:24: Come on Down!

“…You’re the next contestant on the Price is Right!”

Those are the words that every American would just love to hear one day. Being high-fived by complete strangers as everyone is screaming and clapping all around you must be the experience of a lifetime.

But what really interests me about The Price is Right is how freakin’ brilliant it is. Ever wonder where CBS gets all of these fabulous prizes? Well, they actually get them for free. That’s right, companies send CBS their products absolutely free of charge just so they can be featured on TV and in front of a live studio audience. In other words, it is an hour-long advertisement sponsored by occasional advertising breaks.

That is precisely the reason why The Price is Right is able to give away such awesome prizes and hang around for such a long time. People love winning prizes and are pretty bad at guessing the retail price of everyday goods.

Although there have been a couple big winners in the shows history. According to The Price is Right  wikipedia entry, in 2006 “Vickyann Sadowski won a Dodge Caravan playing Push Over and $1,000 in cash in the second Showcase Showdown. She also won both showcases, which included a Dodge Viper in her showcase and a Saturn Sky Roadster in her opponent’s, bringing her total winnings for the episode to $147,517, making her the largest single-episode winner in the history of American network daytime game shows.”

Of course, the greatest moments in the show come from absolute luck:



:23: It’s Time for Dodger Baseball

Sports announcers like the famous Vin Scully do not come around very often, which is an absolute shame because Scully is one of the best in the business.











I would agree with most people in that watching baseball can be a bit boring, but my view completely changes when watching a Dodger game and listening to Vin Scully. This is because he does his research and is able to tell stories in fascinating ways. Scully will have information about the Dodgers as well as about each player of the opposing team, used only when that player makes an appearance in a 3- or 4-game series.

Scully has been with the Dodgers organization even before they moved to Los Angeles in 1958. Even after he announced that he would retire in 2009, he came back in 2010, in 2011 and will be returning for his 63rd season this year. Indeed, the day Vin Scully retires for good will be a sad day in Dodgertown, but since he is 84, I’m sure baseball fans everywhere will understand.

I am eternally grateful for having grown up in at least part of the Vin Scully era. He has been an incredible influence on me in my childhood as well as today as I continue to study journalism.

:22: Life Advice

The most important thing…

Never lose your childish ability to imagine.

Show your colors.

And be happy

:21: Listen Up

Yesterday, my Creative Strategist class was enlightened by a visit from Tracy Wong from Wong, Doody, Crandall, Wiener, an ad agency based in Seattle and Los Angeles.

Wong did a fantastic job in providing insights on the stressful process of advertising. In fact he gave us 6 secrets of the business to help us succeed.

First he revealed that the biggest hurdle for creatives is “your fucking ego”.  The key to being a good creative is to let go of that ego. Many people would feel discouraged to be placed on an account that sells Windex as opposed to Nike shoes, but Wong argues that just because something hasn’t been done, doen’t mean it can be done. In fact, that is exactly how accounts such as Nike become so successful; they did something that had never been done before and it worked better than they ever could have imagined.

Then he estimated that about 99% of any great idea is strategy, which is where account managers and planners come in. Something that alot of creatives forget is that, “this is not art, this is commerce artfully told.” Once you have a solid strategy, all you need is that two-foot putt to get that last 1%.

Wong continued by explaining that the greatest creative weapon is one’s ears. He stressed that listening is easily the hardest part for any creative, but it is important to understand that, “knowledge talks, wisdom listens.” The difference between an open mind and an empty mind is that an open one might be filled to the brim with absolute shit, where an empty mind will accept other possibilities. An example of this can be seen in a campaign to help blue collar workers quit smoking, where they realized that this demographic was sick and tired of ads telling them to quit. They realized the only person to make them quit was themselves and this what they came up with:


So, creatives need to be able to embrace compromise. When you refrain from fighting with he client, you give yourself much more time to work with the client and collaborate on a project that neither could have imagined possible.

By engaging in the democracy of good ideas, a group of people are able to create something incredible. Wong believes that, “anything is possible as long as no one cares who gets the credit.” Everyone wants to hold on tight to their own specific ideas, but that limits the potential of the whole group to create something special.

Finally, he closed on the secret to guarantee how to sell great work: “Love your client like you love your dog.” If the client sees that you are upset, they will shoot down any idea you have regardless of what it actually is. If the client doesn’t trust that you are on the same page, they will never trust you. Wong clarifies this by pointing out that, “listening creates trust which kills fear.”

:20: The Ins and Outs of Success

Growing up in the San Fernando Valley, I have always known that In N Out burgers were amazing, but I never knew how famous they were until I went to college just one state over at the University of Oregon.

Everyone knows about how wonderful In N Out burgers are and about half the people I talk to ask about it or comment on how jealous they are of me for growing up with them.

“Is there really a secret menu?” / “How often do you get In N Out when you’re home?” / “What do you usually order?”

Yes, there is a secret menu and it is awesome. I get In N Out about 3 or 4 times a week when I’m home, possibly even more. And when I order, I get the same basic thing: a double double animal style with no lettuce or tomato plus at least one side of fries and if I’m feeling adventurous, I’ll get a half-chocolate half-vanilla shake, too.

I think what makes In N Out so great is their quality of service. While other fast food restaurants were trying to make the most food with as little money as possible, In N Out was focused on making burgers with the best ingredients while treating both its customers and employees with the highest respect.

And that is why they have been so successful. That is why people from all around the country ask Californians about the best burgers in the world.

:19: 5 Awesome Guerilla Ad Campaigns

:5: Mr. Clean Crosswalk

:4: Spiderman’s Private Bathroom

:3: Try It On While You Ride

:2: “Short Shorts On Sale Superette”

:1: Proof That Your Money Is Safe

:18: End of the Week

I sincerely hope your week was as fulfilling as this kid felt after that shot.

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