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Alex Leo over at HuffPo wrote a post on five sexist trends the ad world just can't shake. The following tropes "use stereotypes and violence to prey on our most vile desires" -- and probably aren't going anywhere, despite "cultural outrage" and "personal boredom."
The list (in far less detail than Leo provides):
o Bondage. One awesome example is the ad at left, for Remy Martin's "Things Are Getting Interesting" campaign. Experience has taught us naughty domina girls sell more than liquor, however; they also push PSPs with whip-cracking finesse.
o Rape. Illustrated by this ad by Dolce & Gabbana -- which I think had more of a "gang-bang" in mind than a "rape," per se. It's a feathery-fine distinction.
"I'm drunk as hell and I'm not going to take it any longer!" Or something like that. One imagines that's the sentiment behind an new effort from alcohol industry watch dog Marin Institute called Free the Bowl. In response to what it calls "oppressive beer ads," Free the Bowl is a contest for 13 to 20 year olds which asks for the submission of videos aimed at asking brewers to stop advertising (wasting mony?) in the Super Bowl.
*old school sound of needle sliding off the record*
Um, say what???! Like that's got a snowball's chance in he...wait...isn't there a better metaphor for this? Hmm. That's as likely as an SUV getting manufactured in January. Oh wait. That's got as much of a chance of the U.S. government EVAR paying off its deficit. Hmm. That's as likely as Janet Jackson ever appearing in another Super Bowl half time show. Uh. That's as likely as George Parker not saying fuck for an entire day. That's as likely as an ad blogger never again using Donny Deutsch's Speedo picture. That's as likely as no one in the ad industry getting laid off in January. That's as likely as Advertising Age ever letting Steve Hall write for them. OK, this is getting boring.
- A whiff of Hugo Boss Femme may put you in a self-adulating, decidedly Diddy state of mind.
- Twitter marketing toolbox. *twirls finger*
- Contemplating facial hair? Upload your likeness here. For Schick -- which may actually lose customers that may have otherwise grown mustaches out before realizing they looked like Super Mario. (And not in an awesome, sliding-through-the-magic-pipe kinda way.)
- Bob Knorpp contemplates the legal saga of the Bratz. Complete with at least three hooker jokes.
- This HP Mini 1000 is brought to you by Vivienne Tam. We find them semi-sassy.
- Hey Facebook, "your dreams of avarice are fucked."
- Just another world record-breaking stunt.
- Cab driver advertises MBA credentials to customers. One good thing you can say about this economy: it makes everyone a marketer.
Beck's has launched a blog, Different by Choice. Yawn, right? But the way they've announced it and the way it's formatted is so annoying, it can't be left alone.
In an email beginning with "Hello Important Marketing Blog People," Beck's blogger Darius asks, "has anyone told you recently how hot you are?" and then goes on to explain how he "destroyed" 850 other potential bloggers vying for the job "'cos that is the way I roll." Ugh. Cue the Agency.com Subway video.
No sooner are we lauding the importance of honest, graphically intense PSAs, we get this from Strawberry Frog, "ChangingThePresent.org seeks to make the world a better place one gift at a time by connecting givers with 350 non-profit organizations offering 1,600 gifts and to a universe of 500,000 registered philanthropic organizations. The two :30 spots spoof traditional holiday commercials by poking fun of gifts like bow-topped cars by replacing it with a sheep adorned by a big red ribbon (supports the Heifer Project International), and a beautiful jewelry box containing a polio vaccine (UNICEF)."
Without belittling the very important objective this campiagn seeks to accomplish, it just feels like the wind has been removed from the sails. Or maybe it's just the sudden emotional shift from empathetic compassion to tongue in cheek humor. Both are good. Both can work. Let's just hope the two campaigns don't appear back top back which, of course, they won't becasue one is UK based and the other American. Just sayin'.
It seems public service advertising is the only kind which contains any sort of meaningful drama or that's allowed to depict reality without being glossed over by meaningless creative pontification. All other forms of advertising pale in comparison. Mostly because PSAs depict real life. And real life is a far cry from the kind of fairy tale life painted inside the cozy confines of an ad campaign.
British children's charity Barnardo's is out with a powerful commercial in which a girl is repeatedly subjected to the after effects of child abuse. As the commercial progresses, the girl's troubled life is repeated with increasing intensity until it culminates with the rapid fire reality of child abuse, a cycle that, if unchecked, is doomed to repeat tself over and over again until dramatic steps are taken to prevent it.
- Massive inked a multi-year, in-game ad deal with THQ. So far, the only game that will for certain feature dynamic advertising is Saints Row 2.
- Queen Rania of Jordan has won the first-ever YouTube Visionary award for her daily videocast. I kind of love her.
- Six Apart has launched something called the TypePad Journalist Bailout Program. Under it, about 30 ex-bloggers or journalists will receive a free TypePad Pro account, tech support, representation on Blogs.com and auto-enrollment into Six Apart's ad network. 300 applications were received in less than two weeks.
- "Diddy is so Sarah Palin."
- Close-up on crotchvertising.
- New buzz word: sexting! Almost as fun as nuggnut. (Click on "Nuggnut pledge" for awesome brainwashing action.)