Best Ad of 2019

December 28, 2019

I am not an Apple user nor indeed an Apple fan, but this is genius storytelling at its commercial best — a full-on story in 2:50.

 

Thanks to Adweek for the link. They think the Game of Thrones Super Bowl ad was best, but I prefer this.


The New Normal

December 24, 2019

My favourite cannabis ad (or PSA) of the year.


Paris 2024: A Logo

November 4, 2019

This week, the IOC Organizing Committee for the 2024 Paris Olympics introduced their logo. The same logo will be used for the Paralympics, too:

An excellent piece of graphic design, the logo manages to capture the gold medal, the Olympic flame, and Marianne, symbol of the French Republic in a single image.


When Yo-Yos Were The Thing

May 24, 2019

Do you remember a year or two back when it was impossible to escape the marketing web for fidget spinners. They were everywhere, everyone gave them away.  Looking back, at just about the time I got interested in girls, the hula hoop was king.  Well, even before that there was a time when the fad was yo-yos:

Image: Vancouver Sun, 1933/4/19, p.12

Good to see our local shops were keeping up with the trends!


Bravo to Gillette!

January 16, 2019

 

This is a very brave corporate statement in support of #MeToo, noting that a large number of men need to change their actions and their thinking if we are ever to rid ourselves of a domineering patriarchy.

I’m not dumb enough to think they put this out without massive research in focus groups and elsewhere where they learned that it would not be a fatal mistake to launch such an “attack” on its own target market.  However, I am intelligent enough to recognise that Gillette didn’t need to do this, didn’t need to take the risk but did it away because it was the right thing to do.

The risk, of course, comes from the response to the ad by the large number of unreconstructed males, the very same group who perpetuate the problems highlighted in the ad.  A wide variety of these responses can be found most easily in the 1,650 comments on the YouTube video.

Some are simply sticking their head in the sand and hoping it will go away:  “RIP Gillette”, “Goodbye Gillette”, “buy anything but this product”, “you just lost a customer for life”, “what a bunch of fools”, etc.

Others were more expressive: “it feels like Gillette is calling me a rapist”, “the entire country is sick of feminism,” and the ad is “dripping with contempt for men.”

But the antediluvian rednecks were loudest: “Men get treated like they’re bad just for being a man,” for example. (Compare and contrast: “Nazis get treated like they’re bad just for being Nazis.”) Those responsible for the ad should be “put in camps to be worked to death”. They say the ad is “misogynistic and racist” but is “still not quite gay enough.” “Now we can’t even shave without radical feminist ideology.”

It is “left wing propaganda” paid for by “your liberal masters,” and is “a garbage political narrative.” One even suggested that “big corporation sides with communists in the culture war.”

How can the idea of treating people as people rather than as sexual or dominatable objects be considered “radical”?

Unfortunately, the number and extent of these comments proves that there is a genuine need for more public service messages of this kind.


Sex, Ads, and #MeToo

December 5, 2018

For decades now, the annual Pirelli calendar has been the most haut of the showing-off-of-bare-breasts-to-sell style of merchandising. New editions were eagerly awaited, fathers passed collections down to their sons, and classic calendars from years past decorated the walls of many garages’ inner sanctums. Now, as we work our way through and beyond the #MeToo issues, Pirelli has decided to change focus — to the photographs rather than the bosoms.

The photographer for this year’s edition is Albert Watson.

Image: Albert Watson

As reported in the Guardian:

Eight years on from Terry Richardson’s 2010 nude blow-out,and a year into the #MeToo era, the 2019 edition of “the cal” features successful women Watson depicts as “pursing her own dreams and passions” in a portfolio titled “dreaming”. The original idea was apparently to tell a story of four sisters living on a ranch in New Mexico and their different paths through life.

Image: Albert Watson

It will be interesting to see if the Pirelli calendar can stand on its own as an art piece.


Beanz

September 16, 2018

One of the joys of a full English breakfast are Heinz baked beans. At college, beans on toast were the staple supper whenever money was tight (like always). I doubt there is a larder in England that doesn’t have a can or two on a shelf.

I always assumed that the “Beanz Means Heinz” slogan pre-dated me but that is not so; I was in my late teens when Maurice Drake came up with one of the most durable of advertising lines in 1967. I know this now because of an article in the incomparable Creative Review.  From the same place I learn that Selfridge’s department store has made the bean can a feature of its displays this spring.

 

When I first arrived in Canada, it was a grave disappointment to me to find that cans of Heinz beans in North America were not the same as the English beans I grew up with.  However, I am glad to say that the original English flavour is now available here, if you know where to look — SuperValu on Commercial, for example.

They are one of life’s simple pleasures.