The Three Things

By Lindsay Bell

Welcome to the 66th edition of The Three Things, the weekly update of three links, podcasts, videos, or books you can’t miss – from Howie Goldfarb (Blue Star Strategic Marketing), Joe Cardillo (, and yours truly.

For those of you new to this series, The Three Things arrives in your inbox on Sunday mornings (unless you don’t subscribe, but that can easily be fixed if you hurry over and enter your email address or add to your RSS feed) so you have some extra time to spend perusing the obscure content we’ve curated for you (and one another) before your week begins and deadlines, meetings, and work takes over.

Today we explore a day of clicks, the Super Bowl of advertising, and the rise of artificial intelligence.

The Super Bowl of Advertising

Howie on Brand Bashing. This is the time of year I tend to bash brands that wasted their money on Super Bowl ads. For various reasons. I once had an exchange with Rob Schwartz (Schwartzie), the Creative Director for TWBA/ChiatDayLA, the agency that did the famous Apple 1984 spot. I personally hold this agency responsible for the demise of Pepsi, my favorite Cola. I asked Rob about the purpose of such ads. He said to have buzz carry through the year.

I know most big agency people live in a delusional world, because the chance of this happening is almost zero. Kind of like a viral strategy. While I hate ads that don’t sell, I have embraced the idea of ads as pure entertainment, just to reward us for suffering through a gazillion horrible ads each year (see VW the Force). But…sometimes Rob is right. And my friend Vinny Warren crafted one of the most famous Superbowl spots ever. And has created some very well know ad campaigns in his career. So let him teach you a bit about Superbowl Ads.

The Botmaker Who Sees Through the Internet

Joe on Artificial Intelligence. One of the interesting things that’s happening as the web matures is that coding/engineering, art, and the beginnings of artificial intelligence/semantics are merging. I’m actually most fascinated not by the bold, obvious satires, but more of the content (visual, text, audio) that is close to but not quite real. Of course that’s a subjective term, “real,” because as we build our lives on the web it becomes harder and harder to discern fiction from non-fiction.

But there’s something really intriguing about things like Darius Kazemi’s bots, which are close to believable. They make me think a lot about how we tell stories and transmit knowledge, and ultimately, what it means to be human. That may not matter much should we get AI to work and the singularity to happen, but until then it’s good fodder for thinking about how to communicate with each other.

Here’s What One Day of Every Single Click on a Computer Looks Like

Lindsay on A Day in the Life of  Digital Native. I was stunned when I first watched this video. It is truly hypnotic, and sucks you in with the click, click, click of ONE DAY of computer clicks. I was blown away to think I clicked that much, and how natural it is – to the point where you don’t even realize you are doing it. To Joe’s point above, with his article, our digital lives and our “analog” lives are so entwined now, we don’t even consider what we do daily. The keyboard becomes an extension of our fingers, and we are hypnotized by digital.

This really freaked me out. I hope it freaks you out as well. This is the stuff we need to think about, as we (seemingly) effortlessly juggle phones and tablets and laptops, and integrate them into our everyday lives. Because I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to end up ruled by robots one day.

Now it’s your turn. Is there a book, podcast, article, TV show, blog post, or story we should read?

Lindsay Bell

Lindsay Bell is the content director at V3 Marketing, and works in Toronto. A former TV producer, she’s a strong advocate of three minutes or less of video content. She has a cool kid, a patient husband, two annoying cats, and Hank Dawge, a Vizsla/Foxhound/moose hybrid. Ok, maybe not moose.

View all posts by Lindsay Bell