmodo].

Songsmith is a program that generates music to accompany a singer’s voice.  Could be interesting, but the background music sound un-ironically 8-bit.  Call it a failure of my imagination, but I can’t see a purpose for Songsmith other than the DLR fail.  I give them credit for their surreal, ultra-cheesy ad, but, seriously, I’m confused — “So help me a find a way to move my groove on”?  Really?  Is that even a phrase, or is Microsoft trying to invent new slang?

Or, as some might say, free!

Yesterday, Trent Reznor released The Slip, the new Nine Inch Nails album, gratis over at their website. It’s true, ol’ Trent didn’t even include a “pay what you want” option — just download The Slip for free! And, unlike the initial digital release of In Rainbows from Radiohead, The Slip is being released in high quality MP3, FLAC and other digital formats.

According to the NIN website, this free download is for the fans:

thank you for your continued and loyal support over the years – this one’s on me

Is this the new distribution model for music?

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Evidence abounds that our culture, in terms of commerce, is shifting from goods to experience. For example, it’s not enough just to get a haircut, especially if you’re a dude. No, you need to get over to SportClips, where it’s not just a haircut, it’s a championship experience. Maybe that’s how Tom Brady feels every time he gets his precision cut (that is, when he’s not cheating! Ha!). Disney is not just about the rides, or the tasty, tasty pineapple whip (which we recently discovered during our last trip there) but it’s all about the experience of the magic kingdom. After all, where else can you ride a roller coaster with Minnie Mouse (as our daughter did last year) or meet Captain Jack Sparrow (or a reasonable facsimile of Mr. Depp) in person?

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Registration for SDAALC 2008 is now up and running at!

If you’re in the San Diego area, it will be well worth it to join us on the weekend of April 4th-5th. Thanks to the generous support of L2 Foundation and local churches, registration is extremely affordable.

I’ll be giving a seminar on Asian Americans and Postmodern Culture. I will be focusing on the unique intersection between postmodern culture and Asian American identity (so, Derrida and Foucault fans/foes please go easy on the philosophizing!). Hoping for an engaging and productive conversation…

sdaalc-card.jpgTo the left, you can find the postcard I designed to help advertise SDAALC (I tried linking a hi-res version, but it didn’t seem to work). All of the proceeds from the conference will go toward Love146, a group “working toward the abolition of child sex trafficking and exploitation through prevention and aftercare.”

v-day.jpgNothing says, “Hey, you’re pretty cool and I would totally have given you this friendship card even if it were not basically mandated to give one to everyone in the class” like this Optimus Prime Valentine’s Day message that my daughter gave out to her preschool classmates today (among other assorted, totally non-sequitur Transformers messages):

Freedom is the right of all sentient beings, Valentine.

I suppose if you’re going to look for every possible (or impossible) marketing hook, tie-in or promotion, then you might as well really go for it. Maybe I can turn this into an Easter outreach postcard for our church :)

…for inventing the internets all those years ago. Without your help, I wouldn’t have been able to place the music of Anathallo in this Vick’s advert (or, at least, not as quickly):

While I do like the idea that this one, mentholated commercial singlehandedly financed the upcoming Anathallo album, it kind of offends my indie sensibilities to have massive corporations co-opt songs that have personal resonance with me solely for the purpose of trying to sell me more stuff. I did end up purchasing this box of Vicks flavored tissues at Target the other day, but only because they were on sale (or, maybe, these ads are working subconsciously).

Reminds me of other ads I’ve seen featuring music that I like. For example, nothing says, “I need more ink for my printer” than a slow jam from some mopey Brits (alright, so the song is called “Pictures of You” and the ad is for photo paper but what possible connection can we make between “How Soon Is Now?” by The Smiths and a Nissan Maxima or “Stars” by Hum and a Cadillac CTS?).

I can’t get “doing things is what I like to do” out of my head. But there’s not a Dunkin Donuts anywhere even remotely near here.

EDIT: This particular Super Bowl ad from E-trade was kind of clever (“You know, me and the boys were talking about what to do with all this extra coin and I was like, ‘I’m renting a clown.'”) but creepy X2  [clown + superimposed-mouth talking babies = creepazoid robots].