Monday, February 29, 2016

Labrador Cooper's Leap Day adventure at Runyon Canyon...

Today I awoke to another misty morning in West Hollywood, and after downing more than a few glasses of champagne watching the Oscars last night, I thought a trip to Runyon Canyon would be the perfect way to sweat it all out.

Hollywood Sign misty Runyon Canyon
It's been an age since Cooper and I ventured to Runyon Canyon, each of us with surgeries and injuries to recover from, and the day after the Academy Awards always seems oddly quiet in Hollywoodland so this was the perfect place for our second walk of the morning.
Misty morning Runyon Canyon
The funny thing is that when we drove out of our condo down in West Hollywood it was as if the fog of Old London Town had rolled in, but the moment I turned up Laurel Canyon the beautiful morning sunshine broke through.
Labrador Cooper misty Runyon Canyon
When we parked at the top of the park along Mulholland Drive around 8am we were above the marine cloud layer and as we ventured onto the trail we descended back down into the mists.
Yellow Labrador misty Runyon Canyon
Fortunately the salty, tangy mist was the perfect thing to keep our Labrador cool on his first big hike in quite some time.
Misty Runyon Canyon
Taking in the spectacular views, with the juxtaposition of the beautiful blue skies and grey creeping mists, was a great way to take advantage of this extra Leap Day.
Hollywood Hills misty Runyon Canyon
I wasn't the only person with a camera today either, as the weather had obviously inspired others to take the trek up the hill to capture the misty morning vista.
Labrador Cooper Runyon Canyon
To say that Cooper struggled is a bit of an understatement, he's almost eight-years-old so he's not the spring chicken he used to be bounding all over the place with his Labrador pals, so we took it nice and easy with lots of water breaks.
Labrador fun Runyon Canyon
Even though it was slow going (lots of concerned dog owners asking if he was doing okay), we did it, and now we have one exhausted pup sleeping it off.
Tired Labrador Cooper Runyon Canyon
I have to say my calf strain doesn't feel 100% healed (although I'm happy to report Cooper's leg surgery to remove his lump has had no detrimental effect), so I think it'll be a while before we venture back. We'll keep to visiting the dog beach instead to get all that puppy energy out.
Labrador Cooper hiking Runyon Canyon
After the recent rain it was nice to see the hills looking so lush and green, but I'm sure once it starts heating up again the landscape will soon look much more parched again.
Tired Labrador Cooper Runyon Canyon
Now if only there were more off-leash dog-friendly parks and closer beaches in L.A. County that we could enjoy on a regular basis.

Bye for now until our next adventure...

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Oscars, movie and music billboards filling L.A.'s skies in February 2016...

I love this time of year in the skies of L.A., it's awards season and there's loads of billboards for all the Oscar nominees and the Grammys, plus all the other movies and music billboard trying to grab your attention in the crowded city skyline. Here's a snapshot of how the streets and skies of Los Angeles looked this February 2016 for film and music outdoor ads.

Movie billboards
Chris Rock 88th Oscars billboard
First up is Chris Rock with the unenviable task of making the #OscarsSoWhite not such a 'white-wash'. Let's hope his hosting duties of the 88th Academy Awards ceremony really can make a difference and add some colour (and levity) the proceedings (if not the winners).
Spotlight Oscar billboard
Next up is one of my favourite films of last year, even if the subject matter about child abuse by Catholic priests and the huge world-wide church cover-up exposed by The Boston Globe is no laughing matter. This was an important movie and was equally gripping, emotional and enlightening, with a brilliant ensemble cast. I hope it does well at the oscars and wins at least some of the six nominations, especially for Rachel McAdams and Mark Ruffalo.
Bridge of Spies Oscar consideration billboard
Another Oscar hopeful trying to raise its profile with academy voters in the run up to the Awards was Steven Spielberg's Bridge of Spies, which didn't perform well at the box office even with Tom Hanks star power, but received critical acclaim.
The Martian Oscar billboard
The Martian, about Matt Damon being stranded on Mars after being abounded by his team in a storm, was another film trying to curry favour with voters this past month with this cool ad creative.
Big Short Oscar nominee billboard
The Big Short, about the financial collapse on Wall Street, is another Best Motion Picture Oscar contender and had this billboard along the busy Sunset Strip to raise its profile.
Inside Out Oscar consideration billboard
Disney/Pixar's Inside Out has already done well this awards season, so I won't be surprised if 'Joy' and the other emotions take home the golden statue for Best Animated Feature Film this year.
What Happened Miss Simone Oscar billboard
Meanwhile Netflix's Beasts of No Nation may have been shut out of the original film categories, but it's in the running with two documentary features, one based on the life of soul singer Nina Simone, in What Happened, Miss Simone?
Winter on Fire Oscar Documentary billboard
The other documentary film nominee from the streaming service is Winter On Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom. Let's see if either can beat the popular Amy Winehouse documentary also nominated.
Giant Zoolander 2 movie billboards
As you can see some studios spend big when there's important accolades to be won, which may help with sales and marketing stories (and help the egos of all the talent involved), but Paramount Studios also likes to spend big with its current movie releases, like Zoolander 2 which had a vast outdoor ad campaign, which didn't help at all when it bombed at the box office. 

Sometimes you need more than a fifteen year old parody of the fashion industry to make a sequel, like a decent story.
Giant Hail Caesar movie billboard
Speaking of another movie which didn't fare well at cinemas and the Coen Brothers Hail, Caesar! had some giant-sized billboard support, but that didn't help their 1950s Hollywood romp at the box office.
Giant Gods of Egypt movie billboard
Another movie which also received some super-sized support was the fantasy film, Gods of Egypt, although here the fact that the whole thing looked this one big CGI-fest and no real story really put me off.
London Has Fallen movie billboard
Let's hope Gerard Butler's next movie, the sequel to 2013's Olympus Has Fallen, London Has Fallen will be more successful for the actor. Being a Brit it's nice to see all these Union Jacks flying in the skies of L.A.
Eddie the Eagle movie billboard
Speaking of the U.K. and if there's one film I'd recommend this year so far, it's Eddie the Eagle. I remember the British Olympic ski jumper from when I was growing up and this wonderful underdog story of his journey to the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics is the best feel-good movie I've seen in some time. Expect smiles and tears, it's so fun.
Triple 9 movie billboard
Another movie that came out the same weekend was the corrupt heist thriller, Triple 9, although this ad creative looks more like it could belong to a video game rather than a film.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 movie billboard
A bit like Zoolander 2 and My Big Fat Greek Wedding gets a sequel fourteen years later, so let's hope this comedy doesn't suffer the same fate at the box office.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot movie billboard
Meanwhile bringing some fresh comedy to the big screen this March is Tina Fey in the wartime comedy, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
Disney Zootopia movie billboard
And also bringing some animated fun to cinemas the same weekend is Disney's Zootopia, about a copy bunny and her con-artist fox sidekick.

If you like this 'selfie' ad creative, be sure to also check out this giant-sized billboard for Zootopia along the Sunset Strip.
Unicorn Island YouTube Red movie billboard
Another giant billboard bringing some vibrant colour the Sunset Strip this month was for phenomenally successful YouTube vlogger Lilly Singh and her debut movie about her world tour, A Trip to Unicorn Island.
Lazer Team YouTube Red movie billboard
Her documentary film and the sci-fi comedy Lazer Team, are just two of the original films available to members on the new paid subscription service, YouTube Red.
Kung Fu Panda 3 tofu promo billboard
And finally for movies, here's a fun promotional tie-in billboard for Kung Fu Panda 3 with the organic tofu brand from House Foods.

If you're a fan of the DreamWorks animated character, be sure to also enjoy all these other Kung Fu Panda movie billboards.

Music billboards
Grammys Witness Greatness Weeknd billboard
It may be a big time of year for the movie and television industry with the Golden Globes, SAG Awards, Critics' Choice Awards, Oscars and countless others, but this time of year it's also the biggest party of the music industry with The Grammys.

Be sure to check out all these Witness Greatness Grammy billboards which featured the likes of The Weeknd, Bruno Mars, Lady Gaga, Sam Smith and more.
Rihanna Anti album billboard
She may not have performed at the Grammys, but Rihanna did drop her new album 'Anti' this month and had this accompanying billboard along the rocking Sunset Strip.
Ellie Goulding Delirium World Tour LA billboard
Meanwhile British singer Ellie Goulding was in the skies again to promote her new Delirium World Tour concert at Downtown L.A.'s Staples Center.
Borgeous 13 album billboard
And the DJ and music producer Borgeous looks like he's getting ready to release his new album, '13', later this Spring.
Giant Gallant Red Bull Sound Select billboard
Red Bull was bolstering its youth and music credentials this month with this giant Gallant wallscape in Downtown L.A. near all the huge concert venues.
Target headphones billboard
And across this street this vibrant Target ad just screamed music with its funky headphones and radiating sound waves.

As you can see, the skyline has been as jam-packed as ever and if you want to compare this year with last, be sure to check out all the movie and music billboards filling L.A.'s skies back in February 2015.

Stay tuned in the coming days for one final roundup from February 2016, this one of all the new season TV billboards making their debut.

Happy Oscars Day...

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Returning TV show billboards filling L.A.'s skyline in February 2016...

There's never a dull moment in the skies of L.A., especially when a new TV season is on the way, plus many show's are returning from their midseason breaks. Here's a collection of fan-favourite shows back for more episodes in the city skyline in February 2016.

TV billboards
Blindspot midseason 1 billboard
First up is this ad creative for NBC's hit of the Fall season, Blindspot. Let's see if they can spin a broader mythology out of Jaimie Alexander's mysterious amnesiac tattooed character to elevate the series beyond a 'tattoo-of-the-week' procedural.
Voice season 10 billboard
The Voice was back in the skies to celebrate its tenth season of the reality singing contest and Christina Aguilera was rejoining the boys in the coach's seat.

If you like this vibrant ad creative you can also check out the previous nine U.S. season promo billboards for The Voice at my Daily Billboard blog.
Jimmy Fallon LA Tonight Show Feb16 billboard
Meanwhile Jimmy Fallon was back in L.A. for a late-night limited engagement of The Tonight Show from America's West Coast.
Vikings season 4 billboard
Over on History the Vikings were back for a fourth marauding season and paying homage to The Last Supper painting with this ominous ad creative.
Gotham Wrath of the Villains season 2 billboard
Batman prequel cop show, Gotham, returned for the second half of its sophomore season promising the 'Wrath of the Villains' on Fox.

If you're a fan of the comic book company, be sure to check out more supercool TV series billboards inspired by DC Comics.
Watch Empire without commercial interruption billboard
Plus the hit F&B musical drama Empire, which is in its successful second season, is now available to watch on Fox's website without all the ad breaks.
Bosch season 2 billboard
Michael Connelly's fictional LAPD detective 'Harry Bosch' is back o the beat on the L.A. streets and for a sophomore season of murders and mystery-solving on Amazon Prime.
Venture Bros season 6 billboard
Speaking of mysteries and The Venture Bros. are back for a sixth season of quirky animated antics on Adult Swim.
Broad City season 3 billboard
Over on Comedy Central the bad girls of Broad City are back for a third knockout season and retuning to the skies of the Sunset Strip with this loud, neon-coloured ad creative.
Girls season 5 billboard
Plus more young ladies trying to navigate life in New York, this time in Brooklyn, are HBO's Girls, back for a fifth penultimate season of trying to piece work, relationships and life all together.

If you're a fan of the comedy-drama, be sure to also check out these previous season promo billboards for Girls.
Togetherness season 2 billboard
And from angst ridden twenty-somethings to angst ridden forty-somethings, the Duplass Brothers Togetherness dramedy is back for a sophomore season, which looks more than a little bleak with these insipid, uninspiring billboards.
Giant Last Week Tonight season 3 billboard
Finally, this past month John Oliver was getting super-sized along the Sunset Strip for the third season of his witty news and current affairs satirical show, Last week Tonight.

These are just some of the TV outdoor ads filling the crowded skies of L.A. in February, stick around in the days to come for more new season television shows hoping to catch your eye and entice you to watch.

Stay tuned and watch this space...

Thursday, February 25, 2016

L.A.'s eclectic selection of lifestyle billboards filling February 2016's crowded skyline...

This February it's been exciting times in the skies of L.A., with a healthy mix of different ad creatives and lifestyle categories vying for our attention alongside all the TV, movie, music and new season fashion billboards. Here's a fab collection of food, drinks, travel, technology, arts, fitness and more lifestyle outdoor ads that caught my eye this past month.

Arts and culture billboards
If you don't like me unfollow me Gagosian Gallery billboard
First up is a billboard which really speaks to our social media generation. If you don't like something or someone, don't be an internet troll, just move along. This billboard is for a collaborative exhibition at the Gagosian Gallery in Beverly Hills for Alex Israel and Bret Easton Ellis.

Theme park billboards
Star Wars Awakens Disneyland billboard
Next up the Force is awakening at Disneyland this year after the phenomenal box office success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Expect to see more of 'Kylo Ren', 'BB-8', 'First Order Stormtroopers' and more new and classic characters from a galaxy far, far away at the Disney theme parks in the future.

Food and drink billboards
Cuties original fruit snack billboard
This month these fruity special extension billboards from Cuties really stood out in the skies of L.A. and really challenged rival citrus supplier, Halos, to up their game after their recent outdoor ad campaign.
KFWELA Petersen Automotive Museum billboard
Also in the world of food, the Kosher Food and Wine Experience will take place at the newly revamped Petersen Automotive Museum at the start of March 2016. I like how the new metallic fascia of the museum looks like a wine glass in this ad creative.
We approve Kale Blazer Naked Juice billboard
Naked Juice had a clever series of billboards for its Kale Blazer offering this month, which included highly topical awards season and political election themes to make them more relevant and make kale seem more fun, than just a worthy leafy veggie.
Giant Stella Artois clean drinking water billboard
Speaking of worthy causes and Stella Artois was doing its bit to help a charitable cause with its new limited-edition chalice promotion for their 'Buy a Lady a drink' campaign that helps provide clean drinking water to people in developing countries.

Travel billboards
Virgin your people fly our people billboard
In the world of travel Virgin America was flying high in the skies of L.A. this month with new ad creatives for its U.S. domestic airline service.
Virgin America Live TV fullest billboard
For more examples, be sure to check out these other Virgin America A Radical Departure billboards from recent times. It's nice to see an airline having fun with its advertising, as these days when you fly it's all about safety and security rather than comfort and in-flight service.

Health and fitness billboards
Commit to something Equinox breastfeeding twins billboard
Meanwhile when Cooper and I went to the Huntington Dog Beach this month we spied this provocative ad creative for Equinox gyms. Breastfeeding twin babies is certainly a commitment and is sure to turn a few heads in Orange County.
Spiff up your bumper 24 Fitness gym billboard
Not to be left out, 24 Fitness was also encouraging you to 'spiff up your bumper' this month with billboards like this one. I recently joined their West Hollywood location and I have to say they need to work on cleanliness before they spend money on advertising, getting chewing gum on my iPhone from their spin bikes was not what I expect from a well kept gym.

Medical billboards
Ross Skin Lab Coolsculpting Look better naked billboard
This billboard may be nice to look at, but there really should be a warning with this type of advertising. If you could really freeze the fat away with 'coolsculpting' wouldn't everyone be doing it and wouldn't America's obesity problem be a thing of the past? Yes, everyone wants to look better naked, but if you looked this good already why would you need this service anyway.

Dating billboards
1 million dates adventures a week Tinder billboard
In the world of dating, hookup app Tinder was making sure it captilised on Valentine's Day this month. Plus if you like this witty creative, be sure to also check out more dating website and app billboards at my Daily Billboard blog.

Financial billboards
Giant Great loans for great people SoFi billboard
SoFi was back in the skies of L.A. at the end of this month with a colourful new 'Don't Bank. SoFi' outdoor ad campaign. As a comparison, be sure to also check out their previous SoFi refinancing student loans billboards from around the street so L.A. last year.

Furnishings billboards
Mattress stores are greedy billboard
In the world of bedroom furnishings, Tuft & Needle had this eye-catching copy-only billboard this month which suggested mattress store were greedy. I'm not sure they are greedy so much as stuck in the past, like car salesrooms.

Charity and cause-related billboards
Joshua Williams nonprofit Values billboard
This month The Foundation for a Better Life was shining a spotlight on youthful non-profit entrepreneur Joshua Williams, an example to us all of someone serving his community. If you like the sentiment of this advert, be sure to check out these souther inspiring Values billboards.

Technology billboards
Rosie the Riveter Solar panels billboard
In the city skyline there's always some recurring themes, whether it be TV shows borrowing from iconic paintings like Vikings season four paying homage to The Last Supper or advertisers using iconic war propaganda imagery like J. Howard Miller's 'We Can Do It' artwork, more commonly known as 'Rosie the Riveter'.

In the past, Solar America has also used Uncle Sam to promote its solar panels.
Apple Shot on iPhone 6s billboard
This month saw Apple return to the skies of L.A. with a new outdoor ad campaign for their iPhone 6s.
Giant Shot on iPhone 6s billboard
Instead of using landscapes and architecture from around the world, this Shot on iPhone 6s ad campaign featured faces and self portraits of the smartphone users and their muses.
These things used to work pretty good Lyft billboard
Ride sharing a pop Lyft was back in the skies of L.A. at the end of February with this copy heavy billboard, which makes for a different approach to advertising (especially as I've never seen Uber advertising on billboards).

If you like this 'Riding is the new driving' approach, be sure to also take a look Lyft's previous Driving you Happy billboards.
Skurt car rental billboard
Also in the world of cars the new car rental app Skurt was popping up in the streets and skies of L.A. this February.
don't want you to have rental car delivered Skurt billboard
Having your rental car delivered rather than having to go pick it up sounds like a great idea, so these small-sized billboards do a great job of communicating the advantages of the app.
Skurt key to success having rental car delivered billboard
These days there seems to be an app for everything and I can't help but feel this is just the start.

As you can see it's been rather busy in the skies of L.A. this month and I can only imagine that as we enter Spring it'll become even busier in the city skyline.

Take a look at the lifestyle billboard ads filling last year's skies and stay tuned in the days to come for roundups of the new season TV shows, film and music billboards also competing for your eyeballs this month.

Don't be a stranger...