Thursday, February 18, 2010

Banner Retrospective

Hey guys, I hope that you like the new banner. After I put it up, I realized that I should put all the banners I've done together in one post so you could see them all. So here goes.
Ahh, the first banner. An illustration collage that simultaneously demonstrates the randomness of my characters and my ignorance of standard web banner sizes.* The second banner is much cleaner, computer-y, and (dare I say) feminine? This marks my exploration into designing across multiple software platforms (in this case photoshop and illustrator). "Get Some" is the first of many experiments that I did with optical illusions. It eventually grew into a cover I did for my publications class. The forgotten mascot of the Daily Hat starred in this banner that also draws influence from kitschy 60's design patterns. I don't think he is dead quite yet, merely lying dormant at the bottom of the ocean a la Godzilla. Mechanical shark is a testament to the inner workings of the blog itself. Sleek and deadly on the outside, confusing and ripe with whirs and buzzes on the inside. Shiny in both sides. Notice now that I am fully aware of correct banner sizes.
While the evolution of the banner is perhaps not the most interesting material for a post ever conceived, it does feel a bit like those annoying clip shows that sitcoms do when the want to take a week off, I do think that the similarities and differences they exhibit are of some note. Kinda of a mini time capsule of the blog over it's first year of existence. Here is to another successful year. After all, it's all about you guys. Otherwise I am just shouting into the internet, which is pathetic.
*actually this was the second banner. The first banner was only the gentleman with his tongue out and was even more egregiously mis-sized.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Ubiquitous Superbowl Ad Post

So I took a break from my work to watch the Superbowl on Sunday, because, well, it's the Superbowl. The Saints won and there is nothing I can do about that. But I am not here to talk about the game, let's talk about the ads. I mean, I should care about this stuff, right?

Let me begin my assessment by stating that I was rather disappointed at the advertisements this year as a whole. There were moments where I chuckled, where I took notice, where I listened. But I cannot recall a single commercial that made me say "Wow, that was really smart." I saw nothing that took a simple idea, executed it simply and powerfully, and summed it up in such a way that left me feeling emotionally moved or introspective. What does a good Superbowl Ad look like to me? Well, this one stands out in my mind:

Regarding ads that use comedy to make their point. I think that, while effective, straight comedy ads can be somewhat of a cop out. Case in point from this year's crop is the Snickers commercial with Betty White and Abe Vigoda. I know a bunch of people really enjoyed this commercial. I, however, thought that it was kind of stupid and a little insulting. I mean all that money and what you came up with was that tackling old people is funny? Oh and they are playing football. In a commercial during the Superbowl. How clever. I am not saying that I am above low brow humor, I really enjoyed this Doritos ad, but give me something to go along with the immature humor and slapstick.

And the Budweiser Kleisdale commercials where they show an animal that wants be in the group, but can't, but then they work hard and become and honorary member and take one glorious ride have to stop. Enough already. I know they probably have market research that says "people like the kleisdale ads" but at least interject some originality into it. Like the spot a few years ago where they were playing football and the zebra was the ref, that was clever.

I will close this post with some quick thoughts. The dodge ad was almost awesome, but I thought the ending was a let down. The doritos ads were funny. The fact that the company that used crowdsourcing had (arguably) the best ads is telling. Snickers (for me) sucked. The movie trailers looked awesome but those people make any movie look awesome (Donnie Darko is the prince of persia?Really?). Tim Tebow ad was dumb, he should have been more opinionated and the fact that he tackled his mom was confusing. I guess he was getting ready for the special teams duties that will be his NFL career. My favorite ad was Doritos Samurai, but I will readily admit that it was stupid, but whoever made that guy's costume deserves a huge round of applause.

Next week I will post my One Show submissions.

Thanks for reading!