Perhaps during the last week or so while fast forwarding through commercials, you may have caught a peek at the odd combination of Rachel Bilson and a box of condoms. You think to yourself, "condom ads on TV...no big deal. After all, TV is rife with penile stiffening products, why not condoms too?"
Had you paused and rewound to watch the commercial, you would have seen Bilson who, stuck in a traffic jam, decides to hop out of her car, run over the tops of other cars to chase an 18 wheeler filled with condoms.
Oh wait. Had you actually paid attention while watching the commercial you would have realized it wasn't a commercial for condoms at all. Rather it was Unilever's U.S. introduction of the very questionably (for this country) named Magnum ice cream.
Writing on Strollerbaby, Rebecca Odes has an insightful take on the proliferation of brands selling products to young girls that are designed to make them look, well, less young. From padded bras to booty firming shoes, it would seem marketers are intent on turning 12 year olds into sexed up models.
Odes calls attention to a recent campaign from Skechers that promotes the brand's Shape Up sneakers for girls which, much like Reebok's ReTone sneakers, are designed to tone the thighs and butts of little girls.
And while Skechers says the campaign's message is "the same messaging as Michelle Obama's Get Moving campaign," Odes wonders why little boys don't need their thighs and butts toned as well.
We've written about this topic ad naseum wondering about the wisdom of marketers attempting to turn young girls into stripper-esque tweens and the industry's notion that using sex to sell is is a worthy business strategy.
What's the solution? It's simple. While sex and the use of it as a means of convincing someone to do something will never go away, marketers could very easily simply cease making sexualized products for children and stop glorifying and glamorizing a sexed up lifestyle to those under the age of 18.
In yet another sad confirmation the human race has lost its ability to appreciate humor, several cause groups have complained about a Sprint ad which ran several websites and newspapers Tuesday. The ad, which stated Sprint opposition to AT&T's proposed takeover of T-Mobile, features a man in a dress that looks like the one the T-Mobile Babe wears in the T-Mobile campaign.
A man in a dress! Now that's funny! Come on, people! But no. No one has a sense of humor anymore.
On complaint came from REC Networks Founder Michi Etre who is transgender and didn't like the ad. He issued a statement which read, in part, "We are deeply disturbed by an advertisement that was developed and approved in part by organizations including Media Access Project and the Center For Media Justice. While we do not view this as intentional transphobia on the part of MAP or the other organizations or Sprint, who purchased the advertising space, we feel that the depiction is still inappropriate."
Again. A man in a dress. What's next? Louisa May Alcott's Little Woman retitled because it offends midg...uh...little people?
The Angry Aussie, and man with many opinions about meany topics, has an opinion about the Diesel Jeans Be Stupid campaign. And it's far from a positive one. Check out his profanity-laden video in which he trashes anyone who has anything at all to do with Diesel Jeans. It's manufacturers. It's marketers. The people who wear them. And the people who think the campaign was on to something. Guess we're on his list.
This guest article is written by David Murton who has been helping companies build and maintain their online relationships with customers since 2006. He is also a professional writer and blogger, with a particular interest in the open source Drupal platform. On a more personal note, David is an avid piano and accordion player, drawn especially to music of the classical and romantic periods.
Lo, it is written: the first shall be last, and the last shall be first. And, with celebrities now increasingly following their own followers on social media - the world's hippest new hit series - Matthew 20:16 has come to pass.
But Twitter 'twasn't always such. Back in the medium's early days - say, back when your current vehicle had about twenty thousand fewer miles - it was common for celebrities simply to treat social media merely as an extension of traditional media. That is, as just another billboard to plug their next film, book, or show, or to announce their latest political cause or adoption of a developing country's child.
We'd like to know your thoughts on this one. A recent Budweiser ad centers on the story of a soldier returning home. In the ad, he first calls a friend and then his parents. When he finally gets home he is first hugged by his friend and then his family and other friends.
Some are calling this ad gay-themed. We say it is. We also say who gives a shit? Anyone, gay or straight, can shoot a gun and kill the enemy. But what we do give a shit about is the way Budweiser crafted this ad. Nebulous is a good word to describe the way the ad plays out.
As a man who might approach a woman in a social situation, would it behoove him to throw caution to the wind and scream out loud at her? That would seem to be the stance of those who are offended by a new Dos Equis ad which carries the headline, "Approach women like you do wild animals, With caution and a soothing voice."
Writing in AdWeek/AdFreak (it's kind of hard to tell the difference these days), David Gianatasio said the ad "not only offends women but adds an extra layer of insult by showing the world's least interesting Great White Colonial Man swaggering around in the brush with a pair of tribesmen at his side."
We beg to differ, David. A healthy dose of caution and soothing suavity is always advised when approaching women. After all, men certainly don't want to risk getting their head bitten off, a suffering which, sadly, is perpetrated upon men by women far too often.
Better safe than sorry. Always good advice in our book when it comes to interacting with the opposite sex.
Writing on About.com, Paul Sugget has published an article entitled What to Avoid When Assembling a Portfolio. His primary piece of advice is to avoid going for the simple, the obvious, the easy. If you've ever done work for the likes of Nike, Viagra, Victoria's Secret, Red Bull or Wonderbra, leave that work out of your portfolio. Why? Because, in his opinion, it doesn't require much strategy or effort to come up with creative solutions for those categories.
He claims Wonderbra ads are a dime a dozen writing, "Big breasts, and the outcome of them, is a very simple idea to get behind, and it's easy to be visually funny and verbally concise." Instead, he argues, "do ads for bland products or services that have no easily-identifiable or unique traits."
He suggests an airlines, dish soap, a wireless carrier and we'd toss in anything from the business to business category.
Additionally, he urges creatives to avoid creative that looks expensive to produce as it could cause someone to think you can't work on a small budget. he says to make sue you don't stuff your portfolio exclusively with popular forms of media, make sure substantive ideas outweigh glossy polish, don't include anything your not 100 percent proud of and always finish strong.
This is a conundrum we've heard millions of times before. A client comes to an agency and asks for "breakthrough" creative. Creative goes off and conceptualizes brilliance. It gets presented internally and everyone loves it. But just before it's ready to be presented to the client, someone, usually in account management (let's be honest here), says, "I like it personally, but somebody might be offended. Just tone it down."
And therein lies one of the biggest problems of the ad agency business. Agencies are asked and are in business to create marketing programs that, to use an overused phrase, cut through the clutter more than their competition can cut through the clutter. Sadly, many agencies are more conservative when it comes to risk taking than and health insurance actuarial agent. Which is to say, there is no risk taking at all.
Bob Garfield? Quit. Barbara Lippert? Fired. Lewis Lazare? Fired. Stuart Elliott? Oddly, the last major ad critic standing. What's going on here? Is there no value seen in advertising commentary? No credence given to intelligent analysis of what works and what doesn't in this business? Or have all the ad blogs and the proliferation of social media rendered the ad critic unnecessary?
According to Bob Garfield, the reason behind the exodus of ad critics, well, at least his, may be quite simple. It's pointless. When Bob left Ad Age, one of the reasons he cited for leaving was frustration. Another was disgust. He wrote, "...despite the best of all forums for evaluating ad strategy and execution, my core principles espoused over a quarter century (and codified in my book 'And Now a Few Words from Me') seem to have had little or no effect on the practice of the craft. I continue to be awed and humbled by the best of what the industry produces. But I also think billions of client dollars every year are being squandered by narcissists, con men, naifs and a number of blithering morons."
Well, he's certainly right about a number of things here. Chiefly, his last sentence which calls out the industry for being a collection of idiotic morons who refuse to learn from their mistakes. But is it really that bad? Are people in the industry really that moronic?