Microsoft Songsmith Ad Crushed By Blow-up Condom Animals

Let me start off by just squashing all of the “you can’t compare those two videos” kinda comments. Because two things: a) I am fully aware that these ads are not going to run against each other, are in completely different genres, and that the Durex ad will most certainly be blocked and prevented from making it to televisions in the US, and b) I just don’t care. These are just too hilarious when viewed next to each other.

Microsoft Songsmith ad

Watch this ad for Microsoft’s new application Songsmith, which will operate only on the Windows platform (thank god). Please, try to watch the entire video so that you can fully see what I’m talking about:

Inspiring, huh? Makes you wanna go out and start making videos with your band, or quit your day job to become a dingle dong…err, or maybe not. Maybe, in fact, this is one of the worst promotional videos ever created. (Credits go to Techcrunch for the find.)

Durex Commercial

I don’t even think there’s a point in introducing this video. Just watch, and enjoy.

This video is just hands down awesome. It’s one of the better ads I’ve seen in a long while. It says, very clearly (at least to me), “You can have lots of fun having protected sex. Condoms don’t stand in the way of you having a blast (no pun intended).” Nevermind the fact that it won’t be shown in the US. It’s creative, engaging and just the kind of video that will enjoy rampant You Tube success.

(Important to note: the Microsoft video will probably get far more views on You Tube, but I think it will only reinforce their struggling brand identity issues.)

Wrap up (pun intended this time)

I’m not entirely sure what is going on with Microsoft’s advertising efforts lately. It’s clear that they’ve been getting worked over by the Mac vs. PC ads, but they are just fishing for gimmicks, and failing miserably. The Jerry Seinfeld / Bill Gates ads were horrendous. I actually liked the “I’m a PC” campaign, but it didn’t fair too well in the market either. This however, should never make the light of day (beyond the hundreds of thousands of people who’ve already viewed it on video sharing sites). It is attrocious.

The Durex commercial is just pure fun. It’s creative and carefree. Remember, it’s not like Durex is the market leader, nor the media darling in its space. Trojan owns 70% of the market share, and has had quite a bit of success in its recent campaigns. They definitely deserve credit for taking a risk on this one, especially because it won’t ever be viewed in the States.

So while these videos aren’t an “apples to apples” comparison, I think it’s totally fair to say that one has taken the right route, while the other continues to flounder. (All inuendos appear in this article free of charge. You’re welcome. Hehehe.)

What should I write / post, and where should I put it?

I have come to a bit of an impasse with my blog, and all of the other personal properties that I use. The blog that I currently use at GregHuntoon.com isn’t built for the length of posts that I prefer to write, and as such, I don’t write often. The design (ironically) looks unbalanced when you don’t write a 5-pager, and so I have a backlogue of half-finished articles dying in the sea doomed to irrelevancy for being untimely.

Another issue that plagues me is my portfolio. I appreciate it when designers keep their portfolios up-to-date, allowing others to participate in the evolution. But I don’t really want my portfolio and my blog to be the same site. Main reason being, there are a handful of topics that I want to contribute on, but I fear that a project post about my latest launch sandwiched between two lengthy articles about parenting and a trip to Africa will splinter my readership. I am looking for the way to best collect my work and my thoughts, but I’m not quite sure that they all need to be collected in the same place. Many people do take that route, but it usually comes across disjointed, and is they’re trying to shove a round pegs into square holes. I want it to be easy for visitors to participate in the thoughts and ramblings of a thirty-something new dad, who happens to like to cook, discuss sports, and talk about photography and design, without alienating the people who’d just like to click through my portfolio, and vice versa.

I guess what’s funny about this discussion, is that I currently have the two different functions of portfolio and blog separate already, with GregHuntoon.com and 417north.com, my portfolio site. Instead of just doing it, and keeping my mouth shut, I’d like for this post to serve as part of my inventory process. I need to streamline the online sites and apps that I use to write and manage my online content, as I feel too thinly spread out at times. On a daily basis I keep 3-4 Twitter accounts up-to-date, write blog posts for this site occassionally, rarely update my portfolio because of the tedium of doing so, and sporadically post to my Tumblr, Posterous.com blog (which is a new site I suppose I’m just evaluating), or any of the other umpteen micro-blogging and social community sites / services that I hold an account with. I could use my Ping.fm account to simply write once and post to all of the various sites, but that seems disingenuous.

The only thing that I know for sure right now, is that I need a new design for GregHuntoon.com that can be a catch-all for my digital life. Here are the content dilemmas that I really want the next incarnation to address:

  • a new design that is built so that all blog posts will look great, regardless of length or content
  • I need to make it easy to post thoughts, articles, portfolio pieces, photography, videos, and other content, without having to stop and think about what goes where
  • a sidebar widget and dedicated homepage real estate to feature pieces from my portfolio (whether those pieces are pulled in from some other off-site location or not)
  • an elegant and inviting display of my Twitter feed, as this is the most updated and interactive piece of content I have to offer
  • dedicated spaces for my Last.fm feed and Hype Machine feed, which is actually updated more regularly than Twitter since music is always playing (and scrobbling), whether at work, hanging out with the fam, driving, or on my bike
  • my Flickr feed (there are a thousand different great solutions for this…the least of my worries)
  • and possibly to round out the content objective, a page or section devised to pull back all of the various bookmarking, reviews, and other worthwhile participation around the web (on sites like yelp.com, del.icio.us, digg.com, etc.)

As I write and think about this more, I realize that I would like to keep my portfolio on site and archive 417north.com, but it will require me looking for some help in writing a custom plugin for WordPress to help manage the portfolio. I definitely want the posts sequestered away from the main content, because some people don’t like it when their ketchup touches their salad…even if ketchup is one of the main ingredients in Thousand Island. You get the picture.

I’ll keep talking about this as I go through this transformation, and I’d love to hear (and see) how you or someone else has elegantly addressed these same concerns. Jason Santa Maria does it quite well, and I’m definitely paying attention to his deft management.I just don’t have the time to keep up a portfolio on my own with great customization. I just want to post screen shots and project details when I’ve got new stuff to share.

Does anyone out there know of a hosted portfolio tool that allows you to pull your uploaded projects offsite via XML or an ultra-customizable widget? Carbon Made? I know that Behance.net doesn’t allow this yet, as cool as their service is. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Do I have the foreign policy experience to be Vice President?

Does anyone else find it incredibly scary that a woman who could conceivably become our commander-in-chief has only visited 3 countries in her entire life? Well, four, if you include Canada. Five, if you include Russia, because she can see Putin and his planes circling from the kitchen where she cooks dinner every night for the local hockey team.

But here’s a disturbing fact: Sarah Palin had to apply for a passport in 2006, so that she would be able to go visit Alaskan National Guard troops in Germany and Kuwait (and there have been recent assertions that she also visited Iraq on the same trip – recent changes to previous statements that did NOT include Iraq on the trip’s itinerary…odd).

Let me make that clear again. Sarah Palin, Governor of the great state of Russia-bordered Alaska where the KGB is a stone’s throw away, a woman who is one 72-year-old’s heartbeat away from the Oval Office, never left our country until 2006. Shit, I keep forgetting Canada. She had left the country before 2006, when you include Canada.

No one is suggesting that you need to have backpacked Europe, climbed the pyramids in Giza, or looked down from the snows of Kilimanjaro. There are not any travel requirements when applying for this position. Apparently there are very few requirements at all.

But as someone who has traveled outside the American viewpoint, and who has seen the way that other people in this world live, it is saddening to me that such a sheltered person is being considered for such a powerful position. We tout ourselves as leaders, beacons in the world for justice and equality. We cite our ability to fight for the disenchanted and to rally support for those in need. Whether or not those things are true, wee see ourselves as world leaders on so many levels, and yet somehow this candidate has squeezed into this race without an ounce of international experience. You don’t have to work in an AIDS hospice in Lesotho (that’s in South Africa, by the way) to pass these tests Ms. Palin, but I would hope that you’ve at the very least had the opportunity to learn how to say “hello” in a couple of different languages. “Hola” doesn’t count. Neither does “Ey” or “Ai” for the Canadian and Inuit greetings, respectively.

As a global citizen, and the husband of a woman with dual-citizenship, I really hope that we choose someone who has a little bit more of global perspective. The world is a far different place than America, let alone Alaska. This is not an election for the president of Earth, but since we call our president the leader of the free world, isn’t it important for that person to know what lies beyond Anchorage? I know it’s not all Northern Exposure up there, but I think it’s a much simpler life than the metropolitan speed of LA, NY, or DC, and without a bit of foreign experience to balance, I think you are unfit (on yet another level) to run this country.

I have a well-stamped passport and have lived in a 99% Muslim East African country. By your measure, doesn’t that make me like the grand poobah of foreign policy experience?

Surely it does not. But at least I know I’m unfit for that position.

Peter in Kauai

Our friend Peter, the master visual storyteller has done it again. I am sufficiently bummed out to be sitting here behind my desk working due to checking out one of his photos on my morning run through my feeds. My friends’ photos feeds come to me on my phone, and then I’m on the computer checking out the full set if I need to see them bigger. And now I’m trying to think of ways that I can convince my fiancee to agree that Kauai is the best place for us to move and spend the rest of our lives.

Due to Peter, I’ve wanted to move to Egypt on many occasions, to the Bay Area, to Hawaii multiple times…culminating with this latest set in Kauai.

Live it up Pedro. Life is good. Travel is king.

God? Really?

Belief In God?

Honestly people, do you really look up to Bush as a man of character, an honest God-loving man? One lady from this article on CNN.com certainly does:

“He’s a man of character,” said Cheryl Cheyney, a school bus driver from Cumming, Georgia, and a Republican. “He’s very honest in the things he says. I agree with his belief system, the way he believes in God and is not afraid to show it. That’s very important to me.”

How are any of his actions driven by a belief in God? Doesn’t anyone else see the horrific shadow of the Crusades in this mission? The situation in Iraq has turned into something completely devoid of truth and merit, logic, heart, or faith in God.

Continue reading God? Really?