Let the hype begin

Super Bowl Sunday is now less than a week away. The hype began the minute the Patriots beat the Ravens and continued as the Giants edged the 49ers. Vegas installed the Patriots as the early favorites, intent on revenging their last loss to the G-men.

But I’m not here to talk about the game or who’s favored. I’m one of those people who takes their bathroom breaks during the game. For the big money is being spent between breaks. Three-and-a-half million dollars for 30 seconds of air time – that’s the going rate for this year’s commercials during the Super Bowl. Spots in the first quarter always cost more than those in the last – that’s to help cover the potential of a blow-out where viewers might change the channel. Or perhaps it’s due to the fact that by the 3rd quarter, many of those who are watching the game at Super Bowl parties are completely oblivious there’s even a game still underway. Who cares, just pass me another Bud Light.

Speaking of Bud Light, I’m proud to say that Cannonball, a local St. Louis agency has a contestant that will be trying to top the Ad Meter. I hope they do. I read that Joe Bishop, a friend of mine who has worked on many a spot for the brewery was on the recent shoot and I’m sure was in on the concept stage. I hope the spot rocks.

There’s a lot of pressure to perform. A-B In-Bev has six commercials airing, including two, 60-second versions for the flagship Budweiser brand. That’s four minutes of air time at roughly $7 million a minute which by my estimation comes out to around $28 million to sell some beer.

That’s a lot of beer that Mr. Brito is expecting to be sold. Of course, the key these days is to drive people to the website or the Facebook page or the YouTube channel showcasing the commercials. Still, visits don’t necessarily mean sales. You’ve got to get people at the 7-11 or the grocery store or local liquor retailer or your neighborhood Applebee’s to buck up at the cash register.

The new hero brand for A-B is apparently Bud Light Platinum. Something tells me that brand is not targeting me as a customer. I’m not sure what it is that makes the Platinum brand so platinum. Surely it can’t be that they’ve added a dash of the mineral that goes by the atomic number of 78 to the brew. So what is it? I guess we’ll find out on Sunday.

At least those of us that aren’t too drunk to know or who happen to be depositing some of said brew down the drain.

A good ride spoiled

Mark Twain said that golf is “a good walk spoiled”.

They didn’t have golf carts back in Sam’s day. But they do now and I use them just about every time I play. Today was one of those days.

The temperature was in the 40s. I’m one of those idiot golfers you’ll see if you drive by a course and you wonder what in God’s name would compel someone to play golf at the end of January – particularly in St. Louis. If you’ve ever seen me play, you might wonder what compels me to play in the first place.

It’s in the genes. My brother, the Monsignor, is a golf fanatic. My dad, who will be turning 86 in a few weeks and just had a knee replaced right before Christmas was out on the course last week. Why, oh, why do we do these things?

I can’t quite explain it. I love to hit that golf ball. I started out strong today, making par on the first three holes. I was four over after nine and for me, that’s an accomplishment. There was a threesome ahead of me that wouldn’t let me play through. That’s okay. It gave me some much needed time by myself – away from my basement office, away from work. It gave me a chance to forget about all the things that have been racing through my brain recently and just concentrate on trying, to the best of my ability, to smack that ball.

I started my round on the back nine, so when I reached 18, the threesome ahead of me headed for their cars while I headed for the first tee with no one else in sight. Apparently, the fact that I no longer had to wait may have messed me up. I suddenly was no longer focusing on the shot in front of me and those shots began to spray in a variety of directions.

Still, I finished the round with a par, playing 18 holes in a little over 2 hours and meeting my normal golf objective – I shot in the 80s (87 to be exact). I was home before I knew it and back to the very large list of tasks at hand that I wanted to accomplish before Monday began. There were 15 things on that list. It’s 8:30 in the evening and I’ve crossed off four of them.

Sitting here now, I think back to how quickly it all came and went. When you ride a cart  and zip through a round, the thing that spoils it is it’s over before you know it. No time to savor the surroundings. No time to think about the cool, crisp air that makes your eyes water and your nose run.

I’m savoring it now, though. The January round is in the books. Time to move on to February.

Have a great week ahead.

Enlightenment (as promised)

Yesterday’s post was very similar to a Seinfeld episode – it was much ado about nothing. And by no means am I comparing the blather of yesterday’s post to the brilliance of any Seinfeld episode. It’s just that there wasn’t much there.

I promised more enlightenment for today’s column. Fasten your seat belts, it’s about to get deep in here.

Recently, I was challenged to prove that God exists. That’s quite a tough challenge. Google that question and you’ll find all sorts of answers, none of them definitive. For how can it be?

There was one article by a gentleman named Peter Kreeft that dealt with a series of questions. The questions that follow are his, the comments are mine.

First, there is the question of whether something exists or not. A thing can exist whether we know it or not. There are bugs deep within the jungles of Africa that exist but I know nothing of them. Yet they still exist, right?

Second, there is the question of whether we know it exists. If a thing can exist without our knowing it, we cannot know it exists unless it exists, right? (Yeah, that was easy to follow.)

Third is the question of of whether we have a reason for our knowledge. We can know some things without being able to lead others to that knowledge by reasons. So just because I know there’s a God, and I have my reasons, doesn’t mean I’ll be able to convince anyone else.

Fourth there is the question of whether this reason, if it exists, amounts to a proof. Most reasons do not. Most of the reasons we give for what we believe amount to probabilities, not proofs. You believe you will not be struck by lightning tonight. But you could. You have your reasons for believing there’s a God. You just may not have the proof to back it up.

Finally, if there is a proof, is it a scientific proof? This is where the arguments fall short, for we have no scientific proof that God exists.

But God must exist. After all, He tapped me on the shoulder and told me to write this post tonight.

Day rolls into night

I remember when I used to roll into work around 7:45, work out during my lunch hour and then call it a day around 5:30 or so. Every once in a while when work got busy, I’d arrive an hour early or maybe stay an hour late and on occasion, I’d work on weekends.


Life has changed a bit since then. A college teacher once told me, “Don’t ever ask for more money. Always ask for more responsibility and the money will follow.” Well,  I’ve definitely taken on more responsibility. And I’m hoping the money will follow. Right now, it’s got a little bit of catching up to do.

But that’s okay. I seem to be adjusting to life as a freelancer. I’m watching a lot less TV – (all I ever really watched most evenings were sports anyway.) I’m not getting in quite as many workouts as I used to but still, I’m not totally slacking off in that department. I am spending less quality time with the kids and Chris during the evenings but they all seem to understand that you’ve got to put in the time to get things rolling.

I keep telling everyone that my website will be done soon. I wish I could define when soon is but it’s coming. Good things are just around the corner.

So as this night rolls into day, I’m going to call it a day.

And if you feel you just wasted two minutes of your own day reading a post that essentially told you absolutely nothing, my apologies.

I promise I’ll be more enlightening tomorrow.

Dreams do come true

Steve Meyer with his new, hot little red sports car and special certificate of appreciation.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner.

Steve Meyer of Cary, North Carolina was the proud recipient of a brand new red sports car delivered right to his home (mailbox) for being the 1,00th viewer of this blog. Imagine the joy he must have felt, tearing into the brown envelope with the slight bulge in the middle, knowing that he was moments away from reliving a part of his childhood. I can just see Steve right now, spending his idle minutes, vrrrooom-vrroooming that little red Hot Wheels across the kitchen table, maybe even doing a few loop-di-loops on his own specially configured racing track (he is an engineer and capable of mighty feats of track construction if he sets his mind to it).

Take a look at the photo and you can see how the special Certificate of Appreciation is a little worse for wear, probably ignored at first and maybe even somehow it made its way to the trash can before he realized what a momentous piece of communication he held in his hand. For Steve’s visit marked a milestone of sorts.1000 Certificate

1,000 visitors to this blog is an honor. It’s a sign to me that all these words aren’t completely useless after all. Already, the number of viewers to BloodLines Creative is rapidly approaching 2,000. I’m looking to expand the reach of this blog and in the next week or two, you will be seeing some major changes in the way it looks. And I’m going to be adding a few more bells and whistles to up the ante to get this thing to go beyond what it is now and hit the big time.

Will it happen? I plan on it. Yes, but will it? Like I said, dreams come true.

And when I reach the next milestone – which for me is going to be 5,000 viewers – that lucky person just might win a dream house.

I hope he or she likes Barbies.

Hack attack and the new car winner

Yesterday, I woke up with a virus. I was feeling fine, but apparently, my twitter account had been infected. There was a mysterious message from a former workmate of mine out of Kansas City who had sent me a message asking if I had opened this link to read the nasty rumors that were being spread about me on Facebook. I was immediately suspicious. For one thing, I really don’t do all that much on Facebook other than post these blogs, comment on a few of my friends postings and occasionally, post some news of my own. I don’t know what rumors people could spread about me. I’m really not very good rumor-mongering material.

I didn’t open the link. I knew better. I did tweet him back and asked what the deal was. I never heard back from him. I imagine, he was infected as well and his twitter account did what mine did – pass this stupid message along to every one of my followers. That made me mad. I don’t have what I consider to be a large twitter following to begin with and I certainly don’t want to go irritating the followers I do have with something I had nothing to do with in the first place. The tweets began flowing in – “Why did you send me this? … You’ve been hacked. … Change your password.”

I tweeted my apologies to everyone and did indeed change my password and I think I’m going to change it again to make sure I have something that’s not going to be hacked into again. Although I guess I wasn’t really hacked. I was just infected and unknowingly, passed the infection along. I haven’t heard any complaints since yesterday so maybe it came and went. Just a little 24-hour virus. I sure hope so.

I’m looking to start the work week off fresh and don’t want any lingering stench hanging around my accounts. So if you somehow got the message about the nasty rumor about yourself, I hope you didn’t open it. Who would do such a thing about you, anyway?

On another front, two weeks ago, I posted about who would be the lucky 1,00th viewer to my blog and I promised the winner a new car. There was a winner. He was sent his car. I’m still waiting for confirmation that he did indeed receive the vehicle before we release his name to the general public. It’s hard for me to imagine the joy he must have felt when the car showed up at his house. I will be sure and pass on more info about his big win in the near future.

Dreams do come true. Follow yours and don’t believe any emails you get about nasty rumors. They’re all false.

The London Rams

News came out this morning that our 2-14 St. Louis Rams will now be giving up one home game a year to go play in London.

The Rams are spinning it that this is a tremendous opportunity for St. Louis, a chance to showcase our fine city to the world and build our international fan base.

Yeah, right.

I can just see boatloads of Londoners making their plans right now to make that trans-Atlantic journey to come watch the Rams in action as they take on the Seahawks in a fierce battle for last place in the NFC West.

Give me a break, Mr. Kroenke. You might as well announce your plans right now that you’re moving the Rams to London. This is your time to be seen as the visionary who brought professional football across the pond to show all those Europeans what real football is all about. You own the stadium already and surely Arsenal will be willing to give up a few Sunday dates and play on a slightly beaten up field to accommodate their new stadium mates, the London Rams.

I’m sure NFL players will be excited about the opportunity. The Raiders, Seahawks, 49ers and Chargers will all be thrilled to take the short, 13-hour flight to play the Rams in their new home and then make the happy return trip, victory in hand as they prepare to play the next week, still a little jet-lagged but better off for the experience.

I imagine they’ll have to re-do the conferences. It was hard to justify how the Rams were members of the NFC West when they were in St. Louis. It’s really going to be a stretch when they reside in London. I guess maybe they’ll be new members of the TransAtlantic East division.

We’ve been PSL holders since the second year the Rams arrived in St. Louis. We enjoyed the glory days of “The Greatest Show on Turf”. But overall, we’ve seen a lot of really dismal football. I’ve always maintained that it’s fun to go see an NFL team in action – who just so happen to be playing the Rams. The past few years, we have renewed our season tickets, paid for those totally meaningless pre-season games and kept hoping that maybe this is the year they turn things around.

Now, we have one less home loss that we don’t have to attend. When the Rams leave St. Louis, I don’t think we’re going to be in line for another NFL franchise any time soon. That is a horrible shame and I truly mean that. To me, it’s just another indication that this city and this region is moving further down the ranks and continuing to become more of a flyover city than an international hub.

I can’t stand that. I can’t do much about it. Mr. Kroenke and his multi-billions could.

But all signs indicate that he prefers tea and crumpets and warm beer.

At a loss for words

I didn’t post anything yesterday. And the world went on just fine without it.

But guilt slapped me in the face as I crawled into bed, knowing I had failed myself. I want to post five times a week and that’s what I’ve done every week since I began this blog. It’s my commitment to building BloodLines Creative – I have no idea if I will ever get any business as a result of what I write on these diatribes. But I know it’s important to keep writing. That’s what I do.

Yesterday was another work day that stretched well into the evening. I had a nice dinner break and enjoyed taking Michael to his pitching and hitting lessons as he tunes up for JV baseball at St. Louis U High. He’s looking good. But upon our return, there was still work to be done. I have a big presentation today. And I’m continuing to try and get Emerge Interactive (my web developer and a great company – call them – they will help you with your interactive efforts!) all my assets for my website.

Last night, it was taking photographs of my paintings to post in my gallery section of my site. I had my usual technical glitches as I was unable to post what I had done onto the Emerge Interactive gallery page. It was past ten and I still hadn’t done the blog.

I’d already spent more than ten hours in my downstairs office. That’s enough for one day.

Today is another day.

I might just make it a two-post day.

Who reads copy, anyway?

Most of you have probably never heard of Lurzer’s International Archive. That’s okay. It’s a publication that comes out 6 times a year featuring the most creative ads being done throughout the world. I’ve been subscribing to it since it first came out, I think back in 1996. I love to see what kind of truly creative advertising other countries are doing. Every time I receive a new issue in the mail, I can’t wait to devour the contents, page by page, ad by ad. I keep a drool bucket nearby.

It’s a constant reminder to me that I have to push harder in delivering big ideas. And more and more and more it’s a constant reminder that people just don’t read copy anymore. In the latest addition there are more than 100 pages of new work, generally displaying two and sometimes as many as four ads per page. So that’s about 250 or so new ads showcased in what is deemed to be the best creative resource in the world for showcasing great work.

Guess how many of those 250 or so examples featured more than two paragraphs of copy?


We live in a visual world. Attention spans are short. There’s other stuff to do. One of my favorite sayings regarding this biz is by Howard Gossage, a legendary ad man from the ’60s who created all sorts of off-the-wall, but long copy ads. He said, “People read what interests them. And sometimes it’s an ad.”

Apparently, not so much anymore.