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?