Oh, the horror! Here we go again. It seems the blogosphere - that square, internally mirrored box in which opinionated blowhards spew forth mindless drivel, their commentary ricocheting off the inner wails of the enclosed box for every other blogger to see and respond to while everyone else outside the box ignores it like children in a sandbox at a backyard cookout - is up in arms...up in arms, we say, over...over...wait for it...comments bloggers have made about - and as part of - Microsoft's new "people-ready" slogan.
Wouldn't it be nice if, when you walked in to Victoria's Secret (as a guy) and hot, lingerie-clad models where there to help you choose the perfect thing and cleavage-revealing bra for the women in your life? Of course, that's never going to happen because some cause group would get all pissy accusing Victoria's Secret of treating women like sex objects. Oh, and the fact shopping would be the last thing a man would be thinking about in a situation like that.
But, it's perfectly OK for (sort of) hot looking men to dress up in red boxers to help women shop for the man in their life as French clothing store Celio does. No double standard here, right? Oh wait, their French. They have an entirely different set of rules when it comes to the perfectly normal attraction each sex has for the other. In fact, rather than hiding, they celebrate it.
For all of you who think we do nothing around here but heap praise on agency-of-the minute Crispin Porter + Bogusky, we have news for you. We have a new favorite agency and you've probably never heard of it. It's in Cleveland - which many a New Yorker may never have heard of either - and it's called Brokaw. In existence for 15 years, the place just drips with wit.
Tossing political correctness aside, Brokaw created a campaign for Horton Crossbow which proudly proclaimed "Hunters really aren't so different from other environmentalists. We just like to keep souvenirs." Then, the agency released a 15th anniversary video highlighting its work but, eschewing all sense of normalcy, self-mocked itself with a montage and song that was so bad it was good. Following that, it did some really nice work for the Cleveland Art Institute.
One could look at this eBay auction promising a marketer complete access to this person's non-personally identifiable information for a 30 day period so as to razor target the marketer's advertising as a joke or one could realize this is exactly what the future holds: people divulging detailed information about themselves and selling it to the highest bidding marketers in return for a promise to view all their advertising.
Back in April, we reviewed a new campaign from Iceland vodka maker Reyka Vodka. It was quirky. It was different. It was really good. And, as we wrote, the campaign was "oddly transfixing in a 'wow, this doesn't look like an alcohol ad' sort of way."
Upon receiving a sample of the product and, of course, drinking it, we are pleased to report the vodka itself is oddly transfixing in a "wow, this doesn't taste like your usual, everyday vodka" sort of way. Simply, it's really great stuff. It has a flavor but, as the ad campaign touted, it's distinctly vodka tasting as opposed to some of the high end vodkas that have been "smoothed" so much, they taste like nothing at all.
The folks over at Commercial Alert don't like the fact Jack Daniels has signed on as a major sponsor of AMC's upcoming series Mad Men which will display the brand and the product prominently in the show with a character getting drunk on the stuff at a bachelor party in the first episode. Drunk at a bachelor party? That never happens.
With Mad Men taking place in the sixties, the height of the three martini lunch, to us, it makes all the sense in the world for liquor sponsors to be all over this show and for the show's characters to, heaven forbid, get drunk once in a while. Remember, this was the era of pre-political correctness, pre-cause group, pre-well, everything. People had unfettered, guilt-free fun back then.
While women might hate getting cat calls from construction workers, men, on the other hand, love any attention they can get and stench-maker Axe is taking advantage of this in a new Bom Chika Wah Wah promotion that has females dressed as construction workers cat calling men as they walk by. Ask A Copywriter was one of the unfortunate (fortunate?) to experience this ritualistic name calling and snapped a shot of the lovely cat callers who were dressed in denim shorts and stylized construction vest tops.
A long time a go in a place far, far away, a certain class of people were once not so affectionately known as retards. Now, far more affectionately, if a bit sterile-sounding, they're known as mentally-impaired/challenged/disabled. As well, there once was a class of people known as cripples. These very same people are now known as the handicapped.
In the 19th century, doctors coined the terms midget and dwarf to describe people whose height was other than normal or proportional. These height-challenged (oops, did we just make up a new one?) are now known as little people. Doctors even threw around the terms moron, imbecile and idiot to describe people of varying (and low) IQ levels. Now, not so much.
Propaganda and advertising play in the same sandbox. With that in mind, we re-examine Forbes' longtime "Join the Movement!" marketing stint, where images like this and this are used to trigger a taste for the concrete jungle that recalls a certain Slavic brio (1, 2).
The Economist kinda does it, too.
When did red become the new green? Are they two sides of the same coin? Oh God, is that what Christmas is all about?!
Dear Wieden + Kennedy (and most other ad agencies too),
Please repeat on the conference room white board 100 times: A commercial is not a film. A commercial is not a film. A commercial is not a film. A commercial is not a film. A commercial is not a film. A commercial is not a film. A commercial is not a film. A commercial is not a film. A commercial is not a film. A commercial is not a film. A commercial is not a film. A commercial is not a film. A commercial is not a film. A commercial is not a film. A commercial is not a film. A commercial is not a film.
Or at least stop your PR people from referring to :30's and :60's over and over again as films. They're commercials. They're ads. No matter how beautiful or creatively fueled they are (and your latest work for Nike certainly is, indeed , beautiful), they're ads. They're just ads. Sorry. No amount of creative puffery can change that. Most movies aren't even films let alone :30 and :60 bits of creativity that sell stuff.
So, please, can we lay off the inflated sense of ego and just realize all we do in this business is sell stuff? We can glamorize it all we want. We can give it fancy names. We can even go to Cannes a week after "real" filmmakers do to make ourselves feel as though we are they're equals. We are not. They make entertainment. We sell stuff.
The Pompous Assholes From Adrants
(who, at heart, are really, really nice people who totally understand the business of the press release which, for better or worse, must follow a format that is far removed from how normal human beings speak but, for better or worse, we are stuck with and make fun of from time to time which then causes unrest because of that fun-making which, in turn, causes us to profusely apologize to the very nice human whose job it was to write the standardized information delivery transferal, all of which, for better or worse, rightly earns us the the title Pompous Assholes)