Yesterday, Ford joined Budweiser as another marketer getting cold feet prior to this year's Super Bowl and has cancelled a planned commercial for its new Lincoln Mark LT pick up truck. The spot, created by Young & Rubicam Dearborn, shows a clergyman finding a key to the Lincoln truck in the collection plate. Following the service, the clergyman is seen lusting after the vehicle in the parking lot only to find out from a church member it was a joke played by his daughter. He is then seen placing the word "Lust" on sign outside the church indicating the topic of his next sermon.
Once again, we have become a bunch of humorless, PC-controlled bores with no backbone. It seems Janet Jackson's right breast has become the most powerful cultural anomaly now guiding our lives.
Angered by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's comments on the nursing profession and his plan to freeze nurse-patient staffing levels, the California Nurses Association has launched a $100,00 national (that won't go far) cable campaign in support of the nursing profession. The campaign takes aim at Schwarzenegger's calling nurses "special interests" and that he said, "I kick their butt." The campaign also takes shots at hospitals which ran a campaign thanking Schwarzenegger for putting a stop to lowering patient to staff ratios previously approved by former Governor Gray Davis. In other news, Schwarzenegger will appear in Terminator 4 only if it is shot in California.
Indicating we all might want to look at packaging more closely the next time we shop, Russell Christoff, whom, in 1986, was photographed by Nestle for possible use on company packaging was surprised, in 2002, to see his image on a Taster's Choice package because he was never told his image would be used. In 1986 a Nestle employee believed permission had been obtained and the company started using his image on Taster's Choice packaging and from 1997 to 2003, his image was used on packaging in the U.S. Mexico, South Korea, Japan, Israel and Kuwait. For Nestle's transgression, an LA County Superior Court jury awarded Christoff $15.6 million form profiting from his image without his permission, The award was based on 5 percent of Taster's Choice sales from 1997 to 2003.
Seems there's no end to the use of the human body as a walking billboard.
Just a few days ago, Detroit Pistons guard Richard Hamilton wore the pattern of Goodyear's Assurance TripleTred tire pattern as a hairstyle during the game against the Knicks in Detroit. Hamilton plans to keep the style for a week or so. Neither Hamilton's management nor Goodyear would comment on what, if anything, was paid to Hamilton.
Baseball legend Yogi Berra has sued TBS for referring to him in a billboard campaign for Sex and the City. One of the boards asks for a definition of "Yogasm" and one of the answers in "sex with Yogi Berra. There is no comment from TBS but the lawsuit ways the ads "damaged his otherwise spotless reputation, is hurtful to his personal sensibilities and has created a false image."
The Parents Television Council has released a report condemning MTV for peddling sex to kids. The report, titled MTV Smut Peddlers: Targeting Kids With Sex, Drugs And Alcohol, claims MTV consistently goes over the line. PTC President L. Brent Bozell said, "MTV is blatantly selling raunchy sex to kids. Compared to broadcast television programs aimed at adults, MTV's programming contains substantially more sex, foul language and violence and MTV's shows are aimed at children as young as 12. Theres no question that TV influences the attitudes and perceptions of young viewers, and MTV is deliberately marketing its raunch to millions of innocent children."
Upon viewing 171 hours of programming, the group found MTV reality programming to contain 13 sexual scenes per hour and its music videos to contain 32 utterances of foul language per hour.
And so goes the argument. Some say parents should just turn the TV off.
Others say MTV, because it is part of basic cable, does not allow parents to decide whether or not it comes into the home. Bozell asks, "Given a choice, how many parents now being forced to take and pay for MTV as part of a basic cable package, would continue to do so?"
In this world of sports stadiums named after brands, product placements intruding upon content and logos affixed to everything including foreheads, Zodiac Vodka has decided not to up the anti. In a series of print ads, the distiller has positioned itself as the official sponsor of everything. The ads contains headlines such as, "Life is always half full" paid off with the tagline, "Zodiac Vodka. Official Sponsor of Optimism." Others include "If opposites attract, how come positive wants nothing to do with negative"? paid off by, "Zodiac Vodka.
Official Sponsor of Physics.
The insanity of advertising complaints isn't exclusive to America as witnessed by a recent complaint lodged by a Swedish woman about an L'Oreal ad showing a man's hand on a woman's body. Sending her complaint to the Ethical Advertising watchdog of Sweden, the woman, Sara, claims the ad is pedophile-like because the woman in the ad looks like a small girl. Adland has the entire story including the fact that the woman in the ad is, in fact, a woman and that the ad was retouched to remove her breasts thereby, perhaps, causing the woman's complaints. If you ask us, we don't know what the big deal is. It's one of the most innocuous ads we've seen.
As part of an ongoing TV campaign which thanks corporate America for not taking too much vacation, Universal Orlando Resort has launched a website focusing on the negatives of not taking a vacation but gives you the tools to improve your vacation going skills. It provides the chance to fight back with some statistics (Americans take the least amount of vacation days), calculate your Vacation Deficiency Quotient and beat your boss up in an online game. All this leads to another site complete with motivational techno music and means to explore what Universal Orlando has to offer.
MSN Search is pumping itself up with an expansive ad campaign which, at it's final girth, will cover 90 percent of U.S. households 40 times over the next eight weeks. We have to admit, that's some serious stamina but, then again, this is Microsoft. Further explaining how the campaign will penetrate the market, MSN Director of Global Campaigns Chris Cocks (we don't make this stuff up!) said, "This will be our biggest campaign since the introduction of the MSN Butterfly in 2000."
If you're happy with Google, get your protective gear on because MSN will soon be knocking, ever so urgently, at your doorway.