Industry Commentary, Agency Initiatives and Inspiration

Now, the Unacceptable “R” Word

Advertising, Creativity, Things That Inspire Us Jul 31, 2012 No Comments

The Dictionary of Unspoken Words

There’s the “C” word. The “N” word. The “S” word. And the regular old stand-by “F” word. (Both the 3-letter one, as well as the 4-letter one.)

Now we’ve got a new “Speak Not” 6-letter word highlighted in an extremely effective PSA from the Joe Kennedy Jr. Foundation for the Benefit of Persons with Intellectual Disabilities — the “R” Word.

Glee Actors Promote Powerful Concept

With the help of Glee’s Lauren Potter and Jane Lynch, “Not Acceptable” is a powerful spot that takes a no-holds barred approach towards attitudes concerning mental and intellectual disabilities. No matter your perspective, this new spot from goes where most refuse dare tread.

When Shock and Awe Turns Positive

If you’re not paying attention to the screen when the spot airs during your fave reality show, you may be shocked when you hear what’s coming out of your television’s speakers. Another example of creativity that pushes the boundaries of generally accepted comfort levels. Great. Thoughtful. Brilliant work.

USA for UNHCR Paints Chicago Blue as Refugee Campaign Comes to Drake Hotel

Agency Initiatives, Blue Key Campaign, Cause Marketing, Interactive, Social Action Nov 18, 2011 No Comments

UN Refugee Agency Blue Key Campaign Comes to Chicago

Join the Blue Key Campaign as it Storms into Chicago

Help us paint the town. Not red. But blue! Join us in supporting the USA for UNHCR Blue Key Campaign as it comes to Chicago for a one-night only meet-and-greet at the world-famous Drake Hotel on Monday, December 5, 2011.

The Blue Key Campaign is an initiative of the USA for UNHCR UN Refugee Agency and commemorates 60 years of working to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees and internally displaced people. The goal of the campaign is to generate awareness to the vast refugee crisis taking place around the globe by selling 6,000 Blue Keys by December 31, 2011. By supporting the campaign and purchasing a key, you will send the message to the millions of refugees worldwide that they’re not invisible. That they matter. And that you care.

The Tweet-Up is Almost Here

The Chicago Tweet-Up is sponsored by Blue Key Corporate Champions Ragan Communications — publisher of corporate communication, public relations, health care and leadership development newsletters and events — and Cision, provider of global public relation software and media tools. In addition, the event will be hosted by Chicago Blue Key Champions Gini Dietrich (Arment Dietrich), Sean McGinnis (312 Digital) and Anthony Rivera (Grey Matter).

Get your tickets today as time is running out. Ticket price covers the cost of your very own Blue Key and admission to the event. You’ll also have a chance to meet and mingle with countless other Blue Key supporters and local Chicago social media, public relations, and creative industry professionals.

43,700,000 Reasons to Show You Care

When you read the statistics, they are staggering. Currently, there are more than 43.7 million refugees worldwide. That’s more than the population of the 10 largest US cities combined! Many of the displaced are women and children. And every single refugee has been forced to flee their homes due to war, conflict or persecution. Through no fault of their own, the door to their homes have been closed and their futures forever changed. The symbol of USA for UNHCR, the Blue Key, has been chosen to illustrate how a safe, secure home can be found for these many refugees. But this task can’t be accomplished without your help and support.

Show Your Support For Blue Key — Animated Counter Widgets

Another way you can show your support for the Blue Key Campaign, is to place one of the following counters on your website or blog. Our agency developed this Blue Key Counter Widget that has been called both ‘nifty’ and ‘cool.’ (A working version is located at the top of this page.)

The counter gives supporters the ability to track ongoing sales of blue keys and to view firsthand how their work is helping support the campaign to open the door to a new life for millions of very needy people around the world. We also think it’s a pretty neat addition to any site. And there are three sizes to choose from!

Widget Instructions

Simply copy and paste the following code onto your site. If you have any questions about the Blue Key Counter, feel free to contact us at Grey Matter Interactive Support.

Large Blue Key Counter Widget (202px x 302px):

 <iframe src="" width="202" height="302" frameborder="0" style="margin: 0;"><p>Your browser does not support iframes.</p></iframe>

Medium Blue Key Counter Widget (178px x 266px):

 <iframe src="" width="178" height="266" frameborder="0" style="margin: 0;"><p>Your browser does not support iframes.</p></iframe>

Small Blue Key Counter Widget (154px x 227px):

 <iframe src="" width="154" height="227" frameborder="0" style="margin: 0;"><p>Your browser does not support iframes.</p></iframe>

Top 3 Essential Media Blogs to Read if You Have Low Blood Pressure

Advertising, Blogging, Creativity, Social Media Aug 22, 2011 No Comments

Reading to Get Your Blood Pumping

Sometimes we all just need a little ‘pick-me-up.’ One way or another, the authors of the following blogs covering news, media and the advertising industry will get your heart racing. But maybe not the way you’d want. That’s why these essential media bloggers are always great reads when you’re experiencing low blood pressure.

Jeff JarvisBuzzMachine@jeffjarvis

Jeff Jarvis makes it no secret where he stands. As an author, teacher, podcaster and highly-accomplished journalist, Jarvis shares his own special viewpoints on modern society by crafting, oftentimes scathing, commentaries on the news and media industry. Never at a loss for that ‘just right’ word or turn of phrase, Jarvis’ skilled editorials are available at his blog BuzzMachine. Reading Jarvis makes us yearn to re-enroll in J-school at CUNY where he’s an assistant professor and director of Interactive Journalism. Want to experience sheer brilliance at the end of a poison-tipped keyboard? Up your heart rate at BuzzMachine. And hold on to your hat.

Mark DuffyCopyranter@copyranter

Mark Duffy, aka Copyranter, is to the advertising industry what Mr. Cranky is to movie reviews. But only better. The advertising industry can stand to take a few whacks every now and then, and Duffy hands them out like Jeff Gillooly at a Detroit ice rink. Duffy doles out black-and-blue shiners for agency work gone wrong, and does it with insight and humor that only serves to show his complete admiration for his beloved ad industry. A true champion of creativity and a vociferous advocate for advertising, Duffy’s been in the business for 18 years and claims to update Copyranter 20 times a week. That’s a lot of ranting, so there’s always something new to get you going.

Lee PapaThe Rude Pundit@rudepundit

If you don’t yet have an indication, his moniker says it all. The concept of ‘mincing words’ isn’t in Lee Papa’s nature. For the Lefties, Papa is like preaching to the choir. And, oh does he preach. For the Righties, not so much so. There’s no limit to Papa’s, Rude Pundit punditry. He takes a bite out of subjects that include media, politics, and current events. Then he spits them out and back into your face like a demon-possessed teenager spewing pea-soup vomit in a 1970′s horror flick. Papa isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. So if you cringe at the use of four-letter words or shy away from having every value you hold dear questioned relentlessly, Papa might not be for you. But if you forgot to fill your low blood pressure meds, a long drink of The Rude Pundit will probably tide you over until you get to the pharmacy.

Adspiration: Print – Space Classics, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Showpony

Advertising, Creativity, Graphic Design, Things That Inspire Us Aug 19, 2011 2 Comments

Space Classics. Adelaide Symphony Orchestra

Maybe we’re just sci-fi nerds, but this recent campaign from Showpony Advertising of Adelaide, Australia announcing an upcoming series of concerts by the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra brilliantly capitalizes on popular culture iconography, resulting in a collection of print ads that, to borrow a well-used phrase, ‘go where no man has gone before.’

The concept is simple, reference images with which everyone born after 1950 is familiar, and deliver stunning creative that is truly out of this world.

Star Wars
Showpony Advertising, Adelaide

Star Wars Space Classics. Showpony Advertising, Adelaide

Star Trek
Showpony Advertising, Adelaide

Star Trek Space Classics. Showpony Advertising, Adelaide

2001: A Space Odyssey
Showpony Advertising, Adelaide

2001: A Space Odyssey Space Classics. Showpony Advertising, Adelaide

Nikki Reed and MTV Want You to Give a Shit

Advertising, Social Action, Things That Inspire Us Aug 12, 2011 No Comments

Yes. Seriously

No, it’s not the latest parody ad from the crew at SNL. However, it plays like one.

MTV, having offered up some of the edgiest and most ground-breaking PSAs in the business for years, has created a new social conscious raising organization that claims to actually give a shit. Yes, you heard it — The goal of the Give-A-Shit movement is to encourage young people to take a real, hard look at the world and to start caring about the problems they see. Among these issues are the Riots in England, the AIDS pandemic, bullying, drugs, the proliferation of guns, child abuse and illiteracy.

Elevating the Consciousness of the Masses

Enlisting the help of actress Nikki Reed, MTV and Give-A-Shit have launched a new PSA airing on the network that hopes to capitalize on the power of mass consciousness. The spot urges viewers to express their concerns on a variety of societal issues by using personal Twitter and Facebook accounts to champion chosen causes. Viewers are encouraged to use their time wisely, even capitalizing on that veritable moment of God-given contemplation to send tweets and updates while perched on the seat of the toilet — thus, showing they “give a shit” even while (ahem) taking one.

Why Not Give a Shit?

Perhaps the power of global mass consciousness does have the ability to affect change. For years, a number of New Agers have actively supported and tested this concept on a metaphysical level, claiming some success. We say that if anyone can get today’s youth to care about anything (even if that thing is “Jersey Shore”), it would be MTV. And considering the current state of our world, with children working in sweatshops so folks can buy $5 tees from the big box, or as climate change continues to cause some of the most horrific disasters we’ve ever seen, embracing the concept that global mass consciousness may offer a solution can’t be all bad.

For more information, visit Or tweet your concerns using #GIVEASHIT. Hey, it can’t hurt.