Celebrity, hipsters & hip-hop Friday

To start off with a lie is usually bad… but I’ve never aspired to be a huge somebody. I mean sure it’s nice to be recognised, because nobody ever really wants to be a ‘nobody’. Acceptance from other humans, social circles and communities is what drives so much of our lives. But I mean let’s face it, I have watched enough movies to know that for your average famous person all may seem like a box of fluffy kittens while really knowing that lurking behind the wondrous glowing blue eyes of happiness and success is a soul riddled with self doubt and a small sense of personal worth. Movies love to show the renowned whomever, but loves to portray they alone side, the fact that their genius, beauty, evil or whatever distance them from the rest of society. Nobody really wants to be a complete outsider, a person so far out of the norm they become the freak n the corner who can multiple base number in under 4 seconds (although people like that always survive the Cube – check that movie out).

It is because of this need for love and affection and the quest for acceptance that so many celebrities adopt poor African children or pledge gross amounts of cash to charities to try feel better about their enormous wealth & flashy lifestyles. When I talk of celebrity and celebrity culture it is a morbid fascination the world has to constantly follow the latest big thing shaking Hollywood, Bollywood or some other unseen force that guides the world. What is really annoying me at the moment is hipsters, the current fad of the day. They know nothing they haven’t read in any trendy New York underground fashion magazine, as ‘prototypical non-conformists’ they shop only at thrift stores, adhering to tastes and standards approved by an unseen panel of judgement. The look of scorn or approval as they give a thumb up or thumb down to incoming and outgoing trends and styles of music and art makes me want to go Big Chris on their heads (Lock, Stock…)

Normal people around the world have followed celebrities and their soul searching through Kabballah, Buddhism or Scientology or moved through diets from Atkins (who incidentally died medically overweight and of high-cholesterol), to raw-food, to lemon de-tox only to discover they only way either of those things can work for you is if you have a very healthy bank balance and enough spare time to commit to a personal trainer for 6 hours a day for 3 months.
Many people I am sure have ranted about the increase of ‘celebrity’ culture that invade our lives, how a model’s sex-tape makes front page news while the death of a single innocent bystander is relegated to page 4. Does it mean we as a society have degraded human life or is it just a matter of desensitisation? I wonder whether becoming desensitised means people become less afraid of death, and accept the inevitability of it or inversely never think about it until that day finally arrives.

Which is better I ask?

Often people who accept their eminent demise and have truly considered their own mortality after some near death experience or the loss of a loved one live a possibly fuller life. Of course some people take it badly and end up cowering at the thought of rain lest it turn to a flood and wash them away. This sort of fearful life, of mental instability cowering at the unknown, the unacknowledged and the uncontrollable are all products of becoming trapped in within the greatest prison in the world, the human mind.

A better celebrity to think about is the guy you pass every Thursday morning on the bus into Uni. Your life and his intersect weekly, or in some cases daily. Yet what more do you know of his life (and vice versa) other than the dog he walks. Do you realise that if you’ve seen him for more than a year he has had a birthday? May have gotten engaged, married, divorced or widowed? Everybody’s life could be immensely exciting if we all had witty script writers. My favourite comic book character the great Calvin once said
“Why isn't my life like a situation comedy? Why don't I have a bunch of friends with nothing better to do but drop by and instigate wacky adventures? Why aren't my conversations peppered with spontaneous witticisms? Why don't my friends demonstrate heartfelt concern for my well being when I have problems? ...I gotta get my life some writers."
Think of that guy you see from the bus, and other ‘famous people’ in your life rather than the ‘celebrity’ that is forced on you by popular culture, it could lead you places.

- NB. I am in no way liable or actively encouraging you to talk to him, he could be an axe murderer, let’s face it...

So this week I thought I’d also increase your musical range, pushing a bit of new indie hip-hop your way to broaden your musical taste.



Talk in a week.


New Media, Old Ideas.

In the world of today you can’t exist without the help of social media. I don’t care who the fuck you are or what you think about twitter, if I ask you if you have Facebook and you say “no! I don’t have time for stuff like that” I don’t buy it for one second. How the FUCK can you not have time for Facebook? It’s obviously not because you are too busy being social, because if you were social, you’d have a fuckin Facebook. What am I getting at here? Facebook and other social media channels raise big opportunities for advertisers, and they are being hailed as the newest, greatest and best thing for advertising.

The problem is, like your bullshit busy schedule, I don’t buy it.

In my time in agencies I have seen nothing to support the support for the use of new social media in advertising campaigns. In fact! One creative director told Adam and I to not bother with our pretty fuckin awesome and slick campaign on Facebook because “no one actually bothers to click the link” Sorry bro but who the fuck are you? A creative director? Oh. Better question, are you father fucking time?!

I’m just going out on a limb here and will assume that 90% of you are like me and will click the crap out of any link our friends post because 400% of the time you are on Facebook you are bored shitless, procrastinating, and looking for something, anything, to do. Social media is by far the most awesomely powerful tool. How did they get the message out about the sweet new cobbler on the corner of the street back in the day? I believe a classic something called ‘word of mouth’. Take word of mouth, lock it in a basement with the alternative between cutting its dick off or doing a ton of crack, wait till it chooses crack, then unleash it on the world and you have Social media.

Andy Blood, Creative Director of TBWA in Auckland gave a seminar in which he talked about the importance of social media, blogging etc, in the proliferation of advertising messages. It is easy. For example, I have 203 friends on Facebook. I send out my message to all of them. Say to be really rough on my message only 10 of my friends pass the message on to their friends. Then again, only 10 of their friends pass it on. All of a sudden in my first three tiers of broadcast I have reached 10 > 100 > 1000 people…. Exponential growth. Morale of the story, with social media, only a handful of people need to care in order for you to hit big numbers in terms of exposure.

The most upsetting thing for us in New Zealand is that as far as stuff like this goes, the guys who are running the show right now still want to play around with TVCs, Radio, Billboards, Print etc… while we are saying, fuck! Lets do all of that but online, or with an online component, its way more badass. But they won’t have a word of it, to be fair some of the bigger agencies are getting involved but for the most part it looks like we’ll have to wait till we are wearing the big boy pants in the agency before you see some real e-innovative shit going down.

In the mean time, who wants to see a picture that makes me look pretty 1337?

Everyone? Gangs.

It's my lvl 80 Mage and The Lich King, how cool is that.


Meet And Greet At The Big Boys Table

Finally, after watching the creative teams come and go from their respective agencies over the last few weeks, the suits were given their chance to prove their worth in the industry over the mid-semester break.

We were split up in to groups and sent to different agencies with the promise that it would be a very valuable and quality use of our time. The group sent to Aim Proximity actually went in for interviews for the chance for some real-life work experience for six days during the second week. I however, was sent to Colenso where we were treated to an evening with a junior account manager working on the Vodafone account and a copywriter. As great as it was being selected to go to Colenso, the chance for six days at Aim Proximity would have been icing. I’m going to say I wasn’t given it because I let it slip the day before that I was ‘sick as a dog’ leading to an, ‘oh… perhaps you should join one of the other groups then, there’ll be more chances later,’ but Colenso really is the next best thing, and I was stoked.

Colenso were recently awarded the top agency of the decade overshadowing advertising giants Saatchi and Saatchi who have held top spot for most of New Zealand’s recent history. Colenso’s most predominant clients include Vodafone, Yellow, Fonterra, V Energy Drink, Air New Zealand and more recently Westpac and Burger King. You may remember some of their award winning ads on telly, such as the Tip Top, simplifying summer one where they explained the difference between undies and togs and all those funny little Frank soft drink ads (plus many, many more).

Anyway, on Thursday just before 5pm, a group of young hopefuls met in the lobby at the Colenso/Aim Proximity building at the top of College Hill. We were quite nervous, unknowing of what to expect. However, we knew we were in for an interesting time after seeing the dozens and dozens of awards sitting inside the front desk and a shabby tree house dangling from the ceiling. After an agonizing 20 minute wait, a young chap bounced down the stairs, introduced himself as James and led us up to the second floor. He led us past a room which appeared to be the creative workplace but really resembled a playground featuring grown men and woman chasing each other amongst party lights and decorations and then eventually into a board room. I felt like I was walking through Hogwarts.

On the wall at the end of the board room hung a million inch TV, overlooking a massive table with big soft, cushiony seats. Upon the table sat a neat selection of cold beers and chips from which we were offered and then asked to take a seat. Zoe, our copywriting friend soon joined us and so began an exciting, career enlightening presentation.

James led the way and spoke about what it means to work for Colenso and spoke about what exactly it is he does as a junior account manager working on the Vodafone account. It was great. As he spoke, he began ticking all of my boxes one by one. His job boasts the perfect balance of creativity, management and sales and best of all; he gets to dress like a boss every single day for work. I’ll go into more detail on this next week.

Zoe then followed with a spiel about herself and what it’s like to work as a creative at Colenso. After coming from DDB in Sydney, she said that the suits at Colenso are miles ahead of anyone she’s previously worked with in terms of knowledge and synchronisation. While we learn about what happens in an agency every day at Uni, it was awesome getting a first-hand account from someone our own age. She confirmed and denied many industry rumours for us, the worst being the possibility of crazy work hours, but when you’re working the best job in the world, who the fuck cares?

They then gave us a preview of an upcoming campaign they are designing for Vodafone where they are offering people a salary to work for a charity for a year to show that it’s possible to make a difference in the world (and I believe it’s already begun). They then went over the thoughts and concepts behind it all and how it all tied into the final product.

After some Q&A, we said our goodbyes and left the building with high spirits. We were promised a quality encounter and it definitely delivered (although 6 days work experience would’ve been much better; I’m allowed to be bitter.) Most importantly, I got my first business card. Contacts within the industry are potentially more valuable than time and experience and I’m really looking forward to what I could possible make of this baby.

Now what you’ve been waiting for, answers to last week’s puzzle:

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Pride and Procastination

Writing is not easy.

I’ve had all week to write this blog and do you know when I started? This morning. I’ve had it in the back of my mind all week but the actual writing started this morning.

Even then it was a mission to start.

I woke up this morning at around seven as I have seemed to over the last few months which really is annoying me (I am going to have to take up computer games again so that I stay up later and waste the morning with sleep).

I rolled over checked facebook, and thought about starting to write.

I wrote a sub-par blog about a dream I had in which Hugh, Jack Bauer and I were trying to siege a pirate ship that was atop a tall hill. But in the end of the dream we got distracted by cheap tickets to snow planet (what there was a stall on the side of the road leading up to the pirate ship castle). There was also a nice scene were mine and Hugh’s families came together and had dinner, godfather style, not knowing that the others father was the leader of the opposite army (don’t ask who’s dad was in charge of the pirate ship castle we were trying to siege, I wish I knew). There was also a shotgun convention.

As you can see while my dreams are cinematic, complex and twisted like a Kubrick film they don’t make the best reading (however I decided to turn it into a play and if I ever get it past act one you can all have a read.).

So I put some pants on, watched some discovery. Made some toast and thought long and hard about what I wanted to write about, well that’s a lie. I thought long and hard about a witty title that references a famous piece of literary work that would make me seem smarted and more learned than I actually am.

So after an hour or so of clicking anything and everything that was blue and even remotely interesting on wikipÆdia I had done nothing except waste another hour of my morning.

With a hangover in full effect and my breakfast beer empty I knew something had to be done and fast.

So back on went the pants and down stairs I went to retrieve a breakfast cider (because another beer would make me and alcoholic).

My voyage of self and cider discovery was interrupted on the way back to my room, and freedom once again from my accursed pants, by discovery channel.

All I have to say about that is Bear Grylls is dreamy and that I could probably get away with killing someone.

After returning to my room I decided a run would clear my head and do me some good. I put on some laundry and decided a run was like a gym and a tan so I have my vitamin G.T.L for the day (Jersey Shore was also on this morning).

I went for a run and thought further about my blog.

I thought of all the high-minded things I could talk about and then I thought of how hard it is to think of high-minded things.

So I got home and started to write this.

I really wanted to leave a pinter-esk ending in which you as an audience didn’t know what the hell was going on but I though I better give you something to think about.

So here it goes.

Writing is hard. You actually have to sit down and do it when the world has so much more it wants you to do.

But if you enjoy it you’ll do it.

Because at the end of the day it’s something to do.