Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Cause marketing and the mother of all media

Caught this picture yesterday on Copyranter:

My immediate thought was, "important message, bad media placements".

Yessir, I'm jaded. But that's because, as an adman, I take the power of boobs very seriously. In the commercial world, as part of the lazy creative's holy trinity of "boobs babies and bowsers", they are used indiscriminately to sell clothing, food, cars, perfumes—you name it. Back in the '60s, one psychiatrist even saw "Mother McDonald's ample bosom" in the famous golden arches.

Reading my blog posts here and on Osocio, you may have the impression I have boobies on the brain. I do. But — man or woman, gay or straight — you do too. It's called being a mammal.

What I really want to talk about here, though, is the use of breasts in social and cause marketing. There are basically two ways to harness their power for good...

You can either cynically use them as borrowed interest, as PeTA does:

Or you can try to be relevant, by raising awareness of an issue that is actually involved with the body parts:

(That second one reminds women to get a breast exam)

Mammaries as media are too important and powerful to be overused or abused in marketing, even for a good cause. And that's my issue with the shirt/walking ad at the top of this post.

First of all, if you're going to come to a job interview wearing a novelty t-shirt, you had better be looking for a digital marketing position, and the only acceptable theme is old-school science fiction. Second, like a "my eyes are up here" shirt, it actually defeats its purpose by attracting attention to the areas that aren't supposed to matter. It's like sexual harassment entrapment.

I realize that the shirt proves an important point. I just don't think it's the right one.

What do you think?

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