Saturday, October 22, 2011

Branding: You name it, you own it

As a self-styled branding and marketing guy, I was very frustrated earlier this year at the lame Democratic response to the GOP's so-called "debt crisis."

Once the Dems started arguing with the Republican hordes in Congress about this totally-fabricated "crisis,"  I knew they would fail.

If the White House had instead fought to close the Tax Gap, it might have entertained a small chance of success.

Which brings me to the Occupy movement.  I am totally in sympathy with the brave souls who have decided they are Mad As Hell and are Not Going to Take It Any More.

And I understand there is no need for demands right now. The point is to bear witness to the pain, to represent.

But if we don't have demands, we should at least name our enemy.

And branding is critical.

What are we fighting?

"Wall St. greed" is not slogan-ready.

"Monopoly Man Economics" comes with a built-in fat cat image that makes it a contender, but "monopoly" is a term of art that some might not really grok.

My suggestion comes with a mental image kids learned in Sunday School matched with a high-concept moral punchline.

Let's "Destroy the Golden Calf!"

This is not original to me -- I was inspired by the march in NYC by clergy who paraded a Golden Calf sculpture around the park.

Wall Street has gold on their side.

We have God.


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Occupy image from LaloAlcaraz.com. Golden Calf from Wikipedia.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Don't rain on my pupusa -- my day at the Farmer's Market



It was a nasty cold and rainy day Sunday, Jan. 2, but that didn't stop the Brentwood Village Farmer's Market from getting the farmers, foodies and families together.

This video shot entirely with an iPhone4 and my shaky hand.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Call for Brentwood/Westside Bloggers, Reporters, Videographers, Columnists and More!

As you probably already know, I'll be joining AOL's Patch.com next week to build, run and grow Los Angeles' new Brentwood.Patch.com, which I plan to launch before the end of the year.

This means I need Brentwood-located and Brentwood-conversant bloggers/freelancers/columnists/critics/reporters to write about sports, arts, food, schools, health, business, government, roads, politics, culture, films, real estate, local business, restaurants, playgrounds, parking and more. Everything you'd want in a "hyperlocal" news source, we're gonna have it. Videos! Photos! Cartoons! What do you have to add to the community conversation?

This may not be for you but it may be for yours. Patch.com pays fast and fairly and a bird in the hand, etc. Recent grads? Bloggers? Opinionated person? Prep sports freak? We want you!

If you're in Brentwood, or have friends in Brentwood, please forward them this blog post and ask them to email me, dennis.wilen@patch.com with a brief bio and pitch.

Here are my recent contributions to local Patch.com sites: -- check 'em out and you'll see the kind of stuff we're looking for. Videos, too!

As you can see, we are an Equal Opportunity Employer and do not discriminate on the basis of home planet.

Ping our people and we'll ping yours!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

VIDEO: L.A. Youth Orchestra Opens Season at Saban Theatre, Beverly Hills


The Los Angeles Youth Orchestra (LAYO) opened their first season at the Saban Theatre Sunday with Beethoven, Mozart, Berlioz and international star Theodore Bikel.

The Oscar-nominated actor and musician joined Los Angeles Philharmonic violinist Mitchell Newman in a new orchestral piece commissioned by the Daniel Pearl Foundation. "Stories From My Favorite Planet," written by LAYO maestro Russell Steinberg, highlights the words of the Encino journalist (and youthful violinist) who was killed by terrorists.

The Concert Orchestra played works by Beethoven, Berlioz, Chopin and Tschaikovsky, the LAYO Chamber Orchestra offered up Mozart and Mendelsohn. Members of the LAYO Brass Quintet entertained during intermission.

Video by Dennis Wilen for BeverlyHills.Patch.com

Sunday, November 28, 2010

It's Not Hogwarts, But Short Avenue Elementary is Full of Enchantment

The French Club meets in the new Wonder of Reading Library, funded by the Annenberg Foundation.



  • Parents, teachers and community join forces and neighborhood school magically rises to head of the class

A magic triangle of committed teachers, involved parents and knowledge-hungry students has moved Del Rey's Short Avenue Elementary School close to the top in California's Academic Performance Index (API) ratings.

Story continued @ MarinaDelRey.Patch.com

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I made an emotional video with Jennifer Aniston




Short life-affirming film starring a laughing Jennifer Aniston, Ricki Lake, Corbin Bernsen, Amanda Pays, Rocki Gardener, Larry Law, Beach Dickerson, Daniel McDonald, Dukie Flyswatter, moi, and see how many more celebrities you can find.

Video by my pals Michael Sanville and Mark Torgl