In an effort to challenge American Apparel's assertion the people in their sexually charged ads are ordinary people, Trent University student Jes Sachse, who suffers from a genetic disorder called Freeman-Sheldon syndrome, will appear on posters in Toronto transit stations May 6, 11, 22 and 31.
Photographed by her friend Holly Norris for a series called American Able, Saches will dress and pose as if she were in an American Apparel ad. As Norris writes on her site, "American Able intends to, through spoof, reveal the ways in which women with disabilities are invisibilized in advertising and mass media."
Haven't we all had enough of these stupid commercials that promise you the world if only you drink a Coke...as if that can full of sugarized crap has anything to do with your ability to achieve success on your own?
So here we have some crap about a "boy who didn't know how to celebrate so he set off on a quest to find his own celebration." Complete with joyous lyrics about freedom and fire, the boy flies, fights against robots and climbs mountains of celebrations. But it's not until he takes a sip of Coke that he realizes the only place he needs to search for celebration is inside himself.
Gag! Please! Seriously? A kid needs to drink a a Coke to realize his potential? Seriously? What twisted sort of education is that for today's youth? Oh wait, it's the same thing every other marketer does. Buy our product and you will be magically transformed in the most supremely perfect person on the planet.
Don't you love when a company jumps on a hot topic for their own gain? Hey, who can blame? After all, that's what it's all about, right? Call it opportunistic marketing or whatever you want but everyone does it. Including WiseWindow which is out with its latest Mass Opinion Business Intelligence study examining the public's sentiment towards Tiger Woods.
Mostly, the study set out to determine how the man is rehabilitating his public image and whether or not his sponsorship value can make a come back. Using web crawling techniques and cloud computing rather than keyword analysis, the methodology aims to discover unsolicited opinions. Which, when you think about it, is probably a whole lot more accurate than the spastic rantings you see on Twitter.
Anyway, according to MOBI findings, people are talking less about Woods' infidelities and more about his golfing career, something Woods and his team are likely quite pleased about. But like all scandals, what's really happening is that people are just bored with the topic and they've moved on. They will forget and before you know it, brands will, again, be begging Woods to pimp their products.
After reading a post on AgencySpy entitled Mullen's CCO Promotes Crowdsourcing in AdWeek Opine which commented on Edward Boches participation in a gathering of 30 agency folks at SXSW, I commented to share my thoughts. Here's what I wrote (with some additions):
In an ideal world, this scenario (crowdsourcing-ish cloud creative) could and would work. In today's world, it's not so clear cut. The changes needed to make this model work go so drastically against current agency models that this sort of change, in my opinion, can only come with generational change.
It seems Americans really are a bunch of hypocrites. It's OK to be gay in movies and on TV. In fact, it's OK to have a gay character on almost every single show and movie. So much so that you'd think everyone in America was gay. Except if you watch American advertising.
When it come to advertising, as Bill Green points out, American advertising is still in the closet. He points to a Hyundai commercial which allows us to observe a potential rendezvous between two women. There's no sex. There's no kissing. There's no touching. The two woman aren't even in a scene together. But...the implication is they will, of course, be together in, perhaps, the biblical sense later on.
Austin-based branded community provider Powered has, along with Portland-based StepChange and New York-based Drillteam, aquired Joe Jaffe's social media agency crayon. Jaffe describes the new corporate entity as "the first full-service social media agency with scale.
On his blog, crayon Partner Greg Verdino who will take on the role of vice president, strategy & solutions, wrote of the acquisition, "Together, we can offer everything a CMO needs in order navigate the world of social media and effectively integrating all things social into an overall marketing strategy -- beginning with strategic planning, running through service delivery and execution, capped with a surefire commitment to delivering measurable results, and supported by a program-proven set of technology platforms."
French Vogue's set off the sensitivity meter with its decision to paint Dutch model Lara Stone black for the October issue.
Another thing that bears mentioning, if only for its strangeness: after painting Stone brown, the makeup artist painted parts of her white again for some shots.
This is racking up the usual stink about racism in advertising (Birth of a Nation comes, unbeckoned, to mind). Commentary ranges from "Why not just use an African model?!!" to arguments that the move is a statement on the complexity of race and identity. Some people also think this is a knee-jerk reaction; one user observed that the rag once dressed a woman up as a man, and nobody complained.