We're firm believers in that if you're going to devote your life to something, even something as "banal" as advertising, you should commit. Let yourself go. Fall in love with it. Learn it inside and out.
After reading Adland over the weekend, we're thinking, here's a book that finally lets you do that.
It's really hard to find a book on advertising that doesn't come off as worshipful and jam-packed with debauched ad men and images of half-naked women, or overly critical and almost caustic. These are all attempts to simplify the profession and shove it into a box it doesn't really belong in.
We get a sense that author Mark Tungate has as much of a love/hate relationship with advertising as anybody. Without ignoring or embellishing those feelings, he examines the industry as a chartable landscape with a unique history.
Once again, advertising has caused an uproar over nothing. CNN's Mike Galanos covers the new (and really great if we do say so ourselves) Clearasil campaign and is upset over the ads which show a guy trying to pick up his friend's mom and a daughter who says "You should see me now" while her mother shows naked baby pictures of her to her boyfriend. While Galanos prudely prattles on, Melissa Henson from the Parents Television Council talks about how marketers use too much sex to sell and Debbie Wolf from the People Against Censorship says the moral minority shouldn't control what gets seen on TV and everyone should just lighten up and laugh.
The Hardee's Flat Buns commercial has caused an uproar in Tennessee with Tennessee Education Association President Dr. Earl Wiman (who you've got to hear) saying, "It is unbelievably demeaning." The ad shows a female teacher dancing seductively in front of a class that raps about the positivity of flat buns which the teacher, of course, does not possess. The commercial is part of a campaign launched earlier this summer which included the Flat Buns website.
Wiman wants concerned citizens to complain to Hardee's, saying, "I am asking that all of our members and the public who care about children and their education to contact their local Hardee's to voice their concerns."
There's one sure thing that can be said about Britney Spears' performance at last night's MTV Video Music Awards. She delivered exactly what everyone expected; a horrifically embarrassing performance that had to have Kevin Federline rolling on the floor laughing uncontrollably. Practically tripping over herself throughout the limp, lifeless, lip-synced performance, Spears began the performance looking as if she'd just stumbled out of a bar drunk searching for something to hold on to so she wouldn't fall over.
From there, it didn't get any better. Several years ago - before Federline, before kids, before physical and emotional meltdown - Spears would have been all over that stage exploding with high energy dance moves. But at least twice last night, she had to be hoisted up and down from a riser like an overweight kid trying to climb out of a swimming pool.
With the ubiquitous YouTube video, Leno appearance and online video site, famed (at least if you watch movies and TV) Fred Thompson has entered the 2008 presidential race. We're not much into politics finding ourselves oddly aligned to some things Democrat and some things Republican but not comfortable with Independent status and certainly not or right or left wing crazy...at least in real life. So it is with confusion, we are drawn to Fred Thompson who appears to be as Republican as they come but also pretty laid back about a lot of things.
Who says advertising objectifies women? Certainly not The Ranch which is very kind to women keeping them nice and hot as opposed to letting them get cold like the beer they serve. How compassionate. How understanding. How forward thinking. How evolved! This objectification of women is just a bunch of hogwash (as I guess people who'd go to The Ranch would say), right?
Writing on Advertising Age today, Bob Garfield, returning from vacation on the Adriatic coast "where hordes of young Eastern European women sashayed to and fro in overflowing bikinis and high heels" reducing him to "a slack jawed cliché of arrested adolescence," wonders if the Heineken DraughtKeg ad is the most sexist beer ad ever created.
After wading through Garfield's extensive hyperbole and detailed analysis of this commercial, he concludes, writing, "Berlin Cameron United has essentially animated the "perfect woman" joke. Whether intentionally or out of pure animal instinct uncivilized by the most basic notion of respect, they have reduced half the world to a man-servicing beer tap."
Fair enough but we wonder if women sometimes inadvertently play right into this girl-as-boy-toy perception as this girl seemingly does here becoming a keg stand play-thing for a couple of guys who, yes, did run out and buy the new Heineken Draught Keg. Innocuous college antics? Or precursor to sexism?
George Parker, the source of choice for getting anything Julie-oriented spun right, has eloquently informed us that Roehm's lawsuit against Wal-Mart was just thrown out of court by a judge in Michigan because she didn't file in Arkansas.
Thank gad it's over. Hopefully. In other news, isn't that picture at left awesome? It's part of what happens when you've got an illustrious career in advertising under your belt: spare time. And, cupped like so in creative hands, that can be dangerous.
An Adrants reader who wishes to remain anonymous for fear the reader's common sense might offend the twisted logic of most in this industry who love to spew meaningless blather in pitches and on their websites wrote:
"My personal POV is that there have to be big clients out there who are so sick of hearing marketing blather and buzzword blah blah blah from agencies that they would welcome a straight approach like this:
'Hi. I'm SomeGuy from ABC Marketing Shop LLC. I'm not here to BS you. Why you might want to talk to us:
ELLEgirl.com and Warner Bros. Consumer Products recently bowed ELLEgirl goes Tweety Chic! campaign, a contest inviting wannbe fashionistas to create a tunic design for Tweety. Powered by user-generated content company Brickfish, the contest will award the winner with a tunic of her (or his, we assume, for for so inclined) design created by L.A. stylists Cristina Ehrlich and Estee Stanley of Miss Davenporte along with a weekend trip to Beverly Hills to stay at the Mondrian hotel, a gift bag filled with $500 in Tweety goodies and the...wait for it... chance to blog about the weekend on ELLEgirl.com.
Two years ago we'd just call this an online contest. Now we have to call it a social media-enabled, consumer/user-generated/created content/media campaign. Remember when an integrated campaign was dubbed "synergistic"? Yup. Everything's the same. We just have new blatherific labels for the same old shit.
Anyway. You still here? What are you waiting for? Beverly Hills? $500? And a chance to be a blogger? What's holding you back?