08 February 2014

Life is a Beautiful Sport ... Lacoste 2014 Campaign

In a world of fashion brands and magazines and Terry Richardsons (and the many impresarios funding those of his ilk) and reality TV shows and the Internet seemingly sexualizing our culture (and our young kids) at every turn, it's nice to see an advertisement that can celebrate the first kiss in such a bold fashion. That's it.  Just a kiss.  And what a kiss.  Note: to see the ad, scroll down below the fold.

The "first kiss" ... powerful thing, that.  My first kiss was when I was 5 or thereabouts. Samantha King, who lived across the street from our family, she and I were both in kindergarten, and it was a purloined kiss, stolen in front of the entire class.  Our teacher had us playing "around the world" where she would hold up vocabulary cards, and whoever said the word first, that child would stand behind the next kid trying to defeat the entirety of the semi-circle of kids.  One joker was making his way "around the world," slaying all comers.  He'd stand behind each child in a one-on-one competition, reading "cat" or "ball" faster than the kid seated before him, letting out a "hmmph!!" each time he'd clobber some hapless knuckle-dragger.

Samantha was seated next to me, and ole joker was now behind yours truly, with his cold little fingers gripping the back of my plastic chair. The teacher pulled her next vocabulary flash card.  "Classroom!" I shouted. He was no match against a future and confirmed sesquipedalian, and I pumped my triumphant fist in the air. Then in one singular motion and in the exact fashion of that 1970's game show, The Newlyweds (whenever the husbands would get an answer correct, they'd always kiss their wives seated next to them), I proceeded to plant a firm and unmistakable wet one on Samantha King, seated next to me, and her soon-to-be-bright-red cheek.  Boy, oh boy, did pandemonium break out. It was glorious. Today, there would be lawsuits, suspensions, and newly fashioned guidelines about how to properly play "around the world."

As many a reader of this space knows, I am the Anglophile at heart, but as a good Frenchman (Cajun boy, actually, by way of Canada, where they occasionally get the breezes) I will of course rock the Croc e'ry now and then.  Lacoste has boldly gone forward with their "Life is a Beautiful Sport" ad campaign this year the likes of which will only help pad their $2billion plus in annual revenue.  Good on them.

I read a recent article about the BETC agency in France that produced this spot for the campaign they pitched to Lacoste.  It's a nice read if you're into that sort of thing.  My gig as head of marketing keeps me firmly ensconced in such ephemera, but I like the storytelling aspect about this brand campaign very much.  When you watch this spot, notice his nervousness, the false starts and hesitation both on the rooftop and at the table.  It's a sweet, bold spot, that nicely captures his flailing about mid-air, bringing his legs and arms akimbo into something of a smooth landing for a first kiss. The rest of the campaign is equally spot-on, with men and women active, walking and perched in the air, strong vision and vantage of what's happening in the busy city, and what the future holds for those like-minded Lacoste loyalists and aspirationalists.

I shared this ad with my two sons (16 and 13 respectively).  The subject of first kisses and dating has come up quite frequently as of late.  My sons look like their mom, which is a good thing for them and their future girlfriends, believe me. I've shared some advice in this regard, but only because I've been asked.  My main advice?  Don't do as I did, but be a bit more suave. Don't bumble and stumble, but be brave, bold, self-assured, and .... humble.  It's not the cocky, but the confidently sweet who make the best first kissers, er, in this rather paunchy, squishy fuddy-duddy dad's opinion.

06 February 2014

always buy belts when they're on sale ...

$3.99 for a fine leather belt is a pretty good deal, especially when one considers the belt originally fetched $59.00 at my local Banana Republic in Malibu. When one comes across such a sale, as i did today, one would be a certifiable, interminable and insufferable fool not to jump at such an opportunity as one does not come across such moments of transactional thievery unless serendipity herself deigned deliver us the chance.

there is an immutable, irrefutable fact of life that the universe ebbs and flows at various times in our lives, bringing in all sundry of flotsam and jetsam of which to steer clear or embrace; occasionally, the tide rolls out leaving behind beached opportunities that striking at like a pitted viper is de regueur.  daily we find ourselves perched on the horns of our quotidian dilemma staring at us in our collective face, Dear Reader:  sometimes the once-in-a-lifetime fire sale is a chance to date the most beautiful girl in school.  other times it's the choices we face for an affordable college experience for our kids.  should we have put a portion of our paycheck into that 401-K 20 years back when we first started working?  does walking 4 times a week really impact my health?

to this day i have regrets about a cashmere scarf i purchased in New Orleans at a television producer's conference (NATPE, pronounced "napte" ... don't ask me why) where i was pitching an animated project my partners and i had invested in (which included my then in-laws!).  my regret?  not buying 5 of these scarfs (they were on sale for $9.99, a full $100.00 off) when i could have.  imagine how great the regret i have for the real decisions i fumbled in my life! i would embarrass myself to no end and bore you to tears, Dear Reader, should i enumerate that rather exhaustive and indelible list.  but, here's the truncated, top three on the list:  (1) going to law school with loans (2) my divorce, and (3) not risking all to pursue a writing career. somehow, i'm sure that list is related, intertwined emotionally in a knotty unspoken way.  good gawd that was a rather gauche list gushing way too much sentiment and seriousness, which i regret already (damn my regretting my regret!). do forgive me, won't you? 

je regrette, Dear Reader?  do they fall somewhere in between a $3 belt, a $9 scarf and a costly divorce in every sense (where our hero/victim/villain still dreams about his ex)?  if so, share with us down below, won't you?

for my next post, i promise i'll share with you the way I loooove how in certain British film men and women go around telling complete strangers that they have decided that they and said stranger are soon to become complete and utter best friends. i've seen it several times, and i like it very much each time.