Tuesday, December 31, 2013

13 most popular posts of 2013

Since starting this bog, almost five years ago,  I've been working to find my niche among ad bloggers.

I'm still working on it. As you'll see from the list below, scandal still "sells" the most clicks online. While I don't purposely write for linkbait, I've learned my lesson about the SEO dangers of putting the words "teen," "sexting" and "nudity" in the same headline. I have a feeling I disappointed a few creeps with that one...

#13 This is how you do sex in advertising

I was a little worried at first, with the lesbian fetish cliché of the two women kissing, but when bethonged spokesman Brandon Allen gets in bed with the threesome, the ad achieves a kind of self-deprecating charm and irony.

#12 No, this is not a "real" Russian Tampax ad

This nasty little clip, which is making the viral rounds of HuffPo, LiveLeak, etc., is not a "Russian Tampax Ad". According to its own YouTube "about" section, it's a promotional video for the bizarre mess known as "Movie 43".

#11 Can this kind of teaser campaign still be effective?

It's like a combination of the fictional Gabbo! campaign from The Simpsons and early meme site Zombo.com.

So what is it for? I'm not that curious, really. I'm more interested in seeing if such an old-school teaser campaign can still work, without either being prematurely outed or simply forgotten about before it reaches critical mass.

#10 This push-up bra gag has been done before

Seem familiar? You might be thinking of a similar Dutch campaign, starring Andrej Pejić, from a couple of years ago.

#9 Travel campaign offers a brutal take on mob mentality — but is it for real?

To me, this is another example of belief in the stupid old adage that there's "no such thing as bad publicity".  There is... for brands. It's the creative teams and agencies that really benefit from these "edgy" campaigns, as the ad community congratulates them for convincing someone else to pay for another self-serving attempt at notoriety.

#8 Billboard celebrating "remarkable women" shows only men

The men are all donors to the campaign. Which is great. And the campaign itself is a good one. But the paternalism of the billboard, even if unintentional, is baffling.

#7 This could be the worst Facebook ad of all time

If you don't recognize the face in the ad, that's Rehtaeh Parsons, a Canadian teen who committed suicide last April after being raped at a party while too intoxicated to consent, and experiencing extreme online sexual harassment and abuse when photos of the crime were circulated among her peers.

#6 Advertising rape culture in anti-rape campaigns

Victim-blaming. It's ugly, it's hurtful, and it's doing nothing to stop people from raping other people.

In the aftermath of the Steubenville rape trial, in which two teenage men were convicted of raping and humiliating an unconscious teenage woman, it's time we had another look at what these supposedly-helpful ads are saying. 

#5 Pussy Riot appropriated again, this time by Vanessa Hudgens

I've written before, both here and on Osocio, about the appropriation of anarcho-feminist group Pussy Riot's knitted balaclava brand. Here's the latest sighting, from former Disney star Vanessa Hudgens'  '$$$ex' Teaser Video.

#4 Low-fat cheese brand makes fun of diet industry clichés aimed at women 

More and more brands are realizing that the best way to reach women is to make fun of the way everyone else tries to reach women.

The menstruation products industry has been doing this for years. Fashion, too. So low-cal foods might as well get into the action. And who knows cheese better than a cheese manufacturer?

#3 This vintage ad illustration makes photoshopped ads look realistic by comparison

#2 "You're not the first" to do this awful, sexist concept, either

Aston Martin says in their blog that the ad is fake. But it's been done for real, several times.

#1 Parenting magazine shock advertises with "teen" sexting image (partial nudity)

Don't panic — it's an ad. The models are obviously adults. But is using a titillating image a good idea, even if it's saying "we're against that sort of thing"? It's as if the all-male creative team at Jung von Matt were a little too into this one. As a result, in my opinion, they just end up contributing to the problem of adults fetishizing teen sexuality.

Well, that's it for 2013. Happy New Year, and thanks for reading.

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