Advertising, Canada, DCMontreal Commentary, DCMontreal Light, Humor, Media, Montreal, News, Opinion, Public Transit, Wordpress

Safety Ads: Getting to the Bottom of Things

Bottom

The BBC has a piece on an advertising campaign intended to remind folks using public transit to be extra cautious in wet weather lest they slip and fall on their arse. The ad is being pulled for allegedly being sexist. I suppose they could have avoided this by having several different photos of varying posteriors, but then they probably thought it was pretty unoffensive. Eveidently not.

I wonder what MPs Teresa Pearce and Sadiq Khan, who demanded the removal of the posters,  would have to say about the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada’s ads that ran in both languages on buses across the country?

DCS_Grad_2 DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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My “New and Improved” Hobbyhorse

Here I go again. Just when I thought it was safe to read packages once more I was confronted with yet another “new and improved” claim.

An entity can no more be both new and improved that can it be both round and square. By trumpeting the improved nature of the product the advertisers imply that an earlier version existed and has been improved upon. Yet if the product is also new, what is being improved upon?

The photo on the left, claiming to be both new and improved, is an annoyance to me. The photo on the right explaining that an existing product now has a new look, and has been improved upon is anything but an insult to my intelligence. I don’t know how my Francophone colleagues feel about the word ‘look’, but from a proper English point of view it is an exemplary bit of marketing.

Sorry about riding my hobbyhorse yet again, but blame the Brita people, not me!

DCS_Grad_2 DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

 

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Advertising, Canada, DCMontreal Commentary, Fundraising, Humor, Marketing, Media, Misused words, Opinion, Public Relations, Soccer, Sports, Television, Wordpress

Hey Canadian Tire, ‘Wanna’ Is Not a Word!

Wanna

Canadian Tire is a big company that makes a point of giving back. They sponsor a variety of community events and causes. But evidently grammar is not their forte. Currently the company is running a campaign to get kids out into the fresh air, away from computers and video games for a little fun. Great idea.

The problem is that throughout the ad they refer to ‘two little words’ that can make a difference in a child’s life. “We want to show Canada how two little words can bring us all together.” What are the words you ask? None other than “Wanna Play?” I get the idea, ‘wanna’ is a commonly used expression, an unofficial contraction of ‘want to’, but it just is not a word.

Had they not referred to them as words I’d be fine, if they had said “We want to show Canada how one little saying/request/expression can bring us all together” I would have no gripe at all. But please don’t teach kids that ‘wanna’ is a word. Please.

DCS_Grad_2 DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

 

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Advertising, DCMontreal Commentary, DCMontreal Light, Humor, Marketing, Media, Opinion, Public Relations, Television, Wordpress

BMO and University of Phoenix TV Ad Déjà Vu

In so doing he steps on and activates a child’s toy, the sound of which gets a child, whom we now see in a crib, worked up and crying. This in turn leads to waking up a weird looking older man in a bed. What he’s doing there is anyone’s guess.

The other night I saw an advertisement for the Bank of Montreal, or BMO as they like to market themselves these days. That’s not a typo, BMO is their trading symbol, and they like you to say it as a word not as individual initials, as in Beemo. The ad caught my attention because of its soundtrack; Weve Gotta Get Out Of This Place by The Animals.

Having lured me in with a classic oldie, I watched the ad play out. A guy is sitting at a PC in a darkened room, apparently he gets the go ahead for a mortgage, giving him great cheer. He gets up to celebrate. In so doing he steps on and activates a child’s toy, the sound of which gets a child, whom we now see in a crib, worked up and crying. This in turn leads to waking up a weird looking older man in a bed. What he’s doing there is anyone’s guess.

The very odd setting aside, there was something very familiar about the advertisement. It was not just the golden oldie audio, but something told me I had seen this before. Advertising deja vu  Then it struck me. The University of Phoenix, those advertising fiends, have an ad in which a woman, upon being accepted for a risk free three week trial, gets up from her PC in her darkened room, does her own victory dance, steps on a toy and almost wakes her baby. essentially the exact same ad, but without the weird old guy in the bed.

Woman steps on noise-making toy

Woman steps on noise-making toy

BMO might want to consider getting a new advertising agency, especially if the next spot the current one suggests revolves around socks. If they propose a scene where a guy goes in for a loan and he and the bank guy are both wearing blue BMO socks, best give it a swerve.

DCS_Grad_2 DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

 

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Advertising, DCMontreal Commentary, Marketing, Media, News, Opinion, Wordpress

Advertisements Disguised as News Items

While skimming over the news on my PC, as is my wont, I came upon the page below from Yahoo! News. At first glance it appears to offer bite-size bits of articles with the option to click on them for the full story. But have a look at the third “article”. It is not a news piece at all, but an advertisement disguised to look like news.

That's a wee bit sneaky.

That’s a wee bit sneaky.

I understand that advertising revenue is what makes the Internet, if not the world, go around. By all means place advertising on webpages, but please don’t try to slip them in as news. I realize that there is a small … very small, note indicating that this is a sponsored ad, and not news. But I think the Yahoo! News folks may have to rethink this as I believe more people will be put off than encouraged to follow the link.

As for the advertiser, Harry’s, do you really want to appear as a company that has to trick people?

DCS_Grad_2 DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

 

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Advertising, Canada, Christmas, DCMontreal Commentary, DCMontreal Light, Humor, Marketing, Media, Nostalgia, Public Relations, Television, Wordpress

Christmas Commercials: Some Classic, Some Not So Much

Only one week to go; hit that shopping panic button! Lamentably when we think of Christmas it is usually in a non-religious aspect. You know, the commercial greed-driven exercise in consumerism. If there is a good side to this, it’s that the season of peace on earth and goodwill toward humans has spawned numerous fine television commercials. Coca-Cola has nailed it at least twice with the warm and fuzzy Hilltop Singers wanting to buy the world a Coke, and those adorable polar bears. Even Canadian Tire had its Scrooge character who heralded the beginning of the season with his appearances during hockey broadcasts. I wonder why they got rid of him… Alas not all Christmas-related ads are winners.

When it comes to the consumer take on Yule festivities, it has long been said that Christmas is for children. Youngsters ripping open presents and yelping in glee as they uncover a long desired, and no doubt much-advertised, gift is a goal of most parents.

This whole happy kids, sugarplum fairy vision is nothing short of heartwarming, when portrayed by children. Adults dancing in joy upon receiving some sought after item is significantly less Norman Rockwell-ish. Too bad no one told Sears Canada!

In one of the more asinine seasonal attempts to separate people from their money, the current Sears television advertising campaign features adults opening gifts and doing an “I got it” dance upon seeing the contents while other family members look on. It doesn’t work. I’m a big fan of funny advertising. If the goal was a cute spoof of a child’s reaction on Christmas morning, a few head shakes, eye rolls and a chuckle from the others may have done the trick. But no …..

Instead of a light chucklesome ad, these folks come across as greedy fools. It’s no wonder Sears is closing stores.

DCS_Grad_2 DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

 

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McDonald’s “Two Can Dine” TV ad is confusing, at least to me …

Now it might just be me, that is entirely possible, but I find the current McDonald’s “Two Can Dine” television ads a bit confusing. On the ad they show a Big Mac and a McChicken, behind which appears to be to be one order of fries and one soft drink. The voice over stresses that the deal is valid for Big Mac OR McChicken. To me OR means not BOTH.

This gives me the impression that for $9.98 I can get a Big Mac OR a McChicken, one order of fries and one soft drink. Can I have two straws?

This gives me the impression that for $9.98 I can get a Big Mac OR a McChicken, one order of fries and one soft drink. Can I have two straws? Isn’t that a lot of money for a Trio that usually costs on average worldwide $6.40? I think what they want to say is that for $9.98 you can have one of each, or two of one Big Mac or McChicken. But that doesn’t solve the fries and drink issue.

I’m sure it’s just me misunderstanding the advertisement but if I did, I have to wonder how many other folks had the same thought. As I said at the outset, it could just be me!

McDo2_1

Then again maybe this is a big advertising agency error that has thrown thousands, no, millions of McDonald’s customers into a frenzy and, having brought this to their attention, McDonald’s will engage my services as a highly witty copywriter… or maybe a one-time cash award … or a gift certificate for a Big Mac?!?

MeDCMontreal is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and Freans and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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Advertising, Christmas, DCMontreal Commentary, DCMontreal Light, Humor, Marketing, Media, Public Relations, Television, Wordpress

Joe Boxer “Jingle Balls” ad illustrates gender double standard

With less than 20 shopping days until Christmas the seasonal advertising has been ratcheted up to maximum. Some are old tried and true – and a bit tired as well –  while others are making their first appearance. Among the newbies is an ad for Joe Boxer underwear that features a row of men in tuxedo tops and boxer shorts of various holiday colours. The lads shift their hips about, one assumes causing their testes to sway, resulting in a bell sound that one is lead to believe comes from their nether regions, their choir buttons, their ‘nads, their … well you get the idea. The bell sounds play Jingle Bells or perhaps Jingle Balls! (Thankfully they aren’t playing Jingle Bell Rock or God knows what they’d be shaking!)

Boxer

Click on the photo to see the ad

A group of guys playing Jingle Bells with their nuts is fine, but can you imagine the hue and cry if the bell were on another body part, say a woman’s breast?

The ad is cute. The viewer is given the impression that the bell sounds are coming from the men’s shaken bollocks that are free to sway about in the boxers. These musical cojones are not offensive nor likely to attract any serious number of complaints. A group of guys playing Jingle Bells with their nuts is fine, but can you imagine the hue and cry if the bell were on another body part,  say a woman’s breast?

What if a tee-shirt company had a group of braless women, allowing for similar movement of “instruments”, allegedly playing Jingle Bells by moving the corresponding muscles so that their breasts moved much like the men’s testicles? Or maybe Once In Royal David’s Titty. A group of women playing Jingle Bells thus would have never made it to air, and if it did the uproar would be immediate and vociferous.

Bit of a double standard, no?

MeDCMontreal is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and Freans and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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Advertising, Canada, DCMontreal Commentary, DCMontreal Light, Humor, Marketing, Media, Montreal, News, Wordpress

Is KIA re-gifting the giant Idaho Potato?

The folks at the Idaho Potato Commission are, once again, looking for their Potato Truck. The giant spud on a flatbed that makes its way around the country is always going missing if their television ads are to be believed.

But I think I may be able to help out. I just find it too much of a coincidence that while a giant tater on a flatbed has gone missing, a KIA television ad features a giant gift-wrapped box also on a flatbed.

I think the KIA people are re-gifting the missing potato!!

Idaho_Tater

Idaho Potato Commission

KIA

KIA Canada

MeDCMontreal is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and Freans and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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Advertising, Canada, DCMontreal Commentary, DCMontreal Light, Humor, Marketing, Media, Montreal, News, Opinion, Wordpress

My newspaper needs a Mohel; Bring back front page news and keep ads inside

Front page news should be just that, on the front page! I sometimes think of these wrap-around ads as a foreskin, and I imagine many people are treating it as such by ripping it off and throwing it away.

My local daily newspaper, Montreal’s The Gazette, was founded in 1778 and has, over the years, seen and told much. But like many papers it is now feeling the pinch of the current generation’s love of all things electronic. The hard copy newspaper seems to be heading toward extinction with every new tablet or smart phone introduced to the ravenous gadget consumers who line up in anticipation of the latest “must have” item release.

Personally I’m fond of both hard and soft versions of my newspaper, but will admit that if the crossword puzzles were interactive, I could see myself going 100% iPad. They say newspapers live and die by advertising revenue. Subscriptions and individual copy purchases help, but they don’t even come close to covering the costs let alone a profit. But advertisers will only advertise if they get reasonable bang for their buck, so declining circulation is a killer.

GazooWrap

One thing The Gazette has started doing lately is adding a full four-page wrap-around advertisement that covers the front and back of the paper; providing a ‘false’ front page. Rolex watches are often featured in these ads which I imagine cost a significant amount, given their size and prominent front page placement. There’s another version that has a truncated front that covers only half of the actual front page. To the hard copy reader this little device is most annoying. It can be misleading as part of the real front page is visible and often the ad is worked into the front page graphics. Front page news should be just that, on the front page! I sometimes think of these wrap-around ads as a foreskin, and I imagine many people are treating it as such by ripping it off and throwing it away.

My newspaper needs a Mohel!

Front page news used to be a big deal – I know there is a front page under the ad (is that an oxymoron or what?) but if newspapers really want to keep readers subscribing to the hard copy so they can keep advertisers happy they should stop screwing with the front page.

MeDCMontreal is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and Freans and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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