Just what is up with America and its refusal to accept the fact sex is natural and people do it all the time? Why do we shun it in movies and advertising while we gleefully glamorize and applaud violence and rampant stupidity?
Video games. Michael Bay movies. The Saw series of movies. All celebrate violence for the purposes of making money. And people love it. And spend billions on it. And rarely complain about it but sex...oh no. God forbid people actually celebrate the natural, biological joy of sex without coming off as some sort of perv trying to terrorize and sully the minds of poor little children.
Why does it seem every ad created in non-English speaking countries consists of nothing more than a big ass photo and tiny logo or product shot? Oh wait, we get it. They want us English speakers to understand their ads as well. Or at least be able to convey the message within countries that may have several different dialects making copy unable to be understood by all. Or maybe it's just laziness. Or a shortage of copywriters.
Mo matter. Many of these copyless ads are quite good and do a fine job at delivering their message without the unneeded baggage of overly pompous verbiage and self important overtones which do nothing but further confuse the message with needless puffery.
Rumor has it yesterday was a holiday. Know what it was? ...No? Good rule of thumb: if in doubt, check Google.com to see what the world's most popular search engine did with its logo.
Those expecting to see, I don't know, an explorer rubbing his hands together, or the ominous silhouette of a ship, or natives cowering in fear, were vastly disappointed. Google has no love for the directions-challenged dude who mistook the Americas for India. And it's not alone: Berkeley observed Indigenous People's Day, and Venezuela celebrated the Day of the Indigenous Resistance.
What'd Google celebrate? Paddington Bear's 50th birthday.
A decidedly safe choice. Paddington never hurt anybody. Well, except for that one time he "poisoned" his birthday guests with Marmite. But even that rang cute, not devastating.
Money Shot, Butchered
May 8, 2005: When Tiger Woods made that famous 16th hole shot, leaving the Nike golf ball hanging on the edge of the cup, swoosh visible for two long seconds before dropping in, the ad industry speculated wildly over over how Nike would turn this moment into a commercial. Well, three weeks passed, nothing was released and the industry gave up hope. In the meantime - actually, the day the shot occurred, Joe Jaffe, pointed out this perfect opportunity for Nike and created a spec spot on his own. Simply and without un-necessary editorializing, Jaffe's version illustrated the miraculous moment and ended quietly with "Just do it." It took a fantastic sporting moment, which needed no additional explanation, and commercialized it beautifully.
December 6, 2007: Hey kids! Guess what? If you study hard and get good grades, guess what you'll get? No, not a college scholarship, sillys. That would be too boring. No, if you get good grades on your report card, you'll get a Happy Meal coupon on the card that you can use to get fat...uh...have a free lunch.
Yea, people, you read that right. In-school advertising's idiocy has spread to report cards. Yes, report cards. For covering the paltry $1,600 printing cost of Seminole County Florida's 2007-2008 report cards, McDonald's was able to place the coupon on the report cards of kids who received all A's and B's. Yes, you also read that right. Only smart kids are allowed to get fat.
In what appears to be nothing more than slapping the Green label on Bank of America's Keep the Change program, Citizens Bank has launched the Green$ense Campaign which pays customers ten cents for every electronic transaction they make but only up to $10 per month and $120 per year. Even without the facade of "greenery, Bank of America gives up to $250 per year with its program. And people don't even have to be green to get the $250.
Of course it's all to motivate people to bank electronically which uses less paper which, yes, is an admirable "green" effort. But, seriously, the real reason any bank would motivate its customers to bank electronically is to cut overhead (by hiring fewer tellers) and increase profit.
With cutesy headlines like "Being eco-friendly just got eco-nomical" and "The environment is like a bank account. Every little bit helps," the campaign rolls out in print, radio, outdoor and television.
If you've been reading Adrants for a while or if you've worked in the ad business for more than a day, you are well aware sex plays a big role in advertising. You are probably also aware, or should be, the phrase "sex sells" really isn't all that true all the time.
While everyone likes to create a hot ad featuring hot people who spew endless double entendres every once in a while, it's not always the right direction to take for every brand and target audience. Many times a sex-laced ad can turn people off and do more harm than good to the brand.
Keepin' It Realtor, a blog devoted to rewarding realtors for being true ground-floor creatives, is objectively awesome, if only because you've sat one too many times on the face of a grinning stranger who's plastered himself all over your park bench.
I used to be partial to the "great wings" guy, but Mr. Lamb at left really takes all. Wondering whether realtor ads grow more conservative -- or just more insane -- as the economy whirls down the porcelain funnel.
- Doritos is holding another CGM contest for the Super Bowl. Ooh, but there's a twist: win $1 million if your spot becomes the FIRST EVAR! consumer-generated ad to take No. 1 in USA Today's Ad Meter. (Here's what won last year.) Entries welcome 'til November 16.
- Given that people and dinosaurs walked the earth at the same time,* it's totally probable dinosaurs caught the social media bug from its Homo sapien homies. Isn't Facebook, like, 200 million years old or something?
- Bill Gates in a condom ad! No, not really, but that penis makes a resonant impression.
"We just keep saying 'Maverick, Maverick, Maverick' until that's all they hear!" snaps a fictional McCain campaign strategist. "It's not that hard." Because why write a jingle when you've got a word with the force of a heavy blunt instrument -- a word voters will remember long after all the other propaganda's melted together?
Dubbed "A Fly on the Wall," this :33 bit of masterpiece theatre was allegedly funded by Jeff Goodby and Rich Silverstein in the flesh, then uploaded onto YouTube from their own computers. Well, maybe not the latter.
Not the first "maverick" bitchslap we've seen in recent days. I'm just glad they didn't use children.
More where that came from, and good stuff too, though all this blatant Obama-loving has begun alienating some potential voters.