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December 21, 2007

problems you didn't know you had

I once read in a business book a (possibly apocryphal) tale that went as follows:

A big news story came out about how there were a shocking number of rat parts in commercial cat food. One company decided to capitalize on this by coming out with a product called "NO-RAT CAT FOOD."

Despite the fact that it was, indeed, the only cat food guaranteed to have no rat parts, it sold terribly and was discontinued -- it seemed people didn't like to see the word "rat" on their cat food, even in the context of "Really, there are none in here!"

I mention this because I have purchased a bottle of fish oil capsules that claim to have a gelatin coating that doesn't dissolve until the capsule reaches the lower intestine.

The claim on the label? "NO MORE FISH BURPS!"

I can't believe I own a product that mentions something called "fish burps."

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December 19, 2007

Misogynistic Advertising of the Week

I find this repulsive. I have no problem with wanting to look good naked, or with shows dedicated to that purpose. However, all of the women here are naked and terrified, and that gross, facelifted man is fully-dressed and hideously smug. I know he's gay, but I'm not any less repulsed. Gay men do not get a free pass to tell women to hate their bodies. Or -- as is apparently the case -- to pilfer clothing.

Certainly one could get across the message about looking good naked by picturing some attractive, lean, muscled men and women, perhaps the trainers who might help you look good naked. Only semi-repulsive might be an ad featuring both men and women looking terrified at the unattractiveness of their naked bodies. Also, all three of those women are way better-looking than creepy Botox-forehead-man. Maybe he needs a show called "How to Hide in Seclusion Until Your Plastic Surgery Relaxes."

Click to enlarge: "The intelligence you require, with the beauty you desire."

This I just find ... disappointing. The Blackberry Curve? It's ... curvy? It's both smart and beautiful, like a desirable woman you can put in your pocket and use to view miniature Excel spreadsheets? What? I think I'm more just disappointed that Blackberry thinks women don't want to buy Blackberries, and are best used as a trope for selling Blackberries to men.

Also, E = 36-24-36^2 is just stupid. If those were your measurements, your hips would be 1,296 inches around, which is equivalent to 108 feet. Also, your hips would be 36 times greater around than your bust, which is taking the pear shape to a bit of an extreme.

Blackberry: We're bad at math and think mini-computer-phones are like having sex!

Good work, guys.

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December 13, 2007

American Apparel hates women


I'm also kind of tired of reading the Onion on the subway and having people see the back page American Apparel ad and assume that I am reading porn. A couple weeks ago I had some greased-up bridge-and-tunnel guy sitting with two friends on an otherwise totally uncrowded train see the back of my reading matter and say in a super-sleazy manner, "Well well, what are you reading?"

"The Onion," I said. And then I realized that this woman, pictured, was on the back page performing some hideous hipster contortion. She's not even making it look easy. Or attractive. Or fun. Or like a good reason to buy leggings. I think they keep her in the basement, with only plaster reindeer for entertainment, and kept alive on a diet of PBR and ironically-purchased Hostess snack cakes.

Update from the Comments: Check out this video.

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December 12, 2007

best scarf ever

Seriously, this is almost porn. You make John Krasinski sixty feet high and put him in cuddly clothing, what am I supposed to do? Buy GAP stock? Because I will, you know.


November 16, 2007

Naughty FreshDirect Copywriters

Seriously, did they think no one would notice?

"You'll never take it in the can again"?

Maybe, actually, you'd want some hydrogenated oils for that.

I see that not all comedy writers are on strike.

(Also, it's "the perfect complement", not "compliment").

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July 3, 2007

trans fat fallacy

I love how totally unhealthy food now is advertised as containing "NO TRANS FATS."

I mean, I could easily make you a trans-fat-free bowl of white sugar, with maple syrup. And butter. On a bed of cotton candy.

I've seen a number of delis advertising "We care about your health! We fry in trans-fat-free oils."

FYI, "pure chicken fat" is a trans-fat-free oil. Trans fat is basically synthetic liquid plastic. It keeps the brownies in your Brownie Fudge Chunk ice cream soft at freezing temperatures, which, if you think about it, is Not Normal. Other fats are still bad for you. Just not as bad as consuming synthetic liquid plastic.

(Incidentally, I don't mean for this post to sound self-righteous. I just ate a dark chocolate bar with whole hazelnuts. I totally ate three serving sizes. Women just ... do that sometimes).

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June 10, 2007

The Six Foot Heroes

I see signs all over New York, placed on delis of all stripes, offering:


...and that always makes me smile, even though I know they're talking about party sandwiches.

I decided if I were a guy in a band (well, a relatively tall guy in a band), I'd name the band The Six Foot Heroes, and then I'd print up stickers that said nothing except "New Album!"

And then, of course, everyone in the band would run around town sticking the stickers on the pre-existing SIX FOOT HEROES signs.

For those who knew the band, the marketing campaign would be omnipresent! But for deli owners, the vandalism would be small and baffling enough that it wouldn't be an urgent matter to scrape off those stickers.


May 22, 2007

this energy drink ad is a little rapey

I would like to suggest some alternate text for this ad:

"Do you feel bad about your rape skills? Check out this dude -- at least you've figured out that your penis needs to point downward! Hahahahaha! Women belong on their backs under people who drink our energy drink, hahahahaha!"

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May 12, 2007

on the benefits of living in NY

Yesterday I was walking down the street in Soho and six or more male models in white suits came walking towards me. One of them handed me a free Maybelline lip gloss. Now that's a promotion! Way better than the homeless people handing out flyers for sample sales. The lip gloss was even a good shade for me.

New Yorkers are really jaded. If I'm going to take something from someone on the street, it needs to have a cash value of, like, $7.


May 1, 2007

Dumbest Ad Campaign EVER

I saw a poster-sized ad in Chelsea that featured a close-up face of an attractive man, over which was written:


Now, for those of you not in New York, Chelsea is totally full of public service announcement ads about HIV testing and avoiding crystal meth. And now ... an ad for bareback sex? What? Who would even place such an ad? (On the internet, with a phone number, sure. But on the side of a public phone kiosk, advocating the practice in general?)

I noted the URL and visited when I got home, -- a "leading insurance broker and strategic risk advisor." They have 47 of the industry's top 150 "power brokers" as designated by Risk and Insurance magazine!

Er ... that was a business-to-business ad? Really? "I risk, therefore I am" on the face of a male model, in Chelsea?

That even makes your other slogan, "What's Your Upside?" sound a little dirty now, doesn't it?

Maybe their advertising "worked," in the sense that I went to their website and now am blogging about it. Ooh, success! I am blogging about how, instead of advertising to corporate decisionmakers, you appear to be advertising AIDS to the gay glamorati.

Dear Marsh, here are some suggestions for future ad campaigns:



Note: Please fire your ad agency. Immediately.


June 30, 2005

some sugar in my smoking?

Yesterday I bought a coffee from a street cart and it came in one of those cups with advertising printed on it (maybe the coffee carts consequently receive the cups for free?)

I have sometimes gotten cups that were a little weird, like one with a bright blue Colgate ad, but then again, I've also posted here about Freshdirect's peculiar but astute cross-marketing wherein, when you buy coffee, the bottom of the page says "Customers who bought this product also purchased: Half and Half, Crest Whitestrips."

This cup, however, was garishly bright yellow, pictured a happy face with a cigaratte coming out of its mouth, and was an ad for an online discount cigarette outlet. I don't want to walk around holding an ad for that! Even if it's run by Native Americans!

It took me a minute after buying the coffee to realize just what I was holding, and it seemed too frivolous to go back and request another cup. I mean, if I had been in an actual store, I would certainly have complained.

That, of course, is one of the benefits of Starbucks or other corporate leviathans -- if I don't like my drink at Starbucks, even if only because I ordered something made with, say, caramel, and I don't like caramel, I can go back up to the counter and tell them the drink is terrible, and they'll toss it out and make me a new one. Your risk is absorbed. And if I want my drink in an extra-big cup, or super-insulated in two cups, or half-skim with a Santaria blessing over it, they'll even hold back on the eye-rolling while complying.

The cigaratte cup, though ... how unappetizing! What's next? Maybe the pro-lifers could sponsor a bloody-fetus cup. How persuasive!

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June 9, 2005

spontaneous advertising

I once ordered a bookshelf from, and I just got this email from them regarding a "Night Owl" sale -- 10% off from 8pm to midnight only. What, does Kmart need some cash right away? Does it need to buy drugs?

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