Tag Archives | Advertising

Why Did CBS Accept A Superbowl Ad From Scientology Cult?

The most surprising commercial show during last night's Superbowl had to be that for the "Church" of Scientology. Classified as a cult in various countries (and as a criminal organization in Belgium), one wonders why the CBS television network decided to sell one of it's precious advertising spots to such a controversial entity when demand exceeded supply and all spots were sold well in advance of the game. Here's the rather dull ad for those of you who didn't watch the game or were not in a market where it aired:
Continue Reading

Coca-Cola’s Superbowl Commercial Is A Microcosm Of The Idea Of America

If you want to understand our culture, watch our commercials. Via Salon, Michael Shaw writes:
With the West in an endless struggle in the Middle East not just for resources but mindshare, we see the Coke bottle — the symbol of globalization and American commercialism — sitting there in the hot sand, the object of desire for, first of all, a hapless Gulf prince/camel jockey. Resonating with [the looming] immigration debate, we then have a Hispanic desperado evoking the desert as if the province of thirsty Mexicans looking north. It’s funny but not-so-funny when you consider that what America has to offer is, in fact, a mirage. What the ad people realize I’m sure is that, after more than a decade in Iraq and Afghanistan, the idea of “quenching” — no matter how much you “put down” the Arabs and Islamists — couldn’t be more ironic.
Continue Reading

This Was Not Written by a Machine

THIS WAS NOT WRITTEN BY A MACHINE

Somewhere there is a human who, as part of their job, once wrote out the following sentence: “A VARIED AND BALANCED DIET AND A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE ARE IMPORTANT”. Remembering this is not the work of a machine is important, at first my brain casually imagined it might have been[1]. The truth is, a thinking, breathing, living, person is behind that unhelpful statement on the back of  a packet of Wrigley’s gum.

Best case scenario they were a freelance copywriter doing a bit of contract work and had a word limit they needed to be as close to as possible. In this world the words become “filler” material and were only reprinted on an industrial scale because of a quirky clerical requirement. It’s still an irritating waste of resources but it seems less awful than the possibility anyone invested real thought into the process.

Ironically the more consideration that has gone into these words the worse the situation is.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Semiautomatic Weapon Manufacturer Bushmaster’s ‘Man Card’ Campaign

Via Buzzfeed, a fascinating just-deleted social media-based marketing campaign from Bushmaster, maker of Adam Lanza’s gun of choice. The Man Card campaign is centered around panic over potential loss of masculinity, with the ability to publicly revoke others’ “man cards,” and the promise that use of a Bushmaster assault rifle will provide the reinstatement of one’s man status:

The company that produces the semiautomatic rifle used in the Newtown, CT, shootings is currently running an online campaign based around virtual cards that “prove” the bearer’s manliness. One specifically talks about how unmanly it is to be afraid of elementary-school kids.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Artist Behind Faux-NYPD PSA Ads Arrested Following Investigation By Counter-Terrorism Unit

The creator of the previously noted fantastic poster campaign was apparently regarded as a terrorist threat and subject to a manhunt for daring to mock the police, the Verge reports:

A street artist who hung satirical posters criticising police surveillance activities has been arrested after an NYPD investigation tracked him to his doorstep. Essam Attia placed the Big Brother-style adverts in locations throughout Manhattan, using a fake Van Wagner maintenance van and uniforms to avoid detection. Attia now faces 56 counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument and grand larceny possession of stolen property.

Months after forensics teams and a “counter-terrorism” unit was spotted on the scene, the NYPD last Wednesday successfully tracked down and arrested the 29-year-old art school vandal, who identified himself in the video as a former “geo-spatial analyst” serving US military operations in Iraq.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Verizon Files Patent For Cable Box That Watches You As You Watch Television

Another reason not to own a TV, via Yahoo! News:

A Verizon patent idea envisions spying on TV viewers for the sake of serving up related ads. For instance, a couple snuggling in front of the TV could end up getting bombarded by commercials for romantic vacations, flowers or even birth control. The system could also detect a person’s mood or identify objects such as pets, soft drink cans or a bag of chips in a person’s hand, and room decorations or furniture.

Such a patent idea would turn TV set-top boxes into spy boxes with sensors for both seeing and hearing the activity in front of the TV. Many TV viewers already own such set-top boxes to access pay-per-view services, digital video recordings and Internet streaming.

The patent filing even suggests the tracking system communicating with whatever smartphone or tablet a TV viewer might happen to have in his or her hands.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

How Consumer Brainwashed Are You? The Game

Via Salon, Andrew Leonard on a smash-success smartphone game which tests and hones one’s recognition of corporate symbols:

I was a little taken aback last Sunday when I saw my 15-year-old son playing Logos Quiz, a game that is based on the ability to identify corporate logos, [and which] rocketed to the top of the most popular free download apps lists this spring. Imagine a brand being able to compare recognition rates of their logo by age, by zip code or by “likes.” Imagine a brand being able to insert alternate versions of their logo to test. We’re all test subjects for the future of advertising, all the time. Logos Quiz just makes it explicit.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Global Mega-Bank Co-Opts Occupy Movement In New Ad Campaign

The Denmark-based multinational Danske Bank is one of the world's largest, with assets worth about $600 billion. Its new marketing campaign, fascinating in much the same fashion as a train wreck, is based around the slogans "Occupy" and "A New Normal":
The strategy is intended to restore trust in the Bank and ensure that we live up to our new vision of being "Recognised as the most trusted financial partner." In order to reach that objective, we must set new standards for banking operations.
Continue Reading

Boobs and Booze? Where Do I Sign?

“By the way, if anyone here is in marketing or advertising…kill yourself.” – Bill Hicks.

According to The New York Daily News:

A German liquor company called G-Spirits is promising customers that “every drop” of its line of alcoholic beverages has been poured on the naked breasts of a certified model — with her approval, of course.

[…]

The booze brand brags that its barrel-aged whisky has been thoroughly splashed on the ample bosom of Alexa Varga, Hungary’s 2012 Playboy Playmate of the Year.

For 139 euros (around $180 plus shipping), says the firm, you will find “its unbelievably versatile flavors range from roasted almonds, dried fruit, and toffee, to honey, vanilla, baked apples and cinnamon. Its finish is harmonic, well-balanced, spicy and long-lasting.”

The company claims that the stock is limited to a mere 5000 bottles and comes with a certificate, including the original signature of the model and the bottle number, which proves that “every single drop” touched the model’s flesh.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Germany Army In Trouble For Propaganda Ads In Teen Magazines

It’s intriguing that marketing the military to kids is considered illegal and unethical in parts of the world, as it seems a normal part of life here in the United States. Via Russia Today:

The German Army has been accused of unethical recruitment practices, after it placed ads in a teen magazine promising “crazy water battles” and flights “in a real army plane” at its “Adventure Camps” that encourage youngsters to join the army.

The colorful adverts, showing smiling young teens, were published online and in the printed edition of Bravo, Germany’s most popular teen magazine. Under the slogan “Action, Adrenaline Adventure!” the German army, known as the Bundeswehr, is offering paid-for trips to Sardinia and the Alps for underage teens, where they are told about a possible career in the army once they come of age. Legally, the Bundeswehr cannot recruit people under the age of 18.

Ralf Willinger, a children’s rights consultant at Terre des Hommes [said] “The armed forces should be limited to recruiting adults, so that they do not attract young people who are easily influenced and can hardly appreciate what an obligation military service and the related foreign missions can entail.”

Read the rest

Continue Reading