Tag Archives: chiat day

Creative Outlets Outside The Office

Our job titles are “creatives.” We work in a “creative field.” And we work at an office where “creativity” is King with a capital K.

One of the best things about TBWA\Chiat\Day is that they not only support creativity in advertising, but creativity in everything. This place understands that in order to do inspired work, you’ve gotta be inspired. And while a basketball court in the office, cool DJs at lunch, concerts in the parking lot & “creative black tie” holiday parties sure do make for inspiration inside the office, Chiat also supports inspiration outside the office.

They will supplement classes that we take to continue to augment our creative skills. I took them up on that offer.

And just finished my travel photography class at Otis College of Art & Design.

Travel Photography
What makes a great travel photograph? Location, subject, time of day, light, shadow, and color, all play a role in creating a terrific, engaging and memorable image. This course combines location shooting, printing, written documentation, and class critique while covering topics ranging from color to black and white, digital or film, lens focal lengths, composition, and depth of field.

I shot a lot, shared a lot, learned a lot, and was creative outside the office!

Here’s a sampling of work from the class!













And I included a page in my portfolio of Instagram photos (responsible for most of the photos on the lali blog!) because it’s the camera that’s always with me.

Instagram Collage

xo from la the photog :)

PS Stay tuned for li’s post re: what SHE does creatively outside the office! Besides make up songs for her dogs, of course.

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lali supports prostates this Movember!

So… I wasn’t toooootally sure what a prostate was, and I was kind of afraid to google it at work in case something NSFW came up. But I know it has something to do with man parts, and I know Movember has something to do with growing mustaches to help keep prostates healthy. And lali cares about the health of all the awesome men in our lives.

Ergo… we wanted to show our Movember support for mustaches, men, and man parts!!


What do mustaches have to do with prostates, you ask? According to the Movember website:

During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces, in the US and around the world. With their Mo’s, these men raise vital funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men.

Hopefully the cute finger staches la has donated to the cause raise much awareness and many donations!!

Click here to see our previous contributions to the movement. Preview: la looks a little dirty and I look like a weird old man.

xo to all our favorite men out there… may your prostates remain healthy and vital!

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A Spoonful of Music Makes the Work Day Go Down!

In the most delightful way!

So we blog a lot about work perks. And that’s because we’re lucky enough to get them. And yeah, we work hard and all. But the past two days have been a reminder of how lucky we are to work in advertising. And how lucky we are to work at TBWA\Chiat\Day.

Reminder 1

We had a concert on the basketball court on Tuesday. Yup, that’s right. First of all, there’s a basketball court at the office. Second, we had a concert there. Woot woot!


When walking down to the basketball court, you could hear her haunting voice floating up to the third floor stacks. She was quite ethereal, at times operatic, and reminded me of a wood nymph. And her upright bass player wasn’t too shabby either!


That’s her. And here’s her own self description:
“I am a Flower Alchemist with a minor in music.
Born in New York City, raised in Motherland Russia, spent teenage years sequestered in an Italian monastery.

Following a prophecy, arrived in the U.S. incognito and studied opera. The rest is history.

I seek to sing in a manner which would create within your chest a safe, magical, truthful place of power beyond the slow burn of stars.”

Reminder 2:

And then last night, Shane at Hum was kind enough to invite us to a Blitzen Trapper performance.

Blitzen Trapper

Blitzen Trapper

This is pretty exciting to us already, as the last time I saw them was at the Hollywood Bowl. And the time before that at Coachella. And we’re getting to see them with 50 other people in a garage. Seriously, pretty sweet. And I really really love this band.

This song we’ve tried to put in many a commercial… Maybe it’ll still happen! (please ignore my atrocious singing, my goodness, I totally didn’t consider that my voice would get recorded as well, whoops!)


And after the show, li had the awesome idea to get them to sign the set list. Which we did.

Signed Blitzen Trapper Setlist!

But more importantly, we had a really awesome time getting to know the band. They’re all from Oregon (except for Marty, he’s from Washington). Topics discussed included: the soft harem, attempting to sign girl’s boobs with a bic pen, Indiana Jones, the word “hapa,” alcoholism recovery and country music.

Our new friends! Yeah, our flesh had turned to furr and our thoughts, they surely were, turned to instinct and obedience to God :)

We also got lessons in air drumming.

All in all, it’s been a pretty work perky kinda week. And we’re not complaining!

Thanks Elizaveta & Thanks Blitzen Trapper!


PS Listening to their new album now, and it’s like 70’s trucker bar in the lali cube!
PPS Also, Ashley Ford came to visit and brought us some cool necklaces from Savage, their new production company! Keep bringing on the work perks! Good thing we took our bribery training class… (!!!)



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Things Are Lookin’ Up!

We love this spot. And the line at the end, things are lookin’ up, is our slogan for the day!

So regular blog readers may know, li and I have not had a super lucky year in terms of selling work.

However, yesterday we had a pretty good meeting for Kraft. And while we don’t believe anything is REALLY sold until we see it on the television, things are looking good on this one.

So we’re going to celebrate by going to happy hour today!

But first, we had to take care of business. There are a lot of things we’re “supposed” to do, but as creatives, and because we’re allowed to act like children and be irresponsible, we sometimes let those things slip. It’s not that we intentionally ignored the 72 reminder emails. It’s just hard to find time for these things! So in our free hours this morning – because the meeting went well woot woot! – we decided to: do our backlog of timesheets from July, do expense reports dating back to July, complete our “combating bribery in business training” and fill our our health quotient (whatever that is and whatever it’s for, we’re still not clear!)

This was, of course, a source of amusement for both of us.

We answered “honestly” in our health quotient, which for li, meant that she got a super low score, mostly due to “stress at the workplace.”

Picture 86

And just now, while blogging, we had a side chat with some coworkers about their OWN health scores. Li, 36. La, 51. Brandi, 49. Eze… 23. (the average is 53. DANG! Chiat FAIL. Someone FROM Health Quotient even CALLED Eze to make a health plan for him. What is interesting about all of our scores, is that our highest risk factors are based on… STRESS. And mostly stress at the workplace.

Picture 87

Also worth noting that we are all at risk for colon cancer. Because of stress.

Now to combating bribery in business. Of course, bribery is no joking matter. And while li and I are the beneficiaries of some nice work perks, like a concert or two here and there, we do take bribery seriously.

However, parts of this training we found slightly amusing.

When I first started the training, I tried to skip forward too fast (whoops, I skimmed!) and “combating bribery in business” informed me that I need to spend more time on that page. I thought this was hilarious, because IT KNEW I skimmed! I no longer thought it was funny after the seventeenth time it told me the same thing.

combating bribery in business

combating bribery in business

However, my “certificate” made me super happy again. Woot woot!

combating bribery in business

So here’s to a day of busy-work completiong & good news. Things ARE looking up. Take THAT, health quotient! At least for the time being, our stress levels are going down :)


This just in! We’re now eligible to win a prize! Or prizes!!
Picture 88


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Thing La & Thing Li & The Dog as the Cat in the Hat (wish you a happy laliween!)

Thing La & Thing Li


If you didn’t recognize us, here’s the inspiration:


So lali went as Thing La and Thing Li today! And Samson (begrudgingly) went as the Cat in the Hat!

Here’s a bit about Thing 1 and Thing 2, our Dr. Seuss-created-inspiration:

“Thing Two and Thing One!
They ran up! They ran down!
Then those Things ran about
With big bumps, jumps and kicks
And with hops and big thumps
And all kinds of bad tricks.”

Sounds about lali-right!

And if that weren’t enough, we recreated another Thing 1 and Thing 2 shot!

Thing La & Thing Li

thing one and thing two

Some priceless moments from today:

Thing La & Thing Li & The Cat In The Hat

(a bit of a psychotic/bored cat in the hat)

Tired Thing Li

(all that comping making for a tired Thing Li)

Thing Li in the lunchroom

(this one almost made me pee my pants, Thing Li in the lunchline, acting normal around a bunch of normal people paying no attention but looking completely ridiculous!)

Thing La & The Cat In The Hat

(Thing La with a Cat Who’d Rather Not Be Wearing a Hat)


(and this one from the view of the one & only Rob Schwartz as Thing La & Thing Li converse with the Man in Black, from Men in Black, not Princess Bride)

xo from a Thing Whose Head Itches From a Blue Wig,
Thing La


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“writing” and “art directing” in the land of advertising…

The last couple of weeks have (for la) involved writing about 20 scripts plus rounds and rounds of revisions, and (for me) more than one 50+ page deck of layouts looking for that perfect design to help Kraft sell more salad dressing.

True, our job descriptions are “copywriter” and “art director” respectively, but we spend so much time sitting on couches thinking and brainstorming ideas that when it comes time to really do our disciplines it often feels like a chore! We can only write and design for SO many consecutive hours before our muscles become unbearably cramped and our faces shiny and our hair knotted.

It’s fun to wallow in the specific woes of our job descriptions! This infographic sums it up pretty well:

Picture 53

anatomy of an agency

anatomy of an agency

anatomy of an agency

Borrowed from bigorangeslide.com

Some LOL truisms:

  • “asian man bicycle carnival royalty free” – Yep, that sounds about right. Sometimes it seems like image searching takes up about 85% of my day.
  • “master final logos revised copy 6 updated v4.ai” – never put the word “final” in your filename, it will never ever be true.
  • finance asking people if they did their timesheets (I believe lali is about three months behind on that one…)
  • finance asking them again (yeah, we’re on probably every timesheet-related email blast.)
  • photoshop crashing – yep
  • judging other peoples’ writing – yep
  • art director [insert dramatic crying] – I think I cry at the office at least twice a month. Does that sound accurate, la?
  • copywriter – actually, la takes offense, she has 193!!

I can relate more to this infographic than la can because she doesn’t actually have an unfinished novel or screenplay in her desk, but a few months ago we found out that Glenn Sanders did, when he quit Chiat to become a screenwriter. Go Glenn Go!

If you want to see another funny infographic JUST about copywriters, click here.

Well, I’ve burned enough precious comping minutes sharing my feelings with you lovely people, so I should probably get back to Photoshop. My current task? “What would this design style look like for the brand in a year? Two years? On holidays?” Yes, for real.

xo, li


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An Email From Lee Clow.

Please watch this whole thing.

That’s Lee Clow. Rebel. Ad God. Sharp-shooter. No-bullshitter. Icon. Surfer. Bearded Mad Man in Flip-Flops.

Whenever I see him walking the halls of Chiat Day, or barking something in that gruff, nonchalant voice of his, I get a few flip flops in my stomach to match the ones on his feet.

He’s been at Chiat for 30 years. We’ve been here (as you know from last week’s blog posts!) for two. He’s kind of a legend, and we’re kind of not. So when you have a Lee Clow meeting, you bring your dog (yes, I do actually believe it may put him in a better mood) and you shut up and listen. Because you’re almost always bound to learn something.

This is a quote from an interview with him:

“Listen real hard to the smartest guy in the room before you go trying to prove how smart you are.”

Well, Lee, we’re listening. You’re probably the smartest guy in any room at this agency.

He doesn’t say much, but what he does say means a lot. And when it means a lot, being a man of few words is more like a man of words that matter.

Which all leads us to the most EXCITING part of yesterday. If the above hasn’t already indicated, Lee isn’t much of a complimenter. Because he doesn’t have to be. Which means that the five words in this email, about our upcoming presentation tomorrow, were enough to boost the lali spirit tenfold.

Really smart. Really good. Lee.

Five words that mean a lot. Thank you Lee Clow, for making our day. Maybe even our week. That depends on whether or not the client thinks it’s smart too (and whether or not our work sells in this meeting tomorrow)!

xo, keep your fingers crossed,


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Two-Year Anniversary Week! day four.

Day four of matching. Pretty darn cute, due to the red shoes!

Matching Day 4!

We got these t-shirts when we went to go see Gayngs at the Los Angeles Natural History Museum. Pretty good show!

But now the subject of this blog post. The subject of this blog post in twofold: part one is something funny that happened at the office, which was a big relief during a taxing day of befuddled brains.

Here it is:

We were busy concepting away on Kraft. And didn’t get some comps sent off. We got an email from Infiniti Account Girl jokingly asking us to get those comps out ASAP. I informed them Lindsey was off to pee and then she’d send it off. Email exchange here:

potty email

So Patrick Condo, Infiniti Creative Director, said: “that’s why she has a laptop.” Implying she should be exporting PDFs while peeing.

Little did Patrick Condo & Infiniti Account Girl know this:

potty email

So, here’s to situational irony & bathroom humor at the office! Here’s to Lindsey coincidentally peeing and exporting a PDF/emailing simultaneously and then someone jokingly suggest THE VERY SAME DAY that she do THAT VERY SAME THING.

It made for many guffaws & giggles after a taxing day.

Which brings me to our walk down laliadverts memory lane for this post.

Times When We Were Working Really Hard And Then Something Funny Happened Or We Did Something Fun And Everything Was Better!

Like that one time, where we had to work over xmas break, and we took our iChat concepting really seriously.

iChat Concepting

iChat Concepting

Or when li decorated my cube for my birthday and my mom sent me cupcakes.

happy bday1

happy bday 2

When we worked hard for the money.

Or when li when insane in the membrane and dedicated it to me.

When we had to pose as college students for a photoshoot that one time,

lali photoshoot, TBWAChiatDay

lali photoshoot, TBWAChiatDay

When we wore mustaches for a photoshoot that other time.



When we hung out with “homeless” people and clowns on a Funny or Die shoot.

photo 3

photo 6

When our dogs cheered us up,


late night sizzle video making

And our creative directors cheered us on.


When we lived out some Chiat Days and Nights.


And when we dressed as Chiat Day and Night for Halloween.

lali dresses as chiat day and night

When we made holly jolly hot toddies from lali for the holidays.

lali holiday present @ TBWAChiatDay

And pancakes when concepting remotely.

photo 1

When we discovered “thingsrealpeopledon’tsayaboutadvertising” (which is really funny!)



When bands played on the basketball court,


And Samson played in the pool.

And most importantly, when we got in a fight and solved it with crepes.

lali shares a crepe, @ margarita mix

Because at the end of the day, this job & our partnership may get stressful or hard, but it’s worth it. And we’re better together than we are apart.

Happy two year anniversary li, I wouldn’t trade you for any other chatterbox, song-writing, song-singing, mass idea-generating, giggle maniac art director in the world!


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Two-Year Anniversary Week! day three.

Day three was our best day of matching yet! See if you can tell in this blurry, deformed bathroom photo. The key was matching metallic scarves:

Day Three of Matching, captured in the ladies restroom

Today’s LaLi Flashback:
When pondering a flashback for this post, we couldn’t really land on just one. A tense meeting helped to remind us of all the times we felt like this over the past two years:

Grumpy About That Conference Call

The Juke iAd
Our occasional quarrels
The day we found out Chris and Margaret were leaving Chiat
The gazillionth time our work died
The time la and I couldn’t agree on the roll-out plan for our Funny or Die videos
All the times the Nissan CMO kept changing
All the times we didn’t get to enjoy our vacations, thanks to advertising
Concept testing
Ridiculous all-nighters
The time people people called la sexist (against women…!)
and most recently
The time people got mad at us for Chiat’s “Iconic” pledge

But then again, there were lots of times we felt like this:

Happy About Matching

So it’s all worth it :)

For happier flashbacks, click here for an overview of things that made us smile during LaLi year one.

xo to la, and sorry I didn’t write this last night but I ended up working kind of late and put it off til this morning, so, sorry again…


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Two Year Anniversary Week! day two.

You’ll never guess… today we matched AGAIN!

The biggest arcade fire fans!

Arcade Fire t’s. Skinny dark jeans. Matching Tom’s (which, incidentally, we bought TOGETHER and then, of course, blogged about). And today, people actually noticed (we either got scoffs, eye rolls, or “you two are so cute exclamation point” – bet you can guess which ones came from boys and which from girls!).

In a happy instance of coincidence, Justin Taylor (aka the smarmy bum), also matched us today, minus the AF fervor.

Matching Week Day Two. Unsuspecting victim: thesmarmybum

Which brings me to…

Today’s LaLi Flashback:

So we may be the ad world’s biggest Arcade Fire fans. Lots of great memories. We’ve seen them in concert together. “Win Butler haircut” is one of the most frequent search terms used to reach laliadverts.wordpress.com. And we’ve definitely blogged about them a few times. Seeing them in Big Sur, or at Coachella, or that other time we wore matching Arcade Fire t-shirts.

But the best memory associated with Arcade Fire doesn’t include live music from the band or even their t-shirts. It involves many sleepless nights in VBE editing a running footage spot (yeah, more running footage, we’ve worked on cars!) in which we introduced the electric car. And you know you really love a band when you hear the song over and over and over and over again as you move frames around and re-edit and get late night delivery In-N-Out and then frame push some more and then do the client mandated editing and some more and more and more all to the same track over and over again and you STILL want to listen to that song. That was the case with this one:


And in a sad turn of events, we didn’t actually get to put this song on this spot. They pulled out the day before the spot shipped because it was the day after the Super Bowl and “Wake Up” had been overplayed. And then I read a New York Times article in which Win Butler says: ‘It’s not like we’d license Keep the Car Running to a car company.’ And then I actually met Win Butler and had the foot-in-mouth instinct to tell him about said article and that I knew his secret – that he almost did. To us. Bad move, la. Bad move.

At the end of the day, my foot in my mouth and the song NOT in the spot doesn’t really matter when we reminisce on this later. What matters is that we both can love this song after listening to it over and over. And even better, we can still love each other after listening to ourselves over and over.

xo to my lovely partner li, I love you more than I love “Keep the Car Running,”

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