Monthly Archives: January 2010

Best of the Bad Buzz – Pepsi Throwback

Throw it back?

Ok, by now we’ve all seen the commercials a million times: Pepsi + montages of classic and contemporary sports + current pop stars covering Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young”. Thanks for banging us over the head with the “we were there then, we’re still here now” mantra, Peps.

Overall, the spots are not bad. Sure, they play them ever five seconds, but they have some great old footage, creative splicing and a toe-tapping song.

But here’s the thing that gets them into the bad buzz hall of fame: the product. Pepsi is proudly touting its ‘throwback’ version of the teeth-rottingly-sweet cola and, as the tagline says, it’s “Made with REAL sugar for a limited time!” Whoa. WOWZA! I can let real sugar help me rack up thousands of dollars of dentist bills and develop type 2 diabetes instead of corn syrup. Sign me up, Pepsi!

I mean, come on. That’s like if Germany’s national tagline was, “Germany: Holocaust free for over 60 years!” Jawohl!

Sorry Pepsi, nice try. I do like how you stuck with the today-yesteryear dichotomy, but I’m not buying it, so therefore I’m not buying it.

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Yelp Yeview of the Yay…

As a copy-out (whoa, witty typo!)  for today, I’m shirking my duties on one website by recycling original content from another.

Just how I like my women: made out of an old church.

Today’s Yelp of the Yay: Moody’s Pub.

Also inspired to work on my Yelp reviews thanks to last night’s Yelp Fantasea at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. Big ups to the awesome people at Yelp for putting together a spectacular bash. I’m assuming Chicago reviews got a good boost this morning, plus the sea turtle seemed to like the attention.

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Filed under Great Eats, Great Sips

American Appalling or American Appealing?

A bit of premeditated wavering to start this post off: for the record, I’m not supporting nor bashing the goals or tactics of these ads. To be fair, I very much enjoy womanly beauty. Very much so. I also disagree with gratuitously objectifying anyone – no matter what gender – for the purpose of making scads of money. That’s what pimpin’ is for.

I’m also not looking to be the moral compass of my generation here. I’m simply raising this subject because it’s intriguing, relevant in the adverting world and downright controversial. Some people love these ads. Some are infuriated by them. Let the floodgates of comments open!

By now we’ve all seen the effect that American Apparel has had on the fashion and marketing industries. Their no-frills, high-quality, mad- in-America clothing has become a hit with urban hipsters at the same time – and very likely because – their advertising has changed the face of pop American fashion.

First made distinctive by a gritty photography style, alternative models and short, curt messaging, the advertising has recently taken an even more gritty, urban and downright carnal turn.

So much so that Style Crave just released their list of the “50 Sluttiest American Apparel Ads of All Time” (NSFW!!). Wait, re-read that: 50. Sluttiest… 50! It just goes to show that if your short list is 50 items long, you’re really trying to own the market in smut advertising. Hell, AA is even hiring adult movie stars as their models these days.

Now to be fair, other major players, such as Victoria’s Secret, have famously used overt sex to sell for a long, long time. But they sell lingerie, not socks and sleepers, so you gotta expect some flesh. VS also has a much more dreamlike, fantastical feel to it. AA’s ads are straight raunchy.

And the extend of their lasciviousness is directly matched by the public’s polarized response to these ads. A lot of people (read: men) love the ads or can at least find the hidden humor in the overly sexualized poses. Other people have a visceral disgust to what they consider the obscene objectification of women.

Listen, I’m not here to say who’s right or wrong. That’s the job of the people who decide public decency.

Are a lot of these ads hot? Yeah. Do some of them toe the line of extreme inappropriateness? Uh huh. Do they sell a shit load of panties? I think the numbers speak for themselves. But at what cost?

So what do you think? Leave a comment…

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Filed under Bad Buzz, Great Advertising, Great Shots, Great Viewing

Apple Owns Over 30 Minutes of Your Life and You’re Not Getting It Back

How about iPod vs. WalkMan?

There have been so many great rivalries in history: Good vs. Evil, Tom vs. Jerry,  George W. Bush vs. post-kindergarten reading levels. But maybe none has given us more laughs (okee, momentary giggles) during American Idol commercial breaks than PC vs. Mac.

Since 2006, the classic rivalry between the buttoned-up, overweight suit and the laid back, cool-but-I-don’t-really-care-if-I-am hipster has reinforced the stereotype that people who use PCs are dorks and people who use Macs go to the Golden Globes with Drew Barrymore.

Despite the fact that Apple hasn’t launched a new spot since before the holiday season, you can still get your fix of the classic cat and mouse duo, thanks to AdFreak’s chronicling of the 66 spots that have aired so far in the “Get a Mac” campaign.

Wow, 66 spots! Maybe if I used the time I spent watching Mac ads to earn a living, I could actually afford one!

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911 for Noobs

Real life is hectic. You have to wake up at the crack of noon, take the garbage out at least once a week and remember to meet your mom at the food court by 5pm otherwise she’s totally gonna leave you to take the bus home, again. So, with such a jet set lifestyle, who has time to keep up with the latest internet trends and viral chatter that barrages the web daily?

Lucky for you there’s a new Vlog that keeps you up-to-date on all the inane practical jokes and misspelled headlines that flood the internet community every day. At Know Your Meme, the dedicated scientists at the Rocketboom Institute for Internet Studies can help you break down what’s hilarious on the web right now – and why.

The Genetic Code of Om-nom-ability

So whether you want to understand the true source of ‘om nom nom’ or find out why Bubb Rubb is the symbol of our generation – these web geeks got you covered.

Plus, you might want to bone up on past episodes, so little Marky Spitz from down the block doesn’t call you out again for being a total noob in your weekly WOW clan web meeting. Now that was embarrassing.

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Filed under Great Sites, Great Viewing

Brand Power to the People

You know what’s right around the corner: yep, the ‘Big Game’. Over the past few years, CareerBuilder.com has made a name for itself with some of the most hilarious and outlandish ads found between the highlights. This year, they’re following in the footsteps of Chevy and Doritos and asking we the people to help them come up with this year’s sure-fire spot.

Has it been done? Yeah. Is it a cheap way to eek out a decent Super Bowl ad? Sure. But it can also create some hilarious bits.

If you want to get in on the action, too late. The finalists are already selected. But no need to be so glum, chum. You can still vote for your favorite ad… or just be lazy and watch them below. Yeah, that’s what I thought.

“Casual Fridays”

“Job Fairy”

“Worst Seat”

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Filed under Great Advertising, Great Viewing

Sighing of the Times

As we know from Allstate commercials, America is pushing back from the table of glut and reaching deep inside ourselves to see who we really are. So who are we? How do we find ourselves? My guess is not from a guy peddling sappy Depression stories and car insurance.

Here’s a thought: maybe we need to look at where we came from, to truly see where we are now. Ding ding ding.

Newsweek had the same idea when they published a list of the Fifty Books to Read Right Now. Graphic novels, science fiction, accounts of history not found in the history books, even a biography on God. And to headline them all, a satirical comedy 135 years old to tell us who we are… now.

So for those that want to ground themselves in why we’ve come to the place that we are, forget about saving 15% or more in 15 minutes and go to the source.

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