Monthly Archives: May 2009

Second-to-last Best Western Spec Ad

Not entirely finished, but I think the idea’s there…

pig copy



Final Piece of Apathy Campaign

Here’s the last of it, a website with a changing pop-up banner, all copy written by me, the web design and logos are taken from their respective sites. The banners are also of my design.

apathy website1 copy





















apathy website2 copy





















It goes without saying that I appreciate all comments/opinions. Take a look through the whole Apathy is boring tag and see the whole campaign. Thanks for your time, and I promise to have a new campaign up later this week.

Second-to-last Apathy piece…

Expect the website component of the campaign up later today, then it’s off to new projects. Also, new Kops logos to come.


These would be letters sent to homes known to have youth that fit the demographic. They’d have government logos on the envelopes and look, for all intents and purposes, like a real letter from an MP (who doesn’t exist). Disclaimers to be added if necessary. Again, please let me know what you think.

Logo designs and a poster and some news for the musically-inclined

Busy this week. Preparing for brand re-launch of Kops Records, which I’m excited to say is really moving forward. Luckily these guys have been awesome: receptive to new ideas, open to suggestions and good at deciding on what they want and what they don’t. One of the first orders of business to show Kops has changed is to feature new talent every Saturday.

We’re starting on the 23rd from 1:30-5:30pm with Your Pretend Boyfriend, sample their stuff at: 

In Toronto next Saturday? Drop by, 229 Queen West and have a listen, we’re all super-nervous to hear what you think, and while its not quite launched yet, Kops already has a strong commitment to service at its core. Branding or no, its got something that sets it apart.

Here’s a poster showcasing the fact that Kops now has live performances, hand-painted by yours truly:

See it before it's smothered in extraneous copy!

See it before it's smothered in extraneous copy!

The Future of Sound… Unearthed! was my idea. Only by delving into what’s been before do we discover what is to come. It’s a concept that applies across all fields, and I’ve discussed it in one of my most popular (and rather embarrassing) posts before.

Here are some designs for the new logo. Client’s old one was a cartoon dog that needed to be put down, and in its place we’re trying to create a cartoon dog that more directly appeals to the sensibilities of Kops as service brand. While the idea of a mascot is something out of Leo Burnett’s book, it could have potential here:

These were the first sketches of a cartoon dog, starting with Offissa Pop as inspiration.

These were the first sketches of a cartoon dog, starting with Offissa Pop as inspiration.

These were done for random surveys of incoming customers, apparently the dog's too mean-looking.

These were done for random surveys of incoming customers, apparently the dog's too mean-looking.

Because customers don't like an angry logo...

Because customers don't like an angry logo...


Lastly, I’ve been doing a bt of freelance layout work, which isn’t really worth showing here. In case you were wondering, this is why I’ve been gone most of the week.

I’ll have some more portfolio spec work up tomorrow. Thanks so much for your encouragement and comments, I think Best Western wins out of Crest toothpaste, meanwhile I’m going to take the weekend and really try to hammer out some better ideas while there’s still time. I think the Apathyisboring stuff is a keeper, which frees me to do stuff that isn’t necessarily long copy for my last campaign. 






Rich’s Big Battle for the Behemoth Idea


Time and money well-spent... I hope.

Time and money well-spent... I hope.



I haven’t posted much lately because I’ve been crazy busy trying to get a number of things together in time for Portfolio Night and also because George Lois’ new book: 

He’s sort of everybody ad guy’s inspiration and my hero with good reason. Learning about how he came up with those Esquire covers, got Bobby Kennedy elected Senator, and raised awareness for Rubin Carter only makes me want to work harder and better. This leads to me re-thinking my ideas in a dark basement and trying to really push myself. This is also why there hasn’t been any content. I know we aren’t supposed to brown-nose, and Luke Sullivan tells us not to say this but if I ever met Mr. Good Karma Creative himself (apt agency title, he even looks like an ass-kicking buddha these days), I’d exclaim, “Gee Mr. Lois, I found your work really meaningful.”

Some day I’ll craft a longer tribute to him and the other creative revolutionaries, but right now I’m moving on…

I am doing contract gigs with McCarthy Posters, converting Chinese ads into different media. Great practice for my software publishing skills. Still, the two activities make me feel like my spec ads could be so much better, and the feeling that I’ve wasted time executing stuff is not a good one. Okay, I know it wasn’t really ‘wasted’ because I learned a lot and my skills at this stuff have grown by leaps and bounds etc. but right now let’s just say anything I do while ‘working’ that doesn’t contribute to the end-goal of a kickass portfolio is sort of wasted time. So here are 2 campaign concepts for portfolio night, and I need to know which one is better or if I should even bother with these and just head back to the thinking room. Just click on the picture above the idea and you’ll be taken to the posts I’ve made with sample work:

Rich’s Big Battle for the Behemoth Idea


Click here for Crest Campaign


1. Crest Toothpaste: You may have seen the TV/Radio ads I was planning, the idea that Crest is “the sound of a healthy clean” where I’d play with how “Crest” is a clean-sounding word and also how the act of brushing your teeth can be a refreshing sound. What I’m aiming at is to imbue the ritual of brushing your teeth with that of Crest. Strategically I’m trying to make toothpaste interesting, get people using Crest more. I would emphasize the fact that it’s a quick easy way to feel cleaner. Additional spots might focus on the uses people have for Crest outside of brushing teeth, but the sound would essentially be the same. Examples include Crest on stains, Crest on bug bites, cleaning piano key-tops and other such ways Crest cleans.

2.Best Western: “Because traveling is stressful enough” seems to be big idea territory. I’m taking ordinary people and putting them in uncomfortable situations, whether it’s print or commercials or whatever. The tagline is “Traveling is stressful enough, your hotel doesn’t have to be.” The concepts are as follows:

– Guy on airplane, pilot running to the back to vomit, maybe he’s motion-sick? Maybe he’s seen something? (pictured)


Click here for Best Western Campaign

– Guy standing in doorway, seen from behind, pillow in one hand, scratching his head with the other. The hotel room is an abstract installation composed of sharp planes and triangular edges, seemingly no place to lie down. Again, tag, “Traveling is stressful enough, your hotel room doesn’t have to be’.

-Closeup of taxi cab side windows, oriented perpindicular to the ‘ground’ to suggest the cab is pointing straight downward. Cabbie seems to be enjoying the ride, while the business-guy in the back looks petrified. Same tag.

-Dirty restaurant table with overturned beer can pouring beer onto newspaper, plate of half-eaten frogs on table bathroom door swinging shut in corner. Headline on paper reads ‘New Cantonese Frog Virus Cause Of Extreme Indigestion’ Same tag

-I would extend this concept to TV and other media, always with the theme of ‘what could go wrong when traveling’, always reminding people that Best Western is your stress-free lodgings solution.

So what do you guys think? Are either of these even worth making into ads or should I think deeper?