In her recently released book, Danika:Crossing the Line, IRL racer Danika Patrick offers up this truism about her work in advertising, writing, "Here's the upshot. Sponsors such as Honda, Peak Antifreeze, and Secret deodorant have stepped up and are using a sexy woman racecar driver as a unique marketing tool. Let's face it, guys don't sell antifreeze quite the same way I do."
Danika approaches the whole notion of sex symbol with a refreshing nonchalance, saying, " Why not use whatever assets I have? I'm confident in myself as a driver. It's obvious I'm a girl, so why not use it as a tool?" Her statement does, though, open up the age old debate about whether one should use their sexual assets to get ahead in life. But is being a hot looking girl or guy really any different than being the best major league pitcher or the most famous Hollywood actor in terms of using those qualities to further one's life? All of us have various assets in our arsenal and we all use them to achieve our goals in life. Why should the asset of physical beauty be looked upon with less favor as if being beautiful automatically makes one dumb, desperate and lacking in higher intelligence?
While visiting the Kaiser Family Foundation, New York Senator Hillary Clinton said "At the rate that technology is advancing, people will be implanting chips in our children to advertise directly into their brains and tell them what kind of products to buy." Well, of course we will Hilary. How else are we going to shield kids from your pompous blather and insure our advertising messages get to the central cortex of every child's brain unfettered by your politically-motivated babble?
Public relations firm Idea Grove interviewed Fark Founder Drew Curtis who, like us, has a few things to say about the idiocy of most advertising. First, he doesn't understand the counterproductive approach most online advertisers take, saying, "The whole advertising industry confuses me sometimes. Advertisers for some reason really, really want to buy ads that annoy the shit out of the consumer. They want to buy ads that block you from seeing content, that shout at you when you hit the page, that stay on the computer desktop when you leave the site. You know why ads on the right sidebar get better clickthrough rates? Because people are trying to scroll down with their mouse and miss the damn bar, accidentally generating a click. Most popup ad clicks are generated by people missing the X to close the thing out." He may be right. Someone should do a study on the whole frustrated/missed click thing.
I really wasn't going to comment on this ad but after reporting mouth-shaped urinals were removed from a McDonald's in the Netherlands because they were seen as perversely sexual by a visiting American, I just wonder what that person would think of this girl's open mouth, ready to receive objects that, apparently, need oral attention. Aside from all that, the not so smart thought of opening a bottle with one's mouth and the fact this just looks like a mock up some art director wished actually ran somewhere, it's not a bad ad.
Tessa Wegert is at it again trying to convince us that people want to see ads on their desktops and that AdDiem's Digital Billboard, a company she wrote about last week that serves content and ads to a person's desktop, is something people would actually seek out and download. We didn't like it last week and we don't this week as she positions AdDiem's Digital Billboard as a custom publishing solution and gushes about that particular medium's benefits. OK. Last week, as the name indicates, it was a digital billboard. This week, that same company has somehow morphed into a custom publishing solution. Which is it Tessa and why would anyone want it?
Apparently, there are many people who feel the new Sony campaign promoting its new white PSP is racist because it features a white woman in a position of power over a black woman. Bells and whistles are going off over at Joystiq but there's also another image that's part of the campaign that shows the black woman getting her vengeance over the white woman. Can we all just relax? Sony and TBWA, of course, intended the ad to be controversial otherwise it'd sit there like all the other boring ads wasting our time every day. Racist or not, it's got us talking and that's half the battle any campaign faces.
OK, aside from the fact it's Pointcast all over again, why in the word would any sane human download a piece of software that seems, apparently, only to deliver billboard ads to your desktop? We're have a group head scratch here so if anyone can help us out, please do. Perhaps something is being misunderstood here but Tessa Wegert, writing on ClickZ. thinks it's the next nirvana of advertising claiming it has benefits of both the offline billboard of old and the measurability of the online banner. Oh sure, it's wonderfully customizable and can be targeted efficiently for the advertiser and it's permission based but what's the value for the consumer? If there is one, it's certainly not clear anywhere on the AdDiem website nor in the ClickZ article - unless you're a recipe hound. Perhaps desktop advertising will someday rule. We just don't see it yet. Then again, we were wrong about CBS's NCAA March Madness on Demand.
You know a company is adhering to those unwritten, politically correct rules which state "one must represent all ethnic groups in commercials" when the spots feature white people with a voice over read by a black. OK, that was crass but let's be blunt. It all sounds very forced sometimes. Maybe it's just that these spots from Pizza Hut aren't very good and that's making us get all uppity about all this PC stuff. Pardon our digression. We'll be back with regularly schedule advertising oddities in a moment.
Each morning after my three mile excuse for a workout, I head over to the local Dunkin Donuts to pick up an iced latte. Hey, I know it doesn't sound very manly but it just seems to taste a lot better than regular coffee. Anyway, each day I look at my Dunkin Donuts cup, branded with the new tagline "America Runs on Dunkin," and think, finally, an agency and a company that hit on a message which actually means something. Recently, there's been loser taglines like "Bold Moves" and "Leap Ahead" so it's refreshing to see Hill Holiday, Dunkin Donuts' agency, come up with a winner in "America Runs on Dunkin."
I love the tagline because it speaks directly to the "fuel" that many Americans depend on to get going in the morning. Just like re-fueling a car, that morning stop at the local Dunkin Donuts fills the tank with energy to keep one running all day long. While a 2003 research study found taglines not very effective, "America Runs on Dunkin" just feels right as well as actually says something, an admirable accomplishment in comparison to most meaningless taglines littering the current advertising landscape.
We're all for fun little advergame time wasters but when you have to a.) tell the company whether you are male or female, b.) have a password, c.) or don't have the password and enter your email to get it and d.) go open the email they sent you to get the password, the whole thing becomes work. Advergames aren't supposed to be work. They're supposed to be a branded distraction, not a challenge to see how much annoyance you can take before you just say "screw it" and leave which is exactly what we did. So, if any of you actually plays this game, let us know if we should bother looking for that email with the password.