Archive for the ‘moAdmo’ Category

My Mom is great

Today’s the day that we think about our Moms in a special way. We should think about them in a special day everyday.

There will be two posts today, this one for my Mom and another one for Linda, written by both Cary and Ellie.

Sure we could have bought a card, or some flowers but we figured that writing stories about our mom and being there when she got home from Paris would be better. I didn’t tell them what to say, they wrote them on there own and I copied and pasted onto the blog. Make sure you give the other blog a read, I’m proud of my kids for putting their heart into it.


My Mom is great.

She’s Italian by default but so much more. My mom has style & flair(so does my wife, but that’s another story). Rose Marie Campagna Keidel is like no one else I know. She can be loving and sweet and make you feel guilty in the same moment.

My brothers and I had an idyllic childhood in a wonderful neighborhood, ina small town west of Cincinnati.
My parents brought us up to bei individuals, giving us enough rope to hang ourselves and in deed letting us fail and learn from our  failures.

My mom is creative in everything she does, everything. I get that creativity from her and my grandma, Gertrude Keidel. Everything she does is beautiful or delicous. Her pies are a work of art, her cakes put the BonBonnerie to shame. Her house is a treasure trove of wonderful things, each was hand picked and has a story. The lady can cook.

My mom crazy in a good way. Crazy about how things should be when in reality, her instincts are usually spot on. My mom would wish we were like other families when we were really better than those families.


My mom is loving but she doesn’t always show it or say it.

I love you mom,

she knows it. I know she loves me.

So here’s to you mom and all you other moms out there.

We wouldn’t be who we are with out you.

Repurposed words of wisdom from my generation.

Before there was gen x, gen y, millennials, whatever else they classify themselves, there was just plain folks. Baby boomers is such bullshit box to be put in. We just are who we are. And we are awesome!. Our lives are living proof.

To those of us born 1925 – 1970. To all the kids who survived the 1930s, ’40s, ’50s, ’60s and ’70s… First, we survived.

Being born to mothers who may have smoked and/or drank ,while they were pregnant. They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn’t get tested for diabetes. Then, after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-based paints. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, locks on doors or cabinets, and, when we rode our bikes, we had baseball caps, not helmets, on our heads.

As infants and children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, no booster seats, no seat belts, no air bags, bald tires and sometimes no brakes.. Riding in the back of a pick- up truck on a warm day was always a special treat. We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle. We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle, and no one actually died from this.

We ate cupcakes, white bread, real butter, and bacon. We drank kool-aid made with real white sugar. And we weren’t overweight. Why? Because we were always outside playing…

That’s why!

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us all day. –and, we were okay.
We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride them down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes.. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem..

We did not have play stations, Nintendo and x-boxes. There were no video games, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVD, no surround-sound or CDs, no cell phones, no personal computers, no internet and no chat rooms.

We had friends and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth, and there were no lawsuits from those accidents. We would get spankings with wooden spoons, switches, ping-pong paddles, or just a bare hand, and no one would call child services to report abuse. We ate worms, and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever. We were given bb guns for our 10th birthdays, 22 rifles for our 12th, rode horses, made up games with sticks and tennis balls, and although we were told it would happen- we did not put out very many eyes. We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them.

Little league had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn’t had to learn to deal with disappointment.

Imagine that!!

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!

These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers, and inventors ever. The past 50 to 85 years have seen an explosion of innovation and new ideas..

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.

If you are one of those born between 1925-1970, congratulations!

You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids before the lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives for our own good. While you are at it, share this with your kids, so they will know how brave and lucky their parents were. Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn’t it ?

“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves”.
-Abraham Lincoln

NOTE: this text was emailed to me several times, I didn’t write it, I lived it and loved it.

Midlife Crises or Midlife Malaise?

I sit here at my desk on a Friday morning and some how, some way, it seems like I’m at a crossroads.

It’s February in Ohio, dark, dank, cold and depressing, I’m in serious need of some sunshine and sand between my toes. I don’t feel like working for clients that don’t respect me today. I pity the fool that comes in here and ask me to make to “pop” today. Question my pantone color selection and you may see 185 red. Don’t ask me stupid questions or say to me “don’t mind me asking”. I fucking mind today.

Is this the midlife crises that I have been expecting like the onset of type 2 diabetes? Is this what I’m feeling?

I don’t expect you to answer for me. I will grapple with this myself and today I write a story about it. Comment if you want but know that I am doing this for me and me alone.

So, I turned 50 two and half years ago, we had a party, I drank way too much tequila. I was hung over for 3 days. I had fun and I think everyone there did too. Linda certainly did, she has not touched the Patron since. It was a mix of my westside buddies minus a few of my best old friends, my FNC buddies and my newly adopted HP/Mt Lookout/Kilgour Parents that have diced that I’m OK for a westsider, conservative. I expect that to be the start of my midlife thingy. It wasn’t.

It’s happening now.

But it’s not what I expected. I’m not looking to cheat on my wife or leave my family. I love her and my kids so much.

I’m not looking to buy a Harley and some leather chaps and get a tat and an earring? I’d rather have a Stella scooter- all tricked out. I’m sure all my friends with new motorcycles would be aghast at me riding with them in a sissy red Poe’s scooooter. Don’t care. aha.

I’ve also started to go to mass on Sundays. I’ve been to a different church each Sunday. Big beautiful Catholic churches all over the city. It’s been thirty five years since I’ve really got down on my knees and prayed. That’s been good, but I’m noticing that it’s much more emotional than I remember. I can’t explain that. Something changing deep inside me and it’s good. Very good, but I’m starting to act like the new speaker of the house, if you can see what I’m saying’. I’ve never been a cry baby till now.

And then there’s politics and the world revolution and the bumbling presidency of Barack Hussein Obama. It bugs to no end how callus and lawless that man has been. I should not let things that I have not control of bother me but for the first time on my life I am actually freaked out about what’s going on in the world. I was not a big W fan but I’d take him back in a New York minute over this progressive ass wipe. Hell, I’d rather have bill Clinton(not Hillary-wfw).

And I thought I would feel better after this November’s historic shellacking.

I don’t.

Not with all this greedy thuggish union protesting going on in WI and now my state, OHIO. I’m a proud tea party member and I’m pissed off at the mockery that is happening. This is not about the middle class worker’s American Dream being taken away by evil GOP Governors, it’s about the unions that work for the government contributing to their healthcare and retirement like we all do. Union busting, OK damn right, screw them and their socialist agenda and sheer bribery of the Democratic party. And for the cowards that leave their states to avoid a vote, cut them off, fire them, fuck em. Yes that’s angry rhetoric. Not civil. What they are doing is not right and it’s about time somebody stands up agains the stupidity that’s going on.

And that fact that gas prices will necessarily skyrocket this summer, I’m going to get me the Stella. It’s all by design by the progressive movement to cause chaos-buttom up, top down, inside out(the heart part). Why are we not drilling for oil everywhere right now? Obama and his minions like Cal Sunstein has regulated it out of business. EPA is regulating against the will of the people. Obama’s decided that he will decide what’s constitutional and what’s not. WTF? His healthcare bill now stand unconstitutional according to the law. That has not been overturned yet, I don’t think it will be, it’s over as far as I’m concerned.

I’m going to deal with this anger. Have to. Thank GOD we have the internet and other than mainstream media to get our news from. My guys won the election and I will stand with Gov. Kasich. And in less than two years we throw the bum out of the white house and clean up the mess that the left always leaves behind.

Hopefully then I will have found a new direction for my life. Maybe teaching, or art.

Look out world, I’m getting a scooter.

The “a” word.

Things happen in my professional life that either make me proud or make me cringe.

For those of you that don’t really know me, my name is Michel and I am an advertising creative. My title is Creative Director, I fancy myself as a creative story teller. My discipline was that of an Art Director, I will explain that later.

The two events that happened week were related. Here’s the story…

Be Different

On last Wednesday, I attended the annual Cincinnati AdClub Cannes Awards luncheon, brought to us by USA Today and sponsored by(crap I can’t remember). We had a dude from Bridge Worldwide talk beforehand about his french y french riviera experience. It was interesting and I have to admit some envy, OK a lot of envy, raving frickin’ jealousy, but I digress. The one thing that I do remember because it’s still stuck in my craw like a hamburger stick with the little red plastic crap on the end.

He said there was a discussion about removing the “Advertising” from the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival which they actually did. Henceforth it is now the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. WTF!

When exactly did Advertising become a four letter word or the “a”-word.

On Saturday, I attended the Kilgour Fall Event. They made me feel great by gushing about what a good job I have done over the years on their “graphics.” In my line of work(advertising) it is very rare to receive platitudes or be celebrated and I truly appreciate being appreciated. My pro-Bono work gives me great satisfaction in that respect, because it’s great to be able to give back when I have gotten so much.

But. I did more than just the “graphics.” There’s a concept in there some where.

Splitting hairs, you ask?

In my mind, Advertising is the root/core of what I do. Webster’s defines advertising as 1 : the action of calling something to the attention of the public especially by paid announcements. I would add the word “persuade’ in there and targeted public too.

It’s the concept behind the action above. It starts with the homework of finding out what exactly we’re selling and to whom we are selling to. It involves the emotion of the experience of the brand and how to tap into that emotion to persuade them(whoever they are) to action(buy). I’ve found over the years that there’s only one way to do this well.

Tell a story.

So I use all of these tools to tell a story, starting with a objective, then strategies to reach the objective(s), executions of the strategies using a plethora of creative techniques and concepts, and finally the craft of art & copy to create the thing. I said thing because this works for campaigns, ads, the ugly trifold pamphlets, Outdoor, POP, websites, banner ads, TV spots, tweet campaigns, facebook fan pages, all that voodoo that medo and my friendsdo so well. Why we make it so complicated is beyond me. Confession, I do know why, it’s all about billable hours.

To me, Advertising is the Genus of the species and Branding, Packaging, Interactive, Graphic Design, PR, TV & Radio production, and many others are the sub geneses of the species. All very are important to a marketer to deploy on their brand development. But, the creative CONCEPT has to be KING, all the other stuff is delicious icing on the cake. Mere delivery vehicles. It doesn’t matter who creates the concept! So often I see stuff without a core concept, just snappy or sloppy technique.

When I started my career, thirty years ago, I had two paths from which to choose. One path was to go into te graphic design side of the business and find work at one of the many fine Cincinnati Design Studios. They did mostly packaging work for a huge dualithic consumer package goods marketer and soap maker. The second path was to land a job at one of the local/regional advertising agencies. They work on all the big companies advertising campaigns and that meant my first love TV and second Radio(storytelling). I chose the later. Proudly.

Lately, I have seen the Design Studios become the dominate force of the local creative scene. The advertising agencies have gotten smaller and more scarce. It’s a shame and I don’t like it. Admittedly , ad agencies have caused much of their own demise by over charging, excessive mark-up and blantant arrogance. We made it too damn hard to do business with us by bring impossible to work with. Too much beatdown is not good for business.(Ask any client)

Now, LPK, Landor and the likes offer services that ad agencies used to do, product and market research, branding, packaging, the spinoff were the Digital agencies like Bridge and Hyperquake. They design and create. They craft experiences and content. It’s all good. But what about the storytelling? What about the selling? The persuading? The art? It’s there, but you have to hunt for it.

So what do I care if they take the Advertising out of Cannes or I’m applauded for being a gifted graphic designer. I guess I don’t care all that much, but it’s not me.

I’m advertising artist and storyteller and always will be.

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