Over at Ditchwalk today, Mark Barrett points out that sex in mainstream advertising is a tell. There are two things it immediately communicates: that the product is “indistinguishable from its competition,” and that it is generic. You don’t have to stop appreciating libido-stirring images the next time a sexy ad airs (not that you probably could, anyway). But if you keep Barrett’s advice in mind, you may start noticing that some companies are telling you more about their product than they probably mean to. [More]
No. You do not want to watch this video. Just promise the New York City Department of Health people that you won’t drink sugary soda so much. Then we’ll all be healthier, happier people, and nobody has to watch this video. (Video is embedded below.) [More]
Time just published its “Top 10 Any Category We Can Think Of” issue, and buried in there is a group of 10 great ads from the past year. Well, maybe not “great”–I would rather shove Norplant in my eyes than watch Evian’s rollerskating babies spot, but some of the other ones are pretty good. There’s also some great music in the list, including “Rapper’s Delight,” a Radiohead track, Bach, and Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf. [More]
Marketers had a message for the housewives of the 1950s: they weren’t doing a good enough job at home. Their husbands had to resort to going elsewhere for it. Why, even the girls at the office could do it much better.
As a whimsical follow-up to AT&T’s lawsuit concerning their “There’s a map for that” ads, Verizon Wireless released their Christmas-themed set of AT&T/iPhone bashing ads today. They’re harsh, but also pretty funny.
Oh no! Brooke Shields used to have stringy, stick-figure eyelashes! I figured this out after watching Consumer Reports’ video dissection of a new commercial for Latisse, the glaucoma medication that has been rebranded as an expensive, temporary eyelash enhancer with side effects.
Did you know your eyes have probably been viewing things in only 480 vertical lines of resolution? Thankfully someone out there isn’t as stupid as the rest of us, and realized that if our television sets can be upgraded to HD, so can our eyeballs. At least they can with the help of these special sunglasses.
Consumerist’s Chris Walters is slated to be a live guest on the BBC’s “World News Today” tomorrow morning at 7:30 am Eastern, shown on the BBC America and BBC World News cable channels. He’ll be talking about those talking ads in the Sept 18 issue of Entertainment Weekly which combine singing greeting card technology with tiny LCD screens. Set your DVRs, and bust out the tea and crumpets.
Here’s one horrible thought about the steady advance in display technology: there could be a future where a noisy, hyperkinetic commercial plays as you turn the page of your magazine, and your Tivo remote will not be able to save you.
Sales of Bud Light are down, probably because of the recession, but we hope it’s because of the aggressively annoying “Drinkability” campaign. In any case, AB has decided to roll out more than 15 new “Drinkability” commercials in the coming weeks, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Remember Hardee’s anal-centric “a-hole” ads? Even if they never aired in your area, they’ve been floating around online for a few weeks at least. Ben Mayo Boddie, who operates 350 Hardee’s restaurants from his home in North Carolina, has had enough of a-hole this, ball muncher that, and he’s refusing to air the spots.
What happens when Microsoft hires a small digital ad agency to help promote the next version of Office? You get Office 2010: The Movie, an action-thriller interpretation of Microsoft Office. Does it work? You be the judge.
The reality show “Pitchmen” gave us a behind-the-scenes look at infomercials produced by and starring the delightful duo of Anthony Sullivan and the late Billy Mays. (Oddly, the program made me less wary of infomercial products. But I’m still not about to actually order any.) But wait—there’s more! Check out this video to see what goes on behind the scenes at another direct-sales powerhose, TriStar Products.
Remember Harry and Louise? I don’t, but apparently they were a fictional couple in an early-90s TV commercial, produced by the insurance industry to help sway opinion against the Clinton health plan. Now banks and other financial companies may be pooling resources to create a new “Harry and Louise” style ad to convince Americans that Obama’s proposed agency to monitor abusive financial practices will limit choice and ruin lives.