Monday, August 16, 2010

“Why There?” Anti-mosque Ad

New York City’s MTA had refused to run this anti-mosque ad, which was created by a thinly veiled hate group — “SIOA,” or “Stop Islamization* of America.” These jackoffs are leveraging 9/11 to stop the building of a mosque near Ground Zero (as if doing so would metaphorically or pragmatically mean anything to anyone):

*not a real word

(Irony isn’t even trying anymore.)

Well, now the MTA has caved. Said hate group filed a law suit claiming breech of First Amendment rights, the MTA doesn’t want to deal with the cost and hassle of such a suit, so New Yorkers — and the rest of us, by extension — will now have to endure this blight on our culture.

Here’s a well-constructed video piece put together by PIX News in NYC:

Quick news flash for David Yerushalmi and Pamela Geller: This has nothing to do with the First Amendment. A media source can deny any content they want, for any reason. If some extremist Jewish group wanted to run an ad depicting the baby Jesus on fire beneath the headline, “Some of us don’t want YOUR Christmas,” and the MTA rejected it, no one would say a damn thing about a First Amendment violation.

Now, if a member of same wants to stand on a soapbox at the corner of 53rd and 6th, and hold up a poster of said ad and preach his case, the First Amendment protects his right to do THAT. But the founding fathers in no way seemed concerned with one’s ability to purchase media fairly and squarely.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

“And the Worst Ad of 2008 Award goes to...”

Saaaved by zee-ro.

What an awful, AWFUL campaign. It makes my fillings hurt every time it airs. Without trying to dissect its inherently annoying essence (which I assume resonates in most of us), I will merely make the following suggestions to the creatives at Saatchi & Saatchi, the agency that slapped this campaign together on behalf of Toyota, which they can consider going forward:

1. A campaign’s headline should provide a clear thought.
Saved by zero? What does that mean, exactly? Saved from what, a monthly price that might be slightly higher? Well now, that requires a slight tweak in syntax; let’s try, “(I) saved with zero (percent financing).” The notion of saving is one thing; the notion of being saved carries with it a gravitas that’s inappropriate for a car commercial. And you don’t get a pass on the syntax goof just ‘cause you referenced an ‘80s pop song. Speaking of...
2. If you’re going to pander to a demo, at least be relevant.
Hey Gen Xers, how many of you were really into The Fixx back in the day? Oh, none of you? Exactly. This was a throwaway band with one hit (“One Thing Leads to Another”) and one semi hit (“Red Skies”) and four fans. That’s it. I remember “Saved by Zero” about as well as I remember who shot J.R.
3. Watch your hyperbole, Yo.
The ad claims that ONLY Toyota can offer this “amazing” rate of 0% financing. Uh, how’s that? ‘Cause I just opened my local newspaper and found approximately 147 dealerships, across all car brands, that will give me that — rendering Toyota’s deal neither singular nor amazing. And this is the basis for the entire campaign! Well done, Itchy & Scratchi.

Meanwhile, this riff on the campaign is more entertaining and thoughtful than the campaign itself:

Friday, December 19, 2008

Brown & Van Pelt Advertising

It's been awhile, but I'm back -- with this special holiday message.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

What killed McCain? A lousy brand.

The economic fallout may have been the final nail in John McCain’s campaign coffin (come on, John: “The fundamentals of our economy are strong”?), but McCain was ensuring his burial long before that. He was ensuring it through poor branding.

At the beginning, McCain defined himself singularly as an American war hero, a patriot who sacrificed and put “country first.” Though some found that to be a dubious means of self identification (yours truly among them), it was, no doubt, compelling to many. But once Obama’s star began to rise, McCain largely abandoned this brand identity and began a dizzying process of knee-jerk reactions that aimed to contain Obama’s celebrity while maintaining JayMack’s competitiveness.

When Obama’s message of CHANGE was becoming wildly popular, McCain also became the candidate for change — in a “me, too” sort of way; he rebranded himself as the “Maverick,” a reference to a TV show from the 1950s (huh? who you targeting there?). When Obama defeated Hillary and there was some uncertainly as to where her supporters might migrate, McCain panicked to gather them and nominated Sarah Palin as his running mate (insert your own joke here). When Obama was getting traction with a tax plan that would “help working Americans,” McCain summoned Joe the Plumber. (On NPR’s Radio Times yesterday, Chris Mottola, a media consultant for the McCain campaign, was asked to explain the rationale for that strategy. “You throw a lot of things against the wall and see what sticks,” he answered. Really, sir? I mean, really?)

Bottom line: Rather than branding himself as a unique candidate with qualities that would have attracted some voters and alienated others, McCain instead wound up branding himself as Obama Lite/Warped/Old.

Behold the result.

Monday, October 27, 2008

For some, everyday is Halloween.

You see at least one everyday:

The shaved bald head. The goatee. The Kenneth Cole wardrobe. The retro Weezer eyeglasses.

Is it a rule that all digital guys have to wear the same costume?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Esta promoción es estúpida.

Hey Phillies phans! Inspired by Taco Bell, Wawa just announced a new promotion: if anyone gets a ground-rule double tonight, you can receive a free small cup of coffee two Thursdays from now, between 2:00 and 5:00 AM. (Participating Wawa stores only.)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

“If we can get rid of the designers and creative directors...”

In the movie The Player, a studio exec is looking for ways to save money on movie scripts. He picks up a newspaper and reads the first headline he sees: Immigrants protest budget cuts in literacy program. “Human spirit overcoming human adversity,” he suggests. “Sounds like Horatio Alger in the barrio. Put Jimmy Smits in it and you’ve got a sexy Stand and Deliver. Slap a happy ending on it and the script will write itself.”

Another studio exec, Griffin Mill (played by Tim Robbins), snarks in retort: “I was thinking what an interesting concept it is to eliminate the writer from the artistic process. If we can get rid of the actors and directors, maybe we’ve got something.”

Point taken.

But hey, guess what? It looks like some marketing genius is seriously suggesting we take the designers and creative directors out of the process of logo development. Yep, in a recent PBJ article, wonders why a small business would spend upwards of $10,000 on its logo — you know, the central image of its brand — when it can fill out a questionnaire and have one produced via l’automation for just $500.

Griffin, any thoughts?