Dave Chappelle on Letterman

Honestly I was going to like this before I even watched it because it's Dave Chappelle. But after watching it I liked it so much more because, contrived or not, it seems like he's being extremely honest. He's talking about regret and sticking with decisions and problems people have to face even if they don't have 50 million dollars dangling in front of them.

However, the part I liked the most was his thoughts on starting out. Talking about opening for Aretha Franklin at 19 but it not mattering because no one was there to see him. And he was free because he realized no one cared how he did other than himself. Pretty sure the same goes for everyone.

No need for creativity. We've got fear on our side. (Transcript from an agency brainstorm.)

Thanks showing up today guys. We're just gonna spend a few minutes ideating, uh, ways to curb underage drug consumption. I believe 'curb' was the language planning landed on earlier. That way things aren't quite a failure if we don't, you know, technically lower rates. It's one of those ambiguous things people say but no one really means. Our little secret.

And I had this great idea this morning, just spitballing here, no idea's a bad idea, and..and I've just been thinking about the cessation category as a whole. And you know what works really good? I mean really, really good? Wins big every year at the award shows.


Jim that is exactly right. Thank you very much. 

Fear-mongering. Like when your parents told you you'd grow hair on your palms if you jacked off. I shave four times a day! Should have taken their advice but the past is the past. 

Anyway, that's how we should going about combating, I'm sorry curbing all this underage drinking. Or pot taking. Susie do people still take pot? 


No matter. That's beside the point. Or..or..or.or.. maybe cocaine. No, yes I know it's fun. But we don't have tell kids that. They'll learn in time. 

We gotta scare them away from this stuff. And you can't scare without the hot breath of fear behind them. It's the only way to appeal to these kids. If we treat them like they have critical thinking skills or brains you know what? Those poor fucking kids won't have brains if we let them do drugs. That's a great idea, write that down. "Drugs: if you do them you won't have a brain."

I like it! I think that's a solid positioning. Good line. Now we just need images. Death. Bad teeth. A little girl, run over by a car bleeding into the street. Oh yes! Yes! Yes! A young boy huddled under a blanket with the word 'Crack' on it. I'm going to remember that one once wages are unfrozen, Dustin. Don't you think I won't.

Alright I think this was an exemplary session. We're in a great place. Just keep pushing it. Remember: fear is our friend. Shoot me comps by end of day. Email's fine. Don't bother checking my office, I'll be down at the bar nursing a couple of well deserved pints. 

Great work everyone.

It's a strange kind of feeling when all you give is links and it's just weeks in return.

You see what I do for you people? You see these links? These are my legacy. And I give it to you. I give it alllll to you.


  • The Current State of Podcast Advertising Is Not Ideal by Dustin Marshall, creator of Feral Audio. This is such a good blog post from someone who's in the shit every day trying to help other people make art. Feral, and by extension Dustin, produces most if not all of my favorite podcasts. The artists are given more freedom that anywhere else and it's all done for practically no money. I'm as interested as anyone to see what he has planned to make it more profitable because it's a company that deserves to be drowning in cash.



Phillip Seymour Hoffman on Happiness

Very compelling unboxing video. (via Copybeard)

Mee-eaters. Can't even begin to describe this one.

What is a photocopier?

Brief primer on Frankenstien.

Some people flourish in the wake of a natural disaster. And we're not jus talking about corporations.

This space left intentionally blank for the Creative Fuel case study piss-take everyone's been passing around. Go find it on literally other ad blog.


Confession to a question nobody asked.

Despite the impression this blog might give off, I don't spend all day thinking about advertising. Sure, I probably think about them more than the average person but the same could be said about people in insurance thinking about insurance. (Shit. Note to self: schedule payment for AAA Auto Issuance.) 

Even when I'm working on an assignment or brief I can't seem to stay stuck in the grove of it unless I'm sitting in front of a piece of paper, actively thinking about that problem.

This is something I used to be embarrassed by. Because the people I looked up to always seemed to be thinking about advertising. Always. They got ideas in the shower. Or came in to the office with a bushelful of concepts. Or wrote headlines in their sleep. 

I have enough trouble dreaming at all to even entertain the thought of a coherent line developing in my sleep. The closest you'd get is "Fleegzip! Grab the nozzle before the…BANG." (Second confession: when I sleep it's usually complete blackness or nightmares. Read into that however you want.)

But back to the original confession. As soon as I walk away from a sheet of paper my mind wants leap to other things. It's like a little bird collecting shiny objects. Ooo, look at this! And that! Isn't that video interesting? Does that gum on the ground look like Shaft? Yes. Yes it does. Let's just take a picture of that. 

The world, and by extension the internet, is just one big ball of distractions that I'm more than willing to be distracted by.

These kinds of diversions also happen when I'm sitting in front of a piece of paper but not nearly as often. There are times I'll find little concepts for short stories nestled in between headlines. Or, admittedly childish, doodles of horrible monsters. Or maybe just the word 'pie' written with no context at all. Not that this affects the quality of my work. At least I don't think it does. You'd have to ask my pervious employers to know for sure. These diversions probably happen to everyone but it's not a sexy thing to talk about and probably makes an employer feel like they're overpaying you because you're just off daydreaming and hours need to be billed, goddamnit! 

But I'm not currently employed by anyone so I'm living in the moment! Plus, with Twitter and everything else on the internet employers can already see how unemployable I am so I don't think one blog post is going to hurt anything.

Now, a little bit of walking back. 

There are times things just magically come to me. Not in a conscious way. In a way that scares me because I don't know where these things come from. They certainly didn't come from my brain. They were beamed into my skull as a reward for not thinking about it. (Some poet I read during college, can't remember who, said that ideas came barreling over a hill at a quick gallop and unless she jumped on it the idea would keep going on to the next person. That's the kind of thing I'm talking about.) And because those are unaccountable I can't claim any responsibility for those except for having the sense to hang on and use them as though they were mine.

But I know those aren't the result of obsessing about advertising. 

I did that for a while and everything I came up with turned to ash. I was too into it to make anything good because I wasn't living in the world. I was living in the ad world. And that's not a good place because it's all but disappeared up…er, down, its own navel. (That's something be sorted out by directionologists.) So something that used to make me feel really really bad (because even back then I couldn't help but get distracted by more interesting things) makes me feel good now. It makes me feel closer to other people and further away from advertising which is where I think I want to be. Not because I hate advertising or anything, but advertising to other advertisers just sounds like a sick circle of hell to me.

Another note before I wrap things up. All of this relates to the coming up with ideas phase. When you have to be open and come up with unexpected combinations and the next silver bullet that's going to solve everything for X Corp. But when something is actually getting made I can obsess like nobody's business. I'll revise and rewrite and rethink and rework until my eyes are bloodshot and hands are shaky from ingesting enough caffeine to kill a small mammal. (Marmoset, if you want to get specific.). But revision is a completely different and we don't have to get into that now.

We can if you want. Oh? No. You're cool. This is enough for right now? Your brain hurts. Sorry. Put some booze into it and think about something, anything other than advertising.

Liberally apply links to affected area and reapply weekly.

It's not snake oil, I swear. This is that new Lizard Oil everyone can't stop talking about. Try it today and improve your life!


Could not agree more with this: Advertising is Ripe For Revolution II


God gets client feedback on his first draft of earth.

The Orwells' new album 'Disgraceland'

Hostile Takeover (about the idiocy of 'page takeover' banner ads.)

"How did we get to a place where marketers think they know better than the creative specialist?" (via Sell! Sell!)

Sitcoms are strangled by a lack of conflict.

Handy visual guide to robots and cyborgs.

Thoughts on cheese and tweets and time.


Jon Stewart tackles the Indian elections.

Birds open automatic doors.

Quantum levitation

Down by river little where the soil's so fertile grows a plant called the weekly linkly.

And it's the prettiest little plant you ever did see.



Mo mo-capness. This time from Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes.

Gordon Willis, expert cinematographer, died last week. This interview of him is excellent. (via Sell! Sell!)

Incredible idea for housing in affected areas.

Sugar blowing in China!

More funny sketch comedy. This time from new group Hush Money.

Rupaul on WTF discussing the word Tranny.

R.I.P. David Abbott

David Abbott is the first copywriter in The Copy Book.

Even if it wasn't organized alphabetically that's where he'd belong.

Because in my opinion, and the opinions of others far more qualified to make decisions like these, David Abbott is the best copywriter who ever lived.

For me, back in 2009, his Economist ads were a slap upside the head.

After that there was that campaign and every other print campaign trying to be as good as it.

It made me realize things I didn't know I needed to realize.

Of course billboards could be that simple!

Of course you could write so forcefully!

Of course you could be funny and serious in the same handful of words!

Not only could you be, you might have to be to have work that's any good.

And this is without getting into his many other successes.

The agency he built.

The myriad brands he built.

The respect he built for the ad industry as a whole.

Or speaking to his personality. (I can't because I've never met him but have heard nothing but good things.)

There are also far better summations and blogs devoted to him. Namely Ben Kay's and Dave Trott's excellent blog entries. 

And if you're not familiar with Abbott's work (I can't imagine that's the case) you should take this time to familiarize yourself. I'll make yours way better and probably make you smile. 

Then frown. Because a certain class of copywriter just doesn't exist any more.

Thank you Mr. Abbott for making the ad industry better than it ever needed to be.

We lost the point and that's how we lost the war.

I've been thinking a lot about the failed Omnicom/Publicis merger. Not about it as much as why other creatives seem to care about it. Because I can't bring myself to care at all. 

I've tried, lord knows I've tried to think of something snarky to say or come up with my thoughts on it but I don't care. Because it doesn't have anything to do with me. 

And, in all honesty, I don't think has anything to do with most creatives. So I'm also having trouble understanding why anyone else cares about it other than they wanted something to write about or snark about other than the bleakness that is the day to day drudgery in most agencies.

Because these are banks we're talking about. Two big advertising banks. Maybe accounting firms would be more accurate but I've never been good with financial matters. 

And I don't think accounting or banking has much place in the business of creatives. Yes it effects the ad business as a whole, but it doesn't have a thing to do with making creative work. It's a distraction. And a good one at that.  

Truth be told I've never been a huge fan of holding companies because I don't like the idea that some force thousands of miles away geographically and millions of miles away ideologically is what I'm depending on to make a living. Bold stance, I know.

A holding company isn't worried about the end creative product so much as they're concerned with the end of a balance sheet.

Even the way this merger was promoted speaks volumes about what the holding companies think is the important bit of the business. They touted it as the biggest merger in advertising history. Touted the billions in billings they would be consolidating. Not a mention of creativity. Hardly even a mention of agencies or the work. It was all about the money. Which is fine if you're in accounting, but we're not. We're in advertising.

Advertising doesn't have a lot to stand on without creatives. Because creativity is the point of it. You can have the accountants but if you want to survive you need us. Losing sight of that is as detrimental to the business as any huckster has ever been.

It is these kinds of issues that make me side with the millions (billions?) of people who hate advertising. Which is a shame because I love advertising. 

I love when it's really good and makes me tingle because someone has managed to make business a little more human. To make things a little more relatable for non-business people. To take some of the millions of corporate dollars wasted every day on marketing and not waste them. That's the advertising I love and strive to make. Anything else makes me feel like my soul is being poisoned and that I'd be better off doing nothing than doing this.

Like most deluded creatives (my favorite kind of creative) I love the product but hate the business. 

The business is, by the way, slowly squeezing every last ounce of creativity out of advertising. It's upsetting because it so doesn't matter and it's just a distraction. It's upsetting because people seem more invested in this than they are their work. Than they are selling good work. Because it's money. But without creativity clients aren't going to have a reason to stick around.

Our job is to create. Not to worry about two banks entering into doomed matrimony.

Weekly walks the streets day and night to make sure the links are all right.



Really safe sex

One man has the most Terminally Chill Birthday of all time.

Evolution of the courtroom Sketch Artist. 

New Fentimans ad. Love me some Fentimans.

Also love me some Dipshits.