Posts tagged as advertising

'The New Yorker' Profiles 'Mad' Magazine as an Anti-Smoking Ad Pioneer

The New Yorker ran an excellent article last week about Mad magazine's big anti-smoking push during the '60s, which resulted not only in tons of hilarious tobacco ad parodies but some fake smoker-friendly inventions that, had the industry paid any attention to the small ad-free satirical magazine, could've potentially kick-started the e-cigarette boom decades earlier. From the article:

But the truly prescient invention was the "smoke simulator": a cork-tipped Pyrex tube containing small amounts of water, which, like the metal rod, would be inserted into a cigarette. Once the cigarette was lit, the cork at one end of the tube (edible, of course) popped out, and the water [...]

Who Lives Like That? The Most Absurd Aspirational Ads Out There

This #NoBollocks content was produced in partnership with Newcastle Brown Ale. If you enjoy this article, won't you be a doll and watch a TV commercial on the Internet? Go on, it's right there on the right.

The advertising industry is inherently aspirational. Commercials create a fantasy that elicit both desire for a possibility and disappointment in the reality. We don’t buy the product, we buy into the idea the product promises us. Depending how you look at it, life is either nothing but anticlimax, or rife with opportunity. By making a purchase, we are refusing to settle for the former. Happiness is that thing before [...]

Is This Ashton Kutcher Video Racist or Just Unfunny?

Ashton Kutcher is doing a new campaign for PopChips in which he portrays different characters in a bunch of "dating videos." One of them is "Raj," an indian man that you can see above. It's being called racist by a bunch of different people, most notably by tech pundit Anil Dash. Is it racist? He's wearing "brownface," which isn't the same as blackface, which is offensive and racist because of its history, not just because people are wearing makeup. And I don't like flinging accusations of racism or offensiveness at comedians unless it's really, truly warranted; comedians deserve the benefit of the doubt for the most part. [...]

The Saga of Alec Baldwin and John Krasinski's Baseball Rivalry Ends with Some Soiled Pants

Here is the sixth and final installment of New Era's series of ads featuring Red Sox fan John Krasinski and Yankees fan Alec Baldwin tormenting each other over their regional rivalry. In this spot, our two heros watch the end of a tense game between their two teams, with pausing the game to use the restroom just not being an option.

Doc Brown Is Now a Pitchman for an Argentine Electronics Retailer

You might think that you saw the last of Doc Brown as he flew off in his time travelling locomotive with his new family at the end of Back to the Future Part III. Turns out that's not the case! Everyone's favorite lovable mad scientist apparently travelled to the year 2011 at some point, avoiding Hill Valley this time, and discovered Garbarino. He was so impressed with their selection of flat-screen TVs, cellphones and iPads that he made this commercial for them.

It's pretty well done and relatively amusing, but it seems strange that Christopher Lloyd would be legally allowed to reappear as the character, with his signature [...]

Mattress World Commercial, by Blythe Roberson

When you walk into a conventional mattress store, it’s really not about you. It’s about, here are our mattresses, would you like to buy one?

At our store, it’s all about you. What is your favorite book? Who is your celebrity crush? Put your iPod on shuffle: What are the first six songs that come up?

Don’t look at our mattresses yet!  You’ve had a rough day, you need to de-stress. Sit down for a massage. Wow, those hands are magic! Is that a masseuse? No, it’s Gary, the guy who delivers our mattresses.

Are you hungry? Here’s some celery and some chocolate. No, don’t eat the celery. We [...]

Oh Hey, Matt Besser and Seth Morris, You're in the New Apple Ads

The videos star Josh Rabinowtiz, a stand-up who just performed as part of the Just For Laughs New Faces showcase last week.

Despite the comedic talent, the ads have not been particularly well received. Ken Segall, a former ad man who had worked with Steve Jobs, wrote on his personal blog:

I know it’s hard to say after viewing the new batch of Mac ads that debuted on the Olympics. I’m still in a bit of shock myself.

Sure, Apple has had a low point or two in its advertising past — but its low points are usually higher than most advertisers’ high points.

This is different. [...]

How '30 Rock' Cut the Kraft Cheese Product Placement Deal

"It’s the Kraft Product Placement Comedy Hour. Sponsored by Kraft Singles. Made with Milk. It's the cheese that won World War II (Don't ask how)." That's some pretty sweet, overt product placement action right there and Kraft didn't need to push at all for it. Adage explains that the 30 Rock producers came to Kraft with the idea fully formed and ready to go. Product placement is no longer dreaded, as many showrunners have been able to embrace it. It's just part of the territory now for shows, especially savvy shows like 30 Rock or Community, who aren't doing super well in the ratings and could use the [...]

Can Whitney Survive Its Ad Campaign? A Discussion

Adam: Can we talk about these Whitney ads? Will anyone who has seen them watch the show? Because they are truly awful. I feel like they're going to kill the show off before anyone even sees it.

Halle: Okay, here's the thing. I understand that everyone has their own taste in comedy, and we can no more escape our own preferences than we can change them. Also, you and I are people who are (willfully) inundated with comedy all the time, so we probably have an even more specific view on many comedy-related things. Perhaps we are even, let's say, persnickety

Adam: I would say we are DEFINITELY persnickety.


Errol Morris's High Life Man and the Changing Idea of Masculinity

Errol Morris’s hilarious new movie Tabloid premiered over the weekend to rave reviews. Morris is best known for documentaries like The Thin Blue Line and The Fog of War, but my first encounter with his work (though I didn’t know it) was on TV. Between 1998 and 2005, he directed an extensive series of commercials for Miller High Life, starring “The High Life Man."

Morris himself considers the more than 100 ads, “his most impressive achievement.” All of the spots are available online, and they benefit from serial and even repeated consumption, preferably with a High Life in hand.

(I should mention: they are very effective beer commercials.)

Dr. Seuss's Ads Were the Best Ads Ever

Before writing the best children's books, Mr. Theodor Seuss Geisel was an ad man for 17 years. It all started when an ad executive's wife noticed his cartoons in Judge magazine. Besides helping his family get through the great depression and helping him fund his early writing career, his work was notable because, as you can see above and below, it was freaking awesome. "Dr. Seuss: Ad Man" has a nice ring to it. A perfect prequel to Mad Men, whenever that ends. And I know just the guy to play this whimsical advertising illustrator.

Nick Offerman and Craig Robinson Continue Their Chicago v. Chicago Bickering

Here's the second in New Era's series of spots featuring Nick Offerman, Cubs fan, squaring off against Craig Robinson, White Sox fan, in a battle of wits. I've said it before and I'll say it again: using funny people in well-written commercials may not get me to start wearing baseball hats, but it'll get me to watch your commercial. And that's got to be at least a partial victory for them, right?

Nielsen Ratings Getting Less Awful by Comparing TV and Online Ads

In the ongoing battle to get Nielsen ratings to even somewhat resemble the reality of who's watching what television shows, a blow has been struck for verisimilitude! There's now a system in place to standardize ratings of television and online ads so that advertisers can actually compare who's getting their ads from which platform. While it may not make any immediate differences to ratings numbers, this new system will certainly mean more information – and when networks sometimes base their content decisions on only half the story (i.e., the live-TV-viewing half), more information is always a good thing.

Everyone Still Wondering Why There Are No Women TV Writers

A recent and super-depressing study showing that the percentage of female TV writers has halved over the last four years has prompted another round of asking everyone who might have an opinion: "Why Is Television Losing Women Writers?"

Turns out there are a lot of possible reasons! The bad economy and writers' strike fallout affecting women and minorities most. The intimidation women face when entering the male-dominated writers room. Genre trends leaning towards episodic shows about spies in fancy suits setting off car explosions rather than hourlong emotional feeling-fests (because, as we all know, those two extremes are the only possible types of television shows! Nothing [...]