"Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing." Vince Lombardi
Wieden+Kennedy Softball wins its first game of the summer, 15-14 over CMD
See the full photo set here: http://flic.kr/p/8kCdoo

"Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing." Vince Lombardi

Wieden+Kennedy Softball wins its first game of the summer, 15-14 over CMD

See the full photo set here: http://flic.kr/p/8kCdoo

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Winning the Internet.

Do you remember being caught singing in the mirror (or, I mean, flexing your muscles) when you were a kid? Or shooting hoops in an empty gym, rapping along with Eminem, only to realize the school dance team warming up behind you? Or dropping into a huge halfpipe on your skateboard, closing your eyes and hoping not to slam your face on the ground, but sticking it safe and sound (and to a roar of cheers)?

         

Or do you remember playing a pick-up football game with your friends at the park alone? No one there to watch, cheer or jeer - just friends and the intense strategy of the game. The match is fierce and you must outwit your friends in order to be successful. As the game draws to an end, you notice that there are people standing along the sidelines - friends from school, your parents, co-workers, park-goers - and they are screaming at the top of their lungs.

                         

How about this: do you remember meeting in a small studio in Portland, Oregon, to shoot a few short video clips, a spreadsheet in your arm with a list of names to send the videos to, and a head full of ideas, plans and implementation strategies? You have no idea of what to expect, just a dream from the night before about being the top story on Digg.com and ruling 4chan. 

        

When you walk out of the dark studio after the third day, tired, sore and dizzy, you find out you’ve just helped create the largest, most innovative and most love marketing stunt in the history of the Internet, and, quite possibly, the biggest of all time. 

Remember that?

- Cody Corona

Check out more from Cody at www.codycorona.com

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The NY Hipster vs. The PDX Hipster

A Hipster. What is it in New York? What is it in Portland?

I think it is safe to say that we all agree that hipsters are so whatever.

I just moved to Portland from New York, the two coastal capitals and playgrounds for these moustached party people. Though I have four more years of experience observing the hipsters in Brooklyn, Portland’s got enough of ‘em swarming dive bars and SE food carts that I can confidently compare my observations.

Before we get into what is different about these two creatures. Let’s first discuss what remains the same about both NYC and PDX hipsters:

They’re all white, tattooed heavily, have hair everywhere, wear thin graphic t-shirts, too skinny, drink PBR, and never appear during the day. Because of this last fact, I conclude they don’t have jobs. How can they afford the luxurious lifestyle of PBR seven nights a week? Thanks mom & dad! thanks g-ma & g-pa! formerly known as a trust-fund, now know as PBR-or-bust fund.

        

Goodbye baby boomers’ American dreams. Hello vintage bicycle.

So, What is the difference between NYC and PDX hipsters?

Well, NYC hipsters care less about everything. the people around them, the way they “look” (irony!?), and interestingly enough, work. They’re mostly from Greenwich, Connecticut or Westchester, New York.

The reason for plaid - to conceal their family’s wealth? The reason for their warehouse parties and not fancy clubs - to conceal their family’s wealth? I’m not talking about a Johnny Cash ‘I-wear-black-for-the-poor-and-tattered’ deal. That was compassion. This is so whatever.

       

But in Portland, they’ll talk to you if you’re not a hipster. In fact, just the other day, a hipster and I bonded over Hank Williams. An NYC hipster animal-name-band-atmospheric-electronikafunkyness-listener may not think Hank is cool, despite the fact that Hank inspired their leader, Bobby D. However, we had a nice pleasant conversation about good music, and I totally forgot I was speaking with a hipster.

Bottom line, the only difference between a NYC hipster and a PDX hipster is niceness. In New York, they could be a lot nicer. Here in PDX, they’re nice. They care a little more about you and will even cough up two quarters to play a stranger in Cruise America at Ground Kontrol.

Now that’s whatever.

- Joey Dello Russo

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Take Me Out To The Ball Game.

Today, July 18, 2010, the interns of W+K, had an outing at PGE Park to see the baseball game between the Portland Beavers and the Colorado Springs Sky Sox. It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon to hang out and watch baseball, eat some great food, but most importantly, spend some quality intern time. 

The game was great and what made it that much better was the fact that we got to watch it from a field suite directly behind home plate. However, despite our enthusiastic cheering, team spirit and passionate involvement in the game, we were not able to help the Beavers prevail over the Sky Sox, as they lost the game 10 to 6. 

Even though the Beavers were not able to pull out the win, we all definitely enjoyed the game and the time we spent together. A special thanks goes out to Porsha and W+K for inviting us, organizing and making this wonderful outing possible. It was a lot of fun and greatly appreciated by all of us. THANK YOU!!! Below are some photos from the game. Enjoy!!!

       

Group shot.

       

Portland’s PGE Park. Home of the Beavers.

       

Cody and the Golden Ticket.

       

Our view of the game from Field Suite #6.

       

Everyone hanging out inside the suite.

       

Inside PGE Park.

       

Cody and Joey maxin’ and relaxin’.

       

Jeff took a big bite of his cookie. 

       

Joey and Everett enjoying the action.

       

Brandon loves baseball. 

       

Kristine is really enjoying whatever is on her plate.

       

Yunfei enjoying the action at PGE Park.

       

On Deck.

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Rage and What’s Next

When John Carmack and the id Software team were creating games in the early 90’s,  they developed the underlying game engine first before ever putting pen to paper. Carmack would add a new feature to his already breakthrough engine (like a new rendering system or physics model) and then show it to the rest of the team. Then, rather hastily,  game designers John Romero and Tom Hall would think of a random story just to give the playing experience some context. Most times, the game’s story, level designs or characters were created specifically to show off Carmack’s new code.

      

In fact, the story Tom Hall wrote for Doom was scrapped entirely. Carmack’s new game engine was so fast and furious, the id team thought, no gamer wanted to waste time watching cutscenes and reading backstory. Apparently, they were right: Doom and Doom 2 sold millions of copies in the 90’s and, to this day, it remains the creative fountain that many current games draw from.

Finally (and fortunately) these days are over. In the early days of gaming, each new console, graphics card or operating system brought along significant advancements, which gave programmers like Carmack greater freedom to build mightier and quicker game engines. Entire systems alone were sold due to the “graphics being better” (Nintendo 64 over the Super Nintendo). Sega had the bright idea to try and convince gamers to buy a console based on graphics too - the Dreamcast. It didn’t work, but it was a sign of times to come: gamers no longer needed consoles with powerful graphics, lighting and physics capabilities.

I can point to several examples to help prove this point. The Nintendo Wii, with its barely last-gen graphics capabilities and weak third-party lineup, is one. The fact that there has been no talk of successors to the five-year-old Xbox 360 and PS3 is another. Here’s some more: the popularity of casual gaming (Facebook, iPhone), the decline of PC-only releases, the resurgence of of user-created games and levels (indie games, level editors), and the continued support and fanaticism for World of Warcraft.

   

All of those examples show that the revelry for a game’s outer-shell - the graphics engine, the lighting capabilities and all that - is no longer top priority for the world’s gamers.

So what’s left? The very thing John Carmack and id Software didn’t believe what was neccessary in 1994: story. Eyecandy has lost its flavor - now, the concept of an interactive and participatory story is what will keep people coming back.

Rockstar Games’ recent masterpiece Red Dead Redemption is a perfect example of this. While the graphics are still amazing, it’s the pull of the main character’s troubles that makes the player continue on. These days, games without a strong multiplayer component rarely succeed. Red Dead’s single player story is so engaging the outcome of the tale feels like the your responsibility.

And, finally, the ending of the game is an experience never before felt in video games. To make the player build an emotional connection to the character’s situation and relationships, Rockstar Games lets one live the daily life of a wild west rancher for several hours. The player becomes comfortable and safe in his new situation, and he waits to ride off into the sunset. This priming makes the eventual climax of the game even more powerful.

       

Experiences like those are the events that stay with you, the player. Other games have had impacts similar to this: the airport scene in Call of Duty 4, the ending revelation in BioShock, and the “save-file” continuation in Mass Effect 2.

Those experiences, and the strong stories that compliment them, will drive the future of gaming. Yes, new technology is being introduced (Kinect, Move, 3D), but technology should help players build a stronger connection to the story. Games started with no story - we should be getting closer to Hollywood as the time passes, not further away.

Even John Carmack agrees. Doom 3, released in 2004, was based on Tom Hall’s original story for Doom 1. Carmack’s new game, Rage, is a story-driven epic that promises to question modern conventions.

People can play games to pass time, yes. Games should be easy, simple to learn and fun. But that doesn’t mean there doesn’t need to be a story. It also doesn’t mean the story needs to suck. Every game should strive to leave a lasting impression on gamers, like Red Dead Redemption did. Whether a game appears on an iPhone screen or a 3D screen, there’s an opportunity to engage and touch the emotions of the player and it shouldn’t be thrown away.

- Cody Corona

codycorona.com

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The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Ben and Brandon switch glasses. haha. Classic photo from a fun night.

Ben and Brandon switch glasses. haha. Classic photo from a fun night.

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Joey with the world famous Old Spice guy, Isaiah Mustafa. 'I'm a pasty beergut kinda man.' 
This is the best picture that was taken at the massive photo shoot that resulted from Isaiah’s visit to W+K today.

Joey with the world famous Old Spice guy, Isaiah Mustafa. 'I'm a pasty beergut kinda man.'

This is the best picture that was taken at the massive photo shoot that resulted from Isaiah’s visit to W+K today.

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Cody, Joey and I will be participating in the ‘Life In A Day’ global film experiment. We are currently concepting ideas of how we will shoot and make, July 24, 2010, an epic day in our lives.We really want to be in this movie, but we also want to make something that is interesting, compelling and make us look back at it and say that was awesome.

If you have any suggestions of some fun things to do on that day or even want to be a part of this to make it the most epic day EVER, PLEASE let us know.

Much Love.

Cody, Joey and Brandon

“‘Life In A Day’ is a historic global experiment to create the world’s largest user-generated feature film: a documentary, shot in a single day, by you. On July 24, you have 24 hours to capture a glimpse of your life on camera. The most compelling and distinctive footage will be edited into an experimental documentary film, executive produced by Ridley Scott and directed by Kevin Macdonald.”

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10 Things About Trying.

          

Last week in the wonderful world of Twitter, where anything is possible, I got the pleasurable opportunity to meet Mark Pollard, the strategy director at McCann Sydney and founder of Stealth Magazine.

Here is how it happened. I followed him and to my surprise he followed me back and sent me a direct message:

    

For someone like Mark, who has 4,000+ followers, I was very impressed and ecstatic about his response. I responded to him thanking him for looking at my blog, taking the time to reply to me and to his surprise, how thought provoking I found his blog to be after spending over 3 hours on it. His response: 

   

I never responded to this direct message from Mark, but I am now in the form of this blog post.  

Mark:

As far as what I was thinking when I was reading your blog, I cannot pinpoint all of the thoughts. However, the post that provoked the most thoughts was 10 Things About Trying. Why? Well, I can totally relate to what you were saying. 

'Doing cultural stuff – entrepreneurial cultural stuff – can feel like a lonely pursuit. Lots of late nights, no sleep, little money… for years. I did what I did because I loved it.'

This was my favorite sentence from the post. Because it is simply about passion and  love for what you do. This is why I got into advertising and into planning. I used to think about what way can I have the biggest impact on the world and create the biggest stage for myself so the world could hear what I had to say. Advertising was the third thing that came to my mind after becoming a world class athlete and the President of the United States. I figured I had my best shot with advertising, so that is why I chose this career path.

As planners, it is our job to give ideas life and a voice, to inspire and to bring about wonder in some way shape or form to all who come in contact with it. 10 Things About Trying  was a reminder to never forget my passion and my purpose, but most importantly to not forget to enjoy every step of the process.

Like Mark, who founded Stealth Magazine, I too have an online magazine, The Connoisseur, that I work hard to make better everyday (it is still very much a work in progress). Like you said, it is a very lonely pursuit at times, and I think to myself (a lot recently) is it even worth pursuing? That is when I remember the reason for my goals and my ambitions, I do everything for the love of what I am doing and the final goal that the words I speak or write may have an impact on someone out there.

So Mark, yes, I spent 3 hours on your blog and there is enough stuff on your blog to spend that much time on there. I got plenty from your writings and it reminded why I am doing what I am doing: for the love, impact, hope, inspiration it may give someone who comes it contact with my me, my words or my work. Most importantly, it reminded to never stop searching and to always wonder.

Thanks.

-Brandon

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"The Apartment"

                           

                                   

"The Interpublic Group of Cos.’ digital shop handpicked five top students from portfolio schools for an internship program it’s dubbing "The Apartment," in which the youngsters work for MRM while living in a loft apartment for six-months totally rent-free.

So what do the interns have to do in exchange? In addition to working on client business, they’ll be expected to chronicle their experiences via Twitter, blogs and videos. The videos will be used to market “The Apartment” among the young creative community. (You can follow them at theapartment.posterous.com and @MRMers).”

Check out the whole article here.

Cody and I ran across this article the other day in Ad Age and it kind of made us laugh. Why laugh, you ask? Simply because this is what we are doing already with 4th and Flanders, except it sounded and felt a little more ‘Real World’ than it did real world.

This was our exact idea when we started 4th and Flanders, but it was a simpler idea to us. We have earned this great opportunity to intern at one of the best ad agencies ever, Wieden + Kennedy, and we love what we do and want to get better.

Our Idea: Let’s document for anyone who is willing to listen our love and passion for what we are doing as well as show our perspective on our real lives and our work lives.

It is more common sense and love for what we do that sparked the idea. We or W+K just hasn’t gotten the recognition for it what is going on here at 4th and Flanders..

We were kind of excited when we saw this. It is kind of indirect competition and being the competitive person that I am and I know Cody and Joey are, we will definitely be checking out what the ‘MRMers’ are doing and making sure 4th and Flanders will always reign supreme.

Hopefully, when Cody, Joey and I end our experience as interns, we can pass it on to the next set and have 4th and Flanders live on for a long time after us. I feel like a pioneer typing that sentence.

Check out the whole article here  from Ad Age.


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