Hey kids! Guess what? If you study hard and get good grades, guess what you'll get? No, not a college scholarship, sillys. That would be too boring. No, if you get good grades on your report card, you'll get a Happy Meal coupon on the card that you can use to get fat...uh...have a free lunch.
Yea, people, you read that right. In-school advertising's idiocy has spread to report cards. Yes, report cards. For covering the paltry $1,600 printing cost of Seminole County Florida's 2007-2008 report cards, McDonald's was able to place the coupon on the report cards of kids who received all A's and B's. Yes, you also read that right. Only smart kids are allowed to get fat.
For reasons having mainly to do with the writers strike, which is slowly sucking all the life and vigor out of TV (even online TV!), we ended up watching The Breakfast Club on Hulu last night.
We're not really sure what in hell Hulu is doing. We heard somewhere that they're trying to make their ads more intuitive and more in line with the online viewing experience. So tell us why the entire fucking film was jam-packed with the same mind-numbing ad for Chevy hybrid SUVs.
In said ad, unfortunate users witness the creation of an ice cream sundae. And it's ugly and horrifying. Everything from the elevator music, to the pallid vanilla, to the badly-poured chocolate, to the artificial whipping cream, filled us with glorious disdain for everything Chevy. (Especially the Lumina.) And, somehow, John Hughes, too.
Gotta love a politician who points a derisive finger at "aliens" that molest our hallowed borders and threaten the American dream (taking our jobs! Terrorizing innocent people worldwide!).
"Because someone needs to say it." You said it all right, Tom. You said it like the fucking Red Scare.
Maybe we're stupid. Maybe we're dumb. Maybe we're old school but we simply can't understand why the creators of Firebrand believe it will amount to anything more than a great resource for the ad community to see each other's commercials. Really. Do you know anyone outside of advertising that would actively seek out a website or a cable channel to view commercials, the very thing they are so blissfully skipping with their DVRs? Please. Tell us. We want to meet one of these gluttons for punishment.
An Adrants reader has some pleading words for those behind the Toyota media buy. "Can't Toyota come up with another commercial to rotate with that stupid 'ran out of gas' ad with the girl laughing at her date? Every day every channel, I'm over it."
Can't the ad industry come up with another method of advertising than the old school tonnage model? Aren't we past that yet? Are we still dumb enough to think people want to see the same crap over and over again? Aren't we smart enough to realize this is chance to go to the client and ask for more money to produce a new commercial every one (except this guy, apparently) will skip over with their DVRs? Aren't we aware the consumer has been burned out since the turn of the century? Aren't we smart enough to come up with something better? Aren't we?
Adrants reader Steve from Brand Canada Blog tips us to yet another contextual/text advertising oddity. Squeaky clean Disney site Disney Family has found itself hovering over a video of the stunningly curvaceous and undeniably hot "Andrea" as she fondles her (clothed) breasts, removes her shorts and tantalizingly plays with her thong while swinging her impossibly perfect booty in front of her webcam for horny guys to admire.
While we're sure guys who occasionally get horny and occasionally view racy webcam videos are also be fine, upstanding students, professionals, parents and role models, we're thinking this isn't exactly the mood Disney was hoping its potential target audience would be in when viewing its family-focused ads. After all, moods like horny tend to distract people quite a bit from just about everything except matters directly in hand. A captive audience for sure but captivated by something entirely other than an annoying text ad. Besides, thoughts of family fun aren't likely to be top of mind at this particular moment.
So last night, we're three quarters through yet another now shitty episode of the once-brilliant Heroes and what do we see a few minutes after a commercial break? No, not one of those banners that promotes some new show that will likely suck or some news tease that will make it impossible for us not to "stay tuned for more" at 11. No, we see a big black banner fill the bottom fourth of the screen touting the new Denzel Washington, Russel Crowe movie American Gangster. WTF?
So this is what it's come to, people. The nets aren't going to take any more of our ad skipping shit and they're now going to bombard us not only with annoying in-program promotions but with ,annoying, unskippable in-program ad banners. Apparently taking a cue from YouTube's video advertising efforts, NBC is going to get is ad revenue no matter what it takes.
While we can't fault a media company for protecting its revenue stream, it's beginning to reach the point of insanity. Watching a show recorded on a DVR is now going to be just as annoying as watching one live with commercials. Maybe worse. With old-school commercials, at least you could miss the ads by getting up to take a piss or grabbing something out of the fridge. No longer. And this isn't the last (and likely it's not the first) we'll see of these DVR-fighting tactics. Protecting that revenue stream is a very powerful motivator.
Sorry, we didn't get an actual screenshot of the banner.
Last week a group of federal employees served as proxy reporters for a press conference regarding the California wildfires with the deputy chief of FEMA.
Why would FEMA want to stage a fake conference about the California wildfires? It's not only unethical; it's ... lame. It's like something you'd get in trouble for in elementary school ("Sorry, Mrs. Jewls, I couldn't actually find a famous person to interview, so I made one up.")
FEMA's excuse: it had no time to wait for real reporters.
Check out Crescent Heights, an effort by P&G to promote Tide through the lives of twenty-somethings (Quarterlife, anybody?) with painfully bright clothes.
Endless product promotion aside, we admire the series' capacity to remind us so vividly of Saved by the Bell: The New Class -- except without the charm of the previous class' success to leech off of.
And the fake messages on the discussion board (generously mocked by the seven or so watchers of the series)? Nice touch.
This is really, really, REALLY bad. We'll say it again, REALLY bad. If you're going to go and spoof the Budweiser Wassup commercial, the least you could do is put a little effort into it. Apparently, Greenpeace, who claims Anheuser-Busch uses genetically altered rice to make Budweiser, thinks shitty dialog and bad actors can somehow call attention to the horror that is genetically enhanced rice. At least use phones made this century?? This critique is, of course, irrelevant because Greenpeace is getting the publicity they want anyway.