We just thought this was funny. And it wasn't that long ago, either.
In April 2004 Garrett French of Web Pro News wrote a post about Google's announcement of GMail - which, in Google's "loose, freewheeling" style, fell just before April Fool's Day.
"How long," French scoffed, "would it take before that ocean of email burst from the Google server farm and sank Washington?"
*Observes moment of silence for nostalgic wave*
Funny how standards can change.
If it weren't bad enough agencies have to deal with needless agency consultants making money for doing what clients are too lazy to do themselves, now they have to deal with the illogical idiocy common sense-challenged companies like Kraft are now foisting upon them. Kraft, in twisted logic not seen since CareerBuilder fired its agency because the agency's add didn't make the USA Today Top Ten, is requiring agencies participating in a review to not only cede ownership of pitched concepts (a not so uncommon practice) but also to accept liability for those concepts if they end up being used and cause legal problems in the future ( a new and extremely stupid practice).
Someone please help us here. We'll say it again. Kraft wants agencies to give up ownership of any presented idea. Then it wants to be able to sue the agency that presented those ideas if they cause legal trouble in the future...even though the agency doesn't even own the idea any more! We have a headache.
Regarding ageism in advertising, back in March, we wrote, in part, "While it's true there isn't much gray hair in the advertising world, that's due to any number of reasons including 'older' folks leaving to start successful businesses of their own after having endured the idiocy of too many wise-ass, know-it-all 20-somethings making fools of themselves in front of their equally stupid clients and having to bail them out.
Harsh? Sure. But so is the assumption anyone over 40 is a clueless idiot. Neither line of thinking aids this (ageism) situation. People should be respected for their intelligence, not the number of candles on their birthday cake. There are just as many stupid 25 years olds out there as there are stupid 65 year olds. Age is irrelevant. Or at least it should be."
What sparked this was the fact we (OK, me) are not 30 any more as well as a post to an industry forum group by Laredo Group President Leslie Laredo which, following my suggestion the piece receive a wider audience, an edited version of her commentary ended up in Advertising Age as an opinion piece. You can (and should) read the article here.
OK, OK. We get it. Big tobacco company's suck but trying to apply old demographic assumptions tobacco companies may have made about African Americans in the past to today's African Americans is stretching it a bit but that's the premise of the latest Truth campaign Whadafxup spot. While we dig Truth spokesman Derrick Beckles' new look as he interviews MTV's Nick Cannon, these spots continue to grate.
We're not defending tobacco companies but we're sure if a little digging was done, every company would be guilty of some sort of stereotyping of its audience. After all, marketing isn't about individuality (yet) and the purpose of demographic targeting is to categorize, label and assign certain attributes whether or not those labels correctly reflect the actual brand's customer.
George Parker has the inside dope on Draft/FCB's excitement for the recent account win and work it did for the new Electronic Arts game, Def Jam Icon, yet another "Yo mutha fucka, you fuck with me, I beat the shit out of your sorry ass" cultural stereotype that makes one particular segment of people look like pea-brained idiots with nothing better to do than self-genocide themselves out of existence. In support of that stellar accomplishment and lauding the agency's teamwork, Draft/FCB's three top dudes, Howard, Jonathon and Lawrence, in an internal memo, blather platitudes such as "tearing down geographical silos, tapping into cross-office expertise and growing our business" and "working together seamlessly in our new agency model...as a result of a global creative rumble." This is the genius it took win the account and promote a game who's sole purpose is to let kids idolize bad ass mutha fuckas as some class of hero? Eesh. Be careful what you attach your internal memos to.
In what could be labeled either a twist-the-story rant or an insightful examination of the double standard brands may or may not apply when they associate themselves - or choose not to - with nudity. Drunken Stepfather's Jesus Martinez is miffed marketers won't advertise on his site because he occasionally features nude images but they will advertise on Jane's Get It Together blog where, recently, fully nude images of woman's breasts have been proudly displayed alongside national advertisers such as Thermasilk, Oakley and Dove.
Should the morality police be called for this serious transgression of double standards or should we all relax because, in this case, context is everything. Drunken Stepfather, an endlessly amusing site focusing on celebrity news, features somewhat racy imagery and occasional nudity. Jane's Get it Together blog features reader-submitted nude pictures highlighting breasts as part of the magazine's Guide to Breast Health. Again, context. Breasts as arousing sex object versus breasts as body part in need of care just like any other body part.
- Classic "How many licks does it take?" Tootsie Pop commercial gets a makeover. not sure we like.
- With rampant ageism in this industry, here's a few reasons why it isn't always such a great idea to cast out over 40s.
- Cynopsis reports, "MySpace agreed to acquire PhotoBucket for a reported $250 million in cash and bonuses. Photobucket, one of the darlings of the Web 2.0 phenomenon, is the web's dominant photo sharing site with 41 million registered users."
- ABC will air Lost three more seasons ending in 2010. That's two seasons too many.
- Do you design movie posters? Do you think they are stupid/ Think you can do better? now you can design your own with Movie Poster Toolbox.
- Verizon and Fergie have teamed to offer mobile phone-based wireless tickets to her upcoming tour.
- MySpace is said to be purchasing Photobucket for $250 million.
- Fewer and fewer people may not be watching your TV ads but if your target audience is kids under 2, you're in luck. Ninety percent watch.
Ripe Blue Tomato's Greg Gillispie was on a recent road trip and wanted to share with us his interpretation of radio's recent HD radio promotions and wrote "Today I was on the road over 200 miles. I heard a number of station promos or spots for HD radio. All the spots were about the QUALITY and none about the CONTENT. And, all the spots were buried in the middle of the stopset.
So...I'm supposed to buy this new-fangled thang because it sounds good? Gee, why do they have to tell me about this when I seem to think what I'm listening to... with this spot...sounds pretty good. Or at least the QUALITY sounds pretty good.
But if I buy this new thang, what the hell am I supposed to get? CONTENT better than what I'm currently getting? Something different, unique, beneficial, entertaining, informative, WHAT?? They didn't tell me. Oh...and if I get it, should I STOP listening to what told me to GET it?
I'm Humbly Dumbfounded...or HD for short..."
When we heard Philips was a new logo for its environmentally friendly -focused product line called The Philips Green Tick, we thought "Eew." "Disgusting." "Gross." Then we looked at the logo, saw that it looked nothing like a tick and said, "Huh?" The thing looks more like an ear of corn with a circle around it than the disgusting creature that love to borough itself into your skin.
Certainly, the word tick has many meanings but the sound a clock makes or a check mark or an informal unit of measure were not what immediately came to mind. Perhaps, unlike in Northeast America, they don't have the nasty blood sucking creatures in the U.K where this campaign originated. Perhaps, as is usually the case, we're talking out of our ass and making a big deal out of nothing. You choose.
Lonelygirl15 isn't the only girl selling out...uh...getting paid to do what she already does. Uber social connector ShareThis hooked up with Digital Influence Group to partner with YouTuber Abbegirl "to create a series of videos on how you share represents who you are." Her first video, Fashionista, has been viewed 37,000 times since its launch April 14 and points people to HowYouShare which explains how ShareThis works.
Purists might disdain this "soiling" of so-called "sacred" ground on which consumer-generated media walks but, like anything, if content is well done, sponsored or not, people will enjoy it. We enjoyed this.