Monthly Archives: December 2011

Most Contagious 2011

Every year, I find myself looking forward to the Holidays for one key reason … Most Contagious Wrap Up time!  Did you think I was going to say quality time with friends and family?  Try as you might to keep up with all that’s new and neato throughout the year, Contagious Magazine’s yearly wrap up is bound to deliver an oh wow or two, or at the least make you see something you already knew about in a new way.  And, it’s free!  My gift to you here.

Click here for the site.

Holiday Cheer: Throughout the Year for One Agency

People love the holidays. Fact. I grew up in a household that didn’t celebrate Christmas and yet my Yule Log DVD is on heavy rotation this time of year (also a fact). Some may even go as far to say they wish Christmas were year-round…unless of course, you have no choice in the matter.

Mr. Clause embodies every agency employees’ worst nightmare in a piece by Fold7. Bringing Christmas to tissue meetings, job interviews, and creative sessions, its apparent that the real Santa is in fact, a break room bully. Looks like someone’s ending up on the naughty list this year…

2011/12 Branded Content Spending

According to a recent survey by Custom Content Council, 39% of US companies expect to spend more on branded content in 2012. This comes after spending hit a record high in 2011 – $1.91MM per company (after a dip in 2010).

Educating consumers through content is the primary goal for most clients, while retention and loyalty come second.

Something to keep in mind when talking to your current (and prospective) clients.

Click here to learn more



Girl Walk // All Day: (not) Owning It

Last week, I had the opportunity to listen to friend Lance Weiler speak with the Writers Guild of America about how the idea of authorship in entertainment is obsolete. He broke it lightly to them by saying, “the thing about ownership is, you don’t really own it.” I brainstormed with about nine established screenwriters ranging from youngish to super up there about how they could design other properties of value around stories. Like the deal goes like this: the story is free, but the stuff still has visceral value that people will totally pay for.

And then there’s sponsorships. One of the coolest out there is definitely the creators project – a partnership with Intel and Vice. I have to admit, I’m a few days late on the story of Girl Walk’s 71 min music video to Girl Talk’s latest album All Day. (For those of you who don’t know, Girl Talk remixes about 12 songs per track release for free this crazy, completely illegal music under label “illegal ART”). Download it for free! The screening of Girl Walk // All Day is in Brooklyn tonight, and I’ve got to run to make it, so in the spirit of piracy, I’m just going to rip off the creators project article for this post (below). BUT, to mash it up, I’m adding my stream-of-consciousness while reading it and listening to All Day.…  yep, I’m in purple.

Girl Talk’s All Day Gets A 71 Minute Music Video

by The Creators Project Staff December 05, 2011

When Girl Talk released his last album, All Day, the internet went pretty wild. Visualizations and breakdowns of his expertly crafted remixes abounded as the album seemed to capture the collective imagination of the entire music-loving world and provide a hearty dose of creative inspiration as well.

Right now I’m 30 seconds late for a meeting 10 blocks away. But I’m writing because…… I’m inspired. The music is sort of so intense and loud in my huge earphones that I bought for film school (which I dropped out of) that my hands are literally shaking, making it harder to type, finish this, and get to my meeting with Hank.

But perhaps the mother of all Girl Talk tributes is debuting this week, a 71-minute-long music video created as a visual accompaniment to the mashup album called Girl Walk // All Day. It features a ballerina who has a bit of a freak out and a blonde guy in skeleton leisure wear who dances like he’s made of rubber. The first part of the film, School’s Out, was cast out into the world wide web a few days ago, and subsequent parts will be rolled out over the coming weeks. But those of you who are in New York can watch the entire thing at the Masonic Temple in Brooklyn this Thursday, December 8th when they screen it at the release party. Get your RSVP here.

So Supposedly this screening tonight it FULL, but I’m going to try to find a way in…

We spoke with the film’s managing producer, Youngna Park, to find out more about the project and what, exactly, the team had in mind here.

It’s amazing that these guys are able to sustain their creative process in the midst of day jobs, the economy, the news, etc…. hacking it as an independent artist today is incredible.

The Creators Project: How did Girl Walk come into being? What in the world possessed you to try and make an album-length music video?
Youngna Park:
As a child, Jacob [Krupnick, director] was largely influenced by MTV and music videos. He found these brief, potent, immersive experiences were fascinating, and was especially drawn by videos with a narrative, or which broke from the original song to try and develop a little context. As an artist, he is working to create work that makes a big impact, engages an audience, and that combats the distraction most of us feel in the face of a really fast-moving, technologically-enabling life. Combining sound and video have the power to do this, [as well as the ability] to be shared on a large scale.

The idea for Girl Walk // All Day is an expression of these ideas, but the storyline comes from meeting an amazing, mercurial dancer named Anne while making an installation piece for a fashion show a few years ago. Jacob embarked on a long search for a soundtrack that would challenge her, and be widely enjoyed by the public. Upon hearing Girl Talk’s album, All Day, he knew he’d found the perfect soundtrack for this larger project.

Really should go to this meeting now… but the thing about this album is that I’m overrun with these rushes of nostalgia for songs – riding in cars in high school, babysitting, songs from my parents home on weekends cleaning the house – all mashed up in these new forms that make my heart rush with the power of freedom – absolute freedom – to grow and reach whomever you want and be whomever you want as soon as you realize that it’s not about owning, it’s about sharing. But just to point out the obvious irony of all this stuff, the creators project depends on intel funding, which derives a lot of its competitive edge from patents, as do most tech companies. But with Intel’s lab star Genevieve Bell going around talking about how “data is feral,” it’ll be interesting to see how far they can go with that.


Creator’s Project Blog

Girl Talk’s Samples Revealed

Kevin Holmes November 22, 2010

So, last week Girl Talk released his latest album All Day as a free online download (and crashed the servers of his record label, Illegal Art, in the process). But now that you’ve given the albums a few spins, you’re dying to know what all those samples are, right?

Well, thanks to Wikipedia users who probably spent their working hours productively slacking off and identifying and cataloguing most of the songs used in the tracks, you can now listen to the album and see exactly what song’s being sampled as it’s being sampled, courtesy of software engineer Travis McLeskey’s site Or, if you’d prefer a more visually-inclined sample tracking experience, check out this visual timeline of samples from @brahn. All hail the power of the internet.

Click here to see more.

Off The RIM: a Lesson in Proactivity

This week, at the LeWeb conference in Paris, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom announced that the retro iPhone photography app that has come to function as the hipster right-brain will soon be coming to Android. He expects to double the user base from an already robust 50 million. I, of course, will not be one of those new users, as I’m a part of the 99%­ – er, 9% – that still uses a Blackberry.

Yes, that’s right, the formerly imposing Blackberry has fallen to 9% market share in the US, down 15% from this time last year. Fifteen percent! Why? The easiest answer is that Apple and HTC have raised the bar, but this begs the question, why hasn’t Blackberry kept up? The answer is brand hubris.

When you’re the gold standard of mobile 2.0 technology (remember, the preeminent debate used to be Blackberry vs. Palm), it’s easy to get cocky. Why do you think massive fourth quarter comebacks happen in sports? Not because all of a sudden the teams switch skill levels. More often than not, one team gets complacent, and stops being proactive in trying to score. As technology development and adoption hit light speed, the same problem befalls brands.

At this point, it’s hard to make the argument that Blackberry’s product is up to par with the newest offerings from Apple and HTC. But when you’re the first brand to really do the smartphone right, you’d think there would be some lasting equity. Well, think for a second, what exactly is Blackberry’s brand about? Is it security and reliability? Oh wait, their global data servers went down for three days in October. Is it ease of communication? Well, Google already stopped offering their Gmail app a month after it launched and the once-revered BBM service now faces virtually identical competition from iMessage and other third-party clients. It certainly isn’t aesthetics. Think back, can you remember any distinct advertising or brand messaging that separated Blackberry from its competitors?

What RIM is left with is a product that has lost its technical edge and has an utter deficiency in branding. That’s how you lose consumer loyalty to the point where your market share can be more than halved in one year. The lesson: don’t let success get in the way of innovation. Be proactive in improving and communicating your brand. As David Ogilvy once famously decreed, sell or else.