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.
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.)
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."
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sarah Hutton, a writer for Our American Shelf Life and a contributor here on Adrants was featured in a video, shot by Amanda Mooney (also an ASL writer and Adrants contributor) about Facebook chat.
Sarah tells the story about how she like to stay in touch (stalk?) with a friend abroad using Facebook chat because her friend is never on AIM or iChat. She also offers perspective on chat, friending and social media in general.
- The new Honda Accord is so lame that RPA had to use an image of its own creative team, gawking at the car, as part of an outdoor wallscape.
- American Express has launched Members Know, an "insider" travel community that, in trademark AmEx style, manages to be both elitist and bland. Also, there are INSIGHTS. And TAG CLOUDS. And the word BETA.
- Interactive firm ROKKAN redid the Gnarls Barkley site to reflect the duo's dynamism and harmony. (You know, like OutKast, but without Andre's mood swings.) The site includes a pretty awesome pop-up video player. In fact, it's pretty awesome all around.