February 17, 2009


Gary Hustwit, best known as the the man behind Helvetica, the surprisingly good documentary (and possibly only documentary?) about a typeface, is coming back to SXSW this year with a new film. This new doc, Objectified, is already being described as one of the “must-sees” of the March festival. Objectified is an intricate analysis of people’s interactions with objects around them, and what creative work happens in the world of industrial design. The film features the best minds behind gadgets, gimmicks, and other cool stuff: Naoto Fukasawa, Tim Brown (IDEO), Jonathan Ive (Apple), just to name a few. On a musical note, Hustwit is teaming up once again with the band El Ten Eleven, who put together some amazing songs for Helvetica.

Phelps Takes a “Hit”

February 17, 2009

Apparently, Kellogg’s does not think bong hits are “Grrrrreeaat”! When the infamous photo of Olympic gold medalist, Michael Phelps, smoking pot at the University of South Carolina exploded on the web, Kellogg’s dropped him like a bad habit. (No pun intended…)

“We originally built the relationship with Michael, as well as the other Olympic athletes, to support our association with the U.S. Olympic team,” a company spokeswoman says in a statement. “Michael’s most recent behavior is not consistent with the image of Kellogg. His contract expires at the end of February and we have made a decision not to extend his contract.”

So what does this mean for his other sponsors? Will Phelps take a “hit” on his endorsement paychecks in 2009?

Some of Phelps’ leading sponsors have decided to stick by him. Swiss watchmaker Omega said Phelps’ actions were a private matter and a “non-issue,” and Speedo called him a “valued member of the Speedo team.”

However, sponsors Rosetta Stone, AT&T, and PowerBar nutrition bar were not thrilled with the news and quietly ended their relationships with Phelps. Other companies, such as Visa, Subway, and Battle Creek, Mich., are keeping quiet.

So-what does this mean for celebrity endorsements? Will companies be willing to forgive minor incidents depending on the figure? Considering Phelps’ unique accomplishment, he will probably still be a valued player to sponsors. Don’t sweat Phelps’- Obama admitted to smoking marijuana and he got elected president of the United States.

Take a look at what Saturday Night Live had to say about it…

Movie Deals & Bargain Beer Steals!

February 11, 2009


True: Tough times call for tight wallets, but it looks like there’s a light at the end of our empty pocketbooks. You can stop watching re-runs of Seinfeld, remove yourself from the couch, and head to the Alamo Village.

Every week, they are offering $5 movies for anyone in the Service Industry on any Monday post-9:30 screening. Just bring your I.D. and current pay stub from your job, or buy tix online and bring your pay stub to the box office.

The best part for last-there will be beer specials available at all of these shows!!


Great Game Spoiled by Blah Ads

February 2, 2009

A last-minute miraculous catch in the corner of the end zone for a dramatic Super Bowl victory. What more can you ask for?

Well, for starters, how about one decent commercial?

Apparently $3 million gets you on the air, but that’s about it. That price doesn’t include creativity, humor or in some cases, a point. So let’s take a look at the Good, the Bad, the Ugly and the ‘Meh?’ to find out what worked, what didn’t and why.


A moose head on one side of a wall and a moose butt on the other side. Nice and simple. Say no more. I get it. No CGI. No celebrity spokesperson. No 3D glasses. Not even any words. This quiet spot accomplished in 30 seconds what Career Builder failed to do in 60 seconds with wall-to-wall repetitive copy. Monster: 1. Career Builder: 0.

This spot snuck up on us like a good mobster should. Mafia stereotypes are nothing new, but whip cream sprayed on a pancake face covered in candy? Now you’re speaking my language. Great casting, comedic timing and use of a whip cream sound effect. Plus, free Grand Slam breakfast on Tuesday. Ba-da-bing, goomba!


Question: If Budweiser is “The Great American Lager” then why in the world are they showing a spot featuring a Scottish Clydesdale with an accent as thick as Willie the Groundskeeper’s from The Simpson’s? Take a lesson from Miller High Life. Just buy a one-second spot and shout out your name as loud as possible. Genius.

Anyone still have their 3D glasses from 1988? If so, dust ‘em off, sit back and prepare to look like an idiot for the next 60 seconds. Or was it the football players doing ballet who looked like idiots? Either way, Geico has the market cornered when it comes to lizards, so SoBe, either find a new mascot or a new ad agency.


Danica Patrick may be hot, but these spots were u-g-l-y. The acting made porn movies look Oscar-worthy and the production quality was reminiscent of a snuff film. Wannabe Axe ads, these under-produced spots look like they were made by those three hosers crowding around the computer. Adding insult to injury, GoDaddy direct you to extended versions that make you wish you were being flogged – by Danica, of course.

Monkey commercial…Get your monkey commercial…Hey, I have an idea. We’ll fly to LA, rent a bunch of ‘grease’ monkeys (hold on, it gets worse), then we’ll put an oil filter on a guy’s head. Now let’s have the guy make out with one of the monkeys. Finally, we’ll slap a Castrol logo on at the end then cut NBC a check for $3 million. Now, that’s funny.


We wanted to like it. We really did. Interesting set up with the crystal ball snow globe. Ok, I’m with you so far. Smash. Into the vending machine. Nice. Free Doritos. Ok, good. Wait, what are you doing now? No. Don’t. Please! Don’t throw the snow globe at your bosses’ cro–. Damn. He threw it at his bosses’ crotch. So close, Doritos…so close.

Ok. Another chip company. Let’s see if they can get it right. Open on two women. Nice appeal to a female demographic. One’s a total snob, the other seems pretty normal. Yin yang. The latter tosses some Cheetos on the ground and here come the pigeons. (Their bird demographic?) Pigeons attack, then end with a creepy talking cartoon cat whose name rhymes with “molester” and you just blew $3 million.

Truth in Movie Posters

January 23, 2009


Some funny, and insiteful, user-generated creations over at Holy Taco.

How “Dumb” is Twitter?

January 6, 2009


In the January 5th edition of Newseek, Twitter was called the “Dumbest Innovation of the Century.” And to conclude: “Memo to tweeters: we don’t care what you think.” Obviously this is more snark than proclamation; this was probably written by a staff writer with at least 2 Twitter accounts. The fact that most people on Twitter  post inane or self-indulgent tripe is a given, and that’s actually why the program is fun. Even Newsweek has a Twitter account. So does Fox News, and their’s got hacked the other day.

Like other innovative social platforms, there’s been much talk about how Twitter can capitalize on its popularity and become profitable. They’re expecting to release a business model this year. People ask, “would ads drive away hardcore users?” (This sounds just like MySpace…and Facebook…) Other companies seem to be doing okay on Twitter. Dell’s page, called the DellOutlet, has brought in at least $1M in revenue. That’s all fine, but Twitter is just one of a million entry points. It seems that everyone (and by “everyone” I mean general users, bloggers, businesspeople, etc) are letting Twitter just be Twitter. At least for now. It’s refreshing to think that in an age of Instant-everything, we can still find ways to let online entities grow organically.

Our Favorite 2008 Albums

January 5, 2009

All of them coincedentally have nice cover designs as well.




National Geographic Announces 2008 Photo Winners

January 5, 2009


This is one of our favorites, captured by Lori McConnell (US). It was shot in Guatemala. Each note has the same message: “Te amo, Cristina.”


Let’s Hear It For The Boy(s)

December 25, 2008

Nothing tees up this shout-out quite like the Deniece “Niecy” Williams song from the Footloose soundtrack.

Let’s hear it for Art Director Bryan Keplesky of Door Number 3 for a record number of winning entries in this year’s Print Regional Design Annual. The Austin section is awash with his stellar graphic design work for Misprint Magazine.


And let’s hear it for Copywriter Phil Davies of Door Number 3. As the Grand Prize Winner of the 2008 Dead Radio Contest, Phil’s :60 spot for Southwest Airlines has been given a new lease on life by none other than…drum roll…Southwest Airlines. Yep, the guys who killed it.



Has fame knocked down his door? In Phil’s words: “Let’s just say I don’t do my own laundry anymore.”

Just in Time For Halloween

October 29, 2008

Bad Optimus!

This is a hilarious collection of different DIY Optimus Prime movies. Some good tips to take in while you’re covered in paper maché and vowing to never again make your own costume.