Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Holidays and happy 2013 from Ontrack Communications

Happy Holidays from Ontrack Communications We hope you and yours have the merriest of holiday seasons and a beautiful 2013. Please enjoy our video greeting card.






With over 30 years experience, Tim McLarty  currently works out of Toronto Canada as a writer/voice performer, producer and media strategist producing advertising and entertainment content.

Ontrackblog is a division of OntrackCommunications Inc.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Coke reigns supreme in Christmas commercials - Creative Excellence Fridays

Since I was a boy, I knew it was Christmas when the Coke commercials hit the television. The "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing" series were legendary and several versions were created throughout the 70's. Coke ruled Christmas. At least when it came to soft drink commercials.



On the Coca Cola website they draw on their direct involvement in the evolution of the Santa we know and love in North America today.  An interesting read, 5 things you never knew about Santa Claus and Coca Cola.   For example, I had no idea that the Santa we see today only started appearing around 1931.  Prior to that Santa had a variety of shapes from a tall thin man to a green elf.

It's pointed out to me that in Eastern Europe, for example,  Santa looks nothing like what we perceive him to look like in North America.  Their Christmas is based on the devil and the angel.  The name Santa Claus was said to have been derived from the Dutch word Sinterklaas.

This commercial draws on the Coke magazine ads that helped to creat the Coke Christmas brand in the last century.



And finally, this year's offering. It mixes high production values and a real life street promotion to create a viral effect.



Sorry Pepsi. You may taste better. But Coke has the inside track with the North Pole.


With over 30 years experience, Tim McLarty  currently works out of Toronto Canada as a writer/voice performer, producer and media strategist producing advertising and entertainment content.

Ontrackblog is a division of OntrackCommunications Inc.

Monday, December 10, 2012

48 FPS - is it the future of video production?


Peter Jackson carries a great deal of weight in the film and production community.  His choices for his highly successful string of Lord of the Rings films set the standard for cinema production values, with only James Cameron as a rival in innovation.

Now with the release of the Hobbit, December 14th he introduces the next benchmark in cinema superiority, 48 fps.  Conventional films are shot currently at 24 fps.   By doubling the frame rate, you double the amount of data to the naked eye.   Peter Jackson claims 48 fps eliminates a lot of the blur and strobing you see with 24 fps films.
But some claim it's more of a business decision.  

Peter Jackson has his own take on it.

“Movie audiences are dwindling. I’m not necessarily trying to be a saviour, because I think it takes more than just me, but we’re living in an age where kids are happy to watch films on their iPads. Anything we can do to make that experience in the theatre more immersive and more spectacular, so that there’s a reason to see a movie in the cinema, is a good thing."

If you're interested in more on 48 fps, try Peter Jackson's Facebook page.  
Bigger, faster, better.  And if something actually gets people out of their homes and into a theatre where a film like this is intended, I'm all for it.







Tim McLarty works out of Toronto Canada as a writer/voice performer, producer and media strategist producing advertising and entertainment content.

Ontrackblog is a division of OntrackCommunications Inc.

Friday, November 30, 2012

The robots are coming - Creative Excellence Fridays

As a boy I grew up watching black and white sci-fi cheese on Saturday afternoons on Sir Graves Ghastly (local kids host out of Detroit). Plan 9 from Outerspace, Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Day the Earth Stood Still; these were the movies produced on 12 bucks and a case of cola and made so much money for the studios at the time.
They spawned a generation of sci-fi fans who grew up watching the original Star Trek, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and Lost in Space. Fans of Big Bang Theory will know that the characters on the show are regulars at ComicCon and probably card carrying members to every Star Trek convention ever held. GE and BBDO New York worked off this premise to produce the latest commercial to promote GE's latest round of smart products. What's even more unique about this commercial is the fact that it's produced by the husband and wife directing team of Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris. Their original fame came from doing music videos before branching out to feature films. They directed one of my favourite movies from 2006, Little Miss Sunshine. The commercial is whimsical but make no mistake, it's appropriate well crafted institutional advertising for GE, and very good at it.




This next commercial from Honda is an institutional brand enhancer too.  It borrows from the naive emotions of Pixar's Wally to guide you through a history of innovations.




DDB Barcelona produced this touching little spot  that plays off of the tin man from the Wizard of Oz complete with a nostalgic gramophone like version of the song.



And finally, a spot from Hardees advocating the use of real people to make real food.  You may have read recently that fast food chains are currently testing robots for food assembly.   Not at Hardees.  No sirree.



Coming up next Friday, a look at Christmas campaigns including the new Old Navy series.  See something that made you think or blink?   Drop me a line so I can share and share a like. 

Have a great weekend.


With over 30 years experience, Tim McLarty  currently works out of Toronto Canada as a writer/voice performer, producer and media strategist producing advertising and entertainment content.

Ontrackblog is a division of OntrackCommunications Inc.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Facebook promotion using video - Ontrack Communications

Facebook contests are pretty much standard operating procedure now for most marketing departments. And video has become an integral part of promoting the contest, and explaining the process.

Prudent Financial wanted to donate some money to SickKids in Toronto.  But instead of a straight donation, we thought it would be fun to tie it in with a celebration of unselfishness.    The contest asks people to share their holiday wish for a loved one, a neighbour, a country, a cause on the Prudent Facebook page.  And to say thanks for sharing,  each Friday the wish with the most votes wins a $100 gift certificate from a popular Toronto retailer or restaurant.




We are using offline media including print and radio as well as a digital footprint to drive the contest.

The only problem with holiday promotions is that you get all in the spirit of things and just want to sit around the office drinking mulled wine!

With over 30 years experience, Tim McLarty  currently works out of Toronto Canada as a writer, producer and media strategist producing advertising and entertainment content.
Ontrackblog is a division of OntrackCommunications Inc.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Spots that hold the focus - Creative Excellence Fridays

If you read this blog with any frequency, you already know that our golden rule is "don't entertain the life out of the selling point".  If your humour or drama goes in such a radical direction that people have no idea what you're selling, you might as well put the clients money in a blender and set it to stun.


This commercial for Samsung TV's builds a pretty dramatic and convincing argument for buying a new flat screen.



This spot  focuses on soccer madness, but I guarantee it would work in Canada under the guise of football, or hockey (if they ever get back on the ice).



Next up, a commercial from one of my favourite on going series, Capital One.   Capital One has really pushed the brand into new territory with their humour ads and positioning statement "What's in your wallet".  This campaign began back in 2000 with D'arcy advertising.  Then in 2011 Capital One moved it over to McCann Erickson.  Odd move given the number of awards D'arcy won on their behalf. Here's the very funny Vikings commercial from 2009.  




Next up, an interesting twist on bank commercials; letting the consumer direct the spot. It's probably influenced by the Capital One popularity.



This definitely has a Capital One feel to it.  I applaud the bank's initiative to get the consumer involved, even though you can bet the whole process is being very closely monitored and the actual, final commercial will have the full filtered approval of the agency I'm sure.



That's it for this week.  Thanks for stopping by. If you have ideas or themes for future Creative Excellent Friday's, remember, sharing is good. Have a great weekend.


With over 30 years experience, Tim McLarty  currently works out of Toronto Canada as a writer, producer and media strategist producing advertising and entertainment content.

Ontrackblog is a division of OntrackCommunications Inc.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Gap vs Mac - who started it all. Creative Excellence Fridays

Much has been said about the time and attention Mac has put into their brand over the last twenty or so years. Some say they invented a new way of visually packaging themselves. Steve Jobs spent on average about two hours a day with his agency to carefully massage the message and brand. But are they really the pioneers of the new mode of messaging? I challenge they are not. The Gap has come a long way since their humble beginnings in 1969 when founders Donald and Doris Fisher opened the first Gap store on Ocean Avenue in San Francisco. The first Gap's merchandise consisted of Levi's and LPs. In the 1990's the Gap had a successful celebrity print campaign that featured the likes of Steve McQueen.
A solid brand association and strategic move as McQueen's legacy only builds after his passing in 1980.




























Their celebrity association continues with a variety of current personalities including Jennifer Garner.

I remember standing in a Gap store in midtown Manhattan six years ago and seeing this commercial playing in the store. I felt they had really nailed it. Sex and The City was hotter than ever and Lenny Kravitz created the soundtrack of cool.





We pull it back to 1999 with this next spot starring the beacon of cool at the time LLCool J.



Remember this spot from 1998? Bing Crosby breaks it down. 
 


Now check this out. Same approach, but with a very cool twist in post.
 


This spot definitely has it's own uniqueness, but it's hard to deny that the Gap pioneered edgy, face to the camera, multi-cut, multi music advertising. . Much credit goes out to long time agency TBWAChiatDay.  The Gap has had some re-alignment since "logo gate" in 2011.  It will be interesting to see what direction Ogilvy takes the brand after 24 years under the guidance of Marka Hansen.

In the Gap vs Apple brand debate, Apple simply took a page from Nigel's mantra in Spinal Tap, and turned it up to 11. Which is better? It's like asking which painting do you like better, Piccaso's "Guernica" or MirĂ³s "Upside Down Figures." Does it really matter? 


With over 30 years experience, Tim McLarty  currently works out of Toronto Canada as a writer, producer and media strategist producing advertising and entertainment content.
Ontrackblog is a division of OntrackCommunications Inc.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Rube Goldbergesque commercials- Creative Excellence Fridays

Rube Goldberg was a cartoonist from the first half of the last century. He was famous for "contraptions". You've seen countless movies and commercials influenced by his style. The golf ball rolls off the counter, trips the mousetrap that flies in the air and knocks over the bowl of cereal that.. etc. etc.



This commercial has some Goldbergesque qualities to it, although it's mostly the doings of the wily chamelion bartender.






Full marks to Heineken for a beautifully done spot, and extra kudos to the digital editing department.



  With over 30 years experience, Tim McLarty  currently works out of Toronto Canada as a writer, producer and media strategist producing advertising and entertainment content.
Ontrackblog is a division of OntrackCommunications Inc.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Animations make things more fun - Creative Excellence Fridays

This week in the Creative Excellence weekly salute to creative - we look at unique uses of animation.  We'd known since the beginning of time that long rambling stories are better when there are pictures to go with them.

That's the nature of animation.  It just makes story telling and long boring facts, much more ... well, fun!

Here's an animation from the creators of the Simpson.    This has  a retro 60's feel to it from the limited animation Hanna Barbera days.  And  you can see the influence Jib Jab has had on political animation.





We recently had the pleasure of working with a company called Yumalite.  It's a light that helps offset the effects of the winter blahs from a lack of sunlight. We produced a 2 minute infomercial for them that included several fun animations to show how their product works.
My favourite is the guy eating chips.  Mmmm chips.





Ikea had a long story about moving their store. Something that's kind of hard to make interesting. But this animation really works. And the sound design is very effective too with a sparkling sound track sprinkled with well executed sound effects.


 

I know... I sound like your grade 3 teacher, but cartoons really do make learning more fun. And I have a feeling my grade three teacher especially appreciated them because he would sneak out during the presentation for a cigarette.

I rest my case.     

With over 30 years experience, Tim McLarty  currently works out of Toronto Canada as a writer, producer and media strategist producing advertising and entertainment content.

Ontrackblog is a division of OntrackCommunications Inc.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Celebrity Voiceovers vs Career Voice Talent Part II

Welcome to part II of Celebrity Voiceovers vs Career Voice Talent Last week we touched on the concept of hiring celebrity voices as opposed to a journeyman voice talent. We looked at some of the top voices from Hollywood voicing top brands. A few more reveals; John Goodman for Dunkin Donuts, George Clooney for AT&T, AquaFina and Budweiser and Juli Roberts for AOL. What some take issue with is the fact that she received reportedly seven figures for the commercial. Seven times the amount a union "non celeb" talent would receive. Is it worth it? As mentioned last week, yes there's cache in using a well known voice.

But listen to this voice. John Mohr. A beautiful sound. Layers of texture.

 On the female side, Liisa Lee has beautiful versatility to her voice.

 And then there's the movie trailer guys. They are what I call pseudo celebrity voices. No one knows their name. But we definitely know their voice. Don Lafontaine was at the top of his game when he passed away in 2008.

 

Here's a feature done shortly before Don's passing, featuring the other "million dollar voices" you don't know.

 

 Celebrity or journeyman. Who's best?  Only the check-out line knows for sure.

With over 30 years experience, Tim McLarty  currently works out of Toronto Canada as a writer, producer and media strategist producing advertising and entertainment content.
Ontrackblog is a division of OntrackCommunications Inc.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

My American Experience - the privately funded As it Happens

Radio has always held a special place in my heart. When the phone rang and I was hired as a part time disc jockey at my home town radio station in 1980, I thought it was the happiest day of my life. And prior to that I would sit in my room and listen to nostalgia shows playing old time radio from the 30s, 40s and 50's.

 So when I heard all the coverage Ira Glass has been getting promoting his book and tour in Toronto, I was overjoyed to see the publicity. Although I find it funny that, what Ira is doing with his PBS show "My American Experience" has been done on the CBC for as long as I can remember. Say what you want about the mother corp, with shows like As it Happens and Quirks and Quarks, we have enjoyed a comparable level of radio excellence for decades. But "My American Experience" continues a tradition of radio excellence and theatre of the mind journalism, and I applaud that at every opportunity.

 Radio will always be with us as long as there is imagination and an appreciative, intelligent audience. And a long car ride.


  With over 30 years experience, Tim McLarty  currently works out of Toronto Canada as a writer, producer and media strategist producing advertising and entertainment content.
Ontrackblog is a division of OntrackCommunications Inc.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Creative Excellence Fridays - celebrity voiceovers vs career voice talent

I've wrestled with this topic over the years. I'm not a "celebrity", just a professional Actra voice talent. Is it fair when a client, or an ad agency goes for the cache of a "celebrity voice" verses hiring a journeyman man or woman who have all the texture and multi layered nuances of a well known actor.
 So why hire a Hollywood actor to be your SOV (silent off camera) when you have a myriad of pro's available to you? There are a couple of reasons. #1 You like the sexy factor of having a well known actor attached to your brand. Even if the general public isn't aware, the client, and all the client's friends know that Jeff Bridges is the voice behind Hyundai. #2 An actor brings a certain reality to his or her read that may be difficult to find. An actor who has lived a full life brings that reality to the read.

But does it work every time? Not in my opinion. Take David Duchovny for example. Don't get me wrong. I adore Californication. But you can't tell me there wasn't a better "non celebrity" read available for Pedigree Dog food.

 Ones that do work? And work exceptionally well? As mentioned above, who doesn't recognize the warmth of Morgan Freeman. Even if the lay person says, I don't remember who that is, but that voice sounds familiar.

 

 And Jeff Bridges is attached to not one but 2 products. Duracell and Hyundai. A little known fact; actors are not allowed to have their voiceovers appear in commercials right next to the Academy Awards segment they appear in. Jeff Bridges found this out first hand.

 

 Coming up next week - a reveal of two of Hollywood's leading actors who lend their voices to brands, and some workin' class men and women who are full time voice actors who bring it time and again behind the microphone.

Have a great weekend.


  With over 30 years experience, Tim McLarty  currently works out of Toronto Canada as a writer, producer and media strategist producing advertising and entertainment content.
Ontrackblog is a division of OntrackCommunications Inc.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

New Microsoft Tablet - Undercuts the iPad

We do love our toys. And Microsoft is about to add a new one to Santa's potential list. Reviews are just starting to come in but details are slim at this point.

 Microsoft has been a johnny-come-lately in recent years playing catch up with the Microsoft mobile entry and now this tablet. Microsoft still has deep enough pockets to possibly buy alliances that will enable them to make their new tablet relevant. Here's a sneak peak.


With over 30 years experience, Tim McLarty  currently works out of Toronto Canada as a writer, producer and media strategist producing advertising and entertainment content.
Ontrackblog is a division of OntrackCommunications Inc.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Red Bull blows the doors off competitors with Baumgartner sponsorship

Marketing released an article today entitled "Will Baumgartner's jump sell more Red Bull?" I'm not sure this even merited an article. It couldn't be more obvious. Yes. Yes. and gurgle gurgle, glug glug, yes. I haven't seen such a well positioned, and more well followed promotion since, well, Evil Knievel jumped over Snake River in Idaho in 1974. But it wasn't nearly as slickly produced, and the obvious sponsorship connections were not in place. This was a no brainer.

Modern daredevil jumps (almost) from space, setting a record for the highest jump, soaring the speed the sound to the earth. RedBull's Facebook page got over 216,000 likes and 10,000 comments in under 40 minutes according to the CBC.

Think about the product. Liquid to fuel energy and adventure. If you're in the target group, what energy drink are you going to choose. The answer is obvious. How much did this sponsorship cost? Certainly comparable to a Superbowl commercial, but with exponentially more mileage. Drink up Red Bull. You deserve it.


With over 30 years experience, Tim McLarty  currently works out of Toronto Canada as a writer, producer and media strategist producing advertising and entertainment content.
Ontrackblog is a division of OntrackCommunications Inc.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Creative Excellence Fridays - Model verses Model

This week, on Creative Excellence Fridays - model verses model. A very funny commercial with super model Brooklyn Decker.  This is a teaser for next week's blog, celebrities verses voice actors.

John Burke Krasinski from the Office is the talent in this commercial. Should well paid actors be the voice on commercials, denying professional voice actors those opportunities? More on that in next Friday's CEFridays.

 


With over 30 years experience, Tim McLarty  currently works out of Toronto Canada as a writer, producer and media strategist producing advertising and entertainment content.
Ontrackblog is a division of OntrackCommunications Inc.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Creative Excellence Fridays - Remembering Steve Jobs

Creative Excellence Fridays takes a break this week because of turkey day in Canada. In its' absence, a nice little bit of editing from the folks at Apple. Enjoy.




With over 30 years experience, Tim McLarty  currently works out of Toronto Canada as a writer, producer and media strategist producing advertising and entertainment content.
Ontrackblog is a division of OntrackCommunications Inc.

Monday, October 1, 2012

iphone 5 featuring Jeff Daniels

The new iphone 5 is out. The slogan? The biggest thing to happen to iphone since iphone. Apple has always had a knack for hitting home runs with their brand appeal and cache. I wrote a week back that Samsung's creative gurus needed some credit as well with their, "the next big thing is already here" campaign for Samsung Galaxy phones. But I have to say, the new iphone television/online commercial is pure Apple. Apple is featuring a series of commercials, each one focusing on one major new feature of the phone. This spot is fun, clean, functional, and features another celebrity voice, Jeff Daniels. Daniels has come a long way since the philandering husband he played in Terms of Endearment. He has a featured role in the seminal Loopers movie. And he's been viraled all over the internet in clips of The Newsroom, the Aaron Sorkin HBO hit. Apple has no problem with reaching into the Hollywood kit bag to pull up a voiceover talent. Richard Dreyfus and Peter Coyote are just two names from the past. We subconciously hear and appreciate the authenticity a skilled actor brings to a delivery. Jeff Bridges, George Cloony, John Corbet. And now, Jeff Daniels. "The Thumb" With over 30 years experience, Tim McLarty  currently works out of Toronto Canada as a writer, producer and media strategist producing advertising and entertainment content.
Ontrackblog is a division of OntrackCommunications Inc.

Friday, September 28, 2012

A truly great commercial - Honda - Creative Excellence Fridays

The Toronto International Film festival came and went. I was completely untypical this year and only made it down to see one film, The Sessions.
Helen Hunt has proven she will have a career long after her beauty fades in the same vein as Helen Mirror and others truly gifted at their craft.

Let me say that the creative this week featured equally gifted film making. All in 90 seconds. Oh sure, you might say, "Tim, how do you compare a movie about a man with a terminally compromising medical condition to a ..cough cough.. car commercial?" Look at it this way. Give or take, when you compare apples to apples or mid compacts to mid compacts, there are a few differentiating factors, but for the most part, they're just cars. Like soda pop. Like tissue paper. You have your preferences but when there's really no discerning differences, you make your ultimate purchase decision based on how that car makes you feel. Or, in this case, how the commercial makes you feel.



This commercial really moved me. You know how they say, "It's the little things." You go to a cafe and they serve the latte with a tiny biscuit on the side, or a unique spoon. Attention to detail is the difference between getting by, and going all the way. The little tennis ball on a string that was hung from the rafters of the garage to keep the driver from driving in to far creates character depth and humanity. The few seconds we spend with the son and the day tell a much deeper story. The baseball glove left on the roof of the car. Who hasn't done that, only substitute it for a briefcase or a cup of coffee.

This is a truly great ad. It dispenses the safety features and beauty of the vehicle evenly with life stories of people you know.

This ad makes me proud to be in the business of story telling.


Full credits below. Congratulations to Stacy Wall at Imperial Woodpecker.


FULL CREDITS

Agency:
RPA
Client:
Honda
EVP/CCO:
Joe Baratelli
SVP/GCD:
Jason Sperling
CD:
Ken Pappanduros
CD:
Chuck Blackwell
ACD:
Perrin Anderson
ACD:
Hobart Birmingham
Sr. Art Director:
Jason Busa
Sr. Art Director:
Steve Chow
Sr. Copywriter:
Kevin Raich
Photographer:
Tony D'Orio
Photographer:
Toshi Oku
Digital Artist:
Scott Giannini
Art Buyer:
Ginnie Assenza
Art Buyer:
Sari Rowe
Production Manager:
Susan Cockrell



With over 30 years experience, Tim McLarty  currently works out of Toronto Canada as a writer, producer and media strategist producing advertising and entertainment content.
Ontrackblog is a division of OntrackCommunications Inc.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

A radio station home page that overwhelms

The number one rule of retail is to make sure you guide the customer through the store so they'll find what they're looking for. The same rule applies with web site design. I stumbled upon this site recently and felt obliged to feature it. It's everything wrong about a commercial website. The page pops up on your screen and you feel like you've been dropped out of the sky and had a bucket of ice cold water sprayed at your face with a high pressure hose.

I realize a radio station is the gateway to so much information and is a promotion hub, but what's the most important focus on the page?

The only thing missing is the Walmart greeter.  At least he might be able to tell you where to look first.



  With over 30 years experience, Tim McLarty  currently works out of Toronto Canada as a writer, producer and media strategist producing advertising and entertainment content.
Ontrackblog is a division of OntrackCommunications Inc.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Cheerios revives the Cheerio's Kid - Creative Excellence Fridays

Welcome to Creative Excellence Fridays for Friday September 21, 2012

Earlier this week I received a promotional press release about Cheerios.  The brand has been around a long time.  And General Mills and their AOR Saatchi  and Saatchi are drawing on the history of the breakfast favourite.
They've revived the "Cheerio's Kid" to trumpet the benefits of eating Cheerio's to fight off bad cholesterol.
I love the retro feel of this. 


This one is from 1957 and heavily influenced by the serial adventure reels of the 30s and 40s.  The Cheerio's kid is a good guy right to the end. Although you have to wonder when he agrees to give up the girl for a box of Cheerio's.






We go back to the 60's for a little Go power for Bullwinkle.  Cheerio's used cartoon characters heavily back in the 50's and 60's, and even 70's to drive young loyalty towards the big O.




This commercial is boomer friendly.  Especially if you have a fondness for badly animated commercials from the 60's.  Which, thanks to the cost savings of "limited animation" from Hanna Barbara, that pretty much took in all of them.  But we watched them anyway.



With over 30 years experience, Tim McLarty  currently works out of Toronto Canada as a writer, producer and media strategist producing advertising and entertainment content.

Ontrackblog is a division of OntrackCommunications Inc.-->

Friday, September 14, 2012

Creative Excellence Fridays - Food fun

This week, our weekly salute of creative excellence touches on big ass fans, and barnyard eggs.
Normally this blog is all about video, but I wanted to include a clever print ad that came out not long ago.
Leafing through Architecture Digest, the last thing I expected to find was an ad for a fan company called "Big Ass Fans". It's brilliant really. Not unlike some of the wine companies who have taken to naming what was traditionally a stuffy category, edgy names to garner attention.
I thank this article for some assistance. Fat Basterd, Bitch Barossa, Le Vin De Merde (translation..don't step in it), Frog's Piss, and the worst of all, or best depending on your criteria meter, Cleavage Creek.


I love Big Ass Fans. First of all, the design is gorgeous. It looks inspired by mid century danes with clean, simple lines and beautiful materials.
The layout is clean, with plenty of white space and a bit of warm arrogance; the perfect combination for the upper end of the wallet.

Now, on with the commercials. This first spot was produced by McKinney advertising in the United States. It's warm and wonderful. Especially warm at the end.



Okay - a little unsettling at the end, but all in good taste.  With a little tobacco sauce on the side.

And finally, an ad for Direct TV featuring the egg and the rooster. But we're still not sure which came first.



Steve Buscemi and John Goodman ad tons of life to these animated characters. It's fun to watch, and even more fun to listen to.











With over 30 years experience, Tim McLarty  currently works out of Toronto Canada as a writer, producer and media strategist producing advertising and entertainment content.
Ontrackblog is a division of OntrackCommunications Inc.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Voiceover microphones for the voice-tech-weeny

I count myself as a small voice tech weeny. No, let's not go there. I'd be a big weeny if I was more technical. I just know what I like, as do thousands of other voiceover professionals around the world. Since 1992 I've bounced between my American made RE20 dynamic microphones, long a radio workhorse, and more recently my Rode NT1 (a very modest microphone), and my Senheiser MKH 416 (a shot gun mic with incredible range).

This morning in one of the Linked In groups I belong to, Paul Strikwerda started a thread entitled "The ideal voice-over mic you've never heard of." I enjoyed the thread but it's a question with no real answer.

It's like asking, what is the best car to drive? It depends on so many variables, of which cost and end satisfaction are always the combined criteria in the final decision.



With over 30 years experience, Tim McLarty  currently works out of Toronto Canada as a writer, producer and media strategist producing advertising and entertainment content.
Ontrackblog is a division of OntrackCommunications Inc.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Creative Excellence Fridays The TIFF edition

Editing. Brevity. The right moment. The exact timing. It makes the story. In line with the Toronto international Film festival,on now in Toronto, today's theme: commercials inspired by films. The first commercial is from Audi. It feels like a combination of so many movies. The Italian job. Bourne Supremacy. The Thomas Crown Affair. Pick one.

Next, Terry's Chocolate Orange.  Indian Jones  has nothing on this guy.

This Brit commercial was inspired by "District 9" for Doritos.

Here's one of my favourite long form cinema inspired commercials. It reminds me of aspects of Allan Ball's American Beauty and Paul Thomas Anderson's Magnolia with the haunting, poignant sound track.

Enjoy TIFF. It's the cheapest all natural 2 hour escape money can buy.

With over 30 years experience, Tim McLarty  currently works out of Toronto Canada as a writer, producer and media strategist producing advertising and entertainment content.

Ontrackblog is a division of OntrackCommunications Inc.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

An app that knows more about your Facebook account than you do

An app that knows more about your Facebook account than you do
The kids are back to school as of today in Toronto. Time to get down to business. And part of that is determining who your next stream of business will be; and for that there's a new app for Facebook.

According to Emily Price of Mashable, this app knows more about your facebook account than you do.

Here's the article




With over 30 years experience, Tim McLarty  currently works out of Toronto Canada as a writer, producer and media strategist producing advertising and entertainment content.
Ontrackblog is a division of OntrackCommunications Inc.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Memorable ads from Russian - Creative Excellence Fridays

Occasionally we like to feature commercials internationally on this weekly blog, and this week is our first contribution from Russia.

Russia has made moves in recent years towards a free market economy, so it adds more meaning to this first spot.
A Czech friend, Stan told a story once about being mandatorily drafted into the Russian army in the early 80's. In a Northern Russian town, he stood in line for what seemed like an eternity to get a piece of meat. The butcher had one cow. They started cutting in slices starting at the head and working his way down to the tail. You got the cut that happened to be where he worked his way down to according to your place in line.

It explains the joy of the man in this re-enactment from Russian of the 1950s.




This second spot in the Cherkashin series shows the actual cue in a Russian butcher store.



As much as we complain, sometimes we forget how good we have it. The ads are poignantly produced by Russian agency Voskhod out of Yekaterinburg. Enjoy your long weekend, and the short lineups at the butcher store.



With over 30 years experience, Tim McLarty  currently works out of Toronto Canada as a writer, producer and media strategist producing advertising and entertainment content.
Ontrackblog is a division of OntrackCommunications Inc.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Skittles - the true story

A twisted mockumentary about the creator of the Skittles commercials. No doubt by the creative team that creates the bent broadcast spots. Enjoy.



With over 30 years experience, Tim McLarty  currently works out of Toronto Canada as a writer, producer and media strategist producing advertising and entertainment content.
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