What, exactly, is going on in this Dolce & Gabbana ad and does it really matter? Don't fashion labels get a pass when it comes to raciness and imagery that connotes culturally questionable activities? According to National Organization for Women President Kim Gandy who told BrandWeek, "It's a provocative ad but it is provoking things that really are not what we want to have provoked. We don't need any more violence," the answer is no. Her organization plans to protest the ad and has added to a section of its website that highlights ads it feels are offensive.
One could argue the ad certainly paints a questionable picture and perpetuates an activity that certainly does not need perpetuating. Others might argue the ad, and many other fashion ads, is so over-the-top cartoonish in its desire to be "edgy," that it's a harmless toss off passed over as one glosses through the fake world of fashion magazines. What do you think?
To herald in the Chinese New Year Snap Dragon Consultants issued a press release entitled "Ten Things Every Brand Should Know About Asian-American Youth."
This was part of a report from performer/playwright Kate Rigg's nationwide talks with Asian-Americans ranging between ages 14-23.
Among other gems, Rigg reveals Asian-Americans:
* Dig Korea
* Dislike the stereotypes that rocketed out of the William Hung years
* Want more street cred
* Like to gamble
* Are secret fans of easy listening
Oh, no. How could they divulge that? The gangsta-lean reputation we spent years crafting around the weekly violin lessons is officially destroyed.
Actually our parents couldn't afford violin lessons for long, so they punched holes in the cardboard tubing from a dry cleaner hanger and told us to learn the flute instead. We had to colour it yellow ourselves. How's that for street cred, beeyatch?
Check out the press release here.
There's something totally classy about blowing coke up your nose with a McD's coke spoon. It ties you to America somehow, and to cheeseburgers, and to childhood.
In the '70's, McD's strange-looking stirring spoon gets adopted by the white powder cult. Panicked about becoming accomplices in the empire of blow, family-friendly McDonald's discontinues the multi-faceted units.
But this kind of thing doesn't die quietly. Artists Tobias Wong and Ken Courtney bring the hot spoons back - plated in 18k gold, disco-fever style. Pissed at their insolence, McD's released a cease and desist.
Oh come on. It's every fledgling brand's wet dream to be appropriated by some enthusiastic subculture. And who doesn't want the designer drug users (possibly now enthusiastic - and wealthy - pop-art consumers)? They define trendy.
Plus, coke-heads are generally skinnier than the obese protesters long courting the golden arches. They make natural retaliatory press. Getting fat? Forego the baked apple pie for a spoon. It's free! (Magic dust sold separately.)
OMG! According to the United States Alcohol Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, watching someone drinking a beer in a Japanese Asahi beer commercial may cause alcoholism in the States! Everyone, cover your eyes immediately before you succumb to the power of the almighty television commercial...in a language you can't even understand...in a commercial you will never see aired in America...because its a friggin Japanese commercial! Why doesn't the U.S. government just skip all this shit and force us right into the 1984-like world in which they really want us to live?
Overreact much? How about gone entirely insane. The government wants to take legal action against Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka who is seen in the Asahi ad consuming beer, a no-no in the States. While it's one thing to enforce the U.S. regulation of not showing the actual consumption of alcohol in advertisements, it's entirely another to foist that law on another country or a person who just happens to now live in the U.S. but made the commercial in another country under an entirely different jurisdiction.
More and more, the advertising business is becoming commoditized with services that make it ever easier for advertisers to circumvent the infrastructure that the industry has built over the last 100 years. Every year, another do-it-yourself service crops up offering companies tools to create their own advertising without the need for an agency. Certainly, these services will not replace ad agencies but they may take a dent out of their revenue stream.
Omnicom Group is hoping to stem any potential loss to this new ad-o-matic approach and launched their on such service through on of its agencies, Zimmerman, called Pick-n-Click which provides automotive advertisers 150,000 components to choose from when crafting an ad. car dealer franchise AutoNation has signed on and is using Pick-n-Click for its 331 car dealers.
Lynette Web points us to a study that finds most teens are in a social network (duh) but also finds that the prevalence of social networks may devalue longtime humiliating (or triumphant) traditions like reunions for those way past teenhood.
"For instance, we recently talked about having our five-year class reunion, and I found that most of the people I asked said they really had no reason to get together in five years because they used sites like MySpace and Facebook to stay in touch with anyone they really wanted to keep up with, anyway," says Sam Ford of Convergence Culture.
That's disappointing. What have we been working so hard for if in the next five years we can't show our former nemeses how awesome we still look, then act really sweet and invite them (and their six screaming babies) to sit next to us? We have officially lost our will to go on. MySpace, you destroy everything you touch.
Consumer-generated "marketing campaigns" are hot this Super Bowl season, an indication of either curiosity, desperation or laziness which may contribute in part to big brands' decisions to shy away from this year's pigskin adfest.
Lending legitimacy to this lame attempt at representing their companies, Compete compiled some data on which consumer-gens are faring best and worst this close to the cut.
We passed on all the hype surrounding the K-fed Nationwide Super Bowl commercial offending fast food workers but after seeing the spot, we can't leave it alone. We have one thing to say: Get a Fucking Sense of Humor, People! For fuck's sake, can't we laugh at anything anymore? OK, so the commercial really isn't funny but that's not the point. The point is through some sort of American political correctness on steroids trend and an orgasmic proliferation of cause groups for every minute issue imaginable, we are no longer allowed to laugh at anything. We can't make fun of anything lest we offend someone. We can't tell joke unless they are of the scrubbed-clean second grade variety. We can't even call someone white or black - even though they are - lest we be labeled racist. Stop the insanity, please!
There's something to be said about bloggers. They're geeky, sure, but they're also taste agents who give tech monuments from the past deserved due.
That's why we're less than surprised - pleased, even - to find a DeLorean revival inching its way into geek salience. Get a refurbished model or even paint it like these guys did so you don't have to stress over the fingerprint-friendly steel. We agree with Rob at Wired that painting the thing is sacrilege but to call the original DeLorean high-maintenance would be an understatement - it could do with an upgrade or two, or three, or ten.
Even if he can't sell CD's, Kevin Federline proves he can generate buzz by sole merit of his complete lameness. And it's nice when you can get attention by being yourself.
Nielsen BuzzMetrics reports that the latest ad deal for the Speared ex-beau accounts for a whopping 26% of all Super Bowl ad-related blog conversations between January 14 and January 21. The figures cap at 49% on January 17. Compare those beans with the '06 figures.
"Sometimes the counter-intuitive or 'campy' choice of spokesperson yields the highest pre-game buzz dividend," Nielsen CMO Pete Blackshaw explains. "Nationwide saw a similar lift last year with the use of retro-star MC Hammer, and this helped them take a higher share of mindshare leading to the game."
Congrats to K-Fed. Guess there really is a calling for everybody.