Die, Twin Peaks, Die!

The worst TV series I’ve ever watched is now over. The two-part finale that aired this past Sunday epitomized all the poorly conceived ideas and brainless writing that have manifested all season long. Undecipherable plot threads, ambiguous dialog, horrible special effects, wasted acting talent, the list goes on.

The exercise is now over, thankfully. And if anyone ever pulls the trigger on another season of this swill, they should be encouraged to make a career change to cleaning toilets.

I watched to the bitter end out of a sense of fascination and the duty to watch the whole thing before rendering a final critique. Now, my masochistic streak has been satisfied for the next 20 years or so. It was a terrible show. May such never happen again.

Mr. Lynch has hung himself with this expensive travesty. Showtime should be ashamed.

More about Online Ads

Well, since my rant about Time magazine, the problem has gone away!

Now there’s a new problem from some outfit called “Ads by MapsScout” and I hate these people with a full, rich hatred. It seems every time I open a new tab I get a pop-up ad in the lower right corner with a timer that starts at 10 seconds and must run down to 0 before an “X” appears that lets me shut the damned ad off.

A pox on these people and any company that employs their services.

Time magazine all-time award winner for intrusive web advertising

I’ve had it with Time. They have finally gone over the edge with their website ad practices. Video ads that always started up could be paused before they finished. No longer. Now I have to watch the whole damned ad before I can use pause.

The smaller video ads that always popped up down on the lower right of the page with an “X” in the upper right corner could be deleted by pressing the X. Try that now and the ad instead follows your cursor all over the page.

Time magazine, you truly are paragons of intrusion. You are evil. I teach courses in advertising and marketing and I will now use you as an example of what NOT to do in advertising and electronic media. May you rot in h$##.

App Anxiety

You mental health may well be at risk if you are succumbing too often and too much to the siren call of your favorite social media app(s). Apparently our biology is having trouble adapting to the new app-reality, so our brains are chemically trying to compensate–and not having much success. Have a look at this article:


Cal State University professor Larry Rosen is quoted: “We have kind of dug ourselves into a hole where we feel the need to check in often [on social media]. You’re constantly feeling this urge or need.”

And if you fail to scratch that itch, you get anxious, thanks to brain chemistry.

Article author Denisse Moreno notes, “Once you start feeling the need to look at your social apps, you’ll start showing signs like palm sweat, armpit sweat or butterflies in your stomach, depending on how your body usually reacts when you’re nervous. Because of those feelings, you give in and end up checking your social media to make the anxiety go away.”

The solution? Control the chemistry. But that may be easier said than done….

Twin Pukes

Last night I wasted 60 minutes of my time watching David Lynch’s horrible Twin Peaks episode 8. I only submitted myself to it because I had already watched all the other prior episodes and wanted to finish watching it so I could write this review knowing I had given it a chance to redeem itself before it ended. Alas, no such luck.

Many critics are calling it Lynch’s “most surreal” episode yet (e.g. Hollywood Reporter’s Josh Wigler; IGN’s Eric Goldman said it was “bats#@*t crazy, but I loved it”). Most dictionary definitions of “surreal” include terms like dreamlike and bizarre. Last night’s episode was certainly not either of those. My suggestion for two terms would be “awful” and “miserable.” And anyone who could love it must truly enjoy being flailed with whips and chains in their spare time.

Awful story telling. Awful special effects. Miserable Nine Inch Nails interlude. Miserable zombie appearances. No pleasure to be found anywhere, except when–for a brief moment–it looked like the “bad” Agent Cooper had been shot and killed and was (I hoped) going back to the other world whence he’d come. Alas, he rose from the dead and is clearly on the way to commit more mayhem.

If the show is a ratings success, it only goes to show how low standards have come to be accepted and lack of coherent thought processes has infected Hollywood decision making.

My other example was the most recent episode of Claws. What a loser of a show. As I was only in for a few episodes, I left this one before it was over and erased the episodes I had already recorded. Sleazy, seamy, not one single character here to cheer for, save the lead’s unfortunate autistic younger brother. The whole Uncle Daddy (Dean Norris) shtick is so utterly pitiable and a waste of a decent acting talent. Terrible, just terrible.

Thus, in a nutshell, two series that are “twin pukes.”

Who keeps green-lighting these abominations?

Is Tech Killing Off Creatives?

Digital media–sometimes referred to as “new media”–have been taking ever larger pieces of marketers’ media placement budgets. And digital effects have been creating big impacts on audiences and awards juries. Now comes an Ad Age editorial by Mark Wnek claiming that highly paid and seasoned creatives are being jettisoned by agencies as they rush to recruit young techies to create ever more audacious marcom content.

(See http://adage.com/article/agency-viewpoint/death-creative-excellence/309496/?utm_source=daily_email&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=adage&ttl=1498820505&utm_visit=181161)

Wnek’s premise is that there is no substitute for creativity, and that creativity is much more than the sum of any digital tech effects. He worries that true creativity is on the wane. This is worrisome from multiple perspectives, not the least of which is what happens in a world where Philip Kotler’s Marketing 4.0 five As starts to dominate marketers’ conversations and social media eventually replace television as the number 1 ad budget medium?

This gives us all something to think about. I’d appreciate your comments.

“Like Us on Facebook” may be a mistake…

According to recent research cited in a Wall Street Journal article (https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-danger-of-assertive-advertising-1494986460) being assertive with your advertising may be counter-productive. The Journal notes, “That’s because consumers don’t like being told what to do, especially by brands they love, says Yael Zemack-Rugar, assistant professor of marketing at the University of Central Florida and one of three authors of a paper about assertive ads forthcoming in the Journal of Consumer Psychology.”

The hard sell is a turn-off; soft sell works, according to what the research seems to be telling us. Even a phrase as seemingly innocuous as “Like us on Facebook” could be holding people back from doing what you would like them to do!

Something to think about.

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