As a blogger I have lots of influence. There are literally 35-45 people out there desperately waiting for me to tell them what's cool. With that influence comes tremendous pressure, which is why I rarely (if ever) share the bounty from my cool-hunting expeditions. But a few minutes ago I happened across a can't-miss cultural home run. It's W+K Radio, and outside of Mutt and Brandon Roy it's the coolest thing in Portland right now. The manager, Janice Grube, is smart, sexy and a one-time rock-star. And one of the DJs, Lee Jefferson Davis, sounds like a butter pecan cookie on air. The only wet towel of the bunch is A. Schafer (that's an alias, btw). Man, I thought I was angry this morning. A. Schafer sounds like he's fresh off a five-year stint in Gitmo.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Wanted to give a shout out to our friends at Instrument. They are the bad ass interactive company who helped build our site. In case you haven't seen it, we're very happy with our site. It's a great site. Check it out sometime. Thank you. Anyways, if any of you are ever in need of some awesome interactive design and development, give Instrument a ring. They are arguably the friendliest, coolest, most dashing digital peeps in Portland.
It's windy as hell in Portland today and one of our gigantic windows just nearly exploded on top of my head. Scared the life out of me. Not because I'm afraid of glass, but because I don't think I have workman's comp. Which got me thinking, when I crack Steve's head on the pavement at work and/or need some human resources, who do I turn to...Mike? Mona? Not likely. Us Mutts can barely telephone our lawyer, let alone deconstruct the nuances of a hundred page legal document. Until I get this figured out, gonna need to take it easy on my tender hammie.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
After much fanfare, I'm proud to announce that our site is finally done. Please click here to drop into the rabbit hole. In all sincerity, we're very pleased with where we netted out. It's clean and simple and (hopefully) fun. Take a gander and let us know what you think. Excluding Lee Davis, we'd love to hear your feedback.
I realize we haven't posted in a couple days. And that many of you are quite upset. But before you fly into a rage, hear me out. I have lots of excuses, and they're all good ones. First, we were in Seattle last week wining and dining our client. So there's two days. Second, we spent the last 48 hours helping Steve prepare for his big presentation to Diesel (no easy task there). And third, my computer blew up yesterday and I am without a writing instrument. Add all that up and I think you owe me a god damn apology. Anyways, back in a second with more interesting news.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Mutt received a couple interesting posts yesterday. One good, one not-so-good. As is our policy, let’s start with the bad. Apparently Lee Davis, aka LD, was miffed that Mutt coronated its birth with an expensive dinner party. He argued, quite ignorantly, that Mutt needed to spend less time partying and more time mining new biz. To be honest LD, your words are absurd. And more importantly, how dare you tell a newborn infant to “stop laying around and get to work”. For cirssakes, we’re still covered in placenta. Anyway, after reading LD’s hurtful words I posted a photo of the two of us at Advertising Camp. It’s a pleasant reminder of a time when Lee acted as a father-figure, and helped steer me away from evil things like vodka and Xanax.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
In perhaps the most anticlimactic news in advertising history, Mutt is now officially open for business. The christening took place at 10:13 pm Saturday evening, in Steve and Rachel's kitchen. You may be wondering, why did we celebrate Mutt’s birthday with candles? After all, aren’t we zero? That’s a fair question. But it’s also kind of dumb and insensitive. We’re (still) trying to celebrate here, so pipe down Einstein. Fortunately for Mutt, no one got hammered and/or fell into the fireplace. Highlights from the evening included an inspired, lip-quivering toast from Steve and a heated debate about adolescent blow-jobs. Here are a few other pics:
Our spray-painted tablecloth, which compromised the aroma of my food.
The ladies discussing their back-up plan.
Where's the iron lung when you need it?
Steve, officially off the wagon.
I have a new tool in my life. It’s called the Content Management System, or CMS. Our friends at Instrument introduced me to the CMS a couple months ago. I use it everyday to upload content to our site and/or when I desire a little company. The CMS has really made a difference in my life. I realize this may sound odd to potential clients, but sometimes I want to make love to the Content Management System.
To run a small business you need to be able to provide tough answers to tough questions, such as what is your mission, what makes you special and what musician would you invite to your holiday party? Though we’ve struggled recently to answer the first two questions, let there be no mistake about the latter—it’s Hank Williams Sr.. I realize Hank Sr. is dead, and that we’d have a hard time getting him out here to Portland. But I just know that if/when Mutt needed to rock Christmas or Labor Day, the Drifting Cowboy would turn our studio into a five-alarm fire. I have this image of Hank Sr. and Mike hanging out in our bathroom, just before Hank’s set. They’re drinking whiskey from a bottle, and Mike cracks a smart-ass joke and Hank Sr. blows a gasket. Before you know it, the two are wrastlin' on the piss-soaked floor screaming like a couple rabid coons.
PS--Ulysses, Hank Williams Sr. was a seminal country musician.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
So we just shipped our first print ad for Teague (hi Sarah). I'd share it with you, but the contract (which I wrote) won't permit it. Idiot. Have patience though sports fans. We'll post it in a couple weeks, after it seeps into culture and starts blowing minds. In the meantime, I'd like to thank my partners and Paige for a job well-done. And of course, our ridiculsouly awesome clients (who approved the ad in less than three hours...no, I'm not kidding). All congratulations aside, I would like to point out that the idea was mine, and that I gave Steve a ton of art direction. But let us never forget there is no "I" in Mutt.
The detriments of working in the ghetto have been well documented (see feces post). But I must say, there is never a dull moment on the proverbial wrong side of the tracks. As I write this, a marching band is practicing outside my window. But not just any marching band. Apparently, these high-stepping lettermen are members of Satan's Church. And right now, they're beating their little hearts out in honor of Mr. Mephistopheles. The music isn't bad. But it does sound a little disorganized and off key, as though unsuspecting angels are being beaten to a bloody pulp. Maybe I'll stroll over there and request a satanic version of Hail to the Victors.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
I’m assuming most of you have been following the Michael Phelps story and his infamous bong hit in South Carolina. In recent days my friends from Kellogg’s have been dragged into the fray, terminating Phelps’ contract because “his behavior isn’t consistent with the image of Kellogg’s”. I read this article on the Huffington Post and it got me thinking—all ethics aside, do you believe Kellogg’s decision is ultimately good or bad for business. Ladies and gentlemen, cast your vote:
I don’t exactly treat my body like a temple. But let me just break down the last two weeks: nine 90-minute sessions of yoga, virtually no alcohol, yogurt for breakfast, tomato juice in the afternoon and no sweets. The result? A five-pound weight gain. Fantastic. Now either my metabolism is broken or I’ve become Benjamin Button, and my muscle is starting to morph into baby fat. Frankly, I’ve seen enough. And I’m tired of reading and hearing about things like patience, discipline and focus. If I don’t get some results fast, I’m gonna sue the pants off Bikram Yoga (and his wife).
I love mascots—especially ones with a little attitude. When a mascot throws down with another mascot and/or gets tossed from a game, I think it’s one of the greatest moments in sport. There’s something bewildering and oddly upsetting about a guy dressed in a kid’s costume acting like a complete lunatic in front of thousands of people. Check out Sammy the Owl above. He didn’t care for how this game was being officiated, so he took matters into his own hands (wings). And after getting bounced, he apparently went apeshit in the locker room and tore up the joint (to the tune of $10,000). Now I don’t want this guy trashing our expensive tables. But I sure wouldn’t mind having him around to stir the pot when things aren’t going Mutt’s way.
Monday, February 9, 2009
Today, my friends, is reader participation day! Yes, a rich, deep interactive experience courtesy of Scotty McLuker. Here is the assignment, er, interactive experience: If you were a client who didn’t know a thing about Mutt, what questions would you want to ask of us? For example, What makes Mutt unique? or Why do we call ourselves Mutt? Please post any and all questions below. Clever, sarcastic responses are more than welcome, so long as they’re accompanied by something moderately helpful. Thanks in advance friends.
About a year ago, renowned Portland DJ and radio personality Ulysses Kelley gave me a beater turntable as a symbol of his affection. I was very moved at the time, so much so that I loaned the turntable to a colleague at work. Being the sensitive soul that he is, Mr. Ulysses was very upset by my altruistic act. So he stole the turntable and gave it to another friend, without telling me. Months later, upon realizing he had acted selfishly, Ulysses returned his “gift” and apologized profusely for his rash behavior. Now, I’m sorry to admit, the turntable is broken. On my way to the den last week, I cut a corner too quickly and the thing busted into a million pieces. So, and I say this without recrimination…Ulysses, would you remind replacing our turntable with one that works?
Friday, February 6, 2009
Assuming the Apocalypse doesn’t hit next week, Mutt will officially be open for business in seven days. As an aside, is anyone else sick of the daily dose of doomsday predictions? I know things are bad right now, and they’ll probably only get worse in the coming months. But what are we supposed to do…hunker down in a bunker and wait for the rivers of gold to start flowing again? Ugh. But I digress. Our website and various other Mutt goodies are nearing completion. Call us naïve, but we’re literally about to wet ourselves with excitement. Bring on the Apocalypse!!
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Our most loyal readers will remember a post two months ago about the game-changing Snuggie. At the time it was the coolest Christmas gift in America. And only Portland hipsters like me knew about it. Apparently that’s no longer the case. Check out the tools from The Today Show pretending to be street in my Snuggie. I know trends come-and-go. And that no one (outside of tatted copywriters) owns cool. But this one hurts. And if Matt Lauer were sitting next to me right now, I’d do a downward dog on his head. Wait, that's not what I mean.
The Big Man stopped by today. No, not Lee Davis. Even better…Lawrence Teherani-Ami. The Madman of Media, the Darling of Digital, the guy who mercilessly stole my couch after I was promoted. Unlike those who have come before him (see Luhr), LTA actually picked up the tab today. Unfortunately our meal was crap. But the company was fantastic. And LTA seems happier than ever. We love you Lawrence…don’t go changing.
Monday, February 2, 2009
So Steve had an interesting day. It started with an early morning meeting at Teague, which Steve volunteered to attend in person (because he was vacationing this weekend in Seattle). Much to our surprise, Steve was quite delightful on the call and never once lost his composure (even as the team repeatedly shot down his ideas). Anyway, following our 25-minute meeting Steve telephoned Mutt and informed us that he would “rush home” because “there’s a lot to do right now”. Mike and I were very pleased by Steve’s enthusiasm, and we rolled up our sleeves and dove into the day’s work. Cut to five hours later where, in the midst of an amazing brainstorm session, Mike and I are rudely interrupted by back-to-back phone calls. It’s Steve, and in a very relaxed tone he says: “Hey guy, about halfway there…don’t think I’m coming into the office. It’s been a long day.” Word.
Our take on last night’s Super Bowl? Great game, horrible ads. I was stoked to see Big Ben win his second ring. He went to college in my hometown (O-Town, represent). Plus my best friend is a huge Stihlers fan, so I know he had a big night. As for the ads…yawn, grumble, gag. My mom just told me that two dudes from rural Indiana submitted those Doritos ads as part of a contest and are currently being hailed as the best creatives in America. That’s awesome. At first I was skeptical about the USA Today results. Then I remembered the bar last night, and seeing the reaction of Johnny Commoner—the guffaws and giggles every time somebody got racked in the balls, the dewy eyes any time a Clydesdale trotted on screen. The whole scene was as inspiring as my soggy nachos. Regardless, I learned an important lesson last night. As the great copywriter Albert Einstein once quipped, “Things should be as simple as possible, but no simpler.”
PS-Had to take down that "Big Ben" pic. Was making my stomach turn.
I have a tendency to get on my high horse about advertising, and obsess over the unseemly aspects of our industry (see He Hate Me post). But if not for advertising, I would never have met two of the coolest cats on the planet—Alberto Escobedo and Sudeep Gohil. Had the pleasure of crossing paths with both this weekend—one in person and one virtually. That’s Sudeep and his beautiful wife Estelle (and their new baby Leela). Sudeep was my old boss at Wieden, though I use that term loosely—we all know Cricket was really running the show. As for Alberto, he’s got a big-time job at Sony but it hasn’t changed him one bit. He’s probably the most stand-up dude I’ve ever met. Great to see ya fellas…Mutt love you long time.