SVT - Swedens state television - are currently airing an ad campaign which states two simple truths, but in doing so court controversy. The first truth is the one I keep repeating in every posting about childhood obesity and the link to advertising since 2003 - the reality is that while advertising aimed at children in Sweden is illegal in theory, it isn't in practice. The super in this ad reads:
Children advertising (advertising to children) is - forbidden forbidden forbidden - in Swedish Television- BUT - TV3 and Channel 5 - are not Swedish Television. They are English channels that air in Swedish. - And then you can ignore the ban.
Two commercials go head to head in our Free-For-All AdLand Creative Death Cage.*
Who wins? Who gets left clogging the drain? You decide - that's what comments are for.
* Actually, it's more like a one bedroom efficiency.
Stein Mart's been going through a few changes after a little case of Phallingsalesitosis ... New CEO... new agency... and now a new campaign starring one of the spiffiest new characters in recent advertisingdom.
Superadgrunts, come see what retail advertising wonders DeVito/Verdi hath wrought.
Take THAT, Bloomacyneimansakmarshall!
If Beefeater's Gin doesn't make a girl-targeted femme version of their classic dry this year in honor of Moira Cameron, the first female beefeater in 522 years (or is it a thousand? Depends on who you ask.) their marketing department officially sucks. I mean c'mon, how girl power can you get? Re-do the logo with some more curves and do a limited edition, or do a special pre-mixed gin-drink that the Scottish lass herself might like and steal some Smirnoff and Bacardi market shares in the alcopop area. There are countless things one could do. Hell, this is too good to pass up, just do something! P.S. James Burrough, I'm a freelance gun for hire. Smooches.
Plucky Miss Cameron: 'I'm very lucky'
Can't you just see her be the lass to adorn a thousand bottles?
The advertising dictionary is useful for both adn00bs and adknowing and everyone in between.
Note: this ad dictionary was hosted in another place where adgrunts could add words before our recent redesign; Most of these words were created/ added in 2001. I figure I'd simply repost it as a regular blog post now since submissions declined.
Mad men. The show on AMC by Matthew Weiner focuses on advertising in 1960, right as the creative revolution is about to send shockwaves through the industry, while smoking was still on the tail-end of cool and sexual banter wasn't harassment yet. In short, it's like advertising today only with better hats. The shows tagline is where the truth lies. Ding! Double entandre! Dollar in the tipjar please!
Can I be honest with you? I know that it's totally wrong of me, I am an art director after all. I love paper, great prints, the smell of markers in the morning and all that goes along with it. But, I'm afraid to admit this, I can't stand paper ad inserts.
Sure it started innocently, I used to rip ads out of the Joe average mags like Wired or Newsweek, just rip and go so that I could concentrate on reading the magazine that I had paid for. That was fine, I figured, I'm not missing anything important that way. But you know what the graphic design an art mags look like right? Every fifth page there is an ad insert about paper, with the paper advertised as the insert. This is stuff I should know about, but at some point it got so bad that I stopped buying my HOW's and CA annuals and Graphis and whatnots because I just couldn't read the articles I wanted to read as those paper inserts were annoying the hell out of me. I stopped looking at them, I stopped feeling the paper, I stopped paying any sort of attention to these inserts even though they were directed at me and contained information I'd find useful because they bugged me so much.
Let me introduce you to the exception to the rule.
This post Making sense of mens fragrance ads posed a severe threat to my keybord as I was slurping coffee. Example:
Clearly the good life consists of being able to spend lazy afternoons on a gigantic tree branch admiring the results of consuming web-purchased enlargement pills over a sustained period of time.
And it struck me that we could be doing this for hours - trying to make sense of fragrance ads like the full frontal nude YSL ad for smegma7, sorry that's "M7". Shall we? (Remember you can post images in comments folks!)
AdAge reports on Absolut's new campaign - the old iconic bottle campaign is dead and buried now after a 28 year run. Compare the old with the new.
Fine, so the bottle idea was gathering moss, not to mentioned it was getting watered down to death after it became a running art gag with Absolut various artists, and the absolut cities bored me to tears though I'm sure both spin-offs looked great in a marketing plan. "We'll get that arty-farty air!" "We'll position ourselves as a suave globetrotter!"
This Optimus commercial offers a fun take on text messaging for adults. An attractive, well-dressed couple sit in a darkened room in front of a flickering tv set, coyly regarding each other from opposite ends of the couch. Suddenly, on the coffee table, his phone buzzes: a text message from his date sitting a few feet away! Is she really too shy to speak to him on their date? Flirtatious text messaging ensues, until the couple agrees to adjourn to the bedroom together, all via text, without having uttered a word. At first you're wondering why they'd carry on this way, and you think, is this ad going to absurd lengths to show how en vogue texting is? But as the camera pans away…well, watch the ad.
Apart from being a cute, funny way of playing with our expectations, the ad does a good job using that element of surprise to target an older audience for text messaging. Associated as it is with a lowering of communication standards via its "wot r u up 2" message etiquette, grownups may not necessarily think of it as the go-to mode of communication. It's nice to see texting and flirtation, for that matter depicted outside the realm of the teenybopper crowd!
If - yeah, The embedded ad (which was above) takes too long so just click here to see it at wi-fitv.
In honor of the fact that Citigroup has announced it will move most of its global creative branding business from Fallon to Publicis, I found myself thinking back to Fallon's memorable "Live Richly" campaign. Anyone who was living in New York circa 2003 will remember seeing the barrage of billboards asserting their pseudo-philosophies in financial-tickeresque typeface, calmly and humbly floating on a plain white background:
"Contrary to popular belief, you are not what you drive."
"You are not gold, silver, or platinum. You are you."
Seriously. The landing page of the new Levi's LadyStyle site opens with the language "Ever wondered what it's like to sneak into a sweaty, steamy mens' locker room? Well, imagine no more…" For research purposes, I clicked and entered the site. It opens with a shot of an empty locker room. Enter aforementioned male, a model whose movements have been made a bit animatronically slow and surreal (as is the pace of the whole site, rather annoyingly.) He looks up at the viewer, smiles, looks down, then slowly back at you. He's actively being flirtatious, complicit in the peep show. He's well-dressed and urbane looking but sweet and personable; his look and demeanor seems to be culled from surveys about what women actually like: i.e. not a super-buff, artificially tan and hairless preening mirror-magnet. This guy radiates "approachable." He strips down to a pair of regular-guy boxers and opens his locker. A mirror in the locker reflects the image of a woman watching him with an arch smile. She's brunette, which we all know in advertising terms translates into "smart" and "real." Subtle grey text on the black background appears on the outer edges of the page, with messages like "now its your turn." More than just a playful turning of the advertising gender cliché tables, the site seems to be tapping into a zeitgeist, a tide of outrage that seems to be rising among women as objectified images of women become ever-more-ubiquitous on the web and the line between pornography and, well, any other kind of publishing, becomes increasingly blurred. A link at the bottom of the page allows women to "peep into a men's magazine." That link actually takes you to a page that invites women to "get it off their chest" about what they really think men want in a woman. So, while the site is ostensibly turning one cliché on its ear, it is only in the end drawing us back to another one—the chance to muse and "start a debate!" about what we think men want from us. It's kind of a letdown from the ostensible "message" of the site. I mean, come on ladies, don't we have better things to talk about?
I once knew a guy who complained that he had trouble appearing "manly" on dates because he was a vegetarian and he drank Diet Coke.
Now, I can't comment about the vegetarianism but Coca-Cola and Pepsi seem to agree with his concern about diet soda. The two mammoth cola brands have launched a re-branding of diet soda for the precious 18-34 year-old male audience, banishing "diet" in favor of "calorie-free," for the launch of two new products, Coke Zero and Pepsi One.
Both products, sweetened with the new carb-free additive Splenda™, rely on campaigns that emphasize taste first and foremost, asserting how similar the calorie-free versions taste to the original. Coke has even gone so far as to launch an ad campaign pretending to sue itself over "taste infringement" because Coke Zero is so darn close to Coke Classic. The product design as well, a black can with thick block lettering, targets men. Some of the commercials are peppered with semi-misogynist male-bonding jokes about "psycho girlfriends" and such.
Will women be alienated by the macho marketing? Well, perhaps that's the goal—a new, great-tasting drink that's good for your waistline, whether "diet" or "calorie-free," runs the risk of cannibalizing from the consumer pool of Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi: mainly women. Nobody said it was easy for one company to promote two competing diet drinks. It will be interesting to see if manly men come flocking to Coke Zero and Pepsi One. Everyone knows they make their beverage choices based on taste and taste alone, and if the drink just happens to be calorie-free, so much the better for those six-pack abs.
Bravissimo has launched new ad campaign featuring the ladies who wear their bras.
The women, all different ages and sizes, have one thing in common – their boobs are DD or above, with their exact cup sizes proudly displayed in the TV and magazine ads which launched this week.
Bravissimo's Jo Lee says: "Our customers were saying they wanted normal women with normal shapes advertising our products so we listened to them." There are sure to be male fans of the bra-vellous new campaign out there too.
Advertising is good for one thing and only one thing. Making money. Advertising is the oil that keeps the capitalist machine moving and I am more than happy to play capitalist cog to make that money. I am ashamed to work in the advertising business but I am not ashamed to make money. Money is the only path to freedom.
The cliché, money makes money, is a cliché for a reason. Tip your hat to Alexander Hamilton's mercantile money system for swatting Jefferson's agrarian manure system. Had America, this mighty country, and a quite fine one at that, been led astray by Jefferson's obscured view of a people's utopia, we might very well be slinging shit at pigs instead of slinging slogans at people.
Consumption is not an assumption. It's the American way. Thank Hamilton for that. And if you visit Monticello, Jefferson's stately quarters (which, by the way, he had trouble paying for because he never adopted the Hamilton philosophy) perched atop the rolling hills of the state of Virginia, remember that a man's mind evaporates along with his soul but a man's money lives on despite the ill-conceived, and costly Inheritance Tax.
And another thing. America needs men like George Jefferson, the pugnacious dry-cleaning tycoon, not men like Oliver Wendell Douglas, the well-educated, to-the-manor-born lawyer who awoke from the American dream only to find himself, and his loving, if somewhat dimwitted wife, Lisa, living the American nightmare in the picturesque town of Hooterville.
We must promote the good cause, which is the constant consumption of products put forth by the conglomerates. To do any less is to fail as a consumer. And if we bail, as did Oliver, we not only snap a link in the consumer chain, we also create a cumbersome chore for the consumer: to consume even more. A weighty burden, indeed.
Work is hell. I'll give you that. Hell, I'd rather not work. But I must. So I do. (Long story but suffice to say that a few distant relatives made some rather poor business choices forever altering what could have been, should have been, a life teeming with the carefree hedonistic pleasures enjoyed by but a few of our fellow consumers.) More importantly is the role we play as consumers. To not consume is to fail. To consume, but not consume enough, is to fail with equal disgrace. We must never relegate our consumer duties to other consumers. We must consume more than our fair share, at all times. The more money you make, the more consuming you do. Pick up the slack for the weaker consumer. By doing so, you help preserve the consumer culture and, ultimately, our way of life.
Priceline spokesman William Shatner is shown as a semi-superhero in two new ads from Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners. In them, Shatner is The Negotiator with a hotline/batphone in his lair decked out 60s/70s style.
In "Naughty," he uses his Captain Kirk charm to show a hotel employee how much fun it can be to be naughty. In "Dad," Shatner tazers a father to keep him from spending too much. The result is a fun romp and a refreshing way to use Shatner. It's pretty obvious they are going after the roaming gnome with the strategy that's behind this new campaign. See the spots below:
Thanks to Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Anonymous Content and Digital Domain, Orville Redenbacher lives again. Although perhaps they should have let him rest in peace, considering the creepy effect of digitally recreating the popcorn maestro. Perhaps the technology to bring back the dead is nearly here, but after seeing this piece of work, we might want to hold off on bringing back Dave in Wendy's ads or The Colonel for KFC.
Superadgrunts, check it out here.
Press for EuroRSCG Fuel of London's new advertising campaign "Product of Free Will" for the Volvo C30 is being touted as "breaking a long-held advertising taboo" because it shows consumers disrespecting the Volvo brand. If you go to the Volvo C30 microsite, you can view spots which "disrespect" the car by claiming "It's too exciting for my mom", "If it was up to me, I'd drop it in the sea", and an audience throwing tomatoes at the car in a theater. Oooh that's sooo disrespectful. Please. If you want to really let consumers speak their mind about the car, that's one thing. But to claim that they are showing people hating on the car is bogus.
The effort, begun in the United Kingdom last year and coming to the United States later this year, solicits people's opinions about the entry level premium hatchback and is themed "product of free will." The Web site, found at www.volvocars.com/freewill, offers, among other things, 16 short films that will also air on TV, said Tim Ellis, global advertising director of the Ford Motor Co. brand.
Each film represents someone's take on the car's looks, and while most are positive, several go the other way. Visitors are asked to rate the films, most of which end with a narrator saying, "That's one opinion. What's yours?" A 10-second positive film will run in the same commercial pod as a 10-second negative one.
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