Archive for July, 2007

The 12 Kinds of Ads

July 30, 2007


Slate has put together a comprehensive guide to The 12 Kinds of Ads that comprise the gamut of television commercials. It’s a really informative collection of Ads for anyone looking to get a handle on how the media is addressing them.

Start your Monday off fresh and check out The 12 Kinds of Ads so that you can begin to appreciate all those ‘subtle’ cues that have been affecting your shopping habits for the last couple of years.

Here’s a great example of Slate’s analysis:

The 10th format is “associated user imagery”: The advertiser showcases the type of people it hopes you’ll associate with the product. Often these will be hip, funny, or good-looking people. But sometimes the associated users are goofy or geeky—it depends on the target market.

This Nike spot is one of my favorite ads ever. I love its brilliant editing (watch the cuts accelerate), its ass-kicking AC/DC track (I air-drum each time I hear it), and its inspirational vibe (it makes me want to just, I don’t know … do it). It’s also classic associated user imagery. Who wears Nike? Dedicated, hardworking athletes, like Tom Brady, Alex Rodriguez, that kid practicing soccer, and that gray-haired jogger lady. Those sprinkled shots of everyday people are key to the ad’s genius. In some ads, we just see the star jocks on screen and are expected to make the associative leap on our own. (Hey, I’ll be like Tom Brady if I buy Nike stuff.) This ad helps make the leap for us.

Here’s the ad:

Check out Slate’s in-depth slide show for all the ads!

– chris


Kanye West’s Unique Music Video

July 26, 2007


Well, we’re back it at it. Rejuvenated and ramping up to full speed once again. I thought I’d start things off with this stunning music video for Kanye West’s new single Can’t Tell Me Nothing I don’t talk about Hip Hop videos often because of their cookie-cutter nature, but Can’t Tell Me Nothing is unlike any other Hip Hop vid you’ve ever seen.

Stronger was envisioned by Zack Galifianakis at the surprising urging of Kanye himself and shockingly it is NOT the official video. Think Galifianakis lip-syncing to Kanye in cornfields at sunset.

You must watch this now.

Glad to be back!
– chris

Update: Turns out this bad boy isn’t the official vid and in fact, I mislabeled the song title. Ahh… the misinformation of blogs. Thanks Reece! Official vid here.

(via BoingBoing)

Video:Why Man Creates

July 20, 2007

Apparently Saul Bass, the incredible title animator, created quite a great short film about why humans need to create things called “Why Man Creates.” Bass and his wife co-directed the 30 minute film, which won an Oscar in 1968.

The whole piece is not online, but a 5 minute segment is available for your consumption:

To see the full piece you’ll need to purchase a DVD.

I love the style of animation and the playful feel that the Bass team brought to the piece. It’s animation for animation’s sake, what better way to talk about creativity could there be?

– chris

(via the Unbeige Team)

The Graphics of Transformers

July 18, 2007

A note from abroad: Popular Mechanics has a phenomenal article on the special effects used in Transformers. The article features some great insight into the process ILM uses: the way the animators conceptualize scenes, meeting the demands of Michael Bay and working from finished pose to compact car.

It’s always nice to see a glimpse into the relationship between a director and his crew, and the ILM team provides some interesting insights into Bay’s needs. You may not be directing a $150 Million flick in the near future, but it’s probably worth taking the notes anyway.

Check out the article.

– chris

The Business of Photography

July 16, 2007

To help tide you over during our vacation it only seems fair to pass on some interesting blogs. A fairly new blog that I’ve been particularly impressed with is The Business of Photography.

The Business of Photography was started by Ed McCulloch out of frustration at the lack of emphasis put on business in photography programs. His sentiments echo my own frustrations and motivations for the writing the Tropist Weblog. Typically there is little to no time in spent in school on marketing, negotiations and promotion, which in practice turn out to be so important.

McCulloch’s journey is focused on photography, but his experience and advice are applicable to any artist. Start paying attention, McCulloch is just about to release his first major portfolio that will be released Nationwide (in the US).

Make sure to read through the archives for the full experience.

– chris

A Little Vacation

July 12, 2007

Over the next two weeks Brendan and I are going to be taking a little time off. We’ve been working like crazy for the last year and we need some time to get our heads straight while we deal with some big creative issues coming up.

I’m in Greece and Brendan will be traveling through the south. Be sure to let us know if you’re going to be in either place and want to meet up. As always, I’m available by email at csavage at

I’ll do my best to write when I can, but look for consistent blogging to startup in a couple of weeks.

– chris


July 10, 2007

1-18-08 1
It’s not often that I mention trailers here because so few break away from the normal format. But after watching the trailer for 1-18-08, JJ Abrams new film, I’ve gotta say this is something different.
1-18-08 2
1-18-08 is not only the title, but the release date and the from the looks of things, the day the movie’s timeline begins. If the movie is told in Aristotelian format, as the trailer and release date imply, I think that it’s going to be an innovative take on a Godzilla-esque / Day After Tomorrow-type disaster film. This one is going to rock.

Watch this trailer in HD for the full effect!

– chris

(via Coudal)

Advertainment: The Wind

July 9, 2007

The Wind

The Power of Wind is an amazing commercial. It’s smart, funny and poignant. The creators took an excellent concept and executed it to perfection. You’ll probably want to watch this one twice through.

I won’t ruin the fun, so go ahead and watch it now.

The Power of Wind won the prestigious best film advertising spot at the International Advertising Festival in Cannes. To learn more about the ad check out Epuron’s official site.

– chris

Portfolio: Now That’s A Train

July 6, 2007

Long Train

Branislav Kropilak is a contemporary photographer who focuses on three major subjects: Garages, Landings and Trains. His portfolio has some of the most vivid images of these subjects that I’ve ever seen.
Kropilak is Prague-based artist, who has an incredible way of turning the mundane into the spectacular. He uses sparkling landscapes, interesting framings and odd times to punctuate his work.
Front Long Train
In particular, I’m a huge fan of his train series. The panoramas he shoots highlight areas and shapes I would never have noticed without his particular framing.

Check out Branislav Kropilak’s portfolio.

Have a great weekend!

– chris

Field Music’s “In Context”

July 5, 2007

In Context 1

A tipster sent us a link to the very unique music video for “In Context” a single from the British band Field Music. The video is one hand-held shot that follows an intricate array of scribbles timed to the music.

It’s clear from the beginning that there’s a bigger picture at hand than random lines, something that will give context to everything we’ve seen. I like how intimately the video and song are in sync.
In Context 2
This is a great, cheap concept. Minus the cost of repainting the wall of course.

– chris