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'Thirteen' Illustrates Devastating Effect Advertising Can Have on Youth

Nikki Reed and Evan Rachel Wood in 'Thirteen'

In Owen Gleiberman's review (Sub. Req.) of the movie, 'Thirteen', the Entertainment Weekly movie critic comments on the effect advertising can have on today's youth:

"What's eerie about 'Thirteen' is the way that everything Tracy goes through hooks into a corporate advertising culture that has become nearly metaphysical in its impact: not just the clothes and accessories (which include her hip-hop boyfriend) or the standards of beauty, but the whole subjugation of identity and flesh to a dictate from above -- the sense that there's just one way to be, and that if you're not that way, you're nothing."

That's a powerful statement on the advertising industry yet there is some truth to it. The whole premise of advertising and the underlying strategy of branding, is to intertwine an emotion with a particular state of being creating a force consumers are compelled to follow. Young minds are easily swayed and without proper perspective, the results of this "be cool or your not" approach to advertising can have devastating effects.

The movie was co-written by then 13 year old Nikki Reed who stars in the film with Evan Rachel Wood from TV's 'Once and Again'. The movie examines the downward spiral of Wood's character as she attempts to fit in while entering 7th grade.

by Steve Hall    Aug-30-03    

Adidas Hangs Humans From Billboards

Billboard Soccer

In the increasingly difficult task of gaining attention from consumers, advertisers continue to break ground with new tactics. Adidas has added a tactic to advertiser's arsenals by hanging people from billboards.

TBWA Japan came up with the idea to hang two soccer players from a billboard in Tokyo with a soccer filed backdrop and have the two play a soccer match for ten minutes at a time. Naturally, the stunt is a success having stropped sidewalk traffic in its track. A similar effort is being undertaken in Osaka.

With extreme clutter and the average Tokyo commute of 70 minutes, breakthrough tactics such as this make perfect sense. It's only a matter of time now before some beer company dangles some babes in bikinis to have a cat fight.

by Steve Hall    Aug-29-03    

Britney and Madonna Suck Face at MTV Video Music Awards

Facial Suckage at MTV's VMA

As previously reported Thursday, Madonna and Britney did, in fact, suck a little face in the opening act of MTV's Video Music Awards. Christina Aquilera, stepping in for J.Lo who gave a lame excuse and bailed, also got a kiss from Madonna during the trio's performance of Madonna's "Like a Virgin" and "Hollywood."

While the three grooved, you could sense the tension between Britney and Justin who watched the kiss stonefaced. Strangely, Justin won for his Cry Me A River, the song about Britney. It would have been even better entertainment if Britney, Christina, and Justin got up on stage and performed together. Perhaps wearing boxing gloves.

Later in the show, Big Booty girl Beyonce, dropped in head first and shook it with about 50 other booty babes.

by Steve Hall    Aug-28-03    

Aguilera Takes Spears' Spot in Skechers Campaign

New Skechers Babe

After a fallout with Britney Spears, Skechers has signed an eighteen month marketing deal with Christina Aquilera to appear in an ad campaign for the footwear company. The campaign will kick off in teen and pop culture magazines and in store signage beginning October.

Last year, Britney Spears sued Skechers for improperly using her image in a campaign for the company's line of roller skates, 4 Wheelers, rather than Spear's own branded 4Wheelers.

Aguilera is also in a marketing deal with Versace having just appeared in Vanity Fair, among others, as a kick off to a new campaign for the designer.

by Steve Hall    Aug-28-03    

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Campbell's Soup Launches Reality Ad Campaign

Make it Campbell's Instead

Among the new ad campaigns recently launched and reviewed in Amy Corr's MediaPost Out to Launch column is a campaign from Campbell's Soup that "features Gordon Elliott intercepting consumers in their home, at work, and on the street - urging them to enjoy a delicious meal featuring soup rather than other meal and snack options."

Also new this week are campaigns for Sports Clips by TKO Advertising, American Family Insurance by E Morris Communications, Dey Pharmaceutical from Gillespie Healthcare and i-traffic, CIGNA, Tufts Health plan by Gearon Hoffman, and Oak Street Mortgage by Ron Foth Advertising.

by Steve Hall    Aug-28-03    

'Alias' Star Jennifer Garner Asked to Appear in CIA Recruitment Video

Garner to promote CIA

In a life imitates art move, the CIA has had discussions with Jennifer Garner, star of television show 'Alias', to be part of a recruitment video for the agency.

"We very much would like to continue our discussions with Miss Garner and possibly other cast members to work with us on a recruitment video," said Chase Brandon, film industry liaison for the CIA. "We feel that Miss Garner, both in character as agent Sydney Bristow and as herself, embodies the intelligence, enthusiasm and dedication that we're looking for. Our continuing efforts to enlist the best and the brightest would be admirably served by having her support."

CIA Recruits can now aspire to a fictional television character as they consider whether they are going to save the world from terrorists.

by Steve Hall    Aug-28-03    

Musicland Dupes Customers With Entertainment Weekly Subscription

A law suit alleges over 1,000 Musicland Stores did not inform customers who signed up for eight free copies of Entertainment Weekly they would be billed for a full subscription unless they called to cancel. Time Inc., publisher of Entertainment Weekly, allegedly gave Musicland seven dollars for every customer who was charged.

This is a standard sleazy practice whereby evaluation offers are made with statements such as, "If you don't want to continue receiving X, all you have to do is call and cancel." This puts the burden on the consumer where it should be the other way around.

by Steve Hall    Aug-28-03    

New Technology to Revolutionize Outdoor Medium

Magink's Video Paper Billboard

Those old paper, and more recently vinyl, billboards won't be around for long if New York based Magink has its way. The company has developed a technology whereby "electronic paper" can be manipulated to change images by changing electronic charges.

The staid outdoor industry is in for a big change if this technology takes off. No more trucks heading out to physically change creative on boards. No more delays in changing a campaign. More selling opportunities. An outdoor company could literally control their entire inventory from a single computer. The list goes on.

The change will also allow sellers and advertisers more flexibility. For example, a local TV station could promote a specific program airing on a given night and then change the creative to promote another show the next day. Unrelated to adverting, though important, in the case of an emergency, all billboards could be changed to display helpful messaging to drivers. The industry is due for a boost and this is a big ticket to launching that boost.

More outdoor advertising news here.

by Steve Hall    Aug-28-03    

Anna Kournikova Fails as Color Commentator

Jeter and Kournikova

According to the New York Post, Anna Kournikova has failed miserably as color commentator for USA Network. Yesterday, dressed in her usually hot way in a red mini, red bra and tank top, Kournikova struggled to comment on happenings in the Yankees lounge as producers promted her from behind the camera.

It's fun to snark about this as the New York Post has but I challenge the Post reporter or anyone to stand in front of a camera and perform flawlessly. Only a handful of people can do it right. So Anna isn't a reporter or even a winner at tennis but she is a media darling, fun to read about, and pleasing to look at. Ease up on the girl.

Tennis and reporting aside, Anna's true success will come from her recently launched "Only the Ball Should Bounce" Multiway Sports Bra.

Here's a video interview with Maxim U.K. as part of her appearance in the October issue.

by Steve Hall    Aug-28-03    

Britney and Madonna to Kiss at MTV Video Music Awards

Rumor has it Britney Spears will share a kiss with Madonna during the opening act of tonight's MTV Video Music Awards.

To bad Jen's out. A threesome would have been nice. By the way J. Lo is not busy in Canada making a film, the excuse given for her not appearing on the VMA's tonight. She was spotted yesterday in New York with BenLo.

Self-Congratulation: I was right. They did kiss.

by Steve Hall    Aug-28-03    

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