Best of the Pre-released Super Bowl spots – 3

Here TruTV is promoting “6 more weeks of football” with Troy Polamalu as Punxatawney Phil on Groundhog Day. I think it works great… the element of surprise is so important in these situations, and a strong connection between the surprise and the branding statement. Plus, grabbing Polamalu by the hair and seeing him in miniature, are strong comedic visuals.


Best of the Pre-released Super Bowl spots – 2

This spot has a series of stunning precocious victories in the life of Timothy Richmond… and then links it to the fear we all have when trying to find and buy a car. Well produced, nice humor combined with pathos, holds attention until the branding statement … and then leaves a strong connection between the brand and the idea behind the spot. Like the Hyundai paint spot, it works great IMHO.

Best of the Pre-released Super Bowl spots – 1

I love this Hyundai Sonata ad… strong visuals and music that create a question that holds our attention until the payoff punch. And very well written, with a strong branding statement about quality.

Flurry of tablet interest

Here’s an article pointed out by Cringely in today’s Infoworld.

Flurry Analytics see evidence of local Apple tablet testing.

Steve Jobs is quote as saying, “This is the most important thing I have ever done.”

Sports Illustrated etc. stoking iSlate rumors

You heard it here 697,423rd. Lots of talk about upcoming announcements, domain URLs that have been purchased, mysterious machines appearing, even a case last year of hari kari involving a Chinese person whose copy of a secret iPhone or tablet device was stolen.

I’ve been busy moving and starting up a new business, so I haven’t been either keeping up with the buzz or adding to it myself.

But today a couple of things crossed my desk… not quite fresh, but not stale yet either, which I’ll pass along just to prove that I WANT to be a blogger even if I haven’t been much of one for the last couple of months.

From my friend Todd Alexander comes the link to this from Time Inc… how Sports Illustrated would use such a device to combine print and video into a whole new medium that would effectively replace the magazine for many people:

Certainly this would be relevant to all the discussions last year about an economic model for the News Corps’ and Times’ of the world. The implications for both print and TV are huge.

And then here’s a Christmas weblog from TechnoBuffalo with a few plausible insights into what this device could be named and how it might work.

There are hundreds more where these come from…. including another post on TechnoBuffalo yesterday. It appears the market demand is getting stoked, the pundits are starting to weigh in, and it won’t be long before Kindle and its ilk will have another product to compete with it for market share in the high-tech distribution of print content.

Might be a good time to by Apple stock? Is this the Kindle-killer?

I’m now in Seattle for good

Ztoryteller is no longer just a blog moniker. It’s the name of my new corporation, a Washington-based LLC that will focus on telling stories for companies, colleges, humanitarian agencies … and anyone who has a story to tell and seeks help in refining the message and finding its audience.

For those of you who want to follow my personal reflections and the journey I took to get here, see my personal blog, now renamed New 2 Seattle sleuth, at

My business address is:

1100 Dexter Avenue North
Suite 100
Seattle, WA 98109


Bad videos lack authenticity, relevance

This one just came across one of my linked-in groups… a really bad video done by a firm in London to promote something called “City Gateway”. I frankly don’t have any idea what they do or why it’s significant, but they obviously spent some money and wrote a script and thought they would get the word out through the video medium.

Directorially, it makes a number of mistakes which make it almost unwatchable.

First, there’s an arrow fetish which assumes the viewer is feeling informed or enlightened by the animated arrows. What are they? What do they mean?

Second there’s a bunch of “testimonials” that are obviously scripted… you can even see the double takes in people’s eyes that reveal they’re getting told what to say and when to say it. The words come out but the face says, “I’m just saying what they told me to say.” There is absolutely zero credibility in any of those statements, and no context for understanding them. In fact, most of them are unintelligible because the music is mixed way too loud and the words are not enunciated by the speakers.

Third, it feels like some sort of committee decided on the shoot list and the “interviewee” list. There is no story at all, no personality… just “OK, we got the Indian woman, check. We got the young guy, check.”

There can be no authenticity without personality… surprise … free expression of whatever folks believe and experience.

And even if there is authenticity, it’s useless unless the piece also rings the “so-what” bell — relevance — in the heart of the viewer. You can’t get me to care by playing a catchy piece of music or including words by people from my demographic group. It has to touch me as a listener with something that makes me empathize with the storytellers.

Good production values do not guarantee good videos. Stories that are authentic, and relevant to the viewer, are the only worthwhile test of good video communication. Everything else is fail video — and not the funny kind.