Wednesday, July 21, 2010


The above photo is a picture of a bag of "Scoops" snacks from the Frito Lay® corporation.  It was sent in by a Sadvertising reader (release on file).

Let's just let it out; some lucky - damn lucky - soul out there is going to be a MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL GENERAL MANAGER for a whole WEEKEND!

Can you imagine!?  The winner might get to negotiate with foodservice vendors, walk around the empty locker room (when no one's even there!) and order extra business cards!

"Mommy?  Who's that mysterious man who just told that custodian to pick up the candy wrapper?"
"Hush child.  That's the GM!"

I know the rejoinder I'm using at the dinner table tonight - "No we're not going to Mall! What do you think I am!? A MINOR LEAGUE GENERAL MANAGER?!"

Frito Lay® could have gone the extra light-year and offered the winner a shot at the MAJOR league spot, but in this economy, I reckon it's tough to budget for Tupperware bowls full of coke, private jets and stripper-fueled weekends at away-games.

I will tell ya this, though.  When Target® offers the chance to be an Assistant Health & Beauty Manager for a Monday, I'm going to score AXE samples for all my friends.  Every one!

And maybe some cadmium-free jewelry for the little lady waitin' back home.  Yes-sir.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Thou shalt not necessarily believe in logos.

The graphic above is the logo for American Atheists.

It's also a very clear example why there are logical steps to follow in this business that so-often gets tangled up in subjective, emotional thinking.  Yeah, designing a new logo for a client is probably the Holy Grail of all work, "See that sign?  It's MINE!  Mwaaahahahaha!"

Logos are silly, fun, controversial...but there are rules to their creation.

Whether you believe in God or Not, graphic designers need to believe in basic Reason.  Aside from appearing to be lifted from a DEVO album (ironically, they had an excellent sense for graphic design) the AA logo fairly states that their deity is the St. Louis arch and the Helium atom.

Some day, some Atheist family is going to show up at NASA on a Sunday morning and have their faith shattered when there's no carmel rolls or singing.

What appears to me is that the designer laid out a Christian crucifix, Jewish star-of-David, Muslim crescent and morphed them when the right answer was there all along...


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Be Prepared.

The above screenshot is from a CNN story on a Facebook widget that allows Indian people to lighten the skin in their Facebook profile shots.

Never mind the fact that Vaseline is using this widget as a viral to promote their line of skin-lightening creams.  However, it's nice to see that vanity is just as vacuous on the other side of the world.

What I find strange is the copy and slogan - "Transform your face on Facebook with Vaseline Men  - Be Prepared."

I'm sure something is lost in translation here and from the copy.  But do Indian men really want to look like sun-starved Brits?!  If so, the first thing I'd suggest is to wipe that satisfied smile off the face of the model and replace it with a proper English scowl.

I'm also a little lost in the product name - "Vaseline Men."  Clearly, I'm not a "Vaseline Guy."  Frankly, I don't want to be.   Nor have I been tempted.  Ever.   Now, Old Spice?  Yeah.  I even wore Aramis bronzer once (it was Halloween and I went as a Jersey Guido).

And, I'll go out on a limb and speak for approximately 90% of men and state that I've never heard anyone state or even hint that they wanted or needed Vaseline anything.

However, the strangest aspect of this s-ad is the slogan - "Be Prepared."  Essentially, the slogan states this:  Be ready to appear Caucasian.

Do I hear the clomp-clomp of jack-boots?  Geez.  All I can state is that I'd have had serious trouble working on this account.  Or, I'd have gone the extra mile and branded Vaseline Men hair bleach and blue contact lenses.

PS- A sadvertising reader pointed out the Indian caste-system favors lighter skin.  Still... Again, "Vaseline Men" remains a strange name and India should remember Michael Jackson in their prayers. 

PPS - judging from the responses received, it seems the whole world wants to be white.  Wow.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Need to reach YIA's? Buy TIME.

The s-ad (new word!)  above is from June 28, 2010 issue of TIME magazine.  It's for Citi.

Just this morning, I read a magazine trade advert that touted the magazine's ability to reach certain markets deeper and more intentionally than other advertising mediums.  Looking at the ad above, I'm fairly confident in the assertion that TIME magazine readers are stupid addicts.

Here's the headline:  "I don't like getting charged overdraft fees.  My coffee is expensive enough already."

Then there's the body copy:  "The price on the menu read $3 but it read $38 on my bank statement.  So I switched..."  STOP.

In other words, Miss Withdrawal had less than $3 in her account and she still tried to get her Java On.  Or, in OTHER words, another failure of our educational system is on the loose.


(Citi Marketing Department)

Executive:  Jenkins!  We need to grow business!  Gimm'me a new market!
Assistant:  Well, sir...there's the YIA's.
Executive:  YIA?  Sounds intriguing!  Who are these YIA's??
Assistant:  Young Irresponsible Addicts, sir.
Executive:  Ah.  Good.  And how do we reach these YIA's?
Assistant:  TIME Magazine, sir.  I suggest front inside cover.

(slaps forehead)

Of course, Citi played it safe here - stupid people who spend money they don't have on stuff they don't need aren't likely to be insulted by the obvious.  Or 18% interest charges.

OH!! And here's the kicker - the last line of copy reads - "So my coffee never costs a lot more than it should."

No, not a LOT more.  Just more.

Sweet jimminy, I gotta get me a coffee shop.