Category Archives: advertising

Bliss Fail. Dove Win.

Some days you see something that makes your blood boil. Then there are those days that something crosses your path that makes you think there are really smart people out there who get it.

This week I had both. I’ll start with the blood boiler. Waiting on line to pay at Sephora, I spotted this outrageous product line from Bliss. Fat Girl Sixpack?!! Are you kidding me?!

It made me sad because I happen to like this brand. I have been to their spas and bought some of their products. When they started, they were a brand that was focused on making women feel good, and good about themselves. They have lost their way.

fat-girl-sixpack

At first I thought it was some sort of joke, like an SNL skit. I want to know what product team thought this up and in what universe all the sign-offs required to launch a product allowed this to happen. It is 2013, kiddies. Are we still doing this crap? Ummm… I guess that would be a yes. On their site they state:

to sculpt a six-pack, you need to exercise and eat healthy —but to help you in your quest for a covetable core, we developed this tummy-toning gel.

SERIOUSLY?! Shame on you, Bliss. Perhaps you should read these statistics on eating disorders. Maybe if you thought about the up to 24 million people in the US suffering from eating disorders, you might reconsider this thinking.

This makes me sad. On a monumental level. Are we still doing this crap?!! (sorry, I know I said that already) But I have spent 24 years raising a fabulous daughter. One of the few of her generation who has a really great relationship with food (when did that term start) and a healthy body image. She eats well, works out and I trust she would be as disgusted by this as I am. I simply do not understand why a solid, popular women’s brand would market such a thing. And sadly, it is on the best-seller page of their site. I cannot imagine why a woman would purchase this. I thought we were done with this nonsense.

Which leads me to my favorite brand campaign and renewed faith in smart marketing. Dove. They have been continuously committed to women’s self esteem. They are working towards lifting women up. Their latest campaign is real, moving and the sort of thing that women in 2013 should expect. It focuses on the difference between the way we see ourselves, and the way others see us. I cannot count the times I have told beautiful friends who are beating themselves up about aging that I wished they could see themselves as others do. This campaign illustrates that sentiment perfectly. This is a brand I can respect. And, btw, one I have used for most of my life.

Watch this, feel good and don’t let Bliss bring you down. It seems the over 21 million people who viewed this video just might agree.

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You CAN pick your friend’s nose

Corbis-nose picking1

Remember that stupid saying,”You can pick your friends; and you can pick your nose; but you can’t pick your friend’s nose”?

I never really got that. I mean, people do all sorts of weird stuff with orifices (or is that orifici?), I would imagine a little nose picking amongst friends might be going on out there with the non-germphobic crowd.

I digress, this post was spawned by an email from the stock photography site, Corbis. I have been a Corbis customer since the olden days of graphic design when they would send out these delicious print volumes of stock photo images and we would flip through the pages to choose the right image. And instead of emails, we would receive teaser postcards with images like these to get us to call and do a search. Yes, I am aware this is the Art Director’s equivalent of the ‘I used to walk to school 10 miles in the snow’ story that my dad used to tell us. All you youngun’s, you will have these stories about archaic, clunky handheld mobile devices instead of the chip behind their ear that your kids will have.

Ughh… digressing again. The point is, the other morning, on a particularly difficult day for me (stay tuned for more on that on Tuesday), the photo above showed up in my inbox. It had that Sleeper-esque feeling about it and just the visual made me laugh. Their 20% headline was excellent for their purpose, but this headline popped into my head:

You CAN pick your friend’s nose.

I know, I am brilliant. What a lovely promo for a plastic surgeon… maybe a 2 for 1 deal! It made me laugh on a morning that laughing was the last thing I thought I would do, so thanks Corbis. But, the best part was yet to come when I clicked over to their site (yes it worked, they got the click-through from me and put Corbis top of mind), I found this photo… the pay off.

The proverbial ‘picked nose’.

corbis-nosepicking2

Yeh it could be time to pitch a plastic surgery team. Anyone in? Other headline ideas?

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Filed under absurdities, advertising, humor, magnet for the absurd, marketing, photography

Time to Cry Tuesday – Letting Go, Global Version

luggage

As a parent, every few years you are faced with another rite of passage, another adventure your child is about to embark on, another chance for you to show your chops as a parent. Although your heart is hanging on to the hem of their pants as they walk through that door, your head is ready to let them fly…

again.

The last time I wrote one of these my boy was off to college. Seems like yesterday, yet here we, are 3 and half years later and he is off for a semester abroad in Seville, Spain. I thought now would be a good time to give him one of my famous lists of advice. I do this every so often to remind him, or more likely myself, that I am not quite through imparting wisdom just yet. If I write it here instead of tell him all this to his face, I spare myself the humiliation of the sighing and eye-rolling. So here goes, in no particular order.

  1. Don’t be THAT American. This is similar to what I told my kids when they were first starting to experiment with drinking. Don’t be THAT girl/guy, the one that gets wasted and pukes on themselves. Don’t be THAT American simply means respect the local culture.
  2. Try to really SEE Europe, don’t just drink Europe. This is obvious to me and quite ridiculous to him. Hopefully somewhere in between will be his reality.
  3. Keep your eyes open and soak in everything. You never know what might wind up being the answer to what you want to do with your life.
  4. Be Smart. If it feels wrong, it probably is. If it seems unsafe, it probably is.
  5. Eat Everything, within reason. No explanation needed.
  6. Don’t be a dick (not that you ever would be). Again, the international version. This is like number 1 on steroids. Check the ego at the door and you might as well leave the egocentric there to keep it company.
  7. If you have to play beer pong, make sure you win the 100 Euro. Self-explanatory.
  8. Amsterdam – you MUST see the Anne Frank House. As Jana said, as a Jew it is your responsibility. Period.
  9. The rest of your time in Amsterdam. I do not need details, thanks.
  10. Have the time of your life. This one should be easy.

In all seriousness, you are an amazing young man and have always made us proud. We have no real worries about this trip. We are just a more than a little jealous.

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Filed under advertising, animals, college, danny, Time to Cry Tuesdays, travel

Please Drink

This was sitting on the credenza in the conference room of a colleague when I arrived for a meeting the other day.

It was early, around 1PM, and I felt perhaps it was not really appropriate to have a buzz on for the meeting. But – there it was – this blatant directive. Would I offend by not complying? Would it appear rude? I was a little confused by the ‘No Disease’ tag up in the corner. And the hand sanitizer bottle.

I decided the only thing to do was to take a picture and text it to the principal of the company who I heard on the phone in the next office along with the word “Really?”

His response: “Did you have a drink? This is advertising baby”

I answered the only way I knew how, “I was looking for the Koolaid.”

Ok, so maybe I do have some fun when I am working.

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When Men do Merchandising

Jana and I went into the drug store yesterday to pick up some tampax. (Now there is a show-stopping opening line if I ever wrote one.) As we walked down the aisle I heard her famous brand of “ARE you kidding me?!” I turned around to see not one, but two NFL free standing displays…

blocking the tampons and feminine hygiene products.

As a marketer and brand-focused professional I tried to see what the idea was behind this. I have come up with a few thoughts and will outline them here, with a poll at the end to get your input.

Put the NFL stuff in front of the tampons because:

1. while a woman is bleeding she feels the need to get a little gift for her guy to distract him.

2. there are women who are football fans and they may want some of these for themselves.

3. stockperson was stoned and placed the displays there as a joke.

4. stock person just put them randomly in an aisle with no thought to surrounding merchandise.

5. there is a level of discomfort with feminine hygiene products and they wanted to hide them.

6. foreshadowing: Tampax will be coming out with NFL branded tampons (Team Tampax?) and this is a pre-launch teaser.

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Filed under absurdities, advertising, humor, marketing, products

Rat as Accessory

See anything odd about this catalog page?

If you have the new Urban Outfitters catalog in your house, flip over to page 18 and check out this chick on the bottom right with the rat on her head. (or is that a mouse?)

Because, you know, every young woman wants to wear a rat when she goes out.

WTH? Seriously, the art director walks in and says to the waif-like model, ‘ok hon, so for the next shot I want you to wear a rat on your head’.

And she is fine with it.

I believe this has something to do with the fact that she probably needs a cookie.

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Filed under advertising, animals, companies, fashion

Soul Hamsters

In the parking lot of a musical event I came across this decal on the back of a car. Yes, that is me in the window. I like to think of this as my Soul Hamster Self Portrait.

Of course being around music fans I immediately thought this was the name of a band. Honest mistake, right? Yeh, sure if you are in a media blackout TV deprived coma, maybe. Kia? Hamster commercials? Ring a bell?

I have to say I absolutely love these commercials. The new one is amazing from a production standpoint, but personally I think the original is real advertising genius (forgive me for using those 2 words next to each other).

In case you have missed these commercials I am embedding a couple below, because, well because I want to test out Kia’s social media monitoring and see if anyone comments here. Or better yet, offers me a car to test drive.

(BTW, don’t you think I look really good in this shot?)

Here is the original commercial:

Here is the new one:

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Filed under advertising, animals, carry a camera, cars, music, social media