Random Thoughts

If you want a website and you need it tonight…Square Squared

“If you want a website and you need it tonight…Square Squared.”  Those are the famous first lines of our company theme song.  Not all companies have a theme song, but we are fun, innovative and creative team, and we thought, “Hey, why not make a theme song and music video to promote our brand?”

So, we wrote a song, performed it and recorded it along with produced a music video for you tube.  It’s a fun and different way to help get the message out.

Below are the complete set of lyrics, and a link for the video. Enjoy!  Give us a call if you need a creative way to get your message out there, either through a website, video, or if you want to brainstorm for something else that will fit your company and brand best.

<iframe width=”420″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/sd3CTdA1cgg” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

If you want a website and you need it tonight…Square Squared.
If your site that was done, was by your neighbor’s son…call Square Squared.
Get it right. Get it right. Get it right…Square Squared

If your logo and brand were drawn with a crayon… Square Squared
If your graphics just suck or your marketing’s muck…Square Squared.
Get it right. Get it right. Get it right…Square Squared

Fair’s fair, call Square Squared
for digital graphics and website care.
Call us 24/7 and we might be there
burnin’ the midnight oil in our underwear
and say, “Have no fear, we’ll take care of that snare,
and get you up and running before daylight’s here.”

If your logo and brochures are just a mess,
Lynn will come to your office in a Pucci dress
and say, “We’ll take care of these items, but I must confess
there’s a little bit of money that you must invest –
and in no time flat you’ll be a lot less stressed
makin’ tons of loot with a look that’s fresh.”

But that’s not all that we can help you do
Social media, videos and outdoor too,
wrap your truck in art
make your store front smart
get your business card lookin’ oh so sharp
We’re never mean, we’re green, check out our new routine
and you’ll always love working’ with the Square Squared Team.

If you need an ad to be proud and stand out from the crowd…Square Squared
If your look needs repair, some umph and some flair…Square Squared
Get it right. Get it right. Get it right…Square Squared

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Statistics you see on the internet

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Prepare yourself for Cinco de Mayo

With recent advances in freedoms and liberties, the mobile intoxication service 1-800-GET-DRUNK will be servicing locations near you.

Prepare yourself for Cinco De Mayo call 1-800-GET-DRUNK

Prepare yourself for Cinco De Mayo call 1-800-GET-DRUNK

 

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Failure is the path of least diligence

Failure is the path of lease persistence

You are supposed to add "...in bed" to the end of every fortune.

It is a good thing that I’m not a landlord chasing people for rent payments.  Apparently, these days that is the path to failure. (wah wah wah)

...the road to failure is actually the path of least persistence!

Ziggy figured this one out 15 years ago.

There is the  possibility that this fortune is supposed to say what it says and imply that you will fail if you are always renting a property, I will go out on a limb here and guess that the author of the above fortune meant to write, “Failure is the path of least persistence.”  This fortune was intended to be a play on the old cliche based on the scientific phenomenon of the path of least resistance. The clever play on words was actually used correctly in a Ziggy comic in 1996. 

“The path of least resistance” is an idiom for “the easiest way.” According to answers.com, it is the “physical or metaphorical pathway that provides the least resistance to forward motion by a given object or entity, among a set of alternative paths.”

As H.G. Wells said, “The path of least resistance is the path of the loser.” One can also deduce that if you are not persistent, you are also going to fail. Bravo to the person who came up with this clever variation on the theme (I don’t think it was the fortune cookie company), but a big fat “F” (for failure) to the person who didn’t check the final copy.

You can run your copy through the spell checker a million times, but there is no replacement for the human eye.  Not even a grammar checker can do a fool-proof job at making sure you are getting your message across correctly.  Say what you mean and mean what you say. Do your due diligence and read through everything that goes out the door.  At the end of the day, you’ll be glad you did.

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Don’t confuse your sources.

Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein (March 14, 1879 – April 18, 1955)

I have heard many people say “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” This is not true.  The aforementioned quote is primarily attributed to Albert Einstein, but this and other variations of the quote have been attributed to others as well including Benjamin Franklin, an old Chinese proverb, and Rita Mae Brown.” In addition, countless 12 step programs use this as their mantra.

One should always be cautious when quoting or defining a term.  Be sure that you have verified your sources before you carve them in stone.

The Definition of insanity according to Oxford Dictionary is “the state of being seriously mentally ill.” or “Extreme foolishness or irrationality.” One who is mentally ill, may or may not exhibit the behaviors that Einstein mentions.

The devil is in the details.  Watch out!

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For all intents and purposes: Stop. Think, then speak.

Scared or shocked face

For all intensive purposes, you will have this expression on your face.

I often hear people misquote this phrase and say “for all intensive purposes.” Ironically, they are often using the phrase to make themselves sound more educated and articulate, but misquoting a phrase does the exact opposite.

The phrase “For all intents and purposes” means: for all practical purposes, or in every practical sense.

If you say this incorrectly as: “for all intensive purposes” you are actually conveying an almost opposite meaning: for all intense and extreme purposes, or in extreme and intense situations.

For example, you may have guests over for dinner, and when you ask someone if they want a beer, a glass of wine, or a cocktail, their response may be “For all intents and purposes, I don’t drink alcohol”  This means that in any practical situation they don’t drink alcohol. However, it implies that if some rare or unexpected situation occurs – like they are offered one million dollars to drink a beer – they may actually drink it. If your guest had said, “For all intensive purposes, I don’t drink alcohol.” That would imply that in that rare situation when they are offered a large sum of money to drink it, they would NOT do so, because that would be an intensive purpose. One should also note at this point, that there is a difference in emphasis between intensive and intense although they are similar in meaning. “Intensive” normally relates to objective descriptions like an intensive care unit, where as “intense” relates to subjective responses, or how one feels, like the doctor at the hospital was very intense, but I digress.

Let’s use the phrase in another sentence to see how the meaning changes.

“For all intents and purposes, I drive very carefully.” Another way to say this might be, “99.99% of the time, I drive very carefully”

Now let’s see how the meaning changes when you use the incorrect phrasing.

“For all intensive purposes, I drive very carefully.” Another way to say this might be, “When things get intense and extreme, I drive very carefully.” This is most likely the opposite of what would actually happen.

When my children get really excited they sometimes tend to speak quickly, incoherently, or excitedly and I have trouble understanding them.  When this happens I often will say, “Stop. Think, then speak.” After a brief glare at my facetious response to their apparently urgent matter, they will then think about what they need to tell me, and convey it rather articulately. This advice is great for anyone, at anytime.  If you hear a phrase or cliché that you think sounds useful, by all means please learn it and use it in your vernacular. However, always remember to stop and think about what it means. If need be, look it up in the dictionary. Once you are certain of what it means and how to use it, then you should use it in your conversations.  This is especially true when you are on a first date, at a job interview, writing copy for an advertisement, or making a presentation.

For all intents and purposes, you should know what you are saying before you say it. Stop. Think, then speak.

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Nothing left to take away

Use a strong voicing.

The phrase “I think” is quite often superfluous in any essay or article, since the author wrote the article one can only assume that EVERYTHING in the article is subject to that person’s bias and opinions, unless quoted or footnoted. The same might also be said for the phrase “I know,”  but that is perhaps subject to one’s writing style.  Leaving one or both of those phrases out of your writing will result in a stronger voicing and will make you sound like an authority in the subject you are writing about.  It is almost akin to adding “like” in random places to fill in the sentence.

Consider this example from an excerpt from The FENG Editorial:

“I know that many of us pride ourselves on being brief. Being a financial person I think in part is defined as being factual and to the point. Any member of our profession who had a tendency to rattle on would be viewed as a little odd, don’t you think?”

A stronger voicing would be to change that paragraph to:

“Many of us pride ourselves on being brief. Being a financial person in part is defined as being factual and to the point. Any member of our profession who had a tendency to rattle on would be viewed as a little odd, don’t you think?”

It is perhaps ironic that a paragraph about being brief had some extra words sprinkled in there, but that aside, the second version of this paragraph is much stronger and to the point. This circles back to my central theme of “Less is More,” which applies not only to design, but to writing as well.

You can tell a piece of work is done, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.1

1. This is my spin on a quote by Antoine de Saint-Exuper – Ch. III: L’Avion, p. 60 –  “Il semble que la perfection soit atteinte non quand il n’y a plus rien à ajouter, mais quand il n’y a plus rien à retrancher.”

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My first comic

I often find humor in everyday life situations and I’ve always wanted to make a comic strip. Here is my first ‘official’ comic strip.  Hopefully this will be the first of many. Special thanks to www.stripcreator.com for making this comic possible with the tools to illustrate my dialog FAST!

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Shock Value – Stand Out From the Crowd

In a bold move today – comedian, sports broadcaster, and all around great guy – Colin Cosell put out a public service announcement stating that he will not be wearing pants until more people watch hockey. Watch the PSA on the right.

Akin to the classic 1981 poster campaign where a model makes promises to remove her clothing, whether he knows it or not, Colin is testing the power of internet advertising, Facebook campaigning and YouTube media all in one – through what is referred to as shock value. Granted, it is likely that many more people wanted to see that bikini disappear than want to see Colin Cosell without pants, he attempting to create a buzz nonetheless. Although, I doubt his protest will cause more people to watch hockey, it may cause more people to watch Colin Cosell.

On September 2, I take off the top.

On September 2,I take off the top.

On September 4, I take off the bottom.

On September 4, I take off the bottom.

The display that keeps its promises

Avenir - The display that keeps its promises

As you can see on the left, the 80’s model did in fact keep her promise, although probably not exactly the way people were hoping she would. If you were around back then, and had your ear in advertising circles, you may have heard about this, because it created quite a buzz.  In Oglivy on Advertising, David Ogilvy reports that “all Paris was agog” over this series of posters.  Although nudity in European advertising was nothing new, people were still curious to see what was going to happen.

Is Colin really not wearing pants?  It is summer, so maybe he is just wearing shorts.  Maybe he has a nice pair of heart boxers on, some silk Marvin the Martian Boxers or maybe a pair of white briefs with skid marks. (Gross!)

Regardless of what Colin’s fashion faux pas is, I assume that he is going to keep his promise one way or another, just as our lovely french friend did. I can also guarantee that the people who saw Colin’s first ‘PSA’ are at least a tad bit curious as to what his next move is going to be. If he follows through and does something shocking, different, or out of the ordinary, people will talk, people will listen, and people will come to his website (if you build it, they will come).

Come See What's Inside

Albe created quite a buzz; and it wasn't the first time, or the last time.

The french posters were actually a BtoB marketing campaign from the French advertising agency Avenir who plastered them all over the public transport system in Paris to prove the power of advertising.

Proof is in the Pudding

While I was working as an Art Director at Giaccone Storytellers advertising agency, I designed an ad for Albe Furs which created quite a buzz.  Although I didn’t realize the effect it would have when I designed it, some of their clientele were shocked!  “Come See What’s Inside” was the headline. The visual, although simply a woman in a fur coat, suggested something more, and this suggestion alone caused an uproar.  The client reported people coming in and complaining about it, saying it was inappropriate and other such comments.  He also had people come in and say how much they loved it.  Albe loved the ad and the publicity – both the positive and the negative feedback – he was happy to know that his name was on peoples lips and in their minds. This was not the first time, nor the last time that one of his ads was drastic and bold in tone and message, but each time he used one, he got the desired effect. The owner of Giaccone Storytellers, Joe Giaccone – my mentor at the time – lives by the mantra “You can’t BORE people into buying from you.” This concept rings true with me as well, although I like to take it a step further and say that you CAN shock people into talking about you.

It doesn’t matter if you are Colin Cosell, Avenir, Albe Furs, or anyone else.  Good advertising and marketing stands out from the crowd.  Do something different. Create a buzz around a product or service.  Today is no different than it was 30 years ago (Sheesh has it been that long since the 80’s?  I feel old.) Be tasteful, but be BOLD.  Don’t be afraid to walk the fine line.  Don’t be afraid of the critics. People will talk. Let them talk! Encourage them to talk!  The Irish author Brendan Behan was credited with saying, “There is no such thing as bad publicity except your own obituary.” If your name, brand, and company is on everyone’s tongue and in everyone’s mind, you couldn’t ask for anything more.

Although I don’t really want to see a YouTube video of Colin’s bare ass, I am curious nonetheless to see where he is going to take this, and furthermore, curious to see if his bold moves increase his YouTube hits and/or Web site traffic. Only time will tell.  Colin – I apologize if I stole your thunder or ruined your punchline, but show me what you got!

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Elementary students put pen to paper to create books

The article below was printed in The Norwalk Hour
Thursday, May 6, 2010 Vol. 139 No. 126
http://www.thehour.com/story/486058
Photo from TheHour.com

Ryan Bud and Kyle Mercer

Kyle Mercer and Ryan Bud illustrate prints for books they and each of their classmates will have published...

NORWALK
By DANIELLE CAPALBO
Hour Staff Writer

Ryan Bud took a break from his memoirs to reflect.

He never thought he’d be an author, he said. Not in his whole life. Meanwhile, in about a month, Bud will experience a gratifying milestone: the publication of his first book. It will be great, he said. He will share the book with his parents and his friends.

“But I really wanted to be an archaeologist,” he said, then resumed coloring. To be fair, Bud has plenty of time to pursue that dream, too. He’s only 5 years old.

“My book is going to be about play dates,” he said. “It’s going to be about the first time I had a real play date, with my friend Jackson, which I liked a lot because we played games.”

Through financial support from the Naramake Parent Teacher Organization and the vision of Naramake kindergarten teacher Lori Huber, Bud and every other student at the school — about 400 in all — will see their classroom work transformed into printed and bound books they can keep as souvenirs of their childhood experiences, aspirations and imaginations.

Some kids will write books about history, Huber said, or collaborate to publish anthologies of poetry. Other kids will write fiction or archive what they want to be when they grow up.

“What I wanted to do was support and enhance students’ literacy skills,” Huber said. “To me, when the kids work that hard, they like to see a published piece and they’re very proud of the work they do. They can read their own book, see their work in print.”

In September, the PTO announced its first competitive mini-grant program for teachers, and Huber said she applied for a relatively small fund. She wanted to finance a publishing program in her classroom yet, in no time, the project spread from 22 students to nearly 18-times that.

“The school has really bought into this,” said Lisa Lenskold, a PTO board member.

Lenskold said the PTO awarded $2,576 in grant money, funding eight innovative programs that included Huber’s book publishing, a composting bin in Michelle Burnham’s second-grade class, a hands-on demonstration of the butterfly life cycle for all second-grade students and a schoolwide reading challenge developed by Iziar Mikolic but led by Naramake’s ESL students.

“It is having a trickle-down effect where you’re seeing other teachers challenge themselves, too,” Lenskold said.

Huber said she is publishing the books through a company called Studentreasures, which works with schools nationwide. The company publishes the first copy of each student’s book for free, and the grant money — $312 — bought massive amounts of magic markers and colored pencils.

Huber said the books are important for a number of reasons: they improve students’ literacy, foster a sense of pride in the students’ hard work and capture a moment in time for students to revisit when they’re not students anymore.

“It’s really a snapshot of what they’ve done at this age,” Huber said. “The best part for me is, these books show how the students have all learned and grown since the beginning of the year.”

“The most wonderful part about it is, the PTO sees the impact of what teachers put into their class and what teachers are trying to do with their limited budget,” she said.

She said she hopes the books will be ready by June 14 so the school can host an outdoor reading celebration.

On Wednesday, Huber’s students put the finishing touches on their eight-page autobiographies. That’s the genre her class voted to explore, she said. The books document special events, like Bud’s favorite play date or a nice, long walk that Samantha Wallak took. They each start with the basic details of a student’s life — “This is me. I am 6. I am special,” by Benni Tucci — and conclude with a reflection on a student’s unique strengths.

Paolo Escobar wrote that she likes to baby-sit, because she likes taking care of “little people.” Estefania Carvente wrote that she is proud of herself because she has made so many friends since the beginning of the school year; before she finished jotting down her sentence, she confidently recited the names of all the kids at her table.

“It’s so incredible to watch,” Huber said. “They’ve come so far.”

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