Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Look At This Duck

Thought this was really funny just now. We'll see in a day or two.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sony Bravia Advertising Campaign

Recently I came across another great advertising campaign. I'm not sure why I enjoy advertising so much, especially since I hate literally 90% of commercials out there. And usually if I like a commercial, it's because it was funny and maybe had nothing to do with the product being sold. Rarely do I enjoy a commercial that tries to be serious or "artsy." Sony Bravia somehow made this work.

I've thought a bit about why it works, and I'm still not entirely sure. I have no background in psychology or advertising, but there's probably some theory or popular template and these commercials follow or something.

I do know that I like the "improv everywhere" sort of feel to them. They take a place that is ordinary and familiar and do something extraordinary with it. It's like they play off our desire for things to be new and exciting. Like when you're a kid and everything you learn is amazing and entertaining, but somehow we get old and forget how to play. That's seriously what these commercials feel like.

Anyways, enough babbling, enjoy a few rare memorable commercials. I've only embedded three of my favorites, although there are a few more. The bouncy ball one is the best. I swear miles of rolling hills and thousands of bouncy balls would be like heaven to me. Great song choices in these too, by the way.

New York with Clay Bunnies

Glasgow with Paint

San Francisco with Bouncing Balls

More Sony Bravia Commercials and Behind the Scenes Stuff:

India with Dominoes

Pyramids with Spools

The Making of Bouncy Balls

The Making of Glasgow Paint

The Making of Clay Bunnies

Thursday, July 09, 2009

The Top Ten Recut Movie Trailers

Now here's a top ten list I've been meaning to do for a long while. I've put together what I believe are the top ten recut movie trailers. There are many to choose from and it was difficult to sift through them all, but in the end, I'm happy with this list. Most recuts out there would fall within the bottom three of this list. So, if you only have time to look at a few of these, make sure you spend your time in the top five. Anyways, hope you enjoy!

10) Sleepless in Seattle: Horror Recut

This recut is one of many that takes the obvious route of turning a comedy into a horror movie. The reason it actually cracks the list, is because the editing is fairly well done and it isn't just a jumbled mess of clips set to scary music (like many similar recuts).

9) Office Space: Thriller Recut

Number nine on the list takes the same idea a bit further, with more of an arc to the trailer. This one is better because everyone is so familiar with the scenes in Office Space (no seriously, everyone). That makes it better when you see them out of context. I really hate that I had to spell that out for you.

8) Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory: Drug Baron Recut

This trailer gets bonus points for being creative in its choice of genre. Instead of taking the obvious route of turning a family movie into a horror flick, this recut makes Wonka out to be a drug lord. The results are fantastical.

7) Jaws: Love Story Recut

This recut is titled, "Must Love Jaws." It is one of the best horror turned love story recuts (second only to #2 on this list). Great choice of music in this recut. At first I didn't like the ridiculous ending to this trailer, but the second time I watched it, I found it hilarious.

6) The Dark Knight - Toy Story 2: Trailer Mashup Recut

This next trailer is actually one of my favorites, even though it's toward the middle of the list. Some genius took the audio from The Dark Knight trailer and set it to scenes from Toy Story 2 (and at least one scene from the first Toy Story, but still). The mashup comes together perfectly. In case you need it, here is the original Batman trailer:

And then the mashup:

The next three trailers are pretty much a tie. Whoever came up with this concept first deserves the most credit, but I have no way of figuring that out. The hilarious idea is to take a random movie and set it to the theme from Brokeback Mountain. I know, you're already laughing. It is that funny. There are enough of these trailers out there to make a separate top ten list, but these three are best. Ladies and gentlemen: The Brokebacks.

5) The Brokeback Redemption

4) Planes Trains and Automobiles: Brokeback Recut

3) Brokeback to the Future

The last two recut trailers on this list are in a league of their own. They were both among the first recuts ever made, which gives them bonus points. They are also the epitome of turning horror into comedy and vice versa. These are the two that every other recut is trying to equal. But they can't.

2) Shining

1) Scary Mary

Well, that about does it. If you enjoyed those, feel free to look for more. There are tons out there. For more recut trailers click the link below. Add your favorites to the comment section. Or leave a comment just for fun. It'll encourage me to actually blog again.

More Recut Trailers

Monday, June 29, 2009

Steve Porter's "Press Hop"

Steve Porter put out a new mix and it's just as awesome as the last two. In this one he mixes up some press conference interviews. Mostly Iverson and some Mora, and a few randoms thrown in. Anyways, it's awesome and anything including Mora's "Playoffs?" quote is worth watching.

If you like coach tirades (including the 3 featured in this video), take the time to check out a top ten list:

Real Clear Sports Top Ten Tirades

And here's a link to Porter's "Jam Wow" and "Rap Chop:"


Friday, June 12, 2009

The Best and Worst of Local Television Commercials

With the dawn of television, the commercial became the most effective advertising tool known to man (based on a recent study at Harvard). Absurd amounts of money and resources began to flow into advertising. Ad wars exploded between fast food chains, beer companies, car manufacturers, soda pop makers, and whatever category Nike and Reebok fit into. We were a nation of consumers glued to our couches and there was only one way to get us to buy.

During this commercial boom era, something slowly and magnificently began to emerge from the shadows. An art form sprang forth, understood only by those with the tightest of budgets. It was the local television commercial.

Barely equipped with their shoe-string budgets, local businesses decided to join the battle for America's attention. Armed with nothing but a lively personality, local business achieved some of the greatest feats in advertising history. Today, we will look at just a small sample of the greatness that is the local television commercial. Hopefully at the end of these Magnificent Seven, you will grow to appreciate this tidbit of Americana.

Don's Guns: Indianapolis, IN
"And remember folks- I don't wanna make any money, I just love to sell guns."

Since I live in Indianapolis, I thought it would be fitting to begin with this city's greatest local commercial advertiser. The man, the legend: Don Davis. Anyone who grew up in Indy knows who Don is. There's an image implanted in my brain of Don Davis shooting me with his finger and laughing that creepy laugh of his. Here's an image ripped from the front page of his web site:

That there pretty much says it all.

Unfortunately, the internet fails when it comes to providing quality Don's Guns commercials. However, I did find two. This first one is pretty standard for Don's commercials. Here, he's offering up gun rentals:

This next video takes us back a few decades. This one is more in line with the average local commercial. Trying to be funny and gimmicky at the same time. I love the brilliant "old man" joke in this commercial. It's an old man joke, because all old men have a grab bag full of these kinds of jokes and they're only funny if an old man says it. Props to a younger Don for trying to pull this one off:

Did you notice the marquee scroll across the top of the commercial? "Don's Guns...voted WORST LOCAL TV COMMERCIAL...Indianapolis Magazine- 1984 and 1985..." Got to love a guy who proudly displays that within his commercial. (I tried to confirm that statement, with no luck.)

For what it's worth, I did consider Watson's in the running here ("That's Watson's!"). I also thought of Bob Rohrman ("Bob Roooooooarman") and Blossom Chevrolet ("Lordy, they're good people). I just think Don's got them beat pretty solidly.

Having dealt with my own local TV commercial giant, it's time to take a gander at what the rest of this country has to offer.

These next couple videos represent what I think is the bread and butter for local television commercials. It's the typical commercial that tries to use humor to sell a product. After viewing, you and your friends sit in silence for a minute before looking at each other and cracking up.

Pizza-N-Go: Lawrenceville, PA
This first one takes a simple formula: Show your staple product in the background. Then add something ridiculous in the foreground that people will laugh at. It's nonsensical and out of place for the product. Humor sells, but you'd better be sure that what you're doing is humorous before placing all your eggs in that basket.

So here we have a white guy dancing and not-quite rapping and somehow this is supposed to make you want to eat a pizza. It's great as far as local commercials go, but can't be doing much for product recognition:

Georgia Car Credit: Moultrie, GA
The folks at Georgia Car Credit took things a little further. They were able to tie in their "humor" with the product. In this commercial you have a white person acting like a pimp who gives credit to the masses. He is aptly dubbed the "Credit MacDaddy." It's one of many attempts by white America to adopt the "hip-hop" culture, in a playful way. It's "funny" because white people can't rap or dance. It gets approved by upper management, because older white people think it's really funny when white people act and speak in ways that they think are "ghetto."

There's something terribly wrong watching the whitest of white folk act this way. Even when they're blatantly trying to be funny. That almost makes it worse. Anyways, it makes for a great local commercial that I'm sure everyone in Georgia just loves. They even throw in some slapstick humor with the ol' pie-in-the-face gag:

This next video epitomizes everything that a local commercial should be. They use what I call the Four Basic Building Blocks for Local Television Commercial Success:
1) In-house actors
2) Catchy music
3) Memorable Quote
4) Humor

If you throw those four factors into any local commercial, you will have guaranteed success. However, this next video also includes the elusive "Fifth Factor" that takes a good local commercial and turns it into something special. See if you can find what it is.

The Red House: High Point, NC
Rather than take the all too obvious gimmick of white people acting black, the folks at the Red House take the higher road. We've come a long way in this country and it's time to realize that we're all a part of the same culture. The Red House asks the question, "Can't we all just get along?" and answers with an emphatic, "WE CAN!"

Let's run through our Four Basics as applied to this commercial.

1) In-house Actors. Check! With Bighead and Ten Gauge stealing the show, this commercial is chock-full of in-house talent. The best part is they can't act worth a lick and are often seen reading their lines. All two of them.

2) Catchy Music. Check! Come on, admit it. You're already singing "At the Reeeed House..." over and over in your head. Nice harmony by white guys in ties. They even pay homage to the Wurlitzer with the digitized background theme.

3) Memorable Quote. Check plus! "Where black people and white people by furniture." Ooops! "...and Hispanic people too." Oh, that's just beautiful.

4) Humor. Check! Nothing's funnier than seeing people spell out the obvious. "I'm black. And I love the Red House." "I'm white..." That's just funny. And having a large black man jump into sofa saying, "Look at this sofa, it's perfect for a black person," is just gold.

So, did you catch what the Fifth Factor is? I hope so. It's crucial to a great commercial and it's what separates this one from the two prior. The Fifth Factor is created when the audience can't tell if you're being funny on purpose or not. I really want to think that the folks at the Red House knew how funny this commercial was going to be when they made it. But I can't help wonder if they were taking this seriously. That's what makes it so perfect.

I'm not sure if you can intentionally create this Fifth Factor. As soon as you start thinking that people are laughing with you and not at you, then you've lost. But then when people do laugh at you, they are really just laughing with you in the end, but you can't know that when you start. It's a very difficult concept to wrap your head around.

Let's see if we can figure it out with another commercial.

TDM Auto Sales: High Point, NC
This next commercial is popular enough that you may have already seen it. Yes that's right. It's the Cuban Gynecologist turned American Auto Salesman:

See how well the Fifth Factor works here? They don't even have a catchy tune (although there is music). Now this is obviously meant to be funny. The key here though is that this guy doesn't really understand why what he's doing is funny. It makes for a great local commercial.

I'm sure the guys who made it had a ton of fun doing it. Oh, how about that? Here's a behind the scenes video from the guys who made that commercial. Watching Rudy in this video is probably even funnier than the commercial.

Side note: If you're paying attention, you will have noticed that two of the greatest local commercials in this country come from High Point, North Carolina. That's impressive and almost makes it worth moving there.

Okay, so we've seen what it takes to build a good local TV commercial and taken a peek at some of the best in the business. Now it's time to see a few epic failures. These videos are similar in their failures, but they get there in totally different ways. The first video fails in concept.

Golden Gate Funeral Home
"Where service begins, and never ends."

Now, some people may argue with me and I can see where they may have a point. When your business is funeral homes, it's probably tough to come up with a good way to sell your product. The fine folks at Golden Gate decided to use the Four Basic Building Blocks... and failed. This is because in order to use humor, you have to be conscious of your product. You have to be careful when dealing with death and I'm not sure they pulled it off. I don't know, I guess it was funny enough for me to post here, but this just seems wrong. Hilariously wrong.

Well, we've come to the end of our exploration of local TV commercials. Appropriately, I've saved the worst (making it the best?) for last. This next video fails on almost every level possible. It's so atrocious, I can't even give it a proper introduction.

Fred and Sharon's Movie Productions: ????
That's right, I'm not sure where this commercial first aired. Possibly over the internet. To be fair, I think they're from BC, Canada. Leave it to the Canadians to take awesome American things and ruin them. They've taken local commercial quality and thrown it out into the netherworld. If you're trying to sell a product, this commercial should be a good learning tool. Just do everything exactly the opposite. It really is bad. It's fitting that it should end our list:


Don's Guns
Fred and Sharon's Movie Productions
TDM Auto Sales
Golden Gate Funeral Home
Red House
Pick up your Red House T-Shirt here: Link

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Steve Porter's "Jam Wow" and "Rap Chop"

So I just came across DJ Steve Porter's Sham Wow and Slap Chop remixes. Needless to say, I was impressed and entertained, so I thought I'd share.

The first video is the "Jam Wow;" a remix of the Sham Wow commercials. This one is great if for no other reason than it features Carlton and some classic Kid n Play. Although, I was really disappointed that something was missing from the video. I'll leave it up to you to figure it out.

"Jam Wow"

The next one is "Rap Chop;" a remix of the Slap Chop commercials. This one is seriously amazing. I'm not even joking. I would love to be able to make this stuff. This song will get stuck in your head and I almost guarantee you'll watch it more than once.

"Rap Chop"

Thank you Steve Porter.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Play Him Off, Keyboard Cat

I know I haven't done a real post in a while, and today will be more of the same. Just came across this Keyboard Cat, and it's cracking me up. It meshes some of our favorite fail videos with a keyboard cat. Awesome. The tune has been in my head since I first saw these over the weekend. It's weird at first, but you'll get the idea. So funny. I'm listing all the ones I laughed at. Hopefully there will be more in the next few weeks. Enjoy!

And here's the original video just for kicks:

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Monday, January 05, 2009

Another Disappointing Playoff Run for the Colts in 2008, and Dungy Should Retire?

Part I: Another Disappointing Playoff Run

Well, I'm far enough removed from the stupid playoff opener between the Colts and Chargers to be able to talk about it now. Mostly I just want to write something here, so I can look back years later when we win another Super Bowl (knock), and remember how depressing this was.

I really thought the Colts had a good chance to win it all this year, dangit. They were playing so well. But sure enough, the Chargers came in and ruined things again. Chargers, Patriots, Steelers. Seems like every year (except one), these three teams have our number. I really hate the Chargers now. Can't stand them. Actually, I mostly just hate Rivers and Merriman (even when he's not playing). Oh well, congrats to them.

As far as the game goes. The Colts defense actually played a pretty good game against a tough offense, until the last drive of regulation and that retarded opening drive in OT. I mean seriously, you let them convert 3rd and 11 in overtime in the playoffs while on the road?!?! Come on!! But, other than not having a great running game, not being able to stop Sproles, and losing a coin flip, there are two major reasons we lost this game.

The first one was the Chargers punter, Scifres. The man was ridiculous. All 17 of their points came when he pinned the Colts down around the 5 yard line. All three of those stupid punts led to short fields for the Chargers, which turned into 17 points. The Colts had to go like 80 and 90 yards for their scores (haven't checked my facts there, but it seems like it). And that last punt of his in the 4th quarter somehow stopped on a dime and didn't get into the end zone. Ridiculous. Which leads to the other reason we lost.

Two nice runs on our last possession give us a 3rd and 2 around the 9 yard line. Get this first down and we win the game. Who in the world decided it was a good idea to EMPTY THE BACKFIELD and shotgun the stupid football? Gee, I wonder if we're gonna pass the ball? Usually, you can second guess decisions and say "well, if it worked, nobody would be saying anything." I'm sorry, but even if it worked, that was a stupid stupid decision. And of course it didn't work. We get sacked for a loss and a tired defense has to return for the next two possessions, which lead to 9 points and another playoff loss. Ahh, makes me sick.

So, another season comes and goes and another talented team is left saying, "maybe next year." I hate it.

Part II: Dungy Should Retire?

This will probably be Dungy's last year. Kravitz is already calling for his retirement (see here). I actually tend to agree with Kravitz on most of his articles, even though he often seems to write controversial stories just to generate buzz and bring traffic to IndyStar. In this case though, he's an idiot.

I'm sorry, but you cannot blame these playoff losses on the coach. Here's an interesting quote from the article:

Right now, angry, frustrated Colts fans want a spittle-spewing, butt-chewing SOB who will inspire this team to play as well in the playoffs as it does in the regular season -- and I don't blame them. They don't want soft-spoken. They don't want even-keel.

Really? If you're one of those fans, then let me be one of the first to tell you that you are an idiot. You really think this group of Colts veterans needs someone to inspire them to play well in the playoffs? That's just dumb. Dungy has been and is a great coach. The toughest thing for a coach to do is get his team to the playoffs. After that, it's up to the players to perform. Any man who needs a coach to spit in his face so that he'll play his best when it matters most is never going to be in the playoffs anyway.

And the Colts did not play this game any worse than any other game this year. This whole season we didn't have a great running game, we struggled to stop the run and were suspect on special teams. Same thing this game. When we played San Diego in the regular season, it came down to a last second field goal. So, to anyone who's paying attention, this team did "play as well in the playoffs as it did in the regular season." Our offense couldn't convert a 3rd and 2, and that means Dungy should be replaced by a "butt-chewing SOB." Yeah, that's brilliant.

Of course if Dungy called that last offensive play, then maybe Kravitz is right.

Dungy will probably retire, and he probably should, but not because the Colts lost in their first game of the playoffs yet again. This game had nothing to do with Dungy's ability to inspire players when it really matters. Anyone saying otherwise is either super frustrated and just looking for answers, or an idiot sports columnist looking for headlines.