Novice design analysis, queso, and Ellis Brooklyn’s Bibliotheca box set

I’m just going to come out and say it.

I am a huge sucker for marketing that implies that the buyer is knowledgeable and well-read or appreciates some sort of pseudo-sophisticated humor. Like it makes me actually feel dumb after the fact for falling for it over and over. Whenever I catch myself wanting something because I think it’ll make me look smart I wonder if the thrill of having knowledge others counts as a guilty pleasure. Is it if you feel like a dick doing it? Is it if you don’t feel like a dick doing it?? Is that simply nerdy, or does it cross into being elitist? Am I even snobbier than I thought I was? Will I start interjecting “um, actually” more or less after this revelation??

In my defense though I think it really just boils down to wanting to be in on all the jokes. Nerdy jokes are hands down the best.


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Calvin Klein releases gender-free fragrance

Hey Calvin Klein, the fragrance industry already has a term for “gender-free” fragrance: unisex. I think that you know that, seeing as CK One is unisex.

Unless you just mean your marketing campaign. To which, sure, jump on that wagon before it leaves. The popularity of Orange is the New Black, the media-positive view of Caitlyn Jenner’s transition, and H&M and all of the little companies that have made it safe for the big and the old to do this makes this a decent time to get on. And it really hits that “no labels” thing that millennials like.

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“Creative lifestyle brands”

Picture from VF article

I admit that I’m a sucker for stories in marketing. I love storytelling and I love creative angles and interesting packaging and pretty, pretty words. I’m optimistic and gullible like that.

When it comes to fragrances, there’s a lot of that. If you’re not already a household name, it’s not like the computer has smell-o-vision, and all you have is that story and the best graphics you can invest in and reviewers writing that they’re being taken to the moon by a whiff. It’s probably why this is my current expensive hobby over something more useful like tech or politics.

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Field notes in New York and puppy positivity

The return of my mother and my brother from their time in Hong Kong, my productive breakfast at Lole Atelier, and a 5 minute conversation with a really nice dog owner with a 4-month-old black shiba puppy has been rejuvenating in a way I never really seem to expect, which is good, since it wouldn’t be so effective if I expected it to happen.

Highlights from:

Speaking about social media and branding

Matt Archambault: Social media and branding

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I Will What I Want – Under Armor

I’m loving those new Under Armour ads. They’re a perfect follow up in the theme set by the Always #LikeaGirl Superbowl ads; crazy excellent women doing crazy excellent at the things they do. Misty Copeland, especially struck me as a a great model for this particular set of ads because I have experience with the dance and performance industry, and the voice-over used in her video really struck a chord. Under Armour especially does a great job expressing an emboldening message, while making their products look fantastic.

Any profession where the body is used as an outward vessel for expression incites criticism of the vessel. Calls for an idealization of the vessel that makes it so that expression through it is exclusive. Modeling is the same way, though Giselle Bundchen’s ad focuses on a slightly different issue. There’s this odd tendency in all visual arts, from videography to photography to writing to watercolor to etching to dance, that dehumanizes the subject, and concentrates them down to that moment. At best, art gives a summary. We can’t forget that there’re always more to the story.

Hershey vs. the UK

That’s insane. I understand Hershey has a trademark to protect, but overseas Cadbury has this lovely distinct taste to it that the ones created here simply don’t have. I can’t believe Hershey was able to block the importing of decent eating chocolate. LBB Imports, the name of the company Hershey sued, cannot sell imported candies such as Toffee Crisps, Yorkies, and Maltesers, as well as candy with American equivalents like Cadbury, Kit-Kats, and Rolos anymore, and the lawsuit was dropped. It’s like an affront against globalization though.

We’re already facing a chocolate shortage. I am now even less likely to buy Hershey products, and I originally had only really liked Kit-Kats, Reese’s Pieces, and York Peppermint Patties, none of which I purchased on anything resembling a regular basis. They may have a right to protect their trademark, but this leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Happy Advertising Week!

I’m going to be super exhausted this week because it’s Advertising Week all over Manhattan and I’m volunteering!

Advertising Week is in its 11th year, and it’s the largest collection of communications and marketing leaders in the industry. Lots of lectures with lots of topics, lots of food, and lots of music. Speakers like Dan Ackerman, Ariana Huffington, Jamie Oliver, Laura Adams, Jessica Alba, Mario Batali are going to be discussing awesome things in tech, comm, and marketing, and A-Trak, T.I., The Script, Outkast, and Wiz Khalifa are all performing.

Unfortunately, I have to miss much of the night shows because I have school at night, but it doesn’t bother me that much because I’m honestly going to learn (thought it would have been really cool to be at the kick-off gala.)

Get your tickets here, and I hope to see you at an awesome lecture!