Monday, November 20, 2006

Branded Utility

The on-line folks are once again throwing around buzz words about a "new idea"...making a product or service that is actually worth-while to consumers. I mentioned to trend-extraordinaire Piers Fawkes that I thought what Charmin is doing in Times Square was the ultimate in "branded utility"...actually giving consumers an extremely relevant opportunity to interact with their brands.

He seemed to agree, or at least thought enough of the idea to throw it up for discussion on his Web site. Check it out at
Cheers. SPB

Monday, November 13, 2006

KFC Changes Logo...really?

So, it looks like KFC got a little face lift...but did it? I mean, you wonder how many agencies, executives, focus groups, wives, daughters, sons and household pets it took for Yum Brands to come up with this splendid new logo...which really just looks like their other logos.



Crash n' Burn

Nothing worse, or better, than the call from your clients around 3 or 4Pm asking, "hey, do you guys want to work tonight?"

I mean, how do you answer that? Say yes, and every writer, artist, director and production manager hates your guts...despite running for Starbucks, beer, pizza, and anything else those pre madonna's want.

Say no, and how do you face your client the next time you're walking the halls. "Hey, remember last week when you were in a bind and I told you to eat it? Well, me neither...hey, do you have some work we could be doing with you?"

The best is the conflict you hear from management. With one side of their mouths they're muttering about the quality of work that we will deliver in such a short time period or dreaming of shrugging them off, taunting them with the idea that if they would have called us first they'd have great work.

With the other side, they're asking what other agencies are doing working with your clients, and why you're not doing more to keep them out and keep your agency top of mind. Not to mention the numbers & projection questions that come at this time of year.

Well...I'm sitting here, waiting to hear back from the client on this latest round of creative at 11:11PM CST...only then to decide whether to drive the boards to his house about 40 minutes away...or simply meet him at the airport around 5:30 prior to his 7AM flight.

God I love this job.

Cheers. SPB.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

I met Satan in Las Vegas

I was on the first real life hot streak of my brief gambling career. Ten dollar bets had turned into $100 bets and over 12 little black chips sitting next to my Budweiser at the MGM.

Then Satan arrived, wearing a bow tie, a teal vest and name tag that read, "Chen".

Let me start from the beginning.

Following two days of setting up a large event and meeting for some clients, and after one extremely long not out in Vegas sans gambling, I decided to find a nice $10 minimum bet roulette table, throw down $40 and play for awhile. Well, after awhile, I was up an astonishing $375 bucks. I hit three straight numbers...then followed that up with hitting #25 twice...the second time with over $6 bet. For you high rollers, I'm sure this is comedy. For me, I was giddy.

A new "spinner" came rotated in and I didn't like the cut of his jib so I took my winnings met some friends playing video poker at the bar. Being novice gamblers themselves, we awkwardly moved towards a Blackjack table, making sure no one looked too experience as to avoid making complete asses of ourselves (funniest thing about'll drink a liter of vodka and dance naked at a club, but make a stupid bet at a table and you're scared for life).

We all bellied up and started off hot. Keeping it simple, $10 here...$20 there...doubling down and winning a few hands, shortly I was up another couple hundred dollars. Then, my Queen arrived. A young woman from Korea took over and things just got stupid. I couldn't lose...or better yet, the house couldn't win. I was winning on 19, 13, 20, 15...anything. It didn't matter. If i hit, I hit soft. If I stayed, she busted. It was awesome. I went up $300 on three hands in a row. I was flying...tipping the waitress $10 at a time for a bottle of Budweiser. I was slapping guys on the back. I was laughing when I'd lose a $40 hand.

It was not to last.

Satan arrived with a smile and cold laugh. He looked at all the chips on the table...said 'wow'...then stepped on our souls and pocket books. Losing always happens much quicker than winning. Within an hour, I was back down to $500. I placed a $100 bet...landed 11 with the dealer showing 7...of course...Double Down. Satan dropped a 2. I knew he was the devil.

Alas, the dreams of a new iPod...maybe some new shoes and a nice night out with the lady when I got home vanished with quick twist of the dealers wrist and my inability to call it quits.

I still left on top...$200 dollars, after starting with $40. It's a small sum...especially for Vegas. But it was worth the experience, for I have seen the devil, and he wears polyester.