Ariel, serving up some smack talk, offers us her review of a recent campaign for high-end women's athletic apparel boutique Sporteve and it isn't pretty. Designers take cover. Since there's no women in the testosterone-fueled offices of Adrants, we felt it only fair and balanced to ask the opinion of someone a bit closer to the audience with whom the ad is actually attempting to communicate. If you like a good ad trashing, give her a read and let her know what you think.
A site called Will Video For Food has put together a handy list for those thinking of wading into the cesspool known as viral video. The list, called Seven Deadly Sins of Advertising Viral Video, uses plenty of examples to back up the sins which include Make a white and brown cow. Pretend your not advertising. Spend a fortune on production. Tell consumers instead of engage them. Do a video contest because everyone else is. Set unrealistic conversion metrics. And throw in the towel and decide to just advertise around viral video. We'd add an eighth: Don't call you efforts viral until they become viral.
- Announcer Roy Coffman sends us this Dilbert comic strip in which Mom analyzes her son's advertising abilities.
- Like a marketer who can't wait to put put up a MySpace page, Scion has jumped into the Second Life. Time to move on to the Third Life.
- Ariel wonders why MK12 and other marketers are always asking her to "find my spot color or to uncoat my pantone" and why the use of sex in advertising "is so design-laced."
As we've done semi-hypocritically several times before, we've both celebrated and called into question the use of sexual imagery in advertising but we've always done it from our perspective: a guy's perspective. One the one hand, we'd love to see every ad feature a sexy woman. On the other, it becomes numbing, research says it doesn't work and we know it's less than kind to the portrayal of women. None of that matters. Well, it does but guys aren't the only ones viewing advertising and our opinion is only one half of the story. For true insight on how sexually laced advertising, much of it using racy female imagery to target females, affects the other half, women, give this Business Week article a read. It's written by those who are at the center of this issue: teens and young woman. It's their take on this that's more insightful than the drooling's of male ad slut.
If you happen to work as a grocery or retail store clerk you might find yourself checking into a hospital for dizziness or a mental institution for insanity all caused by being forced to revolving ads on the conveyor belt in front of you. In what is certainly one of the more blatantly disgusting forms of ad creep, EnVision Marketing Group, which patented the idea, is rolling out ads on the conveyor belts of 52 Cincinnati-based Kroger grocery stores.
Like a kid gleefully plastering every square inch of his bedroom wall with posters of Kelli Garner, EnVision CEO Frank Cox gushed, "Conveyor belts have never been on anybody's radar screen for marketing. But a store with eight to 10 checkout lanes, well, you're talking about 100 square feet of wasted ad real estate." Indeed. But what about all that food covering up the ads, Mr. Cox? Perhaps Cox should start calling hospitals to place ads on the ceilings of patient's room. Now there's a captive audience.
Well, it seems everyone's got some kind of award for something in this industry. It must be all that childhood self esteem training run amok and rearing its ugly head in adulthood. Anyway, Boards magazine is honoring woman "who have made significant creative and business contributions to the international advertising and commercial production communities." They will be highlighted in the magazine's September issue as well as at a celebration in New York.
Hmm. With all this intelligence on display, maybe Adrants should launch something a bit less intense such as, oh, the Hottest Men of Advertising or Advertising Agencies' Most Beautiful Women or a Cannes Six Pack And Racks Contest. Oh but wait, that would make the outside world think we're even bigger buffoons than those hipsterific folks over at Agency.com. It sure would be fun though. Anyone interested?
Over at Shake Well Before Use, Ariel wonders if Consumer Generated Media is an offensive, if not meaningless, term since its current iteration by marketers places so many limitations on it by boxing in CGM with all sorts of cut and paste rules of brand engagement. Or, worse, creating it on their own and passing it off as CGM like Pop Secret did. She argues true consumer generated media (or any term you choose to throw at it) should be organic and limitless. Opining insightfully, Ariel says marketers, in their efforts to hop on the latest trend, are wasting their time trying to create a desired reaction rather than maximizing and leveraging an already organically existing one.
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.