Tag Archives: advertising

What’s the fascination with urinals?

Hi, It’s me. I guess I am back. I know, it’s been awhile. And how odd that I should return with a post about urinals. I just need a little comic relief. Consider this a gift.

Last work week was a big thrill. A beloved client was featured in the NYT. Great piece with an odd ending, which apparently did not go unnoticed, as we had a Facebook follower ask:*

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We noticed this ourselves and a colleague asked me, “What is the fascination with urinals?”

Really? She had to ask? C’mooonnn!

Then, today in my Facebook feed came this piece about urinal advertising. You know, “The smart urinal that will show you ads while you pee.” (If you are asking why it was in my stream – no pun here – it’s a Magnet for the Absurd thing… just who I am)


I know, of course it’s brilliant! Captive audience. Better than elevator advertising. And there have been countless urinal ad vehicles that have proven themselves through the years.

But THIS – this is my absolute fave – pee-controlled urinal games. Oh why did I not think of this one. Every mother that has ever potty trained a son to sink Cherrios in the toilet would know that this one is a winner! (wait, you all did this with your sons, right?) 

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I urge you to click through to the site and watch the video, it is hilarious. Think about this. It is great for business. Guys are going to drink more so they can play the game longer. Or multiple times. Winner gets a free drink. The opportunities are endless!

I have to say I am feeling a little more than left out about this.

Urinal envy?

Nah, I don’t know how you guys walk around with those things.


*Side note: Gallaghers happens to have spectacular urinals. I know this because I have taken countless women in there to look at them. Don’t ask. And please don’t judge. Yeh, I have a rather undefined job.


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Filed under absurdities, advertising, magnet for the absurd, mfta, products, toilets

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.


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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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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Filed under advertising, carreers, humor

Adkeeper.com, you had me at The Keep!

This one is huge. And I know you are all thinking that I am just about the hippest blogger in history that I am picking this one up just hours after the press release. Keep thinking that for now. Later I will tell you why I knew about this so soon.

So here is the deal, adkeeper.com is just what the name says. The ‘keeper’ gives you the ability to click on an online ad and save, or keep it (get it) for later when you want to engage. It lets you keep all the ads for products that you normally buy in one place. Start looking for the button at the top of this post on ads online and you can click it and start keeping. You can view the product demo here.

Simply put: you know how when you see an ad you are interested in online and then you refresh the page and you lose it and you’re really angry because they were offering a discount code for something you really wanted and you get really mad and stomp around the house, yell at your spouse and kick the dog. Well first of all, shame on you for kicking the dog and second you don’t have to worry about that anymore because now you can save it. (as far as yelling at your spouse, we all know that had nothing to do with the ad, so go resolve that please).

For you old schoolers, it’s like cutting out the ad, or offer, and putting it in a file for later. Like my mom.

To quote the CEO, Scott Kurnit (yes for all you web savvy souls out there – THAT Scott Kurnit… about.com Scott Kurnit):

For 15 years we’ve just had the IMPRESSION and the CLICK. Well, what about a KEEP? That’s it. A KEEP. Keep the ad for later, when I have the time, when I can engage.

Consumers in control. There’s an idea.

So, beginning today we’re offering a Keep Button™ for every ad and a Keeper™ to put them in. In their Keepers consumers can save, sort, sift, share, rank, review, click, print and buy. It’s “on my time advertising.”

For consumers, don’t get your panties in a knot about privacy. This is opt-in and permission based. And for you advertisers and media buyers out there, this is instantly measurable, on-demand advertising. Way coolio for everyone!

If you are still not quite clear on this check out this video. Or listen to what Scott has to say. His enthusiasm and history of how this idea came to be is infectious. And makes us all wonder, ‘Why did no one think of this before?’. It is actually so simple yet I believe this concept will revolutionize the online advertising business. Check out this super A-list Advisory Board – seems they think so too.

Ok, so full disclosure. I do not spend my Sunday nights looking for the hottest new thing to hit the interwebs. Ok, maybe I do… sometimes. But in this instance I knew about this because the babe of a COO, Todd Sloan, happens to be a dear friend.

Oh and Badger as well!

And since I have known about this for awhile and  he has not killed me yet, it is safe to say you can all trust me with your secrets.


Filed under humor, social media, technology

Wipes are Not Just for Baby Butts Anymore


The scene: My breakfast table with a cup of coffee and the NYT business section (that I fought with Gary to keep, BTW)

The article: Adult Toilet Training, from Madison Ave.

I would like to dedicate this post to my family, especially my brother and nephews, because no one loves a good chat about the bathroom better than the ‘Z’ family.

Let’s see, where to start? Ok, how about a quick overview. This is an article about the marketing of none other than an item that is close to all our… well you get what I mean; toilet paper.

It appears that all these years of wiping our asses and we have not been doing it correctly. That’s right. You see, now they are marketing toilet paper along with moist flushable wipes. Yep, just like the ones we used to clean up junior with when s/he had a super-doody-blow-out. Apparently ‘dry paper’ just does not do the job it should. I would think this combo would be great for all you out there who feel compelled to shower after each dump. C’mon, you know who you are. Yes, you would be the ones jotting down the product name for the moist flushable wipes.

Now, here is a priceless quote straight from brand management:

“Dry toilet paper is generally thought of as being a functional product, and a lot of brands in the category talk about strength and softness,” said Courtney DeSalvatore, a brand manager for Cottonelle wipes. “But we are reframing the Cottonelle brand as a personal care brand, which is a much more emotional space.”

Oh yeh, now we’re talking. I don’t know about you but there is nothing more emotional than the space where I drop the kids off at the pool (that one was for my daughter). You’ve heard this famous quote before, right? “Crap to the point of tears.”

It gets better. Cottonelle has put up this snappy microsite cottonelleinstitute.com.  Actually, quite nicely excecuted if it were not so ridiculous. Kind of campy and beautifully designed. But do we really want to spend this much time thinking about the act of wiping? This surely rivals Bowling for Tampons. How’s this for a mission statement:

“At the Cottonelle Institute of Sensitive Skin Care, we believe that the gentle care you give to the rest of your sensitive parts should also go to your buns.”

Um, well, yeh, I guess they are right.

You can set up a sensitivity profile and they direct you to the right kind of toilet paper or wipes to use. No really. I’m not kidding. You may also want to check out The Lounge ‘where you can relax, play games and let your caboose loose’.

Wait, wouldn’t a loose caboose require additional wiping?

I can not help but think of the South Park Chipolte Away episode I saw recently. That link is worth a click. Gary and I were dying when we watched that episode.

Here is one last thought I have on this topic. Of all the crap I read this morning in the business section, this was by far the most useful. (sorry, cheap shot)

Now you will excuse me but I think I need to go…

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under absurdities, companies, health, humor, marketing, news, products

You are who you are…


… when no one is looking.

I love this message. If I had only one lesson to teach my kids in life I think this might be it. That and how to hold who that is and be that way all the time. What is harder than being true to oneself? Ok, getting a bit heady from a beer ad prompt, but hey, that is what advertising is supposed to about.

Nice work, Heineken. (no, they are not a client).

This, coupled with my family’s favorite TV spot of the year, “Let a stranger drive you home” renews my faith in standout creative. (W+ K did the TV spot, not sure on the outdoor). Go ahead, watch it even if you have seen it before. I LOVE this! Seriously, who does not love the cabbie? You have to smile when you watch this.

I thought this would be a nice way to kick off the holiday weekend. 

Now be careful out there. 

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone

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Filed under companies, products, video

Are you 49?

are_you-49This is an actual ad that came up on my Facebook page. Talk about targeted advertising! Did it ever occur to these geniuses that perhaps reminding a woman in her late 40s of her age might not be one of the best selling techniques out there. 

Seriously!! Yeh, I am really inclined to take your survey so I can get a free pair of Uggs. And ugly powder blue or pink ones at that. Honestly, should a 49 year old woman be wearing pink Uggs? I think not.

I was inclined to thumbs down this ad but was afraid the data collection that would spawn more irritating advertising. 

We surely live in interesting times.

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog.

For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under absurdities, marketing

We are #1…


…at picking up #2?!

Oh yes, you read that billboard correctly. This is an advertisement for Callahead. And who, might you ask, is this company? Well, if you live in the suburbs near a house under construction, or you attend an outdoor concert or event, then you would know that Callahead would be a supplier of…

… you guessed it, porta-sans. Yes, my friends, here is a company that capitalized on the funkiness of its product with a campy name. Then went one step further in the school of ‘i know you are but what am I’ advertising and came up with what I think is a brilliant tagline. Seriously, how can you not laugh when you see this? Come on all you lofty sophisticates and award-winning creatives. I challenge you to say that this is not effective and memorable. At the risk of using a marketing term with a double entendre, this sucker is extremely ‘sticky’.

So you get the full picture of why I took this shot, let me first say that my sister-in-law called me the day before I saw this billboard to tell me that she saw the truck and did not have a camera. The next day, there I am driving into the city for brunch and right on the ramp to the Midtown Tunnel is that crazy billboard. I missed it on the way in, so on the way out I hung my camera out the window facing backwards and caught it at the last minute. NO, I was not driving. Give me a break, I am not that nuts.

I was going to crop it till I noticed the Empire State Building, that crazy sky and the wild angle and decided the whole shot was a keeper.

callaheadJust in case you were wondering what these look like in person, I took a picture of one on my walk this morning. This baby is the Econo-Head. Oh, how I love that name. As the website states, ‘this product has evolved dramatically over the years… Econo head is one of our most attractive portable toilets available today.’ Wait, here it comes…

ARE YOU KIDDING ME? How did anyone write that copy with a straight face?

Hold on, this gets better. Here are a few of my faves in the product line: The Special Event Toilet (for those special events, you know what they are). The Construction Flush (is that like a Royal Flush?) and my all time favorite…

The Job-Site Head. OMG, this one kills me. Go ahead, think about that one. Job? Head? This reminding anyone of anything here? Really, who would not like a little head on the job site? If you remember way back when I did a post about ‘a little head would be nice’. (You really need to click on that link now, don’t you?)

Face it, bathroom humor and infantile behavior always gets a laugh. And remember, this ain’t no mom blog 7 days a week, that’s for sure.

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at Mid-Century Modern Moms and at 50-Something Moms Blog where Jana joins in the election bloglove.

For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under absurdities, carry a camera, humor, marketing, New York City, photography, road signs, sex