Friday, June 27, 2008

Music I'm Listening To These Days.

So...indulge me a bit here. I know this is an advertising blog and I know blogs should stay on message.

But it's Friday. I want to have some fun & I'm repurposing a list from a response I provided to another blog where the author asked what 7 songs you were listening to right now. Here are mine (8). Singles for the most part...but also love the records they're from.

Radiohead: "Creep": Back on the British charts again with the Greatest Hits release. Great slashing guitar. And then...there's the lead singer (YouTube 1994 version).

Coldplay: "Viva La Vida" (the song): Infectious. A Brian Eno production at its best.

Arcade Fire: "(Antichrist Television Blues)": a fabulous Odyssey. Watch it on YouTube (Glastonbury).

Arcade Fire: "Intervention": THE late 2000's protest song: YouTube: Glastonbury.

Amy Macdonald: "Let's Start a Band": Only available in the UK. Terrific folkie who is 20. Find it on YouTube along with a lot of other songs...most live.

Sia: "Day Too Soon" Famous for singing the song behind the final scene of "Six Feet Under." A Gumby voice that contorts into amazing sounds.

My Morning Jacket "Evil Urges": Whole new record. Great wide ranging work. Challenging.

U2: "Love is Blindness" Always listening to this. One of my absolute favorite songs. Live is best for the searing Edge guitar solo (see the Zoo TV Sydney Show above).

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Apple 1984 Actual Focus Group Test (in 2007)

Earlier this year I wrote a long, historical review, of the Apple 1984 spot and why I thought it was the best commercial ever produced for any Superbowl: ( Recently, my business partner and Jugular creative director, Jeff Griffith, told me about this inspired piece of work that was used to open the 2007 Hatch Awards show, a Boston creative competition. The brilliant video is a send up of advertising testing, the bane of all creatives, where "consumers" sit in a room and opine about a storyboard rendering of the spot (which you see at the beginning of this video...hang in there through this's worth it).

We ad types sit behind the glass and listen intently to what often are a range of inane and off the wall opinions. The problem, as you'll see here, is that the respondents (focus group lingo) rarely can make the kind of directional comments that can improve the work. For example: "confusing," "too symbolic," "literary allusions to George Orwell bore me" or "Nazi imagery has been overused." Instead they insist on rewriting the spot to "improve" it. the focus group trashes one of the best tv spots ever produced. And this is a REAL group. A perfect testament to how focus group testing can kill the best work...and how hard it is to "test" truly revolutionary, unique advertising.

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