About the Steve O Zone

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Two Heroes...

I know far too often the word "hero" is used these days, especially in the world of sports, but today I want to tell you about two different heroes who are heroes in my eyes anyway, for two very different reasons. 

The first is a man named Narayanan Krishnan. He gave up his job, his way of life, to spread love for his fellow man and he now spends his days, every day, feeding the homeless and mentally ill in his hometown in India. Narayanan chose a path of love, while most of us follow paths of hatred, greed, anger, jealousy, obsession and consumption, Narayanan made one simple decision, LOVE.

The second hero I want to bring to your attention is a woman named Erin Carr-Jordan, a child psychologist and mom of four, who has been investigating play areas in fast food restaurants throughout eleven different states. This first video is from back in September. 

Now while she may not be a hero in the true sense of the word nor match what others may define as a hero, I think she is because she is bringing to light an extremely important topic - our children's health and really, what is more important than that?

So how did the fast food chains respond to her complaints, to her bringing to light these very dangerous conditions in their restaurants?

By cleaning up their play areas? Please... that would be admitting a problem.

No, it's much easier to just ban her outright, which is precisely what they did.

Yeah, that'll show her! And those like her! 

Are you kidding me? 

Put your head in the nearest pile of sand and magically the problem will go away. 

My wife Terri is always, ALWAYS leery of letting our kids play in a fast-food play area and obviously she had good reason to be...

'Til next time...


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Happy Birthday To My Baby Girl...

Twelve years ago today my wife and I welcomed our first child, a daughter, into this world. Since then we also have a son and while there is most assuredly a father-son dynamic my son and I have going on, there is nothing quite like the relationship between a father and his daughter. 

Any other fathers out there who have daughters will know precisely what I mean. There is something incredibly emotional that goes on between a father an daughter. 

To say the past twelve years have flown by at supersonic, warp speed would be an understatement to say the least. I have seen my little girl change literally in the blink of an eye and in some ways I am thrilled to see her grow, but I am also deeply saddened because sometimes I miss My Baby Girl... 

I wrote this poem about 6 months after she was born and the words are just as true today as they were the day I put "pen to paper."

And no matter how old she gets, she will ALWAYS be My Baby Girl... 

My Baby Girl is everything to me, 

She's the light of my life, 
She's my reason to be. 

My Baby Girl can ease my pain, 
Just by smiling at me, 
Again and again. 

My Baby Girl is one of a kind, 
Don't believe me? 
You're out of your mind. 

My Baby Girl is as pretty as her mother, 
And that's saying a lot, 
Cause her Mom's like no other. 

My Baby Girl is my whole world, 
She's simply the best, 
Cause she's My Baby Girl. 

Copyright ©2000 Steve Olenski 


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Commercial Or Movie?

I have long held the belief that many ad agency creative directors are frustrated filmmakers. Seriously, I think many of them have secret and some not-so-secret desires to make movies... big, theatrical productions on an epic scale.

I think many of these same creative directors prey on the fact that, like them, many of their clients, share the same desire to be "in the movies" or as close to it as possible. Hell, let's face it, we ALL would love to make movies/be in the movies, right?

Hell, I have my hand raised... I want to make movies, write for movies, be in the movies and all that jazz. I have even penned a few scripts and actually had one movie which I co-wrote created and released. It was called 9th & Bay and here's the trailer for it just in case you were curious, I know you were...

But... when it comes to advertising, whose goal I believe, is still to move products off store shelves, in a matter of speaking, I can never understand why so many TV spots are made as if they were being made to be shown in a crowded theater as opposed to your living room.

How else do you explain this?

Jeezus are you kidding me? With its Austin Powers/James Bond look, feel and sound to the repulsive scene of the lead actor pulling the bottle of beer out of his mouth in a moment of one-upsmanship with his fellow prestidigitator  to the Pulp Fiction-esque dance scene near the end - hey it reminded me of Pulp Fiction, sue me - someone please explain to me what this has to do with beer and the selling thereof.

That's a minute and 30 seconds of my life I will never get back thank you very much. I can just imagine what the cost was to make it.

Maybe this is just another example of a brand having so much money and so much brand equity that it can pretty much do whatever the hell it wants and if it wants to create a TV spot to enter into Caanes and other award competitions, so be it. If we sell beer, great. If not, oh well... at least we made this rad cool spot.

Oh and for the record, I don't drink beer or any other form of alcohol for that matter but I can assure you that if I did watching this commercial would not make me want to run out and buy a 6-pack.

One last thing... what do you think this guy in the spot does for an encore? Surely his date will be expecting him to raise the bar - no pun intended, next time, right? Wonder how much that spot will cost?