fear of loss

fear of loss

I worked on a series of spots for the Kentucky Lottery to help with jackpot fatigue and remind people that you can't win if you don't play. The spots are based on the fear of loss, or as people now call it FOMO (fear of missing out). They were a lot of fun to shoot AND edit.

Ted Eckel was the writer and Jonathan Bekemeier was the director. Greg Malone and Kim Cline with Road Pictures were the production company. Steve Hurst with Videobred did the cutting.

Pickle the Chickens:
https://lnkd.in/eREJS_X

Band (2 versions):
https://lnkd.in/eyAACVQ
https://lnkd.in/egYmH_r

Ticket:
https://lnkd.in/eusFcwH

You can see more about the approach here: 

More fun stuff here:
http://www.tomfawbush.com/work

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ty po graph y

ty po graph y

Having been brought up in this industry before computers were all the rage I had to learn to hand letter type creating serif, san-serif and script type based on type that was in a book. I was taught that punctuation was a secondary visual and to treat the type as if there were no punctuation so the weight of the headline was either visually centered or at least fully aligned when flush left.  

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It seems that this is a lost art, particularly as it pertains to the digital space. It is difficult to code for tight kerning and hanging quotation marks, though. But in general, this seems to be the one thing that I have continuous edits for with most young art directors. I'm not even sure it's being taught. It's like cursive being dropped from middle school. But it's necessary and essential to good design. And it's worthy of learning even if you have to teach yourself. 

If you really want to get to know typography, I recommend taking a graphic arts course. You'll actually learn what leading is and how to use metal spacers to create letter spacing (kerning). It's not for everyone, though. And if it's not for you, then at least try learning via online resources. 

Just please don't make me look at your period sitting way over by itself, alone and afraid. 

selling air

selling air

I worked on this project many years ago with Paul Gosselin at Doe Anderson. The fact that we had a client that allowed us to sell an empty bottle and that people stood in line to buy that empty bottle still amazes me. And the $150k it raised for charity was icing on the cake.

360° // VR // AR // OhBoy

360° // VR // AR // OhBoy

In 1992 I went to a party a local ad agency put on for their fifth anniversary that had a virtual reality booth set up in it. Yes, back in 1992. 

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It looked something like this. It's no wonder people lost interest and the technology rapidly lost steam. Fast forward to 2017 and the tech has grown immensely. 360 video is being done for nearly every big brand out there and is garnering "view through" rates (the vr equivalent to display ad "click through" rates) of up to 30% compared to CTRs of .3% for most display ads (and that's being generous).

Pretty exciting times for advertisers and social media "gurus" alike, for sure. But how does this affect your message? Should you tailor your message to fit the medium? 

Every new advertising and experiential channel brings about new challenges and questions like these for brands but, in my opinion, brands need to be consistent with their voice regardless of the medium. The look and feel of their brand should also stay consistent across all platforms, although there is some flexibility here (it is advertising, after all). Maybe you change the way you say it or have contextual tweaks that make the experience a little more relevant to the viewer/reader but the bottom line is this: a brand is like a person - you wouldn't respect someone that changed what they said they believed in based on their audience, or if they suddenly developed a Madonna-esque British accent, started talking like a gangsta or had a country twang when it suited them. Mercedes is Mercedes no matter what road they're on. And a smaller brand, like most that I work on, has even more of a reason to speak with a singular voice. They usually have less money to spend on their media and every message counts toward their brand takeaway. Their brand awareness is minimized when they try to be different people. 

Maybe, just maybe, the millennials wouldn't be so hard to talk to if brands would just speak the truth instead of trying to change themselves to fit their consumers. Authenticity seems to be a talking point whenever this discussion comes up in our shop. So, brands that try to conform to their medium won't stand a chance. 

In closing, as a brand manager/marketing director, if you feel like you want to dip your toes into the exciting waters of technology for the first time, be sure to do it gently and go slowly so that cold water doesn't change your voice. 

loving your clients

loving your clients

Working in advertising has given me a very unique perspective on products and services in the marketing world. I look at taglines differently than other people do. I look at the package design from a designer's eye. I sometimes actually read the long copy on a label or on an ad. My job is easy if you know what you're doing. But it's even easier when you believe in and love what you're trying to make other people love.

Don't get me wrong, I've worked on some products and services I'm not so proud of, in the past. But I'm at a place now that is pretty selective about the types of clients we go after and the industries. Every time I have the pleasure of meeting a new client I'm always impressed by two things: how knowledgeable they are about their industry, and how cool they are. I genuinely like every client I meet. And liking them and knowing them make me a little bit more focused on their goals. Knowing their hurdles and the personalities helps give me insights into the decisions they make as clients and it helps me know where to take their work, where they'll be more comfortable. It is sometimes better for a client to be a little uncomfortable with their messaging but only in rare situations and this takes tremendous trust and a strong mutual respect.   

Some people say that it's dangerous to take the client's feelings and views into consideration when doing work for them. A lot of ad folks say you should care less about the client's wants and needs than the consumer's to effectively create compelling creative that speaks to the consumer. But I think the challenge is to find a happy medium between the two. Chances are the client knows more about their consumers than you do. And if you want your client to get behind your ideas and support them internally within the company they need to be comfortable and believe in them as much as you do.

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Maybe it's more about trust than it is anything else. When your clients know you believe in their brands and that your motivations are pure and authentic, it's easier for them to trust you and let you guide them. Every brand I work on feels like an extension of my life because I am organically involved in each one. Afterall, they pay for me to get paid the least I can do is recycle the dollar. 

learning to look up

learning to look up

It has recently come to my attention that I'm not always a "glass half full" kind of guy. In fact, sometimes I'm a "the glass is broken and there's a friggin' mess now because you were careless and now I've cut myself" kind of guy. It's not my fault. Let me explain. You are the product of your environment, right? . And that's all I'll say about that for now. But it's never too late. Actually 50 is the perfect time to figure this crap out. The first half of my life was spent sometimes dwelling on the negative but the second half, that's when things can get really interesting. 

But retraining yourself can be a difficult thing to do. So bear with me. One thing I've done recently is start taking advantage of a little break that I have in my day with a reminder from my watch to "breathe". No idea where the app came from. But it popped up one day and I looked at it and did what it said. So now when it pops up I take the time to stop, breathe, listen to my thoughts, and try to remember to be grateful for my life, my awesome wife, daughter, family, neighbors, and my awesome job. It's not hard for me once I stop and think about it. In fact, it's pretty easy. 

I'm not a religious person, per se, but I am spiritual. Probably not as much as I should be, but I do believe and feel that being nicer makes me a better person. At least that's the way I feel. And the world could really use that about now. At least that's my opinion. all I know is what I experience. When I'm nice to someone and they didn't expect it they are affected. Sending an email that says "great job" or better yet, telling them in person. Letting someone out in traffic. Giving someone money before they ask for it. Telling someone they look nice or you're proud of them. They all fall right in line with "People might not always remember what you said but they will always remember the way you made them feel". So I'm learning to look up, be positive, to make things better even when things seem grim. I have two great role models for it, my wife and my boss, so it should be pretty easy. I'm learning I said. Don't rush things. 

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is illustration dead?

is illustration dead?

There are lots of apps out there these days that do a great job turning photos into illustrations with varying degrees of effects. You can make them look like paintings, sketches or even a Lichtenstein. Here's a n example using the app Prisma.

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I'm not saying apps like these can do everything, but you have to admit this looks a lot like a painting or a pastel drawing. I've even thought about having a few printed on canvas. There are definitely very distinctive styles of illustration that can't be duplicated with ease. Like the art of Chris Nolan (http://www.noleofantastico.com/). Illustrators with this kind of skill have carved a niche for themselves and will remain relevant and employees for some time. 

But apps like this have to have a few artists out there a little nervous. My last blog was about technology that made other tech obsolete, but apps like Prisma, I'm betting,  are going to displace quite a few mediocre illustrators. Good luck out there.

techNOlogy

techNOlogy

Sitting at my desk the other day I looked down and saw this silver shiny disc thing that I didn't recognize, briefly. Then I remembered "Oh, yeah. That's a cd. That's what we used to save digital files to before cloud services, jump drives shaped like sushi and on our phones." It's crazy how fast technology renders things that were once useful completely useless. 

So many brands that should have adapted didn't and are now hurting for business. When was the last time you bought a component stereo system. Receiver, turntable, amp, speakers. They're all combined into one now with SONOS (ambigram!!!!!!!!). And it plays music from cloud services as well as a hooked up computer. If you're so inclined, you can kick it old skool and hook a turntable up to it. 

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Technology is the thing that fantasies used t be made of. Like Star Trek communicators, stun guns, and watches you with cameras on them. Yes, we still haven't worked jetpacks out but damn close with water jetpacks.   

i digress, but do people still have landlines at home? I have this thing on my desk and it rings and I look at it like, "where's the person's picture? How come there's a cord?!?!? Not answering."

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Having turned 50 recently, I can't help but wonder if technology will outsmart me soon. I set up this website as a testiment to my techno savviness and to continue to stay relevant. But will there be a Photoshop update that has an age limitation on it some day? "UNDER 25 ONLY!" Or a Logan's Run like bracelet that shows my expiration date? (If you don't get that reference, Google it.) 

Who knows what the future holds, but I know that I'm an early adapter and a quick study. And there aren't too many things I don't know how to do if I have the time to learn them. I will not be alone like that poor CD sitting on my desk. Or a phone that no one wants to pick up. I will be the next gen iPhone 33. Which is probably going to be a hologram, but still coveted. Hopefully. 

Random things

Random things

Stopping by a coffee shop before heading to my TV edit this morning I noticed my pants pockets were a little on the chunky side. I started taking things out to reconfigure the arrangement in hopes of slimming it down a bit. After removing the contents of my pocket I found this.  

My daughter's power source. 

My daughter's power source. 

You find a lot of interesting things in your pocket when you're a father. Especially when you're a father of a highly creative and smart little girl that's full of personality. I have no idea what this thing really is, but it was presented to me as a token by which to remember my daughter during the course of the day and I was told it was her super power. 

Now, I have no doubt that my daughter has super powers, trust me - trying to get anything out of her hands is like wrestling with a gorilla, but I highly doubt her super power is kept within this charm/key ring. But it made me smile, it made me think about her, and it made me realize that life is awesome. So I guess it is her super power or at least a channel of it.  

Objects are interesting that way. If I would have found this on the street it would have a different meaning attached to it, entirely. I think brands are like that, too. Having experience with a brand or someone you know, maybe admire, being involved with a brand can give it a totally different meaning. Hire a celebrity and you take along their image, and sometimes baggage. Have a certain brand of bourbon at a friends and it instantly becomes familiar. Facebook friends, tweets and other social channels can attach meaning to brands as well. 

I doubt there's a brand out there that can make you as fired up a bout life as this little charm did for me today, but I guess there are some that come close.  

living a creative life

living a creative life

Last year I had the pleasure of seeing Robert Rodriguez give a talk about creativity and living a creative life. The idea is this: if you do everything in life in a creative way your brain will always be on and generating ideas. Whether it's making snowman pancakes for your daughter or mowing the grass in a circular pattern, it's taking the mundane and making it interesting and creative. I've tried it and it works. Funny thing is, I've been trying it long before I saw the Dusk Till Dawn co-director.

Working in advertising for 24 years, I've learned that ideas can not be forced out. You can't just sit down and have the concepts just flow out. Chances are whatever idea you are trying to come up with will be born while in the leu, running or driving to work. Sometimes they happen when you're trying to sleep, and as you get older you better write that idea down because it will disappear by morning. 

My idea sweet spot is on a treadmill. Maybe it's because I'm bored out of my skull and my brain is desparately seeking any kind of stimulation it can find. If I try to do math, I'll trip for sure but creativity comes abundantly. I'm able to generate ideas faster than I can remember them, sometimes. So basically if you're stuck on an idea, and you just can't figure out how to solve a problem get away from it. Experience something else. Go for a walk. Go people watching. Do anything but try to come up with the idea. 

This is is a difficult process for people in the business world to understand. For them sitting in a "think tank" and brainstorming is the path to the solution. But, I can honestly tell you I've never been in one of these and had a great idea develop from it. yes, everyone feels good for having tried to contribute, but ultimately the solution or the idea comes from one person's brain and other people jump in and get behind it. 

Imagine brainstorming a painting. Or Michael Angelo, sitting around in a "think tank" planning David. What a disaster. I'm not saying that all advertising is art but if it's great it comes close. 

So so the next time you have a block or just can't seem to rhyme a word with "orange" get away from everything for a bit and watch the ideas flow. Oh, and get away from the computer. That thing is an idea sucker.