Friday, November 20, 2009

The Greatest.

Viral? Sincere?   No matter.  This is the greatest commercial ever made.  It is not sadvertising.

The only thing greater than this man and his vision is the idea that a GPS unit could be sewed into his scalp so all good Advertising Professionals can locate him and pray in his direction. Four times a day.  More frequently, if we want any hope for redemption at all.

I will worship from afar.  His greatness would probably atomize me in an effortless, single moment if I got any closer than...say...30 miles.

Which is a good thing as I hope to never do business with him anyway.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Save HUGE money.

The scan above is of a ToysRUs flier that we got in the paper.

Money's a little tight this year.  But, with "up to $5,500 in savings," we're feeling much better about moving forward on that solid gold Lego® set and 10ct Diamond Barbie® for Christmas.

We've always tried our best to indulge our kids NOW because who knows?!   Some day, a stronger, more disciplined and forward-thinking power might rise up and subject us all to a life of subservitude.  Boy, I can tell you this, we're all going to be hugely happy, huddled around the barrack fire, warming our gruel, reminiscing about the good ol'days when it took 3 whole days to unwrap our presents...

No, seriously, I showed this to my wife and she was rather happy because the savings justified renting that 3rd pickup truck for when we're going shopping next week.

Ok.  Ok.  Kidding aside.  Say you don't spend near enough at ToysRUs to warrant $5,500 in discounts.  Say you spend...maybe only enough to save two, three grand in discounts.  Geez.  Every little bit helps, right?

"Honey!  I had a great day shopping at ToysRUs!  I saved $2,500 on toys for Cindy and Larry!"

(sniff sniff) Do I smell another Stimulus Check coming?!?

Thursday, October 22, 2009


A Sadvertising reader clued me into this banner ad that greets email users.  Go ahead and click on the image to enlarge the view...

Anyway, the copy urges us to, "Stay connected to friends and family. See how."

Judging by the expression on the young man's face, the "connection" appears to be either painful or soberingly awkward.

Let's just hope that woman represents the foxy Cougar lunch lady and not Good Ole' Mom cuz if it IS, mom's going somewhere where she probably won't have a lot of email access.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Why, it really IS OUTRAGEOUS!

The graphic above is from an Iowa bank chain's "viral" website -

The website - and supporting billboards & TV - tout "outrageous" things like the world record for throwing cow poop and the number of teeth in a shark's mouth.  The line of thought is supposed to lead to this fact:  MetaBank also provides OUTRAGEOUS services.

Funnn-NEE!  Why slapper-doodle dandy, that's a real hoot'n holler!

But for the rest of us who remember the Banking crisis of, oh, A FEW MONTHS AGO, where the government had to bail out a bunch of banks for OUTRAGEOUS management, "Outrageous" and "Banking" are like 2+2 = 3.

In the meantime, in an industry that - like it or not - is founded on TRUST, cowpies, sharks and outrageous business practices are really outrageous ideas to build an ad campaign upon.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Why squirrels shouldn't be allowed on photo shoots.

The picture above is of a scan of Thermal Underwear I bought last week.

I won't write much about this because the question is simple - is that a squirrel (or similarly sized mammal*) or a tumor?

Maybe I'm just not clued into the ways and wiles of how to sell Thermal Underwear because I look and think, "Geez.  Gross."

But then again...I bought them.


*Or a manimal?!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Wow. Nice car. (yawn) *snore*

The ad above was torn from the back of a recent edition of Car & Driver magazine.  Though I think it's supposed to represent the design prowess of Infinity Cars, I suspect it's more indicative that the leadership has fallen asleep at the wheel...

Everything about this ad - and I mean everything - reeks of a funeral.  Black.  More black.  "Mr. Takashi Nakajima" looks like he's about ready to say, "I am so, so sorry about your loss.  Please sign the guest book, refreshments are near the exit..."

But the kicker is the comatose copy.  The dominant words are EMOTION and FALLS.   Say it together now...

What?!  Design a sexy rev'em up concept car and the best the art director can do is boldly claim that EMOTION FALLS?!  Well, one look at "Mr. Takashi Nakajima" and eyelids fall right along with the poorly placed type.

I didn't have the energy to check what resolution I scanned this yawner, but in case it's low rez, some of the body copy:

"Simple yet complex, elegant yet dynamic, the Essence perfectly balances the mechanics of technology with the fluidity of nature.  As Mr. Nakajima likes to put it, "It is everything I want, nothing I don't.'"

Hmmm.  Must have been Friday because the copywriter shamelessly pulled the old trick of comparing stink with rot.  "Honey, your meatloaf was subtle yet overpowering.  Common, but wholly unique. It was a meal I hoped for yet didn't want."

Oh geez.  They should have written "SEX" into the side of the car with a finger dipped in peanut butter and called it "subliminal sensuality."

Well, I guess we know what the funeral is for - the car's SOUL.  But it sounds like Infinity didn't want that in the first place.

Sweet Jimminy!  I get it now!  They're going after the well-heeled Zombie Market!

(Yawn).  Time to hit the hay and dream of Mazdas.  Zoom!  Zoom!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Blame the Ad Man.

The above ad is for Lysol® disinfectant, circa 1948. Go ahead. Click on it. Read it. And if you're a man, be prepared to think deeply. This might sting.

You know, back in the day, we (guys) had it pretty good. We had our meals made for us, houses clean & sparkly, we positively owned anything mechanical (i.e. the cars)...heck, we even smoked pipes in the living room.

Then, the Women's Movement came along. We had to cook. We had to clean. She learned to drive... and Borkum Riff began ruining her drapes.

And today? Why, just last week, I painted my youngest's nails and did I draw a little smiley face on her pinky? You bet I did. Did I erase it and start over when she started to cry (because it looked icky!)? You bet I did. Eventually, I got it right, too. Sigh.

How did Man-ness lose all that we had so naturally reigned o'er?

I blame the Bubba who wrote this ad. He's the one. The finger on the Tipping Point that sent all of Male Domination cowering in "Yes, dear!"

You know, Advertising People need to be certified. Licensed. And stupid ideas? They should be a crime. You KNOW that a smoky board room of gut-busting buddies thunk up the idea of injecting caustic chemicals into a birth canal as a way to "increase business around here!"


If I had a time machine, I'd go back...but I can't.

Instead, I'll just wait out the day when our Female Overlords inevitably get fat, lazy and overconfident... let's hope some adWOMAN doesn't decide that a hot wax depilatory will cure jock itch.

Postscript: Check out the line, "...restore everyone woman's confidence in her power to please." Geez. I feel like I just read a charming Children's Story written by Hitler.

Note: A Sadvertising reader estimated the proper dilution of Lysol to be about 1 Tablespoon per 55 gallon drum. If he's right, a bottle of Lysol given at graduation should last right up until menopause. Give or take.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The ad above arrived in today's paper.

People have been marveling at baby's butts for years. Personally, every experience I've ever had with the things have been awful, but that's just because I'm one of those post-modern, dutiful dads who believe in sharing the load as a parent.

Now, I "get" the idea that once clean, disinfected and dried, their little bums are smooth. "Awww. Aren't they so CUUUTE!?!?"

But that's not the point of this post. Pay note to the headline: "Clinically proven to give you skin that rivals your baby's bottom."

Clinically PROVEN. As in, data. Scientific-like. White lab coats. Clipboards. Baby butts. People making notes. And a pointy-faced scientist with one glove on a lil'patootie and the other on some woman's cheek, shouting to his assistants, "MORE TESTS! WE NEED PROOF!"

And while we're flushing the poor copywriter's work down the toilet, what does "...rival..." mean?



"You know when I kissed your cheek this morning?"


"It rivaled a...BUTT!" (suppressed laughter, erupting into knee-slapping guffaws).

I tell ya, once they were potty trained, the days around our house went a little smoother.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Cuz! That's why!

The scan above is of the BACKSIDE of a package of Gillette Mach 3 blades. There. Now you have a glimpse into my toiletries.

Flipping the pack over, I read the back copy and was rather surprised to find the Gillette company eager to jar my Mach 3 loyalties with a front-and-center ad for their 5 blade Fusion™.

It's shameless, obviously pointed at the more expensive, profitable upsell - nothing wrong with that. It's the American way.

However, do you notice the question, "Why is Fusion better than MACH3?"

Why, it should be obvious - according to Gillette, it's "8 years of shaving innovation."

Hmmm. That's one step above, "Cuz." Definitely better than, "Uh." About on par with, "It's got a cool rubber thingy on the end!"

Looking at the line another way, say I create a dynamic new product - like, a Toast Sharpener - and you ask me, "Why do I need this?" And I say, "8 years of toasting innovation!"

Gillette's slogan is "The Best a Man Can Get." Is bush-league salesmanship the best Gillette can get?!

Kids these days - they get their first whiskers and think they're copywriters.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Our Polish brothers

The graphic above was taken from - it shows a photo used on Microsoft's websites - one in the US, the other, Poland's.

I missed the scoop of this story by about 5 minutes - basically forever - so I'm not going to try and elaborate on the obvious.

But, I'm actually liking the white guy better. I think he says, "Hey! Let's get out the Nerf™ guns after the meeting, 'k?!" He's just happy to have a job and is probably doodling the Microsoft logo on his new note pad. And writing "Cool!" and "She is so HAWT!!" in the margins.

The black guy is just too corporate. He just jotted, "Downsize IT by 23%, tomorrow."

The full graphics are below:
And my version:

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Oh! So they're a PROFIT DEAL!

The graphic above is a scan of a direct mail card for the "Apple Tree Children's Centers" in South Dakota.

The copy invites us to "...come see why your friends and neighbors choose Apple Tree..." and goes on to offer us $10 for "ice cream treats" after we've taken a tour.

"Ten bucks?!" you exclaim!

Sweet jimminy - if the Apple Tree folk are right, $10 is just the beginning because - and this comes from the first line of copy - "Your children are your most valuable investment."

(time machine way-back sfx) dooodleoodledoodleoodle

I remember when our first came into the world - looking at that squigling, wriggling bundle of cells, the first tender cry, bewildered eyes, tiny clenched fists... but I don't remember, "Honey! We have an investment!"

I could be wrong in my cynicism. Look at the success of the Lohans, the Spears and the Jacksons. They made gajillions! Obviously, their investment paid off.

"Honey, how did Suzie do today?"

"Well, she's up two and quarter, but overall down from yesterday's high of fifteen."

"Dangit! I'm not pumping another dime of ice cream into that investment until it turns around!"

"Maybe we diversify and get a dog?"

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Power to the People.

Short story - United Airlines broke his guitar, he had witnesses...
and got a middle-management runaround resulting in nothing.

This guy is could be the Che Guevara of the airline industry.

He's also a brilliant marketer.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Invasion of the Bubble People

The graphic above is a screenshot of the Purell hand sanitzer's website.

Of course, you notice the little guy with the booger blow. Having a bit of experience with situations as shown, I know what comes next - wiping of the goopy hands on pants and hair, then spilling of the milk and holding up arms for a hug.

Kids can be gross.

But snotty children don't qualify as "sadvertising" - Purell's crappy slogan does. "Imagine a Touchable World."

Say it again - "Imagine. A. Touchable. World."

Well, it's come to this - we're now a creation of phobes, so imprisoned by our fears that our best life comes from imagining existence without filth. Especially the skin burning, plague inducing, lethal boogers of little kids.

Child to Parent (speaking through a hermetically sealed glass partition): "Mommy? What was life like before we became safely sealed in our Purell® tanks?"

Parent to Child: "Well dear, we were surrounded by things. Horrible, untouchable things!"

Sweet Jimminy...and then, Pfizer (Purell's mothership) has the gall to give us 99 reasons to use their deadly goo. Click this post's headline for the whole list - don't miss #53 medicine balls (they're dripping with irony, you know) Or #81 school bus seats...yeah, that'll work - slather cooling, fuming Purell on our kids' pants.

And #96 - tickets. A friend of was given tickets to see Celine Dion...and threw up. I guess he didn't use enough Purell. Thank you, Purell. Next school carnival, we'll just carry a bucket of Purell® to splash the kids when they win big at ring-toss.

This type of goofy fear-baiting is the real filth here.

Interesting fact: Pfizer® manufactures Sinequan®, a drug used to treat Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Brilliant, actually.

Hmmm. Right now, I'm imagining a world that embraces OCD as a natural talent and the Chosen Ones can be productive in society, keeping our tickets and medicine balls squeeky clean.

Thursday, July 02, 2009


Microsoft won't really be serious about bringing truly clever advertising until it incorporates the "pull-my-finger-while-I-fart" joke into a campaign.

That'd REALLY be great.

Anyway, nice job, Apple. Great spot.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Yet ANOTHER man enters the frame...

The graphic above is from's website and advertises more news regarding Michael Jackson's "death."*

But this post isn't about Michael, his bulldog-faced dad or Rev. Jesse. It's about "another man" - the nameless guy in the middle.

It's sad, really...when you're posing between two legendary publicity hounds and the largest news distributor in the world won't even get your name. "Another man..." I bet he's walking in the front door, head hanging low, thinking of all the millions he COULD have had. Hmmm. I also bet his wife is standing in the kitchen, arms folded, growling, "Get back out there and don't come back until you get us a Reality Show!"

Poor dude. And it looks like he was so ready for the moment - shades, open collar, great-looking blazer...Oh well. Back to whatever "another man" was doing last week before his big break came and went.

*Why the quotation marks? Well for one, The Gloved One's star just got an obvious boost. But I'm holding out the crazy notion that somewhere, he's sitting at a Burger King with whatever's left of his fortune in his pocket, reading classified ads for home-employment in Thailand.

BREAKING NEWS! A Sadvertising reader JUST stated that "another man" could be Michael Jackson's REAL killer!

Sweet Jimminy! This could be huge!! You heard it here first, folks!!

Update: Two hours later, we get a NEW POSE, but the same old "another man." What the heck is Jesse staring at, anyway?

I want to see them all doing the moonwalk.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Is your wife dry and lifeless?

The above ad is from my stack of old Life magazines...for the life of me, I forgot which one.

Anyway, back in my Man Classes I remember when the instructor - Sylvester Stalone, btw - warned us about women who let their skin get dry, leathery and reptilian. He basically told us to get out, then and there.

"Keep checking that skin!" he warned. "Once middle-age comes around, it can go bad in a heart beat."

I have a buddy who makes a good living as a Divorce Lawyer - since I read this ad, I now understand why he uses "Palmolive!" as a curse word.

Not that I'd know - my bride works hard to keep her skin saturated and animated. Like she should. But I did accidently brush a middle-aged woman at the grocery store - left me with a nasty scrape and a trip for a tetanus booster. Sweet Jiminy, it felt just like falling down on the sidewalk.

She wore a wedding ring - poor guy.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Not every itch needs to be scratched

The graphic above is the cover of the book, "Knitting with Dog Hair."

It was given to me by my allergist. It's produced by the people who make Claritin. Ha ha. Just kidding. But the book's for real.

Have to give the author credit for "thinking outside the box." But who wants a coat that attracts cockleburs and ticks? And what about getting caught in the rain? I can imagine walking in the entryway and feeling the urge to shake the water off. Geez, and I bet it'd smell just like a

But, I'm open minded. I wonder, if I had a dog sweater, would I want to chase cars?

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Requiem for Direct Mail.

The above is a scan of a Direct Mail piece for a local chiropractor.

The copy tells the tale of a woman concerned with her daughter's migraines. The copy also tells the tale of a crappy copywriter who believes this chiropractor's audience has the IQ of a worm (worms are spineless, ha ha ha).

Here it is:

"...She was suffering from an excrutiating migraine. She was vomiting, experiencing blindness and numbness so I called the emergency room..."

Ok. I'm with the story. Drama, urgency...I'll keep reading.

"...but by mistake dialed the wrong number. On the other end was a chiropractor..."

Sweet jiminy. Missing 9-1-1 and getting a chiropractor?!? The writer might as well have written that on the other end, Jesus answered the phone and he was riding a rainbow colored unicorn. Wait. It gets worse. Better. Whatever.

"I almost hung up, but I was ready to try almost anything so I set an appointment."

AN APPOINTMENT. You know, if my daughter is vomiting, blind and numb, and I call up ER and get a "chiropractor" I am not going to dink around and set a freaking APPOINTMENT. I'm going to hang up and bang 9 1 1 1 1 1 until the ambulance arrives.

The saddest thing about this shlock is that the chiropractor who paid for this tripe also authorized this tripe. And that makes this particular piece of Direct Mail, truly Sadvertising.

And the crappy 80's clip-art models are wearing clothes cut from lousy waiting-room furniture. Probably the chiropractor's.

Shmuck. Junk mail like this makes me sad. I know where it comes from - some faceless direct mail service that targets niche markets with promises like "$99 for 1000 pieces!" and "Average rate of response, 34% - pays for itself immediately!" Bah. Half tempted to call the chiropractor and ask, "Is this really, truly representative of YOU?!"

Hope he still has his furniture.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Forced sterility.

The photo above is of a pack of Eclipse cinnamon mints my daughter insisted upon at the grocery store. It was only after we got in the car that I noticed it contained the same promise as Lysol® disinfectant - notice the arced type, "Natural Germ Killing".

Sweet Jimminy - ten years ago, I predicted little pills that would turn human flatulence into wafts scented with designer fragrances. "Honey, did you start wearing Chanel No.5?"

But never did I figure that Modern Marketing™ would figure on "germ killing" as a product attribute for a checkout aisle breath mint. Yeah, yeah - halitosis is caused by bacteria. But any 13 year old will tell you that the human body is rife with lil'critters and short of cremation, the condition can't be helped.

But (and there's always a 'But' at the end) the "germ killing" power of new Eclipse mints is Natural, as opposed to UNnatural, which would be more like gargling with napalm.*

I hope the jump from "anti bacterial" to foodstuffs stops at Eclipse mints. But, we'll know we're in for the long haul when Jack Daniels comes with a sticker that says, "Kills germs on contact!"

*Ok, everything is technically Natural. Napalm is solidly comprised of organic compounds and could therefore be legitimately marketed as natural.

100% Natural Germ Killing Napalm - Sounds nice, doesn't it?

UPDATE:  Wait.  Swine Flu is a "Germ".  Let the hoarding begin - these little suckers might end up being $100 a tin if things get worse!

Friday, April 24, 2009

If you make a claim, be the KING.

The photo above was provided by a Sadvertising reader (x'd to protect his innocence). He discovered the KISS restaurant CHAIN while on holiday in the Phillipines.

On a purely serious, erudite and academic note, the developing world is full of quirky misuse of the Universal and Omniscient Language of English. Though asking for "Flied Lice" at a Chinese restaurant will likely always be hugely funny, stuff like "KISS - King of Balls" is...well, I wouldn't be surprised if the chain is owned by some Harvard MBA who fancies him/herself a whiz at branding.

"Funny. (yawn, take the pic). Let's go to McDonalds."

What I don't get is the logo. Something about that asymmetric crown didn't make sense until I tilted... those aren't balls that have been kissed - they're balls that have been SMACKED!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Bureaucracy. Suddenly EVERYONE wants one.

The above photo is of my kids' toothbrush. It's a parting gift after paying the dentist seven gajillion dollars to remove two teeth.

I shouldn't complain - the toothbrush was "free" and all that. But the imprinting is nothing less than weird.

"From Your District Dental Society."

Oh yeah! MY District Dental Society! And not just the local chapter or some rank-and-file member, but the District!

'Been wonderin' just what in Hades they were up to - lying low, sifting plans, waiting for the right time to make their move...

Suddenly, it seems that every governing body out there has been flexing muscle, showing their teeth. I'm going to watch this "District Dental Society" a little closer. Today the Toothbrush, Tomorrow, white-coated Commissars in every neighborhood "encouraging" us to keep our appointments...

In the meantime, I wish I could remember the name of that dentist who took my last seven gajillion dollars.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Kids are different today.

The above ad is from a 1943 edition of Popular Science magazine. It's for "Douglas Shoes - America's Best Known Shoes."

Those were the days, eh?

Here's the headline: A Little Boy's Dream Came True

Here's the inset copy: "When he was only 7 years old, William L. Douglas was "bound out" to his uncle, a shoe maker. Day after day, he pegged shoes in a shadowy attic. It was hard, technical work but he stuck to it..."

Stop there. I think the copywriter was intending to draw the reader into young Douglas's plight and pluck. Sweet jiminy! Is that how it worked back then!? Today, American 7 year olds sure aren't worrying about qualities of Perseverance or Work Ethic. Gawd love'em, but my kids think the attic is for Christmas decorations, not "being bound out."

No, little Douglas was Enterprise personafied. In a "shadowy attic" no less! We all know that great things start in Shadowy Attics by "bound out" grade schoolers. Right now, I'm looking at my Florsheims and wondering what Mr. Florsheim did to earn HIS cred. Maybe he killed cows for their hides with a hammer. At age 4.

Oh well. That was 1943. Things were different. Back then, any self-respecting toddler had a job, you got your vitamins from eating grass, your minerals from sucking on nails. Today? If little Douglas was forced to be whacking shoes in an attic, his uncle would be in jail and his aunt would be on Oprah.


Anyway, Googled® the key words: "child labor shoes" and found this pic. Looks like the next Nike or Rockport might be hard at work in India.

OMG! (slaps forehead). And they're taking American jobs, too! I'm gonna march right home now, rip the Wii controllers out of their chubby little fingers and lock'em in the attic - "Daddy needs new shoes!"

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Quiznos. The Butt of your joke.

The above ad is from Quiznos promoting a new sandwich.

Cutting to the chase, the ad centers around a male oven that has some sort of sex with a sandwich and male employee.

This kind of advertising is sad...and points to de-evolution. 1,000,000,000 years from now, our descendants will be gigantic sex organs that speak by farting.

Sometimes, I hate the advertising industry. Absolutely hate it.

PS - To the Quizno's media team. Don't even think about calling this post "vibe" and put it into a report for the client. It's called "vile" and though people are "ROTFL!-ing", your client is getting its fanny waxed by competitors who focus on the product and service.

Monday, April 06, 2009

"Not like that, you're not!"

Well. The graphic above is a screenshot of the website "" - a Chinese ecommerce site. Specifically, the item for sale is - ah'hem - the "Spring 2009 Column Sweetheart Asymmetrical Satin Prom/Evening Dress." Sure. Go ahead - click to enlarge.

I call it "SLEAZE." My wife calls it, "Oh. No." A doctor might call it an STD.

But then again, check out "Column Halter Sweep Train Taffeta Prom/Evening Dress" below.

I call it "Flatulence." My kids? (If I ever let them look at this post) will likely call it, "Eeeewww!"

Both dresses stink.

You know, when my daughter gets to Prom, I'm having her go in a Hefty® leaf bag stuffed with packing peanuts and braced with chicken wire.

UPDATE: A Sadvertising reader has discovered that the site has updated their photo.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Boma'jus'Luvs dem chick'afinners!

The above graphic is of a frozen food sold by a German company - "Obama Fingers" - 'deep fried' chicken and curry sauce. Normally, such a thing wouldn't find its place here, but in light of yesterday's post on the importance of naming products, I thought this would further serve underscore the message - "know the name before naming."

Evidently the company was informed of the racist overtones of "Obama Fingers" rather quickly and adopted the stance of "Wha?! I, we, uh, just figured it'd be a...uh..way to...uh...gee whiz! We didn't know!"

Oh well. Lesson learned.

Oh! Just heard about a new Salty Snack to be marketed in Europe - they're hell-bent on dominating the category and ridding the shelves of inferior snacks.

I guess they're preparing a huge marketing blitz for Poland.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A big ol'glass of Crayon™

The graphic above is from a website promoting an extremely good idea - "healthy" drinks for kids that don't include High Fructose Corn Syrup (code name: Sugary Crap).

There are three groups of Enterprise that seem to embrace Sadvertising as a practice - Politics, Churches and Health Food. All three have the potential to do real good in the world but sweet jimminy, they can trip over themselves...

This post is written with empathy. I've named products before. The feeling of watching said product roll off the assembly line and into the marketplace is at once exhilarating and terrifying. Suddenly, "the smartest guys in the room" can look like utter boobs - "Hey Gary! Did you know that new sandwich we named means Explosive Diarrhea in sanskrit? It's on Fox right now..."

Ya'know, parents try to keep their kids from EATING Crayons. Now, they can drink them. And kids - never trust kids in a Focus Group - they think everything is cool as long as it isn't homework, grandma's perfume or broccoli. The second mom starts insisting, "Drink your Crayons! I paid good money for that and you're going to drink every last can!" Crayons™ is going to crumble.

But what a great idea - the company's vision, formulation...and surely taste, all rock! Wish, hope, pray that the beverage is a success, but am concerned that a long-term brand can be built on such colorful novelty.

I hope I have to eat my words - grilled with capers, honey and cracked pepper.

crayon photo courtesy:

Note: A Sadvertising reader remembers eating crayons as a kid. He puked.

Note: A client just suggested Huggies® baby food. Hmmm. Would be especially poignant in "Creamed Squash" flavor...

Note: A Sadvertising reader wonders if " tastes like Puce?"

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Is ANYONE making 5-star "I love it!" videos any more??

The graphic above is a screenshot from a news video player. The story is of a "brutal jail beating" of a 15 year old girl.

I gave it three stars - "It's ok."

The beating was alright I guess - a little heavy handed. The two-camera action gave the clip impact. But videos have voice-narratives, beating Fox to the punch, every time. I would have rated it higher if we would have had an explosion or maybe some pit bulls.

Sorry Foxnews. If you want consistent 5-star ratings on your stories of violence and decay, you're going to have get up to snuff on what makes "I love it!" video.

And if they're not going to get serious about "I love it!"-level evil, why...then...they can just ram their 5-star rating system down their throat and measure audience response with web stats like everyone else!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Doctors among us?!

The ad above is for Clinical Therapy Skin Protectant Body Lotion by Vaseline®. I scanned it from the back of the January 2009 Reader's Digest.

Interesting layout - the graphics show how one smiling woman infected "an entire town" with the idea that they need Vaseline®...on various parts of their body. Though the Vaseline® people are rather impressed at the woman's ability to transmit their product, I got a little case of the creeps wondering how many of these people were slimed against their will. Especially on people's faces and tattoos.

I get this vision of the grinning woman hiding behind a shrub in the park, a handful of Vaseline® at the ready, waiting for her next victim...

But that's beside the point.

The reason that this ad is ©Sadvertising is on account of the fine print off to the left of the ad. It reads:

"Vaseline® is a registered trademark of Unilever®. These are real people. None are doctors."

Again - "...these are real people. None are doctors."

Now, I've flunked a few IQ tests in my day, but it appears to me that, according to the Vaseline® marketing department, Doctors may not be real people!

Sweet Jimminy! This just hit me...if doctors aren't people, what are they?? And does this woman know something that we don't?!

Alright real people - you heard it here first. If the Alien Doctor Overlords try to rise to power, get to Walgreens FAST! Men, slather your women & children first - make sure to cover the tattoos, too!


Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Pip squeak!?

Note: I know I'm a guy and there's a lot about girls toys that I don't understand.

That being stated, I don't understand this toy. The video above is of a Baby Born® doll. It belongs to my 3 yr old.

On any other day, a squeeky-toy baby activated by crunching its arm would be written off as just goofy. Especially this thing - the manufacturers are quite proud of the fact that it eats, poops, drinks, pees and cries...which, ironically, are the least desirable aspects of babies.

But today, my wife was busy flushing its 'food' out of the complicated array of valves and tubes that make up Baby Born®'s vaunted digestive system - so the goop wouldn't spoil and start to stink (which ironically would be even MORE realistic).

Anyway, she looked up at me and stated rather proudly, "Hey! I found out how to get it to squeak with delight!" and proceeded to force Baby Born® to emit these creepy 'eep! eep! eep!" noises.

"That doesn't sound like 'delight,' honey..."

"That's what the manual says they are!"

Manual!? What kind of baby toy needs a manual?!? Well, evidently those strange squeaks are supposed to be 'delightful.' Dunno...if any of our kids would have started making those noises, I wouldn't have called them 'delight', I'd have locked the rest of us in a room and called a priest!

"Father Brownstein?!'s POSSESSED! Come quick! I think it's heard us! AaaHHH!"


Hmmmm. The next section, "Comforting Baby Born® When She Cries." Evidently squeezing her OTHER arm makes her cry.

And when you yank her leg, she sprouts leathery wings, grows fangs and spits fire.

Naw. She just pees.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

A pizza by any other name...

The ad above is from Life Magazine, November 5, 1965. It's for Jeno's Pizza.

Do you remember this stuff?! Sweet jimminy, can you imagine THAT (look at the photo on lower right) passing as pizza?! More like Ragu® on a Ritz®!

Well, "back in the day", Jeno's pizza-in-a-box was high livin', I'm sure. Today? Pizza just ain't pizza without sixty pounds of cheese and enough grease to light up Chicago. Jeno's tomato-stained disk is a far cry from the franchise-fueled fill-fest of today.

But - and this is coming from a guy who's been a victim of hundreds of pizza photo shoots - the strange thing is that someone, somewhere, looked at that photo and thought, "Yeah. That's a goooood-lookin' pizza. Let's use THAT one. Yeah. That one. It'll be great!"

And someone else pinned, "Oh yeah! It's makin' me hungry just lookin' at it!"

Reality is relative. Makes ya'wonder what people 40 years from now are going to be thinking when looking at food photography from today. It's far better to look back on the paltry pizza of 1965 and think, "Is that all there was?!?" than fast-forward to 2049 and know that some starving, post-apocalyptic shelter dweller is salivating over an old Pizza Hut flier.

Bah. We're modern Romans. We should be happy that we don't have to spear Mastodons for food and clothing.

It's actually a great time buy.

Just to be fair...and honest, this current "economic climate" is a great time for customers, clients and patients.

I mean...geez. People are freakin' grateful for business and gratitude does amazing things to people's attitudes, loyalty, productivity...

Now is a great time to buy - what we need - and reward those who service those needs with loyalty and enthusiasm.

Note: From a Sadvertising reader: "Ahhh, never thought about it that way. Would probably explain why I even had great customer service from my health insurance company this morning!"

Monday, February 23, 2009

Why don't they just buy the Target® logo?

The scan above is a letter sent to ex-employees laid-off by Microsoft.  The letter involves overpayment of their severance pay, and Microsoft wants the money back.

Whether Microsoft has a right to get their money back is another subject - the point here is that this letter points to a corporate culture that has low regard for how people relate to brands.  Or, in the words of Dale Carnegie, "How to Win Friends and Influence People."

They had the time to create, formalize and establish bureaucratic processes, but managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of success by not sending this letter:

Dear employee:

We screwed up and overpaid your severance.  It gets worse - you'll have to pay taxes on it, too.

So, you can either keep the money and do with it what you think is best or you can send $xxx.xx back and we'll get a new statement out to you.

Personally?  I'd keep the cash.  Spend it on something cool (not iTunes) and get this economy rolling.  Ok?

Bill Gates

Sweet jiminy - they could have had a PR bonanza.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Put that candy down this instant. you don't know where it's been!!

With all the talk of doom lately, I thought I'd clean out the cupboards - in case room had to be made for dried goods, ammunition, zombie repellent...and in the process, found a peculiar piece of candy left over from Halloween.

It's a "Gummy Body Part."

Hmmm.  Hmmmm.  Hmmmm.  

When the kids asked me to identify it, I just...didn't know quite what to say. Knowing they wouldn't be satisfied with a, "Well, I just don't know" I told them it was a spleen.

That answer seemed to do the trick, but I have emailed the Frankford Candy Company to get the official response.

The candy was manufactured in China.  I wonder, if I was a slave laborer, grinding 96 hours a week in a candy factory, what would I think about to get me through the day?

Oh well.  Back to work.  

Hmmm.  Wonder what flavor it is...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The fat lady sounded like...gas.

According to The News (your source may vary), GM is tossing brands to keep itself running. In case you're wondering how to feel about this, you should feel sad - but not for the brands themselves or for a venerable American institution. No, feel sad for the legion of advertising, marketing, PR and communications leaders who hitched their hearts, minds and souls to these defunct wagons.

Having been on all three sides - client, creator and manager - of product development and promotion, the only constant in this business is the gut-slicing humility that will prove even the most confident assertions WRONG.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Another reason not to trust the 60s. Or turtles.

The spot above is a National Association of Broadcaster's announcement circa 1965.

People tend to despair about popular culture - handwringing and fingerpointing how we've gone to hell in a handbasket and lamenting that our fall from clean living has probably gone too far.

Life was better, back then...or was it?!!

Sweet Jiminy, just as I was being Zombified by the stoner singing "BINGO," I awoke to realize that a turtle shot the kid!


Oh well. It looks like he and the turtle made up...and the kid went on to learn that crime doesn't pay because of what he learned on television.

Good old days, my eye! Obviously drugs were not only plentiful, they were considered PRODUCTIVE.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


The graphic above was sent in from a sadvertising reader who also happens to be an "ad guy" - it's an ad for a 70s/80s brand of clothing called "Cricketeer."  

I'm not the only person to blog this old ad.  The thing is as disturbing as it is brilliant.  Great idea hiring a contortionist model to prove the stretch and fit of a traditionally stifling corporate uniform.  

But I wonder - is there a shot with the guy holding a lighter?  Yeah thought it too.

"Hey guys!  Gimme a match!  Quick!  Quick!....FOOOooOOOFF!"

Even better ad if they would have given the pants a flame resistant panel.  Then they would have finally created Church Clothes that every 13 year old boy would covet.

"Hey!  You've got fart pants!  Cool!"

Note:  A sadvertising reader commented that the ad promised that "anything you can do OUT of a suit, you can do IN a suit."   So that leads me to wonder if there was anyone who wondered, "Gee. I sure wish I could get my head near my butt while I'm wearing my office clothes."

Oh bruther.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Apple does it again

The creative geniuses behind Apple Computers have created another brilliant campaign trashing Microsoft - this time, Microsoft's "R&D" project called "Songsmith."

Songsmith is a Microsoft software product that writes songs for people! Simply sing into the microphone, and Songsmith adds tinny, Teletubby music to the background! "Dumb!" you say. Yep. And what a way to parody this product than to create an infomercial about a hapless ad guy who gets inspiration when his daughter invents and sings a White Middle Class Anthem into her computer.

FUN-NEE! What a parody!

"Microsoft, huh? So it's pretty easy to use?" Hee-haw! Kind of like, "Pet weazel, eh? So it's pretty good with kids?"

BREAKING NEWS: Uh-oh! Sorry. I guess all this is real!

insert jaw-drop, long pause, chilling of the blood, wide-eyed amazement, shock and horror)

Wow...I guess we can expect Christ's return any day now and just like the bumper sticker says, "...boy is He pissed."

In all seriousness, Microsoft should create a software that makes us all software engineers.  We just turn on our computer, open an application and VIOLA!  It works!  

Thursday, January 22, 2009


The graphic above is a new product being sold - and discounted - called "Smittens." 

It's hard to imagine what I'd say if a prospective client walked in with these.  Probably, "Oh my gawd."  But that's beside the point.

The potential liability here is huge.  Can you imagine walking along the forest trail with your Sweetie and suddenly a huge Grizzly Bear comes a'galloping...and now, you have huge decisions:

A. Which direction do you run?
B. Who's going to end up being food?

Well, on the other hand (PUN!) "Smittens" would make snowball fights more interesting.

And, if the relationship ever goes sour, you have a nifty elbow warmer.

These things could be huge on the Cage Fighting circuit, but the name would definitely have to change.

Thank you to a sadvertising reader for the tip. :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What does a Brand Manager do?

The above video is from an 80's "Christian" rock band called Sonseed. Don't watch the video with food in your mouth or else you'll wreck your monitor. And if you're sucking on jawbreakers, point your head down or the explosive force of disbelief could kill someone.


Of course, fashion comes and goes - in the 80's, these folks might have been cutting edge. Had this video broken out on MTV, kids today might be jammin' out to Christian Ska & hairspray instead of Rap & bling. Thank God they're not.

Intentions had to be good - the dude on the Les Paul actually had a cool little riff. But a bouncy reggae tune about Jesus being a Canadian Mountie that "always gets His man" was as goofy then as it is now. Unfortunately, no one from God was there to say, "Whoa! Stop! Repent!"

This post is to all the Brand Managers out there who need Inspiration that their mission is real, vital and good. If you know of a Brand Manager, Creative Director and PR exec, forward this on, with a note of encouragement to keep the Faith.

Treat your products, your communications, your Brand as if you were on a Mission from God. Because if you don't, you could have Hell to pay.

PS - Anyone got a scripture reference for a Jesus that will "...zap me any way He can"?

NOTE: A Sadvertising reader pointed out that Sonseed is listed on Wikipedia.
An interview with the Bass player is posted on a link at the bottom of the page (he sounds like a pretty cool guy, btw). Unfortunately, the drummer died from choking on a sandwich.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

You can Tuna Piano, but you can't Tuna Kitten.

The graphics above are from PeTA's website. They represent the group's latest effort to eliminate all "cruelty" to animals - this time, they're embracing fish.

Little by little, decision by decision, PeTA is working hard to get "people" to eat less meat and be "ethical" in our treatment of animals.

Though I personally think PeTA's cause is as dumb as a hay bale, the group should be respected for their ability to generate publicity and take the "long view" in evangelizing their cause. PeTA's outrageousness is actually an admission to the utter magnitude of changing a human culture that's so systemic, it's wired into our evolution.

Typically, PeTA's rather clever. But their "Sea Kitten" campaign shows a distinct slip in their creativity. "Sea Kitten"? Come, on, people. The meeting that cooked that one up couldn't have taken more than five minutes.

"Guys, fish are dumb and stinky. We need to make fish cute and cuddly!"

"I know! Let's call them Sea Kittens!"

"Good one! Meeting adjourned! Let's get pizza!"

Now, "Sea Kitten" will work for a little while. The little kids will go "eeew!" when mom tries to feed them Tuna*. But when the inevitable Fish Sticks - er Sea Kitten Sticks - show up on the school lunch menu, SOME kid's going to crack and come to the horror that SEA KITTENS ARE TASTY and the natural question occurs...

"Hmmm. If Sea Kittens taste good, are Land Kittens better?"

*Pssst. Mom. They don't call it Tuna Helper for nuthin, you know. Mmmm. Thank me later.