A long time a go in a place far, far away, a certain class of people were once not so affectionately known as retards. Now, far more affectionately, if a bit sterile-sounding, they're known as mentally-impaired/challenged/disabled. As well, there once was a class of people known as cripples. These very same people are now known as the handicapped.
In the 19th century, doctors coined the terms midget and dwarf to describe people whose height was other than normal or proportional. These height-challenged (oops, did we just make up a new one?) are now known as little people. Doctors even threw around the terms moron, imbecile and idiot to describe people of varying (and low) IQ levels. Now, not so much.
There are so many confusing messages emanating from the cover of this Lands' End catalog, we simply don't know where to start. First, there' the very curvaceous back end of women juxtaposed just beneath the title of the catalog, Lands' End, as if illustrative of some sort of early American west conquest for land but with a tone far removed from that depicted in the Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman movie Far and Away.
Then, there's the young boy tugging on the women's spandex-like skirt with a cute, semi-mischievous look on his face. Is the woman his mother? Is the boy just some random kid grabbing at some random woman's skin tight, bathing suit-like skirt? Is he just doing what all men eventually do, literally or figuratively, when they grow up? Or is this some art director's realized wet dream?
Creativity is subjective at best but we think we'll have overwhelming support when we say the newly released London 2012 Olympic logo sucks. On the other hand, creativity is subjective at best but also we think we'll have overwhelming support when we say the newly released 2012 Olympic logo is brilliantly infused with modernity of motion and the mastery of motivation. You choose. We can't.
Viewing the logo, designed by Wolff Ollins, initially caused an immediate WTF? Letting the logo sink in while viewing the illustrative brand video behind the logo causes an entirely different reaction. The support for the brand direction could have easily gone down the ill but well traveled road of Olympic fist pumping, rather it quite eloquently examines what motivates humans to achieve. Interestingly, it wasn't for quite some time, we realized the logo's imagery visually represents the numeric date 2012.
OK, we get that this VW Beetle commercial is supposed to somehow transcend the fact the thing's a car and is something far more...well...different but tagging a commercial about a car with "Some people don't really want a car" while showing the car leads us to say, "Well, yea. I don't really want that car. I'll just take that really cool, over sized VW Beetle balloon the guy's carrying around over his head." All of this beautifully crafted confusion comes courtesy of DDB Barcelona.
Two print ads accompany the spot, one of which illustrates very simply how the VW Beetle can brighten up your day. The other conveys the thrilling rush a vehicle can cause.
Occasionally we see work from agencies that falls short and disappoints. Earlier this week, we took a look at the work gluelondon did for the Royal Navy. It was a site that let visitors send naval-themed personalized messages to their friends which would be delivered via email or mobile. Well, let's just say the site was a bit kludgey and took forever to load even loading several times in the middle of its presentations. Usually this work just lives on continuing to cause disappointment without a care from either the client or the agency. Not this time.
It's a back. It's a knee. It's a head. It's a butt. It's a distended stomach. It's a gigantic breasts. It's a...wait...should we have to work that hard to figure out what a visual is in an ad? Of course not but in this case it really doesn't matter because this is an ad for a skin care product. And back, knees, heads, butt's, stomach and gigantic breasts all have skin. In this ad for Vaseline Intensive Care Cocoa Butter, the marketer keeps us guessing which, when you think about it, is one great way to get people to pay attention to your ad.
We like gluelondon but we're not that impressed for their recent work done for Britain's Royal Navy recruitment efforts. Basically, it's a website that lets you send personalized video messages to your friends. Well, not all that personalized. From several videos of the Royal Navy doing their thing, one is chosen, the sender writes a message, chooses a name from a name list and then emails the thing to a friend or to the friends mobile.
Sadly, the site takes eons to load. It's one thing for a site to go through a slow pre-load which then results in a stellar experience but this site goes through a slew of very slow pre-loads, some of which stutteringly occur in the middle of the presentation which, itself, is far from stellar.
Targeted to 15-24 year olds, famous for their lack of attention span, we question how many will make it far enough through this site to actually click the Send button.
When we heard there was yet another Axe viral...uh...branded entertainment thing floating about, we were fully prepared to hate it, figuring it'd be more of the same, lame tickle/dress/undress/ogle the hottie trivialized trash. But after viewing Let the Game Continue, a multi-part full-blown movie that follows the travails of a guy whose car has gone up in flames and the escapades he experiences with various women on his way home, we were truly stunned by its entertaining goodness. We watched the whole thing...every bit of it...all the way to the end. That in and of itself earns this effort very high marks from us.
Since this is a commercial, Axe does make several appearances in the movie but they are fully part of the story line and do not detract from but actually add to the the subtle humor that carries through the film's plot. Damn, I just called it a film. Hate that. Anyone for Filmercial?
Thank you, 7 Eleven! Finally, we can feature an ad campaign that objectifies men. Rather than scantily clad women, we have scantily clad men vamping for 7 Eleven in Australia to promote the chain's frozen Slurpee. With gleeful abandon, the men in the ads are given the full beefcake treatment and portrayed as poolboy, pole dancer and maid. Contrary to what one might assume, this reverse double standard-ish campaign was not created by a bunch of giggling female creatives sitting around the conference room table but by five guys at Leo Burnett Melbourne...who probably also giggled madly while sitting around the conference room table. This ought to keep us editorially balance for at least another year, don'tcha think?
When we heard Philips was a new logo for its environmentally friendly -focused product line called The Philips Green Tick, we thought "Eew." "Disgusting." "Gross." Then we looked at the logo, saw that it looked nothing like a tick and said, "Huh?" The thing looks more like an ear of corn with a circle around it than the disgusting creature that love to borough itself into your skin.
Certainly, the word tick has many meanings but the sound a clock makes or a check mark or an informal unit of measure were not what immediately came to mind. Perhaps, unlike in Northeast America, they don't have the nasty blood sucking creatures in the U.K where this campaign originated. Perhaps, as is usually the case, we're talking out of our ass and making a big deal out of nothing. You choose.