Great illustration work from Nook.
Asian American sketch comedy troupe 18 Mighty Mountain Warriors celebrate the holiday with their Thanksgiving Special: The First Illegal Immigrants.
Ray Young Chu takes on the commercial art world with his graffiti roots and anime influences.
Can my company get a bailout? Watching the economy implode has been frustrating and fascinating at the same time. But you don't necessarily feel the effects until your job security is in jeopardy. While the subprime mortgage mess got messier and Wall Street self-destructed, I continued to collect paychecks and paid my thankfully fixed-rate mortgage, bills and car notes. Even shopped a few times while shaking my head at the growing financial crisis.
Then came the layoffs at my company. 10% of the workforce gone. The president announced sales getting worse next year with more layoffs scehduled for next January. Yes, its not as bad as other companies - but it doesn't make it easier to hear. The whole culture has changed. What was always a stable work environment during my time has changed into a place of paranoia, nervousness and concern. People are wondering who's next. Unproductive people were cut first, but ultimately no one is safe.
One morning, I was talking to a buddy in another department at his desk. He was away on family vacation during the layoffs and said he was thankful to still have his job upon returning. 30 minutes later, he texts me from his home saying he was laid off (after 11 years of service). His wife has a struggling business and they have 2 kids in daycare and an expensive mortgage. Luckily, he gets severance and he'll collect unemployment. But they'll likely have to downsize housing, cram all their medical checkups before their current health insurance runs out. Pull kids out of daycare and look for more affordable care (or relatives). Lives get turned upside down and its mind-blowing how so many people are in this same boat. A boat with that Titanic feeling. This isn't the Great Depression, but are we approaching a "Little Depression"?
Call me late to the party, but now I've pulled back on my consumption. And now, I can see firsthand why the economy isn't moving. People don't spend or borrow when there's no job security. Worse when they're unemployed and in debt. Simple but true. I suppose we're paying for the sins of over-consumption and reckless spending. But for us common folk, we're paying for the sins of others. Reportedly, $300 billion of the bailout has been wasted - given to big banks for their own purposes (bonuses, shareholder benefits, unassociated acquisitions) rather than buying up clogged mortgage securities. How frustrating is this to watch when those AIG execs take a lavish half-a-mil spa vacation a week after getting bailed out? Or when those Detroit auto execs take a private jet to Washington to beg for taxpayer money? Its like going to collect welfare in a limo. You get the feeling that these fools will collect the bailout money and just commit the same mistakes again? Yeah, me too.
Just gotta hope Obama gets things in order. It seems he has all the right people on his economic team. Although its funny seing Robert Rubin advising when he directed Citigroup through its current mess...
Nice article in the NYT featuring several ad creatives discussing the new world of advertising and the challenges in connecting to a population with new media habits. Its true that many people spend all day in front of screens - and not just a computer screen or a TV. There's the phone/PDA at your fingertips (I seemingly can't function without my iphone in my hand and others, including Obama, feel the same about their Crackberrys), touch screens in the back of cabs, digital billboards and sides of public buildings.
Are we nearing the scene in "Minority Report" where Tom Cruise walks through a public street and hologram billboards interact with him personally with knowledge of his background and buying habits? I still get weirded out when Gmail and Facebook advertising changes to match the titles of my emails...
Going beyond the sensory overload and the non-existent attention span, people nowadays are accustomed to controlling their media content to fit their schedules and interests. TV has changed dramatically in my lifetime. Its no longer about the 3 main networks. Its not even about the hundreds of cable channels fragmenting the viewing audience. In the age of the internet, dv-rs/tivo and on-demand, most people act as their own TV programmers and schedule what they watch and when they watch. By the way, I hate how you're forced to watch a commercial when you stream a tv show or even a clip off the net.
In the old days, ad agencies could get away with selling anything because consumers were in the dark about the products. Now, the internet has given consumers the power of information on products and the old axiom about advertising being a business of lying may still be true but the reality of it has become more challenging.
So the admen in this article believe in promoting authenticity of a product and niche target marketing in all available media. All of this targeting will pull in all the fragmented groups of consumers towards a personable yet dynamic brand. One guy specifically cites sneaker companies that issue customized editions with designs honoring rockers, rappers and president-elects. Capitalize on the compulsion of media participation and interaction. So many fools want to be a reality star and every brainiac wants to comment or speak their mind on the internet. So an effective campaign gives customers the opportunity to customize products, participate in websites, viral videos or ad gimmicks.
I enjoyed their take on Katie Couric - I wonder if CBS is going to take their advice on promoting her as a multimedia brand (unless they've decided to dump her). Its true that the Walter Cronkite model of the evening news is outdated - who still sits through a full 30 minutes of news from one source? We gather or get alerted by seemingly hundreds of news sources a day through blogs, websites and news feeds.
I can barely sit through something I love to watch - like a football game without itching to multi-media-task. I remember reading a news report discussing the multi-tasking effect on children. Back in the old days, parents told kids not to watch TV during homework time. Listening to the radio in the background was debatable. Nowadays, many high schoolers do homework on their computer while answering hundreds of IM screens, listening to itunes, peeking at youtube clips, writing blogs and gossiping on facebook. The danger lies in a lack of focus, but it may just prepare them for the real world at its current pace. Yes, there is a lot of time-suckage within the multi-media-tasking, but perhaps the absorbent couch potato is a dying breed.
New print by Todd James aka REAS.
Vid performance of "Lovely, Love My Family" for the Nickelodeon show Yo Gabba Gabba.
Cool site with accompanying poster/postcard set available for purchase.
Great work from Manila based designer/illustrator Anjo Bolarda.
This is an old bit that aired before the election but its still funny. Japanese comedian Mr. Nocchi impersonates Barack Obama and goes on a mission to meet the real deal at a St. Louis Rally.
Great photography from NYC based photographer/director Timothy Saccenti.
Found this off grainedit. Great 50's design in this 1958 dinner menu celebrating the 1st anniversary of Scandinavian Airlines' North Pole Route from Copenhagen to Tokyo.
Cool commercial promoting Toshiba's upscaling technology. This goes beyond the Matrix styled 3-D rotation of a still-shot and actually manipulates moving snapshots of time.
I love looking at modern electronics and design of the past.
Great nostalgia and great site here.
Great illustrations from Argentine artist/designer Gianluca Fallone.
I've lived nearly half of my existence and all of my adult life in the Philly area - but last weekend I became a tourist of my own town. If you're like me, you usually avoid these tourist traps and chuckle at fanny-packed and camera-necklaced visitors ogling costumed Ben Franklins as they shuffle around town. It all changes when you have out-of-town friends visiting and they want to see "typical" Philly.
So, with cameras around our necks (no fanny-packs), we took our Japanese friends on a textbook tour of the illadelph. It was literally textbook because we checked off nearly every destination in their tourbook. Rocky statue and the Art Museum area, all of the historical spots around Independence hall, and a nightcap at Pat's Steaks. I haven't seen the Liberty Bell since I was a little kid - but its still amazing how one bell served as a symbol for so many movements including Women's suffrage and the Civil Rights Movement. I relearned a bit of history as I visited Betsy Ross' house and the Carpenter's hall for the first time. My Japanese friend has a great admiration for the American revolution - commenting that revolting against the British served as a basis for the strong character of American people. We can add slavery and destruction of Native American lives to that foundation...but I decided to keep his view rosy.
Sometimes its easy to forget that the U.S. is still a relatively young country. What seems like ancient history to me, is modern history to our Japanese friends. As a sidebar, it was interesting to learn about the nature of high-school history classes in Japan. Many Japanese don't get in-depth lessons in modern Japanese history in schools - purely because their history is sooooo long. Lots of events, eras and emperors to cram in there.
We stood in line at Pat's for 45 minutes to get a famous cheesesteak with dripping liquid cheeze whiz. I haven't had a cheesesteak for more than a year (and my heart thanks me for that). My friends were too intimidated to order for themselves - as there are specific rules on how to order. Think of Seinfeld's Soup Nazi - but substitute soup for cheesesteak. So, I ordered "4 whiz wits" (translation: 4 cheeze whizzed cheesesteaks wit onions) handed my pre-ready money and stepped to the next window for pickup. There is a sign detailing the proper ordering process complete with lingo translation. If you mess up, you gotta go to the back of the line. And this line was 50 people deep. I told our friends that next time they can order for themselves and they grinned nervously.
I'm so glad its finally over! And with a happy ending. Feels incredible to witness and take part in a historic moment. Even though victory seemed certain in the last few weeks, it still seemed surreal. Touching to see all the celebrations and the tears of joy.
Got up to vote at 6am this morning at the local elementary school. I followed in a trio of college aged African Americans up the walkway to the entrance. A middle aged well dressed white lady comes out the door, glances at us and says out loud "Oh boy!" And not a happy "Oh, boy!"
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