Wed. Nov 26, 2008
I’m guessing you’ve seen the ads on TV. They are for a product that is an odd jumble of words, the “Amish made heat surge.” During the commercial, we see a lot of men wearing Amish hats, indoors, assembling these electrical devices, which they market as some kind of Amish made fireplace.
Hilarious example one, hilarious example two. They look so real, don’t they? (you can also teach your infant that things which look very hot are actually OK to touch!)
Thu. Feb 01, 2007
You’ve certainly heard the story by now. But, my, what a lovely lead: “Authorities have arrested two men in connection with electronic light boards depicting a middle-finger-waving moon man that triggered repeated bomb scares around Boston on Wednesday and prompted the closure of bridges and a stretch of the Charles River.“
An electronic moon man closed a river in Boston. And that’s not the most ridiculous part of the story.
Sat. Dec 09, 2006
I’ve made my income in one form or another of the advertising business for almost three decades. I’ve seen, heard, and even at times, been a part of, a lot of bad advertising over those decades. And if this guy has the Design Disease, then I probably have the Advertising Affliction. I get more amusement and befuddlement from bad advertising than I do from any other poorly formed creative act on this planet.
An example arrived unsolicited in the mail the other day. It wasn’t even addressed to me. But when a simple glance at the primary imagery and headline nearly brought me to my knees, I said, “honey, you’ve got to let me have that.”
Sun. Feb 06, 2005
Last year, I asked, “Question: How much stupidity can form around one simple football game? Answer: In America, stupidity knows no boundaries.”
Well, over the last year, you might say some boundaries were established. The only stupid mishap I saw this year was when Coach Belichick came out of the tunnel at the start of the game, and he went to the wrong bench. Um, other side of the field, Coach. After that, he was fairly flawless.
Thu. Jan 27, 2005
[The following is a letter composed to be sent to Circuit City, knowing full well it wonâ€™t change a thing. But I have a feeling itâ€™s a common complaint, so Iâ€™m also posting it here.]
Wed. Apr 28, 2004
Fri. Apr 09, 2004
I guess it’s not exactly news that political ads often distort reality. But the latest ads from MoveOn.org step over a couple of lines. Or rather, stomp all over them.
Sat. Aug 09, 2003
The Origins Of The Dew – My own site is purveying dangerous misinformation: “Actually, Mountain Dew was a copy itself, of Canada Dry’s Wink (‘The Sassy One’ as it was called in the commercials in the late 1960s). Mountain Dew followed it onto the shelves a short time later, and benefitted from Pepsi’s superior nationwide marketing ability.”
Sun. May 18, 2003
Battle of the Brand Colors – I’ve written before about a childhood friend and amazing product, responsible “’for more case sales in the U.S.—810 million—than all of the bottled water brands combined’, with retail sales of almost $5 billion.” The product is Mountain Dew, and I wrote “I Dew” when they introduced the Original Blasphemer, Mountain Dew Code Red.
Mon. May 05, 2003
One Crappy Ad Campaign – If you have food or beverage in hand, move along. This is a bit … scatological. I thought maybe I was just weird (stop snickering) in my reaction to a certain ad campaign that’s been going on for some time now. I thought maybe it was just some childhood trauma from toilet training deeply buried in my subconcious that caused me to react the way I did. But I’ve recently learned that others had the very same reaction to hearing the dominant catch phrase in this ad campaign:
Wed. Jan 15, 2003
Tue. Oct 15, 2002
The Myth of ’18 to 34’ – The advertising industry has long functioned on the the basic ”appeal” to a particular target audience, the ”18 to 34’s,” to the point it became more than just a target audience. It’s become a driving force of American culture. "It is, as it has been for 40 years, the principle by which a great deal of our popular culture—not just TV, but music, movies, radio—comes into existence."
Mon. Jul 15, 2002
Customer Communication Means Profit, Dummy – No, that’s not what the article says. But hang on, this customer will get there. "The nation’s second-largest Internet provider, EarthLink, launched a digital music service this week, following the lead of its giant competitor, America Online, and smaller providers such as Speakeasy.net [...] It’s part of an industry-wide attempt to move beyond the bland, low-profit business of connectivity to the more lucrative realm of digital entertainment—in hopes of eventually competing with cable for a greater share of home spending.
Tue. May 14, 2002
Gonzo Marketing: The Semantic Disconnect – (via Dangerousmeta) The article has a discouraging headline, ”Net firms turning to tradition in advertising,” but it starts off on a hopeful note, one that resonates with all the discussion of late: "...ad buyers steeped in the vernacular of print, outdoor and broadcast media still don’t understand how to reach a specific audience on the Internet."
Sun. May 12, 2002
Gonzo Marketing: Evolution, Not Revolution – There’s been a lot of commentary since I reacted to the article in The Guardian on ”Gonzo Marketing,” and to some, my admittedly sloppily presented position seems one of opposition. As usual, things are not quite so binary.
Fri. May 10, 2002
Gonzo Marketing – No, unfortunately Hunter S. Thompson isn’t involved, as that would give this idea more entertainment value. Here’s the concept, as capsulized in The Guardian: "What replaces mass market, broadcast advertising is Locke’s ’gonzo marketing’, which is not really marketing but ’market advocacy’ through participation, sponsorship and support. The internet replaces the us-and-them relationship (creative people broadcasting to couch potatoes) with a network of conversations, which is all markets are, really. "
Tue. Apr 30, 2002
What Kind of Capitalists Are You? – This tickles me in a special place. "At least nine national cable networks have turned down a potentially lucrative—though controversial—ad schedule from the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia. No national cable networks are known to have accepted the ads. The 10-day flight is an image campaign from the Arab nation. The tagline for the spots is ’The People of Saudi Arabia—Allies Against Terrorism.’ "
Wed. Apr 03, 2002
Some Space Is Not For Sale – I expect to see all kinds of weird advertising within my browser ”portal,” the portion of a browser that displays web pages. Flash critters dancing across entire pages, epilepsy inducing banner ads, ads that purposely imitate operating system components in hopes the unwary will click them … it’s all unfortunately part of visual landscape on much of the web.