Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I was thinking I should update my online portfolio. Oh I know, all of you out there update your sites every 3 weeks. But I haven’t really gone near it in quite a while. So in preparation, I asked a few friends what they thought of my old url. The responses were interesting.

“You don’t have any digital.”

“Where’s the digital?”

“Digital? Seriously”

Ok ok, like I said it’s been awhile. I HAVE digital, I just haven’t put any on my site. So before I went through the painful process of changing my port, I thought I’d check out the digital rich sites of my friends. (Who really aren’t a very helpful group, if you think about it.)

You know what I saw? Great print. Great TV. Great radio (ha). And a whole bunch of flash banners that featured something kicking something and a bad pun.

Seriously. It was like a dog kicking a beer can and the line “Kick off the Big Game with a 18 pack of Coors Lite.”

This is what I’m missing? Seriously? If these were print ads, they would get laughed out of ad 101. I understand that the web is a different medium, but come on.

A lot of these ads remind me of television commercials from the black and white days. Simple, goofy, and so desperate to grab attention that they are dumbed-down to the point of surrealism.

So I’ll get digital on my site eventually. But in the meantime, don’t get all huffy with me. We may think we’re in the golden age of web advertising, but the fact is, this is just the beginning, or the end of the beginning or whatever Churchill said.

Disclaimer: I am sure that everyone reading this has wonderful digital work on their portfolios. Incredible deep and strategic ideas that are interactive, viral and just oozing with social media.

Monday, March 21, 2011

How to get a job in advertising 2011 edition

Oh how the mighty have fallen. A few years ago creatives were sending out cover letters that were cocky as all hell.

“If you’re looking for copy that burns, contact me. I’m not gonna give you my phone number. If you’re smart enough to get me, you’ll figure it out.”

Today’s cover letters are a bit more “pathetic”. Filled with a lot more “begging.”

Dear Creative Director, I have over 10 years of experience in advertising. I have 20-30 produced national televisions commercials, including 7 Super Bowl spots. I HAVE awards too numerous to mention and I am related to 22 Academy Award Winning directors (all of who are willing to work for scale if it’s on one of my spots). And I personally created dramatic gopher, keyboard cat and Rick Rolling. I am looking for a full time job in advertising. If you have nothing open…if there is no current position at your office…I would be winning to work….for FREE. Call 24/7.

I wish I was making this up. But I have actually seen many offers to work for free. Now doing any job for nothing sucks. But working in advertising for no money real really sucks. Think about it, you’re selling out for NO MONEY. You would make the same salary just sitting on the couch playing XBOX.

I know, I know….if I get in the door, they’ll find out how talented I am. They’ll dump some no-talent hack and give ME their salary. I have two problems with this scenario:

1. Bad Karma dude

2. They’ll never pay you


Monday, March 14, 2011

Very Negative Advertising

Spoliers! This is not a real news event. It is an ad for the game, Homefront. Now that we have that cleared up, lets explore how this happened.

"We really need to get people's attention. Are there any topical events we can cling to?"

"Well North Korea is threatening an attack, but it would be very irresponsible to..."

"Great, we can use that. We'll make it a fake news event. Worked for Orson Wells."


"Never mind. We'll stick it on YouTube. Big picture of Hilary Clinton to make it seem legit."

"The Secretary of State? You can't just use her imag..."

This thing is gonna go big. I bet it'll go viral. Stupid people will even post this thing on their blogs.

Oh come on, that's never gonna happen.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Change

Spend a few years in advertising, and you’ll rack up quite a few late nights. Nights when the evil boss/client/AE dumps a big project on your desk and needs it in the morning. Then comes the pizza, and the coffee, and the booze. And finally at 1am you and your coworkers spill out into the night and climb into your cars (one of which won’t start).

Now, rack up a few MORE years. And suddenly you’re the one telling them they have to work late. Staring into their tired little eyes and saying those dreaded words, “you gotta stay.”

Ouch. Now you’re the bad guy. You’re not one of us, you’re one of THEM.

But you’re not ready. In your heart, these people are your friends. You see them every day. You eat with them. Get drunk with them. Get really, really drunk with them. And so you start feeling guilty.

But it has to end sometime. I mean the bosses don’t walk out weeping. I figure it gets a little bit easier every time you do it. The guilt lasts a day, then a few hours, until you find yourself telling a room full of people on Dec 24 that you need to see 5 new campaigns in 3 days (right when you get back from your trip to Aspen).

But I’m not there yet. I still feel bad when I make people work late. Real bad. But I figure I’ll get there eventually. I mean it happens to everyone, right?


Monday, February 28, 2011

Oscar Fever

So the Oscars are over. The speeches are done. And all those lame parties have wrapped (and I wasn’t invited AGAIN).

So what does the Academy Awards show have to do with advertising? Well apart from the fact that it is essentially a three-hour commercial for movies, I think the Academy Awards has a big effect on advertising creatives.

Admit it. When you see those people up there thanking their moms and gods, all you’re thinking is, “that could be me.” “If I had taken a different path. If I had made better choices. If I hadn’t dumped that writing partner who I thought was an loser, but turned out to be a genius.” A few more speeches later and the thought process begins to change. “Wait, there’s still time. I can pull out my old screenplay, take a few acting classes, call mom and ask for my old camcorder! How long would it take before I’M up there? One year? Maybe two? And what would (I mean WILL) I say when it’s my time to make a speech? Oh I can remember watching these awards a few years ago. I was in a dead-end advertising job, writing a smart-ass blog and praying for a way out. And tonight I am the toast of Hollywood! Now where’s my gift bag?”

And don’t think for a second it’s just a desire for a new creative output. A dream to create media that people actually WANT to watch. We know what it means to be one of those people at the podium. It means an end to Monday status meetings. An end to print ads. An end to advertising. It means long lunch meetings in sunny Malibu, coke parties in the Hollywood Hills and lots of fun development projects that won’t necessarily ever get made but pay remarkably well.

And then MORE awards and MORE money. And finally when you’re 95, they wheel you on stage at the Oscars and you get a standing ovation. Just try to keep the drooling at a minimum.

Also…sucked that banksy didn’t crash.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Is there anybody out there?

Ok, I get it. I dropped this blog without a word of warning. One day I was there, the next GONE. So what happened? Why did the Beef suddenly dry up? There are a few likely possibilities.

1. Got laid off

2. Got discovered

3. Got bored

4. Got really really busy because everyone else got laid off.

Whatever the reason I left, I have decided to return. I mean, think of all the stuff I missed talking about. New Logo Madness. American Apparel getting even MORE pornier. And everyone getting laid off!

So tune it to the your friendly neighborhood Creative Beef. There won’t be updates everyday, but I will try to get something up every week. And together we can remember why we love advertising in the first place.

What was that again?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008