Every other day of the year, people hate ads. Ads are the things we have developed entire multi-million dollar industries (Tivo, Hulu, DVRs, Netflix Streaming) just in order to avoid. Television ads are the one thing you can reliably complain about with anyone.
I have many male friends who are caring and responsible dads. I know no fewer than three stay-at-home dads who are the primary caregiver for their children, as well as being the ones maintaining the household: they shoulder the bulk of the cooking, cleaning, and errand-running duties while their wives work outside the home bringing in the primary salary. And they do a great job of it, too.
Advertising often purports to solve the problems of really stupid people. I decided to start a tournament style competition to find the stupidest people in ads being aired in America today.
Every time I see this Special K ad, I grind my teeth. It starts out well: a woman (who by the way is quite slim) goes shopping for jeans. Instead of sizes, the jeans are labeled "Radient" and "Sassy" or whatever. A voice-over asks, wouldn't it be great if we ignored sizes in favor of how we feel inside?
A Toronto ad agency conceived of a novel - and unsettling - new ad campaign which unfortunately seems to be working fairly well. Expect this form of "guerilla advertising" to start popping up more often in the future.
Smugness is a tricky beast to harness. Do it wrong, and you risk having the opposite effect to the one you intended. This is certainly the case with the smug parents in the "Gerber Grow-Up Plan" commercial.
The obvious problem is that babies do not need life insurance. It's a tragic thing if a baby dies, I think we can all agree on that. But life insurance is designed to help supplement the lost income from a family earner. Unless your baby is supporting your household as a day trader with eTrade, this is not an issue for you.
The video begins focusing on a quick run before breakfast with the guys. They’re not dorks, either. Of course, it’s just seconds before we see the girl in a yellow bikini. Oh, yeah - gotta throw in the sex appeal. Back to the camaraderie as we see the group (including more girls) having fun at the beach and then toasting around a table. Even better, they don’t have a buzz on yet, because it is, after all, MGD 64. These guys won’t be developing any paunches, either, because of the low calorie count.
I love the song. It has a definite Irish lilt to it that’s obviously based on folk music from an earlier era of sea-going men on their sailing ships. This type of music, dubbed “sea shanties,” or “chantey,” dates back centuries, with attribution to the working man. Don’t be surprised to see this become a trend in the near future.
As a final note, the low-carb, low-calorie beer market is afloat with bad reviews, along with some who think it’s a good idea. There’s Michelob Ultra and Budweiser 55, which really goes to the basement on full-bodied taste, according to some. But, if someone’s going to down a 30-pack over the course of an evening, that’s probably not the right market for such a beverage.
So, back to the healthy-conscious folks who enjoy life to the fullest and don’t want to get a buzz. This one’s for you.
Now, with a new cantina style menu, the suits and creatives have finally decided an overhaul is needed. They’re also assuming that just about everyone, everywhere knows some Spanish. Don’t we? The new tagline is “Live Mas,” which translates into “live more,” in case you need a little help with that. This isn’t their first attempt to teach English speakers a foreign language. Remember the Chihuahua and the “Yo Quiero Taco Bell” commercials. (Hint: “I Want Taco Bell.”)
Their Youtube video, titled “Pockets” is more of a mood-setting than a push for the chain’s food. At the end, their big reveal is a Slab Hauler (non-relevant, but that translates into “losa transportista”) theater stub and a packet of TB’s hot sauce. Must have been some good time, huh? It’s a nice warm fuzzy that lets our imaginations go to work.
There are naysayers, of course, and this is coming off a bad year of accusations about their meat (or lack thereof). Some critics are stating they’re overreaching - it’s just fast food, after all, and cheap stuff at that. Now seems to be a good time to re-brand and if this new approach works, that’s great. At least the call to “think outside” is dunzo.
While I might not be a Taco Bell fan, the Border Sauce label with the “Fire” imprint makes we want to swipe a few packets.
This is the ad we did not see at the Super Bowl - apparently, it wasn’t ready for prime time. Instead, the company ran a spot titled “Seduction.” Before that, Jenny from the Block took a turn in the Fiat, but then got her chops busted for not really tooling around the “Block.” With that particular ride ripped out from under the car company, it was just another blow to the Abarth’s sorry launch to begin with.
They’ve done an excellent tie-in that may turn off those opposed to sex, drugs, and bad behavior. But how big a group is that, anyway? Hopefully, Fiat won’t get any flak for that. Especially after the Lopez fuss.
So bad advertising now turns to the bad boy himself for a re-boot. The former “Men” star has had an interesting last few months at best and haven’t we all followed along? Sure, we have. The video is well-done in my opinion, but it also suffered from the backlash of Sheen’s most recent behavior. Critics who agreed that the whole warlock and goddess stuff was just silly, out of control, or downright wrong probably won’t be flocking to buy a Fiat any time soon.
The End may have begun with Lynx body spray. It’s a manly product that obviously is a must-have on this commercial’s wooden ark. The sparse accommodations, built single-handedly as we watch, are getting spiffed up for the influx of females. Just before they begin boarding - two by two - the man of the hour adds a few spritzes of Lynx.
Survivalists will also want to head down to the local Chevy dealer post-haste. The Silverado is our truck to save the day; forget Ford (according to the commercial). Out of the rubble, a bevy of Chevys comes rumbling to center stage, complete with male drivers, a dog, and raining frogs. Oh, and a box of Twinkies.
If there’s no room in the ark and you can’t afford a Silverado, you might still survive. Just pick up a six-pack of wheat beer from Anheuser-Busch and you’ll be in good shape. If not a little jollier. But first, there’s destruction, crevices, flames, and a guest appearance from a large lizard with flashing red eyes.
With the predicted end just a few months away (December 21, 2012), there’s still time to take stock of how you smell, make a change in driving habits, and grab an ice-cold bottle of Shock Top.
Prepare now - you’ve been warned.