Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The History of Pants

Ever wondered where the word "pants" came from? Me either. But now you can learn its history in the charming video "Mysteries of Vernacular: Pants".

Mysteries of Vernacular
The video is featured on the nerdy yet endearing site, Mysteries of Vernacular, along with a handful of others ("Clue", "Assassin", "Hearse"...is there a theme here?) Eventually there will be  26 word history videos in total.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Flavour of the Year

Diana's Fanny Bay oysters c/o torontolife.com


Seafood is really having a moment. It seems every ten minutes or so,  a new fish taco spot opens up around here. Not that I'm complaining. I can't get enough of those tangy bad boys…

And I just saw a feature in torontolife.com proclaiming oysters as the "flavour of the year". Obviously I'm familiar with Pantone's "Colour of the Year" (it's emerald, by the way) but the flavour of the year is new to me. According to trend forecasters, Firmenich Conceptual Design group, lime is the flavour of 2013. The group just launched their "Flavour of the year" program this year and the wee green citrus fruit is trending heavy. Luckily, lime pairs perfectly with fish so you can have your trends and eat 'em too. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Truth in Focus Groups


Have you ever participated in a focus group? You know those rousing roundtable discussions about probiotic yogurt or shoe insoles that pay you about $50 and feed you tuna salad sandwiches for your "honest opinion"? Before I worked in advertising I went to these things a lot. For the money. And, if we're being honest, for the sandwiches too.

Well as you can imagine, a crowd that comes out for free sandwiches and 50 bucks is...colourful. There were always the strong opinionated types who boldly voiced their hatred for the font used in the mockups or some other irrelevant detail. Then there were the quiet, fidgety ones who offered up the bare minimum in the form of squeaks and mumbles. But the most entertaining and fascinating of the focus group-ers were the talkers who evidently saw the group as an opportunity to chat and vent about completely unrelated subjects like their gym shoes or what they had for dinner last night. As I see it, focus groups reveal less about products and more about the people reviewing them.

To wit: this hilarious mock focus group for the book "Truth in Advertising" by copywriter, John Kenney. Funny stuff, Mr. Kenney. Funnnny stuff. Watch it.


Monday, November 26, 2012

How you say...trés cool?

Isn't it weird how some brands are so recognizable and iconic yet most of us actually have no idea how to pronounce them? Unless of course you run in the types of circles where "Hermés", "Breguet" and "Paulliac" are tossed around like chips, in which case you and your ascot need not read any further. (For the record, I dooo know how to pronounce Hermés but I have always wondered if that french soap company "L'Occitane" was pronounced with a soft 'c' like "Loss-i-tan" or a hard one as in "Lox-i-tan"...).

Well, wonder no further my sonically-challenged friends (myself included!) Yahoo! is here to help us all with the very cool pronunciation tool, BrandPro:


This neato app lets you search for tongue-defying brands within categories like Fashion, Beauty, Wine and Jewelry then hear the proper pronunciation.  Say goodbye to name butchery and sounding stupid among fancy people! Go forth and name drop with confidence.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Oxblood Everything

"It's oxblood season, ladies."

Are you 'bloodin' it up this season? Rockin' the ox'? Reppin the bloods? There's a whole world of formerly-burgundy-now-called-oxblood clothing and accessories out there gently lowing for you to cop and slaughter your style with. So what if the name is gross? Don't be so lame and literal. Blood up, fashion soldier.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

What is Holland?

Hi  Amsterdam.

GEORGE: What is Holland?
JERRY: What do you mean, ‘what is it?’ It’s a country right next to Belgium.
GEORGE: No, that’s the Netherlands.
JERRY: Holland *is* the Netherlands.
GEORGE: Then who are the Dutch??