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,


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

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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

in scarves and boots!


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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:

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!


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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!



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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

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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.


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lali celebrates one year by looking “smarter”

lali matching glasses @ tbwa\chiat\day
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,



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