Tag Archives: advertising


A new story on Medium about the power of advertising, or something.

He heard Whug coming before he saw Whug. While Ogg had spent years becoming accustomed to the rhythms of the forest, able to track an animal for miles or disappear from a predator’s path in an instant, perception was not Whug’s strong point. Ogg stared at a wall of dense foliage on the other side of the stream until Whug emerged, sporting a fresh mosaic of bright red scratches on his face and torso.

“Ogg!” he said. “There you are!”

“Here I am,” said Ogg. “And there you are, though I heard you coming all the way from Big Mountain With The White Top. Are you trying to get eaten?”

“Oh, you know me,” said Whug. He grinned, then leaned over and cupped some water in his hands. “Not trying as hard as I could be.” He took a sip of the water and wiped the rest on his cheeks and chest, wincing slightly.

Ogg took another quiet sip and sat back on his haunches. “Might as well sit,” he said. “The animals will all be hiding for a while now.” He shot Whug a look, which Whug either ignored or failed to pick up on completely.

“Good,” said Whug, “because I have something I want to discuss with you. A proposition, if you will.” He leaned over the stream. “There’s not anyone around, is there?”

Read “Entrepreneur” on Medium

The term “Gonzo journalism” gets thrown around a lot to describe any journalist who writes a piece under the influence of drugs (or, at least, when he admits to this drug use in the story – otherwise I think a lot more journalism could be classified as “Gonzo”). But the movement that Hunter Thompson defined really had less to do with the use of drugs and kee-razy antics than it had to do with inserting yourself in the story, shedding any guise of objectivity, and reporting not just on the story but the reporting of the story as well. Take Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail as an example; while Thompson mentions Wild Turkey more times than you have fingers to count, the story is really about a reporter for the then-little-known Rolling Stone magazine pulling back the curtain on the ludicrous, staged, scratch-each-others’-backs nature of political campaign reporting.

I love this piece by Grant Howitt about the Panasonic Toughpad Press Conference because, while he does mention what he can piece together about the Toughpad, he casts a more inquisitive eye on the tech release press conference beast itself, and on the journalists at the press conference doing the reporting.

The devices can be used in heavy rainfall. I think for a second that the image illustrating heavy rain – a faceless man in a trenchcoat and leather gloves – looks like it is illustrating cold-war era spying, instead. The Toughbook would be good for spies, I think. It probably deflects bullets. You could use it to beat up an informant. That sort of thing. That should be their marketing gambit. An embittered agent thrashing the Toughbook against the face of a scared Eastern-European man, teeth and blood on the floor, yelling TELL ME WHERE THE BOMBS ARE HIDDEN DAMNIT TELL ME NOW PEOPLE ARE GOING TO DIE

Jan stops for a second and says there will be a demonstration. He says “With the nice police ladies we are to make some watersports,” and half-laughs, half-smiles awkwardly. He says that onstage in front of the world’s press. He seems to think that is fine. The women come forward and pour water from a jug over a toughbook sat in a perspex case. People take pictures.

A man in charge of something important just made a SEX PISS JOKE at the Panasonic Press Conference and that’s all fine. I don’t understand. I don’t understand. Is that fine? Is this just what happens at tech events? I want to have a lie down.

Since these press conferences are really little more than big commercials with the press releases already written, Howitt’s Gonzo approach seems to be a much better way into the story of our obsession with the latest and greatest tech.

“The Panasonic Toughpad Press Conference” by Grant Howitt on LOOK, ROBOT

The 2012 Warby Parker Annual Report

The 2012 Warby Parker Annual Report

Working in advertising, I sign up for a wide array of competitor emails to keep an eye on trends, interesting strategies and clever ideas. A lot of these emails slip right by me (I can rack up close to 200 in a week if I forget to clear my inbox) but sometimes they’ll catch my attention – and some, like this one from eyeglasses retailer Warby Parker, I just have to share.

Warby Parker is a boutique eyewear retailer that offers stylish eyeglasses at just $95 a pop. It sounds like there might not be a lot to that story, but Warby Parker really differentiates itself with a strong, fun brand. The copy on their site is clever, the photography is clean and interesting, the design is sleek and simple, and their social media presence is very strong.

The email I got yesterday caught my eye because it doesn’t do any selling – it just directs customers to this interactive “Annual Report,” which tells the story of Warby Parker’s year through data like:

  • Average number of false fire alarms per week (2)
  • Office lunches by the pound
  • Number of monocles sold (296)
  • Total bagels devoured at weekly full-team meetings

I’m posted a few more shots below showcasing the great design and graphics that illustrate the report, but do yourself a favor and read the whole thing. Maybe it will even make you want to buy some glasses.

The  2012 Warby Parker Annual Report

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Don't text or check your phone when speaking with others. Give Your Full Attention. Ted Slampyak, The Art of Manliness

Poster Illustrated by Ted Slampyak (The Art of Manliness)

The Art of Manliness has created half a dozen faux “propaganda posters” to lay out some of the simple rules of modern etiquette:

During the 1920s, 30s, and 40s, the use of “propaganda posters” were popular for encouraging good behavior — teaching safety, boosting worker morale, and rousing wartime sacrifice. I’ve always enjoyed the art and design of these posters, and decided to have Ted whip up a set of originals to address an area of behavior where modern society is often lacking: smartphone etiquette.

Come to think of it, maybe it’s not right to call these “faux” posters after all – a number of commenters are planning to print them out and start plastering.

“I Want You… To Put Away Your Smartphone: Propaganda Posters for the Modern Age” on The Art of Manliness