At first we were tickled by these quirky ads for India’s Adam Extra Long Condoms by the world’s third largest ad agency Publicis. The illustrations are cool, and they obviously have a sense of humor. But take a look at the details, and things get downright sinister. (You can check out the larger images at I Believe in Adv — double click them there.)
We saw this fantastic ad for a new line of period products called U from Kotex while we were watching American Idol the other day. (We can admit this viewing habit without shame because in the same week we watched the 13-and-a-half-hour, black-and-white German film “White Ribbon,” which pretty much balances things out.) Anyway, the commercial makes fun of all the stupid things most period product ads employ — beach scenes, slo mo, white spandex, blue liquid. We’re not convinced the hip packaging will make menstrual products seem cool, but we’re sold on U’s marketing mission: helping girls (and society) get over their embarrassment and squeamishness about something so normal and natural — and that’s not just periods, but anatomy too.
The slogan for the above anti-smoking ad currently running in France reads “Smoking means being a slave to tobacco.” Despite promoting a universally recognized good cause — getting kids to stop smoking — the ad has managed to piss off pretty much everyone. And this is in France, where the words “sex” and “scandal” (or, rather, their French equivalents) rarely appear in newspaper headlines together.
This new Old Spice ad is genius. Check out this Twit interview with the creators of the ad for the play-by-play of how they did it.¬† The commercial pokes fun at both men and women (refreshing!), which means it appeals to both men and women and thus doubles Old Spice’s potential buying market. Since being uploaded to YouTube on February 4th, it’s received 2.5 million views. It should win a Cleo just for the absurdity of the last few frames and the last line: “I’m on a horse.”
Our reader IC brought our attention to Puma’s genius ad campaign, The Puma Hardchorus, with the tag line “They want to be in your arms. You want to be in the stands. What do you do when Valentine’s Day falls on game day?” The site allows hardcore soccer fans to dedicate and send a video of Savage Garden’s 1997 song “Truly Madly Deeply” belted out a capella by a bunch of fellow hardcore soccer fans (drinking in the pub, natch) to their loved ones via Facebook or email. There’s also an Italian version — both are a little bit scary and quite touching. You can read what Savage Garden’s front man thinks of the ad here.
BEST OVERALL: Dove Men+Care’s “The Journey to Comfort”
At last, a commercial that celebrates manhood without being sexist, stupid or beer-related! It’s basically a mini-movie crammed into 45-seconds (seriously, try counting the number of scenes they had to shoot) that follows one Everyman’s life from birth to adulthood by highlighting the big moments as well as the mundane ones: puberty, love, marriage, jar-opening, parenthood. The message is “You’re mature and comfortable enough in your own skin that you don’t have to worry about seeming like a pussy if you want to moisturize your skin.” And it avoids all the divisive or offensive gender stereotypes often found in Super Bowl ads. BUT — and it’s a big “but” — the title of “best ad” only applies to the 45-second version that aired during the Super Bowl last night. If you search online for it (and on the Dove site), the version that will probably come up first is the ONE minute version, which sadly DOES include a bunch of tired gender stereotypes, like fighting at parties, never showing your sensitive side and never showing fear — ugh! Like with good film making, good commercial making is all about editing, editing, editing.
MOST SEXIST: Dodge Charger’s “Man’s Last Stand” Bridgestone’s “Your Tires or Your Life” came close to capturing this award (for it’s lame old joke that has a douchebag handing over his wife to a marauding band of scary-looking male outlaws in order to save his car’s beloved tires), but Dodge clinched it with their spot featuring a range of dead-behind-the-eyes husbands/boyfriends who have been beaten down by doing such emasculating and soul-crushing (read: considerate) tasks as putting the seat down and putting dirty underwear in the hamper and listening to their partners’ opinions — the horror, the horror! Well, because these brave yet broken men do all these selfless things, there is one thing they can — nay, will — be selfish about: the kind of car they drive. Gag.
To kick off your Superbowl weekend, check out these 3 bits that you won’t (but should!) see during the game this Sunday — all are in response to the anti-choice, anti-equality, anti-gay Christian group Focus on the Family’s 2.5-million-dollar spot (that we mentioned the other day) featuring football star Tim Tebow and his mom talking about how she refused to have an abortion after doctors advised her to. Hey, good for Mrs. Tebow, who had the right to make her own decisions about her reproductive health! Guess we can now hold our breath until CBS runs an equally “appropriate” ad about preserving that right to choose:
We used to look forward to Superbowl Sunday for the ads (that, and the excuse to over-indulge in junk food). But it looks like CBS is determined to ruin the one sports-related joy in our lives. First of all they went and accepted an¬†anti-choice ad from conservative Christian group¬†Focus on the Family — apparently CBS no longer bans advocacy submissions or controversial ads, as they have claimed in the past. Of course, Focus on the Family claims the ad is not controversial at all, and is simply about “the issue of life.” Riiiight. The ad — which has not yet been released — is expected to feature¬†Pam Tebow (mother of college football star Tim) and her decision to carry Tim to term despite a recommendation from doctors that she have an abortion. Sorry: despite a recommendation from doctors regarding the issue of life.
Unfortunately CBS’s policy on “controversial” ads still holds firm if the ad happens to come from a gay men’s dating site.
Finally! An ad for a cleaning product that doesn’t feature a woman going into an orgasmic paroxysm over a new mop. Only on Madison Avenue does doing the chores turn a woman on. Sure, Pine-Sol may have shamelessly ripped off the Porn for Women books with their new ad, but we don’t care. The ad (watch it here) features a woman pulling into her swank house in a snazzy convertible, then climbing a rose-petal-strewn staircase to find a smokin’ hot topless dude mopping her floors. We love Pine-Sol even more for keeping on Diane Amos for this ad. She has starred in Pine-Sol’s ads for 16 years, and, as she told the New York Times, “I run a household and have kids. I look like I mop.” We can’t believe it took Madison Avenue this long to capitalize on the no-duh notion that dudes who pull their weight in the household chores department are more likely to get laid. Though, for the record, we should point out — as we did here last month — that a recent study found that doing housework increases the amount of sex in a relationship no matter who mops. But we’re not going to write any letters to Pine-Sol pointing this out just yet — we want more ads featuring hot semi-naked guys doing chores first.
Sometimes what happens in Vegas simply can’t stay in Vegas. While driving through Sin City this past weekend, Lo saw the crazy-ass billboard above — so crazy-ass that she had to pull the car over and take a picture.¬†The ad is for a night club — not a BDSM club, or the He-Man-Woman-Haters-Club, or a club for would-be date rapists — just a night club (MGM’s Studio 54). ¬†So what’s with the extremely passive woman who looks like she’s been Roofied, about to gag on the disco testicle being pushed into her mouth by the dominant man-hand commanding “Take it all in”? WTF!