Tuesday, April 28, 2009


I went to the auto show a few weeks ago. On the top level they have all of the ancillary displays showing aftermarket parts, cool paint jobs, etc. One of the biggest displays was of fuel efficient vehicles put on by Environment Canada. They were handing out this guide to fuel efficient vehicles:

The problem I have here is that this was a pretty substantial book that I had no need for. I didn't want an fuel efficiency guide, nor do I have any intention of buying a car in the next year, but this was shoved in my hands. I recycled this when I got back to my office, but the idea of how many of these fuel efficiency guides were printed only to be immediately tossed aside after distribution seemed pretty ironic.

Monday, April 27, 2009

School Trademarks

There seems to be a great number of ESL schools around Vancouver that have appropriated the names of famous institutions. There's Haarvard College, Yale and Columbia English schools. I spotted this ad the other day at my local SkyTrain station.

I'm sure that they do this in cities around the world. I'll bet it's pretty impressive when you return to Korea, China or Japan and tell everyone that studied hospitality at Eton and then did your English language training at Haarvard.

I'm curious what the trademark law is on this one.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

A&W Refinement

I went to A&W this afternoon. Sometimes you just can't escape the need for a Mozza burger and onion rings. Fortunately these days it's a somewhat rare occassion.

Here's my tray:

Check out that frosted mug full of Coke. What a thing of beauty. A&W may not have the best burgers. And they're certainly cheap bastards with those ketchup containers that hold no ketchup. But they more than make up for it with that beautiful frosted glass.

I'm sure there's a cost associated with it. Breakage. Theft. Cleaning. Etc. But I give them full credit for finding some part of a typical fast food meal and making it special. It made my lunch feel a little more civilized.

Plus, it was a little less garbage to be tossed at the end of my meal.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Wicked bike video

I think we're all a little tired of viral videos showing people doing things that are clearly impossible, but that look real. (Ray Ban started it. Levi's jumped in through the same agency. Nike and Kobe did it. Mini recently made fun of it.) The worst thing about that trend is that it has now made its way into mainstream advertising, such as that annoying car ad that's currently running that show the amazing ways a couple gets all their gear into their car by tossing it out the window. Granted, it's better than 95% of the car advertising out there, but it feels a little weak to grab an expired online trend and spin it into your offline ads.

So instead here's a video of a guy doing stunts on his bike. The big twist this time - it actually is real.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Why are they following me?

I ran in the SunRun on the weekend. It was somewhat disappointing, since I came down with a brutal cold on Saturday. All the same, I was happy with my time.

Today I got this e-mail:

Hi, hawes (hawes).

Vancouver Sun Run (vancouversunrun) is now
following your updates on Twitter.

Check out Vancouver Sun Run's profile here:

You may follow Vancouver Sun Run as well
by clicking on the "follow" button.


I realize that this is somewhat standard practice, but don't you think it's a little weird to have an event follow you. People, sure. Companies, maybe. But an event? This might go so far as to be creepy.

I know, I'm taking things too literally. But I don't get it. I want relationships with people, not with fun runs.

And hell, I like the SunRun. I've done it 4 times now and will do it again next year.

Volt advertising

Just a bit of a rant today:

I'm fed up with Chevrolet ads for the Volt. They've been promising this car for several years now. When they first brought it out it was this sweet looking thing that was all electric. Then they showed the final prototype, which became a lame family sedan. And they keep advertising their line-up of vehicles featuring the Volt, trying to claim that they are earth conscious, when the damn thing isn't even for sale yet. How about this Chevy - Shut the hell up until you've actually got the car to sell. When you do, beat your chest as much as you want.

Monday, April 6, 2009

How to work with creatives.

One of my favourite work related blogs is Scamp, from Simon Veksner of BBH London.

Today he posted a great presentation on how to work with creatives. He makes the analogy that working with creatively oriented folks is like working with children. This is something that I never would have had the guts to say publicly, out of fear of the repurcusions from the people that I need to work with day-to-day. But since he's a creative director at a pretty damn good agency I feel secure in reposting this. Enjoy.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Twitter growth

My media director sent the following chart the other day showing the growth rate of Twitter in Canada.

That's a tripling of traffic that puts Twitter into the top 15 of Canadian sites visited. And that really doesn't include people like me, who only send and receive tweets on their mobile device and don't really have a need to go to the site.

Now, I have to admit to being a Twitter newbie and sceptic. I've only started Twittering within the past few weeks, and only to see if I can understand this phenomenon. Frankly, I still don't totally get it, but there are a few people who I do enjoy following, and I don't mind sending a posting when I'm doing something particularly interesting.

All the same, that's a pretty amazing graph there. And all that growth is really due to the network effect. There's no advertising or PR push for Twitter, even though there is a lot of hype.

Will it last? Who knows. I think that depends over the long run on its utility. But it'll at least be interesting to see what it morphs into.

By the way, you can follow me if you wish. I'm "hawes".

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Quotes on change

I received this presentation yesterday in one of the many regular e-mails that I get from TBWA. There must be a whole slew of TBWA employees somewhere putting this stuff together. But this one I particularly liked, as it brings together a lot of different thoughts from a lot of different sources all about the concept of why we need to change and what that change looks like.

My personal favourite is on slide 5 - reminding us that no one really cares that much about what we have to say. Wong Doody, a pretty good agency out of Seattle, used to have a great saying on their homepage. I think it was "No one cares about your advertising." Sadly, they're not quite as bold any more, but it was nice to see them speak the unadulterated truth.

TBWA quote compilation on change
View more presentations from Mad Blog.