November 20, 2008
OK…at the risk of being accused of phoning it in this week, I’ve got 2 things that caught my attention and a stream-of-consciousness homework assignment for you to help me with a personal project. Fun will be had, particularly if you’re a music freak like me.
1. Motrin Dads get the shaft
A co-worker just explained the TweetDown Motrin received last week after the marketing department and/or agency went for cracking itself up instead of knowing its audience. I’m sure you all know the story even better than I, but if not, here’s a great recap from Rebecca Bollwitt of OneDegree. The original ad that ran last week and an awesome parody <Thanks @CarmenHill!> are also here for your viewing pleasure.
The funniest thing about this social media maelstrom—which included a swarm of Twitter gadflies buzzing with righteous indignation and, ultimately, the spiking of the ad and a company apology—is the thought of the Motrin creative team high-fiving, giggling at their divine cleverness and punctuating each self-congratulatory moment with “Nailed it!” as this thing left the building.
- Kill the idea if it is more clever than valuable to your target audience. Did anyone/does anyone really see value here?
- Do some in-depth research or polling beyond your own cube farm and age group before speaking for a demographic
- Respect the force of Twitter! The only thing more popular than Motrin Moms last week was Christmas, according to Twitter Search.
All jokes aside on Moms using their kids as fashion accessories—believe it or not, some really horrible moms are doing this right now despite the fiery protests of good moms everywhere—where’s my damn Motrin ad?
Fledgling YouTube Coppolas, here’s a script for consideration (Watch at least one of the ads above for context).
Today, having a big fleshy Hippity Hop beneath your sweatervest appears to be in fashion.
There’s The Front-Butt. The Untuck. The Body Wrap. The Breathe-in & Hold. And who knows what else they’ve come up with.
I love my burgeoning boiler…it’s a bonding experience. They say I cry less with it being such an integral part of me, but I do tend to eat more to dull the pain.
So if you meet me in person and I look fat and lazy…now you’ll all understand why.
Mr. DeMille…I’m ready for my close-up.
2. Green vs. Economy Retread
Damn it. I thought we clawed our way out of this retarded logic more than a president ago. Spotted Owls or Families. You decide. Clean up = cost. Pollute = Revenue. Seriously…if I hear one more news pundit predict the GreenPocalyse because of the economic meltdown, I’m going to build a massively unappealing PowerPoint and beat all you naysayers down in a blustery monotone of bullet points, data points and points on a timeline to worm my way into your subconscious. Don’t think I won’t!
With the financial markets causing us all to reach for the Dramamine, Crown Royal or dare I say, Motrin, I sympathize with the impulse to slash and burn anything that doesn’t immediately deliver a bundle of cash. But let’s all take a breath and let reason win out.
Before we profess the Death of Sustainability or Environmental Responsibility because we can’t afford it…say it with me, with apologies to my English teacher for the double negative we can’t not afford to get behind the idea getting more out of what we have and use less in all aspects of business and life.
Embrace the idea that we are creating an economy, industries, resources and jobs based on an infrastructure that helps reduce energy consumption, maximize resource use and unify companies to gain efficiencies. Don’t just take my word for it…read about the people at ground zero of EcoFinance forging our new economy. I’m going to read this.
Join me. It’ll give us something else to talk about.
And while we’re at this country and economy makeover…maybe Green needs a new brand color. Maybe the reason business always looks at green with disdain is because of its close ties to envy, inexperience illness and puke. Perhaps there’s a default position of weakness because business had to devour all the yellow bellies and its green brethren on its way to don its power color of (BLUE).
Designers and brand consultants unite. Green needs your help. So do I.
Which brings me to my last point.
3. Your top 5 songs. I’m working on a music-fueled project and need your take on Top 5’s for different life stages. For now:
- Being born
Here’s one from the list I started on being born, courtesy of Altered Images.
Seriously…whatever comes to mind, just throw a few in the comments section. It’ll help me out a lot.
Thanks in advance and until next time…
1 Comment | Green economy, Marketing, digital media, social media | Tagged: 80’s New Wave, Al Gore, Altered Images, Brad Pitt, Crown Royal, Daniel Craig, EcoFinance, Green economy, Jon Hamm, Motrin Moms, Music, social media mistakes, social mobbing, The Death of Environmentalism, Twitter | Permalink
Posted by markevertz
October 3, 2008
This week’s blog is in memory of Evlyn F. Poulson, aka Grammy, with a heart-string tugger from my personal 6-feet-deep mix.
The last two weeks delivered an avalanche of work, a few happy moments and images that have been burned into my brain forever — photos available upon request — and a single, unwavering emotion after attending the funeral of someone I’ve known for nearly 30 years.
When I say emotion, I don’t mean to imply a wild torrent of sadness or loss. My emotion to date remains fixated on a sheer absence of grief. My emotion: Astonishment.
If the mood at Evlyn’s rosary last week could be summed up in one word it would probably be “relief.” All who gathered to say good bye, all who Evlyn surrounded herself with throughout life in attendance, appeared eerily relieved by her passing.
One liners were exchanged during the mingling about how hard on people she was, how people she crossed paths with in her latter care facility days probably were celebrating her departure. Shoulder shrugs, well-worn phrases and hugs greeted survivors like they’d been plucked from the aftermath of a Stage 5 hurricane.
Clear and continuous articulations of hope that after 87 years of painfully grinding through life and grinding on the nerves of others, hopefully Evlyn would finally find peace. And it all concluded with pained attempts to speak nicely about her during the eulogy. It kind of reminded me of the Livia Soprano wake. Disingenuously squirm-worthy.
Unrelenting was cloaked with Hard Worker.
Miserly was masked with Good Money Manager.
A fighter was a black veil for Mean. All euphemisms were delivered without the cathartic end, thankfully, I suppose.
Upon reflection, I think what struck me most was that people miraculously had next to nothing genuinely nice to say about her after 87 years on this earth.
That profoundly affects me to this day. Maybe it always will.
When the eulogy got to its emotional center there was brief, but rich detail on her life prior to the burdens of dashed hopes, fallen dreams and unmet expectations. Buoyant moments and aspirations filled with dancing, playing music with her children, bowling, taking vacations. Enjoying life.
In my 28 years with her, I never got the chance, check that, took the opportunity, to get to know that woman. And that’s all on me
We always had a serviceable relationship as step-grandmother/grandson, in that I’d ask how she was doing, she’d say not very good, Mark, I’d nod caringly, exhale sympathetically and then move on to the rest of the family during the holidays. She was pretty good to me in comparison to most in her immediate family, so for that, I’m grateful.
But if I had taken the time to find out about something that would’ve made her smile or recall a positive experience in her life…I know we both would’ve been better off. With that realization, I’m on the precipice of positive change.
One thing is for certain. Evlyn’s passing is a razor-sharp reminder to me that my words and actions have consequences that reach far beyond my own life and have either built people up or torn them down to the point banking a bad, permanent memory. I never reached the mountain top of pessimism, cynicism or curmudgenism, but I’ve seen pictures. And it’s horrifying.
So my new mantra is:
1. Use my powers of pessimism to think critically about things that demand change or to surface perspectives being overlooked without being too critical of the people I count on as family and friends. Those are sacred communities to be guarded and defended at all costs.
2. Always pursue my childhood dreams…no matter how old I get and…
3. End every snarky hair-parter with a lifeline so we can climb out of the muck together. Life’s too freaking short for muck dwelling and excruciatingly long if you’re living it without the richness of a compassionate circle of family and friends.
One guy I’m following right now who seems keenly optimistic in the face of trying times and people is Terry Starbucker. Pseudonym? Don’t know. Ask him yourself. Regardless, make routine visits when you feel like coming unglued on somebody.
Terry keeps me from ending up on the 11 o’clock news. I think he can do the same for you, too.
Anyway, back to the point: R.I.P Evlyn and I’m sorry I didn’t try harder.
I’ll drink a glass, maybe a bottle, of this in memory of your happier moments.
And another from the 6-feet-deep mix to get you all to take stock in the people you love that are here and fondly remember those who aren’t.
Until next time,
3 Comments | Uncategorized | Tagged: Funeral, Spanish wine, Band of Horses, Terry Starbucker, mean people, regrets, pessimism, optimism, songs for when you die, The Sopranos;, John Perkins, The Secret History of the American Empire: Economic Hit Men, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, The Pickens Plan, T. Boone Pickens | Permalink
Posted by markevertz
September 19, 2008
This blog brought to you by this angst-ridden song and cranky old man video by Be Your Own Pet.
Why angst and anger this week? Well, I think my disease of acute pessimism may have crossed into cranky old man on Monday night.
A persistent thumping at 10:15 p.m. on a school night elevated the agitation level high enough to spring me out of bed, fumble for a pair of shorts and prowl the Oregon night barefoot — on the hunt for a brain dead teenage drummer.
It seems that not too long ago, I was a brain dead teenage drummer, but that didn’t seem to matter at that moment. On the trek up the hill, I mashed a slug or snail with a crunchy squish between my bare toes. I was pissed for two reasons. Neither of which were due to the slug.
I reached the house, climbed under some painter’s tape guarding the freshly painted porch and rang the doorbell. A kid easily 25 years my junior answered the door a crack to hear me spit out the words that I wanted back as soon as I said them.
“Hey man…it’s after 10, I’ve got a kid asleep across the street and I need you to turn down the music.”
Anybody who knows me knows how absurd that statement is tumbling out of my mouth. The kid ran downstairs to tell them to cut the drums. Tool metamorphosis complete.
But when the kid’s mom appeared I saw something in her that smoothed my transition to responsible parent. She was kinda stoney, about 10 years older than I, and in full character. Cool Mom talked in a slow, SoCal “hey man” cadence reminiscent of Wooderson in Dazed and Confused. Replace “It’d be a lot cooler if you did” with “Hey, sorry man, the drums are new.” If that was my future, I left the porch, paint-free, feeling a little more comfortable about where I’m headed.
On my way down the hill I couldn’t get out of my head how much empathy I had for the drummer and the vitriolic hatred I held for Cool Mom because of her total disregard for me and the entire neighborhood. Play drums until 9:59 p.m. or soundproof the room, right?
QUICK POLL: Total Jerk or Normal Reaction. Respond below.
It had me reaching back to the last two weeks since my inaugural post, where I saw that 40 percent of Republicans surveyed in a recent poll felt that Sarah Palin was currently capable of being President. This poll taken, I’m assuming, based on a question of McCain’s possible, some say probable, demise while in office.
Sure. 60 percent of these fine, upstanding conservatives, didn’t agree. But, seriously, what deep recesses in the Warren Jeffs gene pool are these Wind tunnel-haired, dead-behind-the-eyes women and Dogma-blind men swimming in to think this is even a remotely intelligent thing to say out loud, much less actually believe.
Are these the same people boycotting Oprah Winfrey for refusing to let her spew scripted GOP rhetoric that she doesn’t even understand? Or worse, force Oprah to submit to interview guidelines so Palin doesn’t look her age or intelligence? And how can anybody chastise the gadflys from The View for actually doing the best interview they’ve ever done. Better than all major network anchors combined, by the way. Is it because they are asking their potential President and Vice President to be freaking accountable for what they have said and what they have done? For trying to make them answer to how their actions impact other people?
No matter where you plant your ass on this political seesaw (I was a McCain supporter in 2000, btw), you should demand this of all of your media, which I guess means CNN or Fox News. Please God…don’t make me turn The View into my new standard for political watchdog journalism. Um, I think I just threw up a little in my mouth.
It’s gotten to the point where I’m actually having conversations with the television or talking to my wife about the jaw-dropping crap I see on television simply because I can hold it in anymore.
I suppose, when my house gets egged or toilet papered by little drummer boy and Cool Mom, the unraveling will be complete and I’ll be carted away for good. Please come visit me and bring cookies and a handful of Xanax.
In the interest of offering you all something positive in this sea of causticity, check this out. Never had it before, but this sounded tasty to me. Good wine and music are just what the Good Doctor would have ordered.
Catena Alta Malbec 2005 — Argentina
93 Points from Wine Spectator
“Very concentrated, with dark fig and currant paste notes, but it’s also pure and driven, with intense mocha, bittersweet cocoa and melted licorice notes that stretch out the long, polished finish. Really gorgeous for its density and mouthfeel. (Mr. Ford, what the hell is ‘mouthfeel’? — ev) Drink now through 2013.”
And before you take Wine Spectator’s word, read this story from Portland Oregon’s own Square Deal Wine Company about a guy who created a fake Italian restaurant and loaded his menu with Spectator wines rated in the 50s and submitted himself for an award to the magazine…and freaking won! Hahahahaa. But I digress…. There are actually good wine shopping tips here too, so it’s still positive in the end.
Here’s a band to bring a little chill to your weekend. Take us home Budos Band.
Until next time…with the hope of sharing something more useful.
15 Comments | Lifestyle blather, Uncategorized | Tagged: Music, wine, beer, Drums, bad neighbors, Sarah Palin, John McCain, Peanut butter cookies, Xanax, Argentinian wine, John Bonham, The Budos Band, Be Your Own Pet | Permalink
Posted by markevertz
September 5, 2008
Those were WordPress’ instructions when I rolled out this inaugural blog post in the “Kubrick” template, aka, Contempt. (BTW: Does Stanley’s estate get compensated when poor schmucks like me lack creativity?)
I don’t expect many of you to understand or necessarily sympathize, but the last 30 years of my life were spent mostly giving people the benefit of the doubt. Keeping faith that if given time and information, even the most narrow-minded, responsibility-skirting and self-centered droid would see the light and join the human race.
In the last 10 years I’ve shredded my fingers trying to piece together a discernible image of self and community through earnest intentions glued weakly together with gut reactions and digestible platitudes.
But I’m heading toward a moment of clarity. There’s no telling whether this will be a long journey or a short one. But one thing is for certain: At 3:41 p.m (PST) on Sept. 5, 2008, I’m relatively sure that there are a finite number of sincere, well-reasoned and compassionate people in this world who will work themselves to illness before leaving someone else in the lurch.
Who will return e-mails, phone calls and text messages as if his or her life depends on the continued dialogue…because it actually does. Who get chills or flooded with adrenalin over timeless, yet provocative literature, music, conversation, or wine.
You are my people! Fuel me with things to laugh about — even in bad taste like this, 9/11, now funny?, rail against and bring home to the family in the spirit of optimism.
This is where my heart and mind are today. There’s no telling where it will be the next time we cross paths again. But I hope they do. Because beneath the histrionics lies a romantic who will probably always think that sincerity meshed with pessimism will bring the parlor snakes around.
This is where I’ll work out the kinks, throw you some music to drive your creative juices and provoke you to call me on the blah blah blah of this blog when I get enamored with my own Web elocution.
P.S. Remind me to tell you about the cockeyed reference. I think I have some pictures.
11 Comments | Lifestyle blather, Uncategorized | Tagged: beer, community, corporate social responsibility, environmental innovation, F. Scott Fitzgerald, family, green marketing, marketing communications, Music, Politics, social media, wine | Permalink
Posted by markevertz