Tag Archives: chiat

Go shoeless at work? Sure!

Of our 173 blog posts, 5 have referenced our Toms shoes.

After today, we’ll be 6 for 174! That’s because today is One Day Without Shoes and lali is doing our part to spread awareness that millions of children live without proper footwear, exposing them to injury and disease every day.
lali goes shoeless for One Day Without Shoes

Clearly we’re a fan of the Toms brand, enjoy the four pairs of Toms shoes we own between the two of us, and love the way they’ve merged capitalism with conscience. We were even willing to scurry shoeless through the kitchens at the risk of stern reprimand!

And we’re also super excited to welcome them to the neighborhood. They recently joined our cool-companies-with-warehouse-offices-in-Playa-del-Rey club, and now basically share Chiat’s parking lot (that’s them at the end).
toms and chiat are now neighbors!
PS to our neighbors: if you’re reading this, we’re still anxiously awaiting a tour and chance to go down the twisty slide we can see from outside your window while we’re parking our cars. Also, we should collaborate on some ads sometime, don’t you think?

So thanks, Toms, for giving us a reason to concept shoeless other than our usual love of comfort and bare feet. We hope lots of kids have brighter futures after today.

xo, li


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Portlalia. (two ad girls trying to make it in a city of hipsters)

So lali just got back from a shoot! You’ll find out all the juicy details about who and what and with whom we were shooting later. But for now, just know that we went to the lovely hipster city of Portland to shoot it!

So, for a rainy week in March, lali presents:

Two ad girls trying to make it in a city of hipsters.

Watch this first to get in the mood:

And now… look at these hipsters!

All these clothes in this suitcase I got at a thrift store.

Going through security is so mainstream.

We thought the snacks on the plane were supposed to be vegan.

I hate rain. Oh wait, I hate everything.

This breakfast better be gluten-free.

Especially those donuts.

We only take the director seriously because he has a mustache.

Not one but two bike lights required for our other director.

We only eat food prepared by people as cool as us.

Craft services got the hipster memo.

Food tastes better when served with a mustache.

Yum Nom Nom!
Is the beer I’m having for breakfast from a local brewery?

We went to four years of film school for this?

Is this vintage shirt organic?

I’m only smiling ironically.

I bought this hat with my mom’s credit card.

We only buy things at thrift stores. Bonus if it’s thrift store and Native American.

I left my fixie outside. Boom.

Oh there it is painted on a wall.

Twinsies no exclamation point.

And then we took a trip to visit our old Chiat pal Chris Capretto Wieden + Kennedy and got all hipster up in that joint too.



And finally, we had a music meeting at the Dandy Warhol’s studio, which was like a rock ‘n roll playground.






Ahh, city of hipsters. All in all, Portland was a town with good food, nice people and lots of rain. We can’t wait to go back in a month and give you another Portlalia update!

hipster lali!


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L.A.’s Most Outrageous Office Space! (TBWA\Chiat\Day)

So last week, we finished a Chiat culture video for a new business pitch. We can’t share it, or really talk about it, because just like L.A. Confidential, new business pitches are always off the record, super QT, and very hush hush.

Conveniently, however, Refinery 29 decided at the same time to do an article about the Chiat Day offices. So instead of share our video, we can share their article!

Refinery 29: TBWA Chiat Offices

Here’s how they introduce our office:

Tour L.A.’s Most Outrageous Office Space & Peep Some Killer Style
If Don Draper could hop in a Delorean, he’d park it in front of TBWA\Chiat\Day’s eff-the-establishment office space in Playa Vista. Home to the whiz kids behind America’s most prolific ads (Apple’s splashy neon billboards, the Energizer Bunny, and Taco Bell’s chihuahua), the radically modern building designed by Clive Wilkinson Architects serves as fertile breeding ground for the quick-witted tone of the unconventional agency.

It makes us super proud to work in such a cool place. You can always tell when someone is new to this building – because they can’t stop staring up down and all-around. It also makes ME super proud that my sister interned at Clive Wilkinson Architects while she was still in school. Making that video and seeing this article remind us that industry we work in and the company we work at are just super, super cool. Here’s to being a Chiat Pirate!

And check out a few of the photos from the article:



concept room
(oh hey, we know that room… lots of ideas have come out of the red couches room)
tired & concepting
(look familiar?)

basketball court
(and oh there on the left is Joe! he’s producing something we’re working on right now!)

Ok, back to hanging out in this cool office space!


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Being in production: The reason we all got into advertising

There’s a joke I’ve heard more than once, that you’re supposed to start all your scripts with “open on the French Riviera” or weave some serengeti animals into your plotline. CDs with a few more years under their belts than lali tell tales of the days, pre Sarbanes–Oxlely when ad men would spend ungodly amounts of money on advertising boondoggles, getting flown around the world to snap a picture of a car or whatever.

These days, ad people take budgets and regulations quite seriously (ref: our anti-bribery training) so lali may never experience the true advertising boondoggle. BUT, every once in a while, we do get to take part in a fun production or two.

Last week, I had the privilege of art directing photoshoot in sunny San Francisco. There were only three downsides: I had to be apart from my better half la (insert super sad face), our hotel was almost in the Tenderloin, and my L.A. tendencies annoyed more than one local (oops!) but that wasn’t on purpose. But other than that, the shoot went amazingly well, and I didn’t take for granted — even for one minute — that being in production makes all the hard stuff about our jobs well worth it.

The rundown, in photos…

It wasn’t first class or anything, but A2 is almost as good as it gets on Southwest!

Our hotel was cute, in an eclectic “vintage San Fran meets Nat Geo” sort of way:

The studio was super cool:
photo 4
photo 2

And the commute was lovely:
pretty city

We photographed LOTS of food:
photo 3

ate food at famous places:
photo 8

and drank a variety of cocktails:
Last night in SF

sake sampler

All told, cutie pie account girl Brigette and I vistied over 23 fine establishments in our seven nights there, including the original Bigfoot Lodge, which we know and love from back home:
photo 9

(As a result, Airbornes and coffee were consumed in mass quantities):
photo 6
photo 7

Craft Services was delish:
photo 10

I multitasked many comps and conference calls on set, but took pictures of my glasses when I needed a little break:
These are my glasses

The crew was so amazing/fun, a wrap party ice cream social was in order on the last day!
photo 11

And just before it was time to leave, I managed a quick trip to the record store:
I cleaned up

Also, I saw a cat on a leash:
photo 12

At 16, when I decided I wanted to be an adgirl, I imagined a life in advertising might include (for example) an office with an indoor basketball court and fancy trips to awesome cities. Check! Here’s me as a bona fide adgirl:

xo, li

Note: If you’re my friend on Path or Instagram, you’ve already seen pretty much all these photos :)


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Love was in the air for lali last week

It may already seem like a distant memory for many of you, but last week included a day society calls Valentine’s Day — a day set aside for nothing but love. And let me just tell you, there was nothing but love going around the lali world.

On a professional level, days and days of hard work paid off when we had a successful client meeting early last week. Nothing like a successful client meeting to up the endorphins and, as a result, love for one’s teammates. A sweet and ever-helpful account person on Kraft sent us this little love note:

I know everyone probably told you this, but your concepts yesterday were AMAZING. It is so nice to deal with, every step of the process, a concept that I actually believe in.

And no, the all-caps AMAZING was NOT added by lali for emphasis :)

On a personal/professional level, la and I delivered warm and fuzzy Valentines (complete with hologram sticker) to our coworkers:
Justin Taylor‘s Valentine, as seen on his really sweet Path post:
photo 4

On a personal level, la and her BF Grant had a mellow V-Day and some puppy love:

And I came across this heart on the sidewalk…
photo 1
…on my way to the Venice farmer’s market to buy myself these ranunculus:
photo 3

So when the all-nighters start back up again, the CDs shred our work, the clients kill things mid-production (please, god, no, not again, please) la and I will look back on this post and feel the love!

Hope you all enjoyed as many smiles, hugs, and delicious treats as we did…
photo 2


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How did VW get inside the lali brain?

So the world is full of strange happenings. And advertising isn’t immune from that.

Blog readers, do you remember a spot called Kidzilla? In which a kid destroys his entire toy collection… and only the Nissan Altima is strong enough to survive. A metaphor for how the real Altima can withstand the abuse of life. We hope you remember it, because that was a lali spot.

We also did a Funny or Die video in which a kid tries to destroy a pinata, but can’t, and so the Juke Guy comes to the rescue.

Here’s the kid:
magician 2

And here’s the kid with the pinata:
magician 1

Now, take a metaphor where a kid tries to destroy a toy that happens to be a car. Now take a pinata. Now take the EXACT SAME KID from our Juke video. And you’ve got a VW spot that just recently aired.

Here’s their spot:

(same kid omg!)

Crazy, right?! It’s like they were INSIDE OUR BRAINS, concepting with us, casting with us, and even art production reviewing with us, because the pinatas are the same colors.

Watch and be weirded out, just like we were. We hope there’s some doppelganger team a block away at Deutsch (VW’s ad agency), ad girls with glasses trying to make it in a world of mad men, bringing their three dogs to work, talking too loud and singing too much, working too late and maybe even blogging away, just like us. We’re glad that doppelganger team got to make their spot, as we can’t seem to get anything produced around here lately! And after all, it’s a cliche cuz it’s true – great minds think alike.


oh! and PS speaking of other things that look alike, li got a haircut! And not only does she look like Emma Stone, but she’s also beginning to look more like me… (also, we accidentally matched one day last week, the day I started writing this blog post and have finally finished it today!)

Emma Stone reference image fail:
photo 1

Emma Stone:

Lindsey Montague:

And matching us!
photo 4


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Manis and Moods

If you know anyone who works at Chiat, you know Chiat is all about making decks. In fact, last week I heard a nickname for the first time: TBWA\Chiat\Deck. And it’s true! La and I have made an ungodly amount of decks in our 1.5 years here.

Case in point. I just went to type “amount of decks” and thought to myself maybe I should type “number of decks” because I learned that gramatically, you’re supposed to say “number” if you’re referring to something you can count, but since I’m physically UNABLE to count the number of decks I’ve made, I opted for “amount.”

I digress.

If, in your occupation, you don’t build decks, let me explain. A deck is a nicely-designed PDF or keynote presentation that helps to make people understand your ideas through pictures and words. They’re incredibly useful when your clients aren’t local and you have to walk them through your ideas via conference call. This seems to often be the case at Chiat, for whatever reason. (You’d think more clients would want their base of operations in sunny SoCal, but maybe it’s because our taxes here are too high or whatever.)

Early in the concepting phase, decks usually consist of manifestos and mood boards. Or, Manis and Moods, as I just named them this morning. Manis artfully state what you believe about your product and they’re nice because they make your idea sound like poetry. Moods look like a collage of relevant images strategically tiled together on a page, and they’re nice because pretty pictures make your ideas seem more magical than they really are.

So, as one creative director here put it, more manifestos have come out of this building than communist Russia. Leading nicely into an example of a lovely Mani la has written: I Am Soy

“I am old. And new.
I am small but powerful.
I like dirt.
And I was green before green was a movement.

Hot summers make me happy.
But sometimes I say
Let it pour.

People blog about me today.
But my story began centuries ago.
In China, where I was considered sacred.

And now I can be found everywhere
All over the world.
So find me.
I’m good for you.

I’m a bean.
From a plant.
From the earth.

I am soy.
And you can find me

And here are a few Moods I made for Nissan back in the Margaret Keene days:

Picture 51

Picture 53

Get the idea?

Lots of creatives knock Manis and Moods, and I totally get why. They drain precious time away from ACTUAL concepting, and once made, they get circulated to 46 gazillion people who all have opinions about it and you have to make 5 months of revisions… and that’s how you end up with a folder on your desktop with 2.77 GB of decks only… for ONE car!! That hasn’t even launched yet!!! Sigh.

But truth be told (just between you and me) la and I kinda like decks. We like making our ideas sound like poetry, and we like when pretty pictures all fit together beautifully on a page. In fact, perhaps in my next life I can just make mood boards for a living. That would be awesome.

xo and sorry if you thought this was going to be a post about manicures,


PS From la, this can’t be about manicures because li and I are too busy making advertising manis to get real manis. (let alone pedis!)

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