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'Figure' Magazine Caters to Reality

With 65% of American women wearing size 12 or larger and unable to wear any of the fashions displayed in Vogue, Elle, W, or Harper's Bazaar, Figure Magazine is just the ticket. Figure, launched this week, is a new 300,000 circulation magazine designed for the plus-size woman. Plus size just sounds so unattractive but it is a reflection of today's reality. Women are not Kournikova sized.

Brinsights LLC is the publisher of the lifestyle magazine which will include articles on shopping, makeovers, and etiquette. The magazine has sold 68,000 copies in its first four days on newsstands.

It's an admirable effort but the downside is that people continue to aspire to be what they are not. It's human nature. A person always wants to be better (read skinnier) than they are. Or sexier. That is why the Vogue's of the world are so successful. They show the unachievable. The goal that may never be reached yet it motivates (yes, in unhealthy ways sometimes) people to aspire to a higher goal. While there is nothing wrong with facing reality, readers of Figure may experience lost sense of aspiration and long for, again, reading about the unachievable.

by Steve Hall    Aug-27-03    

Lisa Robin Kelly Booted From That 70's Show

According to TV Guide, 'That 70's Show' star, Lisa Robin Kelly has been asked to leave the series with the show's rep calling it a "mutual agreement" and that is has nothing to do with "bad behavior or documented personal problems in her past."

Perhaps the poor starlet will follow in the footsteps of Shannon Doherty, booted (sort of) from 90210 and Charmed, and end up hosting a reality show.

by Steve Hall    Aug-27-03    

Apple's iTunes Gets Spoof Treatment

See the spoof here.

by Steve Hall    Aug-27-03    

Furniture Advertiser Creates Campaign Without Furniture

As Infinity did several years back in an ad campaign that did not show the car, R.O.O.M., a furniture manufacturer in Norway, Denmark and Sweden has launched a campaign that does not show the furniture.

While this is an interesting approach there is a good reason why Infinity bailed out on that early campaign. People need to see what they are buying. Furniture is a very personal and stylistically involved buying decision. This is a risky move for R.O.O.M. Sales will likely plunge. Or perhaps there will be an uptick in the travel industry.

The campaign was created by Stockholm-based ad agency, SWE and originally reported on Ad-Rag.

by Steve Hall    Aug-27-03    

NFL Teams With Britney Spears to Create Pre-Season Superbowl

Britney Spears will appear in NFL Kickoff Live 2003 on September 4 following a $35 million campaign leading up to the event. The NFL hopes to generate Superbowl-like buzz allowing the league to bookend the season with mega-events, Spears will appear in ads promoting the event and will also perform an hour long concert prior to the kick off of the New York Jets/Washington Redskins game. Also performing will be Mary J. Blige and Aretha Franklin.

Advertisers are getting into the game with Pepsi putting up $2.5 million to place its Pepsi Vanilla as a presenting sponsor.

"We think for the N.F.L. to try to create a Super Bowl-type event at the beginning of the football season, to bookend the season, is credible," said Dave Burwick, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Pepsi-Cola.

"This event happened to coincide quite nicely with the launch of Pepsi Vanilla," he added. "It's an opportunity to create interest in our product at a time when people are re-engaging in the N.F.L."

With Britney Spears on top of the Yahoo and Lycos search popularity lists following her Elle spread, the event will, no doubt, be a success.

by Steve Hall    Aug-27-03    

Mary-Kate and Ashley Launch Toothpaste

Lastweek, Mary-Kate and Ashley launched their own branded toothpaste through Aquafresh. Targeted to tweens and teens, the twins, now 17, are featured on the packaging as 13 year olds using older photographs. Apparently, they must be too sexy now to use current photos and marketers wouldn't want to be accused of unnecessarily raising the interest level of teen boys as they brush their teeth.

Here's an even better headline just found for this story: "Mary-Kate and Ashley Want You to Stick Them in Your Mouth and Enjoy Their Bubblegum Minty Goodness." Of course, that came from a Farker. Wish I wrote it. It's more Adrants-worthy than the boring one above.

by Steve Hall    Aug-27-03    

Britney Spears Tops Yahoo Popularity Contest

Britney Spears, without an album in a year, is back on top of Yahoo's weekly Buzz Index. She's been in the top twenty for 126 weeks but just hit the top spot again due, in no small part, to her recent almost nude spread in Elle magazine. America still loves Britney or else there are lot of navel gazers out there.

Currently, she's number two on the Lycos Top 50 chart.

With her MTV Video Music awards appearance and upcoming album release, the cutie will be on the charts for a long time to come.

by Steve Hall    Aug-26-03    
Topic: Celebrity

Timex Drops Licking/Ticking Tagline

In a blunder similar to the one just made by Reebok, Timex has dropped its famous "Takes a Licking and Keeps on Ticking" tagline for it's bland replacement: "Timex. Life is Ticking." That's about as exciting as Reebok's move to "Wear the Vector. Outperform."

"This is not to dis anything we've done in the past," said Mark Shuster, senior vice president for marketing and chief marketing officer at Timex in Middlebury, Conn., who joined the company five months ago, "but we have an opportunity to take the brand forward." He really means, this is an opportunity for him to take his personal brand forward by doing what every new MarCom director does; change ad agencies.

"'It takes a licking and keeps on ticking' was very consistent with a durability message, and was very effective," Mr. Shuster said. "But durability is now almost a given because as technologies have improved, people have caught on to it. Our thought was, is there a way to evolve beyond durability, to look for that something that captures more of the spirit and mindset of today."

The spirit and mindset of today as represented by "Life is Ticking" is flatter than a pancake under a pig's ass. The line says nothing other than stating the obvious notion that life is ticking by. It says nothing about the brand.

The "Licking/Ticking" tagline ranks number 40 on Ad Age's list o the top 100 ad campaigns of the 20th century. With that kind of notoriety, it boggles the mind when companies make these changes and it is an underlying problem of the advertising industry. Advertising professionals want to put their personal mark on something so they have an agency review and launch a new ad campaign. Of course taglines and brand messaging need to change with the times or when the company's mission changes but they need change to something with meaning and not drivel such as "Life is Ticking."

Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners in New York is the agency that let this happen.

by Steve Hall    Aug-26-03    

Reebok Hopes For Nike Swoosh-Like Noteriety

Reebok launched on August 23 an 18 month, $40-50 million campaign to force feed its vector logo into the minds of helpless consumers who just want a good pair of sneakers and not another round of "Just Do It" - like Logomania. The new tagline for this effort will be "Wear the Vector. Outperfom." Unfortunately, it just doesn't have the same ring to it as "Just Do It".

New York-based Arnell Group is behind the push with spots produced by Ridley Scott's RSA USA production company

Update: Interestingly, the spot that aired during MTV's Video Music Award show verbalized only the Outperform portion of the tagline and was visually more prominent than Wear the Vector. Maybe Reebok realized the idiocy of the double tag.

by Steve Hall    Aug-25-03    

Pepsi Rocks Coke's Ass

Pepsi gives Coke a kick in the ass in this week's Ad Age TV Spots of the Week with a hip-hop blasting, wheelie-poppin' monster delivery truck. Nike updates its 'Freestyle' commercial which match music to action with a new version called 'Futbol'. Smash Mouth frontman raps to a class for Back to School Clothes. Has Smash Mouth done anything in the past three years besides commercials?

Also, nearly nude fat dudes jump up and down in a spot for the National Footbal League. And finally, an eerie spot illustrating the effects of ADD for Eli Lilly.

by Steve Hall    Aug-25-03    

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