Tables Turned on Advertising Industry Sexism

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On the way out from her AgencySpy gig, SuperSpy minces no words lashing out at guys and sexism in the workplace reversing things a bit so men can endure the rampant objectivity apparently experienced by women in the ad business. For some, her point of view may be seen as harshly bitter but I'd say it's not very far off base in some instances.

She writes, "I'm going to find the first junior employee that I can and comment on how nice his jeans fit or better yet, tell him my own sexual fantasies and see if he bites. Yes, he probably will, but the power I exert in doing it, in making him feel uncomfortable for a brief moment, small, at jeopardy for his job (that brief sweet vengeful second), will be some sort of justice for all the ad guys who have come onto me and the chicks I know or don't even know in the work environment."

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by Steve Hall    May-20-08    
Topic: Agencies, Opinion



Travails of Miley Cyrus Illustrate Need For Destigmatized Sex

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It's probably just me. No, I'm sure it's just me but I'll ask the question anyway.:Is there something strange about Miley Cyrus jumping immediately from that Vanity Fair/Annie Leibovitz "scandal" -- where she was portrayed as, well, a bit more sexy than our sexually repressed society can handle -- to an appearance in the Body by Milk campaign, where she sports...white stuff all over her lips?

One could argue it's just a natural transition to the next level of, um, participation in the oh-so-seedy activity of -- OMG! -- engaging in dirty sex acts. But, that would be gross so let's just leave that stuff on the table.

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by Steve Hall    May-15-08    
Topic: Campaigns, Celebrity, Opinion, Trends and Culture



Pepperidge Farm Gets Racy. Or is it Racist?

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In a lengthy analysis of a recent Pepperidge Farm print ad for the company's Milano cookie, Beyond Madison Avenue in which such details as "soul mates" versus "soulmates" are examined, the writer points to another take on the ad, from 360Nu.com, which...wait for it...calls the ad racist. Yes. A racist cookie ad.

It seems there may need to be a WTF category added to Adrants to house all these idiocies. However, before immediately tossing this off as yet another case of Chronic Overthink, the 360Nu writer offers interesting commentary on marketing, advertising and packaging as they relate to the reflection, creation, perpetuation or racial stereotypes.

Using two examples, angel food cake with white frosting over black cake and Devil Dogs with black ...stuff over the white, a corollary is made between the white over black as positive and the black over white as negative (devil).

Whether or not you decide to file this away in your own personal WTF category, you should at least read the piece firts. Then you can label the writer a crack pot or an insightful genius.

by Steve Hall    May-15-08    
Topic: Opinion, Strange, Trends and Culture



Converting the Converted, and Other Tricks of the Light

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On Wednesday at the One Show Festival, design guru Brian Collins illustrated the power of branding with a history lesson about pirates.

Or rather, just their flag.

Back in 1748, if you had the misfortune of being a single bobbing ship at sea when a tattered vessel with a skull and crossbones crossed your path, you knew instantly what to expect.

"You're fucked." (Collins, verbatim.)

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by Angela Natividad    May-12-08    
Topic: Brands, Creative Commentary, Industry Events, Opinion



Darfur Cause Aims for Paris Hilton-Like Publicity

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Forrester Senior Analyst Jeremiah Owyang has written a concise summary with insightful commentary on the Louis Vuitton brand-jacked Darfur t-shirt situation. Briefly, an artist, Nadia Plesner, created a t-shirt showing a Darfur child holding an LV bag and a little dog.

Imagery sound familiar? It should and that's Plesner's point who explains, "My illustration Simple Living is an idea inspired by the media's constant cover of completely meaningless things [ie. Paris Hilton]. My thought was: Since doing nothing but wearing designer bags and small ugly dogs apparently is enough to get you on a magazine cover, maybe it is worth a try for people who actually deserves and needs attention."

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by Steve Hall    May- 5-08    
Topic: Brands, Cause, Celebrity, Consumer Created, Opinion, Social



'Hey Whipple, Squeeze This' Will Add Four Hours to Your Workday

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A few months ago, a senior copywriter recommended I read Hey Whipple, Squeeze This by Luke Sullivan. I was incredulous, mostly because I've been swinging off Ogilvy's left you-know-what since Confessions of an Advertising Man.

(Getting into Ogilvy is like reading Atlas Shrugged for the first time. It will fuck with your mind.)

Just to be nice, I bought Sullivan's book, and I'm really sorry I did. Because now my walls are COVERED in strategic doodling. I am developing ideas I wouldn't have allocated brainpower to six months ago.

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by Angela Natividad    May- 1-08    
Topic: Creative Commentary, Good, Opinion, Publishing, Tools



Not That You'd Know But Facebook's MorphMonkey Has Chlamydia

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AdFreak reports The American Social Health Association is using...what else...social media to educate people about the STD Chlamydia with a Facebook application, MorphMonkey. Created by Duval Guillaume, the application, lets people create love children by combining their images with a friend's.

In a bit of reverse nastiness, the campaign's tagline is "spread it to beat it."

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by Steve Hall    May- 1-08    
Topic: Games, Online, Opinion, Social, Strange



Mobile Phone Replaces Cue Cat in Magazine Interactive Feature

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Well, it's better than Cue Cat. Rolling Stone and Men's Health are testing a program whereby readers take pictured of ads and txt them to a number which returns offer information from the advertiser. Technology from SnapTell enables image recognition so snapped images are matched with the correct offers.

Not a bad idea. After all, it's definitely easier to simply take a picture than text a URL for more info. Nice way to track ad viewership as well.

Cue Cat attempted this years ago with a clumsy device that would plug into one computer and be used to scan a bar code in the ad. A web page with product information was returned. With near everyone owning a cell phone these days, there's no need for a separate device such as the Cue Cat.

by Steve Hall    Apr-28-08    
Topic: Good, Magazine, Mobile/Wireless, Opinion



Beer Commercials Deceive Aliens, Happier Planets Sought

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OK, seriously. Just what is it about beer that is supposed to make life perfect? How did beer, swill such as Miller Lite no less, become the answer to all of life's ills? Seriously. It's liquefied wheat and barley injected with air. That doesn't sound like a life-altering panacea yet marketer after marketer after marketer insist a sip of beer will get you the girl, turn your life into a posh existence, help you one up your friends and turn you into some sort of superior being with qualities only found in, well, beer commercials.

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by Steve Hall    Apr-28-08    
Topic: Commercials, Creative Commentary, Opinion



From Gopher to Twitter, the Internet Fuels Socialization

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Before the Barbarian Group VIP party which followed the ROFLcon conference held last Friday and Saturday at Cambridge's MIT, the crew from Our American Shelf Life, Amanda Mooney, Amy Yen, Sarah Hutton, Will Wheeler, laura Nelson, Maria Garcia and Patrick Richardson along with myself, met for dinner at Boston's Sonsie restaurant on Newbury Street.

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Between sips of martinis, bites of salmon and appetizer goodness, there was talk of Facebook, Twitter, the origin of Adrants, MySpace angles and why social media really isn't anything more than a shift in the way people use readily available media to interact with others. All of which you will soon see on video.

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by Steve Hall    Apr-27-08    
Topic: Opinion, Social, Trends and Culture








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