Packaging Girlhood lists the best and worst 2006 marketing campaigns aimed at girls and their sometimes less-than-savvy guardians.
Worst includes the Dora the Princess campaign for turning an educational show into a stock purveyor of pretty-in-pink stereotypes. The Bratz Party Plane with juice bar also made the cut.
We always thought Bratz' eclipse over Barbie apt. Barbie was inspired by a German doll named Lilli, actually meant for adult males. That our 21st-century improvement over the Nordic sex kitten was a multi-ethnic series of skanks with DSL lips just kills us.
The list for Best include the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty whose crowning glory was the oft-spoofed Evolution ad of '06, and the transformation of Super Mario's Princess Peach into an entity capable of making her own rescues.
So cheers to real girls who say no lip gloss and aren't afraid to stomp in puddles.
This doll with missing limbs literally blows Trailer Trash Barbie out of the running. BBDO is behind this attempt to get Singaporean consumers to pay more attention to the plight of Cambodia, which happens to be deluged with landmines.
"It's often joked that shopping is both the national sport and the national pastime [of Singapore]," ECD Farrokh Madon explains to AdCritic. "Parents looking for dolls for their baby girls were greeted with a chilling reminder of what life is like for Cambodian children."
The campaign includes a direct mail component in which company execs with children receive the doll (and others like it) at the office "since parents are the most vulnerable when it comes to kids," adds Madon. This is so they'll talk to other office folk about the grotesque gift.
The back of the box "tells the sad tale of a Cambodian Princess who loses a leg on the day of the Cambodian New Year," ultimately directing shoppers to Surprising Cambodia.
We can't help but wonder how Cambodian kids would feel receiving one of these for the holidays, and learning this is how they're being hawked in nearby countries. That would definitely give me hope for the future. Wouldn't it do the same for you?
In Lives Connected, 44 Peter A Mayer employees revisit their Katrina experiences. Far from the usual give-us-money pitch, the courage-tales nod to a tradition of legacy storytelling prevalent in New Orleans, with recurring themes weaving through each piece. The site launched around the same time hurricane season bowed out.
The NOLA-based agency calls this an "interactive data visualization" - a busy buzzword for "oral history" that we probably could have done without. But Mayer's shtick happens to be civic pride. Its slogan is, blatantly, "We wouldn't want to be anywhere else."
"[The purpose of Lives Connected] is to highlight the resilient nature of the agency and the spirit and dedication of its employees," explains a representative.
We're pretty sure somebody's going to shit all over this and claim it's an exploitation of high emotions and turbulent events. That's cool. But we liked the gesture and there's room in the Katrina narrative for more than just body counts and weepy stories. Those don't really help anybody or bring business back to the community. So nice job, guys.
We dig this video released by FCCFU.com which, to the tune of "My Country 'Tis of Thee," slaps the FCC in the wrist for being such tight-asses about what's available on mainstream media.
It flirts with tastelessness but gets the point across in a way that made us grin and not roll our eyes. Good stuff. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
Because actual Amazon-braving, dysentery-getting, foxhole-hovering journalists don't have enough to bitch about already what with crappy pay and self-entitled bloggers, Yahoo! fuels the fire with You Witness News, a beta service that magically converts any kid on the street with a camera phone into a paid member of the photojournalist elite.
The idea has potential considering a guy with a camera phone fully recorded the unfuckingbelievable horrors of that UCLA student tasing incident awhile back. We'll see where it goes. In any event, it'll be fun to watch the sparks fly among the watchdogs of the profession. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
On Tuesday the European Court of Justice smashed Germany's attempt to challenge a law banning tobacco ads in the EU. Health Commissioner Markos Kyprianou adds sting to the blow: "We now expect Germany to finalize the adoption in its national law as soon as possible, just as other member states have done."
This comes shortly after the decision to ban smoking in some public parts of Germany, following France and Spain.
Once among the most puff-puff friendly of continents, Europe's caught the anti-smoking bug. Someone noted "trying to walk down the street with a cigarette now lends an experience akin to racist reactions in the '50's."
A small salute to Matt at Caffeine Marketing for bringing the news to our attention. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
The Department of Defense takes a shot at drinking with That Guy, another one of those characteristically we-speak-your-language government campaigns that, in a wildly uncool manner, attempts to demonstrate how uncool it is to be a drinker.
The site feels a bit dated and we agree with Bill at Make the Logo Bigger: there's not much of an attempt to reach out to swig-happy women, and you know we've seen a few. It's also a little stupid to put a "Fun Stuff" section on a site that hopes to lay it on thick about the mals of the bottle. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
OK. We'll say this one more time. Are all you marketers listening? Good. There's a big difference between a teaser campaign and one that maliciously hides it's purpose for long periods of time. And, on top of that, denies its true mission when it's found out. What the hell are we talking about? Take, for example, the teaser billboard. It's usually some irreverent play on words and witty imagery that's then reveled to be part of a larger campaign a couple weeks later. Now take fake blogs. You've heard of them. Edelman knows all about them. They are the things marketers seem to think are the holy grail of this new social media thing. Let's get down with our customers. Let's "join the conversation." Trouble is, a fake blog - one that pretends (badly) to be all hip hop on our ass - is like an idiot that shows up at a black tie event wearing American Eagle cargo shorts and a t-shirt. The natural reaction to that is, "Who the fuck is that idiot?"
Lots of liaisons happen around holiday time. The Rumpus Room, Young Guns and some other noob-oriented groups get together for Make a Big Noise, a competition to promote fair trade worldwide. Anyone under 30 can enter.
Here is the requisite MySpace. We like Rumpus Room, we like Young Guns and we like their concept but the MySpace sucks. We're sure they know that though. Considering fair trade and all that good stuff are causes now embraced by the tech-savvy, super-trendy, organic smoothie-sipping post-Google crowd, we look forward to seeing what kind of entries slip out of the woodwork. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
The fine people at Dentsu Canada created this magazine ad that won Finalist caliber at this year's IAA Young Creative Competition in London. Peel the pro-Justin message off a love-starved fan's sign and turn her into a passionate anti-war activist.
If only it were that easy in real life. Though we're less jarred by the girl's transformation than the contextual change of the goofy-looking man with the open-chested shirt and necklace behind her.
Copy reads "Support a better cause" and is for the United Nations Youth Group. - Contributed by Angela Natividad