Trends, commentary, and insightful rants from the bleeding edge of advertising, content & branding.

Kid Rock

I don’t like precocious children. But what kind of joyless cynic would deny these two their props.

From the boldaslove blog:

The Bots are two brothers, Mikaiah Lei, 16, and Anaiah Lei, 12, sons of a Chinese father and an Afro-Caribbean mother.

Shout out to ’68’s Brian Tate, who sent me the link to this video.  It was forwarded to him by his guitarist, Eddie Alsina, who said in a note, “. . .they rock tha fuck out.”  Actually, The Bots performance is quite impressive, given their ages.

Their site says their sound is a combination of Punk, Ska, Rock and Reggae, and that they cite The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Rancid, Bad Brains, Led Zeppelin, The Artic Monkeys and Vampire Weekend (to name a few) as their influences.

Filed under: Cool Hunting, Music, supergenius llc, Trend Spotting

Welcome to the Paradise, “New Media” Slumdogs


Child Corn Picker

Child Corn Picker


Lost in all the hype about New Media! And The Democratization of the News! And Newspapers are Dying! Is the fact that the information phase of the information revolution we’re in right now kind of blows.

We are working harder than ever before to find cool and interesting stuff. Between Digg and StumbleUpon and Reddit and MetaFilter and Facebook and Twitter, we are the ones who vote on the news, send it to the top, and retweet the hell out of it to make sure it gets massive and unprecedented exposure. It’s a simple system, inarguable for anyone who has faith in democracy.

I no longer have faith in democracy.

Here’s the problem. I don’t want to do this much work to find stuff I want to read. For every interesting take on Google vs. Facebook, or a solid analysis of the Iranian nuclear question, there are about fifty useless posts, either lists or lols or scraped content. My Twitter feed has become a series of Burma-Shave signs, haikus leading down a road to nowhere. I may be able to read anything I want, but I’m doing all this work to find it, and by the time I get it, I’m no longer interested.

Information is out there. But we’re doing all the work.

It’s not enough to have people act as information filters: people like you have to act as filters, or else it’s just not going to satisfy. You need trusted sources with a wide range of access to information. If you just choose your friends, you’re going to end up in an echo chamber, retweeting lol posts. You need independent sources of interesting stories, told in a way that’s compelling, challenging, and informative. We used to have something like this: they were called magazines and newspapers.

That’s why this spasm of eulogizing Ye Olde Media feels a little premature. We’re not going to wake up to find a dead tree on our front doorstep anymore. But if you want trusted, analytical, valued information, you’re not going to hook into the Tehran Twitter feed and watch people misspell words. You’re going to click on the New York Times, or the Economist, or Time. For the time being, media brands still matter. They help us stop digging through veins of information, and gain perspective on what’s true.

Filed under: advertising, consumer choice, facebook, social media, supergenius llc, twitter, , , , , ,

Planes, trains & advertising: The John Hughes School of Craft

weirdscienceJohn Hughes means a lot to everyone who grew up on his films. But if you’re from Chicago, he means a little bit more.

John Hughes reinvented Chicago. The suburbs around Chicago are fine, safe places to grow up, but they lack anything in the way of personality. When Hughes introduced us to the good people of Shermer, Illinois, teenagers of the greater Chicagoland area took a collective gasp. Here was someone who understood the mind-numbing sameness, the bland days that rolled into each other, the long flat streets that never went anywhere no matter how long you walked. No one saw cinema in this but him.

What Hughes did was to take Chicago and make it universal. For a stretch of the 1980’s, Shermer stood in for everything that was right and wrong about growing up in America. The trapped claustrophobia of The Breakfast Club. The giddy feeling of freedom from tedium in Ferris Beuller’s Day Off. The geeky, insular, Dungeons-and-Dragons-in-the-basement world of Weird Science. These were more than iconic moments in film. These were our lives. No matter how universal the themes of his films, there was still something in them that was uniquely, relentlessly Chicago.

Hughes did all of this, of course, after putting in his time working at Leo Burnett and busting out of there to do great things. As former Burnetters ourselves, we know the talent that flows through that place, and the heights to which our former colleagues have and will soar. Hughes was special. And if we can create a small echo of his work here at Super-Genius by overturning old stories and making them feel relevant, fresh, and universal — by making our own Shermer, so to speak — then we have accomplished a great, true thing.

Hughes made a generation of Chicagoans proud of who we were. For that and a million other reasons, we are grateful. Because life moves pretty fast. You don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

Filed under: advertising, , ,


Super Genius LLC is a digital media and creative incubator that excels at bringing fresh, new thinking to existing strategy as well as blank-page strategic development. Our mission is to open up unique and exciting ways of connecting brands and consumers.

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