RIP George Carlin


The Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television got him arrested and made him an Icon. Carlin knew the power of language. The "Stuff" routine can still make me laugh out loud. Thanks for the laughs, sir.

Mentally Tough

This spot has been around awhile, but I hadn’t seen it until this weekend. On Father’s Day, actually. Maybe it was the mood of the day, but this just jumped out of TV and slapped me around a little in terms of relevance. A great example of the right spot placed at just the right time.

Creating spots like this seems deceptively simple. Oh, hell you just take a quote from an interview Earl did a few years ago and cut together some old footage. But crafting a spot this tight and this on strategy out of found material is, in no way, as easy as it sounds. WK is just so damn good at this stuff. The Magnificent Bastards strike again.

File under: marketing to men.

Mentos & Diet Coke Booby Trap

I’ve been cheating on Diet Coke with another soda lately (the worst one you can imagine) and feel just awful about it. With the amount of DC I go through, I am sure the Coca-Cola company has noticed. To make up for some of my lost volume, some of you might consider this shenanigan.

Thanks to Paul Jarret.

R.I.P. Harvey Korman

Too many of these this week. Here’s to you Mr. Korman. Thanks for the laughs.

Sidenote: There’s a "thing" in theatre about "breaking character." Sure, Conway is chewing the scenery here. But the real laughs come from Korman going ahead and laughing at him. Korman knew exactly what he was doing.

MySpace. The next “Fucking Merlot.”

It’s sad when the shunning starts. Funny interpretation of Internet brands as your friends and neighbors.

Spotted at the one and only Dear Jane Sample.

Disney brand standards apply. Even to Jack Sparrow.


A guy learns the hard way that there are rules about playing Disney characters.

Via LA Mag and Joe.

Fast Company likes American Copywriter’s hometown.

Kansas City has been named by Fast Company as one of the Best Cities for Innovation. We like the honor for our hometown despite the fact that the peeps at FC really tortured the ‘ol cow town analogy.

In terms of the creative culture, KC’s sports architecture firms are formidable. The Crossroads Art District, home of SHS, has been called a "Midwest Soho" by The New York Times. And, of course, we are home to one of the world’s largest creative companies.

In terms of advertising, one can argue that Kansas City has the largest and most successful collection of independent agencies in the country (plus a WPP player). I found a non-sourced article that said Kansas City agencies generate about $214 million in revenues (cash not billings). You can compare that to $149 million for Atlanta or $63 million for St. Louis. And while it’s not happening on the mass level our creative community would like, work from Kansas City is now consistently making the books and the shortlist at Cannes. And the cost of living is still pretty cheap. So, cheers to ‘ol KC.


Nike runs home.

According to our friends at Ad Age, Nike is back home with Wieden. Whilst we’re fans of all involved, something about this says that all is right with the world.

American Copywriter salutes Hal Riney


Here’s to a voice that stood out. Spoken and otherwise. A voice that I’m certain our industry will miss even more than we may suspect. If you’re a little young and stupid (which is perfectly acceptable), do yourself a favor and bone up on The Riney Way. You can start by absorbing what Jeff Goodby had to say about the man.

Here’s to you, Mr. Riney. We are believers.

And the Oscar for Best Ad on the Oscars goes to…

Tonight, is a big, big night for brands.  Star brands, studio brands and marketer brands all mix on the red carpet. We can count on the Nicholson brand doing well tonight. It’s a tradition to cut to him grinning in the audience. His smile is as iconic as the Clydesdales. But what about the marketers that are making their big bet with this event instead of the hyper-hyped Super Bowl?  Follow a live chat with the pundits on Adfreak’s new OscarFreak. If you are so moved, leave your opinions on the winners and losers here or as an audio comment. We’ll update this post with our own opinion in the morning. In the meantime, we already know what Judd Apatow thinks of the whole thing.

Someecards strike(s) again.


Send someone you love someecards today.

American Copywriter salutes Phil Dusenberry

Dusenberry8Former chairman and CCO of BBDO, Phil Dusenberry, passed away on December 29th after a battle with lung cancer. He was 71. In 1999, Ad Age ranked him 31 on their list of the century’s most influential advertising people. He was a bona fide advertising luminary. His lofty titles and achievements disguise the fact that he was, throughout his career, a copywriter’s copywriter. Dusenberry’s work is the stuff of legends including Pepsi’s Michael Jackson spot and Ronald Regan’s Morning in America commercials. He penned a few screenplays, too, most notably The Natural. An apt description for Dusenberry himself in the context of his chosen profession.

When I was in college I interned in the corporate communications department of Pizza Hut, Inc. When it came time for the big franchisee convention, I got plopped down in some back room of a Wichita Marriott hotel making last minute changes to speeches for the Pizza Hut execs. I was pecking away (on an original Mac BTW) when I heard someone say, "Hi Phil!" I turned and saw Dusenberry sweep through the room. He was there to present BBDO’s new crop of spots to the franchisees. I punched "save" and stole into the darkened hall with everyone else. I really wasn’t supposed to be there but no one hassled me. The room was electric. Advertising is a big expense and franchisees pay much of the bill. Hundreds of eyes locked on Dusenberry as he took the stage. From word one, he owned that room. With his white hair, whiter teeth and power suit, Dusenberry was the definition of an "ad man." He deftly introduced several spots to the crowd that afternoon including (if memory serves) the classic "Right Field." The crowd loved it. And him. It was a lesson to me. An advertising contract is a potent mix of money, power, politics and creativity. Yes, it’s always about the work, the work, the work. But a little showmanship never hurts.

Here’s to you, Mr. Dusenberry.