A fierce but graceful takedown
what the ad industry can teach us about showing up for our own
ROCK PAPER RADIO is a dispatch for misfits & unlikely optimists by your favorite hapa haole, beet-pickling, public radio nerd. It’s a weekly email newsletter and podcast that shares three curiosities every Thursday - something to hold on to (that’s the ‘rock’), something to read (that’s the ‘paper‘), and something to listen to (you guessed it, that’s the ‘radio’). Themes include but are not limited to: rebel violinists, immortal jellyfish, revolution. Thanks for subscribing and spreading the word.
SOMETHING TO LISTEN TO
For this week's ROCK PAPER RADIO podcast teaser, it’s me! And also—drumroll please—the unveiling of the show’s name!
In this 2-min teaser, I share how being a single mom when I was still a nightclub bartender with a Sarah Lawrence degree and no clue what was next helped pave the way for me to become the misfit dispatch producer I am today. Thanks as always for listening and sharing. Go here to listen.
SOMETHING TO READ
Mad Men wasn’t called Mad People for a reason. In the advertising industry, Creative Directors reign supreme and the fellas are killing it: Today only 11% of CDs are women. What that means is that the sharp and determined ladies who have smashed through countless glass ceilings to make it to the top should not be messed with. I should know. I’m married to one.
Take for example The Martin Agency CEO Kristen Cavallo. Earlier this week, Cavallo calmly but decidedly obliterated Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong when he tried to take credit for her team’s work on their viral Super Bowl spot.
Cavallo’s reflection in Adweek’s retelling of the whole glorious debacle is a masterclass in how to fiercely but tactfully show up for your people: Why Martin Agency's CEO Is Calling Out Coinbase Over Its QR Code Super Bowl Ad.
In a 10-Tweet thread, Armstrong celebrated his company’s genius for the 60-second minimalist ad showing a QR code floating on screen. He ended his thread by criticizing ad agencies at large. A bold, cursed move.
After a thunderous one-sentence response, Except an ad agency did do that ad., Cavallo brought RECEIPTS. The cheers of Ad Twitter could be heard across the internet.
Sending hopes and prayers to the loved ones of Armstrong and Coinbase during this challenging time.
SOMETHING TO HOLD ON TO
I’m here for pretty much all of the shenanigans the creative troublemakers of MSCHF dream up, but I was especially charmed by their recent Cease and Desist Grand Prix.
For their 68th stunt? campaign? prank? I’m going to call it what they call it—a drop—they created NASCAR-style shirts featuring the logos of eight lucky mega companies: Coca-Cola, Amazon, Microsoft, Subway, Disney, Tesla, Walmart, Starbucks. For this “race” the company that was first to send MSCHF a C&D letter won.
Well, not exactly. The people who purchased a shirt and bet on the company that was first to send the letter won, that is. Gamblers could up their chances of success by provoking their chosen company with letters and social media pokes provided by MSCHF, all of which led companies back to the Cease and Desist Grand Prix site.
In addition to the shirt their bets paid for, winners also received a champion hat and forever bragging rights. Surprisingly, only one of the companies has put their lawyers to work to get their logo removed from the competition so far. But one is all the betters needed to declare a winner! Click the link to see who claimed victory.
WOO HOO! A SURVEY! (with a bribe)
That’s a wrap on issue 72, friends. Thanks for listening, reading, holding on.
And thank you for being part of our misfit crew! Subscribers, you’re the reason this misfit dispatch keeps going every week. I’d love to learn more about all of you. Where are you in the world? How’d you discover RPR? Why, in the endless sea of your email inbox, do you open our weird love letter every week??? Really. I’d be thrilled to hear from you.
And I know surveys aren’t the most fun way to spend your time, but I promise this one is quick. Five minutes tops. Your responses will pave the way for what’s next for RPR and will help me grow our misfit community.
HERE’S THE BRIBE
If you enter your address in the survey (this is optional, of course), you’ll be entered to win a copy of the March 2022 issue of The Sun magazine, which is a gem of a lit mag that's been fueling my unlikely optimism for a long time. (I have a very little story featured in this issue.) I’ll send you a weird personal note too. I’ll also draw a few extra names to send notes to on cards that I hand pressed myself with a quote from one of my favorite philosophers. He was seven-years-old at the time he said what he said. I’ll give you a hint—he’s featured in this week’s Something to Listen To. ❤️ Click the button below to take the survey.
Thanks in advance, friends. You all are the best. Virtual high fives and awkward hugs to all of you.
See you next Thursday.
The song you heard in this podcast teaser is Numb by Yung Kartz.