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Horny No More For U.S. Soldiers

For soldiers in need of a little diversion, they will soon have one less outlet. Drill Magazine, published by John Brown Publishing, will bare cleavage no longer after its third and final issue. New York Daily News reports John Brown Publishing may merge with or be bought by Rodale. All this merging and backroom purging among publishers is all at the expense of the American soldier. Come on publishers, where's your American patriotic spirit?

by Steve Hall    Mar-23-04    

Blue Fusion Launches In-School Youth CAPTV

Comprised of source boards, book covers and postering, Youth CAPTV is the latest in-school advertising venture. Youth CAPTV parent company Blue Fusion Managing Partner Morris Reid says he's aware of the dicey prospect of in-school advertising but is a proponent of the channel as long as it is done tastefully.

"Schools are strapped for revenue, so I think they're looking towards arrangements that are more entrepreneurial," Reid said. "It's a necessity for them, really, and I think our model is both viable and appropriate."

I have mixed feeling about in-school advertising writing in a previous post, "Whether this is harmful to children will be debated for years to come. 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. 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."

I'm not entirely sure I see it that way anymore. Like anything, done right, this initiative could prove to provide commercialism that is far more "vetted" than what kids see and hear in other media. One can be sure, with all the teachers, parents and administrators walking school hallways, any advertiser that "crosses the line" will be booted out immediately. There's a built in ad-review board of sorts. And that's not even accounting for the jaded "you can't sell me" attitude that's already pervasive in today's youth which can instantly flop any ad campaign attempting to "fool" its target.

It's no secret that school districts need money to survive. They're already pocketing money from school bus advertising and other means. While advertising continues to be the necessarily evil contract between marketer and consumer, it can become a productive and informative conversation as well. Let's hope this latest move heads in that direction.

by Steve Hall    Mar-23-04    

Spike Jonze Revealed as Director of Volvo's 'The Mystery of Dalaro' Spoof Campaign

American filmmaker Spike Jonze has been revealed as the director behind a spoof within a spoof campaign for Volvo's new S40. The campaign was created as a documentary style TV spot which was supposed to be a truthful account of the Swedish village Delaro where 32 people bought the new Volvo S40 on the same day.

The documentary was supposedly directed by Venezuelan filmmaker Carlos Soto who then created his own documentary-of-a-documentary calling into question the validity of these strange events which he posted on a website.

We new it was a spoof of a spoof but we never knew who was behind it. Now we do.

by Steve Hall    Mar-22-04    

Old Navy Does Another Weird One

Ad Age doesn't like it but Old Navy has put out another one of its cheesy commercials that always seem to fond cool factor. They work in the way those cheesy Mentos commercials worked. They're just different enough to actually be remembered.

Also this week in Ad Age's TV Spots of the Week are Robert Duvall for CirecTV, John Mellencamp's sife for Almay, Nimrods, for ESPN, a crying painting for Pantanol and Murphy's law for Jeep.

by Steve Hall    Mar-22-04    

Sometimes Root Beer is Better Than Real Beer

In commercial for IBC Root Beer, a poor drunken soul pulls himself up off the sidewalk after what was apparently a long night of drinking only to find he is not alone. IBC Root Beer presents us with a situation we have all faced the morning after, wishing we hadn't had so much to drink the night before.

by Steve Hall    Mar-22-04    

Brother Gets Sister and Friends to Create Spoof of 'Truth' Ads

Junky Babes: Connor, Lena, Ana, Sara, and Maddy

On a random day after school, Max got together with his sister and her friends and they came up with this spoof of the anti-drug "Truth" ad campaign.

When I asked Max what inspired him to create this spoof with his sister, Ana and her friends Taylor, Sara, Connor, Maddy, and Lena and whether he was trying to convey a particular message, he said it "was for fun. Not really to make a better message. The whole spoof ad campaign thing came about when my little sister and her friends stuffed their stomachs to look pregnant. From that, we made a spoof abstinence campaign."

It seems Max has started a spoof ad agency. With insightful headlines like, "When you do drugs, you get swept away like white trash" and "When you do drugs, you get beat up'" Max's Truth campaign humorously amplifies the seriousness of the real Truth campaign.

Even though he spoofed the campaign, Max does like the real Truth campaign. However, some others are not so good. "I really do like the truth ads. I think that they're much better than any other anti-drug campaign, actually, because they I guess are truthful. They're shocking. There are some anti-drug ads that I think are a bit stupid, for instance, ones that say 'tobacco is whacko if you're a teen,' because for one thing, it says 'wacko', which I think is just people trying to 'communicate' with kids by using childish lingo, and also, it says 'if you're a teen.' If it says 'if you're a teen,' it sort of implies that it's bad only for teens, but one reason that younger people do drugs in the first place is to act more grown up. I suppose I chose the 'truth' campaign's style for these particular spoofs because I thought that their design fit the look of the images."

One ad (pictured) asks, "Can you spot the junkie?" and has the "junkies" in a sort of Dating Game line up sitting on stools with boxes to check of which "contestant" is the actual junkie.

See all the ads here.

by Steve Hall    Mar-20-04    

Urinals Welcome With Open Mouth

As a guy, do you really want the temptation alluded to with these urinals when you are simply trying to empty your bladder? Said temptation really isn't what you want going on during this particular activity. No matter, Virgin Atlantic has placed these urinals in their new clubhouse at JFK airport in New York.

by Steve Hall    Mar-20-04    

The Purification of American Media Has Begun

Seemingly, it won't be long before all we are "allowed" to watch on TV is Sunday morning broadcasts of bible-thumping church services. The FCC has issued a $27,500 fine to Infinity Broadcasting and a $55,000 fine to Clear Channel. The Infinity Broadcasting fine is Howard Stern-related. For the full story on how Janet Jackson's boob baring incident has insanely catapulted this whole thing into a political hot potato, read Jeff Jarvis' blog. It's all there.

by Steve Hall    Mar-19-04    

Rumsfeld Caught With Pants Down

Donald Rumsfeld has been made to look pretty stupid in this ad by MoveOn asking for censure of President Bush. In the spot, Rumsfeld denies ever having said Iraq was an immediate threat only to have a citation read back to him saying almost exactly that. He then squirms, searches for words and looks buffoonish.

Granted, he may wish he had never said that but why can't politicians just admit what they have said, explain why they said it and move on. Trying to gloss over or cover these things up just makes politicians look like idiots. I don't know much about Kerry (other than having sat near him on a plane to NYC a couple years ago) but based on all the bad press Bush is getting combined with Howard Stern's bashing of him, Kerry looks like a lock come November. [via BushOut.tv]

by Steve Hall    Mar-18-04    

Oh, Those Horny Japansese Ad Guys

We all know Japan is wildly into their sex. One Japanese ad exec got a bit carried away though and has been arrested for running ads for a Tokyo brothel on his Media Line agency web site. Koji Fujimura is said to have broken Japan's Anti-Prostitution law. Even if he is sent to jail, he'll have plenty of bail money and money to live on once he gets out having raked in over 100 million yen since last February.

by Steve Hall    Mar-18-04    

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