Take That You Meddling American!
An ad campaign running in Russia for Russian Finance Magazine has been banned by the Moscow Committee for Advertising and Information which claims the ad depicts the Euro having sex with the dollar. News Outdoor, a poster company, had to tear down 100 poster immediately after receiving a letter from the committee.
Magazine publisher Igor Maltsev didn't see a problem with the poster claiming, "I thought the currencies were dancing on our poster." Obviously, Mr. Maltsev has not been exposed to enough Western media to quickly realize the "poke" at humor.
In the current Iraq/terrorist climate, perhaps the ad is indicative of the feelings many Europeans have towards Americans. Maybe it's illustrative of their apparent desire to fuck us up the ass for our so called meddling in foreign affairs.
Corporate Logos Coming Soon To A School Bus Near You
Following the questionable move of advertising on police cars, the Marion County School District in Florida is making an even more questionable move by considering the placement advertising on its school busses. The School Board will decide the issues on November 25 and will reportedly work with a Miami-based advertising firm to handle the placement. There is no word on what type of advertising will be allowed by the format will likely mirror posters similar to those on subways.
The County is considering this because they need the money. All school systems need money but using kid-focused advertising to generate much needed revenue is an iffy proposition. Ads on cop cars are one thing but to further inundate already ad-satiated children with more commercial messages is questionable.
Schools were once an innocent, commercial free zone but now with soft drink companies and others making deals with school districts, that innocence is over. Whether this is harmful to children will be debated for years to come. If I were to offer an opinion, it would be this. There should be a time of innocence in life where commercialism does not enter in with its powerfully persuasive messages selling things people don't really need or want. Young minds have enough trouble filtering through the information that is relevant to their daily lives. Throwing commercial messaging into that mix is likely to overload children's minds and interfere with learning. The age at which a kid becomes indoctrinated into commercial culture gets younger every year. Let's not get to the point where a newly delivered baby, eyes just cleared by the doctor, stares at the ceiling of the delivery room and sees a McDonald's logo.
Hilary Duff's Future: Hottie or Wholesome?
The WB's Hilary Duff Island Birthday Bash tonight at 8PM will celebrate the star's birthday in an hour long special. Duff turns 16 and already has a number one CD, has been in movies and stared in a television show. She's also making the rounds in the advertising world appearing in ads for Hasbro's VideoNow personal video player and has a promotional agreement with Visa for a pre-paid Visa card in her likeness. If that weren't enough, she also has her own clothing line called Stuff. Stuff by Duff. Cute.
Duff may gain a level of pop stardom similar to or bigger than Britney Spears has today. Watching how she achieves that stardom though will be interesting. Spears as well as Christina Aguilera both took turns down the dirty road as part of their trip to fame. As hot as it would surely be, it's difficult to picture Duff in a Chistina Aguilera-like 'Dirty' video. But she's still a kid and hasn't reached the point that all kids do when they have to make that "I'm an adult now" statement. What she does when she makes that statement will have a great affect on the future of her career branding her in a way that will be hard to change.
Hasbro and Visa have made smart choices in casting Duff for their tween-focused products cashing in on the hottie's stardom and aligning her appropriately with age-relevant products. In two or three years time though, one wonders if will be seen in sexed-up commercials like the Beyonce spot for Pepsi in which a mechanic can't even get a word out of his mouth because he is so taken with Beyonce's booty. At this point, Duff's sex appeal is too wholesome for that. A few years ago so was Britney Spears' sex appeal yet that dramatically changed and it's now common place to see Spears ripping her clothes off every time she's on stage. Duff will have to choose her road very carefully.
More stories on Duff here.
In the U.K., Mazda has launched two new viral movie clips promoting the new Mazda6 to thirtysomething men. Viewership of the videos are tracked using an embedded technology developed by Digital Media Communications which can report the number of downloads, the number of times the video is viewed and click rates out of the video to Mazda's web site. J. Walter Thompson London developed the spots.
I Need A Reduction
"In glossies like FHM and Maxim, the girls all have massive boob jobs. They are busting out all over and it's not sexy, it's just fake. We celebrate real women, rather than the images that have contributed to the collective neurosis of women all over the country."
That's directly from the mouth of new magazine New York Hot Sex VP Julie Levine. NYHS is a new free monthly magazine, distributed at Starbucks, Tower Records and other spots in New York City, that will celebrate the city as the "sexiest city in the world."
"The 'sexy' esthetic in New York is so much more sophisticated than in places like L.A.," says NYU grad and model/actress/screenwriter Suzy McCoppin who graces the cover of the first issue.
"The whole hydraulic breasts, big blond hair, is so trashy and trailer park. It's a caricature of women. In New York, everything is natural."
The premise behind the launch is that New Yorkers have taken sex out of the puritanical wrappings in which it has been confined and simply made it another part of every day life worthy of celebrations. The magazine sets out to celebrate just that. Initial press run will be 50,000.
Don't Touch That Beer
Ringo.com, a networking site like Friendster and Ryze put out an RFP to members of Fark, a community weblog, asking Farkers to create an ad campaign for the company. Ringo offered a $1,000 prize to the winning entry. Well, the entries are in and the winner has been announced. Called "Beer Friends," this spots shows what true friends are really like, or should be. And how to find new ones when you need them.
The contest was supposed to elicit a less corporate more personal tone. Though the spot is derivative of other wanna-be beer commercials from "real" ad agencies, it is humorous and does very clearly deliver the Ringo benefit. Other entries to the contest can be viewed here.
I like My Fur Covered Kitty
Animal rights watchdog People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has launched a new salvo of anti-fur ads. This time, the group is using cover model Fernanda Tavares as its spokesmodels for the effort. You can view a behind the scenes, making of the commercial here and listen to Tavares bubble on in typical supermodel-speak about how she loves cats and dogs. Apparently, Tavares does not realize they don't make fur clothing out of dogs and cats.
PETA can always be counted on for humorous extremism although nothing will beat an early effort showing a fur-clad model spewing blood off her fur coat and onto audience members as she twirled her way down the cat walk.
I'd Rather Drink Your Curves, Baby
In this week's Ad Age TV Spots of the Week, Coke pays homage to the Latino cultural oddity of comparing a woman's figure to a Coke bottle as a compliment. In the spot, a beautifully curvaceous woman steps off the bus in front of some dudes hanging out of the stoop. As she steps off, all the guys stare, jaws dropped, while one holds a Coke bottle up to her figure matching her curves as she walks across the street. After she crosses and walks up the steps to what is presumably her Mom's house, Mom steps out and scowls at the dudes. Paying appropriate comment, another guy holds up a large liter bottle of Coke that appropriately mirrors Mom's un-curvaceous figure.
Also this week are spots from the Ad Council for the Center on Addiction and Substance making fun of President Bush's mom, an SBC spot showing how fun it is to work for a phone company, a Blue Cross Blue Shield spot using the power of garlic to get coverage, Hong Kong Tourism begs travels to return following SARS, Jack on the Box enlists RuPaul to promote a new sandwich, Russian soldiers salute Corona, and a cutie sells hamburgers for Burger King.
The Schick and FHM Shave and Play
Schick has entered a content deal with FHM magazine whereby the magazine will provide content to the razor manufacturer to help promote its new Quattro four bladed razor. Interactive firm Interevo along with J. Walter Thompsom put a deal together that calls for FHM to provide Schick with content for its Quattro website. Content will include gaming, entertainment, fashion and grooming information.
Acknowledging that no one is going to go to a web site that just includes specifications on an item as mundane as a razor, Schick ad agency JWT put requests for content partnership proposals out to magazines targeting men 18-34. In a bidding war, FHM came out on top. Curiously, Razor Magazine would seem to have been a shoe in for this one. Perhaps the association was one too many blades close for comfort.
The New York Times' Stuart Elliot comments on Subway's new ad campaign which broke last night on the Emmy Awards. The campaign continues with weight loss champion and Subway spokesperson, Jared Fogle along with a bunch of other characters telling consumers it's OK to be bad as long as you are good and eat at Subway.