Monthly Archives: January 2012

lali…back in the day…

here’s a little throwback soundtrack to set the mood for this post:

la and i were killing time at a shoot recently and were inspired to peruse our old myspace accounts (luckily, we still remembered our passwords!)

i came across an image of me answering phones at arnold worldwide, my very first job out of college and a fortuitous first step toward a career in advertising.
li answering the phone
wide-eyed, i watched talented creatives in action and even got thrown a creative bone here and there. and it was during those 10 months i learned that my liberal arts degree sans advertising portfolio wouldn’t get me very far in my quest to become an art director, so i decided to move to LA and change my fate.

when la caught a glimpse of me answering phones, she hilariously pointed out a similar image of her answering phones as a creative assistant at RPA where she, too, got her start and first creative opportunities.
la answering the phone
if i remember the story correctly, la was promoted to jr. copywriter after 1.5 years and was called “the posterchild of integration” by an executive there.

it just goes to show that humble beginnings really CAN lead to your dreams. the great margaret keene used to tell us stories of her days as lee clow’s assistant, doing grunt work by day and creative assignments by night, sleeping on bean bag chairs at the office because she didn’t have a bed at home (or something like that), and saying yes to date invitations just so she wouldn’t have to spend her tiny little salary on dinner. and now she helps to run saatchiLA. you go, girl.

in an effort to not jinx things (if you’ve been reading the blog over the past two years, you know our luck here at chiat can change on a dime) la and i have not gone into detail about the awesome things that have been happening for us lately. as you read this, please knock on wood, but it looks like we will be launching a big, fun campaign this may. we’ve been spending our days vetting talented directors, tweaking this brand’s all-new packaging, writing lines for gigantic billboards, concepting media arts stunts, and helping to develop an app/microsite which currently has 127 pages of wireframes and counting.

sometimes we still answer phones, but not for other people anymore :)

xo and stoked!

PS if you’re interested in knowing more about how to go from NOT being an advertising creative to being an advertising creative, check out this post which boils it down to 9 easy steps!


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Industry Tuesdays: The Shit People Say Phenomena

So we weren’t going to cover this because we thought oh, maybe the shit people trend is kind of over (which is maybe shit people in advertising say) but then today, “Shit People Say in LA” came out and it was pretty funny (for those of us who live in LA… In-N-Out! No Parking! Coachella!!!)

Shit People Say in LA

So we thought this Industry we’d talk about the Shit People Say phenomena. And give a little lali best of the shit people say videos.

A month or so ago, “Shit Girls Say” strikes the internet. 10 million YouTube views. Every girl on Facebook shares the link – saying “I’m guilty,” and “That’s totally me” and “I’ve said all of those things.” And then shortly afterwards, “Shit Black Girls Say” hits the internet. And it may be even funnier than the original.

And then, more and more shit people say video hit the internet. It had that elusive quality that so many of our brands are looking for – the “make it go viral” quality.

What Shit Girls (and black girls and white girls to black girls and guys and black guys and gay guys and black gay guys and guys in LA and sorority girls and vegan girls and Pilipino mothers) Say did was say to girls everywhere: you’re part of a group. You belong to us. To the shit girls say club. And being in that club is funny.

And then everyone else wanted to say the shit that they say. It was like every race, gender, stereotype, location and subculture wanted to tell the world what made them (humorously) them. Get a video camera and some pretty good actors and a bit of clever editing, and you can be amused for hours. (I was!)

So this Industry Tuesday takes a look at the meme, the phenomena, the craze of… shit people say.

Shit Girls Say
Here’s the obligatory original. You’ve got to give originators Graydon Sheppard and Kyle Humphrey some credit. The formula was easily spoofable (and therefore super funny). The tone, mood and editing were very well done. And the replications have kept the repeated scene editing, the cross-dressing (sometimes, or at least costume-dressing), the flutter cuts and comedic timing.

And here’s where it went.
Shit Black Girls Say

Shit White Girls Say to Black Girls

Shit Black Guys Say

Shit Gay Guys Say

And as the phenomena keeps going, the iterations have to be more specific.
Shit Skiers Say

Shit Liza Minelli Says

Shit Girls Say to Gay Guys

Shit Asian Dads Say (I don’t know if it’s just my Asian grandfather, but this one was super hilarious)

It even got to a place where it wasn’t shit people say, but what they DON’T say!

Shit Nobody Says

Shit Guys Don’t Say

Shit Girls Don’t Say

We’ve even gotten to things like “Shit Gay Guys Say To Their Cats” and “Shit Girls Say To Their Personal Trainers” and “Stuff Black Church Girls Say” and “Shit People Say About Shit People Say Videos.” Wonder if the more specific they get, the more the charm will wear off? But for now, it’s going strong. Maybe we’ll make a “shit ze lalis say,” filmed by Antoine Bardot-Jacquet… Or maybe we’ll hold off on that one.


PS What’s your favorite shit people say video?


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Industry Tuesdays: a salute to a real adman, and a look at what ads have become…

I don’t know much about Leo Burnett as an ad agency, then or now, but I do know a thing or two about Don Draper. And watching this tribute video — an animation to a speech evidently given by Leo Burnett himself — really makes you think about the passion that advertising creatives have shared over the last 75 or so years. Sure, back then, late nights were spent picking a spokesman or writing a simple jingle, and yes by today’s standards that’s taking the easy way out. But it’s still endearing to hear the sentiments we have in common across the generations.

Leo Burnett “When to take my name off the door” from Lobo on Vimeo.

But as we all know, there is so much settling in advertising today. So many numbers to hit, and so many boring people who think these numbers can only be achieved by employing some tried and true formula. Even though this next video is beautiful, the narration is super entertaining, and the heroine’s hairstyles are to die for, this parody of the modern ad concept (if it can be called that) hits really close to home when so many of us are trying to live up to the ambition of our forefathers (and mothers!)

Une Fille Comme Les Autres from Jalouse blog on Vimeo.

Ok, now that we’ve explored what the ad formula should NOT be, I want to see 5 facebook ideas, 10 homepage takeovers, and 20 media arts stunts by 10am!


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Happy Birthday To Li!

It’s Friday the 13th!

It’s also li’s 30th birthday! O M G !

We got pizza from li’s mom! (thanks!)

And a cake from the crew on our print shoot!

And a card (shot by our wonderful photographer Sue Tallon)
30th birthday

So, in honor of her birthday, I thought we could all celebrate li, and thank her for being born so we get to enjoy all the fun things about her!

That includes lots of singing:
lali the band

And dancing:

And dressing up:
Thing Li in the lunchroom

Working hard:
tired & concepting

And working late:
late night sizzle video making

Cheering people on:
JMU all-girl cheerleading pyramid

(and cheering people up!):
iChat Concepting

Having fun:
lali & santa

And making other people have fun:

By always unabashedly being herself!

And since it’s not just me (la!) who gets the benefits of li’s wonderful personality, here are a couple notes from the people closest to her about the things they love about li!

god of thunder

“I appreciate her generous and genuine spirit, her energy and enthusiasm!”
-Laura Riley, Lady Battery

“I appreciate Lindsey’s loving, warm heart, her loyalty, generosity, outgoingness, creativity, tenacity, honesty, intelligence and above everything else: her friendship.”
-Kim Argetsinger, Lady Battery

“Easily one of the sweetest girls I’ve ever met.”
-Dave Estrada, Art Director

“LL (the nickname I gave my little teeny tiny friend years ago) is one of the brightest most beautiful lights I’ve had the pleasure of soaking in. Her kindness, creativity and tenderness run eternal. She shares her love with everyone she knows, without holding back even an ounce. I love this amazing creature and appreciate her for helping me back on the path. Happy Birthday, LL.”
-Simone DeBlasio, Best Blog Commenter Ever

“I love Lindsey’s contagious energy and constant smile. You can hear it in her voice, and even in her e-mails. When things are pretty gloomy, she’ll be the one cheering for everybody to look on the bright side.
The number of gal pals she has and length of her friendships is a true testament to what a great friend she is.”

-Elizabeth Van Blargen, Li’s Former Partner & Copywriter

“Within about 20 minutes of meeting Lindsey I knew we would be lifelong friends, and selfishly I was determined to make sure she moved to LA just so I could have her in my life more. Not that that’s unusual – anywhere we go Lindsey seems to make new friends. Her smile and enthusiasm are infectious, and her spirit is supportive and giving. We’ve laughed together (within 20 minutes of disrobing on our first group venture to the Korean Spa, Lindsey had us all in stitches as she made us all check our inhibitions at the door with her glorious nude cheerleading routine. Yes, it’s true. And it was ah-mazing), we’ve cried together (I’ll always remember our plane ride to NYC for my 20-something birthday when we somehow ended up in tears just listening to song lyrics), and she’s always, always been there with a shoulder to lean on. I feel eternally blessed and fortunate to have a friend like Lindsey. There’s no one else quite like her; Lindsey is unabashedly.. well, Lindsey, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
-Lisa Jay, Wonderful Friend

“I’ve been best friends with Lindsey for a quarter of a century! She’s the girl you want on your corner, especially if you have to make up a song or a cheerleader-inspired dance, or if you need someone to cheer you on in a torrential downpour while you run a marathon!”
-Sasha Wexler, Best Friend, Opposite Twin, Stacy to her Diana

“I love Lindsey because the word “no” is not in her vocabulary. She is passionate and goes after what she wants in life and I admire that.”
Marcella Simmons, Friend & New Mom!

“Lindsey is always smiling, and she smells nice even when she’s not wearing perfume.”
-Nick Ciffone, Baby Copywriter

And the most lovely message from li’s mom!
“I really, really, really wanted a girl this time.
Lindsey was a really, really fussy girl but I didn’t care because it gave me an excuse to spend hours each day doing nothing but rocking her and humming “hush little baby, don’t say a word” in her ear.
She was born in a snow storm on the day the Air Florida plane crashed into the bridge over the Potomac River and the first fatalities happened on the DC Metro which made us cuddle even closer
She hated baby sitters and was only happy when riding on my hip which always made me feel special and loved
She loved school and was always the most organized and ambitious, yet caring and fair student in her class
Once someone earned her trust, she was willing to ski downhill and be a cheerleader for the 110 pound football team at three years of age
She let me drag her to piano lessons, a sport per season (swim team, soccer, little league, basketball, junior golf, tennis, lacrosse, gymnastics) , art lessons, ballet, tap, Girl Scouts, Indian Princesses, horse back riding, and most importantly: AWANA, children’s choir at church, drama productions and musicals at big church, bible study, and Sunday school.
She has the gift of encouragement and uses it freely
She allows her mom to routinely embarrass her on facebook
And most importantly, she loves the Lord and lives to honor Him with her life and cares deeply about those around her.”

-Leslie Montague, li’s Mom!!

li, thanks for being born 30 years ago! And we hope we have you in our lives for another 30 and more!

lindsey, age 2.5



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Industry Tuesdays: “Crash Corsage”

Want to fiesta for free? And watch people ages 50 and up dance the funky chicken? Have a one night stand? Or maybe meet your one life stand? Nope, it’s not an audition for Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson’s parts in Wedding Crashers. It’s from R/GA Creative Eric Schlakman and it’s a new app.

The app collects data from the open directories of personal wedding site providers and filters for nearby weddings, time, what to wear, how the couple met, etc. It even offers a social aspect, and challenges for users to compete against other crashers, upload photos and cross off items on checklists.

If lali didn’t have a very important birthday coming up this weekend, we might be crashing a wedding instead! Blog knows we like to dress up :)


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F*cking Creatives & Douchey Account Guys

It’s the new year. And we’re back to work.

And since we’re back to work, what better way to celebrate than by making fun of people at work.

A couple months ago, li shared a link on Peter Estermann‘s Facebook wall. It was a link to And Peter just happens to be one of our FAVORITE douchey account guys.

account guy

And then today, we found a link (retaliation from enraged account teams everywhere?) called

A few samples below.

Douchey Account Guy
douchey account guy

Fucking Creatives
fucking creatives

Needless to say, it was the source of much mirth on our shoot day today. Many of the quotes are surprisingly accurate and therefore funny. And what’s particularly funny about them is that they follow a theme… notedly, account people trying to get creatives to do more work, do it on time, and do it in a way client’s will buy it. And creatives trying to get out of work, extend the deadline, do work exactly the way THEY want and not the client wants, or only do things if there is free food involved.

So, fellow madmen and girls, what are your favorite advertising catch phrases? Go to the tumblr blogs and submit one of your own!


PS Where am I supposed to be at 2p?


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