In a previous post, I referred to an anti-smoking campaign that was done as a partnership between Crispin Porter & Bogusky (creators of the Truth campaign) and PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). As part of the campaign, stickers were handed out spoofing cigarette packaging to schoolchildren as young as 6 years old.
Tony from TonyPierce fame pointed out that the possible genisis for one of these stickers, Camel Cigarettes, came from the Wacky Packages originally created by Topps Chewing Gum Company. Starting in 1967 they produced "Die Cuts" which were perforated with glue on the back. Then in 1969 Topps produced "Wacky Ads" which were a little larger but still had to be punched from the card and the glue moistened. In 1973 Topps switched to a sticker back and thats when things went crazy or "wacky" and became an obsession to many kids.
So, there you go. There really are no more original ideas in advertising :-)
I'm quite sure I have seen this site before in a previous iteration but I know I have not seen it since I began this blog. The site is called BadAds.Org and the purpose of the site is to inform the public about the types of ads that are out there what the definition of a bad is is. According to the site, a bad ad is:
1. You can't turn it off. You can close a magazine and turn off the television, but billboards tower overhead night and day.
2. It enters your home without permission. Pardon me, Mr. Telemarketer, may I see your invitation?
3. You're a captive audience. This can be in schools, in movie theaters, at a urinal, or waiting for your receipt at the ATM.
4. It doesn't support anything, or it costs you money. Radio ads support free programming, but you pay, directly or indirectly, for faxed ads and junk e-mail.
In addition to this definition, there are sections on each advertising that includes an explanation as well as resources to help minimize the "badness". I think this site is a valuable service to consumers since, in most cases, it is the consumer that determines what is defined as an acceptable form of advertising. This site provides a forum for the creation of that definition.
It is also of great value to advertisers to know what the acceptable limits, as defined by the consumer, are. We all know that there are forms of advertising out there that are simply horrible. BadAds is not an ad slamming site as I see it. It is a site that brings clarity to the definition of acceptable consumer advertising. Are we marketers going to heed all of it's advice? Of course not. We are marketers after all:) But it pays to know what you are up against.