Thursday, December 18, 2008 Campaign

This wasn't an actual campaign, it's a a sticker series I made after seeing one too many iPod commercials.

I bet you didn't know Old Navy was this cool

Old Navy has quality clothes at bargain prices, but they've died off over the past couple of years.  It was time to take on the challenge of re-branding. 

Our idea (my creative team) came up with the idea of getting kids involved with deciding on what they wear.  Everyone could get in on this by going to the web site which features a "Design your Threads" challenge where the users make up their own outfits based on the logos and options we provided. Once created, the outfits were showcased in the weekly competition gallery where everyone could check-out the clothes and vote on favorites.

The winner of the challenge would get to have their line featured in stores and on the website.

This was a positive way to re-brand the image of Old Navy as clothes made for trend-setters and independent but fashion savvy teens and young adults.  Get the kids involved at step one and let the publicity run it's own course.  

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Target: 35 - 50 year old white collar Minnesota resident looking to indulge without leaving home.

Execution: Billboard ads placed between St. Paul and Minneapolis, and downtown Minneapolis.

Additional Thoughts: Perfect timing for this ad campaign was during the Republican Convention.

Burton Love Snowboard Campaign 2.

Burton Snowboards went ahead and did it, they made a series of snowboards featuring vintage centerfold shots of Playboy models.  Right when the gap between skiier and boarder was nearly resolved, Burton found a way to exacerbate old wounds. Brilliant. 
Time to make an ad which speaks to the generation of snowboarders who will fore-go their parents disdain to get the ride of their dreams.  These guys are young, sarcastic, media-centric, but self-proclaimed. They look for the truths, but want the pretty version of it. This is where "naughty rides without the drama" was born. 


Burton Love Snowboards Campaign

Target: 18 - 24 year old snowboarding males.

Execution: Series of tri-fold prints published in snowboarding magazines featuring the original pictures of centerfolds now featured as graphics on new snowboard models. 

NERF campaign

Target: 8-15 year old boys

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

the car ride

It was cold out. Cold enough to make my nostrils sting when I didn’t inhale through my mouth. I felt the tip of my nose begin to redden as we packed the car and headed out into the empty Slovakian countryside.
Piotr was intent on this trip. It was obvious he needed tot ake this trip as he, a skinny man of endless ramblings, remained speechless.
We climbed into my trusty black Dodge Dart and drove along the snow-packed roads towards the near-uncharted countryside.
Svetlana sat in the front side, Piotr was in the back. We rubbed our hands and breathed heavily to convince ourselves we were warm as the Dart took it’s sweet time to heat up. Svetlana twitched endlessly, her thumbs drumming out patterns to songs of old and new. She was nervous. We all were.
As one turn begot another, the countryside quickly became a dimly lit labrynth of unplowed roads with steep drop-off’s on either side. The map was as worthless as our understanding of the native tongue it was written in. We crawled along the country roads searching for a landmark, a sign, anything. Then we found the unexpected.
She was tall, slender, and attractive with thick brown hair flowing like a stream down to her delicate shoulders. She was dressed in a vintage brown ball-room dress. Pink hues flowed throughout the ruffles amidst her shoulders and hips. She was beautiful, and she was walking along the road, totally alone.
Against the advice of my carpooling friends, I offered her a ride. She didnt respond. I raised my voice and offered a ride once again. Nothing. Slightly offended and overcome with curiosity, I drove in front of her and blocked her path with my car.
Without a word, she looked into my eyes. Deeply, like an orangatang at a petting zoo you’re trying to offer food. She examined me like I was the first human she’s ever seen. She opened the car door, sat down, and closed the door quietly.
We sat in silence as I began to drive the car.
As the car accelerated, she stiffened in her seat. She refused to make eye contact with us. We asked questions, she remained docile.
Once again, we were left to the unmarked road and a game of guessing the right way to Piotr’s estranged Uncle’s countryside mansion. As the Dart plowed through foot deep snow, the sounds of snow squeaking under frozen rubber tires filled the car.
“Do you see it” said the unknown girl.
I almost drove off the rode as her arm jutted past my face and pointed towards the horizon. Startled by her sudden animation, we slowly gazed in the direction she pointed.
A glowing orb slowly appeared over the horizon on the right. Her arm remained stiffly extended and pointing towards the light.
“Who are you” Piotr blurted. “What the hell is going on? How could you be walking outside in the dark, in the cold? Where do you want us to take you? What the hell is goin on?” Piotr’s questions continued in a rapid fire succession until he lost his breath, then his nerve.
The unknown girl held her gaze with the light. It grew larger but remained a blurry point of illumination in the cold distance.
“I can’t go back, I can’t go back there. We mustn’t go back.” The strange girl pleaded. Her gaze never veered from the mysterious, ever-growing light source. Who was she? What the hell was going on? We all wondered, but were afraid to ask further questions for fear of finding out something awful.
“Please. Don’t go back there.” Her face grew slightly pale and her eyes became bloodshot as she stopped blinking. at. all.
“Tell us who you are, tell us what you want, and tell us why we can’t go there or else we’re kicking you out of the car!” Svetlana’s threats felt as empty as the hope of hearing more from this strange girl.
Silence. Silence. Finally a panicked breath interrupted the void of sound. It was the strange girl. As she held one arm steadily pointed towards the light source, she clutched at Svetlana with the other arm. Her arm flailed about Svetlana. First she grabbed her hair, then her coat, then she grabbed at her own shoulder ruffles and tore them off. When the ruffles fell to the ground in front of me, I couldn’t see where they landed. It was like they disappeared into the Dart carpet.
“Do you see this spot ahead?” the girl asked calmly.
A bridge appeared about forty yards away.
“Do you see the spot” asked the girl with a heightened sense of alarm.
Now twenty yards away, a rusted, twisted sedan was barely visible. It was ancient, rusted, and tattered. Obviously this was resultant from a fatal event. Something awful had happened to this car.
“I see it” I squeaked out in-between my short, hurried breaths. Her damn arm was now shaking as it remained stiffly extended next to my arm. I am going to rip this fucking thing off if she doesn’t put it-
“This spot, you see it. Do you see?” she asked again with a now calm voice. The heap of twisted metal buried in white was fifteen yards away.
“Yes, we see it. We see it” we said with vigor.
her arm slowly lowered. The car was ten yards away. It was an older model of the Dodge Dart I drove. The roof was obliterated into a series of jagged triangle shaped shards which were all caved in and facing the driver’s seat. It had obviously been in a horrific accident.
“This spot. This spot. Is where. I. DIED.” She screamed violently as her peach colored fair-skinned cheeks became grey and emaciated. Her face was now covered in deep cuts and her hands clasped the sides of her head. She continued to scream violently as her eyes rolled back into her skull and more cutts appeared on her face, neck, and body. Her eyes. My God, they were black chasms. Never had I seen something so dark.
The car lost control, we began to spin. Faster and faster. Screams loud enough to fill a stadium flooded my car. Faster and faster we spun. I felt a callosued, jagged hand clench my neck.
It was her hand.
We spun violently towards the bridge. If only I could hit the gas and correct it. Her scream went from a high pitch squeal to a chorus of deep-pitched, guttural cries of agony
The fingers dug into the skin of my neck slowly. They felt like jagged icicles.
I couldn’t mo-

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

in a pinch

rip the heart from the dying flesh
cauterize the fetal mesh
dont' let it see daylight
keep it hidden from your eyes

abandoned. forgotten. dying unto itself.
walk away without pain
bloodshed purely in vain

find purpose for mutilation
Vindicated murderous hands
fuck you don't even try
did you hear the cries?

You Forgot It In People

After five hours of feeling bass notes vibrate my body, I am enlightened. Seventh Ave, the notorious grunge scene where Prince started his illustrious career of dancing in sequenced outfits, was electric tonight. Broken Social Scene came with hairy arms held wide open to embrace their fans whom they made it known were loved deeply. Ten full-grown men with unkept hair and haggard clothes emptied the contents of their musical hearts onto a crowd. These disheveled men turned a crowd into a family of fifteen-hundred sweaty members. We danced, laughed, and cried together.

At first I wanted to leave. I wanted to give up on the show and escape to the comfort of my own apartment. My royal blue corduroy desktop chair was at home, waiting for me. I couldn't see the stage because a broad shouldered middle-aged man stood directly in front of me. His curly silver hair glistened with sweat as he danced in a series of contorted jerking movements. No matter how much or how oddly he moved, I could never see past him. Easily past forty, he was long past the point of caring what people thought of him. I envied him. How is he so free and I'm not? Why am I thinking of this while a band is playing from the raw reserves of their emotions? How many times have I been in moments like these and wasted them with self-loathing?

My problem wasn't the aged beefcake in light blue denim jeans and work boots, it wasn't even his boyfriend of matching size, age, and dance patterns. My problem was me. I think myself into a bad time, it sucks the fun out of a great time wanting to be had.

There I was with my head-fawk fashioned perfectly, shifting my weight between my pair of celtic green adidas shoes as I fought the impulse to leave. I couldn't get into the show. I didn't have a good view. I was too far away. I wasn't standing in the pit with the people who were cool. I was on the outside. The thoughts were an endless onslaught of depression. Shut the F*CK UP MATT. I am so tired of this little child inside of me who complains when it rains, when he's tired, when he needs something. SUCK it up. CHR*ST help me, I want to strangle him. Grow up, look around you, find the music.

Against my will, I remained. Stiff-legged and sporting a frown directed at the sweaty silver curls blocking my field of vision, I remained. Then came the transformation.

Half-way through the five hour long show, something special happened. The lead singer took a moment to explain it was time for the crowd to do therapy. Upon his count, everyone was supposed to scream. They weren't screaming for the sake of making noise. They were instructed to scream out the pain of past rejection, sins, regrets, and guilt. In ten seconds of vocalized agony, fifteen hundred people left behind what they struggled with when they first walked through the darkened glass doors of First Avenue. My eyes were shut tightly enough to keep water out as if being sprayed by a hose three inches away, my fists were as hard as unripe apples. I screamed at the voice inside me, I screamed at Matt in the past who hurt people. I screamed at people in the past who Matt Grim hurt. It worked. As my throat felt like it was now made of sand paper and I wondered if and when my voice would come back, I realized it. I don't know if it was the artificially induced sweet smelling fog, the tantric colored lights, or the energy of the crowd; but something was different. I was different. I was in the show, a part of the concert. I wasn't thinking about how much I missed my apartment room, I was at the show where I belonged, in mind and body.

I looked at my friends, they were both smiling to themselves like you do when it's Christmas and you've unwrapped the perfect gift. Not the forced smile you give the camera as you hold the prized possession high in the air, but the smile which beams out of you when you first see the gift as it emerges from the wrapping paper shrapnel.

Fast-forward to the end of the set and we find a new scenario. The silver haired dancing duo of mountainous man meat had departed! I could see! I sang, danced, and clapped along as I let myself get lost in the energy of the crowd and the beats of the music. It was a trip.

After playing an encore for two hours, the band found a level of harmony I rarely see. They were in a groove and didn't want it to end. The lead signer hopped off the wooden stage into the crowded floor of fans and walked among them, hugging one person after another. People swarmed him, but they didn't smother him. One at a time fans embraced their hero, and he embraced them. I felt my throat tighten as I watched him smile endlessly. Try as I may, I couldn't choke it down anymore. I felt my eyes become hot as salty tears emerged. What I saw was beautiful. It was love between people who have never met but were best-friends as they shared a moment. Even now I'm making ugly faces as I try to keep the tears pooling at the bottom of my eyes from making streaks down my face. Something was so pure about this interaction, so simple and genuine.

It made me wonder when was the last time I've had this? WHen was the last time I was genuine, vulnerable, and open? Was it to God? Does he even remember me anymore? I want His voice, not my own childish one, in my head. God's been speaking to me all the time. It's so hard because it hits and cuts through my protective layers of rationalization immediately. Soul felt guilt is something I can't argue against. When I hear truth, I can't argue against it.

Embrace indulgence

words echoing within my cerebrum, by choice:

She eyes me like a pisces when I am weak
I've been locked inside your heart-shaped box for weeks
I've been drawn into your magnet tar pit trap
I wish I could eat your cancer when you turn black

hey. wait. I got a new complaint.
forever in debt to your priceless advice
hey. wait. I got a new complaint.
forever in debt to your priceless advice

meat eating orchids forgive no one just yet
cut myself on anger hair and baby's breath
broken hymn of your highness, I'm left black
throw down your umbilical noose so I can climb right back

warfare for all ages

I care, I care not.

One decision: pursuit or abandonment, comfort or consolement. Answers are anything but simple, or existent.
Give me guidance in the immediately gratifying sense. Show me where to go right here, right now. In this brief moment, my eyes are open. Serve me in this window of attenuated opportunity. Bless me now, Bless me here. Meet me when and where I come to you. Let me not worship you but you worship me. Selfishness and narcism abide within, I want what I can't have and demand what I don't deserve.
I want your answers to my dilemmas. I can't wait, I can't be patient.