A Picture’s Worth…

Credit: George MorrisSometimes a simple image is all an ad needs. On an every day basis we are subjected to many advertisements that annoy, offend, or say too little in too many words. However, I found a couple of ads featured on Bad Ad Good Ad that make a statement without resorting to cheap insults, sexism, or ignorance.

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The Slow Demise of the Traditional Music Model

Credit: Ian BoydEveryone has acknowledged the burgeoning demise for a few years, but the old music industry is taking some time to transform into something new. Music sales are down, everyone touts, but more music is being created than ever before and many artists are setting out on their own without record companies. So, is the demise a result of illegal downloading, like many claim? Or is the independence of the artist a significant factor? Both have contributed to the transformations in the way we acquire and produce music, and both can show us what might work to keep musicians and others in music related careers thriving in the future.

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Laugh Your Mass (Media) Off

Credit: ToastforbrekkieIn a time when print news is in the trash, The Onion’s parody is still going strong online. But how have The Onion’s print publications been staying afloat? It’s hard to tell since news about the fake newspaper is also difficult to take seriously. Any time a serious journalist reports on The Onion, I find myself checking the date of the article to make sure it wasn’t written on April 1st. We do in fact know that The Onion had to lay off editors in California in 2009, canceling print editions in both San Francisco and Los Angeles. As a result, The Onion had to turn to some serious advertiser “pandering” as Gawker claimed , after saying no to a lot of deals over the years. So it wasn’t surprising when The Onion “sold” to a Chinese company that same year… or at least we were told they were sold. NPR, however, confirmed the joke, though many bloggers took it seriously.

Through its strife, The Onion is reminding us how skeptical we should be of all news, not just that which we know is fake. As I read NPR’s account of the buyout and statements from Onion editor Joe Randazzo, I wonder how I can believe anything the man says. He is the editor of a notorious and prolific fake publication, after all. There are only a few things in the media that we can be sure of and one is that we aren’t buying it, commercially that is. Luckily, The Onion is doing a few things right, like moving into video, sound clips, and apps to maintain readership and prevent an early death in the ever diminishing world of publications.

Mmm…Junk Veggies. Just Like Mom Used to Make.

Credit: Brett ForsythIt is strange that the carrot industry has come to this, but the new carrot promotional machine showcases some clever marketing that is documented by USA Today. “A Bunch of Carrot Farmers,” a group associated with Bolthouse Farms, has paid some good money to Crispin Porter + Bogusky to tart up their carrots. Along with shiny new “junk food packaging”, the campaign features very self-aware 30 second ads, and a Flash-heavy website that not only promotes the product, but makes fun of carrots’ junk food counterparts.

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Laying the Saturday Morning Cartoon to Rest

Credit: gfpeckThough many of us now sleep late on Saturdays, we all remember a little thing called the Saturday morning cartoon. Unfortunately the Saturday morning cartoon has taken a tumble in pop culture. If you were to actually wake up at a reasonable hour on Saturdays, you might not even be able to find one. The loss runs deeper now that Cartoon Network, a channel that is supposed to be dedicated entirely to the art of the cartoon, is loaded with live-action television. Actually, 60% of the station’s programming is now live-action, leading this post to become some form of elegy.

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Now That’s Govertainment!

Credit: lotjeIt’s simple enough to watch movies like Wag the Dog and wonder when political news transitioned from journalism to entertainment. I, however, have to pose the idea that news has always been as much entertainment as it is informative media. Muck raking is certainly a big factor in our current infotainment environment and has been since the 19th century.

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Proliferation of the Mighty Cupcake

Credit: Rachel from Cupcakes Take the Cake

I declare "cupcabobs" the next food trend.

Somehow cupcakes started popping up everywhere. One might say they have risen (eh, eh) to fame through some strange, cult-like celebrity obsession. One minute the Sex and the City girls are eating cupcakes on a bench on Bleecker Street, and suddenly these creamy little morsels have do-or-die television competitions dedicated to their extravagance. Cake Wrecks will even provide adequate coverage of the ugliest cupcake cakes, dubbed “CCCs” by the writers, Jen and John, propelling even gelatinous blob cakes into popularity.

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