Friday, September 21, 2007

A Sucker for blatant commercialism

Attention, people who work in advertising: you win. I am a total sucker for advertising. I love creativity in advertising, and a good, funny, original ad will grab my attention, and, I'll admit, probably make me more likely to buy the product being advertised. But most of all, I'm drawn in by music in commercials. In the past, I've bought CDs or individual songs because of songs I've heard in commercials for M&Ms, Vodafone, Levis (at least twice), Polaroid, Magnum ice cream bars, and others that I have forgotten. Volkswagen definitely wins the prize--I was one of many people who first heard Nick Drake's "Pink Moon" in a particularly memorable commercial, and I recently bought the new Wilco album after humming along to numerous VW ads. While I feel a little ashamed that I heard these songs by watching TV and not by seeing the bands in some live show, or hearing them on some independent radio station, or from a particularly culturally-savvy friend, I'll take good music and enjoy it no matter what the medium of discovery. However, I do feel a little saddened by the fact that popular artists so frequently pair up with companies in these displays of mutually-beneficial commercialism...not because the artists have "sold out" but because this kind of thing is no longer considered selling out at all but a normal part of our culture.

Anyway, the latest song to make its mark on me is Feist's ridiculously catchy "1 2 3 4", featured in the commercials for the new iPod nano. I'm on a zero-spending budget this month, but at some point when I feel a little more financially sound I'll pick up that CD. The video is really fun, too. If you haven't seen it, here it is. It obviously doesn't take much to amuse me, but I love the whole people-appearing-or-disappearing-from-behind-other-people trick, done well in this video. But if you want to see a really fun example, check out this creepy and odd example from British singer Bat for Lashes:

Friday, September 07, 2007

Enter the students

So we're back in gear here on campus. Tomorrow I plan to have a true local experience and tailgate for the big Notre Dame game. Not being a football fan, or much of a sports-party type of girl, or a big fan of crowds of rowdy drunken people, or a person who likes to sit on lawn chairs when there isn't a beach or pool nearby, I'm not sure how much I'll enjoy it.

September is absolutely the worst month for me, work-wise. In the short span of one or two weeks, I went from a nice, quiet office and campus, to Stress City, population 40,000. The beginning of the semester marks my busiest time of year. First I have to recruit, interview, hire and train two teams of student volunteers, and plan for a big information fair that I am in charge of at the end of the month. And all the while, a steady stream of students come through my office, looking for information, and since the student volunteers aren't trained yet, I have to help them. By this afternoon, I started feeling overwhelmed and worried that I might forget something essential, so when I got home I took some time to make a list of all the things that have to be done. Most of the things really need to get done in the next few days. I came up with a list of FIFTY individual, significant tasks...and even with that, I think I'm forgetting a few things.

So wish me luck! And stay tuned for some tailgating photos and an update on the carpet situation--there's good news!