When Ad Age Gets Mad, We Get All Happy Inside


Yesterday was, in this writer’s opinion, one of the finest days in Ad Age’s history. Maybe not in terms of breaking news stories, but in just sheer, unadulterated snark. And while neither piece we’ll address here has anything explicitly to do with design, they’re both some good doses of fun and maybe there’s a few what-not-to-do lessons burried in there somewhere. First was Simon Dumenco’s (aka “Media Guy”) on a series of terrific rants about things recently that have burnt him up: “You Have Got To Be Kidding Me! (Please Tell Me You Are)”. Primarly among his many woes, and something we were snickering about in the office yesterday, was the Magazine Publishers of America rolling out their new mascot/campaign:

Last week a dork-ass faux comic-book character — “the muscular Captain Read,” as the Magazine Publishers of America (MPA) put it, “complete with crimson tights, a black cape and a lightning-bolt ‘M’ for magazines on his chest” — went around to media-buying agencies to hand out fact sheets. The occasion? Something called Magazine Accountability Week. Good Lord!

Next, and perhaps the thing that got the most audible laughs to anyone we showed it to, was the blessed Bob Garfield’s take on Wal Mart’s attempt at taking on MySpace, which reminded of that Mr. Show sketch wherein a crochity psycologist wears a wig and pretends to be a teenager (“Ooh, fellow teen, you’ll be the death of me!”). It just reeks of any company you’ve ever worked for where the 82 year old CEO comes in and says, “Let’s speak the language the kids are using.” Here’s just a sweet little taste to get you salivating:

In fact, it’s totally not well-executed. It’s the most not-well-executed ever. The site…is called The Hub. It’s a hybrid of an ordinary webpage and a social-networking engine a la MySpace.com. Little Tyler and Kayla can customize their own pages to declare their own styles and see what Justin and Madison are up to, too. Here’s a sample Hub post from “Holly” — who happens not to be a random Hubster, but a child actress with grown-up ghostwriters. Bad grown-up ghostwriters. (Warning: If you are squeamish seeing others embarrass themselves, this would be a good time to turn the page.)…

Keep reading. It’s loads of fun.