AD SHOUT OUT: OTRIVIN NASAL SPRAY

Stuffy noses happen to all of us. It’s a fact of life– when your nose is clogged, you can’t shut your mouth. It’s an unfortunate, yet unexplainable, truth that when our mouths are open, we just don’t look like the sharpest tools in the shed. It’s about time someone came right out and told us straight up – Hey, you look dumb.

Ad: Otrivin Nasal Spray

Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi Switzerland, 2011

I chose to shout out this TV spot from Otrivin Nasal Spray because it’s honest, and I love honest Ads. It’s one of those ads that screams what everyone is thinking, but no one ever says. It’s great. Plus, we could always use a little more honesty in advertising.

As a copywriter, I love the line they chose to go with. No sparkles, no twists. Just pure honesty. You look dumber with your mouth open. It hits you hard. No one wants to look dumb. Even dumb people don’t want to look dumb. It’s funny because, although I don’t think there is much to analyze in this straight forward spot, it’s relative to a person who may look smart and educated, yet once they open their mouth and say something, the sad truth spills out.

I personally love that they chose to poke fun at a child. Not only is it funnier, but strategically it’s smarter. The ad isn’t targeting the children; It’s targeting the parents of those children. No mother wants anyone to think her child is dumb. A child is a reflection of the parent. I’m no parent, but I’m pretty sure no mother would be happy to hear that Ms. Clark gave her kid the “Special Scissors” during arts and crafts time.

I think this spot teaches us a very valuable life lesson – When in doubt, keep your mouth shut. A closed mouth, and Otrivin, keeps them guessing.

THE ROAD NOT TAKEN

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I remember reading this poem in my high school English class. Looking back, I don’t think I understood the impact of it. But for some reason, it stuck with me. Eight years later, and I can still remember the exact day in class when I was first introduced to Robert Frost’s work. Jerry Seinfeld says maybe the road less traveled is less traveled for a reason. Maybe. But maybe that reason is simply that the world needs more leaders, and less followers.

———————————————————————————

The Road Not Taken
by Robert Frost


Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

AD SHOUT OUT: THE HOPPER

So you’re home watching your favorite show and just when it’s getting good, Boom! They cut to commercial. But hold on, sometimes, it’s not so bad. Sometimes, a commercial is actually worth watching. Here’s where I post my favorite of the week. The one that makes me want to call everyone into the room the instant it airs and yell, “It’s the commercial I was telling you about, hurry up!” But of course, by the time they actually come into the room, it’s over. So here it is. My Ad of the week, in case you all missed it.

This Week’s Ad: DISH – The Hopper

Ad Agency: Barton F. Graf 9000, 2013


Ironically, this week’s Ads celebrate the death of television commercials. Either way, still genius and hilarious.


I chose to shout out this campaign because at the moment, it’s the only television commercial I can recall from the top of my head. Well, that came out wrong. I meant, that out of the hundreds of commercials I’ve watched over the last week, this was the only one funny and entertaining enough to stay in my head. Every single time it comes on, everyone in the room laughs. And thanks to the great cast and their memorable Boston accents, I will never, ever be able to forget that these hilarious spots are for the “Hoppa,” which lets you watch Live TV and access your DVR from anywhere. Great product benefits and an unforgettable series of commercials. Props to you, BFG.

20 QUOTES THAT KEEP ME GOING

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Every once in a while, life hits us with a little something unexpected. Whether it’s heartbreak, mourning a loss, lack of motivation, broken friendships, or perhaps you just woke up on the wrong side of the bed, we can all agree that life doesn’t always go as planned. But, we must go on. In situations like these, I tend to cope by seeking out relate-able quotes to remind me that this is life, and it happens to everyone.

Here are 20 of my favorite carefully selected quotes that have helped me through the struggle and onto bigger and brighter things:

  1. “In times of test, family is best.” -Burmese Proverb
  2. “Live a little. You can’t be old and wise if you were never young and crazy.” -Unknown
  3. “Never regret something that once made you smile.” -Amber Deckers
  4. “If you’re not willing to risk it all, then you don’t want it bad enough.” -Unknown
  5. “Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.” -Alexander Pope
  6. “Always make new mistakes.” -Esther Dyson
  7. “Hear everyone, but listen only to yourself.” -Unknown
  8. “Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same.” -The Fray
  9. “You can determine how confident someone is by listening to what they don’t say about themselves.” -Brian G. Jett
  10. “People too weak to follow their own dreams, will always find a way to discourage yours.” -Unknown
  11. “Keep high aspirations, moderate expectations, and small needs.” -William Howard Stein
  12. “Always tell the truth. It’s the easiest thing to remember.” -David Mamet
  13. “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” -Milton Berle
  14. “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” -Albert Einstein
  15. “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” -Steve Jobs
  16. “Keep on going and the chances are you will stumble on something, perhaps when you are least expecting it. I have never heard of anyone stumbling on something sitting down.” -Charles F. Kettering
  17. “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” -Bill Cosby
  18. “Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” -Robert Brault
  19. “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” -Confucius
  20. “Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place, and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you.” -Rocky Balboa

And just one more for good luck:

“Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.” -Dory, Finding Nemo

MY DREAM AGENCY

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Being back on the job hunt has really made me think about my ideal dream agency. What may be the perfect place for you, may not be the perfect place for him or her. What makes you happy, may not necessarily make me happy. And that’s just it. My ultimate goal in life is to be happy. I don’t know what that means exactly, but I do know that if there’s a smile on my face, then I’m successful.

So what is my dream agency? Well, it’s just that. A place that puts a smile on my face. A place that I enjoy coming to every morning and don’t feel forced or obligated to spend so many hours of my day there. That, to me, is most important. In the advertising business, we spend so many hours and after-hours working. You wouldn’t want to be a miserable mess while doing so, would you? We are lucky to be working in an industry that allows us to have so much fun in the process. If you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong.

So what makes me smile in terms of an agency? I’d say these three things are most important:

1. Inspiration:
First and most importantly, to feel inspired when I walk through those front doors. A place where creativity and a passion for greatness radiate off the walls and give me that inner spark to do something amazing every single day. A place led by creative geniuses themselves, who are so passionate that just being around them stirs up something inside you that you didn’t even know was there. They value hard work, yet also know the importance of fun and time off to rejuvenate and recharge. They know that true creatives never stop thinking, no matter where they are.

2. Agency Culture:
This feeds off of number 1. The people are hungry with ambition and share a passion to do work that can change the world. But they aren’t just co-workers. They are friends. They are people you’d go out for a drink with on a Friday night and sing drunken karaoke with while swallowing your inhibitions. They are family, and together, everyone is proud to be a part of something great.

3. Unsafe Work:
Combine numbers 1 and 2 and the result will most likely lead to number 3. Different work. I really learned a lot about the type of work I want to be creating after working at my last agency. If it’s been done before, get it away from me. I want fresh, original, scary. In an ideal world, the client would trust you to do what you feel is best for their consumers and for their business. The work is unsafe here. It’s what makes it exciting, memorable, and if you’re lucky– controversial. That’s the type of work I want to do. That’s the type of work I want to point to and say, “I wrote that.” Not some mundane headline on the side of a highway next to a stock image of a kid that stirs up no inner emotion. Anyone can do that. But to create great, inspiring work that makes someone feel something? That takes talent. And that’s my dream.

I’ve realized just how hard it is to find agencies that really push for that creative, unique work. Most just do what the client says. None have the courage to show the clients what they should really be putting out into the world. They play it safe. But safe is just so boring. You might be thinking, what do I know? I’m just a junior with barely any experience in the business. Well, maybe naiveté is a good thing at this point. Maybe it’s a creative advantage not knowing what can’t be done. Why set limits? If I remember correctly growing up, we’ve always been taught that the sky’s the limit. I think fearlessness is just what it takes to make it in this business.

I had such a great opportunity working at my last agency. My creative leaders stood for exactly what I’m writing of. They’ve shown me what’s possible in this business and have now set my new standard. Their agency motto was “safe from safe.” And in a world where everyone is the same, it’s tough to find one who’s different. But I’ll keep looking. My dream agency must be out there somewhere. But until I find it, I’ll be happy with a place that offers even one out of the three.dream agency

MY LOVE/HATE RELATIONSHIP WITH TECHNOLOGY

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It goes a little something like this. Facebook buys Instagram. Poof! There go your rights to all your art. Seriously? Are we entitled to anything anymore?

Here’s what the terms state and what it means for you. Basically, Instagram owns your images. Any other business or entity may pay Instagram for the use of user images, “and may do so without any compensation to you.” Bullshit. Instagram users are in a sense, photographers. Every photographer should own the right to his or her photos. Who does Instagram think they are?

They state the only way to opt out is to delete your account. So be it. On to the next one.

I have a feeling that Instagram will be losing a lot of users very quickly. As an avid user myself, I am very disappointed by these new terms. I love Instagram. I love going about my day and coming across an interesting setting where I think right away, Instagram! It’s become infused into my daily life. But now, I’ll have to think twice about it. These photos are for me. For my friends, and for my family. Why do you feel the need to steal MY images, along with millions of other users, for your benefit?

This all brings me back to this one point I seem to be coming back to a lot lately. Technology. Technology sucks. Sure, technology helps us in a lot of ways, but with it, we also lose a lot of things- mainly our privacy. Everything is digital. Everything is online. Everything can instantly appear right before your eyes with the press of a few buttons. I personally miss the days where photos existed in photo albums in a box under the bed. Where people had to dust off the cover and actually be there to look through the pictures. They existed in one place only. And you controlled who saw them. You owned them.

Now, your pictures are everywhere. A photo that you take in your bedroom can end up on a screen in someone’s office in South Africa. Someone you don’t even know! Everything, and I mean everything, is way too accessible today. I don’t think people realize just how creepy it is that once something enters the digital realm, it’s there forever and you have no control over who sees it. You pretty much don’t even own it anymore.

I mean think about it. You go out on a Friday night with some friends. You have a few drinks, take a few pictures. Immediately, you upload them to your Facebook or Instagram to share with all your friends. But do you ever really stop to think about where that photo can end up? People all the way across the world can see that photo. I’m not talking about your grandmother or uncle in Greece. I’m talking about complete strangers. Complete strangers can gain access to your photo and see what YOU were doing Friday night at a bar in New York City. Is that really necessary? You’re basically sending your photo out into the world and telling ANYBODY, “Here, look at me. Manipulate me.” It’s just not right.

And now Instagram just decides to claim ownership of your work. I, myself, work in the Advertising business. I can see how something like this can greatly benefit the ad industry by creating a huge pool of stock images for content. But even I don’t like it. Business is one thing. But Instagram- our photos of our moms, our dads, our friends, our children, our pets. Those are personal. And Nobody should have to the right to those, but us.

Am I surprised instagram created these new terms? Absolutely not. It was bound to happen. I’m actually surprised they waited this long to make it happen.

But Instagram, I will leave you with this. If you really want to steal my photos of my dog and make him famous, then be my guest. Just keep it classy. He’s an aristocrat.

Thank you.

Romeo the French Bulldog

THE POWER OF LAUGHTER

LAUGHTER

I’m not talking generous smiles or miniscule giggles. I mean out of control, can’t breathe, can’t stop, tears down your face crying.

I mean when did you ever regret laughing? When was an outburst of uncontrollable laughter ever followed by, “shit, I can’t believe that just happened. I don’t have time for this?”

Laughing is never a waste of time. It’s probably the only thing in life that is NEVER a waste of time, no matter what you’re putting on hold for it.

A good laugh is almost always followed by a sigh of relief. A sigh that means, “wow, that felt good.”

CAN’T WE JUST RIP?

INTERACTIVE GRAVE MARKERS

QR codes placed on tombstones?

Ok, seriously? I’m not sure how I feel about this, but I don’t think I like it. Do dead people really need a digital profile? For crying out loud, let them rest in peace! It’s bad enough everything around us is becoming digital. Now they want to take away the one true escape we had to look forward to?? Come on. Is it just me who thinks this is ridiculous??

WORDS ARE FOREVER

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It hit me one day, a few weeks ago. I had one of the most amazing nights of my life. I wanted to tell everyone about it, so I did. And then someone said to me,

You should write this down so you can remember it forever.”

Of course I should. What was I waiting for? Each time I told the story, a few details got lost. The passion was falling through the cracks of time. Seriously, what was I waiting for?

So, one night I grabbed my notebook. I have these notebooks that I write everything in. My life experiences. I try to keep track of the most important moments in my life. But when I opened the notebook, I saw that I hadn’t written anything in over a year. A whole year, plus more. I was so behind, and it angered me. So much has happened in the last year – good and bad – and I hadn’t written down a thing. Sure the big things are still fresh in my mind. I can run through a short summary of what my past year was like. But what about the details? Those are the things that really matter. And since I didn’t write them down, there’s a good chance they’re lost forever.

I made a list of all the major points of my past year to remind myself that these are the things I need to write about. And I started with the most recent. That one night that I never want to forget.

So I wrote. And wrote. Pages and pages, making sure to get every detail. A few weeks had already passed since that night, and I felt the details slipping. I was disappointed. I decided I need to write more often and quickly.

As for the rest of my list, I’m hesitant. I can already sense the frustration of traveling back in time and trying to make sense of all the mixed up memories in my head. I know what happened, but everything is all out of order. The times, the dates. It’s all a mess.

There’s also that factor of having to relive the past. Sure, if it’s a good memory I’ll be excited to relive it and put myself back into that situation to experience it again in my mind. But the negative? No thanks. I don’t want to relive those memories, but I do want to document them. It’s best to do it when it’s fresh. If it’s something great, I can remember each and every detail for the rest of my life. I can explain it in a way so that my readers can feel as if they are experiencing it themselves. But after a certain time has passed, that ability is lost. I mean, I can barely remember what I ate for dinner yesterday.

And if it’s something bad that you don’t necessarily want to remember, write it anyway. I’ve found it relieving. You vent to this piece of paper (or to this screen). No one needs to know. You get all the details out. And then, it’s over. You never need to revisit that page. But there’s a comfort knowing that it exists.

Maybe it’s just me. I like to remember things. That’s why I also photograph everything. But pictures never capture the entire story. Pictures tell lies.

True words never lie.

I guess I just have this obligation to keep track of my life. After all, I am the only one who can.

WHY WRITE?

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Hello prospective readers. I’ve finally managed to put this blog together for my own sake, and hopefully for some of yours.

I started this blog to get my thoughts out. I usually prefer old fashioned pen and paper, but there’s something about pressing buttons that just lets the words flow out smoother and faster. And sometimes I just have so much to say.

I found myself inside my own head a lot lately. And I came to realize that it just isn’t healthy. You know, your thoughts can eat you alive. Like little bugs inside your brain just eating away your sanity.

There’s something about writing. It’s freeing. There are things that happen in your everyday life that of course you want to remember forever. But how can you? Sure, right now you can recite those moments front and back, inside and out, describing every detail from the color of a freckle to the number of clouds in the sky. But what about how it made you feel? They say people never forget how things make them feel. But time is a very powerful thing that can erase mountains of memories. But words? Words are stronger than time.

I’m telling you. Write. Write things down. That quote up there, that’s from me.

WRITE STUFF DOWN.

BEFORE YOU KNOW YOU, YOU’LL FORGET.

AND THEN THE MAGIC IS LOST FOREVER.

– jk

Remember it.

It’s the reason I started this blog. You only live once. Experiences only come once. You may try to recreate them, or relive them. But no matter how hard you try, it is NEVER the same. So write things down. Write down how things made you feel. Their smell. Their taste. The emotions that ran through your body. The things you saw. The colors, the texture, how soft something was. Because before you know, it’s all a blur. All your memories blend together into one big mush. From “exactly,” to “something like that.”

But words. Words are always exact.

Words can set you free. Free to create new memories without worrying that your old ones will get lost in time.

That’s why I write. It’s liberating.

So today, I’m writing my first post. September 30th, 2012. Happy Independence Day to me.