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In an ironic twist, the industry that is currently attempting to regain cred among, well, everyone, the advertising industry recently launched an ad campaign to promote Advertising Week using the oldest trick in the book: sex. Created by DDB Worldwide, the ad, which promotes the industry's upcoming Advertising Week in September pictures a faceless woman with in a red bra and black top with her breasts bulging outward and the copy, "Advertising. We All Do It," positioned directly beneath the woman's cleavage.
Predictably, many are up in arms over the ad citing it as sexist, moronic and tired. All true but, then again, when has sex ever been in danger of not selling something. Whether it's to titalate guys or to piss of women, sex-laced campaigns featuring scantily clad women whose breasts are spilling forth, uncontrollably, from of their tops unquestionably draw attention and get the media to write about it, thereby, accomplishing a campaigns primary goal of awareness despite negative reaction.
Indicative of the spineless nature of industry, neither the client nor the agency are stepping up to the plate in reaction to this ad with both sides referring inquiries to the other as if the ad were a pair of skid-marked underwear.
Bring sanity back to the saga, Bartle Bogle Hegarty Global Chief Marketing Officer and Director of Advertising Week Cindy Gallop told Ad Age, "I see the campaign as funny and entertaining. Advertising is something we all do without thinking. The fact is a woman opening an extra button on her blouse for a date is a very regular occurrence." You go, Cindy!
In a campaign created for child protection group, Pauseparentplay, and created by LA-based David & Goliath, parents are offered advice on how to protect their children from sex and violence saturated media using already existing tools such as television's V-chip, parent-focused movie and television review services, music review services and video game review services.
The campaign, which promotes the ParentPausePlay website, is done up with tab rag headlines such as "Suburban Mom Wipes Out Army of Bloodthirsty Ninja Assassins...with eject button on DVD player," "Parents Thwart Flesh-Eating Cyborgs...from invading their children's game console" and "Small Town Dad Disarms Chainsaw Wielding Psychopath...with skillful use of the remote.
Currently, the campaign is appearing in magazines with future plans for television. Councilman Vallone would love this campaign.
HBO has launched a new campaign in Latin America with the tagline "Si no fuera por HBO, no escaparíamos de la rutina (If it weren't for HBO, we would not escape from routine). The campaign, which consists of five (three of which can be viewed here, here and here) spots, shows a series of individuals having a bad day (a visit from auditors, a difficult legal case, a traffic ticket) but when they think of HBO, they realize life isn't so bad and there's always a way to get out of the routine.
The background music for the campaign is the David Bowie song "Heroes" which gets all aspirational. The spots are beautifully shot and, while HBO is certainly not going to solve all life's problems, the campaign does a nice job making a connection between powerful things that happen on the screen and powerful things that can happen in life.
The campaign was created by which worked with Trebejos Films. Future efforts along this vein are planned for the remainder of 2005 and into 2006.
UK-based Ryanair, last Friday, ran an ad that referenced the recent London bombings to promote low fares. The ad appeared in UK newspapers last week with the headline, "London Fights Back," an image of Winston Churchill and a speech bubble that contained an alteration of a famous June 1940 speech and read, " "We shall fly them to the beaches, we shall fly them to the hills, we shall fly them to London!" The Advertising Standards Authority received more than 100 complaints regarding the ad but Ryanair has refused to pull the ad.
Ryanair Head of Communication Peter Sherrard explained the move telling the Guardian, "We are trying to ensure that the terrorists don't succeed in paralyzing people with fear, which is their primary objective, and that people continue to lead their lives as normal and continue to fly."
While many might say blond hottie Gwenyth Paltrow needs no more association with the term bean pole as she, and all other Hollywood actresses, are skinny enough as it is. But, then again, when does a Hollywood starlet display rock solid common sense? While that may a bit too much over analyzation of the situation, Gwenyth has decided to become the spokesmodel for Bean Pole, a Korean fashion brand under the wing of Samsung. Bean Pole hopes Gwenyth's popularity will help make the brand a hit in the States. Recently, Paltrow also signed with Estee Lauder to face for its pleasures line.
Doing a search on Google, one might conclude the GAP should have chosen Michelle Williams, the Dawson's Creek star instead of Michelle Williams, the Destiny's Child singer for their new spokesmodel. While the GAP has acknowledged its intentions to use several celebs in succession for its ad campaigns, after just a few months of Joss Stone, one might conclude the GAP is suffering a seriously fickle case of ADD.
A Belgium ad campaign for travel site Eurostar is promoting a two-way, $69 ticket. Whether the price or the ad concept came first, you can be sure there were creatives at TBWA/Belgium and Hypervision running around the halls, shouting, "Dude, this is gonna fucking rock! Sixty nine Euros - I got the perfect concept!" The campaign consists of all sort of sexual 69 position imagery in print, outdoor and a viral site.
Lee Iacocca, who uttered Chrysler's tagline, "If you can find a better car, buy it," in 61 commercials during his reign as turnaround CEO for the troubled car company, is returning as pitchman in a set of new commercials. The deal calls for Iacocca to appear, initially, in three spots with compensation in the form of a Chrysler donation to Iacocca's diabetes research foundation along with $1 for every Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep sold for the rest of the year.
An ad for London-based Accurist watch company which ran in Glamour and showed a near naked woman reclining in a chair with her left hand in her crotch above the tagline, "Me Time," was banned by the Advertising Standard Authority which deemed it sexually suggestive and likely to cause serious or widespread offense to readers. Accurist, apparently not having seen their own ad, denies the ad has any association with masturbatory imagery. One reader who complained seems to think masturbation is somehow offensive and demeaning to women. It seems both sides are having difficulty facing reality with Accurist plainly denying a near naked woman with her hand between her legs might possibly be interpreted as sexual and the complainer refusing to admit we've progressed beyond the pre-Kinsey world where masturbation was taboo.
Of course, this doesn't mean masturbating women in ads is a good thing but let's not mince words. In the ad it looks like she is. And, there's nothing wrong with masturbation which is certainly not demeaning to women.
Accurist has a series of these ads on its website including another crotch grab ad.
Steve Rubel points to yet another not so well timed contextual ad placement. Today, London was selected to host the 2012 Olympics. In a Yahoo story announcing the news, a New York City Olympic bid ad appeared embedded within the article. Not that anyone's to blame as you can't always time your ad campaign to breaking news but it wasn't looking good for New York for quite some time.