Category Archives: Culture

The Christmas Party Before Christmas

Dear Santa Claus,

My name is Liam Mooney, and I wanted to say thanks for giving me the best Christmas present before Christmas, ever!

The stockings were full of free stuff from a Jewish deli in New York named Zabar’s. They miraculously sponsored my 8th annual Christmas party before Christmas, and I want to thank you for this piece of magic xmas joy.

My friends, however, think all the free stuff was the result of a clever social media ploy.

We tweeted and had Zabar’s trending, posted and shared until Zabar’s had 150 new friends and over 100 comments.

Regardless I still think it was you, jolly ol’ St. Nick, that made this happen. Either way, I guess it just goes to show that Santa, just like Facebook, can get you anything you want. Within reason.

Anyway Santa, here is a poem that I wrote just for you.




T’was the Christmas party before Christmas, when all through the cyberhouse,

No creature wasn’t tweeting, not even a mouse.

The postings were hung by the wall with care,

In hopes that St. Zabar’s would soon be there.


The guests were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of Babkas danced in their heads.

And Santa in his suit, and I in my cap,

Had just settled our brains for long winter’s nap.


When out at the border there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the car to see what was the matter.

Away to the UPS counter I flew like a flash,

Tore open the boxes and saw a Zabar’s stash.


The light in the depot that was bright like the snow,

Gave the lustre of mid-day to the treats and eats below.

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But rugelach, babka, and Jewish-Christmas Cheer.


With savoury meats and tasty chocolate bars,

I knew in a moment it must be St. Zabar’s.

More rapid than eagles the package it came,

We shouted, whistled and chanted Zabar’s by name.

Now Hashtags! Now Shares! Now Retweets! Now Postings! Now @Replys! Now “Likes”!

To the top of the trending to the top of the wall!

Now post away! Post away! Post away all!


The food was put on a tray, and made our taste buds whistle,

It flew off the plates like the down of a thistle.

And you could hear the guests, ‘ere they walked out of sight,

‘Happy Christmas before Christmas, and to all a good-night!”

PS. I have one more Christmas wish: please “like” Zabar’s on Facebook for helping make my wish come true.

PSS. I hope you like Babka and milk.


Are you man enough to ride a Vespa?

Good afternoon internet(s)!

Ever dream of whipping through city streets uninhibited by traffic, picking up your that ginger you need from the market on your way home from a bustling market in Chinatown, the feel of wind in your hair as you take off in your scooter? When I think of this I think of the Vespa.

To me, the Vespa represents the top standard in urban transportation alternatives (outside of public transportation and bicycles of course). So naturally I was drawn to the product and thought maybe I would draw up a couple of spec ads.

See, the problem is no matter how awesome and functional the Vespa is there are lots of dudes who think that driving a Vespa is emasculating. As if to suggest that just getting on a Vespa would make them unattractive losers. As sad as that is, it’s true. So instead of writing an ad to tell these dingleberries how ridiculous they are the approach should be to instruct this very special sect of men to grow a pair and man up.

Trust me, I am sure the most interesting man in the world would tell you to do the exact same thing.

Grow a pair and man up to riding a Vespa? I can see my critics now: “That makes no sense.” Ever hear the phrase “A real man wears pink” or “A real man is comfortable with his sexuality”? Well I think Vespa hit a nerve when they released a Vespa print ad not long ago that tried to overcome this unique business problem.

Here is how I see it.

Vespa’s business challenge was simple: men don’t ride our bikes because they think they are feminine or compromise their masculinity.

Business solution: Make men feel inadequate for NOT driving a Vespa. Get men to believe that a Vespa is in fact a utility that will enhance their lives and not a massive pair of shears that will cut off their testicles upon purchase.

With that in mind Vespa has an ad made with the following copy:

“It’s too manly for you, not the other way around.”

Here is the original. The rest of the print ad run can be viewed here.

I REALLY liked the challenge that Vespa presented and thought I could improve what was already pretty good copy. So I tried to come up with a couple that were short snappy and clever. Hope you like them.

Spec Print ad 1:

An unsolicited speculative advertisement made for my own portfolio.

Spec Print ad 2:
An unsolicited speculative advertisement made for my own portfolio.

Spec Print ad 3 (this is more of a joke, because I doubt Vespa could get Chuck Norris’ permission to write these ads but I couldn’t resist for the fun of it):

An unsolicited speculative advertisement made for my own portfolio.

So guys, would you drive a Vespa? Or are you not man enough?

For the rest of you, does this add to brand? Does this add value to Vespa?

Until next time.


Kurosawa + housewarming + World Cup = awesome.

The weekend was just super! Quick run down of my weekend activities:


Went for a run and hung out at the beach with a chum and his friends who became my friends. Friend acquisition = fun.

I had a culinary experiment which resulted in me eating vegetables with spaghetti noodles seasoned with sriracha sauce.

I watched Seven Samurai for the 10th time or so. Akira gets me everytime – my meal definitely reminded of the millet that those poor farmers had to eat.


Relaxed day which culminated in my attending of an awesome housewarming party down in the west side. Super trendy neighbourhood and place – merci to the hosts.

Here are some shots:

I was confused - garage?


Posing for the camera - victorious team

Sunday: World Cup. ’nuff said. Groceries were also purchased – thank goodness.

The Quest for the Holy Grail…

My Quest: To get a job as a Jr. Copywriter with an Ad Agency.

Okay well maybe I am not searching for the actual holy grail that Sir Lancelot and his chums were searching for. Although I wouldn’t have minded a stop at the castle Anthrax where Sir Galahad avoided almost certain temptation.

Too bad.

No no – I am and have been on the hunt for a job in the Advertising industry for a week now.

What does that mean?

I made a kickass resume – the likes of which you’ve never seen. Take a look.

Then I crafted cover letter than screams my name. Literally. Again, look here.


According to the American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA) there are 310 registered agencies in New York City.

As of today I have personally contact each and every one of those firms.


As of today I have heard back from 16 agencies. 7 said they would keep me in mind.

The other nine are interesting:

4 are CEO’s

1 is an HR rep

4 are creative directors or copywriters themselves.

Can you believe it?! I am writing back and forth with the CEO’s of these mega agencies.

Their comments range from: “wow, that’s funny,” to “I am interested, tell me more”

So how have I done it so far?

Well I drafted that CV, Cover Letter and then a simple email that gets the readers attention and urges them to read my documents.

I personalized each email, searched tirelessly for the right contact information and in a week I had gotten through them all.

Most importantly I was myself in the entire process. This allowed my personality to bleed through the page, as it were.

It turns out that there really are people on the other end of these internet tubes. You just have to catch their attention.

What’s next:

Well I am moving on to the next markets, Chi City, BOS, LA and SF in search of my holy grail.

I will be relentless. Soon I will start to post my exchanges with these CEO’s (without disclosing their firm or identity to give you an idea of how our e-mails go back and forth – and maybe get some advice from you as to how to move forward).

Tomorrow I apply to the SF & LA ad agencies – updates to follow.

Until then – keep cool.