Thursday, June 6, 2013

Respect the Tech KIA, Not Women

This KIA advertisement has been annoying the crap out of me since SuperBowl so I thought I would mention it. It features a grown woman (Miss USA Alyssa Campanella), playing a robot. Which when you think about it, is a literal objectification of women. And of course, when you're a female playing anything, you have to be sexy. So she's a sexy robot, in skimpy sexy robot clothes. Even when she kicks that guys' ass, she does so in a stereotypical femme fatale way.

Correct me if I'm wrong but in all the movies that have featured male robots, I can't think of a single sexy male robot. Male robots are always just cool, with crazy cool technological features. The female KIA robot's greatest asset, despite being an effing ROBOT for god's sakes, is still her long legs and robo-cleavage.

It's even sadder because this ad, originally run during the Superbowl, was created by a bunch of famous people: Oscar winner Robert Elswit as Director of Photography (There Will Be Blood, Magnolia, The Town); stunt coordinator Gary Powell (Skyfall, The Bourne Ultimatum, The Legend of Zorro); Academy Award-winning editor Kirk Baxter (The Social Network, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo); and Carl Erik Rinsch, an award-winning director, and has been widely applauded in the ad world.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

No More Vegetables! Just Give Me WhoNu Cookies!

WhoNu Cookies are the absolute worst example of Healthwashing I have ever seen. Apparently, their cookies are "an excellent source of Calcium, Iron, Vitamins A, B12, C, D and E. They also have 3 grams of fiber and a total of 17 essential vitamins and minerals."

 Sounds awesome! Sign me up! I'll just subsist of a WhoNu cookie diet. Screw vegetables. These Oreo-type cookies injected with a bunch of stuff are soooo much better for me.

Just don't let me find out that each WhoNu cookie has 4.7 times as much sugar as a plain old oreo. Shh!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Ice Cream Store Without a Freezer

How cool is this new innovation? Smitten Ice Cream, based out of San Fransico, makes each scoop of ice cream fresh before your eyes (in 60 seconds!), using their unique liquid nitrogen based machine. No need to freeze anything. In fact, until they had a real store, they just sold it out of a cart on the street.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Sad Lesson of the "Pet Rock"

In the late 70s, the Pet Rock was a new joke. An Ad Exec was in a bar listening to his friends complain about the hassles of having a real pet, and he came up with the idea of a Pet Rock. A Pet Rock, as the joke went, did not have to fed, walked or bathed.

Being an Ad Exec Alpha Personality, he went ahead and made the Pet Rocks a reality. For a while, these were the biggest trend. A Pet Rock came with the rock itself as well as a funny instruction manual for your new Pet. In the year or so that the fad lasted, the Ad Exec in question became a millionaire. Eventually, Rosebud Entertainment bought the rights to the Pet Rock - and Hipsters everywhere can now buy them again as of 2012.

The Ad Exec's joke was that you can sell absolutely anything as long as you market it right, even a Rock. Sadly, he proved us right.

There is now even a more modern version of the Pet Rock:

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Ketchup Loses All Appeal in these "Sex Sells" Ads

 Seeing ketchup bottles spanking people's bottoms have definitely turned me off ketchup for life. The idea was something about new squeezable bottles, but that gets lost in the sleaziness.

The idea itself is tacky. The visuals are poorly done. The cartoon ladies are all boobs and butts. The cartoon dude is there to stop me from complaining about sexism.

Worst of all, the spanked recipients look petrified, like it's non-consensual. Gross.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Facebook "Home" Ad Features Bratty Behavior

Isn't this why you should put your phone away at the dinner table? So you don't come across as being like the bratty girl featured in this ad, rudely ignoring her family to focus on "Facebook friends."

This Matador Network article sums it up best:  "It’s about this marketing campaign by Facebook that paints them as a saviour to all your boring life moments — you know, like when you’re eating dinner that your parents slaved over and listening to an aunt that you probably haven’t said hi to since you were 8."

Business Insider bluntly points out the real problem with this, "The commercial suggest that Facebook Home will eliminate mobile phone etiquette altogether. Granted, the ads are exaggerated, but they have all featured users who are so absorbed in their phones that real life events, even important moments, plays second fiddle to Facebook fixation."

I'm consoling myself hoping that Facebook is going to lose its relevance soon anyway.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Stereotypes in Diet Commercials

This fabulously witty pieces exposes all the cliches found in diet products ads. Skinny women resisting dessert, weighing themselves constantly and wearing red bikinis.

Bonus: Includes the line, "women and muffins can't coexist."

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Crappy Lululemon Statement

I really have a hard time believing that nature wants us to be mediocre. Nature encourages us to be our best selves, and we have obviously taken it and become the most powerful species on the planet. If anyone wants us to be mediocre, it's the artificial societies we have created to laze around in.  Don't blame Nature, Lululemon! 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Condoms Not the Way to Spend Bill Gates' Money

Here's my beef though: what really is a better condom design? The call for proposal itself acknowledges all the wonderful things about the male condom: cheap, easy to manufacture, easy to distribute, available globally, and might I end, pretty easy to use too. To me, that seems like a product already well designed.

So why do we even need something "better"?

The proposal says that the problem is that there a lack of perceived incentive for consistent use.  My initial response to that was, seriously? Preventing HIV/AIDs, other STIs and unwanted pregnancies isn't an incentive for most? Incentive is not the word for it: we all know that it's really a lack of understanding and education on proper condom use.
Then the proposal gets worse, stating that "the primary drawback is... condoms decrease pleasure as compared to no condoms" so we need to make something more pleasurable. This argument is not really true. The real problem is of course that of perspective; there is widely held stigmas about the apparent (and not really) decreased pleasure.

Has anyone seriously thought this through? We are still teaching people how to use a condom. We have finally got most of our distribution channels (particularly in the developing world) down. There are examples of areas with drastically reducedHIV/AIDs rates as people accepted condoms into their lives. We're going to change all this? Start over, teach people something else, redistribute it all?

Long story short, we don't need a new, more pleasure-y condom.  We need to change people's perceptions, not change the product itself. We need continued education on how and why to use a condom. We need to keep doing marketing campaigns to get rid of the stigma. That's the true shortcoming of condoms, not the design.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

What an Ethical Promotional Campaign Looks Like (by MakeUp Forever)

Make Up Forever's MAKE UP BAG REMIX is a promotional campaign showing genuine love towards its target demographic. Here's why it's a winner, both in terms of responsible marketing and a successful promo campaign.

The premise of Make Up Bag Remix is: "Bring your make up bag and our pros will teach you how to use what you already own them during a hands-on lesson."

Why is this so awesome?

1.  All promotional campaigns give away free stuff in the hopes of attracting people to the brand. Mostly though, it's either free samples of their own product or even worse, free shit no one wants (branded pens, branded ponchos, branded car air fresheners).
    In contrast, Make Up Forever went into the trouble of thinking about what "free product" people would actually want. Anyone that wears make up knows that the whole thing works on trial and error.. Make Up Forever's target demographic ( i.e. anyone that wears make up) would love to use their current products more effectively (to last longer, look nicer, match better) and that's what they've offered.

2. Moreover, what the campaign is doing is helping you use up your old products. Sadly, this is a revolutionary concept in our world today, the opposite of "keep buying more shit." Unlike the Sephora advisor who insisted I need to throw out my nearly-new lipstick every season "because it's outdated," the Make Up Bag Remix campaign is ethical. They are trying to help you use your old products, letting you be responsible about shopping, save money, create less waste, and still come out wearing makeup.

3. Finally, my favorite part of the campaign is that you can bring in any brand of makeup to the event. I like it because simply, it's the right thing to do. It's inclusive and feels educational, not sales-y. This is the type of behaviour that generates long-term goodwill for a brand. The high schooler that can't yet afford the steep prices of MakeUp Forever? If the event teaches them about applying foundation the right way, she'll remember the brand when she's old enough to afford it.

Of course, it is critical that the execution of the campaign deliver on its premise.  If at the Toronto event, the make up artists keep trying to sell me new Make Up Forever products to compliment my existing collection, I will be sorely disappointed. However, the initial idea is wonderful and I have high hopes for the actual event! What do you think?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

South Korean Plastic Surgery Ad is Cutesy, but Offensive

One of my best friends is currently teaching English and living in South Korea. Along with sincerely interesting cultural differences, she couldn’t help but notice the bombardment of advertisements for plastic surgery all over Soeul.

Curious, I did a little bit of research and found that South Koreans are actually the #1  plastic surgery users in the world! Estimates suggest that one in five South Korean women participate. 
This is one of the ads she saw all over Seoul. 

The emoticons with bigger breasts, skinnier bodies and bigger eyes are at best, terribly offensive to women and they know better than to model themselves after these unattainable standards (really? bigger eyes?). The more likely case is that they are driving low self-esteem, self-objection and a negative body image. Unfortunately, this will simply succeed in putting more money into the pockets of plastic surgery firms. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Salvador Dali: Creator of Lollipop Logo

The same man who created mind-blowing paintings such as this…
…was also responsible for the Chupa Chups logo, which is ironically viewed and recognized by millions more people as compared to his artwork.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Muscles of Wall Street

Loved this ad, found on a massive billboard right in the middle of Wall Street.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

When a cardholder is happy with the customer service, they spend 8%-10% more on their AMEX.
Research by American Express, on the importance good customer service making good business sense.

Monday, January 7, 2013

These Toe Rings Make You Lose Weight!

There has been all sorts of ridiculous weight-loss schemes, but this is the craziest I’ve ever heard of! 
I recently came across the Slimming Toe Rings by the Canadian company, The Perfect Balance. You’re supposed to wear one on each big toe, and then go on lying on your couch and stuffing your face with junk food. The toe ring contains very heavy magnets and according to their website, these magnets will “increase your metabolism- to help you lose weight without exercising.
No matter how the nice makers of the Slimming Toe Rings explain this to me on their website, a toe ring that burns your fat for you just refuses to make sense.
Apparently, “the secret lies in the 2 pieces of magnets which can emit 1,100 Gauss’s magnetic force to stimulate the acupuncture points.” As aforementioned, the fancy sounding 1100 Gauss just means heavy magnets. And for those of us that are not into ancient Chinese medicine (like the manufacturers Perfect Balance, for example), this technique is more accurately known as acupressure - not acupuncture (which involves needling).
And while acupressure is effective for pain, the ancient Chinese wisely only used it for pain relief- like a modern day massage- instead of something completely unrelated like weight loss.
Here’s what the toe rings that massage away your obesity look like:

My favourite part of all this was this explanatory sentence: 
You can reduce weight at the same time, because there are many acupressure points (Tsubo) for slimming in toes Physical exercise and dieting none of these, the secret of its fantastic body shaping capability lies in a circular pottery anode. ” 
If you liked this post, feel free to leave a comment on what you think a circular pottery anode is!