Disinfonauts probably know about the Black Knight satellite controversy (if you don’t, check out these stories), but have you seen Pepsi’s new short film “Black Knight Decoded”? Once again Madison Avenue has coopted an underground meme and trivialized it, but with massively expensive production values and the most perfectly groomed actors money can buy:
Tag Archives | Advertising
I woke up with cable this morning, in a hotel room, with a few free hours before work. I haven’t had cable in a while. This, coupled with the absence of clothing and the abundance of toy commercials aired during cartoons, led me to form a completely unremarkable political theory.
There wasn’t anything on any of the seven Showtime channels. I found my way to Cartoon Network. I was content letting my mind wander to animation, but then the commercials started, and didn’t stop. Toys, toys, toys. A plastic Mario on a ‘hovering’ plastic car. Another toy commercial, for a creepy mask and Spiderman web shooters. Two for the girls: fluorescent comb-able plastic ponies and collectible princess dolls.
While their parents are sleeping, reluctant to let go of the tasteless bliss of dreamless sleep and return to the land of dental plaque and insurance premiums, children are bombarded by footage of euphoric children intercut with the faces of facsimile animals and their favorite cartoon pals.… Read the rest
An editorial over at Rebel News asks if it’s actually possible to work against the Man if you are also working for him?
… Read the rest
Let’s talk about being a rebel.
Everyone seems to want to be one. But it’s not entirely clear what it means. Does it take camo- pants? A Che T-shirt? A guitar? Is it just doing the opposite of whatever your parents did? “Be an individual, a rebel, innovate,” so many advertisements whisper. They’d have us believe that True Revolutionaries think different. They use Apple, or drink Coke. We signal our dissent to one another with the music we listen to and the cars we drive.
There’s something very peculiar going on here, something elusive and deeply contentious.
In the 1997 book, Commodify Your Dissent, Thomas Frank laid out a thesis that may appear common sense to those that have watched or lived in the commodified subcultures of the 90s, 00s, and beyond.
It’s been 60 years since the first TV ad was broadcast in the UK. In that time, we’ve moved from the innocent grainy black-and-white “Tingle of Health” of Gibbs SR toothpaste, to the sophisticated hyper-reality of 4K TV and beyond, in lock-step with developing communications technologies. The next 60 years will certainly see an even faster pace of change. So what can we look forward to (or not) in the realm of advertising?
Between us and the horizon we can already see a dramatic move from old-fashioned “broadcasting”, through current “narrowcasting” (ever smaller, more specialist audiences) to full personalisation, a la Minority Report. 4OD provided a good example recently. When I signed onto the site, a clip appeared of a person walking along pulling a case with a swinging label – reading Leslie.
As our interface with the world increasingly collapses to our screens it will become easier – and more profitable – for advertisers to “see” us, recognise our interests and motivations, and tailor ad content accordingly.… Read the rest
The World’s Best Ever has curated an interesting collection of vintage “cocaccessories” ads.
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“During the Second War, the U.S.O. sent special issues of the principal American magazines to the Armed Forces, with the ads omitted. The men insisted on having the ads back again. Naturally. The ads are by far the best part of any magazine or newspaper. More pains and thought, more wit and art go into the making of an ad than into any prose feature of press or magazine. Ads are news. What is wrong with them is that they are always good news.”
I sometimes wonder when I’m watching Mad Men, if and when the various characters read the passage above, from Marshall McLuhan’s Understanding Media, which came out in 1964. Of all the great sixties cultural icons that are missing from Mad Men—and some of the absences can be glaring—I’ve always found the lack of any mention of media writer and thinker McLuhan the most inexplicable.
There is ONE topic above all others that basically cannot be addressed on your television sets. Even mentioning it goes antithetical to everything our media stands for. Once you see the truth about this one thing, it can change your entire world. And our media REALLY doesn’t want that.
A. S. Hamrah writes at the Baffler:
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Soon there will only be two kinds of ads on broadcast TV: commercials for things that make you sick and commercials for things that cure the illnesses caused by the things that make you sick. That’s why fast-food ads are stocked with images of youth living it up, while Big Pharma ads feature old people enjoying themselves despite their afflictions. These two types of ads follow each other with an inexorable logic, alternating the vibrant primary colors of childhood with the washed-out pastels of old age. TV tries to create life in time slots. Drama and comedy are interrupted on schedule for servings of Chicken McNuggets and pills. On broadcast TV, those are the Ages of Man.
This restless flickering between life and death makes sense for a time in which the broadcast networks’ mission of offering entertainment for the whole family generates diminishing returns.
Big Brother is vacationing in Hong Kong, apparently. The South China Morning Post reports on an ad campaign in the former British colony that used the DNA of the litterbugs to create posters with their composite faces:
… Read the rest
A campaign that used DNA analysis to give a face to anonymous Hong Kong litterbugs, then posted representations of the faces on billboards across the city, has been a big hit on social media.
The Face of Litter campaign was launched on Global Earth Day last month for the Hong Kong Cleanup Initiative, organised by online magazine Ecozine and the Nature Conservancy. It was aimed at raising awareness of the extent of littering in the city by pinpointing those responsible and encouraging people to change their behaviour…
Marketing communications agency Ogilvy & Mather Hong Kong came up with the idea for the billboard campaign and enlisted US-based Parabon Nanolabs.
Guns on sale in New York? Unthinkable, right?
Check out this PSA from Grey Advertising, via Adweek:
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States United to Prevent Gun Violence and its agency, Grey New York, have teamed up for some truly hard-hitting PSAs, including 2013’s famous “Ed” spot, which won a Silver Lion in Film at Cannes. Now, they’ve moved on to a new tactic—a social experiment set in the real world.
They did what they’re calling “the unthinkable”—opened a real-looking gun store on the Lower East Side of Manhattan and invited first-time gun buyers to check it out, with hidden cameras rolling.
To create drama, they put disturbing tags on each weapon, indicating which models were used in particular mass shootings, unintentional shootings, homicides and suicides. Needless to say, the fresh-faced buyers end up looking rather pallid by the end, and aren’t quite as excited to head home with a firearm.