Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Model Behavior

Digging through the attic recently, we unearthed a memento of a fun little memory from just over five years ago. The occasion was the live premiere broadcast of Little Steven’s Underground Garage, a nationally syndicated radio show that continues to be one of the most wildly successful in recent history.

Little Steven took over New York City’s Hard Rock CafĂ© to throw a huge party for the launch, and Garage Rock legends were everywhere – We even shared burgers with Lenny Kaye and drinks with Richard and the Young Lions.

The event was just as much a celebration of New Jersey Guys Made Good, with virtually every celebrity from The State Next Door in attendance. That included co-stars from one of Little Steven’s other gigs, The Sopranos, who may not have been real Jerseyites but played them on TV.

Loud music, go-go dancers and swirling day-glo lights kept the surroundings psychedelicized. But it was genuinely surreal to weave around people on the dance floor doing the Frug and the Swim, then bump into TV Mafiosi.

In the V.I.P. Room, Jon Bon Jovi surrounded himself with a phalanx of what looked like genuine Mafiosi. Some people could occassionally be seen penetrating the barrier, however, creating the curious effect of a "V.I.P.-Room-Within-A-V.I.P.-Room." It was at one of the food tables in the remaining V.I.Plebe Zone where a woman named Pamela Vandenberg told us about some her recent projects, including a gig modelling as "Sindy" for Altoids cinnamon mints.

Have a look at this clip featuring Pamela as Sindy – which is way up there on our list of the best ads ever filmed.

This other clip is pretty good, too.

The Sindy campaign was an enormous success (dare we call it "iconic"?), and pushed Altoids way over the top in their effort to be a "hip" brand. But we have to admit that, at first, Pamela's claim to being Sindy seemed a bit dubious.

First of all, she looked more to us like a young Lauren Hutton than the devilish minx in the ads. But more to the point, famous models simply don’t make conversation with people like us. You know, people who use words like "phalanx," and still expect to hold someone's attention.

Yet there was Pamela, happily chatting it up. And any doubts about her true identity were dispelled when Pamela gave us her direct mail piece, a mini-portfolio of sorts, which included her work as Sindy.

A few minutes after we had all moved on to mingle, Pamela returned to give us an Altoids postcard, and autographed it: "You’re too hot! Sindy." It was that very postcard that we found in the attic recently, conjuring up memories of that great big loud insane party at the Underground Garage.

At a number of parties since then, we’ve taken a cue from Pamela and handed out autographed photos of ourselves, using character names like "Magnus," "Gaspard" and "Dr. Finger." They never seem to go over quite as well as "Sindy," though. And we can understand why... Have a look at Pamela Vandenberg’s website, and see for yourself.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Appearances by Bill Clinton and Karl Rove generated a good deal of buzz for this year's Aspen Ideas Festival, the week-long series of open air chats with some of the world's most inspired thinkers and inspiring speakers.

Other highlights include Thomas Friedman's take on the enormity of being Green, and Richard Branson discussing his plans for privatized space travel. You can download or view streaming video at the links below... While you're there, take some time to peruse the entire Aspen Ideas Festival 2007 Audio/Video Library.

Thomas Friedman: Green is the New Red, White, and Blue
A Conversation with Richard Branson
In Conversation with Karl Rove
Bill Clinton Discusses His Work Around the World