Asian expert Tian has taken Old Navy to task for their apparent lack of cultural knowledge in the creation of several t-shirts which butcher culture such as associating the Japanese rice wine sake with the Great Wall of China and describing a black t-shirt with images of Asian men in black masks with a Ninja star as a Karate t-shirt rather than, correctly, a Ninjutsu t-shirt. Seems America's great melting pot has forgotten the rest of the world has many varied, distinctive cultures that don't wish to be melted away by American marketing tricks. Tian does tell us Old Navy customer service reponded kindly and apologetically when the Sake t-shirt was brought to their attention writing, "It was not our intention to cause any offense. Please accept our apologies for any concern created by our product."
If Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has his way and takes over the Six Flags amusement park, he says the park's advertising and marketing need to be retooled and isn't sure he'd keep the famed dancing geriatric, Mr. Six on board in future ad campaigns. Doner Advertising Creative Director David Banta says Mr' Six scores well with moms and teens in consumer advertising awareness studies but Snyder thinks a more direct marketing type approach should be taken. Come on. Say it ain't so. We love the old guy.
John Brock points us to a Radar piece on luxury toilet paper, how it's taking off in Europe and how may or may not in America. Granted the so-called luxury market - those folks who pay obscene amounts of money for luxury branded stuff when normal stuff would do just fine - is growing rapidly and Toilet Paper World President Kenn Fischburg says the notion is "not dissimilar from enjoying different kinds of wine, a chardonnay versus a cabernet," we're not buying it. No one wants to wipe their ass with a Gucci handbag.
Gawker points to a questionable image used in a Comcast ad promoting its high speed internet service. As Gawker eloquently headlines, "We Know the Internet Is for Porn, But Still." Hmm. It's kinda like that snowball facial ad for Vodaphone that ran last year.
Sears is moving its account from one WPP Group company to another, After 43 years handling the account, Ogilvy & Mather will relinquish the account to sister agency Young & Rubicam, which has worked on portions of the account since 1993. In a twist that questions the point of the review in the first place given today's agency conglomerates, O % M employees who will be left behind after the October 1 hand off, may end up moving to Y & R to handle the account.
With the launch of a new campaign, Nike has made official the mini-trend towards celebrating less than stick figure sized woman. Following Dove's much talked about campaign, Nike has launched a series of print ads that celebrates big butts, thunder thighs and tomboy knees. The big 'ol booty is pushing aside the anorexic runway model and Ms. Magazine Founder Gloria Steinem is very happy about it telling Ad Age, "It is a change that women and some men, too have been agitating for 35 years. I spent 15 years of my life pleading for ads that reflected our readers by age, race and ethnicity. We could demonstrate that women responded better to ads that were more inclusive of them, but they just weren't coming." The campaign comes from Wieden & Kennedy
Atari will host a graffiti-thon street festival on August 24 to promote the release of it graffiti-based game "Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure" by designer Marc Ecko. At the event, held August 24th on 22nd Street between 10th and 11th Avenues from 12:00PM - 8:00PM, 20 artists will spray-paint 48 by 8 foot replicas of New York's blue-bird subway cars.
A lineup of graffiti artists, from the notorious COPE2 to T-KID, who first started writing on trains as early as 1974, will spend the day doing full color murals on the vintage trains. Other participating graf writers include Dash, West, Ces, Sonic, Iz the Wiz, Min, Duro, Wane, Wen, Dero, Cycle, Smith, Lady Pink, Doc, Kel 1st, Mare139, Crash, Daze, Ghost, and the Tats Crew.
Derogatory headline aside, Jessica Simpson realizes all her fans are not stick-figured, tiny little size 1 and 2 chicklets (who is?) and, according to her spokesperson, include "girls from 90 pounds all the way up to 300 pounds." With that realization, Simpson has launched a line of plus-sized jeans for women available through Avenue stores. Sizes range from 12 to 26 and cost about $60.
Joe Jaffe, upon seeing BMW's RFP letter to agencies, offers the manufacturer some advice. His advice comes in the form several bullet points along with a bit of self promotion for his new book which we really, really want to read but the post office, apparently, can't seem to find us. One of Jaffe's suggestions. While we haven't seen BMW's letter ourselves, Jaffe feels BMW is being "delusional, greedy, unrealistic or all three. You want an 'agency' to reach a 'broader, more diverse audience' on roughly half of last year's budget; you're looking for a shop that can create integrated marketing aimed at a niche audience; you feel the need to turn $1 into $5 and state that 'if you don't have a track record of creating stuff like this, this is probably the wrong opportunity for your agency' - come on, why stop there: if it were me running this pitch, I'd demand that the 'shop' come up with a 3-step program to cure both cancer and AIDS, and while we're at it, let's throw in ending poverty in Africa, which seems to be all the rage right now. Aim high my friends, aim high." Point taken but on the flip side, why aim low?
Recently, Miller beer tapped an all star line up of hip hop personalities to promote its Miller Genuine Draft brand. Rappers like Common, Q-Tip, Cypress Hill, Talib Kweli, and Big Boi of Outkast kicked off the 1st ever "Flavor 2 Savor" concert series as an "acknowledgment of the influence, and pivotal role that urban music has played in shaping popular culture."
Culture critic and self professed brand bouncer Bucky Turco wonders why these black community icons would knowingly work with Miller, part of SABMiller which was recently criticized for its treatment of black workers. Turco said in an email to Adrants, "MC's like Common, Talib Kweli, Q-Tip, and Cypress Hill constitute a strong part of the black intelligentsia and they tend to be brand conscious. It is surprising that the leaders of black thought in hip hop would be so supportive of Miller since it is owned by SABMiller, (the SAB standing for South African Breweries), the world's 2nd largest brewer, and the 3rd largest company in South Africa behind DeBeers and Anglo American Corp. SAB has often been criticized for exploiting its black workers and, for their intense marketing efforts to the poor black working class, especially miners. Something tells me no one told these guys what the SAB stands for."
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