The Despotic Clown

Now that I have given you nightmares… Taco Bell has launched a propaganda campaign against the Routine Republic.

In the three-minute centerpiece ad below, McDonald’s affable but intrinsically creepy mascot is reimagined as a sunken-eyed Stalinist clown (though perhaps bearing closer resemblance to Mao). He rules over a small army of look-alikes and an oppressed proletariat in a decrepit, cloistered city with a beefy security apparatus. Run-of-the-mill breakfast sandwiches are his preferred method of subjugation.

The three-minute video is worth watching, even if it is just an ad for Taco Bell.

The print work for this campaign is marvelous and I want to print and mount the entire set. Here’s a taste.

Same Breakfast

To see the rest of the print work head on over to Adweek.
Ad of the Day: Taco Bell Launches Cold War Against McDonald’s With Propaganda Imagery

On the Google Reader shutdown July 1

Google is an advertising company. They make their money in advertising.
If they can’t sell ads against a product, then it’s not important to them. If the product doesn’t collect data to better target their ads, then it’s not important to them.

Google+ is important.
Gmail is important.
Android is important.
Maps is important.

These all tell Google who you communicate with, what you talk about, what you’re interested in, where you go and how you get there.

Really Simple Syndication (RSS) is about what other people have to say. The feeds you read are not you. They are what you like but not targeted enough to sell ads against.

RSS is not important. Especially when Google Reader became the default backbone for RSS syncing among applications. Google can’t serve ads to those applications syncing to Google Reader. Google can only serve ads on its own pages. And if no one is looking at those pages, no one is seeing those ads.

Look for more emphasis on Google+. That’s an area like Gmail where Google can serve ads and collect data to serve better ads. That is how they make their money.

Why are commercials screaming at us?

What is with the screaming commercials? I will spare your ears and not embed any of these ads but they are linked from the offending company’s names.

First, there was the most obnoxious commercial I have ever had the misfortune of watching from King’s Dominion.

I couldn’t believe it got made, aired and more than one person thought it was a good idea.

Tonight, I saw a similar ad for Little Caesars. Instead of screaming, all the people just yell WHOOOOO!!!! and hold things up.

To round out the aural assault trifecta, JC Penney gave us this terrible ad with people screaming sometimes in slow motion, other times in stores.


Who thought that screaming would sell more product? Who likes to be screamed at? How did they feel a screaming ad was going to build good feelings towards their product?

I am disturbed by this trend of reducing advertising to the levels of Idiocracy.

Unique Screaming Proposition

I hate television. I hate how loud commercials get. The explosions in Burn Notice are nowhere near as loud as the screamer yelling at me about the new Mazda Blahblahblah.

ONE DAY CURRENT HOLIDAY SALE! GET THE BEST PRICES EVER!!!! ((Until our next holiday sale!))

Do advertisers feel a louder ad makes people more likely to buy the product advertised? It does nothing for me except hurt my head and constantly lower the volume to a tolerable volume.

The dilemma remains. Do I turn the commercial volume down then turn it back up when my TV show returns? Do I sit through the screaming advertisers at higher volume then return to enjoying my show?

I wish I had a third option. I wish commercials were the same volume as the shows around them. This is an issue with live TV because Netflix has no ads in their shows and Hulu has ads but the volume doesn’t go up drastically. Even the Tivo’d programs can be fast forwarded. On the rare occasion TiVo fails or misses the last few minutes I can go looking for the episode online, there are no commercials at all there.

Am I the only one that is so turned off by the screaming ads that watching live TV my last option for entertainment?

Fancy Letters

I don’t have any fancy letters next to my name. I don’t have the years learning a craft with a fancy sheet of paper to show for my work. I went to college and I got a degree because that is what was expected. Out of high school you go to college, you get your degree then.

That’s where the story ends. What happens after that?

At every job I’ve ever held people have always asked me how I got to be so good at what I do. Where did I go to school? What did I study? The root of their questions always seem to be who taught me all of this wonderful knowledge I have now?

The answer always surprises them. The wonderful teacher who handed down their knowledge to me, was me.

I did not go to school for a technical degree. I was not a computer scientist. No math or science major. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Creative Advertising. ((My degree reads a BS in Communications.))

I went to school for Advertising because I wanted to be a designer in either print or web. I wanted to make things and communicate with people.

I went to college to learn all I could about the craft of advertising and some marketing. I spent my four years in school learning I didn’t want to work in Advertising.

All those long hours of brainstorming sessions over baskets of friends ((I used to literally sit with my creative partner(s) in a local eatery where we’re hash out our ideas over a basket of friends and soda for me, beer for them.)) All of the selling of junk people didn’t really want or need. I couldn’t work in that industry in good faith. It felt like I was lying to people. I was causing stress in their minds so they’d buy things to make them feel better.

Since I needed something to put food on the table. I started down a career path in Tech Support. My first job out of college was a 6 month contract working for the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality on a PC deployment (moving from Windows NT to XP). As fate would have it, those 6 months turned into 12 months and I had a blast on the job. We traveled to all the DEQ sites around the state and setup hundreds of computers. That first year made me realize I really enjoyed working in tech support. I had found my calling.

I learned tech support was what I was really interested in. I wanted to bring the same sense of communication about something to customer support and service. I don’t want to make people buy things they don’t really need. I want to make people love and use the things they already have and learn to use them better.

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