A friend of mine posted this on her Facebook wall this morning. I’m not sure if she was the one who snapped it, or if she grabbed if off of someone else’s wall, but either way, this little bit of guerrilla graffiti espouses a simple truth about advertising and marketing.
If you’ve turned on the TV at all in the past couple of weeks you’ve surely seen the “Shop to Win” commercials from Kohl’s. If not, here’s the general premise: a legendary female athlete (swimmer Dara Torres, skier Lindsey Vonn, and soccer star Mia Hamm have all been featured) sits in an empty room and talks about the intense experience of competing at a sport’s highest level. “When I’m out there, I am totally in the zone,” says Torres. “It’s a real adrenaline rush,” says Vonn. “I get pretty excited when I score,” says Hamm. But wait, there’s a twist! These women aren’t talking about sports… Keep reading »
It’s common knowledge that toys are marketed to boys and girls in hugely different–and often troubling–ways. Media literacy advocate and video artist Jonathan McIntosh has come up with a super effective way to illustrate those differences. It’s called the Gendered Advertising Remixer, and the concept is simple: on one side of the screen is a selection of ads targeting boys, on the other side are ads targeting girls. You drag one ad to the audio box, one to the video box, click “Mashup,” and you’ll watch a sweet, maternal ad for a baby doll accompanied by the explosions and violent rhetoric of a GI Joe commercial (or swap the audio and video for equally confusing results). Some of the remixes are funny, but all of them bring up major questions about our culture’s definitions of gender, how early they are instilled in us, and how harmful they can be. But you don’t have to take our word for it. Remix some ads for yourself! [Gendered Advertising Remixer]
Two weeks ago, Belvedere Vodka tweeted an ad depicting a man pulling a surprised, open-mouthed woman down onto his lap. The headline read: “Unlike some people, Belvedere always goes down smoothly.” Decent people got the skeevies and called the ad out as rapey. Belvedere quickly tweeted that they were sorry “if any of our fans were offended” — but not sorry for the actual creepy ad — and made a donation to the Rape And Incest National Network.
Now, Alicyn Packard, the actress who starred in a comedy sketch from which Belvedere appropriated her image, is suing its parent company Moet Hennesey. Packard’s lawsuit claims emotional distress from appearing in such a reviled ad and claims Belvedere did not have permission to use her image (misappropriation of likeness). The company allegedly ganked her image from a comedy video made by her company, Strickly Viral Productions. “To be affiliated with an ad that’s so offensive to so many has just been horrible,” she told KTLA. Keep reading »
She’s supposed to “get gorgeously dressed in 15 minutes flat,” but not worry about her hair getting wet in the rain. She’s supposed to love a good laugh, but can’t gossip. She’s a big eater, but doesn’t drink white wine. And on, and on, and on. According to this old ad for Bill Blass Perfume, finding your soul mate is just like ordering up a burger … only more obnoxiously specific. [The Hairpin]
We love to get nostalgic — from remembering our ’90s girlhood (like N*SYNC and Disney princesses) to learning about the history of corsets to just ogling glamorous pinups of the ’40s and ’50s. And when it comes to the history of our gender, nothing is quite as fascinating and disturbing as the history of advertising as it relates to women. Vintage ads for, about, and featuring the fairer sex range from retro-cute to scarily sexist with their portrayal of women. But we like to look back at these vintage ads for everything from cocktails to underwear to feminine hygiene products to remember how far we’ve come as well as how far we are from where we need to be in the world of advertising. Plus, a lot of these old ads are so backwards and ridiculous, you have to laugh. So take a trip back in time with us to see what ad execs of the past thought women would want! Read more…
What can we say about Cosmopolitan today that wasn’t true about Cosmopolitan in the past? According to the very first commercial that promoted the magazine brand in the UK, not much.
The 1972 commercial, unearthed by Copyranter, features a number of women talking to men. Specifically, the men are asking women how they managed to pull off things like affording nice cars and cooking delicious meals (things women totally couldn’t do at all in the 70s, or something), and the women respond with a page from Cosmpolitan. Then a male announcer says that women can learn all sorts of things from Cosmopolitan. Things about men. Read more and watch the video here…
I suddenly feel very hungry for some Greek yogurt. More specifically, for a sexy man slathered in the stuff. Fitness expert Stefan Pinto would rather get naked (and covered in yogurt) than get fat. Voskos really knows how to sell their product. With ads like this, it’s no wonder that Greek yogurt is becoming the new, hot item in the food industry. Even Ben & Jerry’s is launching a Greek frozen yogurt. I challenge them to top this ad. [LA Weekly]
Lady Sybil Crawley on “Downton Abbey” is my new girl crush and not just because she’s a rabblerousing feminist. The actress who plays Sybil, named Jessica Brown Findlay, is a jaw-droppingly lovely “English rose,” as they say. Jewelry designer Dominic Jones must agree, because he’s hired Jessica to appear in ads for his new jewelry line. I’m not going to pretend to like her makeup style here — it evokes Angelina Jolie from the Billy Bob days, or maybe any Helena Bonham Carter movie — but, hey, the jewelry looks pretty! [Styleite]
I’m so accustomed to seeing penises scrawled on Reese Witherspoon’s face on those “This Means War” posters that it’s refreshing to see graffiti that’s not an ode to the male anatomy. Oh, I’m sorry. Are we not supposed to call it “graffiti”? Is it called “street art” because the doodles are on posters for “Mad Men,” which is a classy show? So be it. It’s “Mad Men” street art. And here are 10 that are pretty clever. [ONTD; Best Week Ever]