Amazing parody actually enhances original campaign

Last week a very well done Dove ad, done by Ogilvy, went viral. It was a continuation of the work that Dove's been doing towards reaching and recognizing real women as opposed to the stereotypical model imagery seen in most ads for beauty products.

The company (Dove is owned by Unilever) and its agency have done a good job celebrating normal women, and the ad/video that came out last week was quite moving.

Barely a week later, a parody video has come out from New Feelings Time representing the "average man" in the same scenario. Parodies are hardly a new thing. Since YouTube went mainstream basically everything that gets 15 seconds of fame has an accompanying parody video. What's unique this time around is that, for me, when the parodies hit the innernette the original topic of conversation is played out (harlem shake, Psy, etc), happens too long after the original event hit the news, or the video quality and content in the parody is horrible.

In this case, the parody is funny, timely, and has decent production quality. Because it has those three elements, it extends the relevance of the original ad.

Here are the ads in case you missed them:

Original Ad: Dove Real Beauty Sketches


Parody Ad: Real Beauty Sketches Men


From Posterous to Posthaven

So my previous blogging engine (Posterous) is shutting it's doors in a month which forced me to transition to a new home, even though I'm not blogging regularly these days.

I explored following Scott King over to Tumblr (after all, I use it for another seldom-updated blog cleggslist), but a few things bothered me about the migration:

  • you lost the hyperlinks (I still get about 50 visits per day from referrals that go directly to old content);
  • many of the image and video content didn't migrate over; and
  • there were limits to the number of posts that you could pull over at one time without using a paid service.

After mulling it over a bit, which included thoughts about building my own blogging engine, I came across an invitation from a couple of early Posterous employees to try out Posthaven. After taking a look at some of the features, I tried it out and am extremely happy I did. It's very clean, fast and easy to use (things that used to be hallmarks of Posterous, but they veered far off that path long ago). Pages don't take forever to load, there aren't a bunch of gimmicks, and it's just a pleasure to use. When reaching out to the company for support (requesting a new feature), the response was quick and friendly. I also love the front-end design.

It's $5/month but it is well worth it. I love that there's a revenue model to support something worthwhile like a super clean blogging engine. I feel somewhat at peace with the sense that the founders of Posthaven aren't going to suddenly try to come up with a way to stay alive by selling my content, advertising through my content, or adding a bunch of bloat to the infrastructure of the site. 

Despite having the best of the old Posterous baked in to the site and the promise not to get too crazy with unneeded features, a few things that I hope they add in the future (some of which might be there and I'm just missing it):

  • Some ability for basic skinning and inserting custom code/widgets
  • Social notification upon posting
  • Tags
  • Google Analytics
  • API
  • RSS

Congratulations to the Posthaven team on a great product. I'm very happy to have made the transition.

This guy has got to be getting nervous.

There was a lot of snow in the mountains this year, and a tons of rain in Calgary through the spring and early summer. We should be out floating on the river by this time of year but it's still way too fast and too high.

It's got to be making this homeowner a little nervous (before photo is courtesy Google Streetview). He picked a rotten time to sell.

Now:

Usually:

Louis CK is changing everything.

SOPA, C-11, ACTA. The entertainment lobbies are doing a ton to fight piracy through the US Government, instead of addressing their old-world issues and getting on the digital bandwagon. Piracy has and will always exist in some form, but for the common consumer the real issue is getting what they want in the cheapest and easiest way possible. In today's world that means entertainment on-demand and as cheap as possible.

Apple (via the iTunes model) has changed most of the landscape already, but Louis CK is doing more than any single person (in my mind anyway) to change things from the inside.

His show Live at the Beacon Theater was the first big (read: commercially viable) performance to snub a nose at the entertainment establishment and it's antiquated business/distribution models. It was also hilarious. I highly recommend paying the $5 and downloading it from his website (warning: it's fairly offensive).

Today he's shaking things up again. Everybody hates Ticketmaster, and can't help but love the following email I got today:

I'm going on the road

hello folks!  I'm going on tour this  year from October through
Feb.  I'll be all over the goddamn place.  This year, I'm trying
something new, building on the fun, success and fan-benifit of
selling my content online.  We are selling tickets to this tour
exclusively here on louisck.com.  I only wanted to do this if
there was a way, like with LIVE AT THE BEACON, that  it could
bring the price of tickets down and make them easier and less
complicated to buy.  We figured out a way.

Making my shows affordable has always been my goal but two things
have always worked against that.  High ticket charges and ticket
re-sellers marking up the prices.  Some ticketing services charge
more than 40% over the ticket price and, ironically, the lower
I've made my ticket prices, the more scalpers have bought them
up, so the more fans have paid for a lot of my tickets.

By selling the tickets exclusively on my site, I've cut the
ticket charges way down and absorbed them into the ticket price.
To buy a ticket, you join NOTHING.  Just use your credit card and
buy the damn thing.   opt in to the email list if you want, and
you'll only get emails from me.

Also, you'll see that if you try to sell the ticket anywhere for
anything above the original price, we have the right to cancel
your ticket (and refund your money).  this is something I intend
to enforce.  There are some other rules you may find annoying but
they are meant to prevent someone who has no intention of seeing
the show from buying the ticket and just flipping it for twice
the price from a thousand miles away.

Some of these rules may be a pain in your ass, but please be
patient.  My goal here is that people coming to see my shows are
able to pay a fair price and that they be paying just for a
ticket.  Not also paying an exhorbanant fee for the privalege of
buying a ticket.

Tickets across the board, everywhere, are 45 dollars.  That's
what you'll actually pay.  In every case, that will be less than
anyone has actually  paid to see me (after ticket charges)  in
about two years and in most cases it's about half of what you
paid last year.

The benifit for me is that I won't get angry emails from anyone
who paid a ton of money to see me due to circumstances out of my
control.  That makes me VERY happy.  The 45 dollars also includes
sales tax, which I'm paying for you.  So I'm making more or less
depending on the state.

Another benifit to me is also one to you.  I get your email
address (if you opt in) when you opt in.  You don't have to join
ANYTHING to buy these tickets and if you opt in, youll only hear
from me once in an old man's jizz-cycle.

Obviously  none of this means anything if the shows aren't good.
So that's up to me.  As I do every year, I'll be performing a
brand new hour (or more) on all of these shows.

Lastly, it was a real challenge to find venues around the country
that could work with our exclusive ticketing service under these
perameters.  It means I'm playing in very new places.  I really
appreciate all of these theaters that are letting us give this a
try.

Setting up this tour has been fascinating and difficult.  this
ticketing service is a brand new thing and I really fucking hope
it works and that there aren't any problems.  If anything comes
up, please be patient.

Doing things this way means I"m making less than I would have
made if I did a standard tour, using the usual very excellent but
expensive ticketing service.  In some cities I've had to play
smaller venues and do more shows.  But I like doing more shows
and about a year ago I reached a place where I realized I am
making enough money doing comedy so the next thing that
interested me is bringing your price down.  Either way, I still
make a whole lot more than my grandfather who taught math and
raised chickens in Michigan.

alright, that's it, folks.  I'll be sending this message out to
folks on the opt-in list and sending a separate email that lays
it out much more simply with the proper links.  I am doing this
because when I emailed you about LIVE AT CARNEGIE HALL, (which is
still on sale for 5 dollars!) about half of the people who got
the email really enjoyed the long, verbose, unedited message.
The other half HATED it and would have preffered a price, a link,
and me shutting the fuck up.

This way, you can read this if you like, or your can just see the
massive shit-ball of text and throw it in the garbage, and focus
on the simple email.

I hope to see you all on the road.

regards,

Louis C.K.

Bizarre advertisement for Surface

From some of the reviews I've read, it sounds like they've got a pretty cool product. It's powerful, takes advantage OS features that other manufacturers haven't managed to do, works well with others, and has a snazzy cover that doubles as a keyboard.

I don't get that from the ad. I'm seeing Buckyballs, mercury, rock chipping, and aggressive kickstanding.

Although with their music selection, it seems like some sort of interpretation of interpretive dance. I don't get interpretive dance either.