You work in this soul-crushing business for as many years as I have, you relish the chance to do some pro-bono Cause advertising, the chance to Do Some Good. For me, that chance came a few years when I got to write a Drug-Free America TV spot which dramatically illustrated that Drugs Don’t Work in the office — which is of course a position I wholeheartedly disagree with.
I’ve never gotten the chance to work on AIDS awareness/prevention like the lucky creators of this :60 spot from ad agency Lowe Mena in Dubai. It’s for MTV’s staying-alive.org. Such a slick motherfuckin’ spot, huh? The editing. The spot-on casting. The trippy, ethereal music. The cool voiceover…”Can you hear me, taste me? Barroom brawler or prom queen…” And of course, the simply brilliant creative linchpin: chewing gum. Such a perfect metaphor for casual sex. Except of course, you can’t get AIDS through saliva exchange, or drinking lover’s spit. But then, why let “logic” or “responsibility” get in the way of the sacred artistic ad process? What are you, copyranter? An asshole account executive?
Congratulations, Pattex. You receive the first copyranter lifetime achievement award for the most glue ever in glue ads. Loads of sticky gooey pearly … they’re semen sculptures! From Madam Jizzsaud’s epoxy museum! Ejaculate Elvis! Marilyn … uh, nevermind. And hey, Muhammad Ali’s still alive! Disgusting jokes aside, this campaign is dripping with wrongness.
The hard-to-read headline on all three is “Everlasting.” That’s one very dubious celebrity endorsement scheme, Pattex. And the facial likenesses are macabrely way-off. Elvis looks like zombie John Fogerty. Monroe looks more like Manson … and we could do without the tacky glue nipples, DDB Düsseldorf (the responsible ad agency). What’s wrong with you Düsseldoofuses? Your buddies at DDB Berlin produced a much saner Pattex ad. Btw, the most effective glue ad in marketing history? Easy.
WHAT?!? (Watch video.) Now, Skittles, through ad agency TBWA\Chiat\Day\NY, has done some truly bizarre candy advertising in the past couple of years. There was Long Beard, Piñata Man, Sour Milk, Sheep Boys, and, one of my all-time favorite commercials, the sadly hilarious Touch. But this spot is—as we say in the fake-wonderful land of ad creativity—trying waaay to hard. In case you missed it (I did), the Caucasian customer’s three reflections are an African-American, a Latino, and an Asian (Filipino, according to the YouTube description). And, the tailor is Thai. The Filipino reflection begins eating Skittles, prompting a complaint from white man, prompting a berating from the tailor, prompting the Filipino to complain “I’m hungry. I’m hungry, I haven’t eaten yet” (according to Adrants’s Angela Nativdad’s translation), prompting more berating, prompting the kicking of the mirror…tagline: “Reflect the rainbow. Taste the rainbow.” So, is this some sort of social advertising by M&M Mars? A rainbow coalition? Sorry, but a candy ad should just make me want to eat the candy, not contemplate hostilities between Southeast Asian countries.
Meet the Beetles! The Bee-Gees! Adam Ant! W.A.S.P.! (sorry, x4.) Any entomologists in the Coilhouse? How ’bout Cosmetologists? Prints ads, via Munich ad agency Saint Elmo’s, for Amboss precision scissors. Showing an asymmetrical, Christian Siriano-like haircut on the wig of a bug is certainly a new visualization of the concept of precision. But, wigs on bugs? Putting aside the coolness/creepiness of this look for a sec, is this sell believable? I guess this is a trade campaign targeting pro stylists. Some of the Amboss shears have three finger holes, which maybe allows one to cut hair with more exactitude, I’m assuming. But, simply claiming the “precision” advantage so phantasmagorically may be enough to get a discerning (and offbeat) beautician to change brands. I love the imagery, doubt the selling power. But the last word is yours—what do you think? Two more hipster arthropod below (images via adsoftheworld).
Diesel has quite a history of pushing the fashion ad boundaries, with mixed results. There was the creepy fat guy ads. The “let’s see how many ads we can get banned” phase (that one was banned). The flower ejaculate ad. And the global warming is fun campaign. They’ve even seriously pissed off dentists. Now, they’ve started a self-described “Dark” effort (here’s 1, 2 recent print examples). This effort includes the below four-minute web video “Pete The Meat Puppet.” The ad agency responsible for this edgy craziness is Sweden’s Farfar, who sport the spiffy tagline “the original in time-bandit advertising.” (How clever! [I don't get it.]) It’s certainly well-produced, but well, sorry Farfar. It’s not funny, and it’s not weird or dark enough to be interesting. If you’re going get all non-selly with your advertising Diesel, you better leave me with something remarkably memorable. Pete’s stupid story continues here on Diesel’s website, if you’re for some reason intrigued. It features “beat the meat” and “sirloins” of my mother jokes. I didn’t make it through it.
Mount Assmore! This is truly one of the funniest ads (click here for closer look) I’ve seen in my 20 years in this fucked-up business. It’s for German website queer-travel.de, who for over 12 years, have made “gay and lesbian travel dreams come true…” according to the highly reliable Google translate function. This week, the Epica Awards, “Europe’s Premier Creative Awards,” announced that this cheeky execution had a won a silver in the press and poster category. I’m sorry, but it totally smokes the gold winner. I usually poo-poo this hackneyed ad visual technique of manipulating well-known landmarks (Rushmore has been abused manytimes), but this one is just so wonderfully bizarre, and apropos! So, to the Presidential asses! Teddy (second from right) has the roundest rump, but Abraham’s (far right) is the tightest tushy. Poor George (left) has the flattest … I wonder what the open-minded, DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act)-supporting South Dakotans (and the equable Bill O’Reilly!) would think of this sullying of their state treasure?
Yes, we’re back in a public restroom! (Hi George Michael!) But instead of discussing your shit, this time we’ll be discussing your shit-facedness. Russian Bear vodka apparently placed this poster in some clubs and bars around Cape Town, South Africa. It’s a pretty damn cool idea, using fake Cyrillic lettering. Because when you’re a high-proof spirit presenting a “don’t drink and drive” ad message to drunks, doing so with a little fun and a wink strikes the right tone. But…yes, I have a problem with the execution. “Real Men…?” Really? You couldn’t come up with something better than that idiotic cliche? How bout simply “Comrade?” Or something like “Party Members Don’t Drink And Drive.” The Soviet propaganda-style art direction is begging for something else, right? (Image via adgoodness.)
Advertising copywriters and art directors are always looking for the never-before-seen visual twist to sell a product; it’s what we live for (well that, and the gifts/ass-sucking of media reps). But sometimes, in the holy quest to be Cannes Gold Lion original, ad creatives shutdown their left cerebral hemisphere and lose their fucking minds.
It’s easy to follow the creative brief thought process here: “Toilet Duck gets your shitter so clean…it (blankity blank blank blank).” It’s a perfectly acceptable toilet cleaner strategy. However, showing a woman using a hopper to wash her face is not an acceptable dramatization—I don’t care how long or bristly her toilet brush is. This image (click here for closer look) has to immediately turn off a large portion of potential buyers, yes? At best, she is getting harsh chemical residue in her eyes/mouth/nose. At worst… Now, I’d personally have no problem washing my face in my toilet, if I had no other choice. But remember, I’m obsessed with commodes…
This ad (click here for closer look), via Colombia, is…bizarre. It’s for Nutrecan senior dog food. And that is a blow-up sex dog doll, complete with blowjob mouth. I really don’t need/want to see the rear view. You can kinda feel your way to wtf the ad agency was thinking here: the sex dog doll is for “adult” dogs only, as is this dog food. But, throwing some logic into the dog pound for a sec, canines wouldn’t be interested in a sex dog doll. Only humans (and primates) stick their willies into plastic holes. Plus…why are you attempting to sell dog food with a SEX DOG DOLL? OK. So, which visual is wronger? Tell me, Coilhousers!
And you thought those recruitment firm spam faxes were annoying. How’s this for some intrusive ambient advertising? Sancho BBDO in Bogotá, Colombia apparently compiled a large target list of non-menopausal business women, and faxed them this single sheet ad promoting Stayfree’s Ultra-Thin hygienic napkins. “Sally? You got a tampon fax. Where do you want it—your in-box (sorry)?” Seriously what were these people thinking? Taking into account the maturity level of many “businessmen” I know, I see a lot childish red ink doodles and Dockers® with taped on protection and paper tampon blindfolds and…you get the idea. I guess this stunt does get across the selling point—thinness. But it does it at the risk of unprecedented office humiliation. (image via AdsOfTheWorld)
I’m, yes, a bit obsessed with bowel-related advertising. I blame three things for this: the scary, sailor-suited Lilliputian Ty-D-Bol man of my youth; the fact that I grew up occasionally having to crap in outhouses (I’m the son of Appalachian Trail hillbillies); and IBS. Now that your mind’s in the shitter, let’s focus our attention on one of the most feared places in all the world: the toilet seat. Because that’s the focus of these extremely strange ads by Grey Hong Kong for Kiwi Kleen (a Sara Lee product!) toilet cleaner. The tagline is “because you never know who else has been sitting there.” That’s true if you carry a bottle KK with you to bars and such. But you almost certainly would know who’s been shitting there in your own home. Like say, above, if a Mexican wrestler stopped by to use the facilities? I know I’d make a mental note of it.
Frankly, I was unable to pull an explanation out of my ass for the second ad in the campaign. It appears to present a man in a bunny outfit eating a large carrot, while the nightmarish, through-the-looking-glass scenario is another man in a pig outfit eating a large rat. Go ahead, smarty-farty Coilhouse readers, give me a read on this. And then, jump for the third execution which makes the most sense of the three. It features the above/below combo of a dapper man and an unshaven, nose-picking woman. (images via Coloribus)