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Think gender pressures in advertising are bad now? Nothing like a good throwback ad to put things in context. This ad for Zonite, a feminine hygiene solution, impresses on good wives the humiliation and loathing they'll experience if hubbies have to deal with their natural aromas.
But that's okay - the text considerately reads, "Is a wife to blame if she doesn't know these intimate physical facts?"
Off-topic, Lysol used to be a douche. Not to be icky, but we don't know how much of an improvement that dead-flower smell is over human musk.
We love a conspiracy theory as much as the next guy. That's why we're so attracted to the latest rumour about the mysterious Splasher, an entity splashing paint on street art in trendy New York neighborhoods, who suddenly appears to have an agenda.
To lend some background, the Splasher's been attacking local art through January and pasting manifestos alongside them, calling street art "fetishized [actions] of banality" and "a representation of the most vulgar kind: an alienated commodity." Readers are admonished not to remove the flyers because the paste is allegedly mixed with shards of glass.
I'm Not Sayin notes the latest batch of splashed posters coincide with the art instead of defacing it. And what's the "art" in question? American Apparel ads, of course. He then posits the Splasher is a guerilla campaign cooked up by American Apparel in order to attract (or provoke?) the attention of hipsters, artists and news outlets.
They've succeeded (if indeed it's them), though we'll throw a guess in the pool and suggest they may just be piggy-backing on an actual art-defacing, paint-happy ad-Zorro out yonder. Assuming it's all AA's doing, whether they'll be revered for cleverness or reviled for crime (which graffiti, however pretty, actually is) is another story.
Thankfully, lots of street art starts out as some kind of "defacing" appropriation of public space so we're sure they'll be sympathetic to the big brand's splattery assertion that they're all bourgeois tools.
Calling attention to the nastiness of the Holocaust for the University of Colorado, Boulder's Holocaust Awareness Week, is starkly dark campaign, created by TDA Advertising & Design, that reminds us of the horrors that time brought. From freakish experiments on the body to pressure chamber torture to showers of gas, bulletin board postings, door knob hangers and shower hangers slap students in the face with this message of remembrance. A radio spot featuring a sickly twisted fairly tale accompanies the campaign. There's nothing pretty about this campaign and that's as it should be.
See the campaign components here and listen to the radio spot here.
If you went to the movies this past weekend, you might have seen what initially appeared to be a trailer for Saw IV but turned out to be a Scion promotion directing people to, by far, the weirdest site we've ever seen called Want2BSquare. The trailer, the site and wild posting are all part of an ATTIK-created promotion for the car maker's 2008 xB. Accompanying the campaign over the next two months will be virally-intentioned videos, events and guerrilla marketing (watch out Boston).
At the site, which creates a square universe, we are told, "visitors are encouraged to explore an expansive world, play games against other visitors, view a wealth of video content celebrating the xB's boxy shape, and discover other quirky experiences. These actions lead to the accumulation of points that can be redeemed for an array of prizes ranging from Scion key chains to DJ turntables." If the Internet were around when the "This is your brain on drugs" campaign first launched, this would have been the site leading the campaign. Truly kooky stuff. And fun. We especially like the Urban Zoo.
Why visit the Maldives? For the lack of air conditioning, professional torture methods and occasional loaf of stale bread, of course. Offer for journalists only.
In its ongoing mission to drive home the importance of press freedom, Reporters without Borders runs this sad set of PSAs that invite watchdogs, travel agency-style, to exotic locales for a taste of the hard knocks. We particularly like Cuba.
The no-freedom-without-press-freedom line has probably been repeated from the birth of unregulated reporting (read: gossip) but takes on a new meaning these days. While the country pores over Britney's latest attempt at relevance and Googles news coverage on Anna Nicole postmortem, we haven't any idea what zany hijinks Bush is cooking up on the regular.
Is this a symptom or a forfeiture of genuine press freedom? Before answering that question, maybe we should work out what exactly it is the press does. There's enough news coverage now to spark any interest, so is it just a matter of mainstream priority what appears on legit news sources?
Does the public indeed determine media coverage, or is the media managed by bourgie-ass interest groups and corporations? What does it actually mean to have press freedom, anyway?
Project Open Hand is running a Bay Area print campaign called Nourish One Another to encourage donations for nutritional services and AIDS assistance.
We took note because we often see this strange print ad displaying an ecstatic upward-looking man with wings and a huge halo. It took us a few days of nonchalant notice to realize the wings were made of - what are those, bananas? - and the halo was made of wheat. Then we thought, hey, that's clever and quaint in a pastoral sort of way. And it's also got this understated weirdness going on. We always have to credit an ad whose details we learn over time, and not always intentionally.
Bye Helmets is running a print series under the tagline "Change your head." After staring for a very long time, we shook off the impending agoraphobia and concluded they're trying to say their helmets lend the same kind of protection you perceive you're getting when you reflexively throw your hands around your head before an impact.
Later in life a pessimistic teacher told us that strategy doesn't actually work when there's shit falling on you, so the best thing to do is crawl under a doorway or desk. But maybe lots of hands offset the risk. It would be hard to wrap doorways or desks around our heads.
Work by 1861 United, Milan. Clearly the Milanese are more playful with bodies than we are.
It's unsettling to watch people do unnatural things with their bodies, which we suspect is why The Exorcist became a horror classic.
This print campaign for Ashtanga Yoga Center uses a similar technique, turning the idea of supple flesh into something more ... elastic.
Leagas Delaney of Milan put this one together. We think it's an effective if bizarre way of demonstrating how yoga brings a willing body to an unwound, even disconnected state. Still, if we wanted our feet and hands to fall in all the wrong places, we'd play Twister. It may not bring us to om but nobody ever outgrows the odd fondle.
Back in our heady days of diapers, drool and a band known as Jefferson Airplane, Windows Vista was but an inactive brain cell in a small boy named Bill Gates. Today, Windows Vista is all the rage and Jefferson Airplane is now known (has been for a long time) as Jefferson Starship. We have to wonder if back in the good old days of Jefferson Airplane, anyone in the band could have conceived of being an integral component of one of the biggest marketing campaigns of all time. With all those drugs, we highly doubt it but today, what's not to like about a classic (the time, not the style) rock band headlining a concert tour to promote software. A lot but that's beside the point.
The agency with our favorite name, Wexley School for Girls, developed a free lunch concert series featuring Jefferson Airplane, a cosmonaut street team, wild postings, a teaser video and a website filled with galactic goodies all to promote Windows Vista and its partnership with T-Mobile. It's kind of fun. Check it out.
It's our strong feeling that this ad (via Ichlache) is probably not real, but it vibes like the type of thing Durex would do (particularly outside these fine United States) and it gets the point across in a way that makes our own mouths hurt. The copy reading "Really Big..." at bottom left? Totally unnecessary.