This site showcases the (mostly) digital work of Andrew DiFiore from both Virtual Arts Studios and answerYES Interactive as well as random thoughts and experimental projects too volatile to be contained anywhere else.

 
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    It’s Christmas! Yeah! We made it through the holiday season with most of our sanity intact.

    A lot was accomplished in 2013: new product launches, client sites, mobile apps, even rescued a pup (now the official mascot of answerYES)… but we didn’t quite get to our annual holiday digital creation. So here is one we liked from the gang at Victors & Spoils, a Colorado Ad Agency based on crowdsourcing (see their Facebook App called Fan Machine to get an idea what that means).

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    By now, everybody has seen this music video by Robin Thicke Blurred Lines, featuring Pharrell Williams and T.I. Oh, yeah, also featuring models Emily Ratajkowski (@realemrata), Elle Evans (@elloelee_), and Jessi M’Bengue (@Jessimbengue) walking around naked. If you’re offended by nudity then suggest the earlier version or this Jimmy Fallon rendition.

    Despite being banned from YouTube for being too risqué (who knew YouTube was own by Disney) the video still went viral and the song skyrocketed to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. And Robin Thicke pinch hit for Daft Punk on the Stephen Colbert Report, effectively touted as the “song of the summer”.

    Robin Thicke recently told Howard Stern on The Howard Stern Show that the song was inspired by his wife Paula Patton.

    The song “Blurred Lines” has the line, “She’s a good girl, but she wants to be a bad girl,” it’s very much about my wife. My wife is Mrs. Good Girl. Gradually, over our marriage, I’ve turned her into a bad girl.

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    Gangnam Style by Psy

    By now you have seen (or at  least heard) the song Gangnam Style by South Korean pop star Park Jae-sang better known as Psy.

    No doubt, if you have been to a Wedding or Bar Mitzvah in the last six months, everybody was doing it Gangnam Style.

    Well, on December 21, 2012, the catchy dance track officially became the first music video to break one billion views on YouTube, rocketing pass previous record holder — Justin Bieber’s music video Baby — by more that a quarter million.

    Truly a “Where’s the Beef” moment. And Psy is Clara Peller.

    Gangnam Style is now so engrained into the world’s collective consciousness that when future generations poke fun of us by striking the cowboy pose, we will all immediately chuckle in shame.

    What the hell is Gangnam Style anyway?

    Well, you don’t have to Google it as I’m geek enough to have done this for you. Gangnam (or Gangnam-gu) literally means “south of the river” and it one of the most affluent districts in Seoul. It is also where Psy was born. ABS CBN News did a nice little guide about here.

    It seems that there is more and more yoga in my advertising these days.

    Agencies have found a new tact in the “sex sells” ideology, using yoga to push anything from corn chips to smartphones.

    For women, it is the immediate and visceral reaction to the strong, self-empowered feminine.

    For men, there is nothing sexier than a fit women… sweating (Ron Harris understood this back in the 80s).

    Casio G’zOne Commando

    Hey, a little rough with that cell phone… good thing it is as tough as she is.

    Equinox

    Whoa! Where can I learn to do that?

    I’ve always said sex doesn’t sell, it gets your attention. Getting your attention, however, doesn’t mean you’re going to remember anything about the product if the “sex” has nothing to do with said product. For example, this Pão cu Manteiga commercial from Brazil (warning NSFW). Good for a chuckle but is this really the right message you want to convey for butter (would have liked to been a fly on the wall during that pitch).

    Using sex in advertising requires balance. Be clever, relevant, and sexy.

    In the ads above, both do it well but I have to give the edge to Equinox. A little voyeuristic given the sleeping “boyfriend” in the background but the camera angles keep it clean… watching Briohny Smyth do yoga in her underwear is like watching a performance artist.

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    Okay, Keenan Cahill’s lip-syncing videos are just a little freaky but that’s why so many people watch them… and there is no arguing with success. Over 50 million views of Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” (since August of 2010) has made BeenerKeeKee19952 not only an instant YouTube sensation but a hot viral commodity.

    Now with over 170 videos, the success is surreal.

    From the likes of Sean Kingston and 50 Cent to the casts of Glee and Nickelodeon’s Victorious, the teenager with MSP (a rare genetic disorder that affects physical and mental development) has stood next to more celebrities than Ryan Seacrest. He has even performed “Go NY Go” with Landry Fields and Andy Rautins of New York Knicks (along with the NY Knicks Cheerleaders).

    He has appeared on Chelsea Handler’s show Chelsea Lately, helped Jennifer Aniston go “viral” for Smartwater, and has his own Web series called Keenan’s Crush featuring the always sexy Jessica Uberuaga. And the endorsement deals keep rolling in… from Julianne Hough promoting her Footloose remake to Axe body spray to Me Undies (there is just nothing wrong with women dancing in their underwear).

    This is the power of the Web, unfettered, dreams can soar. Anyone can be a star. And if you’re an astute marketer paying attention to social media trends, get ready to hitch your wagon to the next Keenan Cahill and sit back (or should I say lean forward).