We've Come A Long Way
While we all might get a chuckle or two out of watching a bunch of women dressed in bridal gowns digging for cash inside a wedding cake in the middle of Times Square, female copywriter, Veronica, writing on her A Big Fat Waste of Time weblog, thinks WE's Bridezilla and its promotional campaign degrades women and portrays them as brainless gold diggers. Aside from that fact that's the point of the show and there'd be no show if the brides didn't act like that, Veronica writes, "Sure those kinds of women exist in the world. There are a lot of Black guys in jail, too, but I think we reached our quota on those kinds of movie roles a long time ago, don't you?" She hopes the whole thing wins the AWNY Grand Ugly Award.
Always pushing limits and questioning normalcy, Dov Charney's American Apparel and its advertising campaigns continue to walk the edge with strange statements like "Women initiate most domestic violence, yet out of a thousand cases of domestic violence, maybe one is involving a man. And this has made a victim culture out of women. See another ad here.
For Your IE's Only
So, today, Mitsubishi launched their cool-ish Yahoo page take over to promote the new 2006 Eclipse. By using the a,s,d,w keys, visitors can drive the car around the Yahoo page before heading to the car's microsite. It's engaging enough as page takeovers go but we have one concern. It's hard to believe that most marketers, especially a supposedly savvy marketer like Mitsubishi, still think Internet Explorer is the only browser worth designing for. You see, we use Firefox here because, well, it's just, like, way better than Explorer. We also spend our entire day writing about advertising. You'd think Mitsubishi would want those who write about advertising to easily and without need to fire up another browser, view their page takeover creative. Apparently the 10 to 20 percent of us that use Firefox don't matter. Actually, maybe that's a good thing. Those that use Firefox also use it because most of this fancy stuff doesn't work with Firefox and we like that little "feature" just fine.
Not Very Amusing
Charter is promoting its $39.99 per month broadband phone service with a not so great spot that take the "laughing all the way to the bank" pun overboard. Aside from unfunny creative, why would anyone with cable use a $39.95 per month broadband phone service when they can just hook up with Vonage broadband for $24.99 per month?
Charter did one thing right though. The call to action in the spot is an 800 number instead of a website. Good thing. That $39.99 price is nowhere to be found on the Charter product page. All you get is pointers back to the 800 number. Is it really that difficult to list prices so people can make decisions without having to wade though layers and layers of phone menus just to be placed perpetually on hold?
Hippie Goes Hip-Hop
Later this month. Coke will launch a campaign to introduce its new calorie-free drink, Zero. The centerpiece of the campaign will be a remake, created by Crispin Porter + Bogusky and shot last week in Philadelphia, of the classic "Hilltop" spot which featured the famous song, "I'd Like to Buy The World A Coke" which also introduced the tagline, "It's the Real Thing." The new commercial is being labeled "Chilltop" and the song will be sung by G. Love.
Fast Company's Ryan Underwood isn't too thrilled with the song's new lyrics which have, as he writes, "about as much personality as the mahogany table around which they were surely penned."
Not For Kids
P & G has ended its Secret Sparkle Body Spray ad campaign targeting children under 12 following an edict from the Children's Advertising Review Unit which claimed P & G disregarded the organization's guidelines on advertising to children. CARU guidelines state "products inappropriate for children should not be advertised to children. This is especially true for products labeled 'Keep out of reach of children.'" Stretching the boundaries of common sense, P $ G created a product for kids, labeled it "Keep out of reach of children" and then advertised it to kids. Hello? Is there a brain in the house?
Perhaps to distance themselves from Ashlee Simpson's less than capable singing abilities and the bad press it caused, Candie's will now feature Hilary Duff in its upcoming ad campaign to promote a line of junior girl clothing and accessories. Duff will appear in print and television ads for the line which will be distributed exclusively at Kohl's stores.
Kohl's parent company president, Kevin Mansell claims Duff will "resonate with today's young shoppers." Duff was named one of People Magazine's 50 most beautiful people in 2005. Her new movie "A Perfect Man" is in theaters June 17, and her newest album is in stores Aug. 16.
Chase has just launched a website supporting the launch of their new consumer credit card with blink, a Mobil SpeedPass-like credit card feature. The site lets users learn more about blink and interact with this innovative card first-hand, showcasing its purchasing speed and convenience through a concise demonstration. The site is part of the blink summer market-by-market roll out and will continue to evolve as awareness and acceptance of blink increases. By evolve, Chase means more and more brand names that accept blink will be added to the site. The site was developed by T3 Labs, in partnership with mcgarrybowen, JPMorgan Chase’s agency of record for branding and advertising. T3 Labs is a new division of T3 (The Think Tank).
No sooner do we finish debating the merits of sexually laced advertising targeting youth when we stumble upon this announcement over at AdJab stating Jennifer Love Hewitt will now be posing in Hanes ads for teenage boys so they can release their pent up...um...let us rephrase...so their girlfriends and sisters can aspire to JLH beauty by wearing Hanes panties. Love Hewitt will appear in ads for the underwear maker which debut later this month. While Adjab notes this is Love Hewitt's first foray into women's wear, we can point you to a little amusing item we wrote a couple years ago that might just debunk that fact. OK, so it's a little joke but it's still fun.
If you're tired of those drug that dedicate 75 percent of their time to the ridiculous disclaimers that must legally be attached to ads that promote drug products, you can now wallow in the lush beauty of drug brand advertising. That's right. You remember branding. It's those emotional, feel good campaigns that say nothing, sell nothing, yet seem to have this ability to allow marketing managers to look at post buy analysis and say, importantly, "We moved the needle."
Merck will spend $20 million to convince us it's people the company cares about, not the billions it makes off drug sales. Ogilvy & Mather created the campaign which includes television, print and online.