Monthly Archives: October 2011

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

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” – 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, TBWA\Chiat\Day
lali photoshoot, TBWA\Chiat\Day

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 @ TBWA\Chiat\Day

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 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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Two-Year Anniversary Week! day one.

Two years ago today, la and I were saying goodbye our respective agencies and heading to Chiat together. It seemed like a good idea, but we never could have imagined the super fun adventure that has unfolded over the last 730 days.

day one of matching!

In true lali form, we have decided to wear matching outfits all week, to celebrate!

Today’s LaLi Outfit:
It was subtle, and not that many people noticed, but we had fun!
More Matching!
Even the shoes!

Today’s LaLi Flashback:
When la mentioned the Cut Copy show she’s going to on Wednesday, we had flashback of our very first assignment here at Chiat. Kerry, Ken, and Chris had given us some running footage, and wanted ideas that would show the Altima as long-lasting. So we threw together this little gem:

Sadly, it turned out the clients were not as big of Cut Copy fans as lali was, so we almost sold through this version:

Of course, nothing ever came of all this work, but it was a fun and memorable crash course into the world of Chiat. And once la and I discovered we were both willing to shamelessly dance at our cubicles at any time of the day or night, we knew we had discovered a partnership we could love for a long, long time :)

xo to my other half on our anniversary!

a PS added by la: Ken & Chris, while Chris you are still here, we miss working with you. And Ken, you are not, and we miss working with you too! But what we miss more is Chren, our two grumpy old men who wish those ad girls would shut up! xo to Chren and to li, we’ll never shut up!

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