This is the perfect time to use George Parker's BDA acronym which stands for Big Dumb Agencies. Adrants reader Lauren tipped us to a story in AdWeek about Omnicom's John Wren touting the holding company's "non-traditional" work.
The story miffed here a bit and she wrote us, "Congratulations Omnicom and welcome to the digital age. This article really bothered me because it seems like the advertising trades are so obsessed with covering any bit of news coming out of holding companies that they are missing the real news, the real trends and maybe even the cool interactive work that's being done now, and not in 2006. And (gasp) maybe, just maybe it's not the holding companies that are ahead of the game this time..."
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.
Now here's something you wouldn't generally expect to read on Adrants. After all, we're one half horny male ad slut, one half dystopian ad tyrant but when we were pointed to Amalgamated's website as an example of advertising's boys club hubris, we couldn't leave it alone. Yea, the site's been that way for a long time but we're too busy looking at actual work to check out every agency's site on a regular basis.
This site is so over-the-top, too-cool-for-school and testosterone-laden, it makes Mad Men look like an AWNY convention on steroids...uh...progesterone. Who do these guys think they are? Just check out the imagery on the site. Could it be any more packed with stereotypical pompousity? Even setting aside the quaintly anachronistic portrayal of men and women in the office, the whole things reeks of grandiloquent pretense.
After watching all nine web opera-style ads composed of three different narratives, we finally picked up Douglas Coupland's The Gum Thief.
The narrative style of the book maintained a weird fidelity to the ads -- segmented between Roger, his co-worker Bethany, and Roger's novel-in-progress, Glove Pond.
Every once in awhile, you get another voice -- Bethany's mom, some malicious Staples employees, or Roger's bitchy ex-wife. Sometimes you get an experimental scenescape involving buttered toast. And for a brief, completely insane moment, you get a story in a story in a story.
It appears the NFL is still sprinting as fast and as far as it can from another wardrobe malfunction with the apparent solution being the older the rocker, the less likely they'll be to even consider exposing the crinkles that lay beneath their clothing. Unlike Janet Jackson, who exposed some fairly fresh looking breast flesh four years ago at the Super Bowl, it's unlikely this year's half time artist, Tom Petty, will leave any possibility his not so young chest - or any other body part - will be seen by the world's eyeballs.
Yes, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, a band that was popular something like 200 years ago will take center stage for Super Bowl XLII February 3 at the University of Phoenix Stadium. Stay tuned for our review. Last year, you hated what we had to say about Prince. Just imagine what will have to say about this guy once he takes the stage.
While Jerry Sobara Furs, according to some quick research, certainly seems to be a real company, celebu-blog Jezebel took a look at the company's latest ad in the December issue of Vogue and wonders if PETA was involved. Positing the ad could not possibly be real, Jezebel writer, Moe, says "I mean, I know fuck-all about fashion, and I know you don't make gold-colored fur jacket with gold buttons and gold bric-a-brac trim. And if you do that, you definitely don't force the model to stand against a bronzy-gold wall and leaning on a gold paisley chair with a mustard-gold gloved hand.
Humorously, the writer also wonders what the motive was behind the casting of the...um...not so beautiful model in the ad asking if Sobara "put out a call for 'pre-op Celine Dion, only 50-75 percent uglier?'" It goes on from there. And we thought we were harsh.
Following intense negative reaction to its Camel No. 9 campaign which likened the brand to a fashion accessory, RJ Reynolds yesterday announced it would cease all print advertising in 2008.
Downplaying the Camel No. 9 furor, R.J. Reynolds spokeswoman Jan Smith said the cut is "an effort by the company to enhance and sharpen the effectiveness and efficiency of its marketing programs." Hmm. We just threw up...a tiny bit...in our mouth.
Getting more truthful, Smith added, "Obviously tobacco industry issues are in mind with every decision we make. A result of this is there should be less controversy over cigarette advertising in magazines and newspapers, because we won't be doing it."
Japanese bra maker Maruko is getting witty in a new Asatsu-DK-created campaign that fixates on the bronski, the act of getting one's face smooshed between a pair of breasts. While certainly a pleasurable experience, the two guys in these two ads look more like they've endured a Holocaust camp than the pleasures of a big pair of soft, fleshy breasts.
This is certainly a new addition to the long list of quirky approached bra makers have taken to get their product noticed. Wonderbra has proven its ability to confine breasts in motion with a spoof of the Cadbury Gorilla commercial and the fact their push up bras make women's breasts so big they cause problems. Playtex has asked women to submit funny stories about their experiences with their bras. Vanity Fair has playfully used lighting tricks to cover the female nipple. Chantelle Push-Up bras push up more than just beasts.
Sloggi just bares as much ass as it can. Bravissimo gets people past the over D cup stigma with properly fitted F, G and GG bras. Hanes signed Ghost Whisperer star Jennifer Love Hewit, the only woman who is as equally obsessed about breasts as men are. Victoria's Secret has gone the route of glamorizing the bra to the point it deserves its own television spectacle. And U.K. bra company Shock Absorber created a website where people can go watch breasts bounce.
Please, We've Seen It All
The average consumer can't go through a day without seeing 3,500 commercial messages. That's a hell of a lot of clutter for one individual to sift through but that's the reality of today's advertising marketplace. From guerrilla marketing to all forms of "street furniture" advertising to human sandwich boards, advertising is inescapable unless one were to move to the Moon. Even there, one could probably see the screaming lights of Times Square when Jenna Jameson yelled, "Visit my website! Buy my videos!"
With media fragmentation comes advertiser's use of that fragmentation in the increasingly difficult war waged to win the valuable consumer eyeball. This fragmentation has given way to more unique forms of advertising that fall into the guerrilla marketing space but even these efforts are getting tired. Once novel, tactics such as forehead advertising, invertising, advergaming, dogvertising, adverblogging, blogvertising, bloodvertising and bravertising are now old hat. Other methods such as school bus, in-school and police car advertising are considered only out of financial desperation. Layer on top of that more recent whacked social media efforts like PayPerPost and clearly, the model is hurting.
- Can't we just enjoy a happy Barbie and Ken Christmas without depressing PSAs? Apparently not.
- Writing on Advertising for Peanuts, Jim Morris thinks the best ads are the ones that capture "the quiet power of a genuinely human moment." He might be right.
- Y&R has scooped up the $55 million Jenny Craig Account. Direct response and celebrity management factored heavily in the decision. JWT handled previously.
- Black Friday's online spending was up 22 percent to $531 million. Cyber Monday is expected to surpass $700 million.