It seems Americans really are a bunch of hypocrites. It's OK to be gay in movies and on TV. In fact, it's OK to have a gay character on almost every single show and movie. So much so that you'd think everyone in America was gay. Except if you watch American advertising.
When it come to advertising, as Bill Green points out, American advertising is still in the closet. He points to a Hyundai commercial which allows us to observe a potential rendezvous between two women. There's no sex. There's no kissing. There's no touching. The two woman aren't even in a scene together. But...the implication is they will, of course, be together in, perhaps, the biblical sense later on.
There's graceful. And then there's crass. Graceful is sending Gretchen Bleiler into space to the tune of Lou Reed' Perfect Day. Crass is sending Lamar Odom into space as if he were in an episode of flash Gordon.
Grace is illustrating an athlete's desire to continuously reach new heights. Crass is minimizing those desires to the notion a candy bar is the sole reason an athlete can reach new heights.
Grace is creating a commercial that is uplifting and beautiful. Crass is creating a commercial that is silly and stupid.
So while Bob Garfield was on a plane during the Super Bowl (yes, beyond all fathomable reason, this is true), thus missing the fact Google ran a commercial (only to review it a week later), Old Spice's "I'm on a Horse" should have been in the game. During this week's Beancast (summarized here), it was agreed the Old Spice commercial would have been a standout hit in the game. It poked fun at the whole metrosexual thing but in a way that was humorous to all.
But, back to what I was talking about. Bob Garfield, the industry's preeminent ad commentator was on a plane during the Super Bowl. On a plane as in not watching the game. As in not watching the year's biggest pantheon of advertising. As in not doing his job.
Hey, didn't some other brand just do the "your ass will look better if you wear our shoes" thing? Now Reebok's doing it. Or was it Reebok in the first place? We're too busy at a conference having fun to take the time to find out. And besides, why analyze an ad when it needs no analysis? A hot ass attracts eyeballs. And in advertising, that's half the battle. And it might even sell some shoes.
Now go buy some Reebok's so we can claim we know what we're talking about as opposed to appearing to be some sort of ad hack with nothing better to do than leer at women's buttocks like a Neanderthal who's been away from his woman on a long hunting trip.
There were no standouts,commercially speaking, in last night's Super Bowl. Unless of course, you believe USA Today's Ad Meter which ranked the Betty white/Abe Vigoda number one. Or if you believe the Mullen/radian6 Brand Bowl which, through social media comment and positive sentiment, gave top honors to Doritos (the brand, not an individual spot). Or if you place credence in Bob Garfield's watch-them-all-before-the-game approach then the top slot goes to Audi.
Or if you are a fan of Adland's Ask Wappling, the love went to Volkswagon's Punch Buggy ad. Or of you can't get enough of Make the Logo Bigger's Bill Green then it's Google's Parisian ad. Or if Hulu is your gig, then the top slot was Doritos to own for its consumer-generated House Rules ad. Betty White's Snickers ad and Google's search ad faired well there too. As did the hottie-in-a-tub Megan Fox ad for Motorola...which distracted us enough to mostly miss the VW Punch Buggy ad which followed. We know. Predictable behavior around here at Adrants.
Or if you can't get enough Barbara Lippert, Budweiser's Clydsdales or Bud Light's Asteroid. Or, well, she really isn't clear on which one she liked best. (In a later article, she named Google her fave.) Or if you're a commenter on Bob Garfield's Ad review, then honors, it would seem, should go to Google. Bob didn't even comment on the spot because, well, he watches all the ads (at least the ones that have been released), forms his opinion and files his story before the kick off. he misses in-game context and late/un-released commercials.
So social media is all the rage. Consumers are all over it. Marketers are all over it. And it's changing the way people and marketers communicate with each other and amongst themselves. Baltimore-based Carton Donofrio Partners wants to leverage this and has launched StopTheAdness, an "online laboratory where industry and consumers can collaborate on a new social contract for advertising."
On the site advertisers and publishers can sign a pledge that promises to help make advertising better by adhering to some practices and abandoning others. Consumers can post examples of "adness" (bad ads) and they can opt to play a key role in contributing to the future of media.
So here we go again. Someone claiming a big brand stole their idea for a commercial. Occasionally, this stuff has merit. Occasionally, it's just sour grapes. In this particular case, we're going with sour grapes. After all, it's not like showing a collage of images is a patented idea or anything. Although we will admit the Pepsi commercial is quite derivative of the original video.
Bryan Chang, who submitted both videos, wrote, "When ad agencies rip off work, is there an obligation to inform the client where the ideas are coming from? I imagine so."
What do you think?
As Sunday approaches I sit here with mixed emotions about Super Bowl advertising. Should I care because it's my job? Should I just enjoy the game like the rest of the world and boycott the lame ass idiocy that attempts to pass as advertising? Why can't I get excited this year?
Perhaps it's that I've written about so many Super Bowl ads over the past eight years, I simply can't get excited about seeing the same old stupidity over and over again. Go Daddy? Oh please. Another "men are idiots" beer ad? Gag. The eTrade babies? Make it stop!
Perhaps it's that I've heard everything there is to hear and viewed everything there is to view before the ads ever hit TV. There used to be an anticipation for something NO ONE could EVAR see until it appeared during the game. No longer. The ads are everywhere. And not just for journalists and bloggers. Many marketers toss there stuff up on YouTube well in advance of the game. So all that goes on inside my head during the game is a running commentary, "Yup, seen that. Predictable. Seriously? Yup, knew that was coming. Yup, that's as stupid as I thought it would be. Danica Patrick. Yawn. Guy throws a phone across a locker room. Check. Beer babes wrestling. Oh wait, that was pretty good! The Clydesdales. OK, not bad. Man sneaks beer into party under giant cheese wheel. Oh for fuck's sake. Talking babies. Talking animals. Monkeys. Can't wait until this fucking game is over so I can go back to watching some decent programming with ads that don't try so hard they shoot themselves in the foot before they end up in the can."
Perhaps it's laziness. Why go to the effort of blogging/tweeting/tagging/commenting/uploading ads when everyone else is doing the same thing. We used to care what Bob Garfield said. Does anyone give a shit any longer? Does anyone give a shit what what I have to say? And, no, I'm not equating myself to Bob Garfield. But does anyone really care what I have to say about the ads? Why is my opinion any more important than anyone else's?
Perhaps it's scheduling difficulties. I'll be stuck at a conference Monday after game day. While the rest of the world is blogging and bitching about the ads, I'll be slinging some mindlessly irrelevant blather on a panel about social media. And who really gives a shit about that? Super Bowl ad commentary or social media platitudes. It's like choosing between getting my left eye poked out or my right.
Maybe it's because the world has become so politically correct, the chance of me seeing anything interesting is about as likely as my chance of ever writing for Advertising Age. Giant breasted women in bikinis mud wrestling? Those days are gone. A gerbil shooting out of a cannon? Nope. A hot girl that says "throw it to me. I'm gonna be wide open?" Too offensive. Suicidal robots? Never. A Snickers kiss? Not a chance. A Salesgenie ad featuring Asians and Indians? You know the answer to that one. In our quest to become sensitive to everything, we have become a risk-averse, spineless, humorless nation afraid of everything.
OK, whatever. Follow me @adrants or @stevehall. I'm sure I'll have something ridiculously irrelevant to say about the ads during the game. And I'll be drinking. So it could be good.
Make the Logo Bigger's Bill Green takes a long look at that "gun reference" Nike ad featuring Kobe Bryant and Lebron James. Some are offended Nike would allow such a reference. Some, such as Lebron (in a hilarious contradiction), defend the ad claiming the notion it's a gun reference is ridiculous. Some, like us, don't give a shit and think people should move on and not read so much into stuff. Not you, Bill. All those other conspiracy theorists and cause group kooks.
Of course NBA players bringing their guns into the locker room isn't so smart either.
But seriously, give it a rest. Move on. There's nothing to see here. Go live your life and appreciate it. Don't waste it whining about advertising. Oh wait...
So now that CBS has OK'd the Tim Tebow anti-abortion ad, gay dating site ManCrunch wants in on the action. It's submitted a commercial to CBS for approval even though CBS, though they told Pop Tarts otherwise, claims to be sold out. Yes, it's the usual publicity stunt GoDaddy knows well and subjects us to every year.
In the ManCrunch ad, two men watch football then reach for a bowl of chips at that same time. Their hands brush against one another and, well, they go at it much to the surprise of another man next to them. Yes, that's pretty racy for the supposedly good 'ol family fun-focused Super Bowl but is it any more racy than other gay-themed programming on CBS?
Seems the two ads would balance each other out nicely. One touts a stereotypical conservative stance and the other a stereotypically liberal one. Come on, CBS! Let the battle of the viewpoints begin!
The ad is funny but only in a "I'm a straight guy that's OK with gay guys but don't throw it in my face" sort of way. Though funny, it's not the sort of ad that's going to go over well with actual gay men.