Bad Advertising

But it’s expensive as fuck, right?

Yesterday I tried out Virgin America’s latest ad. An interactive video that lets you see all the benefits of traveling with them.

You can try it out here.

It’s a very nice execution. It looks good, sounds OK and is decently engaging. But how many people will actual go through the whole video and do all the moves? I did, but I think it’s mostly because I wanted to know how it worked. Being an ad-geek of sort I had higher hopes for it. Because this video must have cost a small fortune to produce.

After completing the “video” I feel that I’d love to try Virgin America out. But I wanted that before as well. The only new impression I have of Virgin is that they must be expensive as fuck. And do the in flight entertainment actually cost? Or was I only imagining that it said “unlimited” entertainment in first class?

I guess the video is meant to replace a text that describes what they offer. If that’s the case this is a cool way of doing it. But how many will go through all the trouble?

Mentos: the crapmaker

From the same agency that made the Geico ads (here & here).

What I don’t get is how an agency can go from the Geico ads to this. I realize it was made by a different team (probably all the way though the process), there was a different target group, a different product, different media etc. However none of those explain why they chose to sell their client crap. Or why the client chose to buy crap.

My biggest concern is something other than the fact that the ads just try to sell on sex. It’s the middle school level of the idea. How come “Let’s put the product in front of something people want to REALLY see” is the final outcome of all the work that was put into this? And the execution of that idea ends up as: boobs and tits…

It’s nice to see the guys at the agency thought up an idea for a man as well – so they won’t look sexist. But I want to know why he’s the one who get’s his head and not his balls covered?

It’s not only the agencies fault. If you’re responsible for the advertising of a global brand: How can you not see that these are the crap that crap craps?

I expected better taste from you.

I’d love to know much of the ad budget that went straight into Jay-Z’s pockets.

I don’t know what to say about the fact that people seem to like it. I think it’s shit; all they show is that you can now charge your phone on a “powermat”. Sure that’s neat; it’s also been around for a while.

There is 0 creativity here. It just shows a product benefit in a cool environment with cool people. Old time thinking. Even the music is off, sure it fits with the big shot star in the film, but it doesn’t fit with the ad itself. But hey, who wouldn’t fool a client so they could be on set with Jay-Z…

Weird can be good. Stupid can’t.

Is it too weird or just weird enough?

A weird ad needs to be better than this and I think that people will associate the message with beef jerky rather than the brand.

To me this feels like it’s created out of desperation. It’s all based on a tagline that isn’t unique enough. All I can think about when I hear it is “Taste the Beast” from the movie Role Models. Fun movie (but we can talk about that another time).

They don’t follow the tagline in the ad. They don’t feed the beast, so why would we as consumers do it? To me it’s just stupid, it doesn’t connect, it isn’t emotional and it’s not very funny. I’d have to be more outraged and weird to work.

If you want to see weird raging animals used the right way:

WARNING: this is disgusting!

I want to issue a warning; probably the most disgusting ad ever made.

With almost 600k views it’s definitely a hit. Humans always been fascinated with disgusting and frightening things. The most common example is probably the car crash. If you saw one, would you be able to look away?

But attention isn’t always good. People will look at your stuff, pass it on – and feel weird afterwards. If the viewer can’t directly link your product to fixing that weird feeling, then why give it to them? But maybe the thought step is just long enough to attract customers. I’d love to see the numbers on this campaign and how it affected sales.

The lights are on but nobody’s home.

At least it will resonate with the target audience…

… immature men who like to objectify women. In all other aspects this is a horrible commercial.

Some reasons why it’s bad:

    It will drive away any customer not in the aforementioned target group.
    It singles out lifeguards as idiots.
    It singles out seniors as disgusting.
    It isn’t funny, but tries to be.
    The photography is at a high school level.
    It doesn’t sell hooters in a new way.
    It doesn’t have a puzzle for the viewer/buyer to solve.
    Nothing unexpected happens.

But what the hell did I expect from Hooters?

Pussy power vs. Horse Power

I can’t just keep posting good stuff so here comes some sexist crap, or so I thought, for a motor convention.

Yes it’s OK to use women in ads for motor shows and yes it’s OK if they’re sexy. What isn’t OK, is to show them as the stupid clichés these ads do. WHY is she wearing high heals if she’s a fucking mechanic? Would a mechanic dress in short shorts and a pink top? Maybe she’d have a tool belt. Maybe she wouldn’t have that look in her eyes. Maybe she’d look at what she’s working with.

All this is what I first thought when I saw the ad, but when I read the tagline I realized that there’s more to it: “Bikes over all”. Someone actually put some thought into this. Some thought that didn’t go in a sexist direction. The girls are placed behind the bikes. And I love them for that, girls aren’t the focus at this convention.

Strip clubs are more OK than conventions where girls hump cars and motorcycles. If anyone can defend why girls still prance around half naked at car shows; I’d like to know. Women are not objects, and it damages the fight for gender equality.

We should be happy that this show actually put the vehicles in the spotlight and not the women. BIG PROPS!

Men Shrinking.

I was browsing adsoftheworld yesterday and found a few interesting, kind of fun, yet sexist ads. But I didn’t rush them over. I went to the website and actually found something interesting.

I have to say I don’t like the jargon, but maybe I’m not the target group either. Because after browsing the website and trying the quiz I get what it’s about. This is a website for men who probably hate feminists and thinks that opening up is for girls. And that’s why I have to love the initiative. Because a lot men do feel bad, and they do crazy shit when they reach the point where they can’t control it any longer. Domestic violence, alcoholism, suicide or even homicide.

So applause for the initiative but I wonder how long it’ll take before “real” men (willingly) can be open with these sort of feelings. Where we don’t have to hide the message in a fake aura of Mad Men:ish gender roles.

Maybe the first initiative should be to talk straight and not hide the message in some sexist bullshit talk that should’ve been dead the last millennia. Sure I LOVE grilling animal meat. But that doesn’t mean I’m less of a man because I take care of my psyche.

Get Lee Clow and Steve Hayden back on the account, PLEASE!

Things move fast on the Internet. So I might be a few days too late on this.But for those who haven’t seen the recent Apple ads here they are.

I you want to reach for the shame pillow once more; you can watch the third one. It’s on the same theme, iPhoto/iMovie/Garage band. But it doesn’t make the same stupid point.

There are several reasons why these ads suck. First and foremost they try to be funny: “OMG LOL, let’s make this crazy dad think more about the photo album than the baby itself.”. Whoever finds that funny is not a potential Apple customer. It’s old people in a retirement home. Yes I know they’re all into tech nowadays, but the ad doesn’t seem to be aimed at them.

Secondly, there are themes for boys and girls? Please cut it out, there are themes – that’s it. You don’t have force gender roles on a minute old baby. Society will push them on him/her soon enough.

But there is a bigger problem with these. They tell the opposite story of what apple is supposed to. Designed with usability in the first place, something that anyone can understand – without the help of a “genius”.

Apple and TBWA have done so much great advertising before. Now we’re supposed to laugh at the technology “retards”, what went wrong? Does it have to do with Jobs death?

Juice Insurance

The GEICO taste test commercials have been around for a while now.
There are a lot more of these on YouTube.

On one hand they convey a simple message with nice characters, all of them hard not to like. On the other hand it’s pretty stupid. Sure it’s nice to simplify things in ads, but making the comparison between insurance and some kind of sweet juice might be taking it too far.

I don’t know, the idea is nice and I like the premise. But as YouTube user lz3390 wrote in a comment:

Its not that it is hard to understand. It’s that it’s HORRIBLE advertising. It says literally NOTHING about the product. You could take the word ‘Geico’ and replace it with anything else, and the commercial has exactly the same effect.

A big problem: this ad could be done for any brand in any country at any time. However, they could keep this concept for years changing what people are testing and highlight different product benefits. I think that it’s possible to sell a hell of a lot of insurance with this ad concept. It just has to run over a long time. You should immediately know it’s a GEICO ad when you see one. But it should focus harder on what GEICO wants to market. Is it only price or do they want to spice it up over time?