Monday, November 25, 2013

Mad Women

I've made a lot of hay on this blog criticizing the new kids on the advertising block.

Between their entitled attitudes ("I've been here two years, I should be a Creative Director."), their unholy fascination with digital media, and their piss poor sartorial/tonsorial choices, they have provided me with ample grist for the old man mill.

I could easily continue down this well-worn path, and given the "quality" of today's work, not face any writer's block until the year 2023.

But to do so would be folly.
And I would only cementing my image as an aging myopic curmudgeon.

"Those that can do, do. 
Those who can no longer do, become grumpy bloggers."

So today, we're zigging, not zagging. Today we're talking about someone who is actually talented. And has, what I think are, the makings of a great art director. Of course, I may be biased. And later, you'll see why.

Last week, I stumbled across an article about a creative team, a copywriter and an art director. Both are women. One is a Mormon. The other, a lesbian. If that doesn't have a must-read quality, I don't know what does.

A click here and a link there and within seconds I was able to find both of their online portfolios. Nothing stalker-ish about that. I like to know who I am still competing against for jobs. And I like to see where the work is trending these days.

I also love to see the garbled English and abundant typos that is so prevalent these days. It's that kind of sloppy unprofessionalism that will keep me employed for years.

But there was none of that here.

There was just a lot of good work. And the Art Director (I'm using her name with permission) Kimberly Linn, had a campaign that struck home. It was for Taco Bell. More specifically, Taco Bell's Late Night endeavors.

You see, years ago when the Irvine-based company was keeping the doors open into the wee wee hours, I was involved with the initial launch. In fact, my partner and I came up with the original concept of FourthMeal. I even wrote about it here more than two years ago.

FourthMeal has become a Taco Bell franchise. Although to this day, I've never seen any executions that gave the idea its due.

Until now.

In her portfolio, Kimberly has a slew of outdoor and OOH print for Fourthmeal that she had done with copywriter Mike Zuckerman (I also have his blessing).

All the lines have a distinctive post-modern flavor, and a few are better than others. But the fact that I liked some of the work, explains why Taco Bell didn't like any.

I'm sure it's because there's no food.  But if Taco Bell had any understanding of the two-in-the-morning drunken craving for a sloppy burrito, they'd know a photo was ridiculously unnecessary.

Of course, I'm not the target audience. And by 2 AM, I'm well into my second cycle of REM sleep. But in the fast food world of equally non-nutritious eating matter, I'll go with the company that has a sense of humor and understands the power of self-deprecation.

So Kimberly's work never ran. And it only lives online. In her portfolio. Where it can never win any awards.  And will only be seen by potential new employers. And underemployed bloggers.

But she is young.
And relatively new to the business.

The good news is, as far as demoralizing advertising experiences go, there's plenty more where that came from.

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