On the Trail Again.

Photo 1

The Grand Canyon Association, the official nonprofit partner of Grand Canyon National Park, hosted a trip for some of the Moses crew to the park this past week. The team that has been helping raise donations to save The Kolb Brothers Studio, drove up to the South Rim for a few important meetings but also to have a little fun.

Photo 5

After a little business was taken care of, we were given a great tour of the studio by Phil, a charming and knowledgeable guide, who shared stories and lore about the brothers who built their business along with the evolution of the park. We got to see some of our work in action too, from the posters being displayed in the museum to the signage around the studio to people posting images on Instagram with the hashtag #savekolb. (You can visit savekolb.com to see the donation site we built that shares history of the studio and why it should be brought back to its original condition.) Later that evening we had dinner at the house of the Executive Director of the Association, Susan Schroeder, and bonded with some of the nicest people you will ever meet.

Phil, our enthusiastic studio guide:

Photo 3

Being a bunch of photography nerds, we weren’t going to let an evening at the canyon pass without capturing a little bit of the magic. From the canyon’s edge we took glorious sunset and sunrise images, along with a little amateur light painting and night photography. Bundling up against the wind and snow — yes, snow in May! — a few of our more intrepid creatives spent the night under the stars with their camera gear.

Have to take a few panos while at the canyon:

Photo 9

Photo 10

At night we played around with light painting:

Photo 7

The next morning we hiked down the South Kaibab Trail to Cedar Ridge listening to the expertise of our hiking guide, Helen Ranney. She put up with a bunch of ad folks who probably weren’t quite in fighting shape, while she shared what she knew about the formation of the canyon millions of years ago. By the time we were done, we were dusty, sweaty and maybe more out of breath than we’d like to admit. But we were also happy to be taking part in promoting our state’s crown jewel once again.

One of the print ads we developed for the campaign:

Photo 14

Here’s a little video recap of our adventure:

Pssst…wanna buy the Clippers?

Skechers is considering buying an interest in the LA Clippers. This news made me investigate the Skechers brand. Their brand promise on their site is, “Skechers makes an effort to maintain a trendy and stylish brand image by using celebrity-driven advertising.”

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Portland Trailblazers

A quick check of some of the celebs turn out an impressive list:
Britney Spears
Christina Aguilera
Black Eyed Peas
Robert Downey Jr
Rob Lowe
Matt Dillon
Kim Kardasian
Brook Burke
Joe Montana
Karl Malone
Tommy Lasorda

The only thing Lasorda and Brandy have in common is when Tommy burns wine in a frying pan while making meatballs. And Karl Malone and Fergie could not get six degrees to Kevin Bacon if Malone named one of his farm hogs Ren McCormack. With the LA Clippers recent issues, I don’t know if a celebrity-driven brand like Skechers can risk Instagrams of Penny Marshall and Billy Crystal with will.i.am sporting velcro shape-ups.

Moses inc at Coachella 2014

A scantily clad teenager gleefully asks you to hold his kite. A string of glowing ballons stretches endlessly across the starry night sky. You’re surrounded by otherworldly phenomena: a giant robot, a gargantuan astronaut, and a Lincoln Log house that’s practically big enough to live in.

You aren’t on a different planet (per se). You’re at Coachella.


This year, three of the Moses inc clan visited what has arguably grown to become the largest, most impactful music festival of this generation. It’s no surprise that tens of thousands trek to Indio, California for the festival each year, though we’re sure that the reasons are varied, because with such an incredible multitude of sights and sounds, there really is something for everyone.

It was a blast.

We cooled off under the refreshing mist at the Do Lab, jumping and swaying to the sample-driven melodies. We fought our way to the front of the stage to watch Kate Nash roll out a piano and wail on it so hard that we were sure it would break in two. We spent hours basking in the shade of the craft beer garden, cleansing our palates with crisp, summery ales. And how could anyone forget – we witnessed the reunion (and redemption) of Outkast, and watched Nas pour a splash of Hennessy in honor of the 20 year anniversary of Illmatic.


For us, it really came down to the music, but many say it’s hard to ignore hints of deeper feelings, like a dreamlike nostalgia, or a refreshing self-awareness. Then again, that might just the heatstroke talking.

That said, there was a rare sense of togetherness amongst fellow Coachellans. Drop your wallet and a moment later someone is tapping you on the shoulder to see if its yours. Mention aloud that you forgot your sunscreen, and don’t be surprised if someone next to you offers you some.

From the outside looking in, Coachella is impossible to imagine. From the inside looking out, it is impossible to describe.

Check out some more pictures, and a few lists of our favorite acts below.

Louie’s Top Acts
Ty Segall
Bombay Bicycle Club
Cage the Elephant
Surfer Blood

Robbie’s Top Acts
Bombay Bicycle Club
KiD CuDi
Capital Cities
Kate Nash

Lauren’s Top Acts
Kate Nash
Capital Cities
Calvin Harris
Blood Orange



What Drives US


In theory, cars are a mode of transportation. They get you from point A to point B. But at the beginning of the modern automobile industry in the 1920s, Alfred P. Sloan introduced the idea that cars should be something much more than just transportation.

Multiple model lines and variations based on the year of manufacture could be explored with the sole purpose of generating more revenue. Before this variation, if your neighbor had a newer or better car than you it was not readily apparent. But after the 1920s, the neighbor with the newer car got bragging rights. Yours looked outdated while his looked new and trendy, thus planting the seed of desire to buy a new car. It was not long after this notion was introduced that cars started to become reflections of the income levels and lifestyles of their drivers.

That is even more apparent today. Over 250 new car models are for sale in the U.S. and we have over a hundred years worth of past autos to choose from. So what does that say about us as consumers? We crave variety and want our vehicle purchases to be as customizable as possible. We want that Hyundai Sonata because of its great reviews and reliability. Oh, and can we get it with the leather seat and wood trim package, sunroof, and upgraded stereo system? Yes? Great, thank you.

Every one of us made a conscious decision when purchasing our car. Some considerations include cost, reliability, looks, brand loyalty, sportiness, fuel economy, and recommendations and reviews. Most of us spend days, weeks, months thinking of what our next car purchase will be, and why. This decision process says a lot about who we are as individuals. And we here at Moses are no exception.


Katie Blaker
For me, the choice to get a MINI Cooper was easy. I had fallen in love with them when they first were introduced in the U.S. in 2001. They are sporty, handle tight corners with ease, and have an undeniable charm. There was also a bit of a “cool factor” that came into play. The MINI has long been associated with the trendy, the fashion forward, and the rebellious and artistic types. Just as creatives and celebrities adopted the MINI with open arms in the ’60′s, it was likewise embraced warmly upon its introduction to the U.S. The MINI became a popular choice with those in the creative field in part because it’s branding tapped into that market. It does, after all, “Run on irregular.” As an Art Director, it was the logical choice. And a bold statement of my lifestyle and priorities.

Karin Valentine

For Karin, her Ford F150 is not only a reflection of her lifestyle but a necessity. She needs it in order to haul her horse trailer (and horse), hay bales, riding equipment and anything else a cowgirl needs. She’s proud of it and the statement it makes about the horse-riding life that is so deeply a part of her.

But why Ford, instead of a Dodge or Chevy? “My grandpa bought a Ford-100 in 1966, which we still own. The odometer has turned over so many times I’m not sure how many miles are on it. But it still runs well, so I wanted to follow the family tradition.”

Robert Bernal

Robert is a copywriter. He’s also a tinkerer and an eternal optimist, not afraid to try something new and tackle projects. And this shows in his willingness to drive a Nissan Z that is fun and sporty, but also a project in the works.

“I chose to buy the car that I drive now because I see a lot of potential in it. Any person with an ounce of vision and a shred of ambition knows that life can be meaningful and rewarding, but only if you can prove yourself with dedication and grit.”

Diane Goldstein

Diane’s family is very important to her. So is the ability to make sure they all get from one location to the next in safety and comfort. The more people that can fit in one car, the better, and that’s one thing that her Ford Explorer excels at. It also offered a technology package to make her family’s many trips comfortable. “Overall we were looking for a car that would fit people, luggage, etc around town and across country comfortably.”

Brianna Ross

“This (photo) is why I bought my jeep.  ’Nough said.”
Brianna has had a sense of adventure ever since she was a little girl, and this was the vehicle of choice. Built for off-roading, this Jeep helps her indulge her adventuresome side. It looks pretty darn nice at the same time.

Holly Lane

Holly had owned two Hondas in a row before breaking away from the brand. Her Mazda3 offered her many things that Honda didn’t, including nimble handling and a technology package that fit her needs. She enjoys having fun on her commute. “For me, I need to listen to whatever I want whenever I want. How else would I entertain other drivers by singing at the top of my lungs and dancing a little while driving?!?”

For Sean, he likes a truck that can have anything thrown at it and still accomplishes its goals – just like his computer equipment.

For Chris, it’s a truck big enough to carry the family to San Diego or his drums to the gig, but with better gas mileage than he beloved but old Nissan Xterra. Enter the Nissan Murano.

Lauren loves her truck, not only for its versatility, but because she’s tall – and her truck was the only vehicle she test drove where her head didn’t hit the ceiling. Caterina loves the gas mileage and luxury of her Lexus hybrid. Jodi craves performance and luxury, so she bought a Mercedes 350. And the list goes on.

Every car makes a statement about their owner. So what about yours?

Moses Honors Long-time Creative Bell Smith

I first met Joanne in 2003 when I took a Sr. Art Director position at Moses. She was the SVP, Creative Director at the time — poised, confident and sure. Her name graced a large majority of the awards on the agency’s main wall. She had the big office with the cool tokens from almost two decades of kicking ass at Moses and she was as friendly as she was fierce.

I remember thinking that if Louie is the heart of the agency, Joanne was certainly the soul. All of this made her quite intimidating for a green creative just a few years out of grad school. Eventually I managed to earn her respect, and we found our groove, a groove that culminated in us singing and dancing during a pitch to a song she wrote the night before. We sold the work with our little number, too, but only because Joanne insisted that I do it with her (I am comfortable doing anything during presentations now, but back then this was more than a little frightening).

I learned a lot from her while we worked together, and if I was open to it I would have learned a heck of a lot more. After 22 years at the agency, I think she was a little burned out and eventually left. A year later, I moved to San Francisco. And our paths would not cross until March 2012 during a party on my first day back at the agency.

I was taking the Creative Director job and we were retiring the Anshell in Moses Anshell by hanging a jersey in the rafters like any good championship team. We were starting a new era of the agency as simply Moses, so it was nice to have Joanne there for the occasion. I knew Joanne had cancer at the time, but she was still full of spirit. She scolded me for not going out more with my peers back in the day and told me to enjoy things more now. She said she was glad that I was back (which I took as a high compliment) and we hugged, which is something that I don’t do casually or just for anyone. I was really happy to see her.

A little over a year later, Joanne passed away. We grieved. And we still miss her, but we decided to honor her contribution to the agency by retiring her number — 22 — for her years of service. The jersey is high up in the agency for all to see. Even though Joanne wasn’t much of a sports fanatic, she’d like knowing that we will think about her everyday as we walk under it. My hope is that when our employees see her name up there they will be reminded to be strong in their convictions, to be compassionate, to enjoy their work, and most importantly to cultivate that little rebellious streak that is a Moses trademark — and a defining characteristic of Joanne’s.