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.
Flying in the face of its own ad acceptance history, Google has refused to accept an ad from the Northeast Impeachment Coalition and YaliesForImpeachement.org which calls for the impeachment of Vice President Dick Cheney. Writing on Daily Kos, Ralph Lopez reports Google explained its denial of the ad in an email which read, in part,"At this time, Google policy does not permit ad text that advocates against an individual, group, or organization. In addition, this policy does not permit the advertisement of websites that advocate against a group protected by law."
Directly conflicting with that statement are ads currently running on Google that do, in fact, relate to the impeachment of Cheney along with ads that call for the impeachment of President Bush, anti-Bush t-shirts and other ads that run counter to the statement regarding Google's policy against accepting ads which "advocate against a group protected by law."
In a less threatening take on the "--or die!" manifesto marketers have become so fond of, Piers Fawkes suggests that if you're not going to go out there and change the world, you ought to just go home.
At the IIR Future Triends '07 conference on Monday, Fawkes gave this presentation -- pointing to Kashi, and that Omnivore's Dilemma guy, as well as other examples -- to illustrate what trendy forms our social assumptions about "going green" take.
"Green is not a trend, it's an issue," he stressed, adding that ours is the best job in the world because we can inspire companies to do good.
In a recruitment ad, India agency Concept Communication wants your testicles. Yes, that's what they want. In fact, the headline of a recent recruitment ad reads, "Testicles Wanted." After that not so subtle reduction of potential employees to nothing more than a body part, the copy goes on to empathize with advertising professionals who are apparently sick of being called names such as "postman" (must be an Indian thing) and "person without balls." Somehow it's still perfectly OK for the agency to recruit a sack of bloated balls instead of an actual person.
Postini just released a few updates that include contextual email security. If your email, or an attachment to it, has a social security or credit card number in it, the message will be automatically gobbledy-gooked as it wizzes through the tubes.
If this all doesn't go to shit, Google will probably debut Postini-esque security offerings for wikis, blogs and instant messages, says Google rep Adam Swidler to Internet News.
We know Google's really married to this "contextual" thing but we just wanted to point out "contextual" can give rise to both appropriate and inappropriate algorithmic activities. Observe the dumb-fuckery resulting from bad (or maybe just inopportune?) contextual advertising: 1, 2, 3, 4 (and we could go on).
Eric over at Ideas on Ideas wrote a detailed post about how Microsoft could reposition itself to appear less stodgy and scary for the consumers of tomorrow -- er, today. (Or yesterday?)
A few key points include positioning around power, cutting the crap and embracing the consumer, which are everyday proverbs we should all know by heart at this point.
The piece also includes some notes for Steve Ballmer.
Here's our advice: stop scaring us, Ballmer! This is the kind of crap that lost Howard Dean his bid for president.
Also, maybe Microsoft could learn a little about loosening up by examining its fan spoofs.
You can't call yourself a new media advertiser if you're not hip to the jive, and ad:tech is a great place to brush up on this crucial skill-set.
But it can be tough to keep up. With that, I give you the 2007 edition of the Official ad:tech New York Ad-Jive Dictionary. Use this knowledge well, and you're sure to be the life of the break room.
Better still, you'll confirm your CEO's conviction that burning $5K to send you to an ad conference was a very intelligent idea.