How will comic-book heroes vote this year?

Superman
So, Superman—or, at any rate, an actor who portrays the Man of Steel—is backing Barack Obama for president. This made me wonder which candidates other comic-book heroes are endorsing this campaign season. So I called the Justice League and asked. (They’re in the book, people!) The Incredible Hulk supports Rudy Giuliani because “we both seem like normal guys but transform into violent mutants when the going gets rough.” Mr. Fantastic is backing Mitt Romney because “we have the same hair.” Spider-Man’s trying to decide between John Edwards and Hillary Clinton. The webslinger identifies with the former’s boyish good looks and aw-shucks positive outlook, but respects the tangled political webs the latter has been known to weave. Sgt. Rock is learning toward John McCain, but finds him “a little soft” on defense. Lex Luthor likes Ron Paul because “we’re both supervillains.” The Tick also supports Paul: “Like me, he’s basically a joke.” Batman and Mike Huckabee have never been seen together in public, which seems awfully suspicious in an election year.

—Posted by David Gianatasio

More bright ideas in Boston’s nether parts

Cellsubway
Once the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority gets all those stations and tunnels wired for cellular service, I’ll never be out of touch again! L is for Later, Sue Grafton—I won’t be reading on the commute home any longer; I’ll return e-mails from work instead. Roll over, Beethoven—who needs an MP3 player when you can text people you’ll be seeing in five minutes to confirm dinner plans you dearly wish you could break? Shut up, thoughtful meditations on the day gone by—I’ve got to buy some stuff on Amazon while the signal’s still strong. Best of all, when I’m trapped underground in a dark, disabled train, I can check my cell for MBTA updates to find out how long I’ll be pressed tight against my hygienically challenged fellow passengers who I dearly wish would quit standing on my foot and take their elbows out of my face!

—Posted by David Gianatasio

Brands plan Euro 2008 drives

LONDON – A number of brands are planning to ignore England’s exit from Euro 2008 and devising marketing activity around the summer tournament.

VOTEMOS.US – Mexico decides

As mentioned in Hyper-Border, a book i reviewed a few days ago, Mexico and the United States live in a state of interdependence: Mexico’s economy relies on remittances, while the US need Mexican undocumented super cheap labour force. The United States has had a powerful influence in the Mexican national elections, how about turning that around?

0aawafmexico.jpg

Votemos.us is a Spanish language portal that proposes a vote in the US presidential elections for the millions of (il)legal Mexicans who currently live and work in the United States.

Visitors can register with the site, vote, write an opinion on the elections, read other’s views and react to it.

“The goal of the project is not only to point to the fact that within the US border lives a very active Mexican population that contributes to the national economy and is not allowed to vote, but also to present a repository of information and links to the Latin American community (within and beyond the U.S.) concerning the US national elections and to establish a public space to share their views. “

Ricardo Miranda Zúñiga‘s project is one of the most interesting i’ve read about recently: for its power to raise the debate on the role that migrants can and/or should have in political life in the US (but also in several European counties), for the lists of facts, figures and articles that provide visitors with more knowledge on the issue and if you read spanish, i can only recommend you to peak inside the page where “registered voters” share their views on the upcoming elections.

More in Structural Patterns.

Related: interview of the artist.

Lo departs W&K after short stay

SHANGHAI – Iris Lo has resigned from her position as executive creative director at Wieden & Kennedy Shanghai, having only held the job for half a year.

Links for 2008-01-01 [del.icio.us]

Your Brand Is Not My Friendâ„¢

I thought this was a fitting first post since it’s the idea that really launched my blog. It does a good job of laying out my take on the current state of the ad business and some of the mistakes people are making. My hope is that this, and the two or three articles to follow will provide a good framework for my future commentary and ad reviews.

When I was 23, a site like Facebook would have been my second home. Keeping track of the daily comings and goings of my 100 closest friends? Check. Comparing our tastes in music, movies, books, photos, and travel destinations? Check. And when I wasn’t on Facebook, I’d have been Twittering everyone that knew that I was going to the store. And then leaving it. With a middle Twitter to let them know that the cashier was being way too slow.

And while I was busy Facebooking and Twittering, the absolute last person I’d have wanted to hear from is an advertiser. I mean when you think of it, it’s kind of creepy. Facebook is the 21st century diner or malt shop. It’s where teens and young adults go to hang out. And the last thing they want is some salesperson trying to have a “conversation” with them while they’re figuring out what movie they’re going to see. They don’t want to talk to you. They want to talk to their friends.

The whole appeal of social media sites is their independence from corporate advertisers. People like the fact that they can say whatever they want to other people without any interference from anyone or anything that seems “official.” Yes, they’ll tolerate banner ads or search ads on the page, the same way that in the diner they tolerated placemats with ads on them or a Coke sign on the soda machine: that sort of advertising is innocuous and quickly becomes part of the scenery.

So I’m not sure where we’ve developed this conceit that people want to hear from brands. Because they truly don’t. At least not in settings where the primary objective is to talk to and interact with your actual friends. (And your brands, people, are not our friends.)

On a blog or message board dedicated to a particular subject, they’ll listen to someone from a company, especially if that person is someone whose name they all recognize. (In other words, if Steve Jobs himself were to post on a computer message board, people would be thrilled. But a generic post from Apple or from some unknown VP at Apple would be most unwelcome.)

Now there are some brands—I call them Prom King Brands—that people don’t mind “conversing” with, so long as they can do it on the brands own space (as opposed to MySpace.) These are the brands that have somehow managed to build a better mousetrap, but there are no more than a dozen of them and you here on DailyFix can probably name them all by heart (Here, I’ll start: Nike, Apple, Starbucks, Virgin, Whole Foods… ) Sports teams, TV shows, rock bands and movies fall into this category as well.

The rest of you are out of luck on this front. You’re not a Prom King and people aren’t all that thrilled to hang with you. So while Starbucks could probably start a Frappuccino Lovers Group on Facebook (for all I know, they already have), no one’s going to be joining a Maxwell House Lovers group anytime soon.

So if Your Brand Is Not My Friendâ„¢, does that mean you should run screaming from Web 2.0 and Social Media?

Absolutely not.

All it means is that if you’re not a Prom King brand, you need to be smarter about how you use the space. Not to mention more authentic.

Let’s take the Maxwell House example from the previous page. The one thing we know about Maxwell House (other than that it’s “good to the last drop”) is that it’s cheap. Really cheap in comparison to Starbucks. So you go on Facebook and find the Cheapskate Lovers group. And approach them as a salesperson. Not as a friend. So your script goes something like this: “Hey Cheapskates. Maxwell House knows how much you guys love saving money. And while our coffee is cheap enough as it is, if you go to this special Facebook Cheapskates site, we’ve got a dollar off coupon waiting for you.”

There’s a critical difference here: if you’re a Prom King, you define the interaction. People come to you to talk about and be around Starbucks, to get some of the halo effect of a brand they consider very cool. And even though you’re selling them big time, you can pretend it’s all just a fun little “conversation.”

But if you’re a regular brand, you need to find a situation that fits your strengths. So if your strength is you don’t cost a whole lot, you need to find a bunch of Cheapskates and then adapt yourself to their needs. And you have to do it as a salesperson. Because you can’t pretend you’re doing anything but selling them.

And if you do that, they may start to like you for it. To let you hang around more often and maybe, just maybe, they’ll start talking about you. Not to you, but about you.

Which is a lot more valuable than having them talk about your TV commercial.

All Work and Hopefully Some Play

Crispin.jpg

I’m in Boulder today, so I thought I’d take a drive out Diagonal Highway toward Longmont to see where Crispin Porter & Bogusky has set up shop in a nondescript office park. And look, there are a bunch of cars in the parking lot. On New Year’s Day. Which leads me to believe it takes extraordinary drive to reach the top and even more to stay there.

McCabe leaves Rapp Collins for OgilvyOne

SINGAPORE – OgilvyOne Singapore has hired Rapp Collins managing director Lucy McCabe (pictured) as the agency’s lead consultant.

LG TV: Because

LG TV: Because

Advertising Agency: Euro RSCG Worldwide, Spain
Creative Directors: Germán Silva, Eva Conesa
Art Director: Paulo Cuellar
Copywriters: Andres Travi, Gus Leon
Director: Ferragut
Production Company: Sopa De Toro

Microsoft Beta Experience: Smelling test

Microsoft Beta Experience: Smelling test

The pleasure of testing.

Advertising Agency: Wunderman Y&R, Zurich, Switzerland
Creative Director: Christian Erni
Art Director: Reto Clement
Copywriter: Ivan Madeo
Graphics: Pascal Deville
Photographer: Reinhard Hunger
Other additional credits: Nathalie Busslinger, Thorsten-D. Künnemann
Published: January 2007

Microsoft Beta Experience: Eye test

Microsoft Beta Experience: Eye test

The pleasure of testing.

Advertising Agency: Wunderman Y&R, Zurich, Switzerland
Creative Director: Christian Erni
Art Director: Reto Clement
Copywriter: Ivan Madeo
Graphics: Pascal Deville
Photographer: Reinhard Hunger
Other additional credits: Nathalie Busslinger, Thorsten-D. Künnemann
Published: January 2007

Microsoft Beta Experience: Hearing test

Microsoft Beta Experience: Hearing test

The pleasure of testing.

Advertising Agency: Wunderman Y&R, Zurich, Switzerland
Creative Director: Christian Erni
Art Director: Reto Clement
Copywriter: Ivan Madeo
Graphics: Pascal Deville
Photographer: Reinhard Hunger
Other additional credits: Nathalie Busslinger, Thorsten-D. Künnemann
Published: January 2007

Rubin Freshness Bags: Tree

Rubin Freshness Bags: Tree

Keep it fresh with freshness bags by Rubin.

Advertising Agency: Publicis Frankfurt, Germany
Creative Directors: Stephan Ganser, Nico Juenger, Peter Kaim
Art Directors: Hendrik Frey, Evelyne Werner
Copywriter: Konstantinos Manikas
Photographer: Johannes Krzeslack
Other: Rob McGuire

Volkswagen Golf R: Prickle mailing

Volkswagen Golf R: Prickle mailing

Advertising Agency: DDB Germany / Tribal DDB Hamburg
Creative Directors: Martin Drust, Friedrich von Zitzewitz
Art Director: Andrea Schlaffer
Copywriter: Angela Gillmann
MS: Niklas Feuerle
Consulting: Nadja Saländer
Production: Claudio Colussi

Dutch Association of Traffic Victims: Rear mirror

Dutch Association of Traffic Victims: Rear mirror

Every month a child dies through not wearing a seatbelt in the back.

Advertising Agency: Ogilvy Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Art Director: Jan-Willem Smits
Copywriter: Edsard Schutte
Photographer: Arno Bosma
Other: Prof. J.L. de Kroes

Fevi Kwik: Fixed

Fevi Kwik: Fixed

Advertising Agency: Ogilvy & Mather, Mumbai, India
Creative Directors: Piyush Pandey, Abhijit Avasthi
Art Directors: Samir Sojwal, Akshay Thakur
Copywriter: Yogesh Pradhan
Photographer: Makarand Shiraskar

Fevi Kwik: Easier

Fevi Kwik: Easier

Advertising Agency: Ogilvy & Mather, Mumbai, India
Creative Directors: Piyush Pandey, Abhijit Avasthi
Art Directors: Samir Sojwal, Akshay Thakur
Copywriter: Yogesh Pradhan
Photographer: Makarand Shiraskar

NABU: Earth memory

NABU: Earth memory

Advertising Agency: Y&R Germany
Creative Directors: Uwe Marquardt, Christian Daul
Art Director: Harald Schumacher
Agency Producer: Martina Wiegand

Adobe InDesign Software: Quarkbuster

Adobe InDesign Software: Quarkbuster

“Quark” is also the name for “curd cheese”, a popular dairy product sold in every German supermarket.
Advertising Agency: Rapp Collins, Hamburg, Germany
Executive Creative Director: Olaf Klumski
Creative Director: Ute Lange
Art Director: Anne Kathrin Lüders