Friday, February 27, 2009

The Clean Coal Communications War Continues!

As you know, I have been covering the communications coming from the clean coal and the anti-clean coal lobbies. It's been an interesting time where we've seen singing coal nuggets, a non-existent clean coal plant, and an occasional informative website that tells the truth. Luckily for me, decency, dignity and intelligence were checked at the door by both sides, and I now have plenty to write about.

After the inauguration of President Obama, the clean coal lobby smoothly released this ad:

This is by far the best ad the clean coal lobby has produced. Rather than singing about "some magic in that clean coal technology," the message is spot on: despite the fact that creating clean coal technology is going to be hard to create and very expensive, it's worth the investment.

The people at is sticking to what has worked for them thus far with two new ads that throw stones:

All in all, these ads are fine but their cynicism can only go so far. I love to watch Bill Maher and the Daily Show as much as anyone else, but those shows are comedy programs. I do not go to them for information that I use to make decisions. If the people at continue to share their message in this snarky manner, they need to be prepared to alienate substantially large groups of people.

(On a side note, I don't completely hate the ads. I love the droning noise at the end of the air freshener spot. It's a great artistic use of drone music, but that's for another time.)

One of the great misconceptions about Millennials, Generation Y, or what ever you want to call them is that they get their information from these programs. If the anti-clean coal fails to stop the proliferation of coal fire power plants it will be because they made the assumption that all young people need to be spoken to in a sarcastic tone.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Yahoo Mash Dies in Beta Testing

Last year, I had the opportunity to work for a social networking company called (it's a cool site check it out) where I helped them map out the competitive landscape. One of the more interesting products floating out in cyberspace was new product from Yahoo called Mash.

Allegedly, it was to be the mother of all social networks and take the best elements from Myspace and Facebook (whatever those are) and give users a unique, new experience. Alas, it was never meant to be.

Why did it die? The easiest answer is that Yahoo is on life support, and growth isn't in the cards for the struggling company. However, I would like to think that the product was absolutely horrible and unusable. If you look at the social networking landscape, there are more bad products than good. Why couldn't the public try out Mash?

Of course, there is the third option that the estate of Robert Altman sued the suffering search engine. After all, the last thing you want to do is confuse the devout fans of Hawk Eye and Hot Lips.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What's Up With The Twitter Explosion?

I understand why technophiles love twitter; it's a service that just away messages and status updates. Honestly, that's why I used Facebook and AIM. It's a good product.

However, a bunch of politicians were using it during the Not State of The Union speech, and at a serious time like this all I can think is what the hell is wrong with these people. I hate to sound like my dad, but I pay these people with my tax dollars and I would like them to pay attention to the president and not write "Woohoo" when they see Ruth Ginsberg or snarky comments about Nancy Pelosi.

Friday, February 20, 2009

I Thought I Was Nuts For Disliking This...

After a combined 5 and a half years of bumping into people at my college and graduate school because of all the bills posted on the ground, I had the false sense of security that the real world would force people to look forward rather than down when walking. Things seemed to be going so well...

Right before I left Chicago, I walked by a branch of Chase bank where they projected the logo on to the sidewalk.

Thankfully not all cities are taking this disruptive advertising lying down. reported that the city of New York, my new home is banning sidewalk projection ads.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Adios Chicago Amigos

So, I am packing up my game and heading out to New York. There won't be a post for a bit, but don't worry themattkoppelblog will be up and running once I am settled.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

My Favorite Superbowl Ad

While out with my other IMC buddies the other night, we ended up talking about our favorite Superbowl commercials. When I mentioned the Teleflora spot, I was shocked to find out that they didn't remember it. So here's the spot. Happy Valentines Day.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Aw That's Cute... But People Still Can't Get Vista To Work

Well, I spoke too soon about Microsoft. After the great business solutions ad campaign, Microsoft resurrected their "I'm A PC" schlock. This time they have a cute kid uploading a photo to a Windows powered computer.

Honestly, this is not going to make the distressed users of Vista feel any better about themselves. Plus, Microsoft does not need to compete with Apple and speak for all non-Apple computers. One could argue that people are buying Apple computers because of their user friendliness, especially with photo organizing, which is a big use of a computer at home.

But, if I were Microsoft and I felt that I need to speak for all PCs, I might focus on the fact that Windows based computers are more affordable than Apples. After all, the economy is terrible. In fact, they should have an ad where a person uses a Vista computer to search the web for a job, uses Word to write a resume, and maybe has some sort of a video chat interview.

It's just a thought.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Why Radiohead Went To The Grammys

Radiohead was never a big fan of the major record label industrial complex, and when they had the opportunity to go off on their own they took an innovative leap by releasing their album "In Rainbows" online for free.

As usual for the British art rockers, they produced an excellent record and the recording academy "honored" them with many nominations for their work. While part of me believed that the recording academy, which consists of the people who run the major labels, wanted to show the world that they appreciate art over politics, they really just wanted more people to tune in to the struggling award show.

I must admit that I tuned in to see the performances, and it was fun to watch them play with the USC marching band. In the end, I think Radiohead were acting as the bigger men in this situation. They could have easily said no, but they went and performed for fans like me.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

NYT: LA Bans Supergraphic Signs

On Superbowl Sunday, the New York Times ran a story about the city of Los Angeles banning supergraphic signs that drape over the sides of buildings. (You can read it here.) Of course, I was too busy watching the seven hours of pregame coverage on NBC and ESPN to read the newspaper.

Citing fire hazard risks, the city of angels wants the gigantic bilboards to come down; however, you don't have to ask around too much to realize that many people find these signs to be obnoxious.

Is it right for the local government to cherry pick the law and get the signs down? Moreover, can a city act like a home owner's association and prevent building owners from earning revenue from the posting of bill boards?