Oh the horror! The double standard! The blatant sexism! Wait. What are we talking about? Oh yea. Nudity in advertising. Put a few nude or barely dressed women in an ad and everyone cries OBJECTIFICATION! Place a few nude guys in an ad and the whole thing becomes a squirmy laugh.
Of course, the guys in this ad for the Norwegian Automobile Federation aren't quite the objects of desire we see in the usual "hot chick sells stuff" variety of ads but still. Where's the outcry? Where's the cause group supporting the rights of these men? Why are we laughing when we should be raging against the machinations of a clearly sexist piece of work? Oh the horror! Will someone please call a cause group!
Yawn... Oh, wait. Not yawn. This continuing Enfatico fuckery is just too precious to leave alone. Besides, like elementary school bullies, we in the ad industry simply can't bypass a chance to pick on anyone who, well, isn't - through an unfortunate confluence of events (or is it intentional idiocy?) - just begging for a lashing. And today's whipping boy is WPP's Enfatico. Crispin Porter Bogusky must be very thankful Enfatico has taken the stage.
- At left: a French mushroom ad! OMG cute. Caption: "Paris mushrooms: it's when they're in your mouth that they're the happiest." Go make them happy. Our resident expat PT Ford isn't so amused.
- Nothing starts the day off better than a kung fu drink ad.
- Dario at Invoke sent us this shot of the Newfoundland-based Hits 99.1 FM van.
- Worthless but interesting tag cloud tool. This one lets you pick fonts and colors. Pop in a URL, see what your homepage mentions most. (Adrants loves itself some Leigh.)
- Public School Intelligentsia learns us a new word: frumputante. Think cash-money bag ladies in Juicy Couture sweats. Streaky hair a plus. Ugh.
Because Coke's My Coke Rewards was performing dismally, some employees - all of whom were expressly forbidden at the outset - were asked to participate in the brand's My Coke rewards online promotions. Seemingly to boost activity on the site, the request seems to have backfired for employees who exceeded a pre-set limit of 2,000 points.
When one employee, Frank Grant, who did what he was told and participated in the program noticed he had accumulated more than 2,000 points and was made aware of the 2,000 point limit - likely buried deep within the fine print, he offered to return the merchandise he acquired from his points. Sounds fair enough, right? Wrong. Rather than rectify the situation in a normal fashion, Coke told Grant to resign or face getting fired. According to the Vellejo Times, many other employees faced the same situation.
Here's a wee throwaway video I took in the ad:tech press room, which is where we hole up from morning 'til the first party of the night.
Featuring Brent Terrazas, Steve Hall and Really Loud Guy Who Asks for Business Cards and Puts You On Annoying Mailing Lists.
Seriously. He doesn't even ask for your name. It's just "Miss, got a business card? I HAVE A NEWSLETTER."
While ad:tech Chicago's "The Role of Email in a Web 3.0 World" was mostly theory, I liked its feel-good flow. Moderator Christopher Marriott of Acxiom Digital got panelists comfortable without making viewers feel like they were sitting on the outside of an inside joke. It's a rare and beautiful skill.
Marriott acknowledged it was late in the day and told us up-front that the panelists were debriefed on his questions beforehand. As a result, he said, they came laden with slides to answer three major questions:
1. How might the nature of email change as it goes more completely cross-platform?
2. Can email coexist with the semantic web (web 3.0) ... or co-opt it?
3. What role will The Consumer play in creating web 3.0 email?
Before we get too deep down the rabbit hole, let's define web 3.0.
Tuesday night at ad:tech Chicago wrapped up with a keynote by author Clay Shirky, "Here Comes Every Customer: The Former Audience is Talking Around You."
The Big Idea, if intro speaker Drew Ianni is any authority: "The internet is the most important thing to happen to the human species."
That's a pretty high and mighty manifesto. Upon taking the stage, Shirky tried conveying the same idea with more precision -- and a much higher word count.
Here we go again. Apparently, it's OK to blow up stuff in TV commercials (see Verizon's Michael Bay commercial) but OMFG, show a fleeting glimpse of a natural human body part and the country freaks to high alert, places a blindfold over the collective eyeballs of every kid in the country (nudity is bad!!) and launches the cause group machine.
Yes. This is America. Nudity is bad. Nudity is something to be shunned. Natural beauty? Screw that. Put a potato sack on! Cover that God-given beauty. Sex is bad. Sex dirty. Sex is nasty. Sex should never be thought about. Sex should be shunned.
Four years ago when Keira Knightley starred in King Aurthur, the studio had her breasts digitally enlarged for the movie's promotional materials. Knightley, now 23 and starring in the film The Duchess, refused requests from studio heads to toy with her chest, claiming she's happy with her body the way it is.
Oh yes, we all love period piece cleavage, what with the era's corseted gowns and plunging necklines, but every woman should be able to feel completely comfortable with her own body without society dictating that they be a C or D cup.
Knightley, who caved to studio breast enhancement requests in 2004, put her foot down this time. Last year she told Britain's GMTV, "I would love to have breasts! I'm never going to get them. I'm naturally who I am."
While we'd all love to be perfect, we know perfection doesn't really exist. And creating the illusion that it's attainable only spawns unrealistic goals that can do serious damage to a person's psyche.
Son: Dad, what's that?
Dad: It's an ad.
S: But it just looks like a plain piece of paper.
D: No, it's an ad.
S: Well what's it an ad for?
D: I 'm not sure but I know it's an ad.
S: How do you know?
D: Because there's nothing offensive about it.
S: So ads can't be offensive?
D: Oh no. Not at all. And that's how I know it's an ad.