February 2013

Architects. Engineers. 3D designers. Their work requires graphic-intensive programs and computers with enough power to handle them. Sadly, most organizations try to make do with regular PCs that are suped-up a little. It’s a real shame because their talented employees need the extra power to seamlessly transform their dreams into completed projects.

To create a more efficient and effective workforce, these organizations need to know that PCs with lower GPU capabilities aren’t worth playing with. Anything less than HP Z-Series Workstations with NVIDIA Quadro graphics isn’t going to cut it because work isn’t a game.













While the client liked this campaign and we technically won the pitch, the project lost some funding so the chances of this idea seeing the light of day of pretty slim.

The Ola from Minna Life is the only vibrator in the world that has a pressure sensitive control. Not only does this remove the limits to pleasure that predetermined settings create, it creates unique and spontaneous moments for women and couples.

Unfortunately, even with a revolutionary feature, the Ola’s awareness after a year in the market wasn’t very high. To increase aware and stimulate sales, Minna Life asked us to create a small campaign targeting couples for Valentine’s Day. They would also offer a special couples package that included the Ola, massage oil and truffles.




SF Weekly Page Takeover


Minna Life Facebook Cover Image


SF Weekly Newsletter


Minna Life website



With no production budget and a media budget less that $3,000, we ran 5 ads on sfweekly.com from February 8th to the 14th and saw:
– 104,196 impressions
– 440 clicks
– 0.42% CTR (much higher than industry standard of 0.2% – 0.3%)

Sadly, no Valentine’s Day packages were sold. Which in retrospect was understandable. Even if a customer decided to purchase the online exclusive package the first day of the campaign, there was no guarantee it would arrive via free ground shipping in time for Valentine’s Day. Paying for express shipping would put the total price close to $250 when the featured Ola only costs $165.

Needless to say, a lot of lessons were learned. We were happy with the results of the creative though.

View this article on UpperReserved >

A couple of weeks ago, we looked at some of the best ads from the Super Bowl. This week, we’re going to look at athletes starring in commercials. But these aren’t classic ads like almost anything Jordan did for Nike, Glavine & Maddox proving Cy Young winners can have a sense of humor, Deion Sanders doing his best Road Runner impression, or Joe Montana and Ronnie Lott in a fake ad within a real ad. We are going to look at how most athletes get a little side money—the local ad. Great for being bad, weird or hilarious, these are better watched than described. Enjoy.



Larry Bird for Rodman Car Dealer


Ray Lewis, LaVar Arrington, Brendan Haywood & Clinton Portis for Eastern Motors


Jason Campbell & Chief Zee for Eastern Motors


Mario Lemieux for Colussy Chevrolet


Michael Vick for Woodbury Nissan


Pittsburgh Penguins for A&L Motor Sales
Embedding was disabled. Click on the image to see the spot.


John Elway for Elway Dealers

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Since the first interactive whiteboard in 1991, SMART Technologies has been helping students and teachers find new ways to improve education. But after saturating the K-12 market, SMART needed to expand into higher education and create a collaboration solution for business.

To do this, we created a tagline and integrated campaign that told businesses that there’s a better way to collaborate and reminded educators that their students can learn more than ever before. With SMART, people can work and learn together to contribute to something greater.



At the center of the campaign, we wanted to create a website that represented everything SMART stands for. It would allow people from all over the world to collaborate, and inspire everyone who visits the site to contribute to something greater.

People would be able to post ideas, programs, organizations or projects they need help with. Visitors from anywhere in teh world could then contribute their expertise through notes, photos, or videos, just like with a SMART board.

Everything would be sharable through social media channels to insure that anyone who could help contribute to a specific post had the opportunity.




Through iAds, airport installations, digital bus shelters, and other interactive placements, we would raise awareness of SMART by allowing users to contribute to our site.








Through facial recognition technology, our banners would add our thought bubble icons above images with people in them and show them contributing to something greater.


View this article on CinematicMethod >

My little brother and I shared a room growing up. And in that room, our dad hung a poster depicting his favorite books as a child.


As far back as I can remember a replica of Barbara Remington’s 1969 painting depicting the “Lord of the Rings” from “The Hobbit” to “The Return of the King” was on our wall. We stared at it every day. Way before fanboys were camping outside of theaters. Long before Air New Zealand was using the franchise to teach in-flight safety. We were basically being brainwashed over the course of our childhoods by our father to read those books.

Unfortunately, I hate reading. “The Hobbit” somehow made it onto an assigned reading list in school and I opted for the Cliff Notes. So, I got the gist of the story. Or, I should say I got enough to pass the quiz.

I never read the other books in the series. I knew the entire story. Come on, our dad wouldn’t hang a poster (which goes for about $900 on eBay now) in our room for years without telling us what it was. I just didn’t have the patience to read the books. And my response for anyone who asked me about it was always, “I”m waiting for the movie.”

I kept my word. I saw each of the first three Peter Jackson movies in theaters. Sometimes twice. I even sat down when my dad would come into town (he had, unsurprisingly, moved to New Zealand) and watch the brutally long extended DVD versions. Yup, the same man who hung that poster in our room and moved to New Zealand also loved the 4.5 hour versions of those movies. Shocking. Admittedly, I did too. Everything came full circle when I watched them. That poster came to life. It was incredible achievement for Jackson.

But with success came greed. Even Middle-Earth couldn’t avoid that. The excitement of hearing that Jackson was making a movie for “The Hobbit” was quickly followed by the horror that he was going to make it a trilogy.


The shortest book in the series. A trilogy?!

So in order to see “The Hobbit” adapted for film I was going to have to sit through over 9 hours of CGed environments that I wouldn’t see the final minute of until 2014? Pardon my language, but, fuck that. Not me. You may get the fanboys and my dad Mr. Peter Jackson, but you won’t get me.

Actually, in addition to my personal boycott, I told everyone I know not to see it in theaters. My social influence may not be of Justin Bieber proportion, but I think I made a dent in Jackson and Warner Brothers’ pockets. That, and I think a lot of people feel the same way I do.

“The Hobbit” opened in more theaters than any other “Lord of the Rings” film. 4,045 to be exact. For comparison, “The Return of the King” opened in 3,703 theaters. However. Despite the extra available seats, “The Hobbit”, so far, is the lowest grossing film. Take that Jackson!

Here’s a nice little chart from the good people at BoxOfficeMojo.com


As you can see, the numbers adjusted for ticket price increases are even more staggering.

This makes me unreasonably happy. Jackson and WB took one of the greatest stories of all time and made three great movies. They built up a huge following and made J. R. R. Tolkien more famous than ever. And then they tried to abuse that following for even more profit.

I hope this downward trend continues through the next two movies. I hope movie going audiences lose patience with the filler content needed to turn “The Hobbit” into a trilogy. And most of all, I hope Jackson, WB and the rest of Hollywood start thinking long-term. It’s much better to make a great film that will be remembered for all of time instead going for big money and visual effect and sound Oscars.

As for me, I’ll be watching the entire Hobbit series on Netflix in late 2014 or 2015. I hope it’s decent.

View this article on UpperReserved >

Sunday’s game was amazing. A true game of halves, the Ravens and 49ers did not disappoint. As a native San Franciscan I’m disappointed with the result, but the Harbowl lived up to expectations and the Niners had the ball at the end with a chance to score. As for the ads, they weren’t as good as previous years. There were some standouts though.


The Cream of the Crop

1) Audi – “Prom”

Audi and their agency Venables Bell & Partners have dropped some classics during the big game. This one didn’t disappoint. I saw this one before the game on YouTube and thought it told a great story, showed off a sexy car and didn’t rely on babies, animals, old people doing young people stuff or crowd-sourced BS no one remembers a week later. I saw it again on Sunday in a crowded, noisy bar and it still held up.

2) Allstate – “Apple”

Mayhem, played by Dean Winters is one of the best advertising characters ever created. Done by Leo Burnett in Chicago, this Super Bowl ad was as good as Dennis on 30 Rock. The ref strike joke was perfect and proved that some advertising people actually do watch football.

3) Tide – “Miracle Stain”

This is one of the few ads that I didn’t see before the game. As a Niner fan, I didn’t like the ending. But this spot had something for everyone. It’s another ad that held up with no sound and was still great on YouTube the morning after.

4) Hyundai Santa Fe – “Team”

Kids aren’t as cheap of a joke as babies are. Plus, this ad is football themed, funny, well-produced, a clean 30 seconds, holds up with no sound and equally hilarious every time you see it.


The Ones That Needed To Be Heard

5) Samsung – “The Next Big Thing”

The teaser for this spot wasn’t bad, nor great. It was just sorta there. Actually, it really didn’t need to exist at all. But, this ad is hilariously genius. Very well written, casted and acted. I only have it knocked to #4 because it really only works on YouTube at the office and house parties. It doesn’t pass the loud bar test. Still gotta give Samsung credit for making fun of most of the bad ads we’re mentioning later and the actors for poking fun at themselves.

6) Oreo – “Whisper Fight”

I had no idea what this spot was about on Sunday. Watched it with audio clarity on Monday and laughed. The play between quiet whispers and extreme action is great. Oreo also gets bonus points for the best ad posted during the power outage.


Missed the Mark

The Overly American
Nothing against farmers or soldiers, but Jeep’s “America Will Be Home Again” and Ram’s “Farmers” try too hard. Everything that felt authentic with Chrysler’s “Imported From Detroit” from a few years back feels forced with these two. While well-produced with good intentions, both of these spots should’ve been half as long.

The Fake PR Machines
Mercedes-Benz’s teaser with Kate Upton was called too sexy. VW’s ad (which somehow came before what should’ve been the teaser) was called racist. Seriously?! This is Kate Upton we’re talking about. And VW was way to quick with their focus group and accent consulting stories. Before the Super Bowl I thought both companies planted these stories. Which is sad because they soured the game day spots for me.

VW’s teaser (that somehow everyone saw after the “racist” one) with salty YouTube stars deserves props for bringing in Jimmy Cliff! Likewise, MB deserves credit for casting William Dafoe in their ad. But after seeing these, I’d be surprised if those PR stories were planted.


The Cheap Jokes

Kia – “Space Babies”, everything Doritos, Taco Bell – “Viva Young”, Budweiser’s “Brotherhood”, GoDaddy’s “Perfect Match” and Wonderful Pistachios – “Psy” relied too heavily on babies, animals, borrowed interest from viral video stars and old people doing young stuff. Meh to all.


The Forgettable

I think I remember M&M’s having something decent and one of the 58+ NFL Evolution spots being interesting besides the Deion Sanders one and the original timeline one in the campaign. Can’t really member though. Everything else either sucked or isn’t worth linking to. Although, keep in mind this is all coming from a “creative” in the advertising world who has never produced a Super Bowl spot. Someday though. Someday…

View this article on UpperReserved >

I first met her when I was four years old. It was love at first sight.

My family was at a neighborhood party. As much as I craved the delicious treats on the table, the cheers and screams kept drawing me toward the television. There she was. Simply stunning. She looked amazing that evening dressed classically in red and gold. I couldn’t keep my eyes off of her as she moved around with poise and grace. The image of her high legs is something that I’ll never forget. Then, I saw her with an elegant ring on her finger. That did it. I fell head over heals for her.

She knew it too. Oh how she spoiled me in the beginning of our relationship.

She had a flair for the dramatic. She never let me forget that she was special, or that there was no one better than her. In fact, no one else was even close. With her goods always on display, it was hard to argue with her.

But then came the daddy issues and the drama.

She wasn’t as glamorous as she used to be. She got a little arrogant. But boy, did she still have her moments of greatness.

Through all the ups and downs, the moments we almost had it all, my love for her never faltered.

Then, almost out of nowhere, our world began to crumble. She wasn’t happy. The home we shared wasn’t enough for her anymore. She wanted more.

I admit, it wasn’t a palace. But memories were created there that will last forever.

The rumors got worse. Even if she got a fancy new home, she wanted to leave me.

Rumors continued to fly. She was exploring other options.
It was all anyone could talk about.
It had to be true.
But I had to hear it from her.
I wanted to her to admit it was over and she was leaving.

Then she finally spoke.
She didn’t address the rumors. Instead, she told me what to do.

She asked me to be faithful to her.

I was heartbroken. I felt lied to.
She got caught cheating. But instead of coming clean and admitting it, she just asked me to be OK with it.

And I had to be. I mean, what choice did I have?

No matter how bad she was treating me, I loved her with all my heart.
No matter how much I wanted to be mad at her, I kept coming back.

She’s building her dream home now.
A bigger, better one.
It’s the home she’s always wanted and deserved.
Don’t get me wrong. I am happy for her.
I just wish she wasn’t doing everything she can to rub it in my face.
Constantly reminding me that my love wasn’t good enough.

That brings us to where our relationship stands today.
Despite all of her amazing accomplishments, this Sunday might be the most important day of her life. She’s got a new look. The family drama is still there. And honestly, I wish her the best.

In fact, I’ll be rooting for her.
I grew up with her.
I loved her my entire life.
No matter what happens this weekend, even after she moves into her new home, I will continue to love her.