Thursday, May 8, 2014

It's 3 AM. Do you know where your munchies are?

While many are outraged by the pervasion of 7-Eleven here in New York City, you must admit that the chain offers many creature comforts found in cities that actually do sleep.  

Late night hours. Snacks. Smokes. Booze. And the brain-freezing Slurpee. It's the convenience store for suburbanites who think a bodega is the swamp where Yoda lives.

Capitalizing on the fact that 7-Eleven is not only a one-stop-shop but a haven for odd people who are up at odd hours, art director Justin Bettman brings us the Legends of Late Night.

Quirky characters are brought to life in portraits and copy that create a unique world for the brand.  While you may not be in the market for a 50¢ taquito at 3 AM, Justin has given you a reason to drop by 7-Eleven anyway - customers as bright and colorful as the neon that shines on their ghastly, pale faces.

Justin not only takes credit for the art direction here, but for the photography as well.  A double threat, he spends his days as an AD at Ogilvy and every other waking moment as an independent photographer.  Check out his work here.

They're Grrrrrrrreat!

One of the biggest criticisms of student work is that it's cute and/or corny.  I can't say I originated this criteria (I picked up through Vinny Tulley and Sal DeVito's teachings), but it certainly helps in weeding out the worst ideas.  And when you assign something like Kellogg's Frosted Flakes, you expect some derivative of Tony the Tiger to send the cute and corny meter into overdrive.  In the real world there are agencies that have taken animated brand ambassadors to a new and more sophisticated level (google: Goodby Cheetos), however, many ultimately fail in connecting adults with a product that has been traditionally marketed to kids.

Enter copywriter Neil Pohl and his campaign for the (literally) starchy brand.  

Gone are the black and orange stripes and red bandana of a goofy, non-threatening tiger.  Replaced now by an acerbic, all-too-true-to-life summation that cereal is the ultimate meal when there is no other choice.

Appealing to adults who have a sense of humor, a nostalgic yearning and an empty stomach, Neil has crafted outrageously funny work that satisfies. 

And, in case you're wondering, Neil is up for grabs.  Recently finishing a stint at Tribal DDB, he's ready for the next opportunity.

Goin' Out West

If you follow this blog semi-quarterly — about the same rate I actually update this thing — you'll know the name Afshin Hatami.

After taking my class for two semesters (and a semester over at AdHouse), Afshin started killing it at Ogilvy as a junior copywriter.  There, his flair for humor and storytelling have brought ideas to life for Ikea and AmEx.  Working with top brands and top talent haven't gone unnoticed.

Living everyone's dream of heading out west to be a star, Afshin is embarking on a new journey in his career as he joins Deutsch LA later this month.

It's with a tear in my eye (metaphorically speaking, as advertising has dried the well) that I say bon voyage to Afshin.  Not only has he been one of my greatest students, Afshin's been a solid friend and drinking bud and will sorely be missed on the east coast.

Let's all raise a shot of Jack to Afshin and his continued success.  With that, I leave you with his latest work for AmEx featuring the equally brilliant Tina Fey.

Best of luck, my man.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Back to the future

"The truth isn't the truth 
until people believe you,
and they can't believe you if they don't know what you're saying,
and they can't know what you're saying if they don't listen to you,
and they won't listen to you if you're not interesting,
and you won't be interesting
unless you say things 
originally, freshly."

-Bill Bernbach

It's time for a new creative revolution.  Here's a little inspiration from the man who fired the first shots of the original one.  Let's fire a few of our own tonight in the first session of the Fall Semester at SVA.

(Quote and clip reposted from the honorable and righteous George Parker)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Here's to new beginnings

Advertising info session at SVA 9/3/13. @SVAContinuingEd #sva #svace #creativethinkerswanted #ctw 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

New work. New news. New new new (what a strange looking word).


The summer semester at SVA is halfway through and there's some brilliance already shining.  Can't wait to share some new work from these geniuses once we start comping things up.

Speaking of new work; former CTW rocker Afshin Hatami at Ogilvy has a nice spot out for AmEx starring Carrie Brownstein. 

The :30:

And the :60:

Love the fine touches of the record crunch, the Costco request "Please don't judge the amount of peanut butter we're getting" and that George Burns getup. Afshin came to advertising to chew bubblegum and kick ass.  And he's all out of bubblegum. Cheers, dude.

Last semester saw some amazing work, including this Outdoor Poster for Timberland Earthkeeper boots from Annick Thomas.

Annick's hard work and tremendous talent has gotten her a sweet gig as a junior art director at Cramer Krasselt.  Kudos!

And last, but certainly not least, Michael Lin has just completed two great stints at Crispin Porter + Bogusky and DDB's LaunchPad.  He is now a freelance copywriter.  Super smart.  Super talented.  And has a great visual sense as a writer.  Here are a few of his greatest hits from CTW.

It's great to see good people doing well out there.  Keep up the hard work.

More soon.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Wisdom from Victore

James Victore, designer extraordinaire and instructor at the School of Visual Arts has said it all in his email today.

Fock Henry Furd

You are more than your job. You're more than the things you own.  You are good at more than one thing.  You contain multitudes.  And you are not replaceable.  

Lesson to you guys and gals in the game of advertising: Don't get pigeon-holed.  Don't feel like the job you're in is what you are.  Don't feel that it's too late to change the game plan and get yourself closer to where you want to be.  

And once you get there, don't get pegged as just a digital person or just a social person or just a print person or just a TV person (you get the point).  Be a thinker.  An idea person.    

You are bigger than the job.