This Is a Generic Brand Video (by Dissolve Footage)

This Is a Generic Brand Video is a generic brand video of “This Is a Generic Brand Video,” written by Kendra Eash for McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. No surprise, it’s made entirely with stock footage. All video clips used are from See and license them here:

The original piece is published on McSweeney’s:

First: This video is definitely worth watching. It’s an incredibly effective send-up of generic b.s. advertising etc. etc., made entirely of actual stock footage. (As indicated, the voiceover is from this wonderful McSweeney’s piece by Kendra Eash.)

Second: If I understand correctly, it was made by a company that licenses stock footage. In other words — it’s an ad.

The Simpsons, “C.E.D’oh” - Season 14 Episode 15

Megatronics Teacher: “You see this watch? It’s jammed with so many jewels, the hands can’t move.”

The watch that gets too expensive to tell time is referenced in hip hop:

Clipse - “Ride Around Shining" - "So much ice in they Roleys/ That shit don’t tick"

Lil Wayne - “Ice Cream Paint Job"  - "Audemar Piguet with the diamonds in the face/ Can’t tell the time ‘cause the diamonds in the face"

Several years ago, Rob Walker wrote about watches that don’t do a very good job of telling time and counterfunctionality in signaling.


Swoon + Cat Solen (by Levi’s Film Workshop)


Following in the success of Levi’s Photo Workshop, the brand has expanded its focus and launched a Film Workshop to make professional filmmaking training accessible and available to all, at no cost. We discussed the launch in LA alongside MOCA’s Art in the Streets (a graffiti and street art retrospective) last week. Among the artists that Levi’s will collaborate with as part of the Workshop are graffiti artist Swoon and director Cat Solen, whom have released a short film they shot at MOCA.

Levi’s has made significant strides to elevate the brand directly into the contemporary ‘cultural fabric’. From photography to art, and from Pennsylvania to the broader US and internationally, Levi’s is doing some smart, compelling work to cultivate its perception as an interesting brand that quite simply ‘gets it’.

Well, I guess. Sort of. I don’t think it’s very hard to “get” Swoon, and the MOCA graf show, at this point. I’m pretty sure my mom would “get” it at this point. But whatever. I’m a little surprised to see Swoon getting ensnared in this sort of thing — my understand of her rep was always that she stayed away from corporate funding, but maybe I’m wrong. In any case, my view is that there is nothing about this film that adds anything to her work, it’s very stock.

Just my opinion! I like Swoon’s work a lot! And I wear Levi’s!

Etc etc.

Does the start-up sound of a computer have an emotional meaning to its user? Why are ringtones more popular than ringback tones? Is the commercial jingle a relic in our supposedly media-savvy age? How does a retail space decide upon its playlist? Do bars and restaurants really sell more drinks when the music is played louder? Why do some stores hide their speakers, while others make them prominent features of the interior design? Should websites have scores, or background music, the way that movies and TV shows do? Should ebooks? Should movies and TV shows, for that matter? Why are voice actors famous in some countries and largely anonymous in others? What have online MP3 retailers learned from brick’n’mortar stores — what have they unlearned, and what have they forgotten? How do darknet filesharing services promote themselves in secret? What does the relative prominence of social-network functionality say about Apple, Bandcamp, eMusic, Rhapsody, SoundCloud, and other online services? When and why did musicians stop being perceived as sell-outs when they licensed their songs to TV commercials?

What, to put it simply, does a brand sound like?

These are some of the questions we’ll explore in a course I’ll be teaching this autumn at the Academy of Art in San Francisco (

Wish I could attend ….

Adzookie has realized that when people have a tough time paying stuff off, they’re more willing to pimp stuff out. Like, for instance, their houses. The ad firm has recently introduced a program entitled Paint My House in which willing and suspecting folks can turn their homes into huge, billboard-size ads. In exchange, Adzookie will pay the mortgage for the duration that the artwork stays up, ranging from a minimum of three months to a full year. When the project’s over, the house will be painted back to its original color. 

How Not to Pay the Mortgage: Turn Your House Into a Billboard! - Adventures in Marketing - Curbed National

Christopher Golub is the guy who programs the songs for all of Chipotle’s more than 1,400 restaurants, making him responsible for an essential piece in founder Steve Ells's restaurant vision.

"When [Ells] opened the first one, over on Evans, his belief was that he always thought music was an important part of the overall restaurant experience," Golub says. "So he began with his programming at the first store, and it went on from there. He always kept a focus on music as an integral part of the experience."

Today Golub runs an enterprise called Studio Orca that’s based in Brooklyn, where his company creates “music identity” for a number of different brands. Chipotle is his biggest client, and you’ll find him at Chipotle’s Cultivate Festival in Denver next month, spinning his restaurant programming between music sets.

Somewhat belatedly, this piece and the phrase “music identity” is now reminding me of reporting for a 2005 story for Inc., about Rumblefish. At the time Rumblefish was using that same term, and it was the first I’d heard it:

If the idea of music identity sounds a little confusing at first, the relationship between Rumblefish and Umpqua is a helpful introduction. The theory is that one way consumer-oriented companies can give meaning to their brands is by way of the music they associate with — whether it’s simply the soundtrack to their advertising or through more ambitiously unpredictable marketing tactics. Anthony argues that while plenty of brands are willing to rely on teams of specialists — design firms, color experts, and so on — to craft a logo, they often give too little thought to how the brand sounds.

Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority closed today because there’s no power. Now that’s marketing!

As a follow-up, today the Executive Director of the PREPA said that hurricanes are good because they clean all the lampposts making them all shiny and disentangles tree branches from electrical wires, making it safer for future storms. 

THE BALLS!  And with a shit-load of people without power.


This reportedly is the first-ever Calvin Klein Collection commercial to air on television. (Sixty-second version here.) Keep watching — yes, they *are* promoting clothing, accessories, and furniture. 

I didn’t watch tonight’s Golden Globes broadcast, but from what I’ve seen online of the event’s fashion coverage, Calvin Klein’s designs were winners, with both Claire Danes and Emma Stone wearing simple, sleek Calvin Klein Collection gowns. Most other actresses’ gowns simply looked like they were overdone.

For Kmart, a unit of Sears Holdings Corp., “First Day,” began as a four-page pitch in 2009 from “Gossip Girl” executive producer Alloy Entertainment. For the current season, the show’s second, Alloy pitched a story about a girl who wants to go to the prom with her crush.

The retailer liked the idea, but wanted to use it to hawk its line of back-to-school clothes. So it suggested changing the focus to a fall dance, rather than a prom.

In rounds of back-and-forth story development, Kmart also asked Alloy to shape each of the four main characters to reflect several clothing brands that Kmart wanted to push.

The protagonist, for instance, was written to embody the Dream Out Loud by Selena Gomez brand.

Kmart also pushed Alloy to change the protagonist’s original name, Bree, to which it thought its customers wouldn’t relate. They settled on the name Rosie instead.

Watch on

An uproar spread across the Web recently, when an ad for a new movie mysteriously appeared in the rerun of an old TV show. Taylor Orci takes a look at the burgeoning business of digital product placement and the effect it has on our brains in this episode of “Is That a Thing?

Product placement goes digital (VIDEO). - - Slate Magazine

Note: This is the first time I’ve watched Slate’s video content. It’s kind of …. weird.