Monday, November 30, 2009

Cookie Monster and Domino Sugar

How would you create an ad for Domino Sugar? Natural sugar manufacturers like Domino have been facing a lot of competition from the substitute sugars such as "Sweet 'n Low" and "Splenda." Our goal was to position Domino Sugar as a all-natural quality sugar that was fit for a housewife who wanted to be fit and provide healthy cooking for her family.

Our first major idea was about using the right sugar for you. We wanted to show a traditional plate of cookies with a note "For Santa", with a Christmas tree in the background. The copy would have been, "Because this year, you're Santa." We wanted to tell the consumer that ultimately, it is she who will eat the products of her baking and thus, she should use quality ingredients.

After a multitude of ideas, Sesame Street's famous Cookie Monster came to our minds. The Cookie Monster will eat any cookie right? Wrong. Cookie Monster will gladly go for a piece of pizza rather than some cookies made with substitute sugars.

Substitute sugars are the real monsters. Even the most famous cookie lovers only go for cookies made from all-natural, real sugar.
Visit for Cookie Monster’s favorite cookie recipe

What do you think?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Contact Forms 7 - Making value text disappear when clicked (onfocus)

 UPDATE (Jan. 8, 2010) - I managed to use the added script below in a new website (I work for Take a look at (the form is in the right sidebar).

I'm really not a PHP developer in any fashion. However, I've managed to make some adjustments to the Contact Forms 7 plugin for Wordpress.

Contact Forms 7

My hat goes off to Takayuki Miyoshi, the creator of Contact Forms 7. The plugin is very intuitive and fairly user-friendly in comparison with other form plugins. However, I found that I couldn't make input value attributes appear and disappear when a form input was clicked on. Below are some of the adjustments I made:
  1. In the plugin folder under admin/admin.php I added a new option to the administration of the text input generator (line 466). Script additions are in blue:

    'acceptableFileTypes' => __( "Acceptable file types", 'wpcf7' ),

    'needReallySimpleCaptcha' => __( "Note: To use CAPTCHA, you need Really Simple CAPTCHA plugin installed.", 'wpcf7' ),

    'onFocusOnBlur' => __( "Make input values disappear when clicked?", 'wpcf7' )

    ) );

  2. Then, modify the admin javascript file under admin/wpcf7-admin.js
    (line 417)
    jQuery.each([ 'isRequiredField', 'allowsMultipleSelections', 'insertFirstBlankOption', 'makeCheckboxesExclusive',

    'isAcceptanceDefaultOn', 'isAcceptanceInvert',

    'akismetAuthor', 'akismetAuthorEmail', 'akismetAuthorUrl',

    'imageSizeSmall', 'imageSizeMedium', 'imageSizeLarge', 'onFocusOnBlur' ], function(i, n) {

    tgInputs[n] = jQuery('');

    (line 469)

    jQuery(' ' + _wpcf7L10n.isRequiredField + '').prepend(tgInputs.isRequiredField),

    jQuery(' ' + _wpcf7L10n.onFocusOnBlur + '').prepend(tgInputs.onFocusOnBlur)


    (line 1159)
    if (tgInputs.tagClasses.val())

    jQuery.each(tgInputs.tagClasses.val().split(' '), function(i, n) {

    options.push('class:' + n);


    if (':checked'))


  3. Then edit the text module file under modules/text.php:
    First determine if the new option is selected:

    } elseif ( preg_match( '%^([0-9]*)[/x]([0-9]*)$%', $option, $matches ) ) {
    $size_att = (int) $matches[1];
    $maxlength_att = (int) $matches[2];
    } elseif ( preg_match( '%^onfocus$%', $option, $matches ) ) {
    $onfocus_att = 1;
  4. Add the javascript to the input if the selection was made (still on modules/text.php):

    if ($onfocus_att == 1) {
    $atts .= "onfocus=\"if(this.value=='" . esc_attr( $value ) . "'){value='';document.getElementById('" . trim( $id_att ) . "').style.color='#000000'}\" onblur=\"if(this.value==''){value='" . esc_attr( $value ) . "';document.getElementById('" . trim( $id_att ) . "').style.color='#999999'}\"";
    $html = ...
  5. Your Done!

Here's an image of the new checkbox:

Let me know if you have any questions. I'm going to put up a demo soon.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Dave's Formatter

While I was working with LawFirmSites, a coworker and friend created an HTML code formatter. It's been a few years and I still use it frequently.

Sometimes I forget how to find it. Here's the link:

Dave's Formatter

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Synchronized Christmas Lights - Carol of the Bells

Mr. Holdman puts up an impressive light show every year. I recorded this version a few years ago. I was really impressed with the extravagant lighting. All the lights are synchronized perfectly with Carol of the Bells which was played over a short-wave radio signal. It's become a family tradition to see what Mr. Holdman will do next.

Synchronized Christmas Lights

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Day at the Museum - Naturhistorisches Museum

Not knowing what the museum had, I stepped inside. "Naturhistorisches Museum," I read the sign to myself. Apparently, the statue on the dome of this museum was a bit taller--a meter or so taller than the Kunsthistorisches Museum's statue across the plaza. Logical symbolism. God's creations are higher and nobler than Man's creations.

I found the Museum strangely designed. The top floor contained numerous exhibits of animals from each family. First insects, then amphibians, and reptiles, and mammals.

One monkey seemed especially vicious. His teeth were glaring and the glass eyes shone with ferocious brightness. I was perplexed with the monkey's face and pressed my face up to the glass to get a closer look. I did not realize, however, that a faint mist was streaming from his mouth. His chest was moving in and out like real lungs. That's weird.

Suddenly, his right arm seemed to fly into motion and he smashed his extra large fist against the exhibit glass. Crack! Right on my face. A stream of blood ran down the glass. I stepped back in shock and confusion. Did that monkey just move? I felt my forehead. Blood. The glass was smashed and the monkey wasn't finished. He began to hit the glass repeatedly and finally the exhibit box shattered to the floor. The entire case of monkeys was a mess, and now they were all alive, screaming and jumping. One hopped onto my shoulders and wrapped his long hairy arms around my eyes and mouth. I stumbled backwards, trying to pry the monkey off my head. Then suddenly I was free just as I tripped into the crocodile display. Oops...

Richard Strauss: Arabella in Vienna - Franz Josef's Reaction

The orchestra played loud and sure. The conductor waved his arms back and forth like a flag in the wind. His long hair waved as well, drenched in perspiration--after all, he had been conducting for over an hour. The notes were strangely twisted and dynamic--typical of Strauss. It was amidst this flowing blanket of sound that the main character, "Arabella," sung with rich tone. It was near the end of the last act.

The audience was glued to the performance excluding the Emperor Franz Josef who was seated in box 3. He usually showed an uninterested look and his slouched body gave away his dislike of opera. Nevertheless, the majority of the wealthy class, seated in the boxes, were anxiously hoping for a delightful ending. Would Arabella's new lover disgrace her after learning of her supposed unfaithfulness? Would the obsessive Mateo use the revolver to end his life?

Strauss wrote the opera with a joyful and romantic ending where the lovers would find happiness and the third act would end on a pleasant major chord, rather than a minor one so typical of operas. Misfortune, however, found its place in the performance of this evening's premiere. It was a romantically climactic moment. Fortunately, things had been made right with Mateo, and now that his secondary role was concluded, the bloat was no longer needed on stage. Now was time for the role of Arabella to truly shine.

Count Mandryck had so coincidentally mentioned earlier in the opera that in his country it was customary for a village girl to offer a cup of water to her lover, acknowledging that she agreed to be his wife. The beautiful Arabella asked for a glass of water to be taken to her room. Then she said goodbye and walked upstairs for bed.

At this point the music softened and moved in breadth. It was melancholy but gradually crescendo-ed into subtle tenderness. Arabella gently stepped down the steps back into the spotlight. She was carrying the glass of water of which she was soon to give to Mandryck.  What sparkling light reflected off of her makeup and gown.

Then, much more quickly then the moment had taken to produce, our beautiful Arabella lost her footing. Her graced turned into puppet-like stumbling, then tumbling down the steps. Ouch.

The sudden disruption surprised the conductor as he also lost his balance. Waving his arms now like reeds in the wind he too stumbled backwards off the conductors stand and into the floor level seating area. The orchestra burst into hysterical confusion; some violinists abruptly stopped playing while others continued off time and off tune. Finally the orchestra realized the catastrophe and halted playing.

Silence filled the auditorium. The poor vocalist, Arabella, rose to her feet. She was horrified. It was one of those suffocating silences where the audience sat in disbelief--everyone gasping for some bit of sound that would break the awkwardness.

From Box 3 came a chuckle and applause from a single set of hands. Franz Josef was delighted for he had been awakened from his boredom. Trying to hold back his laughter, he yelled, "Wunderbar!, Bravo!" To him, this was the first opera that was clearly inspirational and entertaining.

Monday, November 2, 2009

LA Gear, The 80s fashion shoe is coming back

Nick Corotan and I created this ad campaign for LA Gear. The strategy was to position LA Gear as the shoe that has made a stupendous comeback, unlike many other 80s fads (Vanilla Ice, MC Hammer, etc.)

"December 2008 marked a triumphant return to the apex of popular culture for iconic sneaker brand L.A. Gear. Bringing back signature styles from its hugely popular '89-'90 Unstoppable line, while updating some colors and materials, the company launched L.A. Gear Originals."

LA Gear was booming in the 80s but they severely lost market share in the 90s (probably because the style was no longer the fad). LA Gear filed for bankruptcy in the 90s. Now they are making a comeback. I've noticed many people on campus wearing LA Gear styled shoes.Even Nick said he liked the blue and green one in the first ad. He said he wishes he could buy a pair.


This comeback is just two feet away

Some comebacks don't make it... some do