World Cup Time!

Next week the world’s largest sporting event kicks off in Brazil when the host plays Croatia on June 12th. To get you in the mood, here’s a montage of amazing trick shots put together as part of an ad campaign by McDonald’s. Many dismiss the shots as fake but the agency behind the project assures us that there was no CGI used in the making.

And here’s the latest from Beats, a little heavier, taking itself more seriously. Note the prominence of the iPhones in the commercial.

Cup Noodle celebrating the Blue Samurai from Japan.

Oh, if you’re looking for a good mobile-friendly site to take with you to the bar, check out Tap In, it’s quite well done.

Preventing Cable Company Fuckery

If you didn’t catch John Oliver the other night on net neutrality, swallow your coffee and go somewhere where you can comfortably laugh out loud. In fine form he cuts through the smoke, mirrors, and sheer boredom (“I would rather sit with my niece and watch Caillou”) surrounding the debate and lays out what the proposed legislation means for the person on the street.

He finishes off his bit with a call to all the commentators on the internet to stop trolling YouTube and 4Chan and to direct their energy to fcc.gov/comments

I would like to address the internet commenters out there directly.

Good evening monsters. The may be the moment you’ve spent your whole lives training for.

We need you to get out there and for once in your lives, focus your indiscriminate rage in a useful direction. Seize your moment my lovely trolls. Turn on CAPSLOCK and fly my prettys. Fly! Fly!

Those other headphones look like medical equipment

This interview with Jimmy Iovine on the eve of the announcement of Beats Music goes a long way towards explaining how Beats and Apple might work together. Appreciation of sound and the ability to call bullshit on existing music recommendation engines (at 23:00),

I put in the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan as my two favorite groups and asked for 10 songs.

What I got back were 3 John Entwistle solos, 1 Keith Moon solo record, 1 Mick Jagger, 1 Moby Grape, and 1 John Lee Hooker record.

What am I going to do with that? That’s the math solution.

“iTunes is great but it needs a step forward. . . most technology companies are culturally inept. . . we’re trying to marry math with emotions.”

Native Advertising Brilliance

The folks at Huge are to be commended on a truly brilliant native advertising campaign. Hired by the makers of President Cheese, they were stuck with a way to somehow drum up social media interest in a gooey wheel of stinky cheese. What they came up with will be talked about in hush three-martini lunches up and down Madison Avenue for years.

The client was nervous, this was their first foray into the wild, wooly world of the twitter. Corporate lawyers were all over them, pouring over every syllable. The head cheese at President Cheese demanded review of all creative, ensuring everything stayed on message. The campaign, carefully honed after months of travel up and down the corporate approval ladder was, “The Art of Cheese”

Each of the 140 characters were hand-crafted and chiseled to exacting specifications. Plurals and Singulars became the topic of weekend off-sites. Active or passive voice? How do we capture the tone. We want to be friendly but not too casual. @DrFNFurter was studied closely and discussed at length. The result?

2014-05-23 at 1.40.15 pm

The brilliance of the mundane. Each part of the tweet and embedded image is engineered to be ignored. This tweet was designed to fail. Two favorites? Perfect! Too much attention and all their hard-earned work would have been wasted.

Knowing that a twitter account with a less than 300 followers would get lost in the wind, the agency set into motion the crucial second stage of their viral campaign. Buying placement on a visible tech blog, they took out a native advertising placement that would allow them to weave a story of pity and woe that would unleash the full sarcastic fury of the internet wilds.

Social Media Experts at Work
Social Media Experts at Work

The story would talk about how hard people worked to come up with their lonely tweet. People would point and laugh at the lead image showing how serious people can look while staring at rando twitter profiles with a background image screaming, “$450 crack party”

Choice quotes would get pulled out and shared,

Social media is definitely perceived like you’re just dicking around on the internet all day, and I do a fair amount of that,

and

I think that if people give you a hard time for it, it’s really because they’re more jealous that they don’t have a fun job.

All this additional attention would turn a boring tweet blipped out to 227 followers into a focal point of conversation. President Cheese and the Art of Cheese would be the hot topic of discussion. Laugh all you want but that tweet screen-captured above that had only two favs? It’s on fire!

Engineering of the Doritos Locos Tacos

Doritos Locos Tacos

Fast food is engineered. The product development process is no different from other things that are engineered, it has a prototype phase, followed by QA, and user testing.

The central issue was that Taco Bell’s shells used a different type of corn masa than Doritos chips. But it wasn’t simply a matter of adjusting the recipe. In order to create the DLT, the teams had to consider everything from seasoning mechanics to the taco’s structural integrity throughout 2010 and 2011. “Frito-Lay wanted what’s called a ‘teeth-rattling crunch,’ so they wanted it to snap and crunch more than the current Taco Bell shell snaps and crunches,” Creed says. “So we had to get that formula changed, then we had to find a way to deliver the flavoring, and then the seasoning. I mean, it was actually important that we left the orange dusting on your fingers because otherwise, we’re not delivering the genuine Doritos [experience].”

- from Deep Inside Taco Bell’s Doritos Locos Taco

Barbara Lee, my representative in Congress

Barbara Lee is my Congresswoman. She was the lone voice of reason who, in the wake of September 11th, questioned the language around the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) which was drafted in response the the terrorist attacks because there was no one we could declare war upon. The whole show is worth a listen but the bit about Barbara starts at 6:30. I am proud to have her represent me in Congress.

a blog by Ian Kennedy