Tuesday, October 4, 2011

What are we teaching the next generation of creatives?

Student work that makes the blog rounds is very telling. On the one hand, it shows us what the next generation of creatives has to offer. On the other hand, student (and often junior) work tends to be an exaggerated reflection of what these impressionable young adpeople think is great.

This Maxim/Humane Society CSR spec from Miami Ad School, Brooklyn, is a prime example.

It's a digital campaign that asks men what type of woman they want to hook up with, and suggests a breed of dog to adopt to attract her. It also provides stereotype-specific pickup lines.

So, what are we teaching today's ad students?

Well, "sex sells" is a given. But wait!  There's more:

Lesson One: It's okay to sexually objectify women as long as it's for a cause 

Thank PETA for that one.

Lesson Two: Porn is reality

Is any Maxim reader going to meet women like this? No, because they do not exist. They are stereotypes ripped from the hand of a Letters to Penthouse reader, as portrayed by surgically and digitally enhanced models. Hey, look! The smart girl has glasses! (Don't worry, she's taking them off.) Note that most of them are white, and "Latina Princess" has no personality beyond her exotic ethnicity.

Lesson Three: Bitches are disposable commodities

What a great idea. Imagine if you could borrow a dog just long enough to attract a girl like this, just long enough to bed her. Then you can go back next week and get a chihuahua and maybe bang the Latin girl! Because attracting non-committed pet owners is what the Humane Society is all about. And tricking women into sex is what being a man is all about, big guy!

Lesson Four: You can insult people all you want, as long as it's a joke

If someone questions the appropriateness of your campaign, "Get the sand out of your vagina!" is a proper response. If the critic is a woman, this both reminds her that she is defined by her sexual parts, and outs her as a humourless prude. If the critic is male, it implies he is no man at all (and is probably gay) because he refused to fist bump a bro for putting the hos in their place. Also, he is probably gay.

Lesson Five: To get ahead in advertising, think like a man (with your penis)

If you have already seen this campaign (in I Believe in Advertising or elsewhere) you probably skipped straight to the comments to tell me what an idiot I am. The credits, you see, are "Art Director: Jennine Punzone
Copywriters: Jaclyn Shelton, Kaley Coon".

Young women. Trying to impress middle aged creative directors by selling out their own dignity.

They'll go far.


  1. Man, you are an idiot. I didn't even bother to read your entire post. I was bored halfway though. You read way too many psychology books, which causes to over-analyze things. This is advertising, not some academic field. You sure you work in the right industry? Women have always been "objectified" in advertising, and always will be. Get over it. Besides, look at who the advertiser is. It's MAXIM. Maxim means women, nudity, etc. Not human rights, global warming, or embryonic stem cell research.

  2. > what these impressionable young
    > adpeople think is great.

    that says it all - copy, not create.

    i swear i feel like it is the fifties all over again, with all of its conformity and tickitackiness.


  3. Anonymous #1, I'm sure there are other blogs you could be trolling. You might even find one that will give you the outraged validation you so pathetically crave.

    Anonymous I-) It's the '50s again in more ways than one.

  4. It's too bad anonymous 1 didn't read the entire blog. Her/his argument that "women have always been objectified in advertising" just proves your underlying point: this particular "creative" isn't really that creative. Remove the argument about whether or not it is offensive ... it is just poorly thought out, badly executed and very derivative. This is the best these people could come up with? YAWN!

    And while advertising is "not some academic field", surely anyone interested enough in reading advertising blogs will ackowledge the power advertising and media have in our lives. Even an ad selling deodorant to men shapes the way we think of ourselves and others. If it weren't that powerful, people wouldn't spend billions of dollars creating the ads in the first place. Why not use that power for change instead of promoting the status quo or some outdated version of it?

  5. Thank you, Tom.

    The world as I see it is largely divided into two - extravagant and immoral, and simple and dignified. It's sad to know that a lot of the western world falls into the first category, and are also the group who have lost their independence and individuality and thus are enslaved by the advertising world - living for others and not themselves, caught up in the rat race in which, nobody ever wins.