Tuesday, November 15, 2011


It’s not just print that faces obsolescence. It’s fiction itself.

The quote from which this post takes its title is by William Gibson, writer of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? in a Wired article from June, 2005.  He writes:

“Today's audience isn't listening at all - it's participating. Indeed, audience is as antique a term as record, the one archaically passive, the other archaically physical. The record, not the remix, is the anomaly today. The remix is the very nature of the digital.”

It’s cliché to say that the future is headed in the direction of recombinant, reused, rehashed, remade reality. Process (making the YouTube video) has vastly outpaced the value and quality of the product (a good video) itself. The modes of creative production are inherently more interesting than creative itself.

In other words, we are at a juncture in history where a fiction ‘inventor’ is just as intrinsically important to creative invention as a fiction ‘cut-and-paster’ or fiction ‘developer’ who can aggregate pieces of reality into a pastiche. 

In other words, you don’t need to be a writer to make writing. You need to be an aggregator.

A collector of interesting things. And then make interesting, aggregated content. More now than ever before in history. It’s silly to debate intellectual property. That ship has sailed. Twitter is one continuous retweet.

When was the last time you were content to wallow in someone else’s fictive world?  The skills of a true original content creator (or ‘fiction writer’) have been democratized.  Steven Johnson, founder of Feed magazine and an outspoken cheerleader of digital production writes, “one of the great joys of book reading — the total immersion in another world, or in the world of the author’s ideas — will be compromised.” And that compromise comes at the opportunity we all have to live in that world of ideas. Yet, at the same time, fiction is all we have that’s truly our own. Reality belongs to whoever can grab the most.

We all own the words. We all own culture, music, film and art. It’s terrific and unfortunate at the same time. And as content is slowly, incrementally replaced with ‘versions’ of reality, the author, inventor and creator is left to yell into the wind. 

Jordan Sher

Monday, January 17, 2011

Snow Days

Snow days…love them or hate them.  As I was watching the weather report over and over to make sure I had the latest information so I could be prepared for the next couple of days, I remembered sitting around the kitchen table as a child wondering if Albion Public Schools “closed” would make the announcement.   The excitement my brother and I would have when we would hear those words.  We would race up the stairs to our bedrooms and start the layering process.  Tights, socks, long underwear, sweats, mittens, hat, ski pants and winter coat, and as always forgetting to pee before we put all the clothes on!  It was as if we were the Stay Puff Marshmallow Men and our knees and elbows wouldn’t bend.  How much fun we would have once we got out of the house!  Jumping in snow piles, and off the roofs of garages into snowdrifts, sledding down hole number 4 of the golf course, building snow forts, making snowmen, breaking off icicles from the side of the house. And then there were the snowball fights where it seemed like every kid in town was participating. Of course the older boys would always end up making ice balls and hitting the girls to make us cry…

After day dreaming of the years passed, I decided this would be the snow day to relive a little of my past.  I wasn’t going to worry about how early I would need to wake up the next morning to sit in traffic to make it to work on time or think about how many people have no idea how to drive in snow.  Instead I called my friends and invited myself over for a day of snow fun!  I went through the layering process just as I did 30 years ago (remembering to pee first this time), hopped in my car and headed out for a day of fun.  Mind you, there was not going to be any jumping off roofs into snowdrifts, as my insurance deductible is just a little too high for that kind of excitement, but snow balls, snowmen, rolling around in the snow and burying the dog were definitely on the list!  I was so excited for the day’s adventure.  I arrived at my friend’s house, sweating from having so many layers on and immediately grabbed the dog and headed outside.  Dawson and I rolled around in the snow and I threw the ball so he could dig in the snow to find it.  I buried him over and over again as if it was the funniest thing ever.  We built a little snowman just the right size for him to jump on and knock down.  Thank goodness he was such a good sport in helping me relive my childhood memory.  Finally, after what seemed like an eternity of frolicking, we were both ready to head back inside.  Cold and tired we plopped on the couch to settle in under the blanket and watch some TV.  We looked at each other like WOW what a great afternoon.  I looked at the clock and realized huh, that only took 30 minutes.  Oh well, what a good time we had!

Jessica Wood, Business Manager

Monday, December 13, 2010

My ah ha moment

So I think my blog was due about two weeks ago.  Have I been procrastinating?  You betcha!  Why you ask?  I could give you a million excuses, but what it boils down to is that I do not consider myself to be an interesting blogger.  Nor do I consider anything I could write about interesting enough for people to read.  Give me a choice of running a  marathon that I have not trained for (and would most definitely take me over 4 hours) versus write a blog that would take me about 1/2 hour, I would choose a marathon.  How about sit through the movie “The English Patient” or write blog?  Or clean the toilet that our daughter has been camped out on for the past 1/2 hour?  Sit through a five hour flight stuck between two large smelly men or write blog?  Ok, maybe not that last one, but you see where I am going.  I admit it, I am the rogue dead beat O’Brien blogger.  But get this, I have FINALLY come to understand through this experience why our daughter waits until the last night to do her writing.  Lay out all of her homework and we can count on a major blowout every Wednesday over the bonus writing.  It is SO painful, but what she produces after a long grueling discussion is fantastic.  Given this assignment, I completely get where she is coming from and feel very lucky that my name gets pulled out of the hat only once, maybe twice, a year.  Am I proud of what I have written?  Sure.  Do I think it is a piece of junk?  Not so much.  Do I have several other ideas of what else I could have blogged about?  Right on.  If I could have figured out how to get them on paper to make sense to all of you, would I have picked another topic?  Word.  So there you have it folks, my ah ha moment, about 2 weeks late.  

Jen Stec
Media Director

Friday, November 12, 2010


Am I the only one or does it seem like no one wants to say full names of things or full sentences anymore? If you know me at all I’m very much in favor of efficiency, but I think these acronyms are getting out of control. Everywhere I look I’m surrounded by acronyms.

Besides the obvious texting world, I’ve noticed companies are starting to shorten their names to join the trend. Of course, I’ve always been bombarded with them from my industry and job. Then, there are people’s job titles within this industry.
And finally, as you may or may not know, I’m a mom. When I first joined this culture I went on BabyCenter.com and read those blogs and comments. Let me tell you, that was like trying to decipher a whole new language! Anyway, I thought I’d give you a little test and see how well you do.

Company names

Media / Advertising

Agency Names



Mother community

Needless to say, they are everywhere. If you want to discuss how the world has become nuts and too time starved to say the whole name of things, I’m all ears. Call me anytime!


Company names
AFV - America’s Funniest Home Videos
AOL – America Online
AT&T - American Telephone & Telegraph
BBC - British Broadcasting Corporation
BMW - Bavarian Motor Works
BW3 – Buffalo Wild Wings
CBS - Columbia Broadcasting System
CVS - Consumer Value Store or Convenience, Value, and Service
DHL - Dalsey, Hillblom and Ly
DKNY - Donna Karan New York
DQ - Dairy Queen
EA (EA Sports/EA Video Games, etc) – Electronic Arts
GE – General Electric
GEICO - Government Employees Insurance Company
GM – General Motors
HBO – Home Box Office
HP – Hewlett Packard
IBM – International Business Machines
IHOP – International House of Pancakes
KFC – Kentucky Fried Chicken
BP – British Petroleum
LG – Lucky Goldstar
MLB – Major League Baseball
NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NSCAR - National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing
PBS - Public Broadcasting Service
UPS - United Parcel Service

Media / Advertising
ADCD – Art Directors Club of Denver
AMD – Morning Drive
BDI - Brand Development Index
CDI - Category Development Index
CPA – Cost Per Action
CPC – Cost Per Click
CPM – Cost Per Thousand
CPP – Cost Per Point
DEC – Daily Effective Circulation
GRP – Gross Rating Point
NDAC – New Denver Ad Club
PPC – Pay Per Click
PPM - Portable People Meter
CTR – Click Thru Rate
ROS – Run of Site
OOH – Out of Home
HUTs – Households Using Television
R&F – Reach and Frequency
MG - Make Good
TRP – Target Rating Point
UV – Unique Visitors

Agency Names
BBDO - Barton, Durstine & Osborn and Batten Co
DDB - Doyle Dane Bernbach
K/H – Karsh/Hagan
OBA – O’Brien Advertising
OMD – Omnicom Media Group
TBWA - Tragos, Bonnange, Wiesendanger and Ajroldi
WPP plc - Wire and Plastic Products

AAE – Assistant Account Executive
ACD – Associate Creative Director
AE – Account Executive
AMD – Associate Media Director
CEO – Chief Executive Officer
CFO – Chief Financial Officer
CMO – Chief Marketing Officer
EVP – Executive Vice President
PA – Production Assistant
SVP – Senior Vice President

BRB - Be Right Back
DL – Down Low
FB - Facebook
LMAO – Laughing My A** Off
OMG – Oh My God
TMI – Too Much Information
GTG - Got to go
LOL – Laugh Out Loud
NP – No Problem
ROFL – Rolling On The Floor Laughing

Mother community
AP – Attachment Parenting
CS – Cesarian Section
DC - Daycare
DD – Darling Daughter
DP – Dear Partner
FF – Formula Feeding
LO - Little One
L&D – Labor and Delivery
SAHP – Stay At Home Parent
TTC – Trying To Conceive
US - Ultrasound

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Lilies, The Giant Cat & My First Day!

I am the newbie at O’Brien. Fresh out of college and ready to start my career. Or at least that’s what I’d say now, two months in. You should have been there the night before I started my first day at my first big girl job… The night of the living lilies!

When I got the news I’d be joining the O’Brien crew my boyfriend did what any thoughtful boyfriend would do and sent me “Congratulations on your new job!” flowers. The bouquet was beautiful and sat placidly enough until the night before my first day. That fateful Tuesday I came home to find my cat covered in bright yellow pollen looking guilty but satisfied. At first, we laughed. Grover looks like a canary! Tee-hee! We gave him a bath in the sink much to his disliking and were fully prepared to move on to Taco Tuesday. Then a quick Google search produced grim news. Turns out lilies are deadly to cats and I had to rush my 22-pound, soaking wet, angry beast to the vet. Of course when we got there they lost their power so back into the carrier Grover went. Emergency vet clinic # 2 was able to take Grover into custody and treat him over night.

Meanwhile, I am desperately seeking Cassie’s cell phone number to tell her I won’t be able to come in for my first morning and my dad is wrestling said cell phone out of my hands and telling me that I will indeed go in for my first day because “My cat ate my lilies” doesn’t exactly sound plausible. In retrospect, thanks, Dad.

Cat lady jokes aside, I love Grover and I think I only slept about 45 minutes before having to pick him up at 6 a.m. to take him back to his normal vet. I showed up at O’Brien determined not to mention my ordeal so my new coworkers wouldn’t immediately peg me as the crazy cat lady. Two minutes later, I was telling my new friend Nicole all about it… So much for my conviction!

Despite all of that, I made it through the first day and am still here and much more rested. The irony of the congratulations flowers and the ordeal they caused is even funny now. As for Grover, he spent two more days in feline jail hooked up to an IV and trying to maim vet techs, but I’m happy to say he pulled through like the sumo wrestler he looks like.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


This story begins as a typical sunny afternoon that took a turn for the worse when the O’Brien O-lympics trophy went missing and this photo appeared in its place.
To solve the case, you need to know the story...
In traditional O’Brien fashion, the annual pool party was a hit. An afternoon filled with laughs, games, drinks and lounging by the pool. Our competitive nature came out when this year’s O’Brien O-lympics offered up a trophy and bragging rights to its winners. Teams were divided by departments and the Brains versus Brawns competitions began. With everyone’s game faces on, the O-lympics started out as a fun, light-hearted competition. But as the day progressed, the competition became fiercer.

After the competitions were complete and scores were totaled, one team rose to the top: the Account Service Team. With trophy in hand, Cassie & Caitlin claimed their victory.

When Monday came and we walked through the doors of O’Brien, there was the trophy, sitting on the front desk, taunting all that had played and lost. The draw of the OBA trophy became too much for some and a plot was devised to kidnap the trophy. One team member in particular took a special interest in the trophy when she walked in, claiming that she was the rightful owner of the trophy. It came as no surprise, that by end of day Monday, the trophy had gone missing.  

The normally good-natured people of O’Brien had turned competitive and one of these teams managed to kidnap the trophy, and all the glory that came with it.
Put your detective skills to work and use the clues to decide who’s to blame.

Was it the media team in the library with the calculator?
Was it the studio team in the foyer with the exact-o knife?
Was it the administrative team in lounge O with the telephone?
Was it the creative team in the kitchen with the sharpened pencil?
Was it the wildcard team in the conference room with the stapler?

The account service team wants their trophy back in safe hands. The first person to solve the case of the missing trophy wins a $10 Starbucks card from O’Brien Advertising.

Sorry O’Brien employees, as this case hits too close to home, you cannot participate. 

Nicole Locken
Production Artist
O'Brien Advertising

Thursday, September 2, 2010


I’m kind of the tech geek here at O’Brien Advertising. I love new technology and everything it has to offer. I’m down for anything that can help improve day-to-day workflow.

Ever since my wife and I had our little boy 3 years ago, I’ve been thinking a lot about my dad and what technology was like for him 30 years ago when I was 3 years old. Did he have a cell phone? What about a computer? Did we even have cable TV? We definitely didn’t have the Internet at our house! Running water? That last one was obviously a joke. These are all easy questions to answer now, even without calling my dad, because in today’s world all you have to say is, “Just Google it.”

Being the geek that I am, I did Google one of my questions. I wanted to know when the Macintosh was invented to see if he had a chance to use one of these, now amazing, machines. And the answer is YES; my dad would have had a chance to own a Macintosh computer. The first Apple computer (Apple I) was sold in 1976, and the very popular Apple II, one year later. But of course, most of the middle class population could not afford the $10,000 price tag. Well at least that’s what $2,500 probably felt like 30 years ago.

So then I went a little further and checked out Steve Jobs, Macintosh God, and how he became such a superstar in the tech world today. It’s a very interesting bio and I strongly recommend you, “Google it” in your free time. And because no one really has that much free time any more, I’ll leave you with a hyperlink to an interview with the Mac-God himself. He talks a lot about what was, what is, and what is going to be.

D8 Steve Jobs Interview

If you’re a big geek like me and want to see the entire interview, not just the highlights, “Just Google it.” You’ll be able to find it on the Internet, Pod Casts, Apple TV, iTunes, iPad, and any other Tech-y device you love to use.

Studio Manager/Production Artist/Tech Geek
Carson Kraig