Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The blue screen of Dearth.

The above screenshot is from a CNN.com article on a Microsoft patent that enables "pay as you go" computing using low or no-cost computers.

Quirky idea - kind of like if iTunes made the vocal tracks of songs free but charged if you wanted the full version with instruments (Can you imagine listening to Nickleback - vocals only??  Heave...SPLAT!)

Can't wait to learn the Creative Strategy behind trying to sell a notorious software/operating system on a pay-per-use basis.  Might as well put a "Coin Return" slot on the side to mollify people waiting for refunds.

But, don't worry.  It won't happen.  At least while Microsoft has their A-Team of Word Manglers on the case.

"...requires more or less a one chance at the consumer kind of mentality, where elasticity curves are based on the pressure to maximize profits on a one-time-sale, one-shot-at-the-consumer mentality."

Sweet jimminy!  First, never trust anyone who uses the word "Granular" and the topic of conversation isn't about sand. 

Secondly, if Microsoft can't explain their concept without resorting to mind-bending jargon, do they think Joe Six-Pack will sit back ride their Elasticity Curve??

Microsoft's Communication Department needs a base-line, granular paradigm shift at the 100,000 ft. level.

Monday, December 29, 2008

In the spirit of giving.

The screenshot above is taken from Foxnews.com this morning - the point of attention is the "Thank You..." ad from Chrysler.

Realizing the current fashion of trashing the American car industry, the hubris of Chrysler's leadership is still noteworthy.  "Thank you America...for investing in Chrysler"!?!

Chrysler is a private company.  Any money given is not an investment, it's a prop.  There'll be no payout until the Management Culture is erased and replaced with one that values profit and quality.

So, in the spirit of GIVING, the ad's been rewritten to reflect the general American consumer's sentiment.


Click to enlarge.

Plus a few others for fun. :)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Last restroom on the way to eternity...

The above graphic is a screenshot taken from the Hathaway Funeral Home chain. Evidently, the Hathaway Group shook hands with the Crapo Clan and a hyphen sealed the merger.

Aside from the obvious fertilizer for jokes, the name in this day and age is mystifying.  Didn't ANYONE speak up?!  

Maybe it's a marketing strategy - going for the segment of "distress" burials.  You know, people you don't like?

"Yeah.  We put that witch Aunt Matilda in Crapo...HA HA HA HA HA and GOOD RIDDANCE!"

I should contact the Hathaway's and get the scoop on why they kept such a goofy name, but I suspect they'd try to bury me with some line of B.S.  HA HA HA HA HA.

Some comedian out there just got 30 minutes of material.  "Honey, that new Crapo routine positively KILLED'EM last night!  They died laughing!"

"Great dear!  The Hathaway people called too - your commission check's at the front desk!"

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

GM. People building transportation. 1978

The GM television commercial above is circa 1978.  

Regardless of your opinion on whether tax money should be used to liquify the American car manufacturers, this spot provides a fascinating look at the world's auto giant just as its cresting the hill.

The tone of the spot is happy, go-lucky.  Buddies playing with tools, back-slappin', having a good time.  You get the impression that a smoking BBQ is just off camera and "Ned and Ellen" are dragging a steel cooler of beer along the concrete.  Foghat blaring on a portable 8-track - "Sloow riide...take it eeezay..."

But, while GM was making statements like, "We'll knock down engines for a bad paint job and that's no jive in that."  Honda, Mazda, Datsun, Toyota were building cars that defied the culture of planned obsolescence.   

It may be easy these days to take pot-shots at the American auto companies, but recognize their problems didn't start last month.  They started back in the days of truly bad hair.

Mind you, the leadership at GM expressed their vision of the industry with the statement, "People building transportation to serve people."  

Sweet jimminy!  I bet the wind around Detroit kicked up a few knots when they let that one out...could anything be any more lackluster?!   

The union workers were probably excellent folk who did their job to the best of their opportunity, their training and their leadership.  Too bad that half a world away, Honda, Toyota and Datsun were listening...

"If the customer has problems with that car, then we got problems because he's not going to be a General Motors customer again."

Ahhh...the '70s.  Cars that sucked, sweaters with more neck than sleave and bombs that "...killed people but left buildings standing."  

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Better than "Short Circuits" I guess.

The above graphic is a screen-shot of a telecom provider in Iowa.  Their company is called "Long Lines."

I remember waiting at the Verizon™ outlet for 90 minutes.  I thought THAT was a "Long Line." However, it's refreshing for a company to belly-up to the microphone and just say it - "You're going to be standing around a while."

Ok.  Did some research and the guy who founded the company's last name is Long.  And "Lines" harkens towards the day of telephone lines back before the Cell Phone revolution of...1991.

So, I guess if your name is Long and you want to get into the advanced, hyper-service world of 21st Century telecommunications, "Long Lines" is , well, cause for pause, at least.

Kind of like if I were a positive guy named Charles and I started a beer & buffet bar named, "UpChucks." 

Anyway, if they would have named themselves "Small Bills" I would have signed up.  Now.

Friday, November 28, 2008

An American Revolt-ing.

The graphic above is a screenshot of Chevrolet's website, taken this morning.  Regardless how one feels about watching the American auto industry do its slow-mo crash into a brick wall, it's apparent Chevy thinks we're more Dummy than Customer - notice the "News and Offers" section.

The verbiage provides a deep clue into their marketing and PR strategy.  One word:  GUILT.

"Support the U.S. auto industry.  Learn how you can help."  The button underneath is labeled, "Take action >"

What?!  "Learn how (I) can help"??  "Take action"?   Chevy isn't trying to market their cars - they're embracing a Cause.  Next is probably a telethon where the Chairman of GM does a morale boosting visit to empty showrooms and packed repair shops...

"When you give to General Motors, your money goes to the caring of thousands of irrelevant automobiles across the nation.  Like Suburban here - only 3 years old, once advertised at $60,000, now only $19,995..."

How Chevrolet can keep their slogan, "An American Revolution" while their leadership is asking for public money is way beyond ironic. 

Using guilt to control subjects may work for cults and communists, but a car company?!   

Bah. Chevrolet's making me look like a bloomin genius. For all their website talk of "Green" "Revolution" and "Red Tag Sales", have you noticed anything missing?

Cars. There isn't a single picture of an automobile on the Chevy website! Imagine a Car Company selling cars.  Hmmm.  From the looks of things at Chevrolet, the idea is positively Revolutionary.

Monday, November 24, 2008

You think ONE is great?!

The graphic above is a scan of an IBM ad circa 1952.  The copy explains that the IBM computer is so efficient and powerful, "it's like having 150 EXTRA engineers" available on call to save the day. 

Ah, yes.  150 floating heads, 300 disembodied hands and enough Anal-Retention to count the number of grains of sand in Florida.

Actually, this is a darned effective ad and definitely a product of the Marketing Department.  Believe me, there's nothing more horrifying to a Marketing person than a wonk who can't stir coffee without trial, error and a resultant system and process. 

The day 150 of them were replaced by a box that could be jammed into a dark closet had to be huge.  "Le'me do that ad, le'me do that ad, le'me do that ad, pleeeeeeaaasseee???!"


For your engineering pleasure, here's a list of common Engineer rejoinders, by discipline:

Chemical engineer:  "You're doing it wrong, and I'd tell you but you wouldn't understand."

Electrical engineer: "Do what you want, but don't blame me if you die."

Nuclear engineer: "If you don't stop, we could all be dead. Theoretically. And I think I'm right about that. At least that's what we currently believe.  Unless it changes."

Software engineer: "(Sigh)...just let me do it."

Mechanical engineer:  "Go ahead.  I'll watch and laugh while you screw it up."

Geological engineer: "Hey!  You could at least ASK me!"

Systems engineer:  "You're doing it way too much!  Simplify! Simplify!"

Bio engineer:  "What you're doing is a process.  We have no idea what will happen.  I will take it from here and ask for help when it gets out of control."

Genetic engineer:  "Some day, none of us will have to do that any more, you know."

Civil engineer: "If you get the pizza, we'll get the beer!"


NOTE TO ENGINEERS:  This is a good natured poke.  It's just a joke.  Funny - you know?  Like when HR people talk about helping their kids with their upcoming science project.  Or like when George Lucas keeps putting sound effects in an outer space environment.  Elsewhere in society, teasing people that are "liked" is relatively common.  This is one of those instances.  It's appropriate to laugh. Here.

All that being stated, Marketing people know they're functionally useless until people like you give us something to do with our "talents."  

Note:  A sadvertising reader has noted that all the engineers are clean shaven white guys with male pattern baldness (MPB).  Yikes.

Another note: The photo below was provided by a sadvertising reader who is, in fact, an engineer. He wishes to let the world know that Engineers can be colorful, courageous and color blind. He sends his well wishes to engineer brothers everywhere.

Another note:  A sadvertising reader - and also an ENGINEER, stated that he'd rather have 150 'talking heads' than a 'gray box' any day as the human mind is a better computer than...a computer.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Well, DUH!

The clip above is a commercial for EAS's energy drink, "Myoplex." It features QB Brady Quinn.

Interesting concept - show Brady stepping onto a treadmill to be transported into an apocalyptic wasteland where he becomes a Team of One, pushing the limit, going extreme to get to...the can!

Must be some stuff, that Myoplex - you'd expect when Brady finally gets to the goal, he'd take a big ole'gulp and sigh, "Ahhh! Myoplex!"  Or a lip-smackin', "Wow! Myoplex hits the spot!"  Gee whiz, maybe a "Whoo, doggie!"

But no, Brady turns to the camera and deadpans, "Now, I'm done."

Or is it, - "Now, I'm dumb." ???

Go ahead - watch it again.  Your ears are tainted forever.

"Ah man...I ran 5 frickin miles and all I got was this can of nutri-goo?! I am SO dumb!"

Anyway, the basic confusion here is so obvious, we have to assume one of two things:  1. The spot was created, produced and placed without input or collaboration from others.  Sometimes that works.  Sometimes, it's dumb.  Or 2., the producers knew of the Done/Dumb mumble and decided to cast faith in the old adage, "Bad publicity is better than no publicity!"  If so, tell that to George Bush.

Bottom line:  EAS didn't need to gamble on controversy to get publicity.

Additionally, isn't the phrase, "Now I'm done" anathema to an athlete? Maybe he's hinting at retirement - surely with his mumble, he'd have a tough time as a sports announcer. Instead, he could have tried a career in Comedy by belching, wiping his face and growling, "This is goooood shiiip!"

Either way, this spot is authentically "Sadvertising" with the dumbest thing being that the spot hasn't been taken off  YouTube.  

Thanks to a Sadvertising reader for the tip.

Monday, November 17, 2008

"Why does daddy drink so much after work?"

The ability to generate new ideas, to find new solutions to old problems, to provide places of expression for other's gifts - these are the rallying cries for those called to "Create."

And so, "Creativity" is not only a calling, but also a burden of responsibility toward humankind.

Henry Ford, we thank you for the automobile.

Jobs&Woz, we thank you for the Macintosh computer.

Barack Obama, we thank you for energizing political Change.

Rachel Carson, we thank you for giving Environmentalism emotion and passion.

However, to the creators of "Wonder Sauna (long) Hot Pants," we stop, gasp...and ultimately curse the indelible image above that's been seared into our brains.

But the ridiculousness of the Wonder Sauna (long) Hot Pants (WSHP) isn't the point of this post. That the WSHP is no longer attaching itself to hopeful, but nonetheless stupid people is proof that Capitalism takes care of itself.

What's important here is - "What happened to the models?"  Specifically, the dude.

Can you imagine getting the call from your agent, "Hey. Gary.  Uh...got a gig here.  Pays cash. Can you make it next Friday at 3?"

"Uh, maybe. What is it?"

"Uh.  Well, it's called a Wonder Sauna Hot Pant...thing.  Hey, listen can you make it or not?!"

"Sure. Baby needs new shoes, ya'know!" (laughs.)

(laughs) "Uh, yeah!  Gotta provide for the kids!  Uh, anyway, here's the address..."

Then, some stone-faced art director hands you this...this...BALLOON TOY of an adult diaper and minutes later, you're in your underwear being told to SMILE!

We simply have to find this guy and see if he's ok.  Let him know that there are people who care.  Who can look past the past.  Who can strengthen and encourage.

The chick?  Ah.  She's prolly fine.  Women have been wearing weird crap since beginning of time.  (Anyone remember Leg Warmers?)

But the dude...the poor, sad dude.  Creativity has done him wrong.

"Oh miracle of the Internet, we beseech thee to locate Mr. WSHP and tell him all is forgiven."

PS- A sadvertising reader commented that it was easy for me to take a "cheap shot" against the 70's.   Ok.  I accept.  But gee whiz...look at the thing!  

Friday, November 07, 2008

Step away from the Pharmacy Tech...slowly...calmly...

The graphic above is a banner ad for www.degrees.info - a website that is supposed to be a clearinghouse for "online degrees programs."  

So many choices...hmmmm.  Thankfully, yellow cartoon faces guide the choice!

Golly.  Teachers sure seem to have fun...and those Graphic Designers apparently have quite the attitude...maybe a Medical Billing Specialist?  They look rather pleasant, almost apologetic. 

"Well Mr. Smith, it does appear that the mammogram fee on your Annual Physical was indeed a mistake.  We'll reduce the charge by 50% and inform your insurance provider."

And if I wanted to become a Criminal Investigator, I could shoot my eye out, get a cool eye patch and an equally cool story to go along with it!

"Arrrggg!  Me thinks this car ye be driven is stolen BOOTY and I've come to claim me treasure in the name of the STATE!"

However, there's something about becoming a Pharm Tech that just doesn't seem to be much of a career move.  Evidently, Pharmacy Technician's don't get the same job satisfaction as Social Workers or Teachers.  You'd think they'd be able to slide a few Valium® off the counter for a little break-time mellowing...

Thursday, October 30, 2008


http://view.break.com/596146 - Watch more free videos

A sadvertising reader brought this interesting Tarzan Toy to attention. It's a real toy from Mattel, marketed a circa 1998ish.

It's "Rad Repeatin' Tarzan!"

And from judging the video, we're enlightened as to the meaning behind Tarzan's mighty cry...and why Tarzan prefers to spend so much time alone in the jungle.

If I were in the Focus Group (of course this product went through rigorous consumer testing before launching, right?), I'd have gone with "Vine Swingin' Tarzan" instead of "Rad Repeatin'" - all that "Repeatin'" and he'll be blind in no time!

Monday, October 27, 2008


Whatever your political poison, maybe this desktop "Wallpaper" will summarize your thoughts on this year's election.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

You ain't Dainty. You jus' dum!

The ad above was ripped out of a Popular Mechanics magazine I found last week in an office lobby. The ad is for Dinty Moore canned stew, and part of their "You ain't dainty..." campaign. Presumably, the campaign is targeted towards men who want a hearty, big meal. There are a bunch of these ads - clever, funny pictures that show men in bigger-than-reality situations.

My guess is that the intended response would be, "He he. Funny ad. But Dinty Moore must be a He-Man stew! Next time I want a He-Man stew, I'm looking for Dinty Moore!"

But...here's the rub. The man in the ad is a bloomin' idiot. Two seconds after that plunger drops, the more "dainty" guy trimming hedges is going to be plucking body parts off the house with rubber gloves.

The headline should read, "You ain't dainty.  You'gonna be DEAD."

Note the ad ran in Popular Mechanics - definitely a "guy" magazine.  But PM readers aren't dumb.  Knowing a little bit about the magazine's demographic, I'd bet a huge proportion of them saw the ad, remembered the inevitable story of some Darwin-award candidate and thought, "What an idiot."

Realizing this critique may come off like a killjoy, bear it in mind and watch advertising - you may be surprised at how often men, especially those who pursue traditionally masculine endeavors (like removing stumps!) are portrayed as simian-brained dolts.

Too bad Dinty Moore forgot that advertising is supposed to align customers and incite them to buy.  Instead, the star of this ad will likely end UP as stew.  Or at least look like it.

KaBOOF!  (insert sound effects of hunks of fat and protein raining down from above)  Yuummm-mmEE!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

"These pants are made for kickin' (sung to These Boots are Made for Walkin')

The ads above are for Chuck Norris "Action Jeans." Yeah, they're rather dated, but a respected Sadvertising reader fairly demanded that they be examined.

Advertising is essentially a fashion industry. Words, colors, shapes - they all evolve. That being stated, there's nothing notably amusing about these ad's dated style.  In fact, Chuck Norris looks surprisingly cool considering these ads are 20th Century vintage!

But while advertising trends come and go, the messages they convey are a timeless insight into the accepted mind of the buyer, and the buyers of Action Jeans are definitely looking for "WHOP!  WHAP!  Kaaaa-POW!" Action!

Putting it another way, these are the jeans you wear when you want to kick someone in the face!  No more round-house kicks to the crotch that end up in an embarrassing rip in the butt - Action Jeans let the wearer go full-on to jaw-breaking!

"Hey, Gary - remember that time you'n me went out to do a little ass-kickin' and you ended up ripping your new Levi's?" (laughs)

"Do I!  I'll never be able to set foot in the Rusty Nail again!  But no more, now that we're wearin' Action Jeans!  Hey!  It's ladies night at Lucky's  - what do you say we head  over and defend someone's honor?!"

It's rather staggering to think about how many would-be warriors were set back because, "...dang!  These Levi's just won't let me hit anything higher than a crotch!"

Undoubtedly, Action Jeans equalized parking lot brawls all across America.   It's probably just a matter of time until these things go the way of the switchblade or 15-round clip.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Those silly space-cadets at Lincoln...

The spot above is for Lincoln's new Whatever. "Whatever"? Well, I wish I remembered what the car is, but frankly, I'm jaw-dropped at the spot.

Play it.

For anyone under 40, the tune is "Major Tom" by David Bowie. It's about an astronaut that gets marooned in space because his spaceship failed.


"HelloOOoo, EARTH to LINCOLN, EARTH to LINCOLN...(static) COME IN LINCOLN...customers (static) don't like to be...marooned..."

And if that isn't a crappy song to launch a car-brand, the astronaut dies in the end!

Sweet jiminy - the first time one of these new-fangled Lincolns short-circuits in the middle of nowhere, "Major Tom" is going to be calling a tow truck, and he's probably going to sound a little more excited than the hypoxia-drunk women singing the spot.

The slogan is clueless - "Boot up, lift off"...and presumably, take your chances in the great void ahead.  Just like Major Tom.

In the meantime, here are the lyrics to "Space Oddity" by David Bowie
(bold italics, mine)

Ground Control to Major Tom
Ground Control to Major Tom
Take your protein pills and put your helmet on

Ground Control to Major Tom
Commencing countdown, engines on
Check ignition and may God’s love be with you

Ten, Nine, Eight, Seven, Six, Five, Four, Three, Two, One, Lift-off

This is Ground Control to Major Tom
You’ve really made the grade
And the papers want to know whose shirts you wear
Now it’s time to leave the capsule if you dare

“This is Major Tom to Ground Control
I’m stepping through the door
And I’m floating in a most peculiar way
And the stars look very different today

For here
Am I sitting in a tin can
Far above the world
Planet Earth is blue
And there’s nothing I can do

Though I’m past one hundred thousand miles
I’m feeling very still
And I think my spaceship knows which way to go
Tell my wife I love her very much (she knows!)
Ground Control to Major Tom
Your circuit’s dead, there’s something wrong
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you hear....

“ am I floating round my tin can
Far above the Moon
Planet Earth is blue
And there’s nothing I can do.?

(Thank you to sadvertising reader "Mike" for the info)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Operators are standing buy.

The above screenshot is of the Giant Sunflower Seed company's website. In case you're not a connoisseur of sunflower seeds, "Giants" are big sunflower seeds. The website is workmanlike - laying out their case for the feature/benefits of their "GIANT" seeds.

However, Giant Sunflower seed customers appear to be a rather quirky group. Apparently, Giant Sunflower Seeds saw the need to provide their customers "LIVE HELP."

At first, the gesture of live people, waiting to help Giants Sunflower Seed customers is noble. But...why? About the only food I can imagine that would require "LIVE HELP" is perhaps butchering a cow or maybe after eating suspect mushrooms.

But sunflower seeds!? Maybe first-time buyers don't know what to do with them - which would actually be a tremendous acknowledgement of the Giants brand - their product/packaging/placement may be so compelling, purchases are made without any clue what to do next.

"Hey honey, what'cha got there?"

"Dunno. I just bought them at the store."

"Huh! They sure look peculiar. Do they have a website?"

"Hmmmm...why, yes! Let's go check'em out!...look! They have LIVE HELP!"


Of course, every time I've checked, the LIVE HELP is "Offline."

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Music to Recession By...

Way back in the 70's - the United States experienced an economic recession. Taxes were nasty, prices grew faster than income and interest was so high, banks had in-house "day cares" where parents would leave their children until loans were paid. The kids worked in the back rooms counting change, cleaning after hours...just kidding.

Anyway, with all this talk about economic collapse, this fantastic clip from the recording family, "The Rhodes Kids" should make you feel rich. At least, it'll horrify you to ANYTHING that smacks of the 1970s and positively inspire you to fight back the forces of economic hell by sheer willpower.

Hope you're grooving to the photo below, too. Notice the poor dude in the 11 o'clock position - that's no waist-band, it's a girdle! And check the pipe-smokin' Santa - 'bet a few seconds after the shutter clicked, he was a polyester candle, bolting for the bathroom to flush the flames out.

Somewhere, those shirts are sitting in a landfill (Lord willing) and if we were to dig them up, they'd look GOOD. AS. NEW.

PS - In case you're wondering, The Rhodes Kids have apparently all gone on to achieve success and stability with their lives and remain close. How's that for a happy ending of the 70's? :)

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Star Killer

The above ad is from a cnn.com screen shot - "paid for by McCain-Palin 2008."

Nice photo of Sarah in a white dress, but considering Peggy Noonan's critical analysis, she either did a clean job of "killing" Senator Biden or Ms. Palin quickly slipped into a new outfit for the photo.

Whether journalists should use street slang or not is beside the point - is the stupid quote the best that McCain's PR people could conjure??

"She was the star"?? - Sweet jiminy - McCain/Palin's 'Gone Hollywood!'

Friday, October 03, 2008

Does my tummy look funny?

The above video is a promotion for a fitness video.  The hook - if you "laugh" while performing abdominal exercise, you'll get firmer, stronger, whatever-abs.

Interesting, if not downright hysterical idea - and considering the mechanics of muscles, probably totally effective.

But how on earth does a company market a product that, by anyone's stretch, makes the user appear...well...stark, raving nuts?!

Mom:  "Okay, I'm doing my Laugh Video now!"

Family: "Thanks for the warning, we'll be back in an hour!" (door slams)

Hmmm.  If laughing firms up the abdominal muscles, 'wonder what she'd come up with to firm up the butt?

HA HA. Bet you're REALLY laughing now! 

Monday, September 29, 2008

Bad day at the office

Sometimes, a photo and headline just match like the pieces of a Rolex® watch.

About the only thing good about the above screenshot from cnn.com is the likely sense of satisfaction of the news editor when he/she realized they had the perfect combination of headline and photo.

President Bush couldn't give a more telling expression - only, "Mr. President, the Chinese have advanced as far as Salt Lake City" could be worse.

Friday, September 26, 2008

New! Microsoft Irony®

The screenshot above is from a Microsoft® Press site that shows their new "I'm a PC!" television ads.

I tried to watch the commercials, but a little pop up window proclaimed that the Microsoft software called "Silverlight" needed to be updated because it had bugs.

(sound of breathing through gaping mouth.)

This is like going to Burger King, having the clerk hand you your order only to pull it back, open the wrapper and say, "Ooops!  E-coli!  Better get you another one!"

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Why not Fatt Butte?

The graphic above is a screenshot from the Kohls department store website - it shows the logo of the common clothing line, "Sag Harbor."

A sadvertising reader (a woman) asked, "Why on earth would a company want to name a woman's clothing line Sag Harbor?!"

After some thought, she has a point - it's a rather unlovely name for women's fashion. Perhaps the creators were going for a rustic, colloquial sound, evoking images of sea breezes, soft clangs of sailboat bells, gulls overhead and happy pipe-smoking fishermen tossing their bags onto the dock in eager anticipation of their beautiful lasses who are "cookin' up a pot of her delicious chowder..."

Dunno. But it's just as likely as those sailors chiding the new mates on the boat, "No young wenches fer ya'here, laddy! This be SAG harbor!" (the wise old salts knock back a hearty laugh while the young ones blush...

Kind of like naming a men's clothing line, "Little Falls."

Oh well. Thanks to the Sadvertising reader for the idea. However, if they ever branch into women's accessories, the purse below seems to be a perfect fit!


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

All-Bran, All-Fiber, All Powerful. I bet.

The photo above is a case box for Kelloggs All-Bran® cereal.

All-Bran cereal is, of course "all bran."    So, what's the story behind the addition of "extra fiber"?  I shudder to think of WHY anyone would want Extra Fiber in their All-Bran - probably the same people who knock back a glass of pure Grain Alcohol and think it lacks "kick."

But then again, All-Bran with Extra Fiber is like the devil's drink in that Kelloggs assumes that the eater have a certain tolerance to the cereal's post-ingestive effects - All-Bran with Extra Fiber is "better if used before."

Ha ha.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

For Serious Travelers.

The ad above was provided by a new reader of Sadvertising - it's scanned from the August 2008 issue of Smithsonian Magazine.  

Wow. Takes a lot of hutzpah to write a headline like that - considering all the government warnings about going there and all. 

Oh well.  According to the company, "Serious Traveler," Iran must be a place for Serious Travelers.

"You want to go to Iran?!"


"You SERIOUS?!?"


"Then...welcome aboard!..."

When I think of a "Serious Traveler" going into Iran, I'm thinking 3am helicopter drops and all of my travel gear packed into a bandolier of ammo.
Nevertheless, according to the photo on the ad, the "Serious Traveler" company did make a successful insertion into Iran in 2007 where they intercepted three little girls wearing white hoods.  They smiled for the camera - somehow the film got out.  Hope everyone's ok...

Anyway, back to the headline, you'd think a progressive, adventurous company like Serious Traveler could do better.  In the spirit of fair play, the following are suggested...







IRAN.  (serpentine fashion, until I jumped behind a knoll for cover!)

he he.

I bet Iran's more fun than DisneyLand, however.  Dinner with fairies and poofy princesses...(shudder).

Friday, September 05, 2008

Apple Computer's newest TV spot.

The YouTube link above takes you to Apple Computer's newest TV Spot.

Apple's advertising team has hired Jerry Seinfeld and a Bill Gates look-alike to mock Microsoft's arrogance by portraying Microsoft as a company of "everyday people" who buy uncomfortable shoes.

Seinfeld does a brilliant job at portraying an insipid idiot who encourages Bill to buy ill fitting shoes and shower fully dressed! (hysterically funny!) Bill, of course, thinks showering with his clothes on is silly and gives Jerry a less-then-amused look (the actor portraying Bill Gates is fantastic).

Curiously, a hispanic family (eating junk food) appear to be fans of ill fitting shoes, too - is Apple being racist? Hmmmm.

Anyway, at the end, "Bill Gates" wiggles his butt (sooo funny!) and Jerry Seinfeld is promised a computer that he can eat.

Great ad, Apple. You've poked fun at Microsoft's stodginess, myopia, cheapness, unwillingness to recognize its own blunders and embarrassed one of the world's richest men.

EDIT: Oh. I guess Apple didn't produce the spot. Microsoft did. Yikes.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Holy Cr*p - the copy stinks!

The above scan was taken from the September issue of Good Housekeeping (or one of those 'women's magazines' that occupy the rack at the health club). The ad is for Scott brand Toilet Paper.

An angelic fish is an interesting way to sell toilet paper. The mystical mackerel might have been a fun concept had the copywriter and art director not sent the concept down the drain.

Not to be crude here, but the photo is illustrating an event where someone looks down and is alarmed or excited by (a'hem) something. Sweet jiminy - can you imagine ANY commode-bound situation that would cause anyone to exclaim, "Holy Mackerel!"?!?  

You try it. Try to conjure something up in your imagination that would incite such a weird utterance.  You know what would make me say it?  A freaking Piranha! Or maybe a little man in a boat looking up and waving. Or maybe...bah!  

If you're on the toilet, and you shout, "Holy Mackerel!" chances are, it's not a good situation!

But wait - we're supposed to read the copy! (whew!) "The surprising softness of this product may make you shout "Holy Mackerel!" Should the devout fish materialize in your bathroom, Scott® Extra Soft not responsible for resulting mystical fish babble."

My guess is that this ad was a last rush-job on the account.  The awkward grammatical error in the fourth line seems to argue for a "no-time-to-proofread-gotta-go-now" scenario.  So too, the clumsy combination of photography and illustration.  Oh well.  Now, every time I pass the TP aisle at the store I'll think of Scott Toilet Paper and a dead fish.

We should be glad the copywriter write,  "Holy Cr*p!" 

PS - the fish should have been a Crappie instead of a Mackerel.

PSS - sadvertising readers respond:  "Should have been "Holy Carp!" and "Honey!  Call the Guiness Book of World Records!"   Send your resumes to Scott Toilet Paper...

Friday, August 15, 2008

Thank Gawd I found my cell phone!

The above photo was captured this morning with my cell phone camera. Normally, I don't find my cell phone until the day's over, but today, it was right there. It's a ritual - lose my cell phone, find my cellphone, lose it, find it, lose it, find it, lose it, buy another...


Poking fun at churches isn't my thing, but this billboard is too interesting to ignore. The headline, "Searching for something? Join us!" is either a regrettable mistake or bold admission.

Imagine walking into the sanctuary on Sunday morning, hundreds of heads turn over their shoulders to watch you pad down the aisle - furrowed brows and expressions of deep concern mask the faces of the faithful. You holler, "Have you found it yet?!" The congregation responds (in unison), "No! Join us!"

"Well, I'm just lookin' for my cell phone! Seen it?!" You holler back.

he he he.

I hope this headline gets discovered. And replaced.

ADDITION: Thanks to a sadvertising reader who wondered, "What happens if they find it?" Well now, that's a GOOD question! I would imagine they'll do what people usually do - start another church. Or a war. Or a conference. Or maybe the pastor will tell the congregation to "Shhhh! Let's keep it a secret!" and quietly take the billboard down. Then, refer everyone to the Unitarian Church down the street.

"Nothing to see here. Move along. There you go...keep moving..."

Thursday, August 14, 2008

An honest photo shoot.

The other day, we had a photoshoot for a restaurant chain. While we're setting up the first shot - a huge plate of sumptuous, tasty, yummy stuff - the client looks up at me and says, remember, the customer has to have a decent chance of getting what we're advertising.

Here's a big salute to our client for caring enough about its customers to ensure that they get what they pay for...and not a bunch of glossy-photo idealism that ultimately leaves a person more unsatisfied.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Old fuel - not that there's anything wrong with that.

The above graphic is a can of "Gay Fuel" - a failed energy-drink, targeted at the...well, Gay Community. As I'm not in the product's target market, news of "Gay Fuel" took a while to trickle down to me.

Gay Fuel was real. Gay Fuel also fell limp.

Though the specifics of why Gay Fuel sales couldn't perform aren't known, it appears that the creators made one of the few but key errors in naming - being TOO specific. The gay/lesbian/transgendered/?? "community" has been labeled since time began; why on earth would they want to walk around with a tacky can?!

"Hey. You must be gay."

"Why yes, I am! How could you tell?"

"You're drinking Gay Fuel!"

(looks at can.) "Why, yes! I am!"

"Now, you must be REALLY gay!"

"Now that I finally have fuel, I feel Gayer than EVER!"

Silly, really. Of course, no "sillier" than PIMP Juice.

(pause for wide eyed stare of horror)

Can you imagine what would have happened if someone would have combined the TWO?!? RUN. FOR. THE. HILLS!!


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Change stinks.

I'm apolitical.  But "Promised Land" marketing is juvenile.  Obama may well end up being a great President. But Red Herrings always smell fishy, including the putrefied "Change" mantra.  

Why doesn't someone just go for the bulls-eye with:  "Cheap Gas"?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Damn! She needs a jacket!

The graphics above and below come from a web-ad on CNN.com  The ad links to a dating site called "Together Christian."

You have to hand it to these people - they're smart enough to use religion AND sex to promote their stuff.* 

However, aside from the especially "spirited" young woman (look closely, you'll also see that she may have been a tad chilly during the photo shoot), the ad features a big red button that announces "CHRISTIANS JOIN FOR FREE."

So, Muslims would be charged what...?  $50?  Buddhists, I figure...$35.  Satanists would be charged an arm and a leg.  Atheists should be the ones getting in for free...

Bru-ther.  I guess it doesn't take Class to be a web marketer.  Judging (he he...I wrote 'judging'!) by the strangely irrelevant Bible verse at the bottom of the togetherchristian.com home page, it also doesn't take any understanding of the phrase "target market" either.

Nevertheless, it's nice to know that Christians who like blond women with big boobs can find them for free.  Reading Matthew 5:28 is also free, especially if you're in a hotel room (thanks to the Gideons). 

*Bet this site is nothing more than a data generator for a web-marketing company.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I guess it IS that bad.

The above graphic is a screenshot from cnn.com.

What. A. Photo.  

Possible captions:

"And ah'saaay to the ECONOMY...BE HEALED!  BE HEALED!"

or the obvious,


Pasty skin?  Check.

Expression of horror?  Check.

Raised hand of defense?  Check.

Look of imminent threat?  Check.

Egads.  You know when the media starts releasing photos like that, it's all over.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


The graphic above is an ad for "Sean John Fragrances" perfume, "Unforgivable Woman."

If anyone buys into the Creative Director's attempt to bring us into Sean John's passion-steamed world, they should be slapped with a dead bass and splashed with warm Mello Yello.

First, who on earth wants an "Unforgivable Woman"?! When people think of Unforgivable Women, images of smoky pistols, red light districts and wrecked pride & joy sports cars come to mind. "You took my Porsche and did what?!?!"

Secondly, the image is awful. Either Sean John is getting ready to read that "lady's" Miranda Warning or he's going to standing in a police line up later that week.

Yeah, yeah...we get the vibe, but like a bar date's allure at 8am the next morning, Perception collides Reality and the result is big Splat. Perfume/Cologne ads are typically an agency's dream. But Creative this childish and this deluded is truly unforgivable. Ick.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Lucky moms...

The graphic above is a scan from a 1953 edition of Life Magazine.  The advertisement is for a toothpaste called "Ipana."  Sweet jiminy, I'm glad I grew up in the 70's because if this stuff would have been around for my flouride-weakened system, my mouth would look like a spent smoke bomb.

But these are 50's people - wholesome, optimistic, plucky, tough...and so grateful, they feel downright LUCKY to get a toothpaste that's both Ammoniated AND Chlorophyl'd.

Read the copy...mom's LUCKY to have such a toothpaste. I can imagine her pushing through Health & Beauty aisle, downcast because of the dearth of truly effective toothpastes...then coming upon Ipana A.C...and breaking down, sobs, beams of joy, maybe a hug for the stocking clerk..overwhelmed by LUCK.

Mom should also be "Lucky" that Ipana didn't turn her kid's mouths into shredded meat - the stuff's POWERFUL!  Just check out the illustration below.  The shot on the left is over 1,000,000 Lactobacilli bacteria. Yeah, you're probably thinking, "I wouldn't be caught dead in a room with 10 Lactobacilli let alone a million!" But, let's say this nightmare comes true - a tube, maybe a squirt, probably just a whiff, will sanitize like a blowtorch on porcelain.

However, the detail below is a little more sinister than the wholesale slaughter of millions. I bet the second after the camera shutter clicked, that device stuck to her cheek let out a big ol'BZZZT! and the poor gal clunked sideways, her hands tied behind the chair...

"Miss Jenkins, we hope now that you take our corporate Halitosis Policy seriously."

Hmmm. Maybe there's good reason the mom in the ad was feeling Lucky?! "Oh children, your breath smells just lovely..." (ding dong) "Bad Breath Police." "Oh, do come in...." (sniff sniff) "Great smelling breath, kids - no punishment today...Keep up the good work, Mrs. Burbank." (door slams as the Breath Police make their way to the next house; all cheer knowing that smart, LUCKY Mom has saved them from another horrible round of electro therapy.)

Oh well. Not only does Ipana AC beat the bacteria, it's also Certified by the American Institute of Laundering. Of Laundering. Yes, of Laundering. But I shouldn't sound so self-righteous, evidently other GREEN toothpastes stained washbowls, tooth brushes, towels, nighties...right now, I've got images of these 50's kids, running around the house, hopped up on Howdy Doody, foaming with green drool, leaving minty stains wherever they touch, spit...

Ya know...that family is lucky to have teeth at all.