As one partial to pets, especially of the canine variety, this commercial struck home. Kudos to the creators and their agency, Smith Brothers Advertising, a feisty group based in Pittsburgh.

Director - Michael Killen, Animal
Producer - Nancy Richert, Animal
Executive Producer - Kathy Dziubek, Animal
Director of Photography - Stephen Hunter
1st A.D. - Erin Killen
Gaffer - Jeff Vandermolen
Key Grip - Terry Shirk
1st A.C. - Colin Sheehy
VTR- Nathan Voltz
Dog Trainer - Christin Bummer
Dog Consultant - Nicole Larocco, Animal Friends

Creative Director - Lindsey Smith, Smith Brothers
Creative Director - Bronson Smith, Smith Brothers
Writer- Cathy Bowen, Smith Brothers

Editor - Beth Voltz, Animal
Original Music - Rob Deaner, Market Street Sound
Animator - JIm Kreitzburg, Animal
Animator - Michael Killen, Animal
Finishing - Allan Stallard, Animal
Colorist - Jeremy Sawyer, The Syndicate
Processing - FotoKem
Camera, Lights, Grip - Dan Doyle, Light Speed
Photographer's sweep - Jay Verno StudiosFilm - Media Distributors

Link to Animal Spots


Everyone’s buzzing about Google’s entry into the cell phone market, pitching itself against Apple's iPhone.

Tech analysts streaming out of the woodwork predict the Android platform will capture four percent of the smartphone market-share in this fourth quarter.

Bold predictions that will go down in a “blaze of glory”, Bon Jovi style.

Initial comparisons between the platforms suggests par value. Deeper investigations, however, reveal significant drawbacks to unsuspecting G1 phone buyers.

The G1 does not offer business e-mail security, severely limiting initial expansion into the business market.

T-Moblie, the G1 carrier is a tier-four player in the market with only 31 million subscribers. Coverage is limited to urban markets and only 21 markets maintain 3G availability compared to AT&T’s 200 markets. Sorry, Governor Palin – there is no coverage in Alaska, so you won't be able to hear Russia either.

Google’s decision to go with T-Mobile defies logic …. at first glance. Taking a lesson from Apple’s launch of the second generation iPhone and the inventory problems it encountered, Google’s strategy may well be centered upon a soft launch through a limited (read handicapped) coverage carrier generating an initial trickle in sales while the giant irons out its bugs. Sales will not surge until Google moves to a first tier player, likely to be Verizon. A smart, if not brilliant, strategy.

The G1 phone’s Taiwanese manufacturer, HTC, is a relatively new brand name in the US market (although it manufactures many of the private label phones now in use) and maintains a rock-solid reputation for its products. Cher Wang, its chairwoman, has positioned the company for significant growth beyond its already stellar reputation. Look for the company to begin its branding effort here soon.

So much for the analyst’s predictions. Google will secure a fair share of the smartphone market …. but not until the third or fourth quarter of 2009.


Having braved today's numbing traffic gridlock, with thanks to the UN General Assembly convening, I attended several morning sessions at Advertising Week .... and there appears to be a decided shift in media thinking taking place.

While the focus of most sessions was the seesawing market and the economy, there was an underlying buzz that suggested the consumer is now in control as the “ultimate integrator” according to Nick Brien, CEO of IPG’s Mediabrands. A more agency-centric view by Sarah Fay, CEO of Carat believing that as agencies become more adept at targeting, specialist services will erupt, developing strategies that are bolted together in “Frankenstein” fashion. Irwin Gotlieb, CEO at Group M, not to be left out, suggests the identification of consumer intent and the ability to act upon it is key. Finally, Andrew Robertson, CEO at BBDO Worldwide turns to the sandbox, watching how kids interact as a predictor of future media habits.

While these and other media and agency luminaries exemplify best-of-breed thinking, insisting it’s all about the consumer and the data, they are not yet themselves fully integrated with their own client’s businesses to have a real impact there.

So who’s driving the bus?
Are the agencies leaders or are they followers? Ask just about any media channel representative. While the agency insists it be included in any direct client interface (and they bristle when not included), they continue, for the most part, to mine the old mine and will continue to do so until the canary dies. The media, on the other hand, prefer to deal directly with clients simply because they can activate a strategy, moving from metrics (upon which we are all too heavily focused) to marketing outcome as a success measure.

Agency behavior must change if they are to survive in some fashion. The media channels and the data aggregators are quickly taking the wind out of the agency sails and will displace them in the short-term. Long-term, agencies run the risk of replacement if they don’t truly incorporate the process of idea integration into their tool chest.

As Wenda Harris Millard, President and Co-CEO of Martha Stewart’s media empire suggested … “The power seat will belong to those that have insight into the consumer.”


The final Broadway performance of Les Miserables was on May 18, 2003.

The video performance that follows is a brilliant execution with a unique twist that plays off the Presendential race.

Note the date on the opening credit.

Kudos to the director, JD Wlash and UltimateImprov.


I’m speechless. At an MIEG (Media Information Exchange Group) breakfast this week, Brian Reich, co-author of Media Rules!, launched into a rationale for television networks taking over the full service functions of ad agencies.

What planet did this kid come from??

The rationale and the example he uses to make his point is so far off base, it’s painful to listen to and watch him. He seizes on his need for an SUV with certain requirements that cannot be had with the information the agencies (make that the middlemen who know only half of what they should know) communicate through the media channels. SUV?? Brian, have you been reading the papers lately or watching the news? I know someone who has a bridge for sale as well.

His logic is so very twisted, it defies logic itself. It’s obvious this wunderkind has no clue. Maybe he should work for Google.

His bio states: “Brian has spent much of his life working in and around politics, including helping to direct dozens of campaigns across the country.” THAT explains it!

Frankly, I’m surprised Ad Age gave him a platform. It makes for a good laugh though.

Follow this link to the video (you must click on his thumbnail for the 9/9 clip). Comments welcome. And please don’t suggest I read his book … he obviously couldn't have written it alone.

Color commentary aside, I understand Brian is a principal at echoditto, a communications company whose work with online communities is to be applauded.


A major newspaper group is poised to announce its newest entry into the market for distribution of news and advertising, competing against the digital market. Positioned as a game-changing event in media delivery channels it moves beyond Amazon’s Kindle, Sony’s eReader, Zinio and the soon-to-be-launched Plastic Logic reader pictured below.

Lightweight and foldable, requiring no cumbersome chargers yet maintains the ability to sustain readability for the life of the product, it will set the standard for news delivery. No batteries required!! Ever.

The system, first introduced in Germany relies on image transfer to make the visual display incomparable to that of today’s devices. Its portability and ease of use with a simple, common user interface is perfectly suited to the casual or business reader.

There is no question that this platform will maintain the lion’s share of the reader market for many decades.

For a first-hand sneak preview and more information
click here.

The platform is not about what’s nifty, cool or high tech. It’s about a personal, in many cases tactile, experience that transcends many electronic devices that make up the digital world around us. It allows an escape from ear buds, chargers, screen glare and fonts the size of gnats you need to squint at. It bridges the distance between what is and what could be. All at a very affordable price.


On September 1, the New York Times ran a story on the attempts Google is making to befriend agency media folk. And as Google seeks to “displace” agencies, its real objective is to “replace” agencies … there is a BIG difference.

Google’s initial focus, playing in the traditional media sandbox, is to become the media centric agency-of-record for its advertisers. Where they go, once the media universe is conquered, can only be imagined.

It’s a long road traveled. One that is likely fraught with mounting agency suspicions, process issues (a problem that can be solved with the purchase of Donovan Data), compromised relationships and hidden agendas. Google’s expanding reach to become the single pipeline for global information, media channels, a telecom communications hub, and now an Internet Browser (Chrome) is not to be taken lightly.

But let’s not get too carried away. It will be 2020 before Google realizes many of these lofty goals. Agencies, and especially, media buying units, however, must come to grips with the machinery Google is quickly putting in place to make the media dream a reality. Jobs will be lost on both buyer and sellers sides. Strategic thinking will make room for “efficient” buying as major advertisers have no choice but to trust their ROI to the only game in town. Creativity will suffer as Google media begins to dictate creative strategy, reducing it to a numbers game.

The New York Times reflects on Google’s python-like embrace of agencies as a visit where it “typically brings in a gelato cart or a coffee bar. It has even built a replica of Google’s office kitchens. It offers free food and prizes of iPod Touches.” Google’s attempt to lure Publicis planners with “candy and bean bag chairs” may be cute for some unwitting and unassuming newbies, but it comes off as an embarrassing ploy in the face of the criticism it’s been encountering.

Google is absolutely addictive. And it appears Martin Sorrell and WPP is the single most vocal entity willing to de-tox the industry.

Martin Sorrell: Bring it on!!