The CLIO Awards have taken cultural cluelessness to award-winning levels. Anyone who can figure out this concept deserves to steal a trophy. To present Apartheid for an exclusive awards show catering to a segregated and arguably racist industry is nothing short of asinine—and patently offensive to boot.
Tuesday, March 03, 2015
Monday, March 02, 2015
Adweek reported on the latest bullshit from Cannes, where a Glass Lion Award is being introduced to honor work that “shatters gender bias.” Um, crap like Dove Real Beauty has been winning trophies at Cannes already. What’s the point of further appeasing White women whiners? Of course, it’s just another smokescreen to divert attention from the true problem: adland’s despicable and discriminatory dearth of diversity. Why not launch an exclusive award for diversity advertising? Call it the Ass Lyin’ Award.
New Cannes Award Honors Creative Work That Shatters Gender Bias
It’s time for a Glass Lion
By Noreen O’Leary
Industry activist Cindy Gallop said she is shocked over her selection as jury president for the new Cannes Glass Lion award, considering she’s been a bit of a thorn in its paw. The former advertising exec got to know the Lions Festival director of brand strategy, Senta Slingerland, last year after taking to Twitter to criticize the awards’ lack of female representation on its juries.
Turns out Slingerland shared many of Gallop’s concerns about the ad industry’s male-dominated creative ranks and the Lions exec was already thinking of ways to elevate women through Cannes involvement and initiatives.
Gallop, the former chief of Bartle Bogle Hegarty New York and now founder of the IfWeRanTheWorld consultancy, doesn’t see the award as one espousing new gender stereotypes. “This is not an award showing women in wildly empowered situations—it’s not about marginalizing women. It’s about celebrating them and should show great work that represents the world around us today,” she explained. “Young men as well as young women should want to win this award with great work that reflects the future of our industry.”
Gallop said she’s looking to draw creative types from beyond the agency world in making up the judging pool of eight. The gender split has yet to be determined.
Industry award competitions are making female recognition a greater focus. While the Clio Awards (Adweek’s sibling) doesn’t recognize the specific characterization of women in advertising, last year the show changed its policy to ensure there always will be a 50/50 male/female jury.
Proceeds from Glass Lion entries are being donated back into a program that Slingerland said “helps the mission of creating a more gender-neutral media landscape, free of unconscious bias.”
In recent weeks, rumors had circulated of a new female-focused award after a short video from DDB Sydney hit the Web, proposing a new “Lioness” category to challenge gender-based objectification in advertising. Slingerland calls the DDB video a “happy coincidence” to a plan already in progress.
“The way gender is represented in marketing has a negative impact on not only women but on society as a whole. Rewarding work that aims to change that is a hugely important thing for us to do,” said Slingerland, adding that the genesis of the Glass Lion began with a new female initiative at Cannes. “We launched ‘See It Be It’ last year not only to help accelerate the careers of very talented female creatives, but also to draw attention to the lack of female creative directors.”
Twelve industry women, below the level of creative director, were invited to Cannes last year and given access to industry leaders and festival speakers such as Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, who urged Cannes organizers to launch the award. Cannes will host “See It Be It” again this year; nominations can be made through canneslions.com, starting in March.
Advertising Age published, “How Adland Is Replacing Steady Stream of Talent Leaving for Greener Pastures,” highlighting the ways White advertising agencies are wooing candidates and competing for staffers with tech companies. Nowhere in the article is any mention of diversity, as it doesn’t really concern ad agencies—or tech companies, for that matter. The story featured the illustration above, which should have been rendered with manure.
Sunday, March 01, 2015
Give Pornhub credit for its continued success at generating self-hype. But not much else. The latest promotional fluffer piece involved introducing the Wankband—a device allowing users to charge their phones while masturbating. Imagine the brainstorm session that led to Wankband. Then again, don’t. Just realize that Pornhub is run by hackneyed jerk-offs who don’t deserve the masturbation-charged time of day.
Pornhub develops ‘Wankband’ gadget that lets users charge phones by masturbating
By Melissa Chan | NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
The power is in your hands.
Adult video site Pornhub is developing a device that allows men to simultaneously save the planet and charge their phones by masturbating.
The genius gadget, called “Wankband,” is strapped to the naughty user’s wrist and generates electricity when it’s moved up and down, according to the XXX-rated website, which claims to have the Earth’s best interest in mind.
“It’s well known how incredibly fast we run out of our natural resources and, what’s worse, how much they pollute in order to create energy,” a promotional video on the pornography site says.
“At Pornhub, we realize that by offering our users millions of hours of adult content, we are part of the problem. That’s why we’re going to show men how they can save the planet while doing what they do best.”
The creative cuff contains a valve with a small weight inside that generates and stores the electricity.
It also has a USB port on the side to power laptops, phone, cameras and tablets.
“Stop jacking off and start jacking on,” the clever ad says.
Not surprisingly, the accessory has already quickly formed a fan base.
“If anybody thinks the #WankBand isn’t anything short of genius is obviously in denial,” @studmuffwstaken of N.J. tweeted Saturday.
“I can finally fulfill my dreams of becoming a power company! #wankband,” @minibsez posted.
It’s unclear when the band will hit the shelves.
It’s still in its development stage, but the company is looking for “loving hands” to test it out when it’s finished.
Targeting Inequality, This Time on Public Transit
By Kirk Johnson
SEATAC, Wash. — On Sunday, the county transit system for the Seattle metropolitan area began hurtling down a road that few cities have traveled before: pricing tickets based on passengers’ income.
The project, which is being closely watched around the nation, gives discounts on public transportation to people whose household income is no more than 200 percent of the federal poverty level — for instance, $47,700 or less for a family of four under the 2014 guidelines. The problem it addresses is that many commuters from places like SeaTac, an outlying suburb, are too poor to live in Seattle, where prices and rents are soaring in a technology-driven boom. If they are pushed out so far that they cannot afford to get to work or give up on doing so, backers of the project said, Seattle’s economy could choke.
“I would characterize this as a safety valve,” said Dow Constantine, the King County executive and chairman of Sound Transit, a transportation agency serving multiple counties in the region. From 1999 to 2012, Mr. Constantine said, 95 percent of the new households in King County have been either rich or poor, earning more than $125,000 a year or less than $33,000, with hardly anything in between.
“It’s people doing really well, and people making espresso for people who are doing really well,” he said.
At 12:01 a.m. on Sunday, buses, trains and passenger ferries in the county began charging only $1.50 per ride — more than 50 percent off peak fares — to riders like Basro Jama, who lives in Tukwila, just south of Seattle.
Ms. Jama, 27, an immigrant from Somalia who is raising two young children by herself, earns less than $25,000 a year after taxes from her full-time job cleaning office buildings in downtown Seattle at night. She enrolled last week in the first wave of sign-ups for the ORCA Lift reduced-fare program, which transit administrators said could reach perhaps 100,000 people. (ORCA, or “one regional card for all,” is King County Metro Transit’s name for its fare card.)
ORCA Lift is run by King County Metro Transit, but the discount will apply to all passenger public transit in the county, including that of other agencies, like Sound Transit.
The program hinges on smart-card technology, an aggressive outreach effort by King County officials to people like Ms. Jama, and a liberal political establishment that believes the region’s economy is unbalanced and vulnerable in its growing divisions of poverty and wealth. Politicians and voters have raised the minimum wage based on that argument, with an increase to $15 an hour, more than twice the federal level, approved by voters in SeaTac in 2013 and by the Seattle City Council in 2014.
The reality of public transportation in America is that almost all of it is heavily subsidized by government, no matter how rich or poor the riders are. And those budgets, not least in Seattle, have been under severe stress. More than 70 percent of the nation’s transit systems cut service, raised fares or both during the recession and its aftermath, according to the American Public Transportation Association, a trade group. King County Metro Transit has raised fares six times since 2008, including an increase of 25 cents that kicks in on Sunday.
But income-based pricing is logistically complicated, which is partly why it has rarely been tried on any large scale, transportation experts said. San Francisco, which many in Seattle see as a kind of big brother to the south — sometimes to be emulated, other times to be scorned — got there first with a fare program called Muni Lifeline, which started in 2005. But after 10 years, Muni Lifeline remains tiny, with fewer than 20,000 card holders in a system that serves about 350,000 people a day.
Smaller, tentative experiments are underway elsewhere. Greene County, Ohio, near Dayton, recently started a program for low-income riders, with social service agencies buying travel vouchers and distributing them to their clients. In other places, like western Pennsylvania, nonprofit groups have jumped in to provide bus service to the poor.
But at least for the moment, all eyes are on Seattle, transportation experts said.
“What Seattle has done is what others might consider,” said Art Guzzetti, vice president for policy at the American Public Transportation Association. “Everyone is watching.”
The distinctions start with scale and ambition: King County has about two and a half times San Francisco’s population, and in aiming for enrollment numbers San Franciscans could only dream of, it is relying on what transit experts say is the most innovative idea of all: tools honed by the Affordable Care Act. A countywide system of more than 40 health clinics, food banks, community colleges and other sites run by nonprofit groups was put together to enroll residents in health insurance, and those partners were re-enlisted in the last few weeks to start registering people for ORCA Lift.
That is how Ms. Jama got her little blue card. She went to a health clinic here in SeaTac on Tuesday morning to have a doctor look at one of her children. While she was there, a worker for a nonprofit called Global to Local — a member of the ORCA Lift team tasked with connecting residents to health and social services from a kiosk in the lobby — asked Ms. Jama if, by chance, she was a transit rider.
Ms. Jama said yes. She also happened to have a recent pay stub in her pocket, verifying her income. Fifteen minutes later, she had the card in her hand.
Though it works like a regular transit pass, the card will remove only $1.50 for a fare. It is good for two years without the need for users to reconfirm their income. County officials said they did not anticipate big wage increases.
“What’s the trick in it?” Ms. Jama asked softly, glancing down at the card and up at Amy Samudre, the program manager at Global to Local who had processed her application.
“No trick,” Ms. Samudre replied with a little shrug.
The discount ORCA Lift provides might sound trivial to some, but for Ms. Jama, it is clearly not. The $10 or more a week that she will save on commuting represents a raise of almost 2.5 percent in her take-home pay. She said she might use the money for a special treat.
“That’s like taking my kids to McDonald’s,” she said. “Two Happy Meals is $9.”
White Sox legend Minnie Minoso dies at 92
By The Associated Press
CHICAGO (AP) — Minnie Minoso, who hit a two-run home run in his first at-bat when he became major league baseball’s first black player in Chicago in 1951, has died, the Cook County medical examiner said Sunday.
The medical examiner’s office did not immediately offer further details. There is some question about Minoso’s age but the White Sox say he was 92.
Minoso played 12 of his 17 seasons in Chicago, hitting .304 with 135 homers and 808 RBIs for the White Sox. The White Sox retired his No. 9 in 1983 and there is a statue of Minoso at U.S. Cellular Field.
Minoso made his major league debut with Cleveland in 1949 and was dealt to Chicago in a three-team trade two years later. He made his White Sox debut on May 1, 1951, and homered in his first plate appearance against Yankees right-hander Vic Raschi.
It was the start of a beautiful relationship between the Cuban slugger and the White Sox.
Minoso, regarded as baseball’s first black Latino star, was a Havana native who spent most of his career in left field. He is one of only two players to appear in a major league game in five different decades. He got his final hit in 1976 at age 53 and went 0 for 2 in two games in 1980 for the White Sox, who tried unsuccessfully over the years to get the “Cuban Comet” into baseball’s Hall of Fame.
“When I watched Minnie Minoso play, I always thought I was looking at a Hall of Fame player,” White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf said in an informational package produced by the team for a 2011 Cooperstown push. “I never understood why Minnie wasn’t elected. “He did everything. He could run, he could field, he could hit with power, he could bunt and steal bases. He was one of the most exciting players I have ever seen.”
Saturnino Orestes Armas Minoso Arrieta was selected for nine All-Star games and won three Gold Gloves in left. He was hit by a pitch 192 times, ninth on baseball’s career list, and finished in the top four in AL MVP voting four times.
Despite the push by the White Sox and other prominent Latin players, Minoso has never made it to Cooperstown. His highest percentage during his 15 years on the writers’ ballot was 21.1 in 1988. He was considered by the Veterans Committee in 2014 and fell short of the required percentage for induction.
“My last dream is to be in Cooperstown, to be with those guys,” Minoso said in that 2011 package distributed by the White Sox. “I want to be there. This is my life’s dream.”
Minoso, who made his major league debut with Cleveland in 1949, hit .298 for his career with 186 homers and 1,023 RBIs. The speedy Minoso also led the AL in triples and steals three times in each category.
Playing in an era dominated by the Yankees, Minoso never played in the postseason.
“Every young player in Cuba wanted to be like Minnie Minoso, and I was one of them,” Hall of Fame slugger Tony Perez said. “The way he played the game, hard all the time, hard. He was very consistent playing the game. He tried to win every game. And if you want to be like somebody, and I picked Minnie, you have to be consistent.”
Minoso appeared in just nine games in his first stint with the Indians, but he took off when he was dealt to Chicago as part of a three-team trade in 1951 that also involved the Philadelphia Athletics. He went deep in his first plate appearance against Yankees right-hander Raschi, and hit .375 in his first 45 games with the White Sox.
Minoso finished that first season in Chicago with a .326 batting average, 10 homers and 76 RBIs in 146 games for the Indians and White Sox. He also had a major league-best 14 triples and an AL-best 31 steals.
It was Minoso’s first of eight seasons with at least a .300 batting average. He also had four seasons with at least 100 RBIs.
“I have baseball in my blood,” Minoso said. “Baseball is all I’ve ever wanted to do.”
Saturday, February 28, 2015
Vulture talked with Mad Men Creator Matthew Weiner and AMC Marketing Chief Linda Schupack about the poster for the final episodes of the TV series. The two provided a 5-point analysis, examining the visual and conceptual imagery comprising the piece. The poster does underscore one sure thing: non-White people will be invisible in the closing installments.
Exclusive: Matthew Weiner Analyzes the Final, Official Mad Men Poster
By Josef Adalian
The final seven episodes of Mad Men begin airing in just six weeks, which means the AMC buzz machine surrounding the show has kicked into gear. Last week brought the first teaser pictures and video trailer for season seven’s conclusion, along with the news that Don Draper’s hat and suit are headed to the Smithsonian. And today, before it begins popping up on billboards and in magazine ads, Vulture has the exclusive unveiling of the last official poster for Mad Men — the emblematic image that will forever stand as the graphical representation of season seven’s second half. Series creator Matthew Weiner and AMC marketing chief Linda Schupack agreed to talk to us about the poster. Since the season hasn’t started and Weiner notoriously guards against spoilers, they didn’t reveal anything concrete about what’s to come on the show. But they did discuss five elements of the image and offer hints — teeny, tiny hints — as to what they might mean.
Don is in a car.
This is not an accident. “It’s designed to tell you that Don is going somewhere,” Weiner says. “He could be going to work, he could be going away from work. But there is a feeling of, I hope, a little bit of a desperate drive. We see him in his car, and we see that he’s alone, and I think you just have to basically feel that there’s going to be a sense of motion.” By the way, Don is driving his familiar Cadillac Coup de Ville, Weiner confirms. “That’s Don’s car — the late model Cadillac with the silver and red interior … he was driving at the end of season six.”
The sun is setting behind him.
Weiner won’t reveal too much about what, if any, meaning the sun’s positioning here has: “Is he driving off into the sunset because the show is? It’s the end of a workday, clearly.”
Don’s tie is perfectly tied in all previous Mad Men posters in which we can see him from the front. Not this time. “His collar is loosened; his tie is loosened,” Schupack points out, without explaining what, if any, significance that has. But here’s a hit from Weiner: “He looks a little unwound.”
The rearview mirror.
Don’s glancing at his rearview mirror. Is it an introspective look at himself? Or is someone — or something — behind him? Perhaps it’s symbolic of the show’s end? “I don’t know if you could say he’s looking at the end of the show in his rearview mirror,” Weiner says. “But he’s being pursued, and he’s on his way. He’s in the city — and he’s on his way.”
The image is a composite.
“It’s a period photo in the background, but we shot Jon in his car on the stage,” Weiner explains. “It’s an abstract image, but it is not an abstract photo, if that makes sense.”
Friday, February 27, 2015
At Campaign, “Portraits of a lady” presents more White women whining. Now the UK Mad Women are arguing that they’re not just underrepresented, but unfairly represented too—despite enjoying roughly 50 percent representation in the field. The clueless complainers include Lindsey Clay, and the 3 percenters are joining the revolution too. It’s only a matter of time before somebody invites Patricia Arquette to the bitch session. Of course, no one is mentioning that while White women are allegedly underrepresented and unfairly represented, minorities aren’t represented at all.
Portraits of a lady
As Kate Magee heard at last week’s Wacl event, advertising continues to represent women unfairly.
I want you to get it out. I want to see it. I want to feel it, hold it, put it in my mouth,” the young woman says in a close-up to camera.
No, this isn’t a scene from 50 Shades Of Grey but from an ad shown on daytime TV last year for the e-cigarette brand VIP.
It was an example highlighted at last week’s Wacl event in the House of Commons, where the audience agreed conclusively – after fierce debate – that the depiction of women in advertising today still lags behind the reality.
Yes, there has been huge progress over the past 25 years – just look at the brilliant Sport England campaign “this girl can” by FCB Inferno – but there is still much more to be done.
The lazy use of outdated stereotypes and unnecessary sexualisation aside, what’s often most damaging is unconscious bias.
The chair of the Account Planning Group, Tracey Follows, highlighted a recent Apple ad for Siri in which men asked work-related questions while women requested a reminder about grocery shopping.
It’s this type of bias that is powerfully exposed in the “#LikeAGirl” ad for Always by Leo Burnett. And also why the Thinkbox chair, Tess Alps, argued that Mother’s “epic strut” ad for Moneysupermarket.com is a feminist statement. The spot shows a man flouncing down the street in hotpants and high heels.
“By making a man behave like women are expected to behave all the time, it shows how ridiculous it is,” Alps said. “We might not always be able to change the culture, but we don’t have to adopt the worst aspects of it.”
Partly, the bias is a result of the “male gaze”. If the majority of creative directors in charge of depicting a woman are men, can they – however well-intentioned – ever truly reflect a woman’s experience?
The problem is not usually an individual ad but the accumulative effect of what advertising says about the role of women in society.
One of the most interesting ways to redress the balance came from Thinkbox’s chief executive, Lindsey Clay, who suggested the creation of a Bechdel test for advertising.
The Bechdel test, originally used on movies, asks whether a work of fiction features at least two women who talk to each other about something other than a man. Sounds simple, but you’d be surprised how many films fail the test.
Clay suggested judging whether an ad showed a woman who was not in a domestic setting, not playing a nurturing role and not defined through a sexual relationship with a man.
It’s a thought-provoking concept but, as the debate showed, things are not always clear-cut. Procter & Gamble’s brand director of northern Europe, Roisin Donnelly, said that businesses cannot afford to offend women in their ads because they won’t be effective if they don’t engage with the consumer. She then cited research revealing that UK women still handle 75 per cent of the housework and 88 per cent of the childcare.
Frightening statistics, but if 70 per cent of females say they feel alienated by most ads (research pointed out by Follows), then perhaps women don’t recognise, or want to recognise, the reality.
Advertising is aspirational and has the power to change behaviour. So it is also within the industry’s power to show a more equal society in ads.
As the equalities minister Jo Swinson put it: “Does advertising want to reflect what reality is, or lead us to a new reality?”
Wacl’s House of Commons debate: Why now, what next?
Lindsay Pattison, president, Wacl; worldwide chief executive, Maxus
I’m loving the current zeitgeist for more empowered, diverse images of women in ads. Always’ “#LikeAGirl” and Sport England’s “this girl can” both sassily and really effectively invert damaging stereotypes. Meanwhile, L’Oréal (a client) recently appointed Helen Mirren as a UK ambassador.
Our debate highlighted that, while we’ve come far, it is, as Tess Alps summed up so eloquently, “not job done”.
Examining our own business is a helpful lens and one that shows the need for Wacl, aged 92, to still exist. As our vice-president, Lindsey Clay, pointed out: while we start out in advertising with a 50/50 gender split, as we “progress” only 25 per cent of senior management roles are held by women. Not a great start.
And it’s far, far worse when we delve into disciplines; the lack of senior female creatives is a massive issue worldwide. On 12 June, the 3% Club (reflecting the percentage of executive creative directors stateside who are female) will come here to help raise awareness and inspire more creative talent, so that the people conceiving ads bring a realistic, empathetic view and also reflect the market.
We’re making a big effort to attract and support female chief strategy officers too; as an organisation, we will try to encourage more super senior female planners to help us deliver true insights and thus effective comms. Misunderstanding female consumers from a business perspective is lunacy; two-thirds of the world’s purchase power is wielded by females – that’s $12 trillion!
What else can we do? We can call out any lazy, unhelpful hangovers of casual sexism and gender stereotyping as a priority – we can all raise our hands and our voices. It’s our industry and we should all take responsibility.
Wacl’s goal isn’t to create an undue advantage, but we do want a level playing field. Let’s reflect reality – or, better yet, an achievable improvement on a society where only 23 per cent of our MPs and five of our FTSE 100 chief executives are women.
Leonard Nimoy, Spock of ‘Star Trek,’ Dies at 83
By Virginia Heffernan
Leonard Nimoy, the sonorous, gaunt-faced actor who won a worshipful global following as Mr. Spock, the resolutely logical human-alien first officer of the Starship Enterprise in the television and movie juggernaut “Star Trek,” died on Friday morning at his home in the Bel Air section of Los Angeles. He was 83.
His wife, Susan Bay Nimoy, confirmed his death, saying the cause was end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Mr. Nimoy announced that he had the disease last year, attributing it to years of smoking, a habit he had given up three decades earlier. He had been hospitalized earlier in the week.
His artistic pursuits — poetry, photography and music in addition to acting — ranged far beyond the United Federation of Planets, but it was as Mr. Spock that Mr. Nimoy became a folk hero, bringing to life one of the most indelible characters of the last half century: a cerebral, unflappable, pointy-eared Vulcan with a signature salute and blessing: “Live long and prosper” (from the Vulcan “Dif-tor heh smusma”).
Mr. Nimoy, who was teaching Method acting at his own studio when he was cast in the original “Star Trek” television series in the mid-1960s, relished playing outsiders, and he developed what he later admitted was a mystical identification with Spock, the lone alien on the starship’s bridge.
Yet he also acknowledged ambivalence about being tethered to the character, expressing it most plainly in the titles of two autobiographies: “I Am Not Spock,” published in 1977, and “I Am Spock,” published in 1995.
In the first, he wrote, “In Spock, I finally found the best of both worlds: to be widely accepted in public approval and yet be able to continue to play the insulated alien through the Vulcan character.”
“Star Trek,” which had its premiere on NBC on Sept. 8, 1966, made Mr. Nimoy a star. Gene Roddenberry, the creator of the franchise, called him “the conscience of ‘Star Trek’” — an often earnest, sometimes campy show that employed the distant future (as well as some primitive special effects by today’s standards) to take on social issues of the 1960s.
His stardom would endure. Though the series was canceled after three seasons because of low ratings, a cultlike following — the conference-holding, costume-wearing Trekkies, or Trekkers (the designation Mr. Nimoy preferred) — coalesced soon after “Star Trek” went into syndication.
The fans’ devotion only deepened when “Star Trek” was spun off into an animated show, various new series and an uneven parade of movies starring much of the original television cast, including — besides Mr. Nimoy — William Shatner (as Capt. James T. Kirk), DeForest Kelley (Dr. McCoy), George Takei (the helmsman, Sulu), James Doohan (the chief engineer, Scott), Nichelle Nichols (the chief communications officer, Uhura) and Walter Koenig (the navigator, Chekov).
When the director J. J. Abrams revived the “Star Trek” film franchise in 2009, with an all-new cast — including Zachary Quinto as Spock — he included a cameo part for Mr. Nimoy, as an older version of the same character. Mr. Nimoy also appeared in the 2013 follow-up, “Star Trek Into Darkness.”
His zeal to entertain and enlighten reached beyond “Star Trek” and crossed genres. He had a starring role in the dramatic television series “Mission: Impossible” and frequently performed onstage, notably as Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof.” His poetry was voluminous, and he published books of his photography.
He also directed movies, including two from the “Star Trek” franchise, and television shows. And he made records, singing pop songs as well as original songs about “Star Trek,” and gave spoken-word performances — to the delight of his fans and the bewilderment of critics.
But all that was subsidiary to Mr. Spock, the most complex member of the Enterprise crew, who was both one of the gang and a creature apart engaged at times in a lonely struggle with his warring racial halves.
In one of his most memorable “Star Trek” performances, Mr. Nimoy tried to follow in the tradition of two actors he admired, Charles Laughton and Boris Karloff, who each played a monstrous character — Quasimodo and the Frankenstein monster — who is transformed by love.
In Episode 24, which was first shown on March 2, 1967, Mr. Spock is indeed transformed. Under the influence of aphrodisiacal spores he discovers on the planet Omicron Ceti III, he lets free his human side and announces his love for Leila Kalomi (Jill Ireland), a woman he had once known on Earth. In this episode, Mr. Nimoy brought to Spock’s metamorphosis not only warmth, compassion and playfulness, but also a rarefied concept of alienation.
“I am what I am, Leila,” Mr. Spock declares after the spores’ effect has worn off and his emotions are again in check. “And if there are self-made purgatories, then we all have to live in them. Mine can be no worse than someone else’s.”
Born in Boston on March 26, 1931, Leonard Simon Nimoy was the second son of Max and Dora Nimoy, Ukrainian immigrants and Orthodox Jews. His father worked as a barber.
From the age of 8, Leonard acted in local productions, winning parts at a community college, where he performed through his high school years. In 1949, after taking a summer course at Boston College, he traveled to Hollywood, though it wasn’t until 1951 that he landed small parts in two movies, “Queen for a Day” and “Rhubarb.”
He continued to be cast in little-known movies, although he did presciently play an alien invader in a cult serial called “Zombies of the Stratosphere,” and in 1961 he had a minor role on an episode of “The Twilight Zone.” His first starring movie role came in 1952 with “Kid Monk Baroni,” in which he played a disfigured Italian street-gang leader who becomes a boxer.
Mr. Nimoy served in the Army for two years, rising to sergeant and spending 18 months at Fort McPherson in Georgia, where he presided over shows for the Army’s Special Services branch. He also directed and starred as Stanley in the Atlanta Theater Guild’s production of “A Streetcar Named Desire” before receiving his final discharge in November 1955.
He then returned to California, where he worked as a soda jerk, movie usher and cabdriver while studying acting at the Pasadena Playhouse. He achieved wide visibility in the late 1950s and early 1960s on television shows like “Wagon Train,” “Rawhide” and “Perry Mason.” Then came “Star Trek.”
Mr. Nimoy returned to college in his 40s and earned a master’s degree in Spanish from Antioch University Austin, an affiliate of Antioch College in Ohio, in 1978. Antioch University later awarded Mr. Nimoy an honorary doctorate.
Mr. Nimoy directed two of the Star Trek movies, “Star Trek III: The Search for Spock” (1984) and “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home” (1986), which he helped write. In 1991, the same year that he resurrected Mr. Spock on two episodes of “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” Mr. Nimoy was also the executive producer and a writer of the movie “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.”
He then directed the hugely successful comedy “Three Men and a Baby” (1987), a far cry from his science-fiction work, and appeared in made-for-television movies. He received an Emmy nomination for the 1982 movie “A Woman Called Golda,” in which he portrayed the husband of Golda Meir, the prime minister of Israel, who was played by Ingrid Bergman. It was the fourth Emmy nomination of his career — the other three were for his “Star Trek” work — although he never won.
Mr. Nimoy’s marriage to the actress Sandi Zober ended in divorce. Besides his wife, he is survived by his children, Adam and Julie Nimoy; a stepson, Aaron Bay Schuck; and six grandchildren; one great-grandchild, and an older brother, Melvin.
Though his speaking voice was among his chief assets as an actor, the critical consensus was that his music was mortifying. Mr. Nimoy, however, was undaunted, and his fans seemed to enjoy the camp of his covers of songs like “If I Had a Hammer.” (His first album was called “Leonard Nimoy Presents Mr. Spock’s Music From Outer Space.”)
From 1977 to 1982, Mr. Nimoy hosted the syndicated series “In Search Of...,” which explored mysteries like the Loch Ness Monster and UFOs. He also narrated “Ancient Mysteries” on the History Channel from 1995 to 2003 and appeared in commercials, including two with Mr. Shatner for Priceline.com. He provided the voice for animated characters in “Transformers: The Movie,” in 1986, and “The Pagemaster,” in 1994.
In 2001 he voiced the king of Atlantis in the Disney animated movie “Atlantis: The Lost Empire,” and in 2005 he furnished voice-overs for the computer game Civilization IV. More recently, he had a recurring role on the science-fiction series “Fringe” and was heard, as the voice of Spock, in an episode of the hit sitcom “The Big Bang Theory.”
Mr. Nimoy was an active supporter of the arts as well. The Thalia, a venerable movie theater on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, now a multi-use hall that is part of Symphony Space, was renamed the Leonard Nimoy Thalia in 2002.
He also found his voice as a writer. Besides his autobiographies, he published “A Lifetime of Love: Poems on the Passages of Life” in 2002. Typical of Mr. Nimoy’s simple free verse are these lines: “In my heart/Is the seed of the tree/Which will be me.”
In later years, he rediscovered his Jewish heritage, and in 1991 he produced and starred in “Never Forget,” a television movie based on the story of a Holocaust survivor who sued a neo-Nazi organization of Holocaust deniers.
In 2002, having illustrated his books of poetry with his photographs, Mr. Nimoy published “Shekhina,” a book devoted to photography with a Jewish theme, that of the feminine aspect of God. His black-and-white photographs of nude and seminude women struck some Orthodox Jewish leaders as heretical, but Mr. Nimoy asserted that his work was consistent with the teaching of the kabbalah.
His religious upbringing also influenced the characterization of Spock. The character’s split-fingered salute, he often explained, had been his idea: He based it on the kohanic blessing, a manual approximation of the Hebrew letter shin, which is the first letter in Shaddai, one of the Hebrew names for God.
“To this day, I sense Vulcan speech patterns, Vulcan social attitudes and even Vulcan patterns of logic and emotional suppression in my behavior,” Mr. Nimoy wrote years after the original series ended.
But that wasn’t such a bad thing, he discovered. “Given the choice,” he wrote, “if I had to be someone else, I would be Spock.”
Thursday, February 26, 2015
Lupita Nyong’o’s $150,000 Oscar dress stolen; detectives investigating
By Joseph Serna
Los Angeles County sheriff’s detectives are investigating the theft of what is believed to be the $150,000 pearl-adorned dress worn by actress Lupita Nyong’o to the Academy Awards on Sunday.
Sheriff’s officials received a call about 11:30 p.m. Wednesday that a dress estimated to be worth $150,000 was stolen from a room at the London West Hollywood hotel, said Lt. William Nash of the sheriff’s West Hollywood station.
TMZ reported the victim of the theft was Nyong’o and the dress was the one she wore to the Oscars. The dress was a white Francisco Costa for Calvin Klein gown decorated with 6,000 pearls.
Detectives were at the hotel Thursday morning investigating the theft, Nash said. He said the value of the dress is part of the investigation and no arrests have been made.
A call to Nyong’o’s representative was not immediately returned. The London West Hollywood hotel declined to comment. Detectives were reviewing security camera footage.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Okay, it’s technically not a BHM event, but Advertising Age reported Apple is introducing racially diverse emoji.
Apple to Feature Racially Diverse Emoji
Users Will Be Able to Choose From Six Skin Tones
It introduced same sex couple emoticons over two years ago, but now Apple is bringing racially diverse emoji to its devices for the first time. According to reports by 9to5Mac and The Next Web, in the future all emoji faces and hands will come in six different skin complexions and users will be able to change skin tone on an emoji, whether it’s a thumbs up sign, face or other “human” symbol, with a simple command. The new emojis, which will also include new “family group” emojis and an Apple Watch emoticon, will appear in OS X 10.10.3 and the beta version of iOS 8.3.
Advertising Age reported Sears and mcgarrybowen decided to “part ways”—which is code for agency termination, regardless of mcgarrybowen’s contention that they resigned the account. Sorry, but mcgarrybowen’s sycophantic personality makes it impossible to deliberately relinquish billings. The advertiser and White advertising agency were actually a perfect pairing of mediocrity and meh. Fortunately, there’s an endless pool of hackneyed White advertising agencies ready and willing to accommodate the retail dinosaur.
McGarryBowen and Sears Part Ways
Move Happens In Midst Of Massive Holding Company Consolidation
By Maureen Morrison
McGarryBowen and Sears Holdings are parting ways, Ad Age has learned.
The shop has been working on the Sears brand since it won the account in 2011.
The split comes as the retailer is in the midst of a massive holding-company level procurement-led consolidation that began in November. The review has been delayed, according to people familiar with it, with no requests for proposal being distributed yet. These people said that the company has been meeting with all the major ad agency holding companies and still plans to send RFPs to those it wants to go to the next step. The review is slated to be completed in May.
McGarryBowen, part of Dentsu Aegis, was in the running in the review, but chose to resign the account, according to people familiar with the matter. In an internal memo sent to the shop’s employees, co-founder Gordon Bowen said that he and the agency’s leadership had decided to part ways with Sears.
Sears has long been described as a demanding client. In 2011, when it was reviewing the Sears brand business that McGarryBowen ultimately won, it upset many agencies when it said that it would own the ideas that agencies pitched. Other people familiar with the marketer have said that the company over years has continued to cut its agency fees.
The agency confirmed that it resigned the account, but declined to elaborate. Representatives for Sears did not have immediate comment. [UPDATE: Bill Kiss, VP-chief digital marketing officer at Sears Holdings, said in a statement that the company thanked McGarryBowen for its work. “Our multifaceted process continues and we are confident we will ultimately select the right agency to support our continued transformation,” he said. “In the interim, we will work with our incumbent agencies to pick up the Sears brand work.”]
On the marketing front, several senior-level executives have left the company, according to people familiar with the business. Imran Jooma, the company’s exec VP and president of marketing, online and financial services, said in December that he was leaving the company.
Sears Holdings has been struggling lately, losing money for 10 straight quarters, closing stores and most recently, laying off about 115 people in corporate earlier this month in an effort to reduce expenses. Sears will report earnings on Thursday.
In March 2014, Havas in Chicago picked up the creative work for Craftsman, Die Hard and Kenmore. Media is handled by Havas, and Interublic’s FCB handles creative for Kmart.
Sears Holdings is the 27th largest marketer in the U.S., according to Ad Age’s DataCenter. In 2013, the Sears brand alone spent $340 million in U.S. measured media, the last full year of available data, according to Kantar Media. Sibling brand Kmart spent $209 million. Kenmore that year had about $21 million in U.S. measured media, while Craftsman has $15 million.
Contributing: Ashley Rodriguez