Jun 24, 2009

The French Transformer Mac

This is not a commercial for Mac even when it could be one, specially considering the fact that Mac has always positioned itself as a "younger" brand compared to PCs.

Nevertheless if you understand French (no need to, to enjoy the clip) you will notice that this is not about computer brands but something made to promote the online services of the French postal service (like the french USPS). Kind of funny but mostly very well done!


Jun 21, 2009

On Father's Day - A Personal Note

Dad and Me ReadingThose that really know me, know that I can talk, and talk, and then talk some more when it comes to my father. We always have a close relationship and in more than one way, he made me who I am (responsibility and guilt shared with my mom, of course).

And who am I? Well... I have a -more or less- "normal life" but I finally made peace with the fact than I am "an unusual" person. Unusual is the best way to put it, for some others I am simply weird. Hey, I have been compared to the character "House" more than once and it is a funny thing because I always take that as a compliment even when it wasn't meant as one.

What I think is important though, is not who I am but the fact that I like who I am. Of course, I would love to be able to change some stupid things (like my weight, or the fact that I am so messy and clumsy or my total lack of patience, among other things) but -truth be told- I have little to envy others.

There are a million of nice things I could say about my father and believe me, I know first hand that he is not perfect. But he always knew that too and he was always sincere about who he was. He didn't try to be "the perfect father" he just wanted to be the best parent he could, without denying or betraying who he was. He was always sincere with me and I was always sincere with him.

From him I inherited my love for books and dogs, my passion for teaching and writing and the complete inability to have a clean desk.

My dad is now 93 and we are separated by some thousand miles. He is in Buenos Aires and I am here in Florida and I got to see him just once a year. I really, really, really miss him. We do not have the long talks we used to have anymore but he is still the most important figure in my life.

I usually don't give a damn about commercial days like mother's or father's day and I still don't do. But I decided that this Father's Day could be a good excuse to write about him. So, here it is. A small hommage to a great dad. A dad short in height but big in stature!

So, ¡Feliz Día del Padre, petiso padre mío!


Jun 15, 2009

A Book That Goes Beyond Its Pages

Last week I started a new job and it has been, so far, an exhausting experience, with his pros and cons (more on that later).

The very interesting part though, is that on my very first day there was a little celebration at the company because one of the guys that works for the firm just published a novel.

During the toast, the author, J.C. Hutchins, explained why his novel wasn't a typical one. His thriller, "Personal Effects: Dark Art" goes beyond the printed pages and the information related to the investigation of a possible serial killer can be enhanced through the web, by phone and by analyzing the art and material that comes with the book. A real interactive experience that allows you to decide how much you want to know (or not) about the main suspect and the notes of the therapist that interviews him.

Obviously, these unusual details really caught my attention. Several attempts have been made to make "interactive" novels before, but this is the first time I heard about a thriller that includes so many other media.

I was intrigued but I wasn't sure it would be a plot I may like, so I made my own research at home. One of the first Amazon's recommendations (that, ok, they are not always trustworthy but they can be an indication) really caught my attention...

The review reads: "Add equal parts House, CSI, and The X-Files. (...) Then light some dynamite under the box most novels live in and watch the pieces land outside the pages—in art, on websites, in e-mails, and in phone numbers that give you answers when you call". I have to admit that just the first line was enough for me: House, CSI and X-Files all mixed up? That seems like my dream come true!

I ordered the book today. Just the fact that there is a creative attempt to make a real interactive novel should have been a good excuse for me to buy it, but in reality you can't read a book only because there is a creative attempt behind it (well, at least I can't). Now the promise of a mix between X-Files and House is too much for me to pass.

So the book is on its way already... I will let you know how much I liked it or not, but if you are into reading and into what I would call "the online world" you may not want to wait for my review (that will take some time for sure, considering that I have my biological clock all screwed up!) and you may want to get your own copy.

Uhmmm... The new job? Well, I have been there for just a week, so the jury is still out. I love, love, love the product and I like the team overall. I totally hate the hours, though. Funny enough this single week made me realize that I have not been out of my bed so early (on daily basis) since... high school!

What can I say... I was looking for a new challenge and I got a very unexpected one, a.k.a. "the early morning". Only time will tell if a little bat like me can overcome such a challenge!


Jun 5, 2009

It's Friday, Consider Body Painting!

Yeah, well, I know, body painting is not for everyone..., but it is in fact a form of art that can be used also in advertising.

As a sample, check this TV commercial for New Zealand Airlines. At first glance this ad may not look so atypical, until you pay attention to the men and women "in uniform"... yeap, it is body paint.

Some may think that going almost nude is a bold move but -let's face it- there is little you can see under the paint in this particular video.

What I think makes this campaign bold and different is the fact that the people in the ad are real employees of the company.... including the CEO! Yes, one of the guys taking care of the luggage is the CEO of the airline. You can see him being prepared in this "behind the scenes" video.

And while talking about body paint, if you are interested in seeing how far it can go, you should check out the website of the World Body Painting Festival. This year it will be in July (in Austria) but in the website you can see pictures and videos from the previous festivals. There are some pretty cool things done!