A new Australian ad campaign for Elle Macpherson Intimates contains an ad that shows two lingerie-clad models in a kitchen acting as if they were in the latest cheesy horror flick wielding knives at each other. The ad has caused many complaints and is said to have gone too far. Macpherson calls the ads "beautifully haunting and ambiguous" but Liz Longhurst doesn't think so.
Longhurst's daughter Jane was murdered by a man obsessed with necrophilia and she feels that the ad should be banned because it connects sex with violence. Longhurst wrote in The Daily Mail "Without the sales pitch, what is there in Elle Macpherson's campaign but the picture of a faceless woman, clutching a knife, in titillating underwear. How easily could that become a distorted fantasy for some."
She has a point. Sex and titillation is one thing. Aligning it with violence is another. There's no doubt this campaign was conceived knowing full well it would cause controversy and press coverage. In the minds of marketers, consumers have been so desensitized that tactics such as these are deemed effective, appropriate and even arty.
Elle Macpherson Intimates is no stranger to controversy. Earlier this year, a campaign featured a keyhole view of a model some claimed was masturbating. No one ever died from masturbating and there's nothing damaging about an ad that might cause people to masturbate more than they already do. There is something very wrong, though, with an ad that makes knife wielding look sexy.
In early August, we commented on the fact John Waters' new movie A Dirty Shame won't need it's promotional posters retouched, as where the posters of Keira Knightley for King Arthur, because star Selma Blair has more than enough (albeit fake) curvature to satisfy. In fact, the movie may not need posters at all because Nick Denton's Gawker Media has been hired by the movie's producers to custom publish a weblog, called A Dirty Shame, about the movie. Written as a sub-blog of the Hollywood focused Defamer by Remy Stern who wrote Gawker Media's first custom published blog for Nike called Art of Speed, the blog will discuss and promote the movie which opens September 24. It's a weird, weird, weird looking movie but then, what John Waters movie isn't? This A Dirty Shame blog should provide all the information and entertainment any John Waters fan could ever hope to find.
To create anticipation for its new television commercial featuring a very tall woman walking through Buenos Aires, Lee Dungarees created the 90 Foor Babe blog written by "Natalia," the 90 foot babe herself. She talks about how a 90 foot woman goes about her modeling jobs, the process of shooting a commercial, being stalked by paparazzi and speaks of her time spent with Buddy (of Buddy Lee noteriety, of course). The blog is sprinkled with pictures of "Natalia" and her 90 foot self in various locations and photoshoots. There's even a play on her writing her own phone number on the side of a building during the shoot which leads to an answering machine with "Natalila's" voice on the other end. It's all very interesting and the spot itself is just different enough to be enticing.
The New York edition of commuter paper Metro has hired a bunch of Anna Wintour look-a-likes to promote the paper. The Anna's could be spotted this morning in Bryant Park. Full size images here and here.
The models were dressed in head to toe in Chanel-esque suits and shiny brown shoulder length bobs to honor a famous fashion editor and icon.
This was Metro's final bash as Fashion Week drew to a close ending a great week of parties and fashion.
Metro is the largest and fastest growing international newspaper in the world. 37 daily Metro editions are published in 54 major cities in 16 countries in 15 languages across Europe, North & South America and Asia. Metro has a unique global reach - attracting a young, active, well-educated audience of more than 14 million daily readers and over 32 million weekly readers. Metro has an equal number of male and female readers and 70% are under the age of 45. Metro's advertising sales have grown at a compound annual rate of 47% since the launch of the first edition in 1995.
UPDATE: Metro Promotions people found the real Anna Wintour on the streets and actually got her to smile.
Ad-Rag points to an ingenious and hilarious little viral video that Nike has daringly and admirably funded and endorsed to promote its new Sphere jacket. Not your average ad but, then again, the average ad is headed for the graveyard.
Following a Talent Zoo article by Danny G in which G offered comment on the upcoming Advertising Week, the American Association of Advertising Agencies has un-invited the advertising recruitment and resource site from speaking at the event. Perhaps prompted by G's comment on the value proposition of Advertising Week, "It'd be more valuable to show the business world how great agencies solve real marketing problems than to have Aunt Jemima give Mr. Whipple a hand job in Times Square," the AAAA's had a hissy and pulled Talent Zoo's speaking invite.
G's point is that Advertising Week is not a fair representation of the advertising industry and he suggests that not only the icons of advertising (Tony the Tiger, Jolly Green Giant or Captain Crunch) get play but, humorously, so should, "Ashley The Scantily-Clad Creative Summer Intern or Rhonda the Token African-American Employee Who's In Either Media or Accounting, I'm Not Sure." The AAAA's didn't take kindly to that alternative view and sent an email dis-inviting the group. Talent Zoo President Rick Meyers also says the AAAA's "wouldn't recognize site's like Talent Zoo or blog sites as media outlets."
That's diametrically opposed the the Association of National Advertisers who has their own blog and has invited Adrants to attend their upcoming annual event.
We had our own comments late last year on the AAAA's Advertising Week event that were aligned with G's and while we still feel like it's going to be a self-congratulatory party (we can't pass on a good party, now, can we?), there's some merit to drawing other businesses and the public into the world of advertising. After all, the advertising future will be a world where consumers, to a great degree, not marketers, control how marketing messages are consumed.
Any first time event is bound to attract comment and that's a very good thing. It should be welcomed. It only helps to improve the future of said event. Banning participation by groups that may have an alternative viewpoint, though, is a very bad thing. There's no left without a right. There's no positive without a negative. No night without day. G's comments might have been a bit inflammatory and any organization has the right to choose who they'd like to attend their events but banning a valuable resource from exposure to the very people who need it is The AAAA's shouldn't be afraid of Talent Zoo. In fact, one of two things would happen if the AAAA's allowed Talent Zoo to attend - both good for the AAAA. If Talent Zoo take G's tone to the event, Talent Zoo will either add great humor to the event or get booed off the stage.
The AAAA's wins both ways. And yes all you "conflict of interest" nudniks, Talent New lists their jobs on this site but we'd feel the same way even if they didn't.
UPDATE: According to MediaPost's The RIff, the AAAA's has reinstated Talent Zoo's invite.
- the Internet Advertising Bureau and MediaPost have announced the panel of judges for their upcioming Online Media, Marketing and Advertising Awards.
- Latest Eyetrack study shows the lowly text ad to be the best viewed online ad unit.
- Weather.com has introduced new weather dependant advertorials and zip code targeted ads.
- South Korean Brewer OB has developed a two minute commercial specially designed for "broadcast" on SK Telecom's mobile phones.
- Seems those hopoing to find jobs at anti-virus firms are getting despatate. Anti-virus firm Sophos has found pleas for work embedded withing the code of two computer viruses, MyDoom-U and MyDoom-V.
An article in Fortune takes us through Tylenol's "Ouch!" campaign in which the pain relief medicine maker embraces its younger customer's propensity to thrive on pain rather than run from it and has developed a campaign that aligns with that mentality. It has become a "pain partner" with underground event organizers of skateboarding events, film festivals and breakdancing competitions. And it's all done with barely a mention of the brand. Yet the brand has, in fact, been embraced with users of a Tylenol-built but unbranded skateboard bowl referring to it as the Tylenol Bowl. The brand has even made its way into the song lyrics of a Ben Kweller tune (called Tylenol) sold on Apple's music store. To reach this audience, a media buy would be pointless because this group makes heavy use of all available ad blocking tools and even if any ads do slip through, they are viewed with great skepticism.
In March, we reported marriage obsessed Britney Spears had entered a deal with Elizabeth Arden to develop and market a line of fragrance, skincare and color cosmetics aimed at teens. The line will be supported by an advertising campaign including a television commercial in which Spears will star.
Filmed in LA last month, the commercial will debut September 17th on a new Britney Spears Beauty website in advance of the campaign.
The ad centers on Spears exchanging glances with a soon-to-be Mr.
Spears/Kevin Federline look-a-like as he checks into a hotel. Later, he hears a knock on his hotel room door and it turns out to be Spears - apparently interested in some form of extracurricular activity.
Olivier Travers points out the upcoming changes to PayPal's homepages. The company plans to brand each country's page a bit differently. Travers writes, "I have to ask though, was the smiling guy with a double chin tested with actual people, or is this the result of a creative brief supposed to convey trust for "people just like you" but gone a little astray in its execution?" Seems PayPal is trading in its utilitarian design for that smiley face, stock photo, lame ass looking corporate website design. It's an inevitable step in a company's growth. But why try to "brand it up" for no other reason than to use some lame looking stock photography. I'm sure it came from some oft-cited research stating people like to see people in ads, on websites, etc. but why try to "brand it up" when the PayPal brand is analogous to the mundane act of taking a dollar out of your wallet and placing it in another's? It's obvious that fat guy on the US site is to make all us American fatties feel better when we send money to cover that order of the latest dietary supplement we had to try out because we just read Paris Hilton or Tom Cruise was doing it.