All posts tagged The Deard



Jan 2017

The Art of Persuasion in Trump’s America

Friday’s inauguration brings with it a palpable sense of doom – reckless cabinet picks, a blatant disregard for intelligence, personal lawsuits, fire, brimstone, the whole nine (just look at how mean those eyes are).

But like any other red-blooded, self-absorbed American, you have to wonder, “what’s in it for me?” What can President Trump do for an average, middle class, white, advertising stiff, like Self. Of course, most of us in the industry seem deeply opposed to having a bigoted, misogynist, greedy game show host for a president – at least that’s the view from inside our bubble.

We say, “chin up, fellow advertisers!” This could be our golden age.

Think about it. We live in a time where lying is not only fine, it can earn you the vote (or the purchase, or the respect), of millions of Americans. All you have to do is,… lie. Make up the craziest shit you can imagine. Soda that makes you live longer. Cars that go 100 miles per second. Shoes that give you handjobs. It’s all fair game.

No longer will we be held accountable to the “product warnings” or hand-cuffed by lengthy “terms and conditions.” Borrr-ing. Just make it up. Nobody cares! And be sure to promise change – you don’t even have to deliver on it, just promise. In recent testing, consumers eat empty promises up and never even bother to question them.

How many times has one of your great ideas been killed because it included  “inaccurate representations of the product,” or an “over-promise” of the benefit. Bah! This is Trump’s America. We can over-promise whatever the hell we want. 

So tough as it may be to see fellow Americans of various backgrounds lose their civil liberties, and sad as it is may be to watch rampant drilling destroy the planet, and scary-as-cancer it may be that our twitter-happy commander-in-chief could provoke a world war scenario, don’t let that hamper your craft.

Be bold. Be creative. Be questionable. These are questionable times all you masters of persuasion. And the last I checked, it’s our job to exploit the times.  

This is our time to make advertising great again. 



Jul 2015

Ice Cream With Some Branding On Top

We recently had the good fortune to work with an old friend on branding his new ice cream shop. He wasn’t so sure about this “branding” we spoke of, but he knew exactly who he was and what his shop would be. Simple, honest ice cream. Nothing fancy. Always delicious. Which was good enough for us.

Portlanders, in all their infinite, artisanal, farm-to-food truck wisdom can find new, exciting gastronomic experiences all the time, but what’s missing are the sensible ones. Dropping $20 on ice cream for a family of four – not sensible.

Let’s not forget people, this is ice cream. Sugar. Milk. Ice. Really hard to fuck up. And while Dairy Hill does in fact put out a creamy, delicious product (try the ice cream sandwich), the goal was never to reinvent ice cream, but rather, to remind us of what the ice cream experience is all about. A welcome respite from a sweltering summer afternoon. A little-league champs’ celebration. A random Tuesday night treat for the whole family.

And that’s exactly what Dairy Hill became. Your friendly neighborhood scoop shop.

Based on the empirical data provided by Facebook likes and Yelp posts, this ice-cream model seems to be just what people are looking for.



Indoor Signage

Indoor Signage

T-Shirt (Back)

T-Shirt (Back)


T-Shirt (Front)







Feb 2015

Shameless SELF Promo- The OSU Donor Book

While the rest of you gathered round the egg nog, drunk on yule-tide spirit, this non-denominational heathen was hard at work with the @WatsonCreative team, developing an outstanding little donor book for Oregon State University and Beaver Nation.

Very proud of the words we here at Self contributed, but we gots to give it up to the talented Mr. Matt Watson and his team for the slick, matte black cover and orange foil finish. Solid effort all around.

Now where’s my leftover ham?







Jul 2014

Hashtag Vs Tagline

The ultimate advertising cage match. How to sign off your brand communication. A witty hashtag? A clever tagline? Both? Too much?

Here’s the dirty little secret most traditional agencies will never tell you: tag lines are nothing but withering old varicose veins trying to woo you with a bygone era of L’eggs sheer pantyhose.

And yet, much of our job here at Self consists of writing tag lines. Every client, from the biggest footwear companies to the smallest start-ups, all want that magic little catch-phrase – they’re “quicker-picker-upper” if you will – that will go viral and create an insatiable demand for their brand.

What all these brands need, is a proper hashtag. Not too cute, but clever enough to get noticed. On brand and on strategy. Something wholly unique that everyone will remember. Something that customers can actually use.

And yes, by “use” we mean allow customers a vehicle in which to engage with a brand. But thanks to local marketing wiz-kids over at Chirpify, hashtags are now being used to convert the sale as well.

What tagline ever did that?

Winner: Hashtags.

(Professional hashtag writers are standing by)



May 2014

The Internet Will Save You

Back in the old days, before there was an internet, or email, or selfies (at this point, can’t we just change BC and AD to BN and AN – before and after Net?) all we had was religion to keep us on the straight and narrow. Commit a sin, and the fear of God will set you straight. We saw how well that worked (*ahem catholic priesthood).

Now we have the Internet.

In the recent wake of Donald Sterling and the Solange/Jay-Z elevator cage match, we are brutally reminded that everything we say and do, could be used against us. Lest we not forget the Paula Deans, Alec Baldwins, Hasselhoffs and perhaps the first internet shame-fest, Monica Lewinsky, leaked by some dubious computer thing called the Drudge Report.

As Bill Maher brilliantly argues it’s no longer just big brother who’s watching us. It’s big girlfriend. (Quick breakdown) Maher decries the Sterling case as an outright invasion of privacy. He argues, if you can’t speak your mind freely in your own home, than why did we fight against fascism and communism in the first place.

Point noted. Democracy. Freedom of speech. Privacy. Yes. All for it.

But even in your most candid state, I don’t believe, that you, Bill Maher would spew hate-filled bigoted rants. Then again, I don’t know you. And if you did, whether you were caught or not, I would hope that you would in fact become, a social pariah. Or at least stripped of any status and power you’ve gained.

Far be it from us, here at Self to cast the first stone. We’ve said some truly regrettable things in our day. And if those things were made public, we’d be unhappy – though to the public at large, Self is a relative unknown, so even a public damning of our kind would be quickly forgotten.

Let’s face it. The world is not going decent on its own. As Maher states – we’re not good people. But can’t we at least try. Sterling isn’t going to jail, or being charged with any criminal wrong-doing. He is simply being stripped of his status, and if he ends up paying the NBA imposed fines, a small portion of his wealth. And if that forces him to pause the next time he spews some evil, hate-mongering shit (which it won’t), and edit his private words and thoughts before they go viral, well, isn’t that ok?

It’s more than religion ever did for us.




Sep 2013

Last Night Went Viral

It’s no longer enough for TV’s funny men to get out on there every night, deliver eight minutes of stand-up, and then hope we’re still around after the commercials for more scripted filler before the guests arrive.

If the Conans, the Fallons, the Kimmels and the Colbert’s aren’t producing some viral worthy snippet of content at least once a month, anyone of them could quickly reside in the “Where Are They Now Files” (Leno and Letterman excluded by their own lack of  relevance and Stewart gets a pass because he’s Stewart). One can only imagine the tremendous strains this puts on the writing rooms (cue remake of the Larry Sanders Show).

But, advertisers want eye-balls. So if any one of these guys are getting said eyeballs, both in real time, and  in the days and weeks ahead, well, that suddenly becomes the media buyers norm.

The conversations go something like this:

NBC MEDIA SALES GUY: Have you seen what Fallon is doing with the toy instruments. That Xylophone is bringing us 12 million Youtube views everytime he busts it out. Boom!

JACK LINKS MEDIA BUYER: Hm, that seems pretty good.

VIACOM MEDIA SALES GUY: Yeah, if you like your audience going to Youtube for content. We like em at Colbert dancing around to Get Lucky brings us 1.5 million views. Basic cable, brah!

JACK LINKS MEDIA BUYER: Is that better? I’m confused.

ABC MEDIA SALES GUY: Kimmel’s got the time slot and the network. And now he’s got all of Kanye’s followers.

JACK LINKS MEDIA BUYER: Wait. Kanye’s got a show?

So for all you advertising creatives out there, like Self, just remember, your clients only expect something viral like, every month, or so. These guys have to do it every night.



Jul 2013

The Summer Lackluster

The big budget, action-packed summer blockbuster movie is a mystery to Self. Besides the hour and forty-seven minutes of explosions and destruction in between opening sequence and end credits, it’s become nearly impossible to tell one of these movies from the next.

Ironman 3. Shit. What happened to Iron Man 2?

Man of Steel. Different than Superman Returns (circa 2006). But exactly the same.

And now the announcement of a Batman / Superman mega-blockbuster. Something that was surely shouted out at least once during sex at this year’s comic con.

You see, we like stories at Self. Stories and characters and drama and humor. And these movies offer none of that.

Instead, it’s the technology and movie magic that drives these productions, and yes, they do get more and more visually stunning every few years. Why not limit it to just one monster budget, action spectacle every 3 years – just long enough for the technology to really improve upon itself? And while we’re at it, lets make those movies all about the technology, like Avatar did, and quit trying to tell a story.

As we all know, these movies cost a fortune to make. But a good movie, like Frances Ha, which probably cost as much to make and promote as the craft service table on the set of Pacific Rim, has the exact same ticket price, surely helping studios off-set the costs on their cinematic boondoggles.

Now, if only you could pay for the movie you wanted to see based on what it cost to produce – that’s a model that could make going out to the movies a much more attractive prospect. And it just might force studios to only make summer blockbusters, once every third summer.



Jul 2013

Carlos Danger Marketing Mogul

Anthony Weiner is nothing, if not 100% on-brand. From his birth name, to his self-ies (which, here at Self, are usually encouraged) right down to his new pseudonym – Carlos Danger – the former congressman, now mayoral-wannabe has never wavered from his true brand identity – the dick joke. And why should he?

This guy has so much more to gain as a dick joke than he ever could filibustering for New York’s 9th district. Does your kid want to play with the Carlos Danger, Lucha libre action figure or the nerdy, Jewish lawyer from capital hill? With the right licensing deals, Weiner could put his image (his face people, his face) and new name on every lunch box, backpack and skateboard, gracing elementary school playgrounds from sea to commercialized shining sea. Think of the endorsement deals with insurance companies and energy drinks alone. 

The whole thing is a goldmine for the disgraced politician and his wife, Huma Abedin. And while the family  may be facing a difficult time right now, surely a 12 million dollar compound in the Bahamas and some expensive jewelry could mend some broken hearts.

So we say to you Mr. Former Congressman, if you’re game to cash in, we’re game to help. Let’s do this!