Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Call me Scrooge, but this video that is going viral all over Canada doesn't warm my heart quite as much as it should:
Don't get me wrong. I actually really like the WestJet brand. It's an employee-owned airline, and the crews regularly sing, tell jokes, and do other fun things for the passengers. So surprising a flight with Christmas presents on arrival is totally on-strategy. (As is the Santa in their corporate indigo.)
The adman in me appreciates the concept, execution, and pure joy of this stunt. The part that bothers me a bit is the reinforcement of Christmas as a time to ask for — and receive — luxury goods from big box retailers. Yeah, sure, we all do it. But it would have been nice for the airline to give to people who really need things like food, shelter and company this winter. The best part of this promotion was when people wanted plane tickets home for the holidays. Now that's Christmas spirit!
On the lighter side, however, it's interesting to note that not everyone asked for big-ticket items. I wonder if the guy who asked for underpants was kicking himself later...
Monday, December 9, 2013
This Pantene ad from the Philippines reminded me of a recent conversation with a woman colleague. She was saying that people tell her she's "aggressive" and "pushy." I told her they had a name for men who are like her: "Sir."
This double standard, unfortunately, is still with us. We see it everyday. Confidence and aggression are celebrated when men display them, but women who do the same are put down by women and men alike.
Perhaps a shampoo ad can't end it, but it's at least good that we're talking about it.
Thursday, December 5, 2013
The abysmal writing and low production quality of this ad are insulting enough to viewers. But watch it, and prepare to be appalled.
According to The Nation:
TheNation.com has discovered that Worker Center Watch was registered by the former head lobbyist for Walmart. Parquet Public Affairs, a Florida-based government relations and crisis management firm for retailers and fast food companies, registered the Worker Center Watch website.
The firm is led by Joseph Kefauver, formerly the president of public affairs for Walmart and government relations director for Darden Restaurants.This is what we call "astroturfing" — fake grassroots movements as corporate reactions to real activism.
Of course, you could also say that the exposé has a point of view; The Upworthy post I saw this on was sponsored by AFL-CIO. But the characterization of all those who stand up to Black Friday labour abuses as lazy, paid, union stooges is pretty dishonest no matter where you stand politically.
Adland shared this seasonal Swedish mailer for retailer ICA featuring a boy in the traditional roleplay of female martyr Santa Lucia, and a girl as the traditionally male stjärngosse (a star boy).
Åsk 'dabitch' Wäppling writes, "For people in the States: This is the equivalent to a boy homecoming queen. Not a transgender homecoming queen. Just a boy homecoming queen."
Personally, I like it. There is no mention of how traditionalists in Sweden reacted. dabitch quips, "They might still be in shock."
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Now THIS is how you deploy the "ad designed to be banned" strategy.
Via Australia, of course:
What's not to love? The ad celebrates safer sex, it uses sexuality to sell in a playful way, and it isn't sleazy.
Australia's FreeTV "Commercials Advice" department (CAD) refused the ad for commercial broadcast. “CAD knocked it back asking for the removal of all sexual references,” Four Seasons founder and managing director Graham Porter told AdNews. “To connect with the younger demographic, you need to be irreverent and entertaining and to remove all sexual references in the TV ad defeats the purpose of this entire campaign. The fact is this is a critical safe sex message.”
The ads will run, however, in Australia's Hoyts cinema chain's theatres before screenings of Jackass: Bad Grandpa — aimed at a 16- to 24-year-old audience.
The ad was written and directed by comedian Gary Eck, known internationally as screenwriter for the children's movie Happy Feet Two.