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Why the Death of the Ad Critic is a Bad Thing

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Bob Garfield? Quit. Barbara Lippert? Fired. Lewis Lazare? Fired. Stuart Elliott? Oddly, the last major ad critic standing. What's going on here? Is there no value seen in advertising commentary? No credence given to intelligent analysis of what works and what doesn't in this business? Or have all the ad blogs and the proliferation of social media rendered the ad critic unnecessary?

According to Bob Garfield, the reason behind the exodus of ad critics, well, at least his, may be quite simple. It's pointless. When Bob left Ad Age, one of the reasons he cited for leaving was frustration. Another was disgust. He wrote, "...despite the best of all forums for evaluating ad strategy and execution, my core principles espoused over a quarter century (and codified in my book 'And Now a Few Words from Me') seem to have had little or no effect on the practice of the craft. I continue to be awed and humbled by the best of what the industry produces. But I also think billions of client dollars every year are being squandered by narcissists, con men, naifs and a number of blithering morons."

Well, he's certainly right about a number of things here. Chiefly, his last sentence which calls out the industry for being a collection of idiotic morons who refuse to learn from their mistakes. But is it really that bad? Are people in the industry really that moronic?

more »

by Steve Hall    Mar-31-11    
Topic: Opinion



National Cleavage Day Unleashed Advertising-Style

Depending upon the source, today is National Cleavage Day. Or maybe it was March 26. It really doesn't matter. Thanks to Wonderbra, we now have this annual celebration of the female breast. So in celebration of such in important event, let's take a look back at some of the bra busting ads we've covered here on Adrants over the years.

Most recently, the Chinese, increasingly fixated on big boobs, came out with an ad for what can only be described as boob clamp lingerie. A woman adorns herself with the slinky satin and then pulls a few string and BAM, her boobs are suddenly twice as big.

Right in line with Asia's general fixation with boobs, comes this extremely weird commercial for ice cream in which a deliciously endowed Asian girl whose breasts are far too big for her tiny bikini top frolics with a pair of ice cream cones.

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Jacques Magazine hooked up with Jonathan Leder and the stunningly endowed Lauren Young for a couple of videos to hype the magazine. In the first, Young plays Squash. Or tries to as her bulbous breasts bounce inside the confines of her cute, pink outfit. In the second, Young dons some very tight blue pants and a bra that's two sizes to small for her globes of glory. She then illustrates just how exciting bowling can be. That or how impossible it is for her to keep herself from caressing her curves until, well, until she reaches the inevitable completion.

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Let's be clear about something here. It's not just men who "leverage" boobs for their own personal gain. Miss Fit, a UK-based lingerie specializing in clothing, lingerie and swimwear for women lucky (or unlucky depending upon viewpoint) enough to possess DD cup or larger breasts, signed a deal with the very curvaceous X Factor star Maria lawson.

Lawson is a perfect fit for Miss Fit. More than twice the size of a DD, Lawson straps herself into a 36JJ bra when she gets dressed in the morning. Miss Fit is owned by a woman.

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by Steve Hall    Mar-31-11    
Topic: Events, Opinion, Racy



Hipsters Displace Boomers at Denny's

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While Denny's is still doing quite well with the 50+ demo, following the debut of the brand's web series, Always Open, the restaurant chain has seen a marked increase awareness among 18 - 34 year olds according to YouGov's BrandIndex, a consumer brand perception index.

Since the show's premiere at the beginning of the month - which has featured Sarah Silverman and Jason Bateman so far - Denny's has seen its Impression score rise from 6.2 to 25.4 - a number that has surpassed the score for the 50+ demo.

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by Steve Hall    Mar-31-11    




Jack & Jones Fitness Gives 'Oral' Mouth to Mouth

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Copyranter has unearthed a gem from Jack & Jones Fitness. The brand lives within the world of irony and has a very unique way of hyping its fitness club. In one video, the tables are turned and a guy is seen as a sex object complete with all the stereotypical complaints you here from women about sex.

In a second video, men are seen as a new line of Spring fashion. Or is it that the women are so hot they make the men pass out thereby needing resuscitation? Or is it that the men are so out of shape they can't have sex without a trip to Jack & Jones Fitness?

Either way, it's humorous to see a woman give mouth to mouth to a guy's dick. And come to the realization Jack & Jones is actually a fashion brand.

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by Steve Hall    Mar-31-11    
Topic: Racy, Strange



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Quiznos is Trippin' With Chicken Bacon Dipper Campaign

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Living up to the product tagline, "If this were an ordinary sub, you'd eat it in an ordinary way'" Quiznos is out with a seriously whacked commercial in which people go about eating the chain's new Chicken Bacon Dipper sandwich in very, very strange ways.

Topping the scales of weird is the dude in this commercial called The Hair Raiser. Seriously. Someone's on drugs here. A lot of drugs.

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by Steve Hall    Mar-30-11    
Topic: Campaigns, Strange



Denny's Celebrates Bacon With Baconfest Sweepstakes

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Denny's and Gotham teamed to launch a Facebook promotion in honor of Bacon. The restaurant chain recently launched a new "Baconalia" menu, and to hype it, the brand has decided to invite fans to participate in a Facebook sweepstakes to win tickets to Chicago's BaconFest 2011. Yes, there is actually a festivcal that celebrates bacon. Who knew.

Fans can also win $100 Denny's gift cards, and other prizes. To enter, fans visit the Denny's Facebook page, click on the BaconFest Sweepstakes tab, and enter their info.

by Steve Hall    Mar-30-11    
Topic: Events, Promotions, Social



Skittles Gives Girl Facial

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All we can say about this Skittles video featuring a cute girl with Skittles all over her face is it's a good thing those Skittles are Skittles and not zits. Because zits would be gross. And zits would be a reason to point at this girl and make fun of the way she looks.

Wait. What message is this commercial sending? We're confused. Are we supposed to think a girl is hot because she's covered with Skittles? Or ugly? Or we should only love her for her beauty...or Skittles-covered face? Or are we supposed to...eat her face?

Please help. Thanks for confusing us, BBDO Toronto.

by Steve Hall    Mar-30-11    
Topic: Campaigns, Commercials, Strange



Grabbed Nuts and Anal Insertion Sell Power Equipment

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With some of the strangest ads for power equipment we've seen in a long time, you'll never look at airport security or a visit to the doctor the same again. Created by Cramer-Krasselt, these ads, out since January, for ECHO power equipment take a decidedly different approach to letting us know just ho important it is to buy professional grade equipment.

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by Steve Hall    Mar-30-11    
Topic: Campaigns, Commercials, Strange



Condom Kissed, Move Sponsored, Pizza PayPal'd

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- In the never ending pantheon of "what will they think of next," graphic Armor and Condomania are releasing a line of condoms, Kiss Kondoms, which will prominently feature Gene Simmons' tongue. We don't know about you but we sure don't want another guy's tongue on our dick.

- Elephant Filmworks recently produced an eight episode teen-centric web series called "The Lines" for Allstate Insurance. The first season of "The Lines" will promote safe driving habits to teens and young adults.

- Remember when everyone thought it was so cool you could order pizza online. Never caught on did it? Well, that hasn't stopped Domino's Pizza which, through eBay Advertising, is touting the fact online orders can now be paid for using PayPal.

- Three Olives Vodka decided to animate for their latest campaign. California-based Hanger One Vodka decided to go country.

- Definitely not as hot as Melissa Molinaro in Old Navy's first music video outing but Tyne Stecklein, a dancer chosen for what would have been Michael Jackson's final tour, isn't so bad, herself.

- And why not? A family has launched a website to get its move from Texas to New York sponsored.

- Hashable has put together a report that will tell you everything you wanted to know about how people used its Twitter-based connection app at SXSW.

by Steve Hall    Mar-30-11    
Topic: Racy, Research, Strange, Video



Agency Offers Apology to Firefighter in 9/11 Ad

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New York advertising agency Barker/DZP apologized Monday to local firefighter Robert Keiley for creating an ad which indicated Keiley he had been at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, when in fact he was not. Keiley joined the Fire Department in 2004.

Keiley, who also works as a model, was under the impression the ad would be for fire prevention when he agreed to the photoshoot. But his photograph appeared without his knowledge or permission in an ad for a local law firm that specializes in September 11 legal cases, with the words "I Was There."

"We deeply regret any offense to Mr. Keiley, other firefighters or anyone else that has been hurt by this ad," said Keith McKay, business operations manager for Barker/DZP. Agency president John Barker said Barker/DZP purchased the stock photo of Keiley and, in a statement, said, "At no time did we have any idea, or could we have had any knowledge, that the person in the photo, Robert Keiley, was an actual firefighter, much less a New York City firefighter. This unfortunate coincidence makes the ad into something we never intended it to be."

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by Steve Hall    Mar-30-11    
Topic: Agencies, Policy



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