Thursday, November 10, 2005

Lamenting in unison

This opens the door for discussion. What is it about most Canadian advertising that is so god awful? Compared to the rest of the world, there appears to be a real lack of sophistication in our advertising. Is this because, as one of my readers suggests, that Canadians themselves are not sophisticated, and that we have no sense of irony? Why are we stuck with outdated models that rely on pure frequency to beat a message into our brains? Is there something wrong with us? Is it true that the Brits have all the answers to everything? We need some discussion on this blog, so lets hear what you have to say.

This beauty is from Australia, where the ads are even worse.

The enemy amongst us

One of my most faithful readers has sent me the ad for today. It represents all that is evil in the world of advertising, and all of the reasons why I got into advertising in the first place – to help put an end to these 70s-style, Chinese water torture tactics.

Pure Evil

Along the theme of turning ads into art or entertainment for viral effect, here is an ad out of France that gets the message across in a fun way. Not So Evil

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Swing Low Alabama

Neil Young didn’t make a lot of friends down South when he sang Southern Man and Alabama. All his talk of burning crosses and slavery rubbed a lot of Southerners the wrong way. This inspired Lynyrd Skynyrd to write Sweet Home Alabama, as a confederate marching anthem with the lyrics:

Well, I heard Mister Young sing about her
Well, I heard old Neil put her down
Well, I hope Neil Young will remember
A southern man don't need him around, anyhow

Music is a powerful force. With just a few opening notes, emotions, allegiances, politics and loyalties can fly. Look at Waltzing Matilda in Australia or any national anthem. It can divide a room, it can lead to violence, unity or change.

When music is used in advertising it can instill those same emotions and loyalty onto the brand.

Thinking about it - if sustainability is any kind of movement, it really needs some kind of rocking theme song. Jack White is in the process of writing a song for Coke - Celine Dion wrote a smash hit about Canadian Airlines. Maybe they could get Jello Biafra to come up with another Moon over Marin.

But just don't sit there, get writing, here are a few old album covers to inspire you.

But wait! I’ve been distracted by sex appeal! Here is the Paris Hilton Burger King adif you haven’t seen it already. It was pulled from TV.

I really should have an excuse to have foxy young blondes on a serious blog - so maybe we can turn this into discussion of some sorts, about gratuity, objectification, stereotyping, or the other ills of the trade - maybe get some feminist impressions. If not, let's chalk it up to mirth.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Effective Advertising

I love this ad.

To me, it has everything that an ad should have to be effective.

Simple concept – it can be explained in one sentence.


An element of surprise.

Plenty of talk power – it is easy to describe to someone else.

Consistent positioning with other ads in the campaign.

Sex appeal (for some anyway)



Visually striking.

This ad does exactly what an ad is supposed to do – draw attention to the ad itself.

The only thing that is missing is seamlessly drawing attention to a believable feature of the product.

I’ll try to track down great feature ad for tomorrow.

Monday, November 07, 2005

The connection between sustainability and advertising

Sustainability boils down to the perpetuation of human life on this planet.

Advertising is often used to promote fashion on the backs of the oppressed, resource draining mass consumerism, ephemeral values and self-destructive habits.

So on the surface – they couldn’t be more opposite.

However, advertising is an impartial non-entity. It is like electricity and it can be used to light up the world with something new and useful and interesting, or to set it on fire.

The classic poison-remedy model that advertisers use does just that. it injects poison into the population. By prying into our insecurities, and twisting the knife, it opens a wound that can only be healed by buying the product.

Fear, shame and shock campaigns operate in a similar manner. Needless to say, their work is to spread negativity and dangle an antidote before our eyes.

But it doesn’t always need to be this way. More and more the model is changing to appeal to a mature consumer.

Advertising driven by greed appeals only to those with equally selfish intentions.

The boomers have reached a comfortable stage of their life and are no longer driven by finance alone. Their interests and subsequently the interests of the majority have shifted to enlightenment.

To appeal to the ethical consumer, we are no longer are speaking a language of avarice and wasteful consumption. The new crusade is to make the world a better place for all of humanity, and the way information is spread has to reflect this.

Here is a beautiful spot out of Peru. Magic