Tag Archives: lali

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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Industry Tuesdays (errr Wednesdays): Super Bowl Spots Before the Super Bowl

There will be over 70 spots at the Super Bowl. 111 million viewers. An average of $3.5 million dollars per 30s spot. That’s a lot of money, a lot of eyeballs, and a lot of competition.

So there’s a new trend to get more eyeballs, more exposure & less competition (and more bang for your quite a bit of buck)… Releasing a teaser, or the whole spot, before Game Day.

It started with Volkswagon. Well, it really started with their Darth Vader spot last year, but continued this year with “The Bark Side.”

(I’ve never seen Star Wars, so it didn’t mean that much to me. But it seemed to be pretty popular… 10 million views anyone?)

And then the Dog Strikes Back, a commercial within a commercial responding to a commercial posted on YouTube:

We love this Audi spot. I’m a big fan of vampires, and la and I have concepted our fair share of “vampire” inspired car spots (when you work on cars for long enough, everything is game!). We’re kinda bummed Audi has now killed our dreams of ever having a car spot with vampires!

This super funny ones from our old CDs Chris & Margaret at Saatchi:

Even teasers from Chiat’s own Pepsi (from our buds Armando Samuels and Kristina Krkljus!):

And a teaser from Hulu with “TV Star” Will Arnett:

But our most favorite one started with this – and created a maelstrom of guesses, conjectures and posts:

And then ended up as this:

Congratulations to my old partner Ariel Shukert for making what may be the most popular Super Bowl ad of 2012! Can’t wait to see it on television this Sunday!

Is it worth releasing your Super Bowl spot before the Super Bowl? I think the 6 million views, coverage on the Today Show, the Daily Show and countless blogs would say “yes.” But next year, when everyone releases their spot before the Super Bowl, will it still be worth it? We’ll see…

In the mean time, we’re looking forward to eating chips & dip, chicken wings, drinking beer and hanging out with friends while watching ALL the commercials on Sunday. Oh, and throwing in a little football watching too! Here’s to seeing what social media extensions people use on the spots to make it worth their high price tag…



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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: “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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Our cameo at Cannes :)


Even though we didn’t get nominated for any awards this year, lali still made a small appearance at Cannes (a really big advertising award show).

The magazine distributed at the festival:
And here we are on page 43!

Soooo many thanks to Rob Schwartz and Patrick O’Neill for honoring us… we’re lucky enough to work at Chiat, let alone be recognized by you guys in front of our peers. There are a lot of talented young people here, and the fact that we came to mind in the first place is a surprise and a delight! We hope we can live up to the compliment by making good work that makes you and the agency proud :)

Oh and thanks to Chris MacNeil for sending us the pictures all the way from France (although we’re still jealous that you get to be in Cannes in person, and we only get to be there in pictures! Maybe next year…fingers crossed.) Congrats on all the great Pepsi Refresh Project work, hope you’re having a blast on the Riviera!

xo, li

Here’s the full shot if you want to see how awkward we are as models. (I had to tan myself a little in photoshop once I saw my whiteness next to La. Sad but true.)


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Female Creatives in Advertising, the adgirls ponder the endless debate.

“85% of brand purchases are made by women, yet only 3% of advertising agency creative directors are women.”

Picture 1
(Tiffany Rolfe, among her Old Navy mannequins)

Last week, Tiffany Rolfe of CP+B wrote an interesting article for Creativity. Entitled: Female Creatives Need to Step Up and Promote. In response to the fact that she is always asked this question: Why aren’t there more female creative directors in advertising?

She doesn’t answer the question, necessarily. Instead, she poses a solution:

Women are hardwired to kick ass and nurture at the same time. But unfortunately the advertising business isn’t known for nurturing. It’s competitive, it’s fast and it’s filled with insecurities. We don’t want to be replaced by the newer, younger, better model.

But maybe if we were better mentors for young people, they’d see a reason to keep us around when we were past our prime. If there is one type of person who could both juggle their own life/work balance, as well as nurture new creatives, it’s women. Think about it — if every female creative in a management role could mentor and promote just five other women, each of those can help five more, and onward, and before long we’ll be in the hundreds. Call it a pay-it-forward meritocracy.

So, in a nutshell, she’s telling other women to be better mentors and to promote. She’s asking women to change the industry for other women.

Well, lali, being, as you know, “two adgirls trying to make it in a world of madmen,” has been sent this very article by many people. So we felt we needed to respond.

What’s it like being an adgirl?

When we first walked down the walkway of Chiat Day, we had a decision to make. Do we try to blend in with the boys? Or do we embrace our girliness? As you can guess by the subhead of our blog, we went with the latter. And we’re glad we did. It’s not because we’re being feminists, or we’ve got a chip on our shoulders, or because we want to use it as a way to climb some sort of ladder. It’s because that’s who we are.

And maybe it’s opened some doors and closed some others. It gives us an immediate cache, a one liner kind of personality to hang onto and to define us. Minus youngbloods, we’re the only girl/girl team in the building. It makes us stand apart. When presenting, our “girliness” tends to create an immediate level of comfort and openness.

On the flip side, sometimes being female creatives, we’re not taken as seriously. And our ideas aren’t either. And we have to be conscious of what we wear, and how that changes perceptions. When we look around an office full of talented women (less in number than men, but still better than a lone Peggy Olson), is it a coincidence that a lot of them are attractive? That fact could be a weapon or a curse.

At RPA, I got asked to work on a new account – La-Z-Boy – because they were targeting “women” buyers. And the client had specifically asked for female creatives. At Chiat, we were asked to work on Diet Pepsi (much to our delight), targeting midwest moms. Again, the client and agency specifically felt female creatives would have a better insight on that work. Maybe we did. But it doesn’t mean we couldn’t have just as many insights on college football, which we’ve worked on. Or a car targeted at millenial males. Which we’ve also worked on, and which also got me, the copywriter, condemned for being sexist. We’re just being chameleons, talking to different people – just as sincerely, but from different view points.

Does being a female creative make us better at that then male creatives? Worse? Or the same? I don’t have an answer. Maybe a blog reader will.

I can say that while we may have worked with an at-the-time female ACD, (xo Xanthe!) with a bunch of female teams, at the end of the day, men were responsible for the final creative work inside the agency and men were responsible for approving the work that got produced. Which leads to the next topic…

Why aren’t there more female creative directors?

As with anything, it’s probably a combination. And seeing as we aren’t creative directors and haven’t really been in the industry that long, we don’t hold the definitive answer on that subject. But I can sure write at length about it.

Babies. Probably the easiest thing at which to point our fingers, and rightfully so. We work long hours. We work hard hours. We never know when we’ll be here til 6p or 6a. And when you’ve got kids at home, it’s just a societal fact that women are more often the ones at home with them. Some by choice. Some by society’s programming. We can’t all be Margaret Keene, popping out a baby and then marching off to shoot a commercial.

WPP creative consultant Neil French said: “They [women] don’t work hard enough. It’s not a joke job. The future of the entire agency is in your hands as creative director. You can’t be a great creative director and have a baby and keep spending time off every time your kids are ill … Everyone who doesn’t commit themselves fully to the job is crap at it.

He then was forced to resign, but he still said it.

Was he right? Even if he could have phrased it better (the feminist in me prickles in indignation)? Or does it lead to another reason why there are far fewer female creative directors than males: Advertising is, still, a boys club. With more men at the top, it’s more up to men to promote and hire. And this industry isn’t gentle, it’s more cutthroat. Age-old prejudices about the simple fact that I may end up pregnant and on maternity leave and distracted whether I am now or not probably still exist. As well as the standard cliches about women as leaders. Not to be crass, but we’re either gentle and therefore weak or bitchy and therefore bitchy. Or our skirts are too short. I’m not saying I agree with these viewpoints, but maybe they still linger in the back of people’s minds, never voiced but ever present.

Or maybe it’s just that when there’s a bunch of boys around making jokes and coming up with ideas, they just GET other boys’ ideas better than they get girls’ ideas. Comfort and familiarity. Get-along-together-ability trumps talent every time.

So, do we as women not want the role of creative director? Or do the men not want us to have it? Or both. Inherently, in an industry that would create the environment where those questions would have to be asked, there’s a lot of work to be done to both answer it and change it.

So what do we do?

At our old agencies, we’d never worked with a female creative director. Why? Because there weren’t any. There were women who headed up departments, just not the creative department. So when we walked into Chiat Day, with giggles and lalipops and matching pink lamps, we were glad to find a whole host of female creatives, and a select few female creative directors.

So first, let’s celebrate our fellow adgirls. The CDs we’ve worked under. Margaret, for her undying dedication not just to her job (which is undeniable) but to loving everyone who works beside her as well (which is also undeniable). Xanthe, for her persevering quest to be the best creative director she can be. The partners we’ve had. Liz, for always being on top of it. Chelsea, for having an artist’s soul. Ariel, for being more than a partner, for being a best friend. To the beautiful and talented ladies of Chiat Day and Night, Shawna, Kristina, Suzanne, Mindy, Michelle, Helena, Kat, Denise, and more, who make great work but more importantly make this a great place to work.

And second, let’s not let our gender get in the way of ourselves. Stand up for ourselves if something’s unfair, but more importantly, just be ourselves and it’ll probably be more fair. Good creatives are good creatives regardless of whether they pee standing up or sitting down. And great advertising that comes from good insights is just that, great advertising. Whether it’s for tampons or beer. And remember, adgirls, we can make great ads for both.

The Tiffanys and Margarets and Xanthes have made things better for us. We can make things better for the girls behind us.

And while the fact that 97% of creative talent probably is NOT male (sorry guys), we can change it and change it we will.

In the meantime, we’re just gonna try and produce some work and have some fun. And listen to some Regina Spektor too.


PS For information, inspiration, questions and some answers, visit adwomen.org
Their quote: “If the great advance of the 20th century was the inclusion of women as equals in society, then an even greater advance in the 21st century will be the incorporation of women’s thinking.” Amen, sister.


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