Tag Archives: advertising

Incongruous Cross-Promotional Banner Ad of the Day

Doris, could you order us some more legal pads, a box of blue Bics and a 16-pound bird? Thanks.

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Character Assassination: The State Farm Guy

In this first edition of Character Assassination, allow me to present The State Farm Guy:

I don’t know what it is about him that makes me dislike him so. He’s just so… smarmy. He makes me squirm.

I know I’m not alone. Ask Google. Or the facebook. Meet I Hate The State Farm Guy, with over 2,500 friends:

(I’d steer clear of George Jungle. Yikes.)

I can’t decide whom I hate more, him or the esurance chick. But I fear my bitterness toward that pink haired floozy could be tinged with jealousy. My antipathy toward him is at least pure. What it is about insurance companies that their marketing campaigns are so likely to be divisive? Do you know anyone who’s moderate on Flo, the Progressive rep? I guess we wouldn’t pay attention to insurance commercials otherwise. Are admen that smart?

Journalism, by the Numbers, by the Wayside

For a quick by-the-numbers lesson on the sad state of current media affairs, read the opening sentence of media guru Ken Auletta’s column in this week’s New Yorker:

In the past three years, newspaper advertising revenues have plummeted, a fourth of all newsroom employees have been laid off or have accepted buyouts, and more than a hundred free local papers have folded.

The industry’s unlikely hero, Auletta continues, is AOL, which has hired 900 journalists in the last year, adding another 40 each week to its mushrooming Patch local newsroom network. Or should that be anti-hero? The compendium of online newspapers in small, affluent communities numbers 700 in 19 states and the District of Columbia, and each is run by an editor who makes, Auletta reports, between $40,000 and $50,000 a year.

Just a few short years ago, $40k was the starting salary for a bottom-of-the-masthead magazine reporter. Not, certainly, what an effective Editor-in-Chief should even consider. Honestly, I don’t know what Patch writers make, but I know it’s not much, and that it is a source of much nervous and angry chatter among journalists who are hungry for work but unwilling to chew and swallow their pride for sustenance. It’s no wonder we’re all so fucking bitter.

Other, funnier numbers from the story include:

  • 50% of internet surfers logged on using AOL pay-per-minute dial-up service in the late 1990s
  • 35 million AOL users in 2002
  • 4 million AOL users today (and falling precipitously)
  • 75% of current AOL dial-up subscribers have DSL or cable hook-ups and don’t need AOL — but don’t realize it
  • $9.99-$25.90 per month: price of AOL’s dial-up plan options [not in the story; I added that one]

Still being able to subscribe to the New Yorker and read it in print on the subway: Priceless.

Eat this! It’ll make you doody!

Spotted in Boston at the Fenway Park subway station, a rather ill-advised ad for Chipotle burritos. Too bad the baseball wordplay means nothing, and doesn’t distract from the immediate associations the slogan suggests. Like: CLEAR THE ROOM. Or VOID YOUR BOWELS.

If you can’t read the fine print it says, “For best results, don’t get on the subway directly after eating.”

Women’s Thoughts on Sexist Ads More Offensive than Ads Themselves

My brother sent me a link to some awesomely sexist magazine ads on icanhasinternets.com. So entertaining the mid-20th Century obsession with douching (if you don’t, he’ll leave you) and those starkly-drawn distinctions between the woman’s place in the home and the man’s place in the office. Or car. You look at these unbelievably offensive ads and think, Boy, have we come a long way.

Then you look at the comments and you take it back…

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It’s Always Sunny Sells Out in Season Six

When your favorite band — that one you knew since they pressed their first seven inch back in high school — sells out it’s easy to get a little outraged. And it feels entirely justifiable, in a music-snob, self-righteous kind of way. If you’re talking about a TV show, however, one on a mid-tier network that’s already in its sixth season, it’s harder to dignify indignation.

While I can appreciate Coors Light signing on to sponsor FX’s It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, the product placement in last night’s season six premier was jarring. Between the Coors bottles, napkins and napkin holders, images of tapped Rockies were present in every shot from the bar.

Distracting for sure, but at least germane. When Dennis and Dee arrange a meeting with their high school crushes at a Subway, though, it’s just silly. The signage is absurd. And they’re there for breakfast. Breakfast? Even if there was some compelling reason within the show’s script to explain why they’d go to Subway, why the fuck would anyone — let alone two drunks without day jobs — go at breakfast?

Oh, that’s right: 

Subtle.

Well, I guess It’s Always Sunny has never been about subtlety. Nor has the advertising world. So maybe it’s a perfect union. I’m sure the characters, our degenerate friends Dee, Dennis, Mac, Charlie and Frank, would sell out in a flash if given the chance.

(Mini review of the season opener: Good. Not amazing, but good. Frank asking the tranny if she had to sell her dick to China? Awesome.)

I Hate Your Body… of Work

The “I Love My Body” Victoria’s Secret campaign has been running for several months now, but I only just had the pleasure of catching one of the TV spots. You guys love your bodies, huh? Go fuck yourselves.

I know, I sound so typical, but I don’t even care. Seriously… just go fuck yourselves.

Sure, I get where you’re going: we should all love our bodies. And watching videos of supermodels explaining why they love theirs (1, 2, 3, 4) really makes me reflect on how I feel about mine. Truly inspiring, thanks. I have an idea for Vickie’s marketing staff. If you want your models to seem relateable, your next commercials should show them standing in front of the mirror pinching millimeters of belly skin and whining about their insecurities. Wow, models really are like the rest of us! That’ll make me a VS shopper for sure!

Assholes.