This week at Apple Computer's annual worldwide developers conference, Steve Jobs raved about podcasting and announced a new iTunes podcasting feature which will allow users to subscribe to podcasts and provide podcast creators the ability to register their podcasts on iTunes.
After leaving Saatchi, famously, as the Saatchi 17, Ad Age reports four of the 17, all of whom are currently employed at Interpublic, won, in an awkward and final snub to their former employer, Effies for work done while at Saatchi. If that wasn't enough drama for the evening, Leo Burnett Chief Creative Officer Cheryl Berman, during her opening speech, wondered why creative giants Lee Clow, Dan Wieden and Jeff Goodby were not in attendance citing the second class value placed on the Effies, which measure performance over beauty, by many in the industry. Perhaps if the Effies were held at a location a bit more exotic than the New York Marriott Marquis, us shallow ad folk might be a bit more willing to whip out our bling and attend. Then again, we're all about the flash and the glamor, right? Beauty over brains. Art over commerce. Kick ass creative over steroidal sales increases. What fun are sales increases when you can play Hollywood wannabe in Cannes?
Oh, lest we forget what's important here, TBWA/Chiat/Day's iPod Silhouette campaign took top Effie honors.
Defamer feels sorry for Sylvester Stallone. Pointing out Stallone's recent failed attempt at reality TV and dwindling movie career, although we do hear another Rambo movie is on the way, Defamer leads us to, well, pudding. Yes, Sly is hawking Instone pudding and nutritional supplements. This all makes Arnold Schwarzenegger's decision to go do the Governor thing pretty smart.
Following the now tired "banned ad strategy," Wonkette reports an ad for the Hyperion published book, The Washingtonienne, the tell-all Jessica Cutler novel, was, first, accepted by Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call, then rejected. Apparently, the book is "Washington's version of Sex and the City." Knowing Washington politics, there was probably a greasy back room deal between Hyperion and Roll Call just to manufacture this PR stunt.
No sooner do we finish debating the merits of sexually laced advertising targeting youth when we stumble upon this announcement over at AdJab stating Jennifer Love Hewitt will now be posing in Hanes ads for teenage boys so they can release their pent up...um...let us rephrase...so their girlfriends and sisters can aspire to JLH beauty by wearing Hanes panties. Love Hewitt will appear in ads for the underwear maker which debut later this month. While Adjab notes this is Love Hewitt's first foray into women's wear, we can point you to a little amusing item we wrote a couple years ago that might just debunk that fact. OK, so it's a little joke but it's still fun.
Ad Induced Hotness?
Writing in the Hendersonville News, Susan Hanley Lane shares her feelings regarding a racy Skechers billboard she saw when she was with her father in law as he was getting haircut. Noting the odd juxtaposition of the two figures on the billboard having simulated sex, advertising-style, with the presence of her father in law and two small girls playing outside near the board, Susan makes a convincingly cogent argument that, perhaps, we've taken this sex sells thing a bit too far.
She notes the walled garden that used to be called childhood has collapsed and has been replaced, at least for girls, by girlhood. In other words, kids aren't kids anymore but have, because of the continual presence of adult imagery, become young hotties in training. When you roll it up like that, it does certainly feel odd that young kids are routinely exposed to this sort of imagery. Many, including myself, have said, "Oh, just don't look. Turn the TV off. Monitor what your kids read and what they do online." Well, sure. That's all good but it's also like trying to juggle 12 tons of Jello while riding a unicycle. It's not possible. Kids are resourceful. If they want to see or do something, they'll find a way around parental blockage. Acknowledging that, one could argue if racy imagery that is now commonplace wasn't there in the first place, kids who circumvent so called blockage would find nothing more that a fully clothed Betty Crocker staring back at them.
TVGasm points to a craigslist posting looking for a new Quiznos "Baby Bob," which, by the way, is actually a girl. TVGasm laments the continuation of this campaign even though it has been highly rated by IAG and Advertising Age.
While the baby thing has been done over and over and over it seems the public will always be gullible for a cute baby face.
Where's The Dirt, Dude?
Our intrepid NYC informant, ex-bike messenger and publisher, Bucky Turco, points us to another ad campaign that has latched onto bike messenger street cred. Just a short time ago, Lincoln used real bike messenger's names without permission to promote their SUV. This time, Coors Lite has used bike messenger imagery on a large, lower Manhattan billboard. The billboard shows the messenger riding along, scraping ice off the billboard.
Turco tells us the ad looks OK until you look more closely and, if you know anything about bike messengers, things are a bit off. "At least they didn't make the mistake Lincoln made by actually trying to co-opt real bike messengers. It seems Coors was content with a softer, safer, and extremely unrealistic looking courier. Kudos to the art director for adding the dirt patterns on the messenger bag, too bad they missed the clothes and fingernails."
While most of us might not notice these details, to a bike messenger, they seem to be important. Turco was a bit put off by the way the messenger in the ad was portrayed saying, "...what self respecting bike messenger rides through the city without a lock and chain around his waist? Don't worry we won't get into the fingerless gloves, goofy helmet, and J-crew like model."
Ouch. Additional images here and here.
As flicker user Bahi P comments, in reaction to a British Airways billboard with the headline "Rarely is check-in as quiet as a mouse" accompanied by an image of an Apple mouse, "Rarely is one company's logo so prominent in another company's advert." We're sure there's a co-marketing agreement here but the commentary was too good to pass over.
After teasing us for a month, it's nice to get at least a bit of gratification after only sixty seconds. While sixty second gratification isn't always a good thing, in the case of the Maryland State Lottery, who brought us the elaborate Bovine United mystery, a fast finish can be quite pleasurable. Especially when really bad, mock German band, "I'm So Hot," videos are involved. Created by Eisner Communications, this :60 spot allows us to wallow in the absurdity of a wannabe band for 55 seconds before we are relieved to learn they've been put out of their misery by the Lottery's "The Hot Family game.
In this week's Ad Age TV Spots of the Week, we're also treated a kooky, War of the Worlds-like spot for a new game, "Destroy All Humans"; an annoying bug dying on behalf of a pest control company that has a frog as its mascot (you can't make this stuff up); more ridiculous attempts to make Buick cool; a Trojan condom commercial that drags out the HIV card; Lance Armstrong causes an entire town to go fitness crazy for a fitness center and, finally, a fan that pushes a TV off a piece of furniture because Poliflor Furniture Cream With Teflon creates such a slippery surface. A furniture polish that breaks TV's is a good thing? That "I'm So Hot" German band needs the fan more than the TV does.