• Cactus Unveils New Work For Westwood College

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    Here’s a great example of a local agency taking the reigns and raising the bar for a Colorado-based client. This spot managed to capture our interest when we first saw it on TV. It stood out in its non-typical approach to direct response. It’s an especially good execution for an industry notorious for producing spots with one friend telling another—over coffee, over the phone, in passing on the street, etc— they should look into [insert name] College if they want a better life. This spot presents the information in a fun and amusing way, leaving us feeling good about having seen it.

    Cactus tapped Denver-based Fueld Films to produce the spot.

    You can learn more about the thinking the Cactus crew put into the spot, and view two of the banner ads produced in conjunction with the TV on the Cactus blog site, here.

  • Colorado Agency News

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    > The1stMovement added two new clients, including Fred Segal Couture and Comcast Entertainment.

    > Melissa Youngpeter was recently hired as a Field Administrator at Saatchi & Saatchi, Denver.

    > McClain Finlon had another round of layoffs, with pretty much everyone not connected to an existing account receiving paid severance. The head count is around 20.

    > Alan Wolstencroft has been named Executive Creative Director of Vladimir Jones, the 38-year-old, $53 million agency that specializes in integrated marketing, advertising, communications and insight.

    > From the rumor mill, we heard Karsh\Hagan has turned down the opportunity to participate in the McDonald’s pitch. Fallout, TBD.

    > cypher13 Design Studio just wrapped up their new boutique online store offering up their latest line of super limited edition tees with new additions all summer ranging from hand-made custom toys, to fonts, to apparel.

  • An Open Letter To Denver’s Creatives

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    An Open Letter To Denver’s Creatives,

    This letter is part apology, part thank you.

    First, let me introduce myself. I am hack boy. Now I’m sure that last sentence has raised the ire of some of you reading this. Those people are the reason behind this letter.

    Over the past week or two, the negative power of some of my comments has been brought to my attention, most recently at Thursday’s party. This has led me to do some soul searching, and I realize I do owe everyone an apology. While I always look to stay focused on the work with what I was saying, how I was saying things at times made it personal. This was never my intent, and for that I am truly sorry.

    There are no right answers in our industry. This is what makes what we do so challenging yet so rewarding. While an accountant can look at their work and know they’re right when column A and column B add up to the same number. We don’t have that luxury. All we have on which to judge the “correctness” of our work is opinion. And there are many layers of opinions, which go into any final execution. First is our own, when we’re sitting around creating the work. Then comes the creative director when we first present our ideas. Then there’s the client who sees only what made he first two cuts. Sometimes the client’s opinion move the process forward, sometimes it takes us back to square one. Then consider the fact that even if you do get something through and produced, it’s simply one of an infinite number of possible solutions. We are pretty much guaranteed there will be someone out there with a solution someone will see as just as good if not better. And you can pretty much be guaranteed your peers will have their opinion.

    It can be a brutal process that can take a toll. After all, as creatives, we pour our hearts and souls into what we do and rightly so. That is the definition of passion. But our passion for what we do can also lead us to lose perspective. Every time one of our ideas is criticized, it can seem like an attack on our very being. I understand this, as I am the same way. There are times when I beat myself up if I’ve got nothing for ideas, and I get a little tweaked when someone doesn’t love one of my ideas. It’s simply human nature. But what has allowed me to remain in such an emotionally tough business for all these years was one simple statement by a creative director who got it and got me. He told me, “Any comment I make about your work, whether positive or negative, is simply that a comment about what is on the table in front of me.” He helped me realize I needed to separate myself from my work. I needed to balance my passion with perspective.

    Those who know me well, know I am passionate about this business. There is nothing better than the feeling of landing on a great, creative solution that moves the needle for the client. My passion is why I get worked up when, in my opinion, I see great opportunities go unfulfilled. The operative phrase here being “in my opinion”. I have to commend The Denver Egotist for what they have set out to do. In their opinion, Denver has the potential to be a creative force on a grand scale, and to their credit, they are attempting to help us achieve that goal. I also have to curse them for baiting me to the point that I lost the balance between my passion and perspective. In turn, I have to thank my fellow Egotists for calling a spade a spade and helping me realize this.

    Just as life is a grand experiment, we are an industry of trial and error.

    From the first day we decide to become art directors, designers, writers and such, we enter this industry as students. This doesn’t change once we graduate from school. Once we get into the field, we begin to learn the dynamics of agency life. We learn how to share ideas. We learn how to blend our ideas with the ideas of our partners to create even stronger ideas. We learn how to critique our own work and the work of others. We learn it is not always our idea driving us. We learn how to sell our ideas. We learn there are times to draw a line in the sand and steadfastly defend an idea, and there are times to simply write it off as a loss. We learn to separate our personal feelings from our professional opinions. We learn how to be objective while remaining passionate.

    While my experience to date on The Denver Egotist has to say the least been eye-opening, I whole-heartedly believe the site is what Denver’s creative industry needs. But in order for it to succeed, we need to keep our perspective and we need to participate. There is an incredible abundance of experience and wisdom within our state, and we need a vehicle where we can all learn from that knowledge. This means creating a venue where what is being said carries at least as much weight as who is saying it.

    As a freelancer who has most likely burned a few important bridges with my comments, I am the perfect example of why there are times when remaining anonymous on The Denver Egotist can be good. If you feel you have to remain anonymous, please choose to remain anonymous over choosing to simply not comment. At the same time, please don’t hide behind anonymity in order to make unproductive personal attacks. On the other side of the coin, do not chide others simply because they choose to remain anonymous. An open exchange of thoughts and ideas will help us all become better creatives. In turn this will help improve the way our community is viewed as a whole. We need to keep the conversation going, but, as I have learned, we need to do so in a productive manner. I offer myself up as an example from which everyone can learn.

    I have said my peace, so please let me once again apologize to those who I have injured with my comments. That was never my intention. I simply hope we can all rally around the efforts of The Denver Egotist and make Colorado second to none for ideas.

    Sincerely,
    Jeff
    The poster formerly known as hack boy

  • The Egotist Interviews: Mike Sukle >>

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    In any market across the world, Sukle Advertising + Design would be considered a serious force to be reckoned with. The very term itself, “force,” probably brings to mind a shop filled with hundreds of people, owned by a massive holding company with a client roster of household brand names. Sukle Advertising + Design, and its creative director who incidentally shares the same name, is a different type of force entirely. One that is lean, mighty and destined for greatness. One that is emulated and admired by those huge conglomerates for its speed in concept, creative ingenuity and ability to grab big brands and small brands alike by the balls and get attention based purely on great ideas. One Show Magazine called Sukle Advertising + Design an agency off the beaten path to watch. After talking with creative director and principal, Mike Sukle, it’s clear the shop won’t be off the beaten path for long. Read the interview.

  • Inspired by Surf

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    The birds are chirping. The sun is shining. And the temperature is perfect. But it all has us feeling a bit landlocked today and thinking about the ocean. So, we thought we’d share two surf-centered projects – one locally produced and another sponsored by Nissan – to help scratch the itch. Lovely work on both fronts.

    Las Chulas: A Coming of Age Surf Documentary

    Las Chulas is a character-driven documentary about coming of age and finding a place in the world. The story follows the lives of three unique young girls living in present day El Salvador as they face the challenges of growing up in a country rife with gang violence, drugs and poverty. Living in a small port city less than 30 miles from the capital, the girls discover surfing and with it, a newfound sense of their own potential and the possibilities of a life beyond the everyday despair that threatens to smother them. Learning to surf despite such seemingly overwhelming challenges as not even knowing how to swim, each of the girls lives fundamentally changes as surfing becomes more and more a part of their daily reality. For all three girls, surfing is an enormous part of their lives, but rather than circumscribing them, surfing opens the doors to even more audacious ambitions.

    Denver-based Equipo Roca and Futuristic Films are collaborating on the project. The film has at least another year of production, based on a 4 year journey.

    Pororoca X-Trail Amazon Project

    Hoping to turn out a series of adrenaline infused commercials for Nissan, professional surfers Jon Rose (US), Mar Ohno (Japan), Sergio Laus (Brazil) and an entire film crew were flown down to one of most isolated and unique breaks in the world.

    The wave, called Pororoca, is a tidal bore at the mouth of the Amazon River. It’s created when the leading edge of the incoming tide from the Atlantic forms a wave that travels up the river. Still a secret to most, the wave has developed into somewhat of a legend amongst surfers and an annual championship has been held there since 1999. Nissan put together this short film documenting the trip, as well as the wave. Additionally, Surfline has a fun little sideshow with Jon Rose detailing the entire adventure.

    (Via marktd)

  • Thank You, Sukle

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    The (real) Denver Egotist would like to thank Sukle Advertising + Design for taking over our site today. Nice job, guys. Seriously. (Check out the posts with orange titles starting at the bottom if you’re late checking in today.)

    The contest to win a date with Mike Sukle is real, FYI. So send in your pics if that’s something you find intriguing. Also, check out the interview we did with Mike to get a sense of the greatness behind the shop that so many admire here in Colorado and far beyond.

    Stay tuned for more Denver Egotist site takeovers by individuals and agencies throughout the coming months. If you’re interested in doing it yourself, send us an email and let us know why it’d be a good idea to turn over the reins to you.

    See you bright and early Monday morning. Suckers.

  • It's On

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  • New Denver Zoo TV and Radio

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    Continuing with our zoo theme for the day, here’s new work from McClain Finlon for the Denver Zoo. It’s nice to see something coming out of McClain besides bad news and a steady flow of employees.

    Denver Zoo houses 4,000 animals representing over 700 species. Since 1997, the zoo has participated in more than 300 animal conservation projects around the world and in the United States. The strategy for the past two years has focused on educating visitors and potential visitors on the zoo’s conservation efforts. The challenge is to do in it in a fun, kid-friendly way.

    This year’s work includes a new :30 TV spot and a new :60 radio spot. Working with the tag the agency developed two years ago, “Preservation included with admission”, the new work lets kids know that simply by visiting the zoo, they’re helping animals. The ticket for admission becomes the hero.

    Media includes Saturday mornings on CW2 and Fox, as well as Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and Radio Disney.

    CD/AD: Mike Weed
    ACD/CW: Ryan Johnson
    AGENCY PRODUCER: Lindsay Wakabayashi
    PRODUCTION/POST/ANIMATION: Oh, Hello, Seattle
    MUSIC: Singing Serpent, San Diego
    MIX/SOUND DESIGN: Paul Vastola, Rocky Mountain Recorders, Denver

    Check out the radio here.

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