Monthly Archives: October 2010

Happy Laliween!

So we thought today would be a leisurely Friday before Halloween at the office. Hanging out with blow up pumpkins. Trying to sneak into the children’s only bouncy machine. Planning out makeup for tonight. Picking up last minute items for costumes. You know. Minimal work. More play.

But oh no! We got busy. One tv spot died yesterday (I almost cried over that one) and we were immediately put on three new projects. Busy lali!

And appropriately so, we are dressed up for Halloween as “Chiat Day and Night.” TBWA\Chiat\Day is fondly referred to as “Chiat Day and Night” because of all the nights we work… And since Chiat’s logo is pirates, li and I wore pirate eye patches, she dressed as night and I dressed as day.

Chiat Day and Night!

lali dresses as chiat day and night

We will not be working this night, however. A black swan needs to go to a party with her white swan (giggles Deborja, get healthy soon!) and a backpacker mauled by a bear needs to meet her backpacker husband who was also mauled by a bear.

So until the night comes, blast our Halloween playlist – it’s called “A Haunted Hipster Halloween” because we work in advertising, so even our Halloween music has to be cool. Ryan Gosling’s band’s “My Body’s a Zombie for You,” the dracula song from Forgetting Sarah Marshall, a MSTRKRFT remix of Monster Hospital, Talking Head’s Psycho Killer, some songs about witches and werewolves and skeletons sung by some of KCRW favorites, and some classics, including my favorite song from Rocky Horror.

LISTEN HERE! “A Haunted Hipster Halloween

And one more thing, ad related of course as this is an ad blog. Last year, Farkas and I had to make a Halloween ad for Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay. It ended up being a spooky poem invitation in iambic pentameter. Enjoy!

xo from chiat day,

la

And oh, we did hug pumpkins and try to attack the kid’s only bouncy machine… it just happened yesterday.

lali and a pumpkin, @ tbwa chiat day

lali and a bouncy machine, @ tbwa chiat day

Leave a comment

Filed under lali

lali of the corn

lali corn

Fall is here! And even though there are no seasons in Los Angeles, la and I managed to find a pumpkin patch and corn maze! We didn’t actually brave the maze, but we did enjoy the petting zoo and sugar-water-cider.

When you’ve been spending days on end together talking about nothing but work, it’s always nice to do some friendship maintenance. The only time we talked about advertising on this outing was — upon seeing how cute our photos were — exclaiming they were worthy of a blog post. Do you concur?

lali goat

lali sheep

lali pumpkins

xo,
in scarves and boots!
li

4 Comments

Filed under lali

the OG glasses wearer

Friday at the office, and upon chatting with our creative director about my degenerating eyeballs and recent glasses acquisition, she points out that la and I now look alike. Funny, because we recently pointed that out too: here.

When we showed her the post (yes, we like to talk about our blog, and we don’t care who knows it) she noted that SHE, not la, was the original glasses wearer, disappeared, and came back a moment later with the evidence:

photo.JPG

And this is why we love Margaret Keene. Not only is she creative and famous, she is fun to work for!

When stuff needs to get done, an edict from Margaret Keene is followed by “is that okay?” and afterwards, much thanking and encouragement. She fights for good work, fights for her peeps, and even flights for the clients’ best interest. She is an adgirl who has MADE it in a world of mad men, and we only hope we can be her when we grow up!

xo,
li

Leave a comment

Filed under lali bosses

lali lessons in advertising #4: suck it up and deal with concept testing

I learned a lesson today during concept testing.

Ahhhhh concept testing. I’ve been working remotely this week. So much for vacation! And spent the afternoon yesterday watching concept testing groups.

Now, I understand why we do concept testing. But that doesn’t mean I have to like it. There’s a certain helplessness about watching people dissect your ads in a way in which they never would when watching them on TV. And there are so many frustrations. Like the fact that they are done in the style of “board-o-matics” (see above video for example). And that you can’t capture the spirit of any film in that style. And the simple act of sitting around talking about the animated boards of the infant of an idea just isn’t what consumers WOULD do.

And back to the helplessness. I sat in concept testing once for a SOYJOY spot (see here for the spot), and in the board-o-matics, some soy beans use a hi-liter as a battering ram against jelly beans as they battle to be your afternoon snack. One woman thought that “hi-liter” could be misread as Hitler. And spent the rest of the session saying that the commercial reminded her of Hitler (see here for the infamous soy bean Hitler reference). And you just sit there, and watch through the glass, as people say some ridiculous things. People say they want features, and specs, and price points, and about twenty more things than could ever fit in a :30s commercial. And about a hundred more things than could ever fit in a good :30s commercial. And at the end of the day, people want to be entertained. Or shocked. Or laugh. Or cry.

Otherwise we’d all just be running regional local dealer MSRP spots.

And there’s something about the group mentality that can bring out the negative nancy in everyone or the yeasayer in everyone. It’s a pain to have an entire group of strangers who were paid to sit in a room and talk about your idea bash it. But it’s also a pleasure to have people like it. Which leads me to my main conclusion on concept testing:

The pains of concept testing may be just an ego thing. And it’s a good lesson in learning to take criticism. So we’ll just have to take a breath, roll with the punches and know that it’s for the betterment of our work and for the health of our client’s business.

Because before you run off spending millions of dollars on media and production, maybe you want some security knowing people are going to like the stuff you put in front of them. I can’t think of a better way to do it. Just doesn’t mean I have to like the process as much as I like the other aspects of my job.

And to cheer us all up, I’m glad they made 1984. Enjoy it. We hope they’ll make one of our two spots getting tested today!

xo,
la

3 Comments

Filed under lali, lali lessons

a comic book li…

…in honor of the project that’s keeping me up til all hours of the day and night! as you can clearly tell, i’m like a photoshopping action hero saving pixels in distress at 3:30am!!

Photo 2

xo,,,,,,,sak lj’sflbkjkmazzzzzzzzz
sorry fell asleep at my computer
li

Leave a comment

Filed under lali

1,714 texts!

li's text messages, from lali, @ tbwa chait day

Li had to empty out her text messages. This morning we had a little snafu where she couldn’t actually text me because it was too full and then she tried to email and then it crashed and then finally got through via call. Whew.

But the whole point is, her TEXT MESSAGE INBOX IS FULL. And guess why?

Yup, check the picture. Between February of 2010 and today, we have exchanged 1,714 texts. Coming in a meager second place (let’s face it, I won the text message quantity war by a landslide) is “my love,” her husband, Mark Clatterbuck at 406. He’s in her phone as “my love” – tehe – what can I say! They are newly weds.

Then in comes her best friend of 22 years at 256. And her brother, S Man QB 12, at 200. Margaret Keene gets an honorable mention.

But no one had as many as yours truly! Even though we spend more time together than with anyone else in our lives, we still manage to text more with each when not with each other than anyone else either.

And PS, it’s not just Chiat that makes us talk so much. For those of you who have spent excessive (or very little for that matter) time with us, you know that we talk a lot individually. And when we get together, well… let’s let the number 1,714 speak for itself.

xo,
la

1 Comment

Filed under lali

lali celebrates one year by looking “smarter”

lali matching glasses @ tbwachiatday

So we didn’t open any champagne glasses or pour ourselves straight bourbon in offices behind closed doors (after all, we’re ad girls, not mad men). And we didn’t sleep with our secretaries, for more reasons than just the fact that we don’t have them. We didn’t have vodka martinis or smoke cigars and cigarettes at the Playboy club.

What we did do was celebrate our one year of lali life at chiat day by wearing matching glasses. Don’t we look smart enough to be worthy of our jobs?

xo from the original glasses wearer,

la

4 Comments

Filed under lali

lali turns one! (officially…)

It all began when Lauren Smith and Lindsey Montague secretly realized that they wanted to be Bookshop partners. Luckily, the stars were aligned, and lali was born. Almost.

We were determined to figure out how to come up with good ideas. From designer boots to online music to cheesy chips… we spent nights and weekends laying the foundation for what we now know was our future.

One day in class, we realized we wanted to stay partners and finish our book together. Soon, we realized we wanted to stay partners and get a job together. After a couple years, that time came, and we got the call. Chiat was looking for a team, and lali fit the bill.

One year ago today, we embarked on this adventure we lovingly dubbed lali. Lauren and Lindsey. Two girls separated by one fun, silly, (hopefully) creative brain — kind of like the original lali of (coincidentally) the same name. We had no idea what to expect. Would we be as good of partners in the real world as we hoped? Would we be teeny tiny fish in a giant advertising pond? Would anyone even understand us??

I can say that I’ve never looked back. Being 50% of lali has become something I look forward to every day. And I can’t wait to see what shenanigans unfold tomorrow. I’m totally living the dream, and I don’t care if I ever have another partner… what more could I want?!

If you’re interested, please relive the past year with us!

……………………………………

I learned right away that la works better while lying down:

Dogs on the Floor

……………………………………

we immediately made a great impression on our coworkers:

IMG_2465B

……………………………………

Penny almost made her acting debut:

Penny. Dog Model Stand-in.

……………………………………

we got to make a cool car commercial:

IMAG0014B

IMG_2432B

……………………………………

we branded:

lalipop

……………………………………

we brought our dogs to work!:

IMG_2437B

……………………………………

we saw some awesome live music at the office from time to time:

shoutoutlouds

……………………………………

we danced burlesque with the account girls:

IMG_2485B

……………………………………

we worked late:

IMAG0126

……………………………………

and worked hard for the money:

……………………………………

we concepted over sake:

lalisake

……………………………………

we doled out treats:

the_lalidogs

……………………………………

we loitered on the stairs:

lali loitering

……………………………………

we traveled for work:

chicago_perks

……………………………………

and worked while traveling:

iChat Concepting

……………………………………

people began to realize we were inseparable:

lali

……………………………………

so we started wearing matching clothes:

luckytoms

……………………………………

Samson almost made his acting debut:

IMG_5272

……………………………………

we worked later:

sleeping at the office

……………………………………

and later:

chalk

……………………………………

we celebrated:

lali at the wedding

……………………………………

then missed each other:

1282092206917

……………………………………

we made new friends!:

Making of Kidzilla, Stomps!!

……………………………………

made fools of ourselves:

……………………………………

and made a commercial called kidzilla:

Kidzilla Shampoo Frame

……………………………………

we love being adgirls:

lali, mad men style

……………………………………

who read each others’ minds:

lali surround think, via IM

……………………………………

and do good work:

lali gets reviewed, at TBWAChiatDay

……………………………………

and have lots of fun:

laliadverts lalichen2b

……………………………………

1282248931718B

yes they are.

xo and cheers to 365 lali days!

li

5 Comments

Filed under lali

farewell “en” of chren… your grumpiness will be missed :(

for those of you who read our blog’s comments, you’ll recognize the name chren… lali’s crotchety foil whose tagline goes something like “two grumpy madmen who wish those adgirls would shut up.”

well, the other day, la and i learned mr. ken pappanduros (or, “en”) is leaving us for the greener pastures and customizable schedules of the freelance world. good for him!

ken would have you believe he’s a salty advertising curmudgeon, but don’t you believe it. he and his art director partner chris were two of the five friendly faces we met when we interviewed at chiat. we liked them right away, and i guess they liked us too because we got the job! since then, they have been awesome ACDs, allies, and faithful blog readers during our time together at chiat. i’ve only seen the chren persona in action ONE time… when en hung up on an account guy who was asking him to do (potentially) unnecessary work. classic.

anyway, wednesday night was ken’s grand finale, and we celebrated over beers at the price o’ whales… as evidenced by they photos of lali being lali and chren being chren.

laliadverts lalichren1b

laliadverts lalichen2b

the other highlight of the evening was the premiere of chren’s new commercial for the nissan juke, which you can enjoy here:

and here’s a fun shot of us being starstuck with Brett Erlich, star of the spot :)

laliANDkowalczyk1b

lali played a role in kowalczyk’s donut adventure. more on that to come… stand by!

xo en, sionara for now, until you’re our creative director someday!

li

 

5 Comments

Filed under lali, lali friends

Magic & Music & Arcade Fire, Big Sur Style

I really feel a deep connection to this place. Says Win Butler before playing his last song in the drizzling rain in front of two sets of stacked lights and behind rows of Christmas lights and swaying fans, oh oh OH oh oh, oh OHing to the first strands of Wake Up.

(it gets really good at 1:04, please watch, and gets epic at 1:35, so keep watching!)

Now that I’m older, my heart is colder. He sings. Before we all oooh again. Well, none of our hearts were cold that night. And when he said children, don’t grow up – we certainly didn’t. And I certainly don’t think I will ever forget seeing Arcade Fire with 249 other people, in a clearing in the woods in Big Sur, with rain drops and bright stars and big trees.

There was “no rain” chanting, Colin Stetson on the saxophone for the first time live – after a fitting LCD-like anticipatory build-up for “We Used To Wait” – singing Happy Birthday to Will Butler, my arms reaching out and touching Win Butler as he ran through the fans, Regine with streamers bouncing around the stage – a moment of abandoned brightness in Arcade’s dark lyrics – for Sprawl II.

I’ve always been amazed at how a band so darkly introspective in lyrics can become so anthemic and uplifting in spirit. If you’re not part of a surging crowd – be it a couple hundred or 18,000 – you aren’t really experiencing Arcade Fire. And this was the most intimate, backyard wondrousness with which I’ve ever experienced them, or any other band for that matter.

After the show, we lay around in the grass and stared at the stars, look what Big Sur will do to a bunch of semi-LA hipsters, and then wandered over to the side of the Henry Miller library, where Win Butler and Tim Kingsbury just kinda hung out, signed stuff, and talked.

I used this opportunity to say to him: “Hey, I read this New York Times article where you say – ‘It’s not like we’d license Keep the Car Running to a car company’ – and I just wanna let you know I know your secret. You almost did. To us.” (article here) To which he responded something like, “We just couldn’t do it. I mean, we wanted to raise money for Haiti but in the end it just isn’t us.” To which I – mortified at this point, not believing the words came out of my mouth to the lead singer of one of my favorite bands ever whose music I’ve essentially grown up with, can’t believe I’ve brought up something as unimportant to him as our one ad – respond, “It doesn’t matter. You’re the best.” Mumbled something more of the sort and mumbled more about them being the best band I’ve ever seen at Coachella.

BTW, they did play “Keep the Car Running” and it was a strange combination of memories of long nights in VBE listening to that song over and over again and the magnitude of seeing it live, feet from the stage and singing along to him singing. Thought about texting li, but then realized I wasn’t getting any cell service.

And then Allyson said, my friend has something to tell you! And Jacqui said, I have never danced so much in my life! And then I said, And she dances a LOT!

And then I asked him to sign something, but I already have the vinyl so didn’t buy it at the show and used the closest thing handy made of paper – pictured below.

win butler of arcade fire, signed pack of parlaiments

I could have just waxed poetic to W. B. about how magical and wonderful the show was or something like that, kind of how I want to do with this blog entry. But I embarrassed myself instead. Ah well, at least I was being myself.

For blog brevity’s sake, I’m going to post some pictures and the setlist. Instead of rambling on.

big sur sunset

Big Sur sunset, walking down the hill to the show.

arcade fire, big sur, hipstamatic

My photo of Regine. Note how close I am!

polaroid, win butler of arcade fire, big sur

Someone’s polaroid of Win. Cool hair dude, like seriously, I really liked the hair cut.

setlist, arcade fire, big sur

The setlist!!!!!!

And finally, this blog post wouldn’t be complete without a shout out to Lyle Hysen and Sarah Smith at Bank Robber Music, through Merge Records, who got us into the show, minus a minor snafu where my +1 didn’t show up on their clipboard will call list and I had to run up an enormous hill to get service after waiting an hour in line and call Sarah Smith (ironically, not the Sarah Smith my sister) and have her call the Henry Miller library, the tour manager, and text me all this info in order to get Noah in just ten minutes before Arcade Fire got on stage. Whew. Thanks Sarah!

And finally finally, a huge shout out to the crew for being awesome friends, dancers, beer drinkers, campers and troopers.

the crew before arcade fire in big sur

The crew: Ben Stone, Jacqui Deborja, Hobart Birmingham, Noah Roper, Allyson Pfeifer and Justin Fry. <3

xo,
la

PS Drove back six hours from Big Sur after zero sleep on a deflated air mattress in the freezing cold and drizzling rain, didn't go home, went straight to work for a few hours, drank with co-workers for a going away party, and then was up after midnight writing copydecks for a 10a presentation today. That's dedication to work, Chiat Day!

6 Comments

Filed under lali, lali friends, lali music