Archive for the 'Advertising' Category

New Pepsi

Friday, October 31st, 2008

So Pepsi has a new logo… looks a little like Korean Air in a can to me. I prefer Coke’s pared-down approach.

A Higher Rate of Lip Service

Friday, June 30th, 2006

I was strolling down the street a few days ago and noticed this sign for MidAmerica Bank:
MidAmerica Bank - paying a higher rate of attention

Look at that slogan: “Paying a higher rate of attention.” That made me scoff. Oh sure, I thought. How like marketing: to promise some intangible/immeasurable quality, some perceived difference. Rather than paying a higher rate of interest, which costs money, they just give empty slogans.

Except then I remembered why I like my (Chicago) bank:
WaMu ad with joint checking account, two male names

(Also available in lesbian!)

Sometimes I suppose it’s just a matter of using the right slogan:
WaMu ad detail: Thanks for letting us be a part of your community.

Oh, by the way, about that address:
Detail of checks, address is 3639 Elaine Pl

I’m sure it won’t come as a surprise that there is no “Elaine Place” in New York City. But I wonder if there was an Elaine involved in the production of the ad… I remember a time when I was putting together some ads for a magazine, and the sample address I used was “Perkins Lane”.

You gotta leave your mark somehow…

Sex Sells (Mortgages?)

Sunday, April 9th, 2006

Last year, I saw an ad using a (hairy) shirtless man to sell mortgages to gay men.

Last night, I saw this banner ad using a similar approach for het men (imagine it in Flash, with the chick dancing around):
Girl with headphones in bikini top; list of states along right edge

My question: is this the most effective appeal they could create? What was the thinking: “Hey look, it’s a dancing girl in a bikini top — that’ll attract the re-fi market!”

Big It Up

Tuesday, March 7th, 2006

Several months ago I wrote about what I saw as a trend towards much larger online photos, particularly on entertainment websites. I see more and more examples of this every day (e.g., compare the width of the image on Apple’s new Mac mini page as compared to the tabs bar above it) but yesterday I saw a site that took it to the next level.

For really large pictures — and big video to boot! — check out Fox’s Walk the Line DVD site (note: check your volume first.) Is this the wave of the future for movie sites?

Oh, and though I strongly support larger video, I have to roll my eyes at their use of the heretofore non-existent “HD website” label.

For Your Consideration

Wednesday, January 8th, 2003

As I read through this month’s American Cinematographer, I couldn’t help but notice that awards season is upon us. OK, that’s actually a genteel understatement, because I was truly hit over the head with it: there were 20 “for your consideration” ads for the Oscar in cinematography. Seventeen of them were full-page, and 15 of those occurred in the first 32 pages. When every odd-numbered page at the front of the book is a full-page plea for votes, it’s difficult to miss.

This inspired an idea: why not make a weekly for Academy voters? I’m thinking of a Awards Season Weekly, published only from 1 Jan through to voting day, with each issue devoted to a major category (to allow everyone the chance to buy full-page ads.) Of course, to qualify for magazine postage it must contain a certain percentage of editorial. This could present a problem when you have no reporters and no insights. (Hmm, Fox News?) But no problem: there’s always polls! Yes, pretend it’s primary season and stuff each issue with the latest standings. Get some USC film students to write “analysis” (you so know they’d do it for free) but put the byline as “Staff” and you’ve got a paper.

The Bimbos

Tuesday, January 7th, 2003

Gentle reader, allow me to introduce you to the model girls. (Should you wish to see these ladies in, ahh, context, you may click for a larger image.)

girl crouching and smiling, cropped digital cameras in upper right  girl holding out her hand toward Xbox and games  girl with hands in jeans, head tilted towards an LCD panel

They come from “buy magazine,” the “magalogue” from This approach to drive traffic to an e-comerce site has been done before and is worthy of discussion. So is the use of quasi-editorial à la A&F Quarterly.

Of course, at the moment I have no interest in those discussions. I’m just fascinated by how gratuitous these girls are. A few other girls in the catalog actually pretend to use the products, but most are just eye candy. Why? Does this drive sales? Are customers overwhelmingly (straight) males? Does anyone actually believe that getting a Palm Zire will in any way get a hot chick in a cowboy hat to write her phone number on it, as page 32 suggests? What do women think of all this?

It was at this point that I was going to launch into a mini-rant about the use of pretty people to dress up just about anything. Then I realized why I opened the damn thing in the first place. So I’ll just shut up now.

Banner Ads I Don’t Understand, Pt. IV

Saturday, January 4th, 2003

Top portion of Buffy the Vampire Slayer DVD banner ad

Is it just me, or does Buffy have a pretty heinous sunburn? What’s the story there? I thought she was slaying all these vampire dudes at night. (What hours does she sleep, anyway?)

Note: this banner ad has been modified from its original version. It has been formatted to fit this screen.

More Weird Chicago Ads

Thursday, January 2nd, 2003

Painted on the back left window of an Econoline van: “On November 1, 1992 a stranger saved my life.” Back right: “Be an organ donor.”

On the radio: “this Christmas, give your child a gift that will last a lifetime.” That gift would be “legal parentage” — take in your sexual partner to legally establish that though you two are unwed, (s)he is responsible for the kid. Thank you, Indiana Dept. of Health.

Also on the radio: one voice asks another what’s wrong with his forehead. An eyebrow pierching gone wrong, says voice #2. That’s not even near your brow!You should have gone to (blah), says voice #1. I got my tongue ring done there. What? says #2. You’re not even old enough. My mom went with, says #1, and she was so impressed she got her belly button pierced.


Scary Billboards (Chicago Edition)

Monday, December 30th, 2002

I thought a doc’s “GOT BOTOX?” ad was going to take the cake until I saw the Aftermath Inc. offering. The two suited experts in clean-up for “homicide, suicide, and un-attended death” apparently expect they’ll drum up business from drivers on 294.

Inappropriate? And then some: Turn on your speakers and get a load of this.

Welcome back, Mr. Yakamoto

Tuesday, December 24th, 2002

Minority Report‘s personalized billboards are almost here.

Fascinating technology. The system “listens” to radio signals leaked from passing cars and determines what station the majority of drivers are listening to. Then it selects an appeal based upon the demographics of those listeners. (The charmingly clichéd examples in the article suggest casinos for country fans and gourmet groceries for NPR devotees.)

Good thing there are no safety implications for, oh, fucking huge video screens on the side of the highway.

Seen Minority Report?

Sunday, December 22nd, 2002

The dancing cereal box is coming.

Banner Ads I Don’t Understand, Pt. III

Friday, December 20th, 2002

TravelWorm. Headline: We May Suck

I’ll just take their word for it. (And yes, it does say better then everyone else.)

People All Over the World

Wednesday, December 18th, 2002

I’m a Salon Premium member (have been since the day they started it) but sometimes I visit Salon on one of my browsers that doesn’t have the cookie set. Then I can see Salon with ads, which is always an interesting experience. Sometimes it’s Lexus, sometimes it’s Mercedes, sometimes it’s:

GAP clothes are sweatshop clothes banner ad

Assuming this is a targeted campaign, I find it fascinating that Behind the Label wants to connect with the same people MB does. Then again, I guess I’m susceptible to both messages…

Anyway, demand-side activism is always tough, so it will be interesting to see how successful they are.

Banner Ads I Don’t Understand, Pt. II

Saturday, November 30th, 2002

Advertising is complicated. Sometimes you’re not selling the product, you’re selling the sizzle. And, I guess, sometimes you’re not selling the laptop, you’re selling the freakyscary bug-eyed guy who’s staring right at you.

Toshiba laptop banner ad

What better way to support your message than with weird letters that go from fat to thin across the words? That typographic effect combined with a freaky stare has sure worked before.