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June 11, 2003
open letter to J. Kottke

Hello Jason, your Open Letter to the New Yorker made me want to smile. Yes, the current (double) issue of the New Yorker does contain some flapping and wildly annoying ads. The one you mention is not the only one. The magazine opens with several pages of creative advertising. There is a Volkswagen Touareg ad with more images than words, there is a Crystal Cruises spread with a picture of a diamond as ship, there is one of those hand drawn Microsoft ads. Did you see the Urinetown ad right behind the Index? How about the 12 page insert for the new Audi A8 L (read: Au-di Ah Aght L) featuring other offline celebrities, like Guy Liberté, K. D. Lang, Robert Johnson, Daniel Libeskind, Narciso Rodriguez, John Malkovich, Lucette de Rugy and Bill Joy, all photographed in some quite cute ways. (this section does not quite flap around, but it uses some nicely matt heavy paper. Robert DeNiro and Monk fold out on pages 46 and 47. Page 61 has another flap attached... Microsoft also used a heavier stock to advertise their "tablet PC" on pages 81 and 82. There is indeed the very elaborate USB ad between the pages 98 and 101.
But the reason for all these design muscle flexing inserts and paper experiments is probably between the pages 108 and 109... see the best thing does not even come numbered. Do you see it?... It is an interactive piece by MINI. I Quote: :LET'S PARK IT ON YOUR DESK. Let's drag race our favorite pen. Let's blow past the tape dispenser. Let's avoid coffee spills. Let's not get pulled over by your boss. Let's get lost in the office. On a 1/56th scale - LET'S MOTOR.
Above and below this cute little line are two paper-models of those new MINI cars. They come with beautifully illustrated instructions on the back. They do not require scissors. They are pre-cut. A bliss.
So, you can probably guess what I have done. I've torn out all of the flaps and ads and things prior to the unnumbered MINI piece. I made up a little parcour (that's French, I guess?) and took my two truly mini mini-cars for a ride. (Okay, it was more of a race.)
David Sedaris is probably doing the same thing, right now, passing the sign "Now" and "Urine" at grotesque speeds. We all slow down at the leftovers of the off-road VW ad. Daniel Libeskind watches us with his contained smile.
Broom, broom, let's motor. Let's not complain that debut can indeed be also spelled début, at least according to this "website" (or Web site).
All the best from the desk of somebody who enjoys advertising and does not expect to be ever quoted in the New Yorker. ; )
Good night.


and minis are the best little cars as it is.

Posted by: alexandra on June 11, 2003 11:35 PM
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