Saturday, December 30, 2006

Funny commercials on TBS

As a follow up to a recent posting about ads from other countries, I came across a TBS show (not normally a network I watch), which featured some really cool commercials from several countries. Normally these shows are way too self-important, but this one is just about the right level of self-importance. Here is the link:,,97969,00.html

Sting as a product placement! ?

One of my favorite TV shoes this Fall has been Studio 60, and while it seems clear that it will die soon (very sad) one thing it has provided me with is an insight to the where advertising and product placement is heading.

In a recent episode, the musical guest on this fictional Saturday-night-live-like show is non other then Sting. And in the midst of a scene that has nothing to do with sting, you hear one of the characters tell the other that “sting is here, and he has a new album out”.

The next thing you see is Sting on the stage practicing the Lute, and yet again, we are told more about this new album of his, “which is just coming out”. I thought that this was a whole new level of product placement (or an all new low), but thinking further about this it occurred to me that many WB shows (which seemed to originate this) featured “music from”, but rarely the artist. Then I caught the original Spiderman movie, and saw Massie Grey singing on stage as a part of the movie plot (another variation of this).

Still, I can’t help but wander, Sting (in the flash) as a product placement, what’s next, sting naked?

Is there no good work done here?

For those of us who follow the industry trades, this would be the annual Annuals Season. And so one by one they land on my desk mostly form Communication Arts, all shinny and think and full of surprises.

The latest one, the Advertising annual form Communication Arts had many surprises, and I am not referring to the quality of work, I am referring to the origin. I must have been 10 pages or so into the magazine when it occurred to me that I have yet to have seen a single ad from an agency in the US. And there is a statement here! I am not sure exactly to what it is, (maybe there are several), but the fact that a good majority of the ads were for agencies in Asia and Europe says something about the state of affairs in the US ad community. Maybe it has moved to the interactive arena, maybe the cultural conservatism is finally winning, or maybe it’s chik to showcase work form the outside the US, I am not sure, but the pages of Communication Arts don’t lie.

Monday, December 04, 2006

And in the beginning

Sitting at the intersection of design (graphic) and commerce, I find myself wondering (out load) about where is this all going. In a time when graphic design in merging rapidly with advertising (my first love), amidst news that advertising is really dead, I begin this blog wondering (again) where is this all going to.

What are they going to be teaching in design schools in a decade and what would the needs of the industry be. Are you going to have to be an Art Director + Graphics Production Artist + Code Engineer + moviemaker to make it as a design professional?
Or is there another version I have not considered. I think it is safe to say that the answer to these questions is yet unknown, but some hints will; I am sure come up as we continue.

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