Johnny's Drunken Stupor
Adrants reader and Animal Publisher Bucky Turco comments on the Johnnie Walker "Keep Walking" outdoor campaign which has featured imagery that conveys forward motion or progress. Recently, Turco noticed an execution of the campaign that used dominoes as imagery and questioned the choice of that visual as it relates to spririts advertising, commenting to Adrants, "The other day I came across this Icon ad that featured swirling lines of falling dominoes. The image of falling dominoes seems a dubious illustration to use for progress, especially for a spirits brand. Does it mean that if you don't drink enough JW your life will begin to "fall like dominoes." Could it mean 'Keep Walkin' fast this way so your drinking troubles don't catch up with you? Or is simply 'Keep Walking,' even if its not in a straight line?"
Spirits advertising has to walk a fine line between imbuing a sense of adventure and excitement and the plain truth alcohol can make you drunk and stupid. Perhaps this illusory image of dominoes gets a bit too close to crossing that line.
Sometimes regular sized billboards don't do the trick and big ass billboards are required. This big ass billboard, captured by flickr user iconoblast, makes perfect sense for H & M's $9.90 bikini separates. Whether you have a big ass or not, H & M's got a bottom that will fit. And they want to make sure everyone within three miles of this billboard knows it.
While we all love a racy ad and any excuse to write about one, it seems marketers are simply creating them now in order to have them banned. Take the Plugg Jeans ad. It shows two hotties on the beach. The guy is holding a girl in a manner only seen in the confines of a photoshoot and the girl has her right hand in the guy's crotch. Hey, nothing wrong with sex but Plugg Jeans must have been smoking crack if they thought this ad would be quietly accepted by all media. Of course, that was the strategy all along according to Plugg Jeans parent company Andrew International President Andrew Kirpalani who told Ad Age, "We wanted something exciting, something provocative, it doesn't make sense otherwise to spend the money to be in Times Square."
The image was to grace a slot in Times Square but billboard owner Boston Properties declined to accept the ad as presented and asked for changes. The ad was also declined by Elle Girl and Teen People but accepted by Jane. To acquiesce to those concerned, M Media Creative Director Michael Cooper has toned down the ad a bit to unsexify the image somewhat.
UPDATE: Apparently it's now up.
This Ain't My Graf
Street art site Wooster Collective summarizes (then alters the story for accuracy here) recent happenings in the world of corporate graffiti. Recently Time Magazine paid CopeII to create a graffiti billboard in New York. Earlier this week a graffiti artist was arrested in Chicago for buffing - covering up with black paint - another graffiti artist's work, commissioned by Critical Massive, for Axe Deodorant. This has caused a battle within the graffiti community. Graffiti wants to be art. Not commerce. But even natural graffiti artists need to make a living. Not to mention ad agencies which can't leave a single inch of potential media space untapped.
Yesterday, it was sex in advertising that came in a pair. Today, it's transportation announcement advertising. We'll call it ad-nouncevertising. Following Alaska Airlines forcing a captive plane load of passengers to listen to flight attendant-read Bank of America Visa ads, commuters passing through Penn station this morning were subjected to promotional announcements for the Belmont Stakes. Is there no peace, I ask? Is there no f'ing peace? Not that bleary eyed Penn station commuters are would even hear such announcements before they had their morning shoot up of Starbucks.
With the recent likelihood New York City will not be chosen as host for the 2012 Olympics, some have pointed out the countdown clock is now an unfortunate, gigantic reminder of the city's failure.
Adrants reader Bucky Turco, spotter of all things advertising, points out the odd juxtaposition two advertisers can find themselves in when the medium they use does not naturally provide exclusivity. Turco explains, "I was walking on east 14th St. and 3rd Ave. when I happened upon this bus stop. On both sides of the same stop were vodka ads, one for Absolut, one for Stoli. Not only were both vodka ads, but both we're for their new lines of Peach vodka. And another interesting twist was that both ads had polar-opposite creative: Absolut pushed for a tropical and bright feel, and Stoli for an arctic and monotone feel."
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.
GM (via Modernista! one assumes) is using street art to promote its new contradiction in terms, the Hummer H3. We suppose line extensions are the natural path for any product to take but a small Hummer just doesn't thrill the same way a big Hummer does. This street art was spotted by flicker user Runs With Scissors. The work was done by long time graffiti writers TATS CRU, Inc.
We'd be happy to link you to the H3 microsite but it's buried so deep under layers of fancy, slow loading Flash, accessible only from the Hummer.com front door, we'll spare you the agony. Take our word for it. It's there but it doesn't have near the amount of informative information as one might find in this Car and Driver pre-production review.