The ads above, part of a European AIDS prevention campaign, appeared today on my favorite advertising blog under the title “There Are A Lot Of FishDicks In The Sea.”
But before I tell you about more about this magical blog, a quick trip down memory lane: before blogging existed, back when I used hide in the school library because no would would sit with me at lunch, I discovered back issues of Consumer Reports and Ms. Magazine – in particular, their Selling It and No Comment back pages, which were eerily similar. Both departments critiqued advertising. Consumer Reports was strictly in the business of calling bullshit; highlighting self-contradiction, spoofing ridiculous copy, and pointing out deceptive images. Meanwhile, Ms. made it their mission to shine the spotlight on the advertising world’s misogyny. At 13, my obsessive love-hate relationship with advertising (currently a.k.a. “my job”) had begun.
All the pleasures I got from those magazines – from the pleasure of mockery to the pleasure of discovering an interesting photo, even if my beloved Ms. was hating on it – I now find at the incredible Copyranter blog. Copyranter is this phenomenally hateful individual, a New York advertising copywriter who’s been working at the same ad agency for the past 16 years. His bio consists primarily of his exhaustive shitlist: capri pants, advertising, advertising people, PR people, marketing people… the list goes on and on, ending with “men named Jack” and Scrabble. Almost every day, he provides ingenious commentary on a given ad campaign (usually ripping it to shreds) with inimitable elegance and wit. Lots of insight about the advertising industry, our culture, and the creative process here. To show you what I mean, I present some of my favorite posts in categories of interest below:
- The Bra Of 1950s Hollywood Starlets…$1.00.
- Buygone Ad of the Week: Green Spot Dicknic.
- And think of the plane as her womb.
- Ad Council PSA confuses wasted NYU student.
- Doctors Butcher Childhood Obesity Ad
- MTV Anti-Piracy Ad Guilty of First-Degree Stupidity.
Freaky Art Direction
- Imagine The Oral Sex Possibilities.
- Farm Animal Necrophilia Sells Meat Seasoning.
- Dills Digestive ads are pretty, confusing.
Ads for/about The Ladies
- PUT ON YOUR 6″ F*CK-ME PUMPS AND SHUT THE F*CK UP.
- “This is my Diaphragm. Scared?”
- The most sexist beer ads ever produced?
- This is an…ad that is…fairly humorous.
- Well, it is the subtlest WonderBra ad I’ve seen.
- I tried to find a third but can’t.
I love you, Copyranter. Even if you hate me.