Five ideas I could punch myself for not thinking of (updated).


While I’ve done my share of marketing that has pushed the limit, a bunch of it sits in files and on foam core.   Let’s call it the “Keep bringing us work like that, perhaps down the road” folder. Every marketing creative since the beginning of time has one of those folders.

I did, however, win the award for the best campaign of the year that never saw the light of day from The One Club. The first Night of the Living Dead award. It was a great campaign I did with Tracy Wong, Chairman and Executive Creative Director of Wong Doody when we were at Ogilvy & Mather, New York. Ex-Lax was the client.

Thanks to Susan Morris for tracking this sample down!

Ex-Lax_72

Anyway, here are 5 of my favorites I wish I had done:

1) Apotek Swedish Pharmacy interactive billboard.

Interactive product dramatization that’s a “sticky idea.”

2) Burger King Subservient Chicken.

chicken

Talk about delivering on the overall brand promise of “Have It Your Way.”  You would type in what you wanted the chicken to do and it did it.  Things like:

Turn off the stereo

Jump on the couch

Turn the lights out

The subservient chicken was the one that started it all on the interactive side. I wish the site was still live.

3) The greatest marriage proposal ever.

Even if you’ve seen this before, it’s so wonderful it’s worth another look. This proposal makes Kanye West’s proposal seem tame even though Kanye rented out an entire ball park for 200 grand. And he bought a 15 carat ring for 1.25 mill. But I bet he wished he did this:

No one may raise the proposal bar like this again, but I sure hope someone does.

4) Dove Beauty Sketches.

Studies showed that only 4 percent of women considered themselves beautiful. Dove performed this social experiment using a forensic sketch artist. And the results certainly are beautiful.

5) Say something nice.

This will restore your faith in humanity. The famous songwriter Hal David said it in this 1965 lyric, “What the world needs now is love.”

So what’s a great idea you wish you thought of?

~Mike

 

 

 

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Great play…coach!


Well hasn’t this been fun?

If you didn’t catch these great 6th man and 12th man plays, here they are for your enjoyment.

Play #1

Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd has no time outs left. But still needs a time out. Look at this from the newly-minted Coach Kidd.

Play #2

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin plays some wily D on Jacoby Jones.

No penalty, no fine. Nothing.

My take: One intentional, one semi-intentional.  As a a creative guy, I admire the out of the box thinking from Coach Kidd.  He’s not coaching Pop Warner league. He’s coaching professionally at the highest level. Yes, it’s win at all costs. The cost? That little stunt knocked him back 50 grand while similar fines usually set back a coach 25-35 grand.

And play #2 with Coach Tomlin? I was thinking I could go either way. But then I changed my mind. Mike Tomlin knows exactly where he is and what he’s doing every second of every game. That’s why he gets 5.75 million a year to coach, the eighth highest coaching salary in professional sports.

What’s your take on these two plays? Great play coach? Or “bending” the rules?

Where were you 50 years ago today?


It was my first memory and I was just 3 years old.

But I remember it like it was yesterday and I can even remember the littlest of details. Right down to what kind of comforter I was wrapped in. I was in our apartment at 1560 Warburton Avenue in Yonkers, N.Y. watching “Wonderama” with Sonny Fox.

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Then they cut into the show. I started crying. Thinking back, I can’t remember if I was crying because the president had been assassinated or because everyone else was crying. Odd thing is that I don’t remember where my parents were at the time. So it was just 3 year old me witnessing this whole thing all alone. I can even remember the floor plan of the apartment and exactly where I was. Sorry, I’m not such a great artist but this is a really close sketch for 50 years ago.

layout

Like I said I can remember the comforter. It had a floral pattern with a tan background and it was a rather scratchy comforter. Probably a new one. I guess I remember that because I was holding it so tightly.

Where were you 50 years ago today?

Congratulations Selfie!


According to the Oxford Dictionaries, the word of the year for 2013 is “selfie.”  And why not? Usage has gone up 17,000% since this time last year. With that, I thought I’d dispense few selfie observations mixed in with a little selfie advice.

1) “The Weiner selfie.”  This brand of selfie does not need to contain a picture of Anthony Weiner in order to fall into this category.  Ladies and gentlemen, please remember that we leave digital footprints with every keystroke we make both in public and in what you think may be private. Even if you don’t put it on the internet. When you press “send” to anyone, you send to the world.

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2) “The be aware of the of the wardrobe selfie.” Pictured below, this reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where Jerry’s love interest only seems to have one wardrobe. Might want to mix it up a bit. Three times on the same dress in a close date range? You can do better than that.

wardrobe best

3)   “The car selfie.” I don’t know what it is about the car selfie. Could it be that you are just dressed, fresh and ready to go? Does the rear view mirror give you the idea?  Whatever it is, the car selfie seems to be one of the most popular selfies out there. At least I see people wearing their seat belts more often than not.

car selfie 3

car selfie 1

4)    “The Bathroom selfie.”  Think you’re hot?  Think you’re really the shit? Well, you may or may not have great physical attributes, but the bathroom selfie (just the thought of it) doesn’t really help you out. With a bathroom selfie, you really are the shit. Avoid at all costs.

bathroom

5)    “The leg selfie.” I get it. You’re at the beach and I’m not. Maybe I’m just jaded on this one since I’m in Miami.  I’d be interested in your thoughts on the leg selfie.

leg selfie

leg selfie 2a

6)    The peace sign selfie.” I don’t even know if a peace sign is called a peace sign anymore– I’m so not hip.  Maybe this is some type of code for something else, but I sure see a lot of them. The bottom picture happens to be of my son and he refuses to explain the peace sign thing to me…

Screen shot 2013-10-16 at 6.34.25 PM

diego peace

7)    “The I’m not aware of what’s in the background selfie.”  This is a variation of “The Wiener selfie ” but warrants its own little mention here.

be careful before You publish selfie

8)    “Best use of the selfie, selfie.” Many have given the Pope Francis selfie the selfie of the year nod.

Screen shot 2013-10-16 at 6.52.38 PM

But to me, the below is the best selfie series I have seen.

best use of the selfie

best use of selfie 2

So congratulations you! It’s the year of the selfie. Please let me know what some of your favorite selfie types are or what I missed here.

Hope everyone has been well.

~Mike

As a quick postscript, I will add that Twerk was in the running. Thank goodness for small miracles.

So proud of my alma mater supporting Sandy Hook


Coach Geno Auriemma has led the UConn women’s basketball team to seven NCAA Division I basketball championships, and has won six national Naismith College Coach of the Year awards.

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But what he has put in place yesterday may be his greatest leadership achievement yet. He has established the Sandy Hook Scholarship Fund at UCONN. It will help support the college costs for any siblings of those killed in the assault, the dependents of the adults who also lost their lives, as well as students currently enrolled at the elementary school.

What this provides in all of the darkness is a bright future to a great University I was fortunate to attend on a scholarship myself. Something that will provide sustaining hope for so many. So it’s time to pay it forward.

Donation

Please join me by donating at www.friends.uconn.edu/sandyhook. I just participated in the National Moment of Silence. Now it’s time to get loud with your donation. Might be the best holiday present you can give.

~Mike

The greatest Olympic performance ever?


Usain Bolt? No.

Jim Thorpe? Ryan Lochte? Wilma Rudolph? Nadia Comăneci? My beloved Mark Spitz? Sadly, no to all.

Sure the measure of a true Olympian may be their “body of work.” But the true measure of greatness, in Olympics as in life, is who brings it on that day – in that moment when the pressure is on.

I am a firm believer that the greatest Olympic performance of all time was by Jason Lezak, anchor in the 400 meter meter freestyle relay in Beijing in 2008.  When all the chips were down (France was leading by an enormous margin) and it wasn’t looking good for the US, Jason Lezak sprinted to the fastest 100 meter freestyle leg in history of 46.06.  It was the fastest 100 ever recorded by six tenths of a second which is a fortnight in swimming times. Not only did he help to bring home the gold for the U.S. team, this near out of body performance secured Michael Phelps’ record setting 8 gold medal performance in 2008.

As a proud American and former scholarship swimmer, I believe this is worth your time to view it.

Ask Rowdy Gaines. Ask Ryan Lochte, Nadia Comăneci, the Legendary Mark Spitz. Send an email or Tweet to Michael Phelps himself. I’m sure he’ll agree. Do you?

~Mike

As a bittersweet footnote about the economic times we live in, Jason Lezak was effectively unemployed after this astounding accomplishment.

Lezak, 36,  is the oldest swimmer on the 2012 U.S. men’s swimming squad. He is also one of the five captains for the 530-member American contingent.

Deserved.

Saying goodbye


Sometimes the hardest part of photographing the homeless is saying goodbye.

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Some of my time spent with the homeless is happy. Sometimes it’s sad. But usually, it both.  Because I don’t just shoot and run. I spend time. I make a friend.

Then comes the tough part. Saying goodbye. Some ask me for a ride somewhere. And despite the unknowns and the distinct homeless smell, I have brought them where they need to go. Some ask me where I live. Some ask me for my phone number so they can stay in touch. I’ve found that about half do have cell phones. I asked one man this weekend how he pays for his phone. He said he shows up in the wee hours after the nightclub crowd has thinned and he cleans up the outside of the place. They throw him a few bucks and some food and he’s ok with that.

They charge their phones by filthy public bathrooms and sit policing it so no one takes it. Last week one man wanted to share the pictures he took on his cell phone with me and I couldn’t wait to see what he had captured…what he found important enough to document.  But his phone was dead. And wet. So he put it out to dry in the hot Miami sun hoping it would work again.

He asked me to come back to share his pictures with me. And I will. I hope his lifeline to the world works when I see him again. So it’s not goodbye. It’s just goodbye for now and it’s tough. ~Mike