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April 24, 2006

Mobile Office


Don't just call on your clients, park your office in front of their building!


Branding Sheep


From today's New York Times ...

The latest low-technology billboards along highways in the Netherlands are startling enough to prompt motorists to indulge in U-turns.

Or make that ewe-turns. These ads are walking, woolly flocks of bleating sheep. Early this month, Hotels.nl, a Dutch online reservations company, began displaying its corporate logo on royal blue waterproof blankets worn by sheep.


April 22, 2006

Jane Newsman's Thorn Tree Benefit


From the ever lovely and peripatetic Jane Newman ...

It's time for the annual Thorn Tree Fundraiser at Clodagh's studio (670 Broadway) on the 17th of May -- 6--9pm. If you came last time you will know what a great event it is. EVERYONE enjoyed it.

So PLEASE come this year and please bring your friends with you.

You will see from the email that all you (and your friends) have to do is
bring with you all that stuff you have at home and don't need (all the
clothes that you bought and never really liked, the CDs and books you would
like to give away, the birthday present that didn't quite work for you,
etc). The more stuff the better -- anything goes. Also we have a bar and a
pot luck snack/nibbles table so please bring something for that. And of
course don't forget your check book so you can buy lots of bargains. I
promise you will walk away with a stash of great stuff!

See you there!
All love

Click here to read how Jane first got involved in this philanthropic project. And here here are photos from last year's event, which proved to be an impromptu Chiat/Day reunion!

April 20, 2006

Peeps sculpture


Eve Luppert sent this to me for posting ...

The Seattle Times sponsored its first annual Peep sculpture contest. Entries range from the Last Supper featuring peeps (above) to peeparonie pizza and peeparatzzi. Enjoy the photo gallery you'll find at this link.

FYI, if you are in Seattle they are holding an exhibition. You know, like the Mona Lisa, you can't really "get" great art until you see the real thing.


Great new Jeep print ads

From BBDO+ Detroit


Annette Cerbone


It's "upfront" season again, which means life is very, very busy for Annette Cerbone, who was Network Supervisor for Chiat/Day NY and is still buying network advertising today!

April 19, 2006

Rosie's turn


It's Roseann (McNulty) Santamaria's birthday today! Here she is with her pride and joy, D.J. (David Joseph) who is 3-1/2 years old.

More welcomes

A jay/day howdy to lost alums ...

John Kerr ….
“I stumbled across your site, and it put a huge grin on my face. I was with C/D from 1987-1995 (end of the Biltmore era, the warehouse and the binocular building). I’m currently with Copacino+Fujikado in Seattle.
Jon Spurney … whose name I happened to run across in Time Out a few months back. The ad was for a screening of a silent film, with piano accompaniment by “Jon Spurney.” When quizzed by email, Jon said this was indeed him.
I've been providing improvised piano accompaniment for silent films at MoMA and AMMI in Queens for over ten years now. Playing for "So Long Letty" at the New York Public Library was a thrill, as it was just re-discovered; half of all films made before 1925 no longer exist, and no one had seen this film since 1924!

April 17, 2006

Some welcomes

A jay/day howdy to lost alums …

Jennifer Wilson …. who worked in the Toronto office from 1988 to 1994, where she became a planner under the guidance of both Steve Hancock and Hugh Duthie.

Steve Gordon … who worked in the art studio in New York.

Merritt Walters, now Merritt Hiles ….

I was a NY C/D alum in the late 90s starting on 5th and then moving to Maiden Lane. Now, after much sound and fury, I am settled down in Austin with my husband and working for Whole Foods Market. Can't be further from the advertising industry but, in a strange way, still enjoying the counter-culture industry factor Jay and the amazing agency introduced me to.

April 16, 2006

Airport Video


A short film made up entirely of airport graphics ...


(Thanks, Bud, for forwarding this to me.)

Mr. Bartley's Burgers

Click on the image to see it full size.

There's a burger joint near Harvard Square where all of the burgers are named after politicians. I eat here regularly when I’m staying in Cambridge and I enjoy hearing the waiters shout to the short-order cooks, “Give me a Bill Clinton and a Condi with onion rings!”

Napkins are needed. To paraphrase a lyric by Stephen Sondheim, you never know when these politician-burgers are going to run.

April 15, 2006

Ted Nelson


A few weeks ago, I put out an "all points bulletin" asking the community to find former C/D NY account planner Ted Nelson. I had nothing particular in mind. It just occured that he'd dropped off the map when he left Mullen a few years ago and I always remember Ted as being particularly bright and funny.

Within days, he turned up in my mailbox. Turns out he's running a strategy/branding company in Newburyport, MA, called Mechanica.

Just two days later, a client of the company I am consulting for in Boston asked me if I could suggest a strategy/branding company for his new product launch. I called Ted immediately and said, "Hey, Ted. I think I have a client for you!" I am organizing a new business expedition to Newburyport on Tuesday.

It pays to jay/day.

Dave Yoder

Gene Crocker, formerly of the SF office, sent me this article from the archives of the San Francisco Examiner. Besides reminding us of the tremendous contribution of SF Media Director Dave Yoder, the article provides some interesting "backstory" on the famous 1984 Apple ad.

P.S. David Yoder is on our "alumni" missing list, so if you have his email address, please send it to me.

Thursday, August 6, 1998
SF Examiner


When Apple Computer launched the Macintosh with its now-famous "1984"

Super Bowl TV commercial, the buzz the morning after was about the ad's shrewd use of Orwellian imagery. The trudging automatons in thrall to Big Brother (technology as oppressor) were set free by the Mac (technology asliberator) suddenly, totally and dramatically.

"We wanted people to look up and say, "What the hell was that?' " recalls David Yoder, a prime mover behind the iconic Apple ad.

Yoder is a long-time San Francisco advertising-business wiz specializing in technology campaigns. He did not create the "1984" spot, but was instrumental in scheduling it during the Super Bowl telecast and ensuring it went to a full 60 seconds - not 30 seconds or 15 seconds - to expand the narrative and help the ad cut through the clutter. Shown just once, "1984" became one of the most memorable ads of the past 15 years.

"I still get the shivers when I see it," Yoder says.

"Ever since then, everyone has tried to duplicate it."

Yoder, a trim 60, recently retired as vice president and media director in the San Francisco office of Anderson & Lembke. Widely considered one of the best minds in high-tech branding and positioning, Yoder has exchanged the fast-lane life associated with Microsoft and Apple accounts for hikes with his wife, Elizabeth, in the hills of Tuscany.

Although Yoder is gone, he is not forgotten.

Jim Casella, the chief operating officer for Boston-based International Data Group, which publishes computer magazines in 75 countries, remembers Yoder as meticulous and research-minded. "He was better prepared than 99 percent of the media directors in the business," Casella says.

Casella adds that Yoder is admired and remembered for his kindness. When Casella's daughter finished college and began a job search, she phoned Yoder. "David spoke to her for two hours, and not only about his own agency," Casella marvels.

A native Midwesterner, Yoder broke into advertising in 1959 as a research assistant for BBDO in New York, working the Campbell's Soup account for

$65 a week. In 1980, having relocated to San Francisco, he began specializing in tech clients. Including a stint at Chiat / Day / Mojo, Yoder has helped launch products for Intel, IBM and Sun Microsystems.

Bespectacled, moustachioed and soft-spoken, rare in a business rife with self-promoters, Yoder is low-key but authoritative. He comes across as "The Man With the Answers."

Although Yoder says he does just "one or two days of consulting a month"

these days, he is a close observer of high-tech brands and how they're positioned in media, both old (computer magazines) and new (the Internet).

"The Net," Yoder observes, "is about where computer magazines were back in the early '80s." Which is to say it's exploding, yet there's still no reliable measurement of users' sense of engagement. Indeed, a good deal of basic data about consumer habits are yet to be generated.

"It's a powerful new medium. We are still learning how to use it," Yoder says of the Net. "There are less than 40 million users. There are 200 million adults in the U.S. Of the 40 million, 48 percent spend less than a hour per week on the Net. TV is infinitely larger."

Back in the '80s, the number of computer magazines exploded, going from 90 in 1980 to 350 by 1990 and 450 today, Yoder says. At first there was a paucity of data about them, too, and advertisers were uncertain what to buy.

In response, Yoder helped develop the first syndicated marketing and media research study of the high-tech industry. Now known as IntelliQest CIMS (Computer Industry Media Study), the initial report, which surveyed 3 million consumers, helped ad buyers do the number-crunching and target their buys.

That led to demographic editions of computer magazines aimed at niche readerships. Among the first to sell demographic editions was ComputerWorld, in 1989, when Yoder bought ad space in just the parts of ComputerWorld's circulation that went to managers of information services.

Richard Marino, publisher of San Francisco-based PC World, sold ad space to Yoder for a decade, and remembers him as "a very strong advocate for research." In addition to being well-prepared, Marino says, Yoder was utterly unpretentious.

"His reputation was huge, but he never took advantage of that. He treated everyone the same way, with no distinction on title," says Marino, whose

1.1 million-circulation monthly is one of the most successful computer magazines.

Nowadays, Yoder says, computer magazines as a group are too successful for their own good. "There's just not that many dollars out there to support all those magazines," he observes. "That's shrinking the ad dollars."

Besides that, he says, with the computer contagion spreading from hobbyists to consumers and business executives, ad dollars are beginning to migrate.

"There's less money going into trade," he says. Hot titles for computer ads include established names such as Time, Business Week and TV Guide.

Ultimately, Yoder allows, the Net will evolve as a prime advertising vehicle. But for now, the Net trails TV in audience size and isn't nearly as well-developed as the specialized world of magazine publishing.

As Yoder told the newsletter Marketing Edge: "Compare (the Net, specifically the World Wide Web) to 10,000 magazines to choose from. If I want to buy hog farmers or people who do crossword puzzles, I can. What I mean is, the Web really has to get bigger in order to be smaller."

Before switching to high-tech, Yoder helped launch products and position brands for all kinds of clients. Among them: Kaiser Steel, Matson Steamship Line, Korbel Brandy & Champagne and BankAmerica. After 40 years in the ad world, though, high-tech appears to have won his heart, with Microsoft and Apple two brands that stand out.

Yoder describes Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates as "truly passionate" and "very demanding." Of Microsoft, he says, "They move very quickly. They're smart and flexible."

Beginning in the early '90s, Yoder worked chiefly with Steve Ballmer, Microsoft president, though, he adds,

"Working with Microsoft is not like working with one company. It's like 40 companies. They're decentralized. Each individual unit has control of its own budget."

Yoder was with Chiat / Day San Francisco when he began working with Apple in the early '80s. "It was an exciting time. Apple didn't always have the best products, but it had a lot of enthusiasts there to help overcome the bumps."

In Apple's entrepreneurial early days, Yoder recalls, the company's leaders "said they wanted to have a Fortune 500 company," and committed resources to advertising.

"Steve Jobs truly believed in advertising, truly believed in promoting the brand," says Yoder of Apple's co-founder and current interim CEO. Jobs looked at "the $4 million budget and told us to develop a budget for $9 million for the next year."

"Steve Jobs would even get down on the floor with Lee Chiat (Chiat / Day co-founder), and go over plans, not to write the copy, but to develop strategy. They were constantly moving and going forward."

Yoder said some consideration was given to buying time on

"60 Minutes" for the "1984" Macintosh ad, but he favored the Super Bowl for one reason:

"Today, most people watch TV by themselves," Yoder says, unlike the old days when the family gathered round the TV to eyeball "I Love Lucy" and other hits on the three broadcast networks. "But," he notes, "the Super Bowl is an event. People watch together and talk among themselves."

After the "1984" spot, "We had tremendous press. The next day we had a spread in the Wall Street Journal. There were articles on it in 57 daily newspapers."

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April 14, 2006

100 Years of Nothing


This just in from Denzil Meyers ...

April 13, 2006. 

Hello, Three anniversaries are in the air...

1 - Next week on Tues 18 April at 5:13:59 am is 100 years since the 1906 earthquake and fire that destroyed much of San Francisco. Every year, the city has a ceremony at Kearney & Market at that time, starting with a handful of fire engines blasting their sirens, then a song, then interviews with anyone they can find who was alive in 1906 and is still alive today. Its a colorful San Francisco event, with people in period costumes, vodka drinks by the Fire Department Ladies' Auxiliary, men and their 10 year old sons in wide-brimmed felt hats, and plenty of cigars. I'll be riding my tall bike, and everyone is invited. You can be at work on time, easily, so that's no excuse, even if you take a detour immediately afterwards to 20th & Church in the Mission to spray paint the fire hydrant gold with the mayor, fire department, and some real old-timers. Unless you live in another time zone.

2 - 13 April 1906 is the birth date of Samuel Beckett. Info on the rabid international Beckett centenary. My favorites are his first novel Murphy; the plays Krapp's Last Tape and Happy Days; and the story collection More Pricks Than Kicks. Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead is a Godot/Hamlet mashup, clever in a way that could only come from Tom Stoppard. The first lines of Murphy are — "The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new. Murphy sat out of it, as if he were free, in a mew in West Brompton...".    But I digress...

3 - Sometime in April 2006 will mark my own 20 years in advertising. Wow, it's been the most fantastic thing I could have never imagined. If you're reading this, thank you. And I look forward to many years more. Whatever I've achieved has been due to a total lack of planning — I've been busy enough trying to figure out where I am. Sometimes, its felt like 100 years, but only for very short periods of time. I've been lucky when it comes to timing & teachers & clients over the years. What a great way to make a living.

4 - Ok this is just a shameless plug for the annual Twilight Zone series at the Darkroom Theatre in the Mission, and for you to come see me on stage in "Escape Clause" (1963) on May 25, 26, 27 (Thurs-Sat). Its a great series — 2 different shows each weekend, 8 different directors & casts in the full run. And 4 Rod Serling impersonators. Its all in the eyebrows...

More info about all these topics on my blog. Hope this finds you thriving.


denzil j. meyers
moderating • strategy • workshops
organizational culture & consumer brands

415.643.6728 (voice)
www.widgetwonder.com (blog)

April 11, 2006

Hy Yablonka and Tom Burr

A request came in today from Chuck Phillips for any knowledge of the whereabouts of two of the people who helped Chiat/Day in its infancy ...

when chiat/day was founded in 1968 there were two minority partners: hy yablonka (jay's side) and tom burr (guy's). both were very special people in my life. i'm aware hy suffered a stroke about 15 years ago that took him out of the business (last i heard he was living in manhattan beach, california). tom was a founding principal of abert, newhoff and burr which went defunct in the late 80's. he took a job in new york for someone like dentsu and then totally disappeared. tom was my first c/d boss and a damn fine one. (some chiat/day trivia): tom was once a kid actor who sang a duet ("high hopes") with bing crosby in "going my way." he left the movie business after losing the starring role to claude jarman jr in "the yearling." do you know either of their whereabouts? (at this time of life i'm getting gun shy of asking questions like this). - chuck

[Editor's note: I remember Hy Yablonka merelly because his name was so fun to say!]

Mac insert from 1984


Some Macaholic out there has taken the trouble to scan in all of the ads from a 39-page insert from a 1984 issue of Newsweek. The ads were, of course, by Chiat/Day.


April 10, 2006

Pete Kearney



Since I was fortunate to travel from office to office for Chiat/Day, I got to know so many great people. One of my favorites was a receptionist at the warehouse, Pete Kearney. He had a wicked sense of humor, as this photo of him sitting on the potty at his daughter’s school testifies.

I got this great note from Pete the other day and, at my request, he provided me with these great photos of him and his wife, Melanie.

i stumbled across your website a few days ago and thought i would try to get in touch.not sure if you remember me. i was a receptionist at the old warehouse in la and then a broadcast assistant in the binocular building. i believe you were out there for the chrysalis meetings when i met you.

i started at c/d in february of 1992 and left at the end of 1995. i had wanted to be a writer and have since done so, working at places like deutsch, mcann (ny and seattle) plus a few other freelance places. right now i'm at hill holliday ny writing, working on verizon wireless, aol and aer lingus.

it's been a long time since those wondrous days at c/d la. but there isn't a week that goes by that i don't talk fondly of that time and place.

you know i have worked many places, and learned many things along the way. in all honesty, i can still say that c/d, more importantly the people i met there, taught me how advertising is SUPPOSED to work.

pete Kearney

April 09, 2006

And now a word about our host ...


I'd like to interrupt our usual programming for a word about me. Since leaving Chiat/Day in 1995, I have become a professional writer, with my work appearing in the New York Times and Fast Company. I even won a writing award from Ernest Hemingway’s granddaughter. I have an oeuvre. And I have been working for what seems like an eternity on a novel. But I have also kept a toe in technology, helping a variety of companies discover that information they have always thought of as "back office" has strategic value; that in a world where margins are wafer-thin, the delivery of smart data, pushed through email and intranets, can not only improve workflow, it can improve profits.

An opportunity arose a few weeks ago to work with some old friends at an e-commerce software company in Boston called Allurent. I am commuting from New York City and living in Cambridge four days a week, acting as creative director for the design of a website that will change cyberspace as we know it. I can tell you nothing about it because of client confidentiality, but it is soooo cool.


April 04, 2006

Robin Raj

From the Dede Dalton McMahon collection.

Former C/D NY copywriter Robin Raj.