Monthly Archives: February 2009

The best burger and fries in the world

while in vegas several podders noticed the above sign from the window of our hotel. if you’ve ever been LA, locals will urge you to check out the legendary in-n-out burger. telling you in no uncertain terms that it is without doubt the best burger and fries you will ever eat. and they are right. In-n-out burgers and fries taste amazing in a way that’s difficult to communicate without sounding like a fast food ad. the potatoes used to make fries, for example, are only cut when you order your fries. live in front of your eyes. the staff are super-switched on and enthusiastic about what they do.

i knew in-n-out was a southern california chain, so was bit surprised to see they had ventured as far east as las vegas. feeling a tad hung over i recruited some compadres to go for some much needed grease. as usual, it was packed out, as they always are.

as i always do when i visit their restaurants, i pondered what it is that separates In-n-out from their many competitors. And my conclusion is the same as it always is. and it’s not exciting but it’s very probably true. its’ that In-n-out is truly committed to excellence. now i know that sounds like corporate poo, but in this case it’s the truth. they don’t have a secret formula other than caring A LOT about how their food tastes. they don’t just have a collection of fast-food outlets, they have a cult. it’s well worth checking out.


We won big in Vegas

At the Retail advertising awards the other night, The Escape Pod and client OfficeMax took home a gold and the best of show award for our penny pranks campaign.

Interestingly the awards were decided on the night by the audience at the show itself. Each of us was given a little electronic remote control device which we used to cast our vote. Which added a little more drama to the proceedings. The results were intstantly tabulated and displayed on screens for all to see.

Happily our penny pranks was the clear crowd favorite on the night, garnering 80% of the votes to take the best of show award.
Needless to say a punishing amount of refreshments were consumed immediately thereafter. A great night was had by all.

Vegas. Wow.

Just spent the past 24 hours in America’s Sin City – las vegas. My first visit here. What a strange place. Huge gambling factories filled with Americans (and foreigners) of every hue and tongue. But my favorite casino has to be “Paris France”. A Gallic-themed monstrosity straddled by a huge replica of the Eiffel Tower. Pictured below.

Going to the Retail Advertising awards tonight. Very excited. Meeting Faris Yakob for a drink later. A Googler told me he gave a great talk on social media yesterday. photo2

Messrs. M. Denton Esq. and D. Dye Esq. take a bow

i just got my copy of the British Creative Circle ad annual. And I am very impressed. Sorry about the pic below. I took it with my iPhone. But you get the gist. It’s an an advertising awards annual with a sense of humour! Blasphemy, I know. You might want to sit down and have a stiff brandy.

Done in retro English comics style, it’s very funny to read and provides a very un-po-faced context in which to view the work. And some of the work could frankly have used an infusion of denton and dye’s humanity, vitality and wit.

Top job chaps! And thank you Angie for shipping it all the way to Chicago. You made a sad ad geek very happy.


The Escape Pod in Las Vegas

Several Escape Podders are heading to Las Vegas for the Retail Advertising awards tomorrow. So no blogging for a few days. I’m sure you’ll manage somehow


Is the Internet over?

Apparently it is. The brief golden age of consumer-controlled media would appear to be finished. So it’s time to stop all this blogging and twittering nonsense and once again stare passively and vacantly at whatever The Man deems appropriate.

As it should be. Know your place, consumer!


The TV industry, like the advertising industry, is a hard business that has dealt with a lot of change – laser disks. Video rental. Cable. DVDs. Satellite. And it has survived all of them.

So when the internet came along it didn’t take a genius to figure out that it too posed a potential threat to the TV industry.

Whenever a new medium comes along there is a tendency to focus on what makes it different. And the internet was no exception. The internet came to equal “interactive”, since that was its most obvious point of differentiation. And enormous effort went into exploiting this aspect of it initially.

But people are people. And people love stories. Let me rephrase that. People love being told stories. In much the same way that though everyone can tell a joke, but we’d all much rather listen to Chris Rock than the guy from accounting. And video is still the most satisfactory way to tell a story. So video quickly became the currency of the internet. And then YouTube came along. And functioned as a clearing house for all this new video content. But even YouTube has its weaknesses. Principal among those being the lack of professionally produced video.

Because, as anyone who’s ever produced actually funny video content on a consistent basis knows: it’s hard. Every time. Creating great video is a lot like cooking a great meal. In theory we can all do it, but in reality only a comparative handful can do it reliably.

So the surprise success of Hulu perhaps lies in how long it took to get it off the ground. Getting cut-throat competitors to play along would never be easy. And earlier attempts at TV-on-the-internet like Joost failed for technical reasons(download software? NO!) and the fact that the studios and networks didn’t want to let others monetize content that cost them hundreds of millions of dollars to produce. Content may want to be free. But content’s lawyers and accountants clearly feel strongly to the contrary. It will be interesting to see how Hulu evolves.