Teddy Goalsevelt on What Makes Shareworthy Content

Mike D’Amico is a wonderfully talented art director. We worked together when he first got into the business with a gig at Element 79. As a digital native in a largely TV shop, he was an amazing font of information about these new things like Twitter and Foursquare.

But today, suddenly, he’s far better known to soccer fans around the world as “Teddy Goalsevelt.” As you can see in this interview with Chicago’s Very Own WGN Channel 9, he’s rode his costumed-enthusiasm to massive social media fame.  Check out these write ups from Buzzfeed, the NY Post and ESPN. He is viral. And truly winning the internet.


Despite what must be a dizzying maelstrom of international attention, Mike makes an incisive point that is nothing short of absolute genius at 5:31 of his WGN interview on what he’s learned about this experience.

“It’s funny. My job literally is to make content go viral online. And I’ll tell you what; if there’s one thing to learn from this about the internet, it’s that you can not do this on purpose.”

For those of us who work in this business, that statement is undeniably true. Trying to ascertain what will capture the fleeting attention of our ADD society at a specific moment in time is something of a crapshoot. Still, in those rare moments when you do, the result is pure joy. And Mike, you’ve brought a ton of pure joy to fans of US Soccer, and by association, our ever-manly 26th President.

By the way, epic gloves Mike. So fired up for you. So. Much. Fun.


By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Olson

Let’s Brighten the Midweek with Lovely Flowers

Now that the vernal equinox is behind us, we are officially in Spring. Yes, snow will still fall, dark clouds still shroud the blue sky and we’re still a few months away from flip-flops but officially, dammit, it’s Spring.

In honor of that, here are five beautiful, soul-lifting photographs of Dutch flower fields. If these make you as happy as they made me, check out another twenty photos on this Buzzfeed link. And let’s hear it for chlorophyll, xanthophyll, carotene, and my personal favorite, anthocyanin–YEAH! Color my world baby!

Dennis Ryan, OLSON, Advertising


Dennis Ryan, OLSON, Advertising


Dennis Ryan, OLSON, Advertising


Dennis Ryan, OLSON, Advertising


Dennis Ryan, OLSON, Advertising


By Dennis “Let’s get some color in this landscape” Ryan, CCO, OLSON


Exhibit A: The Power of Visual Branding

Dennis Ryan Element 79 Chicago Advertising

Without his mustache, he’d still be a mass-murdering, psycho-racist, but he’d be so much less…Fuhrer (photoshop courtesy of Buzzfeed).

Another totally-unrelated random thought from this past weekend: if you don’t believe we lose valuable things in the ever-increasing, pell-mell pace of modern life, than why did you miss that lost Daylight Savings hour so much Sunday?  Hmm…

By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Element 79 — where today, we welcome back Monica Klasa–YEAH!

Life Is A Test, And These Days It’s REALLY Multiple Choice

You know, about the time I realized that we were already four years into the US Mint’s ten year program of releasing five state quarters a year, I also concluded too much choice can really mess you up.  Convenience stores along the Indiana toll road have six full sections of soft drink options.  An October 2009 Netcraft website survey tallied up 230,443,449 websites.  Bruce Springsteen rather famously cited fifty-seven channels and nothing on, but that was back in the dark ages of 1992.  Today he’d be off at least by a factor of ten.

Too much choice can paralyze people.  It’s why so many of us use news and content aggregators to try to corral the vast internet into something usable.  It’s why high end clothing stores never feature racks of clothing.  And it well might explain why Roper insists 92% of our purchase decisions are driven by recommendation.  In a world of endless options, searching for the very best of anything can lead to an awful lot of spinning.

The graph above, which I first noticed on Buzzfeed after they picked it up from a charmingly offbeat blog called weathersealed, slams home the notion of too-much-choice in living color.  The ever-splintering shades chart the chronological expansion of Crayola colors, from the original eight in 1903 to today’s 120 shades.  If this doesn’t blow your mind, your world is too black and white.  I mean, just look at all those purples.

I would make some crack about today’s kids having it so easy.  But honestly, I’m not sure that’s true.

By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Element 79

File Under “Mixed Signals”–the Simmering Kids and Eyeglasses Controversy

In my daily scanning of internet ephemera that I justify under the catchall heading of ‘keeping tabs on the culture,’ two items popped up yesterday that my cerebral cortex couldn’t reconcile without massive cognitive dissonance.

First, an item posted on MediaPost’s Center for Media Research, presented a new study conducted by an eyewear client that found–perhaps not surprisingly–very positive benefits to wearing glasses.  Beyond the obvious enhancement of visual acuity, kids consider other glasses-wearing kids to be ‘smarter’ than non glasses wearing kids.  The 6-10 year olds surveyed also considered the glasses-wearers more honest but otherwise, didn’t judge them about their appearance positively or negatively.

Hmm…  All these findings constitute incredibly-favorable survey results for a seller of childrens’ eyewear, but that’s not what created the cognitive dissonance.  No, the problems arose when hours later, this concise item popped up on Buzzfeed, explaining that hipster glasses were officially no longer cool.

I can’t process both points of view and so, for the time being, my synapses will no longer be holding hands.

By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Element 79