Category Archive 'Advertising'
21 Jun 2019

Would Hemingway Have Ever Worn Perfume?

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Not a bloody chance in Hell.

But here, in the Age of the Millennial, there are scrimshankers out there marketing a line of “Hemingway Accoutrements,” including, no less, a 1.7 oz (tiny!) bottle of “Ernest Hemingway Signature Eau de Parfum Cologne” for $65!

There’s clearly too much money in Brooklyn and in Portland.

Catch the ad copy:

The one-of-a-kind fragrance of the Hemingway Accoutrements Signature Eau de Parfum Cologne is a transcendent fragrance that will keep you returning time and time again.

Each satisfying inhale calms the soul with its rich, deep and sophisticated blend that opens with a surprising yet satisfying aroma of grapefruit. Very much like the citrus notes of the Daiquiri named after Ernest Hemingway himself.

While the grapefruit note lightly persists throughout it generously gives way to a complex fusion of deep bourbon, classic cedarwood, and rich full grain leather.

Underlying that richness, you’ll enjoy the warmth of honey-like amber, smooth sandalwood, fine tobacco, and Madagascar vanilla.

As you savor each whiff, you can’t help to think that this must have been the aroma that permeated the atmosphere of Papa’s Havana home.

What! no Hoppe’s Number 9?

10 Jun 2019

That’s a Lot of Money

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Splinter reports that financial figures show that Google is taking home a paycheck from News almost as large as the entire journalistic community combined.

Last year Google made an astonishing $4.6 billion off the news industry, according to the New York Times. That’s a shocking amount of money, considering the declining state of journalism, and the fact that Google isn’t actually reporting or writing anything itself.

The figure was drawn from a new report by the News Media Alliance, who say the journalism industry deserves to see a cut of those massive earnings.

“They make money off this arrangement and there needs to be a better outcome for news publishers,” David Chavern, the president and CEO of the alliance, told the Times.

The report points out that the entire news industry made $5.1 billion off digital advertising last year, which is only a little more than Google made off that same content. The News Media Alliance believes its estimate of Google’s earnings was conservative, and the real number may be much higher.

“The study blatantly illustrates what we all know so clearly and so painfully,” , Philadelphia Media Network CEO Terrance C.Z. Egger told the Times. “The current dynamics in the relationships between the platforms and our industry are devastating.

RTWT

18 Jan 2019

Advertising Today

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15 Jan 2019

Sinners in the Hands of a Woke Consumer Corporation

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Corporate advertisers traditionally flatter potential customers, assuring them with gratifying images that the mere choice of the given product proves that the customer is handsome, sophisticated, successful, desirable to beautiful women, capable of appreciating, and worthy of, the best things.

My own favorite examples would be Paul Gerding’s Duesenberg ads that ran in upscale magazines like Vanity Fair and The Sportsman in the 1930s.

But Pankaj Bhalla, Gillette brand director for North America, decided a different approach was needed to cement the company’s ties to Pabst-swilling, tattooed, and pussified millennial metrosexuals. (He seems not to have noticed that they are usually bearded.)

Business Insider:

The shaving giant Gillette knew that its new ad addressing the #MeToo movement would be divisive. But the brand still went ahead with it hoping to appeal to future generations of customers.

The ad is part of a broader brand repositioning that turns Gillette’s 30-year-old tagline, “The Best a Man Can Get,” on its head, making it a call for men to take an inward look and placing the onus on them to be the best versions of themselves.

Pankaj Bhalla, the brand director for Gillette and Venus, called it “a statement of self-reflection” from the brand.

Gillette first started brainstorming the repositioning last spring, and it ran several qualitative tests before running it.

Gillette was well aware that its new ad would ruffle some feathers.

But it still went ahead with it because it felt it needed to reposition itself to continue to resonate with the next generation of its customers and wanted to leverage its position as a 117-year-old brand and a market leader to spark dialogue.

“We knew that this particular commercial would trigger a conversation,” Pankaj Bhalla, the brand director for Gillette and Venus, told Business Insider. “The idea was to get people thinking, because the belief was that good advertising does trigger a healthy debate.”

——————————

Skeptics are doubtless snapping up Unilever stock (owner of Dollar Shave Club), but there is, after all, nothing new under the sun.

Pankaj Bhalla, armed with a Bachelor degree (Hons.) in Commerce and Business Economics, 2000, from Hyderabad, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Brand Management from Ahmedabad, 2003, must have deduced that today’s rising generation in America resembles in some uncanny way the generation coming of age in New England in the 1740s, another time in which people desired not to be flattered and praised, but threatened and abused.

For his next Gillette commercial, I’d recommend that Grey Group consider adapting some of the text of this sermon delivered by Jonathan Edwards, Yale 1720, 8 July 1741 at Enfield, Connecticut:

[excerpt]

The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked: his wrath towards you burns like fire; he looks upon you as worthy of nothing else, but to be cast into the fire; he is of purer eyes than to bear to have you in his sight; you are ten thousand times more abominable in his eyes, than the most hateful venomous serpent is in ours. You have offended him infinitely more than ever a stubborn rebel did his prince; and yet it is nothing but his hand that holds you from falling into the fire every moment. It is to be ascribed to nothing else, that you did not go to hell the last night; that you were suffered to awake again in this world, after you closed your eyes to sleep. And there is no other reason to be given, why you have not dropped into hell since you arose in the morning, but that God’s hand has held you up. There is no other reason to be given why you have not gone to hell, since you have sat here in the house of God, provoking his pure eyes by your sinful wicked manner of attending his solemn worship. Yea, there is nothing else that is to be given as a reason why you do not this very moment drop down into hell.

O sinner! Consider the fearful danger you are in: it is a great furnace of wrath, a wide and bottomless pit, full of the fire of wrath, that you are held over in the hand of that God, whose wrath is provoked and incensed as much against you, as against many of the damned in hell. You hang by a slender thread, with the flames of divine wrath flashing about it, and ready every moment to singe it, and burn it asunder; and you have no interest in any Mediator, and nothing to lay hold of to save yourself, nothing to keep off the flames of wrath, nothing of your own, nothing that you ever have done, nothing that you can do, to induce God to spare you one moment.

24 Apr 2017

Good Trade Name

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05 Apr 2017

Next Year’s Coke Campaign

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12 Feb 2017

Colt 1903/1908 Pistol Ad

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from Collier’s, June 1913.

Hat tip to Karen L. Myers.

21 Nov 2015

19th Century Social Media

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HolmesAgonyColumn
Watson reads the newspaper to Holmes and Jabez Wilson

In the 19th century, safe and anonymous communication was achieved via classified advertisements in the daily newspapers.

In the Conan Doyle stories, Sherlock Holmes often turned to them for clues.

Adventure of the Red Circle:

He took down the great book in which, day by day, he filed the agony columns of the various London journals. “Dear me,” said he, turning over the pages, “what a chorus of groans, cries, and bleatings! A rag-bag of singular happening! But surely the most valuable hunting ground that was ever given to a student of the unusual.”

Agony1
Agony2
Agony3

More examples

And more

still more

01 May 2015

Banned in Britain

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BeachBodyAd

Not because the model is too scantily-clad, but because she is too slender and attractive. Daily Beast:

Sharpie-wielding political activists have overtaken London Underground, writing outraged slogans on posters featuring a svelte, bikini-clad model next to an innocuous question: “Are you beach body ready?”

They’ve scribbled “NOT OKAY” and “Fuck Your Sexist Shit” over the model’s cleavage, signing their work with a now-viral hashtag, #eachbodysready.

A Change.Org petition calling for the removal of Protein World’s campaign on the grounds that it aims “to make [people] feel physically inferior to the unrealistic body image of the bronzed model” has received nearly 60,000 signatures.

And on Saturday, 750 people (and counting) will attend a “Take Back the Bikini” rally in Hyde Park to protest Protein World’s body-shaming ad campaign.

Well, good on them! Their vandalism, hashtag activism, and protests have made international headlines and prompted the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to scrub the weight loss supplement campaign from Underground stations and ban it from appearing again “in its current form.”

The advertising watchdog has been investigating the “beach body ready” campaign, responding to some 360 complaints that it objectifies women and promotes unhealthy body standards.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the ASA said they are pulling the ads “in the next three days.” (Protein World told The Daily Beast that the campaign’s three-week run in tube stations was already scheduled to end next week.)

The ASA will now determine if the campaign “breaks harm and offense rules or is socially irresponsible.”

So the feminist and body-image activists triumphed over the evil, patriarchal corporation, effectively censoring what they deemed an “unrealistic” and “unhealthy” body standard. …

Protein World’s ad campaign went up in London’s tube stations several weeks ago, prompting a scathing, widely-shared editorial in The Guardian.

Writer and co-founder of the Vagenda blog, Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett, had returned from Cuba to jarring reverse-culture shock in the “dark, putrid bowels of London’s underground system.”

It was only after visiting Cuba, a totalitarian country where there are no advertisements, that she realized “how much my field of vision is occupied without my consent by images and messages that want to sell me stuff (and, being a woman, it’s usually based on claims that it will make me look better).”

08 Aug 2014

Jim Beam Ad

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TrumanBourbon

04 Aug 2014

Discount Offers

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NotaBurger1
NotaBurger2
NotaBurger3
NotaBurger4
NotaBurger5

Discount offers in chalk art by Lila Roux for Not a Burger Stand in Beautiful Downtown Burbank, California.

Even more here.

25 Jul 2014

Offended Greeks

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YiaYia

One of Andrew Sullivan’s readers got his knickers in a twist over the above Athenos feta cheese advertisement.

I received my August Bon Appetit magazine and as usual, eagerly sat down to read it as soon as it was delivered. I was dumbfounded when I came across this advertisement. To me, it seems like an overt case of ethnic stereotyping. I can understand the use of a traditional “yiayia” figure to advertise Greek food products, but to also have her include arranged marriage and exorcism on her to-do list seems outrageous. And oh yes, there are others ads in a similar vein – apparently in one, the yiayia calls her granddaughter a “prostitute.”

When I went to Athenos website and Facebook page, I am clearly not the only person who is offended by these ads. Athenos’ explanation (and boilerplate response to Facebook posts) is that they “didn’t intend to offend anyone” and were trying for a lighthearted approach, using a character “set in the old ways.” Apparently that means the traditional yiayia is a disapproving grump, putting her seal of approval only on the Athenos food items. As one of the Facebook commenters (with a Greek surname) said: “The only thing my yiayia would force anyone to do is eat a big plate of food.” I don’t know what is more offensive to me – the ad campaign, or Athenos’ dismissive “we didn’t mean to be offensive” responses.

In the culture that reads Bon Appetit magazine, the culture of the progressive and aspirative crowd, which is determined even to maximize its enjoyment of its carefully calorically-and-nutritionally-calculated diet, transgressive humor aimed at traditional religion or at Republicans is worthy of federally subsidized art exhibitions, but… try indulging in some affectionate humorous ethnic stereotyping, and that sense of humor vanishes and you are dealing with the Grand Inquisitor.

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