Category Archives: Great Shots

Marketing walkabout

Advertisers love to pitch “guerilla” tactics to their clients. After all, when done right, these tactics can draw major attention, cost little (plus more profit goes into the creative agency’s rather than the media agency’s pocket) and look reeeeeeeeally dope in a creative’s portfolio. Believe me.

The problem is that generally these tactics are pipe dreams. Any commercial activity that takes place in a public area tends to fall at the mercy at any dozen municipal codes, requirements, approvals and reviews. It’s basically impossible to realize easily.

So when I stumbled upon some greenman-like clad gentlemen with OOH posters stabled to their back, a thought occured: hey, that might work. Not only do they attract attention, but they are in and out of any space before any bureaucrat can raise a stink.

I just wonder: what happens when they have to take a leak?

Walkingbillboard2

Walkingbillboard1

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Filed under Great Advertising, Great Shots

Up High, Down Low, Too F***ing Slow

Some days, everything just turns out right.

You hit twelve green lights in a row on the way to work. There’s one last lemon head in the bottom of your coat pocket. You manage to slide into your cube mere moments before the boss rolls by. These are simple moments when the stars align, Lady Fortuna drops her top and everything just comes out right.

You look about, ready to slap some palm with the nearest human being… but no one’s around. Until now.

When those ‘booyeah’ moments arise, just slide on over to High F***ing Five and get some digital props. Hosted by an ad copywriter who found himself “really bored, a lot” – huh, you don’t say – HF5 is like a permanent collection in the Louvre of online awesomeness, featuring all kinds of wacky, candid and downright hilarious shots of people going high and low.

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En-Caption-Lating

Everyday, photojournalists put their asses on the line to capture the amazing images that help us understand our world – 1/900th of a second at a time. They are called mad men, artists, news mercenaries and inevitably get respect, admiration (and cream of the female reporter crop) while telling their death-defying stories at the local newsy watering holes in Jakarta or Baghdad or Minsk. Meanwhile, their compatriots are back in Boise and Boston slaving away behind a computer, putting the essence of what you’re seeing into one to two curt sentences.

Ah, the lonely art of the caption writer. The AP Stylebook (every newsman’s bible) gives the poor gent this charge: “Whenever possible, try to keep captions to no more than two concise sentences, while including only the relevent information. Try to anticipate what information the reader will need. DO NOT use descriptive overlines.”

Short, bland, to-the-point. The caption man’s craft is hardly glamorous work.

That is, until now. The Big Caption is stealing some of the thunder from the shutterbug  and giving the caption writer his fair share with dozens of humorous, poignant and down-right-true statements set in unique and original typography on top of today’s most famous images. Check out a sampling of these awesome images below and be sure to mosey on over to the daily photoblog to get the news the way it should be given.

And, caption writers, rock on.

big caption imagesbig caption imagesbig caption images, cool design

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Filed under Great Design, Great Shots

American Appalling or American Appealing?

A bit of premeditated wavering to start this post off: for the record, I’m not supporting nor bashing the goals or tactics of these ads. To be fair, I very much enjoy womanly beauty. Very much so. I also disagree with gratuitously objectifying anyone – no matter what gender – for the purpose of making scads of money. That’s what pimpin’ is for.

I’m also not looking to be the moral compass of my generation here. I’m simply raising this subject because it’s intriguing, relevant in the adverting world and downright controversial. Some people love these ads. Some are infuriated by them. Let the floodgates of comments open!

By now we’ve all seen the effect that American Apparel has had on the fashion and marketing industries. Their no-frills, high-quality, mad- in-America clothing has become a hit with urban hipsters at the same time – and very likely because – their advertising has changed the face of pop American fashion.

First made distinctive by a gritty photography style, alternative models and short, curt messaging, the advertising has recently taken an even more gritty, urban and downright carnal turn.

So much so that Style Crave just released their list of the “50 Sluttiest American Apparel Ads of All Time” (NSFW!!). Wait, re-read that: 50. Sluttiest… 50! It just goes to show that if your short list is 50 items long, you’re really trying to own the market in smut advertising. Hell, AA is even hiring adult movie stars as their models these days.

Now to be fair, other major players, such as Victoria’s Secret, have famously used overt sex to sell for a long, long time. But they sell lingerie, not socks and sleepers, so you gotta expect some flesh. VS also has a much more dreamlike, fantastical feel to it. AA’s ads are straight raunchy.

And the extend of their lasciviousness is directly matched by the public’s polarized response to these ads. A lot of people (read: men) love the ads or can at least find the hidden humor in the overly sexualized poses. Other people have a visceral disgust to what they consider the obscene objectification of women.

Listen, I’m not here to say who’s right or wrong. That’s the job of the people who decide public decency.

Are a lot of these ads hot? Yeah. Do some of them toe the line of extreme inappropriateness? Uh huh. Do they sell a shit load of panties? I think the numbers speak for themselves. But at what cost?

So what do you think? Leave a comment…

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Filed under Bad Buzz, Great Advertising, Great Shots, Great Viewing

When Angels Fall, We Rejoice

A word of warning: this ad is not tasteful, groundbreaking or even that clever – hell it doesn’t even have dialog. Nevertheless, let’s take our ‘witty advertising commentary’ caps off for a moment and just appreciate what very well may be the best commercial ever made (if you’re a red blooded American male, that is).

Directed by blockbuster Maven, Michael Bay (Transformers, Armageddon, Pearl Harbor) and premiering last week during the Victoria’s Secret fashion show, this ad follows a very simple formula: naked women + techno music + jump cuts = pure unadulterated greatness. Enjoy.

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For the Love of Bob, a Ball and a Blog

Ever stumble across an intriguing thought, only to pull it back like a dangling piece of wallpaper only to unveil the unseen complexity that lies behind? With that Kantian mind-bender behind us, I give you: the Selvedge Yard.

Put up yer posts...

Through TSY, blogger and brand man, Jon Patrick, offers a diamond in the digital rough. By taking classic cultural images (read: the requisite freshman dorm room posters) and giving them the depth and context rarely found on the web, TSY combines the best of the digital age with the style of the ages.

The stories are good – unabashedly subjective, smart, crisp and rhythmic. With a focus on classic motorcycles, masculine pop culture, movies and music, the blog is kind of like Maxim’s cool, foul-mouthed, tattooed grandfather.

One Love, Two Feet

I stumbled across the blog by poking around for old photos of Bob Marley for a post I wanted to do on Bob and his love of footy. Turns out, JP beat me to the punch.

It’s not how my story would have gone, but that’s the beauty of a good blog like this: it’s well thought out and subjective, taking the reader down a road that only the author has traveled. After all, you don’t hire a tour guide to show you around your living room. Blogs – good blogs – are meant to show you something new, or at least something old in a new light.

All in all, the images are classic. The copy is clever. And the stories paint a much more vivid picture on the usual pop culture suspects than you’ll find on the Mohave-like Wikipedia. But the true lesson that TSY offers is how to take a thought and use the power of the web to weave your own unique thread.

Well done. Or as Bob would say, “Irie stuff, man.”

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Filed under Great Copy, Great Reading, Great Shots, Great Sites

War (hmph, good god) What is it Good for?

Apparently not much… unless of course you want to take some really hot pinup shots on the deck of a destroyer. Then it’s very good… for.

All hands on deck! No problem, skipper...

That’s most likely what photographer Stephen Zeller was thinking when he got the chance to snap these cool ’40s-inspired shots from a docked US naval ship.

Break out the big guns

 

The feel is certainly vintage, but the lighting – not to mention the model’s sleeve tattoo – certainly give it a contemporary touch.

Wherever the inspiration and opportunity came from, kudos on the style.

NEWS FLASH: this is hot!

(cue wolf howls)

 

 

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