Lucy Liu and Julianne Moore recently stepped out to celebrate the launch of Chivas 25 at the New York Public Library. What? Hard liquor? A library? Someone definitely gets points for this complete no-sequitor. For those who care, Moore was wearing Lanvin, Fred Leighton jewelry and Roger Vivier shoes and Liu was wearing a Zac Posen dress and shoes and jewelry from Bulgari.
WTF? Did we just write that? Who gives a crap? Certainly not us. Just send us a bottle of the stuff, Chivas, and will give you proper props.
Tell me how to nail cheap two-star accommodations in NY the day before Advertising Week, and I'll call you a liar and tell you how you - yes, you - can survive in a youth hostel during a business trip.
Because after (reeeeally) bad planning on my part, that's where I ended up.
At the end of yesterday's Saving Darfur session, which ran a half hour over time, I wandered the streets of New York in desperate pursuit of the 1 Subway line.
After accidentally interrupting the filming of a movie called "Fighting," I located this crucial urban vein, hopped on and trekked to my hotel.
Priceline.com has this cool option where you can "name your price!" on a hotel. The setback is, if they find you a place at "your price!", you're married to it - no refunds, no takebacks. [Ed. Someday we'll elevate ourselves from the slums and hire and executive travel planner who will hunt down and torture Paris Hilton until she orders Hilton Management to put us up at the Waldorf Astoria for $50 a night.]
So it was with surprise, some chagrin and a sudden craving for croissants that I discovered my hotel, attractively dubbed West End Studios, was not a hotel at all but a youth hostel.
The world spun. I'd gone from from Underdressed Amongst Ad Execs to Overdressed to Kill. Flippin' amazing.
The answer: Five execs, a poetic moderator, and two hours.
I'm sitting at a panel called Want to start an AD Agency?!. To my right sits a dude whose name I shall not mention. He expresses sincere, almost meddling interest in the GelaSkin on my MacBook. So I ask why he's here and he says, "Technically I represent BBDO, but really I am here for my own self-interest."
Tell it like it is, yo. "Lots of self-interest stewing around," I say vaguely.
The BBDO guy agrees. "I'm guessing that's why everybody's here," he observes.
This is a covert little world.
It bears mentioning that Panasonic Ideas for Life - Saving Darfur was as much about advertisers' power to set global agendas as it was about the actual plight of Darfur. Call it a conceit, but there's method to the madness.
Advertising played a pivotal role in raising awareness about genocide in Darfur. Some members of the panel expressed having been inspired into their current professions after seeing ads about famine or others' suffering.
After a 4:00 AM dash through the dark, followed by a five-hour bus ride, followed by an eight-block trek with a Streetwise Manhattan map, I've crossed the threshold of the Paley Center and made it to the Promised Land: Advertising Week 2007 in NYC.
Paley's squeak-shined glass windows have become giant YouTube stations. Beyond the lobby, thoughts about marketing by great men and civilians line the walls. The whole set-up fills my eyes with De Beers quality tears. (This may be less of an emotional reaction than exhaustion resulting from insomnia, and the fact that I haven't eaten.)
Apparently members of the press were only able to pick up their passes yesterday morning. This is disappointing. I call Blake the press pass guy. Blake is warm, pleasant and, in fact, female. "I'll bring you your pass around 1:00," she says.
Bummer. It's 10:00 AM, my first session's at 2:30, and I've still got a gigantic duffel bag with me. In a sea of suits I am the one jean jacket. And I'm sweaty and gross, and did I mention I've got a gigantic duffel bag with me?
I look, quite frankly, like an asshole. It's like a scene from Pretty Woman but 10 times worse.
Everyone loves cool Facebook applications, right? Especially Naughty Gifts because who really doesn't like sharing naughtiness with their friends? Well, Going.com, the company behind Naughty Gifts is porting its little application to meat space in the form of Naughty Parties at which naughtiness will be the central theme.
Natasha Chatilo and Adam Gries are the brains behind Naughty Gifts and wants to tap the avalanche of non-teens joining Facebook. So if you're inclined to take your naughtiness physical, the parties are coming to a city near you: Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston.
Last Friday, America's Next Top Model winner Jaslene Gonzalez, along with her adoring fans, witnessed the unveiling of her Times Square billboard for clothing line LOT29. Jaslene's reaction? "Look at my legs! They look great!" Indeed.
The event was also a shoot for an upcoming commercial for the "My Life as a CoverGirl" campaign. Let's see. America's Next Top Model. LOT29. CoverGirl. All in one place. All at one event. Are there really people in marketing who are actually this efficient?
- Aquent is hosting a webcast on September 27th entitled "Getting it all Together: Best Practices in Planning for Coordinated Print and Web Initiatives." which will examine how to make print and online work together better.
- The recently formed Association for Downloadable Media (ADM) will hold its first in-person meeting at the Podcasting & New Media Expo in Ontario, CA. The meeting will be held at 7:30 a.m. PDT on Friday, September 28, 2007 in Ballroom A.
- A new eMarketer report examines the value of social media and whether or not the hype meets with the reality.
- Website uptime monitoring company has gotten cute with its homepage turning it into a modified 404 page.
Hurrah, new browser-sporting wi-fi iPods, and they look just like everybody said they would.
Steve Jobs previewed an ad for the new toy in his keynote yesterday, which you can find if you dodge all the 'Amazing!'s, the bad jokes, and his overextended attempt to make a ringtone out of Aretha Franklin's Respect.
The ad is short and follows the same see-what-my-finger-can-do aesthetic as the iPhone ads. Looking forward to seeing the "official" version.
Also, Apple announced a partnership with Starbucks where you can log onto iTunes for free on a wi-fi-ready Apple unit, and even - get this - buy a song in a Starbucks while it's playing. Cashing in on the impulse has never been easier.
Because we just couldn't get enough in SF, the Ypulse Tween Mashup is hitting the East Coast this September 28 in NYC.
Speakers include CEO Evan Bailyn of Cartoon Doll Emporium as well as reps from Lego, Cartoon Network, Neopets, and Kidz Bop (the company to blame for children who know all the lyrics to Gnarls Barkley's Crazy).
Register before September 15 to get the early adopter cost. It's definitely worth the trouble - the food and bands in SF were awesome! Oh yeah, and we learned a lot too. ;-)