Tuesday, February 24, 2009

why he's Isaac Mizrahi and you're not

He can make gorgeous women wear ugly handbags. On their heads! NOT from The Onion. From the NY Times, 2/21/09 coverage of Fashion Week.

Friday, February 20, 2009

friday flashback: electric correspondence machine

In 1967 the Philco-Ford Corporation made an industrial titled "1999 A.D." which predicted that fingertip shopping will be one of the homemaker's many conveniences…and an electric correspondence machine will allow for instant written communication between individuals anywhere in the world. If only they'd also been right about flying cars and robot maids.

from the wayback machine of I Remember JFK

Monday, February 16, 2009

how not to be a drag on twitter: a primer for newbies

Since my recent outing in the Wall Street Journal, several friends have opened Twitter accounts to find out what all the hoopla is about. They send me a tweet and I go to their stream and find I am one of, say, two people they follow. Ordinarily, I'd be flattered to be the almost exclusive recipient of their attentions. But on Twitter, it's frustrating. Because in social media no (wo)man is an island and if she is, she's (unbeknownst to herself) being rude.

The biggest misconception about Twitter (at least among my, ahem, age group) is that if you post enough interesting things, people will read them and be overcome with desire to follow you. So the stream of many newbies is post after post of observations or musings that have nothing to do with what anyone else is saying. It's as if they're in the middle of a cocktail party to which people from all over the world have been invited, and choosing to talk to only…themselves.

Granted, what isn't obvious to those of us who grew up before Facebook and MySpace, to those of us educated when the virtue most drilled into schoolchildren was self-reliance-- is the idea of why twitter exists in the first place. It's to make connections. Not connections to just anyone. But to the people who harbor the same interests and idiocyncracies you do.

Say, you're interested in 19th century poetry. Don't just sit there sounding like Norton's Anthology. Take on the persona of a 19th century poet (Checking just now, @emily_dickenson is available) and strike up conversation with Robert Frost and Henry Thoreau and Ralph Emerson and countless other "poets" who already exist in the twitterverse. Or, do a Twitter Search for key words like " 19th century poetry" and discover conversations others are having on the subject. Conversations you are more than welcome to join, if you do so politely, just as you'd join a conversation that is already in progress in the real world.

Start following the twitter names of people you converse with. Follow the people who follow them. Chances are, you and they have something in common. If you follow them, they'll likely follow you back. Pretty soon, you'll have built up a community. One you'll probably want to hang out with every day. This, of course, can create other problems. My family is still debating the need for twittervention.

on making the brand: new media takes over old turf

Last panel of Social Media Week was held (ironically to my mind) in that iconic tower of old media, the Conde Nast building. Moderated by Wired's bureau chief, John C. Abell, panel explored branding via social media and included Ian Schafer, CEO of Deep Focus (AMC Mad Men's digital agency), Brian Morrissey of Adweek and a guy everyone seemed to know except me--SM superstar Gary Vaynerchuk who has used twitter/youtube/video blogging to parlay a passion for wine and a talent for selling it into a huge (and hugely remunerative) personal brand.

Much of the panel was devoted to what brands should not do in digital space, given that what they should do is rife with exceptions and caveats.

Don't concentrate on creating a brand profile and promotions, to the exclusion of CRM aspects of social media. A brand needs to facilitate conversations between people. Or, as Schafer put it, social media marketing "is a relationship, not a tryst."

Don't just talk, listen. More important than using Twitter is using Twitter Search to find out what people are saying about you.

Don't set up an online suggestion site if you're going to use it as Starbucks did: to tout ideas suggesting corporate policies the company has already decided to put into place. Morrissey pointed out that companies don't make decisions from suggestions on message boards and called mystarbucksidea.com simply a "marketing figleaf."

Don't make false claims. Doing so can get you into trouble faster in social media than it ever did in the world of traditional advertising. "Now if you lie," said Vaynerchuk, "you'll be called out quick. Because twitter is word of mouth on steroids."

Some follow-up questions were from ad agency types wrestling with the problem of how to change mindsets of people around them. Trying to get an old-line company to revisit entrenched values, Schafer said, can be like "turning around a battleship in a canal."

But this way, dreadnoughts. Or we'll never get out of here.

Dare I admit that almost as interesting to me as the panel was the glimpse on my way out of famed Conde Nast cafeteria (Friday's specials: Philly Cheese Steak and Sushi) and Anna Wintour breezing slenderly past, wearing signature sunglasses and magenta plaid coat.

Friday, February 13, 2009


Seems all New Yorkers who twitter were at Twestival last night. (Or had at least sent in $20 for the charity it supported.) It was a club-like venue that was already packed when I arrived with Peggy Olson a few minutes after it started. As soon as people entered, they pulled out their iphones (i hate my centro) and began tweeting to find out if they had friends there. If you coded your tweet with #nyctwestival, it appeared on a giant screen showing n a continuous scroll of posts like @ me if you are here and @adbroad, I am near the yellow jerry cans in the center. Which is how I had the good fortune to meet Alan Wolk in person. No, he's not the breakdancing astronaut. That's Mat Man who was a finalist for a Shorty Award in the, um, Weird category. For an event inspired by a platform for conversation, odd that the music was so LOUD you couldn't talk except directly into someone's ear. Which made conversation so exhausting, lots of people gave up and stood silently sipping $16 drinks, tweeting people who weren't there. 

Thursday, February 12, 2009

adbroad IRL

Last night at the Shorty Awards, I passed out my in the real world info on recipe cards from the kitchen of Betty Draper. And agreed to be outed by The Wall Street Journal. What a scene, those Shortys. Turquoise daquiris (twitter's fail whale color), wandering astronaut in helmet, faces you're used to seeing half-inch square on a screen suddenly attached to a body and talking to you. Now that I'm outed, should I switch my avatar for my pic? But I like having a blonde wave and that 60s demeanor.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

who the hell is adbroad anyway

When I was a kid, I was fascinated with the movie Three Faces of Eve. Incredible to me that three people could exist in one. Back then, it was called Multiple Personality Disorder. Now it's called Convergence. I'm finding it takes way too much energy to keep up separate identities. And doing so no longer seems important. I advise brands to aggregate their identities across platforms. Now I'm taking my own advice. Along with Peggy Olson, Betty Draper is "coming out" at the Shorty Awards. Spoiler alert: she looks nothing like January Jones.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

1981 report on internet journalism

Imagine if you will, sitting down to your morning coffee, turning on your home computer to read the day's newspaper! Big news in 1981. Love the rotary dials, green screens, courier type and super: "Richard Halloran, Owns Home Computer." Prescient SF Examiner editor: "We're not in it to make money." Announcer reports it takes over two hours to receive entire text of the newspaper. Sounds familiar. Anybody else a Verizon DSL user?

found it on twitter, thanks to @EHolmesWSJ RT @brianstelter

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

the one club knows what kind of pressure you're under

Who has time to think about awards when there's so much unrewarding work to get done. Nice folks at The One Club understand this. So they're extending deadline for The One Show to February 6. And making that date just for registration, not for materials. So you've got another three weeks to get actual samples to their offices.

And because they know ad grunts who do digital are probably even busier than their counterparts in traditional, they've extended the deadline for Interactive to February 27.

This year, they're introducing a new category to support work for green causes: Environmental Advertising. Remember that pro-bono ad for recycling you did for your uncle on the school board? Send it in. You could win a Green Pencil. Made of--what else-- recycled glass.

(image resurrected from a dusty One Show annual, 1974. It won gold that year for Consumer Magazine Cover. Yep, people were stressed in the seventies, too.)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

posted because it's snowing here and i want to be there

Nathalie Kay 'Tippi' Hedren modeled in the 50s and 60s before Hitchcock discovered her while watching the Today show. He saw her in a commercial for a diet drink. Or was it for hair spray? 

found in Mom's Basement

Sunday, February 1, 2009

signs of the times

Thanks to GardenBroad who sees all