Thursday, July 15, 2010

First Step: Admit You Have a Problem

I have a problem.

My name is Rob. I have a Hood Internet addiction. Two posts in two days brought about my moment of clarity.

That said, this Mixtape which I downloaded yesterday (and am just listening to now) is incredible.

Hood teamed up with Anatomy Magazine to produce Side A of their Great American Mixtape

I won't lie, it didn't hurt that they mashed two of my all-time favorite songs. Lil' Troy - "Wanna Be a Baller" and and T.V.O.T.R. - "Wolf Like Me". That may not even be a great track, but to me it the most incredible thing I have ever heard. I nearly fell out of my chair when it kicked-off.

Here it is:
07 Lil' Troy (feat. Fat Pat and Yungstar) x TV On The Radio - Wanna Be A Wolf Like Me

Anyway, while I work on finding a new musical experience, you enjoy.

Did I mention Side A and and B of the Great American Mixtape is FREE when you opt in to Anatomy Magazine.

Hood Internet: Trillwave

If you guys don't follow and download all the new Hood Internet tracks like I do, you might have missed a lot over the past 6 months.

Good News! They (with help from "the fine people of Mishka...") just released a new mixtape called Trillwave.

Mashups featuring everyone from (of course) Kanye, Phoenix, The Flaming Lips, Royksopp, Genesis, Diddy, Jay-Z, Yacht, Maps and about 20 others. All of which add up to one hell of a ride home from work, roll out to the bars or domination at a house party.

Anyway, enjoy the Mix Tape, and go see The Hood Internet when they come to your town. You won't regret it.

Ogre Sized Meal for Kids

Childhood obesity.

I feel like I hear that term a lot these days. There's a lot of blame to go around for it. Lack of activity, digitally focused society, poor parenting choices, bad nutritional education, hormone injected everything, and a super 'PC' mentality that discourages condemnation of a childs weight for fear of onsetting body or diet issues.Parents and friends just assume that kids will grow into or out of it, but by the time it's a real problem, it's too late.

But, I think king among all these reasons is that food tastes so damn good. McDonald's food in particular. McDonald's isn't every 5 year old's favorite restaurant by coincidence. Sure they give out toys, and they have play places, but it's the food that kids, I, crave(d). Steaming hot cheese burger (hold the onions), plenty of the best tasting fountain Coca-Cola, and those golden salty sticks of joy. The consistency of McDonald's grub, which revolutionized the food industry around the world, is the perfect fit for kids with discerning palettes, huge appetites and price conscious parents.

But, this is not news. There has been push back from every side, and McDonald's is the target of a lot of bad PR and public health scrutiny. Are they the fall guy for the main reasons child obesity is the issue it is (mentioned above), i don't know, like I said there's a lot of blame to go around. I do know that over the past 10 years the company has responded to public outcry through their marketing, restaurant design and products. Commericials featuring active lifestyle choices, larger more dynamic play-places or none at all and "Healthier" food options. Small steps, but things they can point to in the event of complaints.

But, last week, I saw this:

A 20pc. Chicken McNugget with a Dreamworks 'Shrek' theme. 9pc. Ok, but 20pc. A Shrek sized serving, for a Rumpelstiltskin sized person? Child?

It might not seem like a big deal to you, but a lot of bells and whistles went off in my head. At 12, my McDonalds food of choice were the McNuggets, 20pc to be exact, but that wasn't marketed to me. I made that choice based on math and my genetic need to make poor decisions based on value...
"Wait I can get a 9pc. for $3 or a 20pc. for $4. What? Am I an idiot. 20pc please, lot's of BBQ sauce and a supersized milkshake. Thank you!"
But for two companies so children focused to put there brand and stamp of approval on 20pcs of hormone stuffed fried chicken pieces is extremely surprising to me. More surprising is that there hasn't been more public outcry. Maybe the "nagging-wife-effect" has taken over, and the world is just zoning out all the noise as it relates to McDonald's being unhealthy. I hope not. My guess is that the fact they were suppling children with toxic Shrek-themed glasses probably, and rightly, overshadowed this misstep.

I wonder if McDonald's has any corporate marketing positions open at the moment?

My last note, or, question on the subject is what's up with the Chicken supply in this country right now. McDonald's, on top of this Shrek 20pc. thing, just launched a 50pc McNugget. I'll say that again... FIFTY pieces of McDonald's Chicken McNuggets. At the same time, Hardee's, a great client of my agency, just launched hand breaded Chicken Tenders, and are pushing them hard right now. Let' see, Grilled Chicken and Chicken-as-the-bread chicken sandwich from KFC. All this begs the question, have the hormones finally succeed in growing T-Rex sized fowl? Is the movie 'Jurassic Park' currently occurring in Arkansas at Tyson Foods?

Somebody call Jeff Goldbloom!

Amnesty International Awesome. But effective?

Want proof that even the most beautiful and compelling advertising can be unsuccessful, look no further than Amnesty Intenational. They and their agencies have been doing brilliant work since its inception, and though "to no avail" seems harsh, it's not far from the truth.

Check out one of their more recent spots from TBWA\France:

Wow, right? Gorgeous, smart, effective... right? Wait, effective on who? Me? But what can I do to stop the death penality. I mean, I can use my imagination. I can go out and get petitions signed. I can contact my senator. I can send money to Amnesty International. Ahhh... there's the rub.

I'm not saying that Amnesty isn't a viable and necessary organization. They are, no question. Their work to fight for or free those wrongly or inhumanely incarcerated is invaluable. My concern is that their amazing ads compel me to donate and be done.

Tell me what to do. Circle the wagons, charge the troops, finagle your Facebook friends. How we can we convince those that are most for the death penalty that it is not humane. How can we speak directly to the father of a murdered and raped daughter? How can we speak to a woman whose religion mandates such punishment in response to a crime against God? How can we convince a Congressman, Prime Minister or President to take swift action, wehn their constituents demand capital punishment?

Answer these questions, and we'll find true effectiveness. But, in the mean-time keep making amazing ads. Every person you inspire is one small step toward insight and action.

Here are some more work from Amnesty through out the years:

I could go all day.

Do your part. Donate.