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Friday, February 6, A.D. 2015
Peter Thiel on the Competition Myth

Peter Thiel, genius and billionaire, offers some fresh advice in the Intercollegiate Review: “The Competition Myth.” Send the link to the young adults that you know.

Thiel is interesting. I wish that the elite captains who steer the ships of our social fleet were more like him—and that today’s Forbes list consisted of men like the Crosley brothers, Milton Hershey, Howard Hughes, Thomas Edison, Rockefeller . . . men of genius, vision, courage, and great will. Well, Silicon Valley is full of amazing folks, and there is Elon Musk, but America’s dominant class today largely reeks of cowardice and dishonesty. Such makes sense—for they lead a craven, lying people.

Posted by Joseph on Friday, February 6, Anno Domini 2015
CapitalismTechnology • (2) CommentsPermalink
Tuesday, February 3, A.D. 2015
Better Commercials

I criticized the quality of this year’s Super Bowl advertising in “Super Bowl Mediocre Marketing,” and I would like to offer some ads from the past year that are of “Big Game” quality. I cheated in my search by combing through others’ best of ‘14 lists, but hey—the folks at Adweek get paid to discuss advertising. I make no money here. The first video shows exactly what I expect from a Super Bowl commercial. Behold, Lurpak’s “Adventure Awaits”:

Wonderful! Just wonderful! I remember reading something in Maritain’s treatment of aesthetics wherein he argues that we delight in recognizing something when that recognition comes in an unexpected way. This is definitely true. No one gets excited from knowing that a goose is a goose, but a man experiences joy when his mind puts a visual puzzle together to see a common object that was obscured before his mental faculties got to work on it. Similarly, people love to find hidden “Easter Eggs” in film and in paintings. The splendor of this commercial works in a similar way by exposing the commonplace in a spectacular fashion.


Adweek’s article explains that Christmas ads are the British equivalent of Super Bowl ads. I knew that the Brits liked their Yuletide tube watching—every B.B.C import show tends to have Christmas specials. I never considered, though, the commercials during those specials. Well, here is one such ad from the department store John Lewis, “Monty the Penguin”:

Coca-Cola Life has a lovely family affirming commercial from Argentina, “Ser Padres”:

I saw this commercial earlier in the year; it must have been featured on a site that I read . . . perhaps from Laura Wood or Fr. Z???

The following Save the Children’s “Most Shocking Second a Day Video” counteracts apathy well, but how are “globally” aware people to avoid the desensitization that the commercial decries? There is too much to care about—so, it makes sense to draw boundaries of concern. Still, it is one of the most intelligently executed public service announcements that I have seen.

Another moving ad from Britain is Sainbury’s Christmas spot, which commemorates the Great War on its one hundredth anniversary:

Last but not least is Procter & Gamble’s “Mom” campaign during the Sochi Olympics, such as the following:

 

Posted by Joseph on Tuesday, February 3, Anno Domini 2015
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Monday, February 2, A.D. 2015
Super Bowl Mediocre Marketing

I watched bits of the Super Bowl last night, and I must admit that the game itself was quite entertaining—such amazing athleticism on display, several “Did that just happen?” moments, and a close score throughout the game so that we were not sure of the winner until the very end. The commercials, however, were inferior to past years’ showings. However, I did enjoy some of them. They were just not exceptional. Compare them, for instance, with my favorites from A.D. 2009 (“Super Bowl Advertisements”) or A.D. 2011 (“Big Game Commercials”). Here is this year’s obligatory touching Budweiser animal commercial, “Lost Dog”:

Not shown but now universally seen is GoDaddy’s pulled advertisement, “Journey Home,” which spoofs sentimental puppy spots:

I love puppies, and golden retriever puppies can melt a heart of iron, but I think that GoDaddy’s ad is well executed and pretty funny. Of course, in pulling the commercial, they got two spots for the price of one in addition to much media coverage and potential customer viewing. I wonder if they always intended to substitute the ad. Very clever.

The most visually striking ad for me was American Family Insurance’s “dreamers” at Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks diner. I love 40’s style. Besides, the commercial’s concept is unique and heartwarming:

Esurance had two entertaining ads that worked well: Lindsay Lohan in Sort of Mom and Bryan Cranston as Walter White in Sort of Greg.

Several other amusing videos featured self-deprecating celebrity parodies. My favorite of these was Liam Neeson for Clash of Clans:

And Pierce Brosnan in 007 mode for Kia Sorento in “The Perfect Getaway”:

It troubles me to post the last commercial in this series. In this site’s six plus years, I have not once mentioned the name Kardashian. Alas, I must give credit where it is due—here is Kim Kardashian for T-Mobile:

I’ll mention one last worthy television-aired commercial; Lexus’ “Let’s Play” delights:

Nissan sponsored an interesting video for the game’s livestream broadcast. I do not see how it reflects Nissan or cars, but it is an enjoyable prank wherein Roman Atwood turns his house into a plastic ball play land—to the surprise of his wife upon her return home:


Not bad, but not astounding, either.

Posted by Joseph on Monday, February 2, Anno Domini 2015
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