Archive for the ‘critique’ Category

King of Shame

King of Shame

How did this spot get on the air?

At first blush it seemed funny; Sir Mix A Lot rewriting his most famous hit to sell burgers (Question; doesn’t Wendy’s have the square burger patties?).

This is an ad for a Kids Meal (!) for crying out loud. To me it’s patently inappropriate. Like seeing one of those Exten-ze commercials during Saturday morning cartoons. (Do they still have Saturday morning ‘toons? Am I dating myself with that reference?)

I used to admire Crispin Porter + Bogusky, but lately their work seems to push the absurd and borderline offensive just for the sake of it.

What’s the saying, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity”? Boo.

Kentucky Fried Potholes

(PRNewsFoto/KFC Corporation, Brian Bohannon)

(PRNewsFoto/KFC Corporation, Brian Bohannon)

This afternoon, NPR featured a story about KFC offering to fill 350 potholes in Louisville, KY. The company is not making this gesture out of the goodness of the hearts, it’s about advertising. Of course.

On each pothole that KFC helps to fill, they are spray painting an advertising message.

My initial reaction was this is a pretty silly story. What, really, does KFC get from the whole endeavor? The effort doesn’t seem to be tied to any larger marketing campaign. And the above photo makes the entire thing look low budget. I was imagining the sprayed graphic to be something incorporating the Colonel’s face; you know, the quickly recognizable symbol of the company.

Maybe I’m being too cynical and KFC is doing this whole pothole thing in an effort to be a good corporate citizen. Also, media coverage from the likes of NPR…

Design Critique

First, and most important, can we do something to make the logo BIGGER and more prominent? I’ve done a quick sketch using the circumference of my coffee cup as a reference guide (attached) and I’m sure you’ll see the the new eagle is much easier to see at about three times the current size (I’m not sure what that is in computer picas). Everyone agrees that the new eagle logo my daughter drew is GORGEOUS, so I really want those feathers to stand out over the “Stool” info scrolling through the eagle’s mouth (beak? bill? not important).

BUT, on that same subject, Sandra, what can you do to really make the new design “POP”? I want it to really POP off the page. People get many letters every year, and I want ours to be the ones that never get thrown away — just because the POP is literally almost audible. Even in a desk drawer. I want our letters on bulletins boards because of all the POP.

Just a selection from a(n) hysterical Merlin Mann post.

Boy, I’m sure glad that this kind of memo would never happen in real life. {sigh}

If you take a job, you’ve bought into what the company does. You’re responsible. If you work for a company headed off a cliff, hey, you’re going too. The fact that you’re just doing your job doesn’t make unemployment any better. And if the company is hurting people or the world you operate in, it doesn’t matter who told you to do it, you still did it. It’s not just your job. It’s a big part of your life. And you’re way smarter than you’re giving yourself credit for. Speak up, change things or get out.

Seth Godin is so great. (via AZSpot)

Redux Rant

This was originally posted on my Tumblr site, on second thought it seems more appropriate for this weblog:

Andy Rutledge is a talented and insightful designer and opinionated critic. I consistently enjoy his work at the Design View weblog, particularly the long-running “Redux” series ( where Andy provides a step-by-step analysis of a well-known website as well as his version of a redesigned user experience).

Sadly, his latest redux leaves much to be desired. Andy turns his attention to the US government’s information portal USA.gov which he describes as “poorly designed and often confusing.” Unlike his previous redux articles, Andy brings his political views to bear on this redesign.

It’s unfortunate that Andy decided to politicize this site design. It’s also surprising, given that Andy called out popular design blog Design Observer for using their site to further a political agenda.

Andy could have provided a serious look at usa.gov (a site in desparate need of attention) instead he went for a cheap shot at the Democratic presidential candidate.

Can Microsoft remake it’s image?

Seems as though everyone is talking about the Bill Gates/Jerry Seinfeld Microsoft ads. Especially now, with the rumors that the campaign is being scrapped in favor of a new approach.

I wasn’t a fan of the first couple of ads. They came off as Microsoft trying desperately to be “quirky” and “cool”. The ads are so obtuse and odd. Though, honestly, I was willing to give them time to find their bearings. This was obviously the start of a much longer and more involved campaign. Two may not make sense, but a dozen or more could tell an interesting (compelling?) story. Which makes the news of their demise all the more strange.

And I don’t believe for a second that this change was intentional. Microsoft got some negative responses to this effort and yanked it, as a form of damage control. It’s a kneejerk reaction to some bad (confused?) press.

As for the new “I’m a PC” spots, they strike me as an odd response to Apple’s “Get a Mac” ads. Too fluffy and not nearly hard hitting enough. Taking the “I’m a PC” live from Apple and trying to own it (or wear it as a badge of honor) could prove to be a good thing in the long run. But for now it’s still Apple’s game and Microsoft is playing defense.