The AFTERLIFE EPITAPH – Feb. 2nd, 2009 – #12, Vol 1.
Today is the American celebration named “Groundhog Day” (it’s also National Buy a Newspaper Day! Don’t you hate when two major holidays land on the same day!?) On February 2nd, a large rodent called a groundhog, which seems to serve no purpose in the food chain, is reportedly some kind of witch’s tool that comes out once a year, on February 2nd, much like my 58 year-old cousin who still lives with my aunt and uncle, and if he sees his shadow (the groundhog, that is), there is supposed to be six more weeks of winter. This is also used to gauge the bonus level of American automobile industry CEOs.
But, more importantly, tomorrow, February 3rd, is the 50th anniversary of the day the music died. Here at The AFTERLIFE, we have enjoyed the company of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson since the plane that carried them crashed into a snow-covered field near Clear Lake, Iowa.
Quotes from the deceased
“Those who will not reason, are bigots, those who cannot, are fools, and those who dare not, are slaves.”
~ Lord Byron
Eulogy to the afterlife
“Wow…what an effort. You’re research seems detailed and complete…who knew all this stuff existed!” – Bob Bishop, Bishop Partners, LLC.
We did! – JS
So, who says there’s a Richard Dawkins?
Professor Richard Dawkins, the author of non-fiction book ‘The God Delusion,” poses for photographers in front of a London bus featuring the atheist advertisement with the slogan ‘There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life’ in London, Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2009. The campaign supported by professor Dawkins and the British Humanist Association is a response to evangelical Christian advertisements running on buses in June 2008. For the campaign 800 buses featuring the slogan are running across the country and 1000 advertisements are posted on the London underground railway system.
Not available at your local Walmart
A model wears a creation by British fashion designer John Galliano as part of his men’s Fall-Winter 2009/2010 collection, in Paris, Friday, Jan. 23, 2009. Can you picture yourself in this outfit?
Perhaps a giant pretzel is more your speed for meeting the guys at the local sports bar? The phallic part at the bottom is a real “chic magnet!”
RIP T-shirt Hell
Tired of complaints and hate letters, the owner of the web site, tshirthell.com has thrown in the towel, shirt…er, whatever, and is closing as of February 10th. Innovative and cutting edge designs that are sure to offend are the hallmark of this eight year-old firm. It’s a shame that the products will no longer be available but a tragedy that the first amendment takes another hit from a few individuals who seem unable to just click a different link and not view the site and products that offend them so much.
The site offers 15% off for the next week…if you trust they won’t take your cash and tell you to go to…well, you know.
Color me pink…or whatever!
I knew a creative director who once scanned some Easter-color M&Ms for a spring line. This ingenious gadget design allows you to select colors from real life and achieve the more lively feel you were hoping for. Its built-in scanner captures the shade, the internal chip processes the information. Now Home Depot isn’t the only place you can capture that perfect color for all your design needs!
Paperless business cards
Move over, unwanted phone books and out-of-date business cards: There’s a new way to disseminate your contact information, and it’s called the .tel domain. By purchasing a .tel domain, you can create a digital version of all of the ways to contact you, accessible via an easy-to-remember Web address.
The .tel domains aren’t available for average Joes and Janes yet, however. According to TreeHugger, applications are only being accepted from trademarked businesses as of right now; on February 3, advance registrations will be accepted, and on March 23, domains will be available for everyone.
What are the benefits of a .tel domain? Unlike business cards, updating information like titles, phone numbers and companies is a snap. And unlike phone books, your directory listing is easily accessible, even on the go.
The question is: how do you tell people where your information can be viewed? I suppose you…need…a…business, er, card.
A graphic message
Not that we get into politics here because everyone ends up six feet under anyway, but we have to admire the graphics on these placards. Not the usual handwritten, misspelled messages. Just look at the craftsmanship of the horns on President Obama. The color balance. The hellish flames behind him. The upside-down flag is another brilliant touch that adds a certain “umph!” to the message.
The “God hates all nations” placard is an eye-popping usage of bold type, with great contrasting colors. These folks really had their act together and instead of going the cheap route by getting together one evening and hand-painting a bunch of signs, they obviously knew the value of a professional job and the results it can garner.
Always use a professional is the lesson here!
Under the “why didn’t I think of that dept.” comes Cereality. The unique franchise servers up cereal, both old favorites and new mixes of old favorites and add-alongs. Brilliantly branded, the stores have state of the art “bowls” and take-out packaging. The link, below is a must visit. Truly impressive!
By the same token, I remember when Peanut Butter & Co. was opened in lower Manhattan in 1998. “Hmmmm?!” I thought. “An interesting idea, but will it last?”
Well, owner and founder, Lee Zalban is a smart man. Over ten years he knew to expand and diversify just enough to keep the same PB experience, but to offer other venues on the theme.
Obviously doing very well, he grew up, unlike “Peter Pan” and didn’t have to “Skippy” town in a “JIF!” I know, I know. A business selling peanut butter sandwiches? Sounds nuts!
The breast solution?
Everyone is tired of those Enzyte commercials. They keep saying it enhances a “certain part of the male anatomy” (can they be legally libel if your feet swell?). Besides, it doesn’t work…I’m told. Well, there’s something for the ladies, too! A Bulgarian company has invented a beer that contains breast-enhancing stimulants proven to increase your cup size.
Boza beer was only available in Bulgaria—until recent custom changes that is.
“European men have been flocking to Bulgaria, buying Boza, and taking it home to their wives and girlfriends for a little experiment in alcoholic augmentation,” Styledash reports.
While the Bulagarians are drinking their boobs bigger, the Japanese are upping their cups with cookies. The “FCup” cookie is selling like, er, hotcakes in Japan. Please, God! Don’t let the kids raid the cookie jar when mom’s not looking!
Monster of an idea!
Monster.com has always had a great cutting edge to branding (what business entity would use an actual monster as a mascot?) and the new commercials are more of the same. Faced with a huge unemployment rate, the job site uses humor, which I have always said is the basis for an entertaining ad, ever since I was a young firebrand being dismissed from a Creative director’s office for suggesting humor be used in a car ad. Guess who was right?
A few issues back, we highlighted magnetic ninja throwing stars that appear to be embedded in your refrigerator or other metallic surface. Now there’s the same thing for pin boards. Use them in your office and co-workers will start being nice to you. VERY nice!
Try pinning a raise request to your boss’ pin board and we’ll bet you have double that in no time and the boss will probably avoid your gaze until retirement.
What’s old is ewww! again
I fully admit to wearing a fanny pack years ago. I wore it on my fanny and not turned to the front like some geek. They were great! When you need to tote a lot of extra stuff (and it was before cell phones needed an extra pocket, besides wallet, keys, etc.). Peer pressure and passing snickers led me to use it solely for the intended purpose of biking.
Well, with spring comes the new fashions and the fanny back is back and more rugged than ever! Expect to see these all over the place…until the snickers start again and people give them to Goodwill.
Permanent wrong choices
I once went to check into a motel and the young lady at the front desk had a fresh tattoo across her throat that said “Satanic” with a heart dotting the “i”. It was disturbing those who were checking in and several people turned and left but not before confronting the manager. Checking out the next day, the young lady was now wearing a scarf around her neck. I went to speak with the manager about it and was told that it was the young lady’s first job and she was so excited getting it, that she celebrated by getting the tattoo. The manager put up with it because the young lady was her niece. They were both gone the next time I stayed at that motel.
There’s an example of a foolish choice that will forever steer her career…right down the drain. Well, here’s some more foolish ink that either will separate the tattooed owners from society or make them regret it very soon down the road.
The new babysitter is here!
The orange prison jump suit tells the whole story of his choices in life!
Express bus to H…E…double toothpicks
We don’t like to second guess why people do the things they do. I mean, perhaps we don’t see why decisions are made, but…we know what we like and there was little to like as far as commercials go during the Super Bowl last night. We do have to save at least one seat on the bus to Hell for whomever was responsible for the GoDaddy commercials. Boys and girls (and I’m sure both were responsible), sex doesn’t necessarily sell (look at the PETA ad that was rejected). Clever. informative, entertaining. Those sell. Use some clever sex, informative sex or entertaining sex and you might have something, but those commercials will go down in history as some of the worst in broadcast history.
We would go on about this, but GoDaddy might consider it “water cooler talk” and feel empowered.
Trends can be short lived and why invest in that? The idea of a Satanic throat tattoo seems like a great idea when you’re 18 but pretty soon it’s evident that it was a waste of money. Here, at The AFTERLIFE, we consider long range goals and effectiveness of branding, ads, packaging and tattoos. So why gamble your creative budget with guys who will be wearing orange prison jump suits? Contact us for some great ideas that you won’t want to laser out tomorrow!
Jonathan Schneider – Archangel of Creativity