Perhaps during the last week or so while fast forwarding through commercials, you may have caught a peek at the odd combination of Rachel Bilson and a box of condoms. You think to yourself, "condom ads on TV...no big deal. After all, TV is rife with penile stiffening products, why not condoms too?"
Had you paused and rewound to watch the commercial, you would have seen Bilson who, stuck in a traffic jam, decides to hop out of her car, run over the tops of other cars to chase an 18 wheeler filled with condoms.
Oh wait. Had you actually paid attention while watching the commercial you would have realized it wasn't a commercial for condoms at all. Rather it was Unilever's U.S. introduction of the very questionably (for this country) named Magnum ice cream.
Online forum network CrowdGather is launching a new fragrance aimed at gamers and geeks who frequent online communities. Called Erox, the fragrance will contain a combination of human pheromones that are said to "increase feelings of arousal, excitement, social warmth and friendliness in both men and women.
CrowdGather hopes to combine social media with affiliate marketing to develop an online marketing strategy with mass appeal so that all the geeks who will, one day, inherit the earth will smell good when doing so.
Calling attention to the plight of small children and their place in the disturbing world of child sex trafficking and exploitation, comes this video from Love146, a group run by Rob Morris. In 2002, Morris, along with a few friends, traveled to Southeast Asia to see, first hand, what the trafficking of children looked like.
Morris was dismayed at what he saw. Children lined up behind a glass wall with numbers affixed to them. He stood there, along with other men from around the world, and watched as the children were bid on as if they were cattle at auction.
According to Love146, human trafficking is the second largest income generating syndicate in the world. In addition, two children are sold every minute. That's depressing.
Writing on Strollerbaby, Rebecca Odes has an insightful take on the proliferation of brands selling products to young girls that are designed to make them look, well, less young. From padded bras to booty firming shoes, it would seem marketers are intent on turning 12 year olds into sexed up models.
Odes calls attention to a recent campaign from Skechers that promotes the brand's Shape Up sneakers for girls which, much like Reebok's ReTone sneakers, are designed to tone the thighs and butts of little girls.
And while Skechers says the campaign's message is "the same messaging as Michelle Obama's Get Moving campaign," Odes wonders why little boys don't need their thighs and butts toned as well.
We've written about this topic ad naseum wondering about the wisdom of marketers attempting to turn young girls into stripper-esque tweens and the industry's notion that using sex to sell is is a worthy business strategy.
What's the solution? It's simple. While sex and the use of it as a means of convincing someone to do something will never go away, marketers could very easily simply cease making sexualized products for children and stop glorifying and glamorizing a sexed up lifestyle to those under the age of 18.
In acknowledgment of its creative achievements - in the form of the 50 Lions it has won over the past twenty years - Cannes will bestow the honor of Advertiser of the Year on Ikea. The award will be presented to Ikea Group Global Retail Manager Noel Wijsmans during the Festival in late June.
Ikea and its agencies are well known for their work which included the famed Crispin Porter + Bogusky-created Lamp ad that was awarded the Film Grand Prix in 2003. We thought the honor should have gone to Honda's Cog or Saturn's Sheet Metal that year but hey, that's just our opinion.
That said, there is no doubt the brand has done admirable work over the years and is absolutely deserving of this award.