Just as the proverbial Mr. Smith went to Washington to clean things up, it seems top civil rights lawyer Mr. Cyrus Mehri is on his way to Madison Avenue to clean up the ad industry's diversity mess. A top civil rights lawyer, Mehri conducted a study of diversity in advertising agencies and found it woefully out of whack when compared to diversity in other business sectors.
While the study is still underway, it seems Mehri may already be setting his sights on an industry he says has only paid lip service to the issue with hearing, conferences and hiring efforts. He claims the problem isn't lack of interest in advertising among minorities as some have surmised, rather the seeming unwillingness of agency management which he sees as a closed country club filled with white men who just don't want to address the problem.
Political satire comes with the territory when running for any political office and more so when it's an executive office position such as president or vice president. Regarding the content of political satire, some would argue it's disrespectful and disingenuous to the person and the office they hold or hope to hold. Others would argue, it's all fair game because they are political figures and, like celebrities, different rules apply when it comes to potentially besmirching the person.
With McCain's choice of Sarah Palin for the office of Vice President and Barack Obama in the running for the office of President, the country has two firsts (oops, one) on its hands. A women is running for Vice President (sorry, forgot about Ferraro. no one's perfect) and a black (OK, half) is running for President. We've seen the spoofs. Goofy pictures of Obama in his bathing suit or sporting a 'fro as a kid; pictures of Palin in a red, white and blue bikini holding a rifle and all sorts of other stuff.
Over at Gawker, Nike is taking a beating for a new slogan it's testing in a new campaign targeting women in Europe. The tagline, "Here I am" is humorously pointed out to have, well, and interesting relationship with the parent tagline,"Just Do It." The relationship? The actionable "do it" portion of the parent tagline is seen to be a bit, well, awkwardly demeaning when placed next to the more submissive "Here I Am."
So is Nike telling the bulk of its audience to just do it with submissive women in Europe who will just lay down and say "here I am?"
Occasional Adrants contributor Jennifer A. Jones, VP PR & Social Media Strategy for Fletcher Martin and author of Speak Media Blog, has reviewed Andrew Keen's new book The Cult of the Amateur: How Today's Internet is Killing Our Culture and she doesn't like it.In both video and in written form, Jones takes Keen to task over his beliefs that bloggers have had no impact on journalism and don't add any value. Arguing against Keen's assertion, Jones asks us to note it was bloggers who first covered the LonelyGirl story, bloggers who outed Sony's fake PSP blog, broke the Alberto Gonzales scandal and the whole Rathergate thing.
Anyone who thinks the wording of the erroneously sent Carat documents about impending layoffs was, in any way, different from other agencies' documents on the same topic is an idiot. It's always about saving face. It's always about making the agency look good in front of the client. It's all about positioning to protect the business. There isn't an agency out there that hasn't thought of or written the same thing Carat did in those documents.
But here's the thing. The words in any agencies' documents are almost always set aside when two human beings - the one doing the firing an the firee - sit down face to face in the same room to address the dirty reality of layoffs. They are inevitable and there is nothing anyone can do about it.
In yet another "homage" if you will, a brand has "borrowed" the imagery of an artist for commercial gain. In this case, it's 1800 Tequila giving nod to the work of artist Charles Burns. Eric Reynolds has the image here. Once he saw the ad, he contacted Burns who said the ad was a complete surprise to him though, perhaps in a nod to his own work, he added "makes me wanna drink some tequila."
If you're going to have your work "stolen" the least it should do is work in the form for which it's been "stolen" for. According the artist, himself, the work seems to have accomplished that task. Burns' work can be seen here.
UPDATE: Dead As We Know It, creator of the work, defends:
Actually this campaign was created by my agency, Dead As We Know It, using many pieces of art from artists around the world. This was just one of a large number. If you go to www.1800tequila.com you can see all of them. Eventually there will be 1800 pieces. Jorge Alderete, of Mexico City, has a great portfolio encompassing a wide range of work, possibly influenced by Charles Burns as well as all the cartoon and graphic work that Charles Burns was influenced by. By no means did we originally try to get Charles Burns or someone to cop his style. We saw a cool CD cover that Jorge did and acquired another piece in the series. Check him out, http://www.pocko.com/pockopeople/artist/jorge-alderete/
Seems to be a month of people accusing people of thievery, really sad statement on the state of things. And, just as my agency wasn't ripped-off by Amalgamated for the Virtual Drinking Buddy, we did not rip-off Mr. Burns or one ad in this extensive campaign. So, let's shut-up and get back to the noble profession that we are known for.
In an internal letter obtained by TechCrunch, SVP Bill Veghte tries to explain WTF Microsoft was getting at with its Seinfeld campaign, which kicked off with this really weird ad.
Excerpt from Veghte's letter:
Today, we are kicking off a highly visible advertising campaign. The first phase of this campaign is designed to engage consumers and spark a new conversation about Windows - a conversation that will evolve as the campaign progresses, but will always be marked by humor and humanity. The first in this series [...] aims to re-ignite consumer excitement about the broader value of Windows.
Writing on AdPulp and in his TalentZoo column, Dan Goldeier makes, correctly, the argument most campaigns are no longer given the time they need to build momentum and to enter the psyche of the consumer long enough to mean anything. He asks the question, "are ad campaigns given enough time to work these days?"
The answer is a resounding no and that, shortsightedly, been the case for a very long time. No one wants to, or is afraid to, invest the long periods of time it takes for a campaign to truly build. Everyone in marketing is too fickle and they are more concerned with advancing their own careers than advancing the success of the brands on which they work.
These things happen. Everyone's done it. It's just too easy what with all the mailing group features in Outlook that make it so simple to send email to entire groups of people with one click. That's apparently what Carat Chief People Officer (can we stop with these idiotic titles?) Rose Zory did today when she sent an email about upcoming layoffs intended for select senior management to the entire agency.
This Cutwater-created commercial for Levi's is stupid. Yes, it's not polite to stare and objectify by either sex but come on! We are all human. We are all sexually attracted to one another. It's natural. It's innate. It's normal. Just admiring the beauty of another human doesn't mean we are all lecherous sex maniacs deserving of a body slam. Sometimes it's just nice to look at and appreciate pretty things. It isn't always about dirty thoughts
And by the way, the pretty things who get looked at, male or female (which, by the way, that stupid PC ending in the commercial is just stupid), shouldn't always assume the onlooker is out for anything more than the pleasure one derives from looking at a beautiful painting in a museum.
Cut the scrap, Cutwater. Your sunglasses idiocy was better than this!