Monday, August 27, 2007

Bob Garfield Needs to Get Laid!

Let me preface this post by first saying that I respect Bob Garfield and normally find his opinions both objective and spot-on. On this particular occasion however, I have to respectfully and wholeheartedly disagree. The following is in response to his review of the new commercial for the Heineken DraughtKeg.

I can only imagine the pressure a television commercial critic of such influence must face on a daily basis but come on Bob, lighten up! This commercial is sexy, stylish and cool. It caught and kept my attention from the first frame and left me with the same feeling any good work of art, design, or fashion would. I didn’t find it particularly provocative, sexist or insulting to women. Mind you, I am part of the target demographic. We are generally jaded and desensitized to things such as sex and violence on television. It’s an unfortunate side-effect of being raised on MTV and the Die Hard franchise.

You are a good writer sir. Unfortunately this review reads more like an article in the New Yorker than a review of a beer commercial. Do we really need to take our industry so seriously? Yes, sex sells and may not be the most responsible way for a brand to do business but so do sensational headlines like say, “The Most Sexist Beer Commercial Ever Produced?” Like, ever ever produced?

It doesn’t stop there. The review goes on to accuse the Heineken spot of comparing the human female uterus to the DraughtKeg and spout to umbilicus cord. I’m speechless. Mr. Garfield is a great asset to our industry but I think it may be time to take a step back. It is only advertising after all.

Am I being insensitive and completely na├»ve? You decide. It may not make me drink Heineken but I liked this ad and it got my attention. Plus, who wouldn’t want a smoking hot cyborg chick with a keg as a womb and tap at the end of her umbilicus cord? After all, I’m only 25 – I’m not thinking about starting a family… All I want is sex and beer!

I apologize for the slight personal attack in the title. I have no knowledge of Mr. Garfield’s sex life or lack thereof and have no place commenting on it. It is rude and unfair but might just make a few more people read this post.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

LOL Flow Charts

A funny thing happened on Friday - One Five Place daily traffic increased 400% all because my silly Amy Winehouse Flowchart got linked to by Boing Boing. To mark the occasion, I thought it would be appropriate to mashup my two favourite Internet memes:

Friday, August 24, 2007

Are you Amy Winehouse?... A Flow Chart

In the spirit of the current Internet trend of creating pointless flow charts, I've decided to make my own:

Monday, August 20, 2007

Only You Can Prevent Becoming the Office Idiot

I haven’t blogged about work in a while because it is mostly uninteresting and there’s not much to say that hasn’t already been said. I don’t claim to be an expert but have picked up a few things along the way. That being said, I would like to share a few pointers that once mastered, will benefit your clients, your co-workers, and yourself.

1.) If you don’t care about your job, don’t bother showing up. This is a biggie. You can’t understand how frustrating it is for everyone around you to get things done when you are constantly complaining and dropping the ball. Like it or not, you are part of a team – part of a bigger picture. Not only does your negativity bring down the rest of the office but your total lack of interest makes the rest of our work twice as difficult. I understand that your job may be cushy or has put you in a position of near invincibility, but PLEASE do us a favor and move on. Have enough respect for yourself to not become the office cancer.

2.) Be nice. This is the easiest and single most important thing you can do. Nobody likes working with an asshole so don’t be one. It really doesn’t matter how good you are or think you are at your job; people will avoid you at all costs if you constantly act like an idiot. Trust me. People are talking about you behind your back. You may think your “edge” or “intensity” has helped you get to where you are but I assure you it hasn’t. And by some chance it has, don’t expect to stay there. Why not try smiling once in a while or offering to help somebody new with the fax machine. Hell, try saying “good morning” some day. It doesn’t take much. Your attitude doesn’t impress anyone and frankly, your mother would be ashamed.

3.) If you don’t understand something, don’t pretend that you do. Some people may tell you the opposite is true only because they haven’t yet been burned. You will look a lot worse when your client calls you on one of your little white lies then simply saying “you don’t know but will find out.” The worst thing you can do is hide something from your client because you will eventually be caught. What’s worse – telling your client you don’t know something or breaking their trust? That was rhetorical by the way.

4.) Don’t be a “yes man”. Your boss may like you bent over his desk but nobody else wants to see that. This is especially true to management in dealing with clients. I can’t tell you how many times I have been sitting in a meeting listening to a uninformed manager tell the client “no problem” or “of course it’s possible” only to have to tell them in the cab rid home that it is impossible or completely out of scope. I understand you want to make the client happy but it’s ok to say “no” or even “we’ll follow up with options in a couple of days”. This also goes back to the previous point – if you don’t completely understand the nature of the request don’t give a definite answer until you do. Please ask the person who will be responsible for doing the task before giving an answer. This may make for some tension in the meeting but will pay off in the end when you don’t have to go back with your tail between your legs and politely as possible state that it’s not actually possible and you’re very sorry.

5.) Just because you don’t understand, care, and/or agree with something, doesn’t make it wrong. This is an especially important point for me as someone working in new media. I’m constantly faced with the challenge of selling through an idea to someone who really doesn’t “get it” nor try to. As much as you don’t want to acknowledge it, the media landscape is facing its biggest shift since the introduction of television and if you don’t eventually embrace it, you will be left behind. New is not necessarily bad. It’s just different and may require a little more work. Deal with it.

I could go on for hours but I’m starting to even annoy myself. Let’s just all try to remember that there are simple things you can do that will make life easier for everyone around you and will greatly benefit you in the end. Oh, and please remember to wash your hands after taking a piss. Thank you.

Awesome graphic via Threadless.

Monday, August 6, 2007


If you're reading this (who starts a sentence with "if you're reading this? You obviously are...), I bet you are thinking one of three things:

1) Who the hell is Jason Verwey?
2) Why does Jason Verwey have a blog and why should I care? What a geek.
3) I love Jason Verwey and miss reading about his views on life, culture, advertising and everything in between. Where has he been for the last three months?

If you answered questions 1 or 2, keep coming back and you will find out. I can't guarantee if you will like me or have any interest in what I have to say but I guarantee it will be honest and possibly even entertaining. If your answer was number 3, I thought it would be easiest just to show you:

Although I've been very busy this summer working, playing, partying, and exploring, I mostly blame my absence on Facebook and Twitter. It was through battling these addictions, that I discovered the strengths and limitations of each and finally figured out how to best use each platform in combination with this blog (for the time anyway). That being said, I hope you will continue to stop by One Five Place once and while and encourage you to take part in the conversation.