Monthly Archives: April 2014

asta philpot video 2

What if we stopped judging people by their appearance?

There are certain advertisements that make me proud to have chosen this career. This video below is one of them, and it should not leave you indifferent. What if you overcame your prejudice? That is the message of this new ad film created by BEING for the Asta Philpot Foundation, which aims to reaffirm – through song – the right to be different, and puts into question our views and judgments of others. Born at the same time of their collaboration on the film “The Lover,” which has since been distinguished by numerous festivals (Cannes, Eurobest, Club des DA, Cristal Festival…), this campaign reunites BEING agency and the activist Asta Philpot, whose fight for sexuality for all, handicapped or not, has been made famous by the BBC. The film “Beyond Appearances – The diversity song,” challenges, through verse, our prejudice and our judgments of people and their differences in an upbeat and provocative way in order to promote the message of tolerance of the Asta Philpot Foundation. Made up of a series of portraits, this film denounces with poise superficial first impressions and deceptive appearances – because, as we all should know, we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Cast members were chosen for their differences, which they display and assert proudly in order to bring out the positive message of diversity and self-acceptance of the Foundation. Accordingly, the song, which was composed especially for the occasion (you can read the lyrics at the bottom of this post), declares “If you think I’m different just because of the color of my skin,” or that “I am too old to party,” too bad for you – or more exactly, you can kiss my ass! Dutch singer Ben Von Looy Group Das Pop, who was inspired by great American icons, composed the song “Kiss my ass” and its jazzy melody especially for the video. And against all odds, the warm and heady voice we hear is not that of a member of the Rat Pack, but belongs to no other than Asta Philpot himself! Who would have imagined him in the skin of a crooner? For this campaign, BEING agency called upon the young director Peter Edelmann, whose sense of photography and poetic grain magnify the differences of the protagonists of the film. Congratulations to all of the BEING FRANCE teams who worked on this project, and especially to Being Paris creative directors Alasdhair McGregor Hastie and Thierry Buriez, the creative team Rémy Fournigault and Joris Hale and the production teams of TBWA\Else driven by Maxime Boiron!

asta philpot video


If you think I’m different because of my skin,
That I’m only good for the bin,
oh baby, you can kiss my ass.

If you think I can’t party because of my age,
that that is an odd marriage,
oh baby, you can kiss my ass.

if you think I’m as boring as my ties,
that I can’t do grand things because of my size,
oh baby, you can kiss my ass.

If you think I’m a bad guy given my looks,
and that a blond girl can’t read books,
oh baby, you can kiss my ass.

So you say that I can’t be the best CEO,
I cannot be hot with these kilos,
oh baby, you can kiss my ass.

and if you think that all I can do is booze,
I can’t be a great ma with tattoos,
oh baby, you can kiss my ass.

And if you think you can’t love somebody in a weird body,
you can KISS MY ASS.

asta philpot video 2

Present Shock: when everything happens now

What if we had to learn to reinhabit the present?


Today’s post is dedicated to Douglas Rushkoff’s Present Shock: When everything happens now. Douglas Rushkoff, expert author of the digital and media world, has written over ten books including The GenX Reader and Open Source Democracy. He is credited for having first coined the term “viral media” in 1994, and for having predicted in 1997 the bursting of the Internet bubble in the 2000’s. He is also a brilliant orator, and I recommend taking the necessary 45 minutes to watch the entirety of his remarkable speech at Austin’s SXSW 2013. The video (below) was published in 2014. The title ‘Present Shock’ is a direct reference to the famous book published in 1970 by Alvin Toffler, Future Shock, in order to stigmatize our ‘presentism,’ which leads us to not only no longer believe in the long term, but more importantly to live a new rapport with time, which Rushkoff describes through five phenomena that he names “Collapse of narrative,” “Digiphrenia,” “Owerwinding,” “Fractalonia” and “Apocalypto.” In doing so, he invites us to realize the limits of rampant presentism, which we are led to through new technologies that transform us into data, and to rediscover the human dimension based on interpersonal relationships: “Whatever is vibrating on the iPhone just isn’t as valuable as the eye contact you are making right now!”

Everything happens as if our entire future should now be in our present. At this digital hour, we live in a state of perpetual urgency that fundamentally challenges our understanding of time. We have gone from the industrial age when time was in the form of a dial divided into periods, to a digital age where time is presented like a pulse. And in the emergency that has become our lives, the “Chronos” (measured time) has taken over the “Kairos” (past time). The first syndrome described by Douglas Rushkoff is the “collapse of narrative”: storytelling has been transformed and has lost a sense of beginning and a sense of ending. “Game of Thrones” is an infinite novel that develops in all sorts of directions. Netflix now allows us to watch every episode of a series like “House of Cards” all at once. This disintegration of the story in favor of immediacy translates into all sectors of human activity, whether it be political (everything, all at once), or in consumerism (fruits and vegetables available everywhere all year-round, regardless of natural cultivation rhythms). The second phenomenon described by Douglas Rushkoff is “Digiphrenia.” Digiphrenia is the idea that our digital personality has now developed in our different avatars and in our various applications, and makes us lead multiple, parallel lives: “Today, media and technology encourage us to be in more than one place at the same time.” The third phenomenon studied by Rushkoff called “Overwinding” consists of wanting to compress large temporal spaces into super intense moments, like Black Friday for instance (when hyper consumption is reduced into a condensed time frame), or even the effects of botox and plastic surgery, which aim to concentrate our own body history into an ageless, unfading face. Rushkoff calls the fourth symptom “Fractolania,” which is our tendency to look too quickly for relationships of cause & effect, even when they don’t exist, which stems all sorts of theories, all the way to conspiracy theories. The last tendency described by Rushkoff is what he calls “Apocalypto,” and it is the idea that, due to a lack of progressive vision, which he believes is because of the infinite plateau in which we live, we see the end of the story in an apocalyptic manner (hence the success of disaster movies). While recognizing the contribution of digital in our lives, Rushkoff invites us to re-examine the way we live now, by regiving, in a world increasingly divided into immediate data, priority to human relationships, emotions, a sense of long term, and everything that makes mankind – mankind.

present shock


What if we got business lessons from binge-watching?


Who among us hasn’t binge-watched an entire season of a favorite series? I am in no position to judge those who enjoy wasting a Sunday afternoon curled up with a premium cable drama or a Netflix original comedy. Indeed, there are so many options when it comes to good TV that, to paraphrase David Carr, TV’s new “golden age” can sometimes feel like a “gilded age”: an excess of riches.

Is it any surprise then, that by and large we are watching more television than ever before? Whether this is a good thing for us as a society (I am not sure it is), it is a fact of our lives. But instead of feeling guilty about this, why don’t we look at what we can learn from some of our favorite shows? Below, I take 3 of my favorites and find justification for spending hours watching and obsessing over them.

There are many reasons why Game of Thrones makes for compulsive watching. From the elaborate sets, to the web of intriguing characters (and even the amazing opening credits),Game of Thrones is a fabulous and surprising show. However, what makes GoT so compelling is its meditation on power. Cersei Lannister’s assertion in the first season that “When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die” is prophetic for the entire series where favorite characters are disposed of without a second thought.

Fortunately the modern day office is not nearly as cutthroat as Westeros and Essos. This said; one need only look at Khaleesi’s storyline to see that power can be seized for those who are willing to adapt. She begins the story sold as a bride to a nomadic warlord, she takes to learning the language and customs of the culture, and despite a series of setbacks, ends up leading her own tribe of ex-slaves.

Likewise, the character of Tyrion Lannister, played brilliantly by Peter Dinklage highlights how being an outsider can be an advantage. A dwarf in a world where a premium is put on brute force, Tyrion learns to survive by closely observing a world in which he is excluded. Tyrion is able to survive and thrive through observation, empathy and wit.

Veep: Resiliency

Unlike much of premium cable, Veep doesn’t feature a difficult man, but rather a fumbling woman. When we first meet Selina Meyer, she is a cynical foul-mouthed pol who by some cruel twist of fate ended up in the political position known as “not worth a bucket of warm spit” – the office of the Vice President. The first season we see Selina enduring the worst humiliations from the press, and even lowly West Wing staffers. Now in its 3 season, Vice President Meyer has had a change in fortune and is running for her party’s nomination to be the next presidential candidate. Veep is a great lesson that a figure of ridicule can become a serious player. Selina Meyer is the spokeswoman for resiliency. In the professional world, being able to roll with the punches, staying tough and keeping your staff on their toes is a great idea (see below).

Of course, do we watch these shows for business lessons? No, to be entertained, but sometimes we can learn some things along the way. After all to quote Steve Jobs “Television, at is best, is magnificent”.

What if this were the ad of the future?


As you know, I’ve talked about some of the great iAds done for the Nissan Juke and Axa. Now, check out an amazing movie preview iAd done for the upcoming action movie “Tron Legacy”. This iAd is available on the TV Guide

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application and it allows users to watch 10 minutes of the movie, and find the nearest theatre where the film is playing. Users can also download the soundtrack to the movie while watching scenes from the preview. What an interesting way to combine communication and useful information. 2011 prediction: We’ll be seeing more of this…

Happy Holidays! 😉