All posts in Advertising

Trendsetter of the Year: Squeaky’s Very Own, Mailet Lopez

2014 Diversity Achievement & Mosaic Awards

A couple of months ago, the Squeaky team found out that our co-founder, Mailet Lopez, was going to be honored as the “Trendsetter of the Year” in the 2014 Diversity Achievement Awards by the American Advertising Federation. Upon hearing the news, we were all excited about the opportunity but did not immediately recognize the immensity of this honor until we arrived at the ceremony in Boca Raton, Florida.

As part of a fabulous week-long ADMERICA conference we were surrounded by industry titans who recognized and appreciated the impact IHadCancer.com has had on the cancer community. We witnessed a number of ground-breaking campaigns, all of which highlighted the strides that our industry has made in regards to diversity. As we headed back to NYC, we were reminded of the ethos that Squeaky was founded on – solid work, strong culture and diversity.

It was amazing to see our philosophy reaffirmed by this prestigious award from the AAF. Congratulations to all of this year’s winners and a big thanks to the AAF for all their hard work in making this year’s event a huge success.

Shedding Light on a Century-Old Craft: Neon Lighting

New signage in the Squeaky Loft.

New signage in the Squeaky Loft.

Living in a digital, connected world means we all have near-instant access to almost anything. Want to plan a trip? There’s a site for that. Want to order a pizza? There’s an app for that. All of this “connectedness” can sometimes make life feel as if it’s speeding by – causing us to forget to stop and admire the craft and perfection that goes into everything that surrounds us, especially art.

That’s why when we recently commissioned our friends at Manhattan Neon for a new neon sign for our office, we decided to take the time to find out more about their historic craft. These guys have been in the neon lighting business for 30 years and are known for iconic  installations like the Coca-Cola sign in Times Square and the Macy’s ‘Believe’ sign.

For our sign, we chose the phrase, “Always Be Nice,” as it closely parallels our ethos and is at the core of our agency culture. We chose to hang it above the conference room so that it can act as a centerpiece of the office as well as a way to inform everyone when meetings and conference calls are in session.

DSC_2055When it was nearly complete, we went to check it out and sat down with the artist who crafted it (a strapping Irish fellow named Steve) to learn more about the history of neon lighting, the industry and his craft.

Neon signage is all done by hand

Neon signage is all done by hand

Q: When did neon lighting first come about?

A: Neon lighting was first created for the purpose of illumination. Europe was competing with the likes of Edison and others for a practical form of lighting and neon lighting was unveiled at the Paris Expo in 1910. In 1923, Georges Claude introduced neon signs to the U.S. with the sale of two signs to a Packard automobile dealership in LA. Upon displaying these new signs near the highway, drivers were intrigued and slowed down to check them out—causing a traffic jam for hours.

Q: How does Neon lighting work exactly? It’s basically running electricity through neon gas and because it’s in glass it allows the light to escape right?

A: Exactly. Primarily you use two gases to create neon signing: Neon (Ne) which produces red and Argon (Ar) which produces blue but variations of gases produce different colors.

Q: Being around for over 100 years now, neon signage is seemingly archaic in the digital age, but surprisingly there is still a demand for it. Why do you think that is?

A: With the rise of technology, modern signage became almost too accessible thus, inadvertently catapulting neon signage into more of an art form.

This sign was used in the film, "The Departed"

This sign was used in the film, “The Departed”

Q:What is the most popular or well-known sign you’ve created at Manhattan Neon?

A: Signs in Times Square such as the Coca-Cola bottle are probably amongst the most well-known signs we’ve produced.

Q: What is the strangest request for a sign you’ve had?

A: Neon signs became popular amongst peep shows and strip clubs and the old 42nd street used to be teeming with them. (Manahattan Neon actually has a bunch of vintage signs from this era)

Q: Is it dangerous if these gas-filled glass tubes drop and break?

A: No that wouldn’t be dangerous but like any job there are dangers in neon sign crafting. I’ve accidentally burned and electrocuted myself in the past. DSC_2159Q: What is your favorite part about the neon lighting business?

A: What’s not to like? I come in, wear what I want and get to do what I love.

We had a great time getting to know Steve and learning more about our talented neighbors at Manhattan Neon.  Next time you stop by Squeaky, be sure to check out our new signage and let us know what you think.

 

 

April Fools’ Gold

Not every brand has the resources that Google does to dedicate towards such a large scale, multi-pronged approach to April Fools’ Day on the Internet. However, there are other stars that we thought stood out from the crowd.  Here’s our roundup of 2013′s Fools’ Gold:

1. Scope’s ‘Bacon’ for breath that sizzles. No pigs were harmed in the making.
Scope, Bacon, April Fool's Day

2. Kayak’s new dating service. Now you can find affordable flights and “Men Who Like Women and Cats” all in one go.
Kayak, Dating, April Fool's Day

3. Trader Joe’s spicy recipes. Sriracha Soda Float, mmm.
Trader Joe's, Sriracha, April Fool's Day

4. Meowberlin. The only institution where a top-ranked liberal arts college and a world-renowned conservatory of music share a seamless student culture & campus… and cats.
Oberlin, Meowberlin, April Fool's Day

Bacon, dating, sriracha and kittens? Happy April Fools’ Day indeed.