Monday, November 25, 2013

The Most Miraculous Thing

Okay, this is weird. Inspired by the last post, I've been searching for the ad that made me want to go into advertising in the first place. I cannot find it. Anywhere.

As I recall, it was a British or European television ad for Lego. It would have been shot in the mid to late 90s. Yeah, I know that doesn't sound particularly promising. But I swear, the ad was absolutely magical.

A little boy of seven or eight is playing on the floor of his bedroom. His mom calls up to him, and he quickly pushes the thing he's been working on under the bed. He looks out the window. Two government agents in black suits are at his front door.

The agents appear in his bedroom. We see the little boy's mom nod to him, as if to say "go ahead." The little boy, looking bashful, pulls his creation out from under the bed. The government agents are awestruck. We, the viewers, are never allowed to see what the boy has made.

The next bit is a montage. The boy shaking hands with world leaders. The boy on the cover of magazines. The boy being honored with a ticker tape parade in New York. He's obviously created something magnificent. Something that's changed the world. But what is it? All we know is that it was made out of Lego.

I remember seeing the ad in about 1996. It's possible it was what's known as a "spec ad"--an ad that's made by an agency without the backing of the brand (in this case, Lego). But from what I recall, it would have been far too expensive for a spec ad. (Spec ads rarely involve ticker tape parades.)

If you can find it, I will give you a reward. No money (I don't have any), but a book of your choosing (as long as it's one of mine).

 UPDATE: Can I just say--you guys are amazing. Thank you so much, Luisa for finding this for me! I think there may have been a British version as well. I seem to recall a different mom. But this is the ad. No doubt about it.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

This May Be My Favorite Ad of All Time

And I've worked in advertising for a million years. Watch it while you can. The Beastie Boys have taken legal action against the company for parodying one of their old songs. (Come on, guys!)

I am not at all surprised to hear that this wasn't created by an ad agency. More on that later--in a different context. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

My Favorite Russian Survivalist

Just "discovered" Crazy Russian Hacker. (Looks like a few other people have too.) Oh man I love this guy.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Urban Wraiths

One of the best things about New York City is its subway art. Believe it or not, the works officially commissioned by the city are every bit as exciting as the "underground" stuff. (Scroll down a few posts for that.) In fact, imagining my NYC tax dollars going to fund subway art helps me get through April 15th every year.

I haven't seen all of it. Few people have the time for that kind of tour. But recently, I came across a photo of a work that I may make an effort to see in person. It's called Flatbush Floogies (see above) and it's the creation of a New York artist named Muriel Castanis.

I despise the word "Floogies" (the horror!), but I love a good wraith, so I did a quick search for more of Castanis's work. I was not disappointed. Her ghostly statues can be found in cities around the country--and they're always in interesting spots.

For instance, twelve of Castanis's wraiths atop a building at 580 California Street in San Francisco stand watch over city's financial district.

And one particularly creepy lady directs traffic on a busy highway in Portland.

Art like this makes me wish I were super wealthy. I'd love to put a few wraiths out in front of my Brooklyn brownstone--and record the reactions of passersby.  

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Man in the Woods

Every day for the last decade, a man wearing a camouflage uniform and gas mask has walked the same path through a forest in western Switzerland.

The man, who is known in the area as "Le Loyon," speaks to no one. Sometimes he carries flowers. Only a single photo (above) has ever been taken of him.

So what's the deal? Is he a ghost, a hermit or a hoax? After TEN YEARS, apparently no one knows. Aren't there any Irregulars in Switzerland who might be able to solve this mystery? (Or perhaps they have--but chose to keep the secret to themselves.)

More here.

Monday, November 11, 2013

My Biggest Hero . . .

 . . . is Sir David Attenborough. And tomorrow night, I will be able to see him in person for the very first time. I literally couldn't be more excited.

Turning Roaches into Robots

Hey, did you guys hear the news? We (and by we, I mean humans) have just taken a giant step toward the robot apocalypse future. Now you can turn a regular old cockroach into a cyborg creature that has no choice but to do your bidding. (Or at the very least, turn left or right if you tell it to.)

Yay, technology! Right???? Actually, I'm not really sure how I feel about this one.

Why? Well step one requires that you procure a cockroach--something my fellow New Yorkers and I try our best to avoid. Step two is performing "brief surgery" on the roach in order to attach electrodes to its antenna. And step three is forcing another living being to follow orders you send via neural stimulation. (Do you think the same technology would work on siblings?)

Not my thing. Is it yours?

Check out the project's kickstarter page. (Which comes complete with a response to some of the criticism that's been leveled against the Roboroach.)