Italian newspaper 'L'Unità', originally founded in 1924 by Marxist Antonio Gramsci as the official paper of the Italian Communist Party, has relaunched and rebranded with a new campaign created by "controversial" Italian photographer Oliviero Toscani who worked on the United Colors of Bentton campaign.
Some have labeled the ad sexist. Concita de Gregorio, first female head of the paper doesn't agree, saying, "I don't think it's right to use a woman image to sell, for example, cars. But in this case, I think it's perfect. Since two months, this newspaper is controlled by the body and the head of a woman, me, so in this case I think is pertinent to use a woman's image."
Hmm. Interesting logic indeed tying the mini skirted body of the woman in the ad to her position as "head" of the paper.
Appearing today in USA Today and The Wall Street Journal, Stihl offers confidence to wary consumers that, of late, hear nothing but bad news about the economy. With so many portfolios in shambles, Stihl promises to be a sharp investment in today's crazy market.
Say what? Is that a chainsaw in the ad? So, like, the solution is to take a chainsaw to your portfolio and dramatically carve it up because, given Wall Street, anything less would be wimpy?
Oh wait, Stihl isn't a financial management firm. It makes power tools. And not just any crappy power tools like the ones you can find cheaply priced at Home Depot or Lowe's. Nope. Stihl is an investment, not an expenditure because, unlike the cheap tools you have you buy over and over because they always break, Stihl is a life long investment. Or so the ad would have us believe.
In the realm of contextual fuckery, it's not always the advertisers that screw up. Sometimes it's the "legit" content providers themselves.
Case in point: on Monday morning, Culture Grrl woke up to find her copy of The New York Times wrapped in some kind of ad jacket for NBC-TV's new season.
Today I came across a banner ad run by the Newspaper Association of America, which seeks to reposition "the newspaper" -- a rolled-up, grayish mound of reading material that occasionally appears on the threshold of hotel room doors -- as "The Multi-Medium."
"Is newspaper old media or new media?" the ad asks, followed by an enigmatic, all-encompassing response: "Yes." Below the text is a woman whose newspaper appears to be feeding content to other media from a bunch of wires and cords. Cute.
Click-throughs guide the perplexed to Newspaper Media. With pretty imagery, plenty of data -- many of which are broken links -- and sentences that melodramatically start, "In a world where consumers are tuning out advertising...", the NAA hopes we'll start perceiving newspapers as less a stagnating medium than an abstract (but stable!) concept: "newspaper" isn't just where Gram finds the crossword; it is THE legit news source, offline and online (unless you're looking for data on why).
And the NAA can help you (yes, you!) advertise on both.
In defense of the NAA's position -- which could use some work, starting with those dead links -- print media isn't dying so very quickly. Newspaper readership grew 2.5 percent in the top 100 markets, according to a survey from earlier this year. And trusted newspaper brands increasingly dip into other so-called "new" media: mobile and internet, for a start. The New York Times even started embedding video.
See? Nobody's dying. Now go help Rupert Murdoch finance a new yacht.
- The Sun slams Australia for winning fewer Olympic medals than Britain with a knock off Australia's tourism campaign, "Where the bloody hell were you?"
- Classmates.com and NetZero have teamed to launch Free Internet, a site on which people can take advantage of free offers, coupons, discounts and other free stuff.
- MySpace and TheWB.com, today announced a content partnership to bring the new digital series "Sorority Forever" - created by director/producer McG and the producers of the Internet series "Prom Queen" - from TheWB.com to MySpaceTV.
From September to October, Levi's "Live Unbuttoned" campaign invades newsstands and 7-Elevens in Hong Kong.
Agency TBWA\TEQUILA partnered with East Touch Magazine to outfit its next issue in miniature 501s. Mag-lurkers will literally have to unbutton the jeans just to finger a copy. Bonus points if you can fit in them!
There'll also be a guerrilla effort in Causeway Bay, where customers can experience the "Live Unbuttoned" campaign live and, uh, unbuttoned, which I think just means they'll be able to try jeans on in a tent. (I'm hoping there'll also be a lively music component. Chinese gen-yers love free music -- who doesn't? -- so it would make sense if Levi's also promoted its free music downloads there, too.)
To make a point about how women make less money than men in the work force, Miljopartiet de grona -- the green party in Sweden -- ran a print ad that compares currency featuring men to lower-value currency featuring women. The tagline: "Different gender, different worth."
Commercial Archive observes the idea's been done before; moreover, income disparity is slightly more complicated than some male-chauvinist exec going "Hey, a girl, I'm gonna SAVE."
On a casual YouTube quest for gender-disparaging videos, I found this clip about penis power. Please watch it. It will make your whole day. (Yes yes, SFW, but plug your headphones in.)
- To jazz up its Wimbledon sponsorship, HSBC commissioned two artists to make photographs out of growing grass. Brings a freakish new angle to "watching grass grow."
- Cleveland-based? Go be a patriot. A green patriot.
- Former CEO Carly Fiorina of Hewlett Packard is among the contenders for VP under McCain. George Parker is hella bummed.
In one of the more interesting methods of attempting to illustrate the waning worth of newspaper advertising, a Gyro-created fake ad campaign for the Philadelphia Inquirer features the fictitious airline Derrie-Air which, in an effort to be carbon neutral (fuckin' buzzwords), promises to plant trees to offset the pounds of carbon its planes spew into the atmosphere.
At the end of last year, Dell and WPP hooked up to create Project Davinci, an agency created solely to staff the Dell account in Austin and around the world. Recently, WPP took out an ad in the Austin Statesman looking for, well rocket scientists because, apparently, advertising people aren't smart enough to handle the seemingly daunting task of creating computer ads. That or they just wanted to write an oh-so-witty headline they could enter in some award show.
Poor Casey Jones. It seems his dream agency is taking a bit longer to get on its feet. Adrants reader illustrates the point with the photo caption, "...I was in the shower and it hit me, all I needed to do to save my ass was to go out and hire rocket scientists."