There will be weeks. And there will be links. But the two shall never meet.



Rush Hour. (via @Awooooooga)

The NFL had a rough week.

Probably the worst bedside manner I've ever seen.

Smart man on toilets. Well, on stage but talking about toilets.

Everybody's working for the weekly linkly.


  • Sell! Sell!'s excellent Let's Talk Advertising. It's about defining what's good about work that's universally regarded as good and how no one can agree on that. 



Making the It's Always Sunny pilot.

iPhone 6 and 6+ unboxing. Really tremendous technology here, folks.

A master soba maker makes soba in silence.

A rapper that's a little too transparent.

Regular people with fancy titles doing regular jobs.

Everyone's always going on about personal branding. Saying, "You can't just be you. You gotta be a brand, man!" And what that's done is produce a bunch of nonsense titles that are fun to make fun of. Like Guru or Ninja or Podiatrist. But everyone knows that under those titles is just a regular person doing a regular job that isn't nearly as fancy as their job title.

George Carlin was writing about this ages ago (ages being at least 10 years ago when his book When Will Jesus Bring The Pork Chops came out). Because comedians are always ahead of the curve when talking about life's absurdities.

So here it is, "EUPHEMISMS: What do you do for a living?" from When Will Jesus Bring The Pork Chops?

American companies now put a great deal of effort into boosting their employee's self-esteem by handing out inflated job titles. Most likely, they think it also helps compensate for the longer hours, unpaid overtime and stagnant wages that have become standard. It doesn't.

However, such titles do allow an ordinary store clerk to tell some girl he's picking up at a bar that he's a product specialist. Or a retail consultant. If it turns out she's a store clerk, too, but he store uses different euphemisms, then she may be able to inform him that she's a sales counsellor. Or a customer service associate And, for a while there, they're under the impression that they actually have different jobs.

These are real job titles, currently in use to describe employees whose work essentially consists of telling customers, "We're all out of medium." Nothing wrong with that but it's called store clerk, not retail consultant, and not customer service associate. Apparently, stores feel they can charge more for merchandise sold by a customer service associate than they can for the same hunk sold by a clerk. By the way, if a clerk should be unhappy with his title, he can always more to a different store, where he may have a change if being called a product service representative, a sales representative or a sales associate.

And I hope you took note of that word associate. that's a hot word with companies now. I saw a fast-food employee mopping the floor at an In-N-Out Burger and---I swear this is true--his name tag said "associate." Okay? It's the truth. Apparently, instead of money they now give out these bogus titles.

At another fast-food place, Au Bon Pain, I noticed the cashier's name tag said hospitality representative. The cashier. The name tag was pinned to her uniform. The people who sell these uniforms now refer to them as career apparel. Or--even worse--team wear. I had to sit down when I heard that. Team wear.

Teams are also big in business; almost as big as associates. In Los Angeles's KooKooRoo restaurants the employee name tag say "team member." At a Whole Foods supermarket, I talked to the head of the meat department about ordering a special item; I figured he was the head butcher. But his name tag identified him as the meat team leader. Throw that on your resume. I guess the people under him would have been meat team associates. I didn't stick around to ask.

So it's all about employee morale. And in a lot of companies, as part of morale-building, the employees are called staff. But it's all right, because most customers are now called clients. With those designations, I guess the companies can pay the staff less and charge the clients more.

I'm Not sure when all this job-title inflation began, but it's been building for a while. At some point in the past thirty years secretaries became personal assistants or executive assistants. Many of them now consider those terms too common, so they call themselves *administrative aides.

Everyone wants to sound more important these days:

Teachers became educators
drummers became percussionists
movie directors became filmmakers,
company presidents became chief executive officers
family doctors became primary-care providers,
manicurists became nail technicians
magazine photographers became photojournalists
weightlifters became bodybuilders,
and bounty hunters now prefer to be called recovery agents.

And now everyone wants to be called a storyteller.

O links of fate, thank you for this blessed week.



It's Payback Time (potentially my favorite cancer ad of all time. Done by 4 Creative)

Banner Ads

Crazy Madden Glitch

Labels. They're important. (via Sell! Sell!)

Weakling Linkling



Generic Greeting.

Bissel subway ad. Pretty gross. Pretty great.

This dude knows so much about soda.

If OKCupid did commercials.


The future of creative departments.

There's a lot of talk going on about the demise of ad agencies and "traditional" creative departments. And I'm sorry to say I fall on the side of those saying there will be a day when traditional agencies will have to fold up their MacBooks and turn off the lights.

But this isn't empty rhetoric as is the case with so many of those other pieces. I have the answers. I know the exact trumpet's call that will be the final thwack that brings advertising to its knees.

It starts with the sun, you see. Millions and millions of years from now.

One day the sun is going to get really, really big. People are going to freak out. They'll start hoarding everything and anything they can get their hands on. Bread. Pickles. Onions. Toilet paper.

Dear god don't forget the toilet paper.

But it's not during this time that agencies will go out of business. In fact these will be days full of plump marketing budgets and wild Big Sun Sales. CMOs will be so flush with cash it'll be like advertising is experiencing another 80s. (Can you imagine!)

It'll be an age of creative resurgence. The world's top budding whatevers will take a crack at advertising because the money's so good that no sane man or woman could turn that down. We're talking billions upon billions for the tiniest TV shoot (not adjusting for inflation, of course. You can't expect me to predict the economic fluctuations of the United States of America and the future of advertising thank you very much.)

Creative agencies of course will be constructed any way they want. Some all writers, some all wildcards, some all account people! Because even in a million years no one will quite know how to structure an agency. Pity. But these are questions to span the ages. Top philosophers (they'll also have an agency called Thought) will debate the proper structure of the agency up to the bitter end.

Ah, the end.  That was what I meant to talk about. That's the only time there are any concrete answers to what the perfect structure for an agency would be. 

And that answer is nothing.

That's right, nothing. Zip. Zero. Nada. You lose Charlie + Bucket Creative. Because eventually that big sun is going to go all white dwarf and engulf not just the marketing people, not just the earth, but the entire solar system. 

And it is that very moment that the need for advertisers will exist. With no world there is simply no reason to keep paying expensive agency overheads. Some clients might feel the desire to take things in house but that won't matter on account of they're dead. 

The end of the world will probably solve a lot of problems for a lot of industries but I, for one, am happy that this question that has plagued agencies for so long is finally put to rest. 

Unless one of you creatives weasel your way onto a craft shooting out into space. God help the next civilization you encounter.

Computer, execute sequence Weekly Linkly One Oh Seven Dot Nine Slash.


The last true (American) hermit goes to jail.

The almost unknown art of Miles Davis

Herzog on creativity.

There are no easy answers.


I don't even know. But I love it.

Hush Money's Pull Ups

Crazy cool projection mapping in a Mexican graveyard.

Incomplete stories.

I'm thinking about stories. Even after the hubub over Stefan Sagmeister's missive "You are Not a Storyteller" has died down. Not because I think advertising people or even most people should consider themselves storytellers. God no. No God, no. I think people claiming to be storytellers are just searching to make themselves feel better about whatever they actually do.

It also seems that so called "storytellers" don't have a clue of what makes a good story. They haven't studied the shapes of stories, or the structure of stories, or even the essential aspects of story. Rather they throw out these lovely tales about how things just keep getting better because x, y, and z. (X, Y, and Z usually being some set of circumstances brought on by a product.) They are usually stories without conflict, devoid of lessons, and only completely self serving. Which means they're bad stories. So even if these people who claim they are storyteller are storytellers they're bad storytellers at best.

As for advertising it's closer to sketch than storytelling. Because sketch is all about heightening until you reach a point where you can't heighten any more. There doesn't have to be an arc. No one has to learn anything. Hell, as long as you haven't wasted people's time it's a good sketch. There are nuances, yes, and sketch is traditionally comedy but I think there's a bit of humor in any good ad, even if that humor comes from the relatability of some situation.

I learned that lesson while working on a Claussen Pickles commercial. We'd sold this spot that was all about a penguin going to the refrigerated section to find Claussens. Rather than try to make that the best spot I possibly could by realizing it was a nice little trek by a funny animal I tried really, really hard (way too hard to be honest) to fit it into a story. It didn't need to be a story as much as it needed to be funny and adorable. that would have been enough. But in my desire to make a piece of advertising something it wasn't the whole thing crumbled in my hands. (An expensive lesson to learn on someone else's dime.) 

So I guess what I'm trying to say is that I learned that trying to make something good (whatever that means) far outpaces trying to be something because you're insecure about what you actually are.

Throw your butts three times to the right, it's time for the Weekly Linkly.

So Robin Williams died this week and there was an outpouring of amazing writing about him and depression. There's going to be a bunch of those in this post so skip it if you're averse to reading about those kinds of things.



Pipe Guy can play house music with a shoe.

How to do a great magic card trick and make lots of friends.

Racist Chinese Food.

Amazing cake decorating machine.

Yelling in sleep.

Happy Belated Weekly Linkly, Jake Winthrop.


  • The Process People from The Ad Contrarian. It's one of the best things about advertising I've read in months.


  • Nershfest. It's a music festival but it's digital. It's also really well designed.
  • Edgar Wright's blog. Which I didn't know existed until last week. My shame about this is at unprecedented levels.


The best commuter bike. Maybe of all time. It's Denny.

Rick Fulcher cracks up Will Arnett

Hellman's Jar-BQ (for sad lonely people like myself)

David Lynch Nail polish ad

Shy Boys: IRL