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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

H&M: You Should Have Called The Media Guy!

Okay, so where am I?

I'm on phone watch hoping Karl-Johan Persson, the CEO and president of Hennes & Mauritz, aka H&M, stops monkeying around and dials me up so we can discuss their ridiculous Monkey hoodie and subsequent lame apology. Maybe before I rant and rave and tell you how a simple pre-release phone call to the Media Guy can save companies millions of dollars, perhaps I should show you the source of my consternation:

H&M: What were you thinking?
Uhhhhhhh...I'd be speechless in this case, but, you know, I'm never speechless.
In previous columns, I have expressed empathy for the CEOs of these organizations for not calling because I felt people in the marketing and advertising department would lose their jobs. But in reality, nothing happens. They just go about their days and weeks issuing lame apologies and react to the situation they caused, rather than respond to them.

In case you missed it, the term "monkey" has been used as a racial slur toward African-Americans. Just look at the picture above. In the ad, the African-American is a "monkey" and the Caucasian kid is a "survival expert." Ugh!

The "monkey" sweatshirt fiasco is yet another miserable reminder of how much more work lies ahead when it comes educating corporations about the consequences of using certain images and messaging. The Swedish clothing giant is learning that lesson firsthand.

A barrage of comments ensued, including multi-platinum recording artist The Weeknd who ended his partnership with H&M:
It didn't end there. A barrage of comments ensued, with celebs from Questlove and Snoop Dogg to LeBron James and Diddy raucously protesting (and, in some cases, redesigning) the tone-deaf ad via Twitter and Instagram. H&M also lost rapper G-Eazy who also terminated his agreement in advance of the March 1 launch of his H&M collection.

In true cover your ass mode, H&M released a statement saying it had withdrawn the hoodie from sale and would "thoroughly investigate" to make sure there is not a repeat of the incident.
As my colleagues have noted over the years, the "whitest guy in the room" should take a backseat when it comes to being outspoken about racial matters. Having spent my formative years growing up in Inglewood, Compton, Hawthorne, I know what sets a crowd off and how institutional stereotypes screws everything up.

From where I sit, it's painfully obvious that no one of color is involved with the H&M creative teams. Further their apology seems like a reluctant task rather than a duty to the communities they are hoping to retain favor with...

H&M is a huge brand among people of color. What other actionable moves is H&M going to make? They’ve supported so many popular and up-and-coming artists including Lana Del Rey, Chance the Rapper, Amason, Florrie, and Lykke Li. If H&M addresses the issue honestly and explains how they’re going to rectify it then of course it will all blow over. As we know, talent is forgiving, especially when a payday rolls around. A year from now, few will remember.

I guess what bothers me is that all of this could have been stopped with one call to me. If they would have shown me this ad series, I could have solved it all by just switching the sweatshirts from one kid to another. It could have been done in post-production with a few hours of Photoshop.

In the coming days and weeks, it will be fascinating to see what the ensuing fallout will be for H&M. Will other music artists resist associating with the multi-billion-dollar chain? What additional steps will the firm take to recalibrate its in-house attention to cultural detail?

Will they call the Media Guy?

Karl-Johan...remember this: one call to me will save could you millions of dollars...words to consider strongly.


Previous "You Should Have Called the Media Guy" Columns:

The American Red Cross
Anaheim Ducks
T-Mobile, Dove, and McDonald's

Monday, January 8, 2018

Eavesdropping at the 2018 Golden Globes

Okay, so where am I?

I'm at The Beverly Hilton on the red carpet soaking in the madness on the red carpet of the 75th Golden Globes Awards. Honestly, I don't know how and why I continue to be asked to cover this event. But, I am so thankful, because the organized chaos of an awards show held at a hotel (instead of a traditional theatre venue) is something you should experience at least once. What's it like? Take a look...

Most of you already know that the red carpet was painted black in a fashion sea of protests and Oprah practically announced her presidential candidacy with her powerful speech and Time's Up was the theme of the politically charged night. But, as you know, all of the real fun happens off camera, including Tom Hanks making sure the martinis were served on point and over $20 million of jewelry and watches were worn last night.

Hanks, the four-time Golden Globe winner, impressively played waiter for his crew, delivering a tray of martinis while winding his way through the crowd.

As always there is a no-photo rule in the International Ballroom, but the Rock arrived and everyone wanted to smell what he was cooking. Dwayne Johnson, whose sixteen-year-old daughter Simone Garcia Johnson was this year’s Golden Globes Ambassador, had a posse of followers eager to breaks the photo rule. Looking extra handsome with his salt-and-pepper goatee and super white teeth obliged all.

The Rock with his daughter, Simone Garcia Johnson, and Thor (Chris Hemsworth)
If you saw the sea of black on the red carpet you know that most of the actresses in attendance signed on to the Time’s Up initiative. Their unity hit the forefront away from the cameras after Natalie Portman announced “the all-male nominees” for best director. Kerry Washington pumped her arms and gave a high-five to Eva Longoria who was sitting right next to her. Speaking of which...

Kerry Washington vamps at the after parties while Debra Messing and Eva Longoria look on.
Yes, it was a tough night to be a guy at the 75th Golden Globes. Women were abundantly vocal about harassment and their fight for gender parity*, however men were mostly quiet. Host Seth Meyers was a noteworthy exception, acknowledging that a white man may not have been the perfect host for the movement but filling his monologue with enough self-deprecation and righteous barbs to ease any concerns – or maybe he had some smart writers. Otherwise, mum was the word for men about the subject, with their biggest statements made in the form of fashionable lapel pins.
(*) I mean multiple Academy Award nominee Michelle Williams received less than 1% of Mark Wahlberg's paycheck for reshoots of their film All the Money in the World. Yikes!

"I want to give room to the women that don't normally have voices to talk about their sexual assault and rape and I'm listening. They need to know that it's not their fault and they're not dirty and that's my message tonight." --Viola Davis

The Feud Continues? When Jennifer Aniston appeared onstage, all eyes were on the Friends icon. Well, all except two, it seems. Seated at a table near the stage, Angelina Jolie appeared to look down and ignore Aniston as she presented an award. Super Awkward. 

Golden Globes Gallery

Alexi Ashe with hubby Seth Meyers on the carpet.
Jessica Chastain and Octavia Spencer have a Help reunion.
Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel retained their throne a Hollywood's Royal Couple.
Backstage, us writers in the press room had access to buckets of beer on ice.
Obi-Wan, er, Ewan McGregor, won for his role in Fargo.
Elisabeth Moss won for The Handmaid's Tale while Connie Britton wore a $380 "Poverty is Sexist" sweater.
Penelope Cruz always dazzles.
Michelle Williams (right) with civil rights advocate Tarana Burke who started the #MeToo movement.
My tix to the show!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Class of 2017 Media Guy Hall of Shame Inductees

I've always said" "either be unique or great...or both."

So you're probably asking, why am I saying that now? Well, while doing some research for an upcoming university project, I came across a section on a college website which highlighted how much it likes “diversity and inclusivity."

First off, congrats on being proud of your very high standards that most colleges and companies couldn’t possibly reach, even with a brilliantly-written mission and diversity statement. Really, it makes then very exclusive (the opposite of inclusive, duh!).

And yeah, it’s great that you’re attracting more minorities and people of color, but at the same time, your faculty gets more and more liberal, with conservatives being increasingly rare birds.

What the heck am I speaking about? you ask...

It means that you  like diversity when it’s about stuff that shouldn’t matter (gender, skin color, sexual preferences), but less so when it affects something that should (intellectual and political diversity).

But of course, the university can’t admit this, or else there’d be all kinds of trouble. It’s such a rabbit hole, I doubt anyone could avoid the land mines  he said, shamelessly mixing his metaphors.

Maybe the university would be better off valuing “uniqueness” rather than “diversity”?

Just thinking out loud.

Speaking of thinking out loud, in 2016, I introduced my "You Should Have Called the Media Guy" column where I call out tone-deaf advertisers who would have been wise to call me before running some of their ill-fated ads. So far, I've tackled:

The American Red Cross
Anaheim Ducks

I write these columns opening wondering how advertising like this could have possibly made it past their high-paid teams teams of creatives and then when they do, they double down by spending millions of dollars in ad space to brag how clueless their ads are, tarnishing their brands along the way.

Despite my soapbox pontification, companies from McDonald's to Dove to Pepsi produced some tasteless advertising decisions last year. I mean, really? A simple phone call and a small consulting check made out to yours truly could have saved all of these companies a lot of bank.

And no, I am not always the smartest guy in the room, but yes, I AM somewhat of a savant as to why your silly commercial will or won't work. So, like the classic 1970s Fram Oil Filter commercial told us, "you can pay me now or, pay me later":

A small five-figure check to the Media Guy will save you seven figures down the road...yet I digress.

Bottom line of all of this? Don’t do what they did! So while I covered some bad campaigns already, here are three of my newest inductees into the Media Guy Hall of Shame:


I hated this commercial so much, that I cannot believe I'm actually putting this in my column and subjecting myself to potential hearing the signature T-Mobile audio cues again, and again, and again. Serious, it's great that new T-Mobile users could now access Netflix as part of their subscription. But telling me again and again, and again? I just wanted to punch my TV:

Model and John Legend worshipper Chrissy Teigen may have said it best, "The T-Mobile commercial with alternating Netflix and T-mobile sounds puts me into an anxiety inducing personal hell.” On a side note, I cannot believe I am using a Chrissy Teigen quote to validate my hatred for this ad.


How in the world would you pay money to put an ad on television that could best be described as "racially insensitive" and at worst be cased "downright racist'? Dove did just that in October. The soap company posted an ad on its Facebook page that featured a black woman taking off a shirt similar to her skin tone to reveal that she had turned into a white woman wearing a shirt similar to her skin tone. What? Whaaaaaaaat?

Dove quickly pulled the ad and apologized: “In an image we posted this week, we missed the mark in thoughtfully representing women of color and we deeply regret the offense that it has caused. The feedback that has been shared is important to us, and we’ll use it to guide us in the future.”

Regardless of their ghost-written apology, hashtags like #DoneWithDove and #DoveIsRacist have gained traction. Such a shame. One call to the Media Guy would have solved their problem. In 2017-18, you don't take chances with people thinking you aren't diversity inclusive.


In May, McDonald’s U.K. "Dad" spot shows a boy asking his mum what his dad was like. After a series of anecdotes and walking around the English countryside, the duo arrive at their local McDonald’s where it’s revealed the son and father both shared a love for Filet-O-Fish.

I'm sure you noticed that that the boy is clearly hoping one of the descriptions will line up with something that would describe himself. Alas, the boy and his dad seemingly had nothing in common, except that fish sandwich.

After the harsh criticism of the ad, McDonald’s yanked the spot and apologized. Sigh...

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Saving the Spirit of Christmas

Okay, so where am I?

Currently I'm drive straight into the hellfire known as the Skirball Fire that's across from The Getty Center threatening to shut down the freeway and burn down every decent home along the way.

God bless the first responders and the Los Angeles Fire Department for trying to save our homes, our lives, our pets, our wildlife, and our neighborhoods. Quite frankly, I am overwhelmed with the Armageddon of it all.

While I slogged through traffic my mind wandered to happier things like Christmas decorations. Yeah, I know I am supposed to call it holiday decorations, but you know, all of the decorations, EVER, are Santa, Rudolph, or elf themed. So, for my columns I am sticking with Christmas decorations...

There nothing like christmas decorations that can get me out of the holiday spirit so fast! I would have to say, I am very particular about outdoor christmas decorations. You read my previous columns railing against giant inflatables and now the latest irritation are the influx of motion detectors that flood the walls of homes with a blanket of shimmering stars or blinking lights. Now at the flick of a light switch your decorating is now done!

Christmas decorations at their perfect best.
I'm going to call fraud because with one Target or K-Mart purchase, you've become the Bernie Madoff of your block. The whole street is painfully aware of your egregious shortcut and should bring you in front of the neighborhood watch for Christmas decorating crimes. I mean at the local Starbucks, your neighbors are all bemoaning the laziness and your sharp veer from tradition.

Here's how you properly decorate your home: you get out your ladder, your trusty hammer, some small U-shaped staple nails, and a strong of lights. And not just any lights. Get the old school ones, you know, the misshapen oval red and green glass bulbs. I guess the white icicles will do as well, but nothing else.

Top Tip: Use clips instead of a hammer and nails.
Place that ladder under your house, climb up, and hammer and tap your way systematically placing those lights just below your roofline, moving your ladder inch by inch to admiring glances of passersby noting your old school work ethic. Weakening the wood in your house you say? Nonsense. All you need at the end of the season is to work some wood putty into the holes left by the nails when you take them down in January. Some nice touch up paint and your house gets the TLC it deserves. It's a small price to pay for authenticity...yet I digress...

Once you finish your uniform tappity-tap-tapping, you climb down the ladder, plug in your lights and marvel at your laborious creation. Simple, simple. But while I am at it, let's tackle Christmas cards.

There is no greater joy than opening a Christmas card with warm heartfelt message included inside. However, there are no tidings of comforts or joy for Hallmark, American Greetings, and other card markers because their annual holiday staple, the Christmas card, is ebbing from Americana, fading from the landscape of traditional communication. It wasn't long ago, the annual Christmas card exchange was one of the highlights of the season. A way for far-flung friends, relatives, and acquaintances to stay in touch.

Mailboxes were once filled with paper holiday treats, each one giving more love than the one before. Now they trickle in like water from an old pump well in the Sahara Desert.

Facebook has taken away the Christmas cards (and birthday cards for that matter). Log into your social media go to a friends pages and whip out five to 10 words wishing someone a happy holidays and your work is done, albeit half-heartedly.

How about thumbing your nose at technology and bring back the card exchange in an ode to Christmas tradition with a couple of changes:

1) The superstars of the Christmas cards are: decorated trees, holiday ornaments, Santa, reindeer, and carolers. Send me a card with one of those stars on the front of the card. If you're going to be so nice as to send us a picture of your family, remember, as adorable as you all are, you aren't cover material. The family picture should be a 4x6 print that goes inside the card you send.


2) Please refrain from your urge to include your annual newsletter that chronicles all of the details of your past year. I've been following your social media and again, this is about Santa and his merry clan of friends and helpers.

Help me save Christmas or let's just wrap New Years into a combo gift giving / celebration night into one tidy holiday.

Five Great 2017 Holiday Advertisements to Re-energize Your Holiday Spirit

Dish – Christmas Special
Santa revealing his favorite Christmas flick, which as we proved in 2014 really IS a Christmas movie...

eBay – Don’t Shop Like Everybody Else
Don’t be like these horrible gift givers...

Cost Plus World Market – The Performance
The llamas take over...

Lego – Christmas Film 2017
Sensei Wu saves Santa who is then able to save Christmas...

M&M’s – Bring Everyone Together with M&M’s
Two decades later, M&M’s unwraps its classic Christmas ad sequel...

Monday, November 27, 2017

ANAHEIM DUCKS: You Should Have Called The Media Guy!

Post-Thanksgivings are always difficult, It's nearly unfathomable to me how two days of eating turkey and unlimited carbs can set you back. So there I was struggling on the elliptical machine at the club when this video pops up of a tattooed man waltzing through an office with nothing on but an electronically super imposed black box and nothing else.

I mean who would make such a video in this sexually harassment-fueled climate? All we read and hear about are inappropriate men doing rotten things to women around the context of work. Harvey Weinstein, Charlie Rose, Bill O'Reilly, Kevin SpaceyAl Franken, John Lasseter...this list is endless...

...and then there it was...the culprit was the Anaheim Ducks!

Full disclosure: As a life-long Los Angeles Kings supporter (44 years and counting), nothing pleases me more than Anaheim ducking is all up.

So there I am jaw dropped as I watch the news report of perhaps the worst example yet of tone deaf companiesand the individuals who work for themperpetuating something that should never exist in the media in 2017...take a peek:

Okay, so where am I?

I'm waiting by the phone hoping Michael Schulman, the CEO of the Anaheim Ducks, dials my ten digits so we can discuss their brain burp. I mean, I feel for Schulman because how many people at the Ducks are going to get fired? I say this is because I can't remember the last time a major sports team making this kind of advertising mistake. This should have been an easy empty net of a happy birthday message to their parent league (more on that later). But, no, they had to be clever.

As a reformed misogynist, every time I see something like this I say, "stop and take a look around at everything that's happening in all of these industries in the world." If you don't think this is serious, look at the punishments people are receiving for their actions. Currently, the penalty is ejection from your workplace. They might not get everyone immediately, but, take someone like Louis C.K. and what they got him on. The people who make decisions on his projects are thinking out loud themselves...
"Uhm, Louis, this movie you were going to be in? Yeah, no, we aren't worried about that making this real any longer."
"Hey, you have some movies on Netflix? Not anymore!"
Kevin Spacey was supposed to star in J. Paul Getty, Part 2 and Sony said "nah, no need, Kev, we will just re-shoot every scene you were in and still get the movie out on time." This is what ejection from the workplace looks like.

There’s a lot of dreadful advertising out there, especially for sports team, but most of it fades into the superficial tapestry of suburban life. You disregard it and move on with your day. But this is a downright affront to the intelligence of anyone with an operational brainstem.

Somebody somewhere had to sit in the Orange County office and say “How are we going to make a real statement for the National Hockey League?”

"I've got a great idea..."
And someone else had to say, “Wait a minute - what if we ignore all of the headlines out there and make a video skit that screams sexual harassment?”

And then the first someone probably built on this thought with something like, “How about we pick the guy on out known for pranking people so we will have an ‘out’ should some of the overly sensitive demographic object?”

At which point high fives were exchanged and comps were briefed into a designer with an online extension learning degree, access to an Better Call Saul-like video crew, and a deep appreciation of how women were treated at the office in the 1960s.”

But here’s the most distressing part. The Ducks brass had to buy into this. Someone in charge of an actual marketing department had to say to themselves “You know what? I think this is going to work. We slap this baby all over social media and everyone without access to basic news is going to be hunched over laughing and re-watching it until it goes viral. We’re going to turn our Internet feed into the embodiment of how Don Draper and Roger Sterling treated their staffs in Mad Men.”

So did Anaheim wind up calling? Nope, they decided to issued a non-apology and evil wins again:

Here's how the smart NHL teams wished the NHL a happy birthday:


Friday, November 17, 2017

Ace the Interview...!

Okay, so where am I?

I'm doing my best to mentor some pre-graduate students on how to get a job in the ad world via the American Marketing Association's job speaker series at a local LA-based college. In these types of engagements, I like to mix it up a little bit and remind everyone that to you have to be smarter now, more than ever and not to try any of that B.S. that used to work in the 80's and 90's and even last year in the workplace.

To get their attention, I usually lead with some ridiculous ad that shows what used to pass as "effective advertising." Something like this:

Hey, the Nipple Bra used to hold sway. I mean with copy like this, why not?:

“Imagine having that sensual cold weather look all the time.” 

Yes, of course, that’s just what women always want! Just guessing here that a bunch of men created this product and then another group of men wrote the ad. Sheesh!

So once you show this type of ad, you definitely have their ears and can showcase that getting a job is harder than ever...especially in the marketing worlds.

Once up on a time, I signed up for an advertising/marketing agency internship just to get in the door. I would have had stayed at button rung of that monolith agency if not for the infamous hockey puck incident that sprung me into semi-fame and alcohol-soaked lunches.

Having a strategy for finding, applying to and landing the job you want is critical in an ever-crowding applicant pool for sought-after marketing jobs

The marketing and ad tech industry is valued at more than $110 billion according to U.S. aggregate revenue data. Revenue has increased every year since 2010. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 9% increase in employment for marketers through 2024, 2% above the average growth rate of other industries.

Marketing is becoming one of the most promising industries to make a career in, and it’s attracting a lot of strong candidates, which means it’s harder than ever to stand out.

Pre-application: Take a self-inventory.

Before you apply, you need to know what you have to offer. Don’t fail at knowing you. A healthy self-knowledge will help you convey to a company why you’re a good fit for them. You have to know the kind of environment and culture you thrive in. Do you need a quiet environment? Do you like working on group projects? Are you looking for a certain level of autonomy? Understand what motivates you, and reflect on what type of manager and leader gets the best out of you.

Ask yourself what type of work you enjoy most. An agency role might be best for someone who prefers working with multiple clients and interacting with different personalities and cultures. Others work better with a deeper knowledge of one client at a time. In-house roles may be better for this individual. Be honest with yourself about what you’re looking for and why you want it.

The research phase: Target companies that fit.

Thoroughly research companies before applying, which means going beyond reading their website and scanning social media. Talk to employees. Read stories their company leaders were quoted in. Dig into what the culture is like. Does it align with what you want? Do you have the skills required? What are the key words in the job description? If it mentions proficiency in graphic design, a high-demand skill for marketers today, be honest about your ability. If you don’t have much experience with it, enroll in a course. Sharpen your skills. Don’t waste your time or the employer’s by embellishing.

Your marketing résumé: What do you bring?

In the marketing industry right now, we’re seeing a skills gap on the technical side and a high demand for digital proficiency.

A survey of employers by the Economist Intelligence Unit revealed that candidates who are strong with HTML and CSS coding, data analytics and graphic design are getting ahead. If you’re weak in those areas, and they are important components of jobs you are applying to, invest in yourself. Take a course, shadow another marketer, pick up a book at the library. Start to learn and expand your skill set. Your résumé is your calling card. As a marketer, your résumé is held to a higher standard. There should be no spelling or grammar errors. Take time to ensure the formatting is consistent and tenses are correct. Triple-check everything. Ask someone else to proofread it, too. Your résumé should mesh with the research you’ve done on the company.

The more work you’ve done in the pre-application phase, the easier it will be to align with what hiring managers are looking for. If you noticed in your research that a job description uses certain key words, use them. Don’t embellish, but accurately describe your experience. When employers are looking at hundreds of résumés for only a few seconds each, seeing those words that show a fit right off the bat can put you at the top of the list.

Before you submit, step into the hiring manager’s shoes. What would make them pass on your résumé given the job description? Find the holes and fix them.

The interview: Be bold and win the job.

Asking good questions makes you stand out. Don’t miss the opportunity. Ask the interviewer if he or she has any hesitations about your background. Then, address them on the spot. Be open about your weaknesses and what you’re doing to work on them. This shows self-awareness, a critical skill for marketers that is hard to convey on a résumé.

Ask what made the last person in this role fail or succeed. If it’s a new role, ask what characteristics a successful candidate should have.

Another way to stand out is to come with ideas. Prepare opportunities for the company to grow their brand, suggestions of things the company could do to improve or successes they can build on. Be prepared to discuss how you would implement your suggestions if hired.

If done right, it’s respectfully bold and shows two crucial skills marketers need to have: critical thinking and problem solving. It reflects that you’ve put time in to research the company and understand what it’s doing. If it’s good, it can lead to substantive conversation in the interview that demonstrates your vision and elevates you above the pack. If you have a portfolio to back it up, bring it. If you don’t, try to build a body of work, even if it’s freelance samples that show your ability.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017


Before I get to the AD OF THE WEEK/MONTH/WHATEVER, I need to get something off my chest about the box office gorilla, Titanic.

If you think I'm going to bore you with the myth :they could have fit on the door but Rose just wouldn’t share," then think again. It's been proven (somehow) that they could not fit. I mean Jack tried to get on the door and it started to sink because they were too heavy. Pretty much that's the end of that discussion.

Any pictures of those grandkids? Nope!
What I wanted rail on is that when Rose dies at the end of the movie, she goes to that shiny Titanic in the heavens and meets Jack at the top of the staircase. How furious do you thing Rose's husband is while he waits for her at the Pearly Gates?

I mean, this lady has a wild, one-night stand with Jack and she's going to meet him at the end of her long, selfish life?

Did everyone forget that she was married and had a bunch of kids with this husband?

Did the writers forget?

She was married for decades for goodness sakes! To a good man it seemed. A man that Rose was using so she could ride horses, jump in planes, and pose for boudoir pictures.

Rose shouldn't be going to see Jack on that fresh shiny staircase. She should be going to see her husband. And right there you realize that Rose DeWitt Bukater might be the most selfish character in the history of film.

Let's draw the line even further. Kate Winslet's Young Rose was someone I would have loved to hang with in a post-Prohibition USA. Filled with moxie, highly educated, and quite adventurous. I imagine her to be quite the wingwoman as well.

It's Gloria Stuart's Old Rose that I take issue with here.

Old Rose is the villain you missed the first time you watched!
Old Rose set the stage with helping us forget. In the last few minutes of the movie, we see all of those pictures on Old Rose’s night table. Are they pictures of her family? Maybe a wedding pic? How about those cute grandkids Jack foretold as he was getting ready to die in that freezing water?

Nope. Just her. And what about that necklace.

Yeah, I get that your douchebag fiancé gave you that Heart of the Ocean necklace (aka Le Cœur de la Mer) and even though he's dead now, you really want to keep sticking it to him by throwing it overboard, but for goodness sakes, that Louis XVI diamond is worth $250 million.

Maybe it's just me that had to scrub toilets to pay a bar tab in 1990 when my original wingwoman went home with my date and my wallets, but $250 million is a truckload of cash. Oh Old Rose. Think about all of the people you could have helped by selling that gem off at Sotheby's and creating the Old Rose DeWitt Bukater Foundation. Maybe, just maybe, chucking a priceless necklace off the side of the search boat is a bit irrational.

Did I say priceless? What I meant was two hundred million dollars! Which brings us why you where asked to come aboard Mr. Lovett's private funded ship in the first place...

No, it was because of your emotional voice-cracking Titanic testimonials. The sole reason you were invited by Mr. Lovett was that he found out that scandalous drawing of a lady wearing the Heart of the Ocean was you.

Yes, he happily invited you aboard his boat, and why not? His life's work was spent studying the Titanic and developing the needed technology to explore the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean and find this precious gem. Surely you knew this going in Old Rose, didn't you?

Now that I've gotten that off my chest...

"Gorilla" - 1970
Company: American Tourister
Ad agency: DDB/Doyle Dane Bernbach

DDB (Doyle Dane Bernbach) specialized in self-effacing styled advertisements in the late 1960s / early 1970s. The geniuses at this firm brought this style to America Tourister, mocking nearly all aspects of the consumer culture.

Before the "Gorilla" spot, DDB put the American Tourister through the rigors of life, showcasing the product's resistance to accidents, clumsiness, and malicious intent. The long running campaign provided ample real estate to render more realistic instances of a consumer's life. People ran over American Touristers in cars and were dropped from airplanes. DDB took full aim at the beloved advertising icons of yesteryear, lampooning the compliant porter, the admiring butler and the Philip Morris bellboy.

The 30-second spot entirely of a gorilla (actually a man in a $20,000 ape suit) in a zoo cage, slamming an American Tourister suitcase against the bars, walls, and ceiling -- all while the stereotypical 1970s deep-voiced male voiceover calmly and sarcastically assured us that the product could withstand the beating without worry:

Dear clumsy bellboys,
brutal cab drivers,
careless doormen,
ruthless porters, 
savage baggage masters,
and all butter-fingered luggage handlers all over the world
have we got a suitcase for you

One could (and should credit) DDB for American Tourister's continued growth through the seventies. By the time the "Gorilla" commercial was winning awards, the company was one of the most popular manufacturers of mid-priced luggage in the United States. A general industry upswing in the 1970s helped the firm rise to a new peak in sales. Luggage owners replaced cases at a more rapid rate and leisure travel in general was on the rise. These trends and the company's entrance into the growing market for business cases helped the company achieve record sales.

The Gorillas of the Ad World

Bill Bernbach and Ned Doyle worked together at Grey Advertising in New York, where Bernbach was Creative Director. In 1949, they teamed up with Mac Dane, who was running a tiny agency, and together they started Doyle Dane Bernbach in Manhattan. Dane ran the administrative and promotional aspects of the business; Doyle had a client focus and Bernbach played an integral role in the writing of advertising, serving as the creative engine of the agency.

The agency's first ads were for Ohrbach's department store and they typified the new "soft-sell" approach using catchy slogans and witty humour in contrast to the repetition and hard-sell advertising that was in vogue until then. The new agency was initially successful in winning business for clients with small budgets. As of 2013, DDB has had the Volkswagen account since 1959. Their campaigns for Volkswagen throughout the 1950s and 1960s were said to have revolutionized advertising. Notable campaigns included the 1959 Think Small series of Volkswagen advertisements, which was voted the No. 1 campaign of all time in Advertising Age’s 1999 The Century of Advertising. In 1960, the agency won the account of Avis, then the number-two auto rental company. The tongue-in-cheek approach, "We Try Harder Because We're Number 2," was a major success (and remains part of the company's slogan today: "We Try Harder"). The DDB "Daisy" ad is considered a significant factor in Lyndon B. Johnson's defeat of Barry Goldwater in the 1964 presidential election and landed Maxwell Dane on the infamous Nixon's Enemies List. 1972's Little Mikey commercial for Quaker Oats ran continuously in the U.S for twelve years.

A branch office was opened in Los Angeles in 1954. In 1961, DDB opened its first international office in West Germany to service Volkswagen. Significant growth came in the mid-sixties after the firm signed Mobil Oil and the available budgets grew materially. Offices in London and other European locations were opened. Bernbach was appointed Chairman and Chief Executive Officer in 1968 when the agency was publicly listed; he became Chairman of the Executive Committee in 1976.

The impact of Doyle Dane Bernbach's creativity on advertising around the world, and the history of management crises that led to merger in 1986, are detailed in the book Nobody's Perfect: Bill Bernbach and the Golden Age of Advertising. Written by journalist Doris Willens, who served as DDB's Director of Public Relations for 18 years, the book is based on oral histories and interviews with the three founders, the line of the agency's presidents, and key creative and account people. By 1986, four years after Bernbach's death, the agency group had worldwide billings of USD $1.67B, 54 offices in 19 countries, and 3,400 employees, but showed profits declining 30% on the prior year.