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

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  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

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.


Louis C.K.

McAfee is slow.

To me, McAfee is at best a shitty organization. A company that makes shitty products and markets them to you in a less-than-honest way.

There are way better virus scanners out there for free or cheap (I use, and love AVG). The only thing McAfee is good for is bloating up your computer with dozens of small programs that use up your system resources, require constant updates and generally slow things down. Virus & malware protection isn't very good if it renders your computer useless. It's only saving grace is that it's slightly better than Norton.

I've looked like a performance-enhancing, computer genius among friends and family more than once by simply uninstalling McAfee and replacing it with AVG.

A couple of months ago I got an email from McAfee that suggested I buy some of their software to speed up my computer. That in itself is highly amusing to me - first, sell users (preinstalled) software that will slow down their computers, then sell them something that will speed it up. Very slick. Ethically, you'd think that if they found something to make McAfee infected computers run faster, they would actually incorporate that in to the offending software (their own).

A couple of days ago they trumped that by letting me know that my McAfee Protection has expired. The only time I ever paid for McAfee on one of my own computers was in 2001, and I only paid for a 1 year subscription.

On the face of it, emailing me a notification that my subscription just expired seems like a pretty underhanded marketing ploy. On the other hand, maybe the computers running their CRM software has McAfee installed.

Bottled Water is Completely Pointless

Term Life Insurance
Via: Term Life Insurance

I've been telling my friends this story for years: I used to do some work with Calgary Water back in the day, working on some of their internal training materials. In a meeting it was brought up that Coca-Cola was their biggest customer (for Dasani) - and there was a lot of laughs about how many bathtubs full of water you could fill of tap water on the cost of one bottle of water... the irony being that they didn't even need to test the Dasani water versus the rigorous testing that they had to do on Calgary city tap water. So buyers of Dasani got to pay for bottling, shipping, marketing and Coke's profits, whereas those that drank from the tap got the advantage of water quality checks at a very small fraction of the cost. This was shortly after the Walkerton incident in Ontario, so basically, having the advantage of tested water was a big one.

My friends always have insisted that there was way more to bottled water than simply tap water. This infographic probably won't sway them, but here it is anyways. Coke's not the only culprit in this game, but they are in the news again lately with a lawsuit against them over Vitamin Water (Guess what? It's not healthy for you!).

This is the first book trailer I think I've seen. And it rocks.

This came out in March, so it's more than a few months old and I'm not breaking any news here. I'm also sure there are other book trailers out there, but it is the first time I've seen something like this.

The movie/book relationship has been around forever - but usually one exists before the other and the trailer existed to promote the movie, not the book (there is no film version for this book). After seeing the trailer, it seems like an obvious way to boost readership for a series who's target demographic is likely to be motivated by visuals of zombies, ninjas and hot young women.

I've been intrigued by Pride & Prejudice & Zombies for quite a while now (solely on the book cover and title), but this trailer just convinced me to get the books (the trailer is for the prequel book - exploring how Elizabeth Bennett became such a great zombie hunter).

The genius behind this series of books (as well as Sense & Sensibility & Sea Monsters, Android Karenina, and Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter) is publisher Quick Classics.

It makes sense that a company that is reinventing old literary classics is reinventing the way that books are marketed.

If you live in NYC, get ready to start digging

It's a Muppet* treasure hunt for $10,000!

*Note: there is nothing aside from the style of the puppets to suggest this has anything to do with the actual Jim Henson Muppets, however they have been incredibly savvy with their web marketing as of late, and it would not surprise me if there was some connection.

The cool thing here is that this is not being billed as a marketing ploy or stunt to get your email address. In the FAQ's they answer 'What's the Catch?' with: "NOTHING. This is not a contest. Please don't send us your personal information. We don't want your email. There is no list to sign up for. We just want you to enjoy the videos. They contain everything you need to find the chest."

Of course, they likely expect the mystery around who is behind this thing will generate tons of PR. They will be proven correct there - it looks fun and yet another thing that makes me wish I was back in NY.

Here's their site: