Advertising, Canada, Crime, DCMontreal Commentary, DCMontreal Light, History, Humor, Marketing, Media, News, Nostalgia, Opinion, Public Relations, Television, Wordpress

Offensive snack food logos then and now: Aboriginal boys and Banditos

The Yum Yum brand of potato chips has decided to go retro and bring back the logo it used for years, starting in 1959 when the company began operations. The problem is the logo features a cartoon drawing of an aboriginal boy in a feathered hat. Some find this offensive, other are not bothered, but it has given the company some exposure in the media.

The company argues that the cartoon is not derogatory, while those opposed say just having the cartoon is in poor taste. What I don’t get is why the company has decided to bring back the logo for the holidays; it seems to me a cartoon of an aboriginal boy has little to do with Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa!

CTV.CA

CTV.CA

Now if you’re looking for a truly offensive logo, the old Fritos character, the Frito Bandito, sure fits the bill. It would seem the Frito-Lay folks thought the stereotypical Mexican was a bandit. After pressure from various organizations the bandit was retired in 1971.
Wikipedia

Wikipedia

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, Humor, Marketing, Media, Public Relations, Wordpress

Advertisers’ bane: HDTV makes small print readable by all viewers

Before the invention of the High Definition , large screen television the average viewer had no way of actually reading the small print at the bottom of an advertisement. Even with an HD-TV the small print on many pharmaceutical ads is pretty much impossible to make out, nit because of the size of the print, but the sheer amount of it.

Even with an HD-TV the small print on many pharmaceutical ads is pretty much impossible to make out, nit because of the size of the print, but the sheer amount of it

Sometimes the small print is merely legal ass-covering as in the case of the Cadillac ads. A car is shown weaving at high-speed on a number of treacherous roads and tracks (for some reason the passenger in the car shouts “It’s like Armageddon out there?!?) to illustrate the handling and overall performance of the automobile. Meanwhile the small print informs us that the ad was filmed on a closed set, with a professional driver; “do not attempt”. Okay, just the company’s way of protecting themselves should some moron try to replicate the ad on a highway at rush hour.

Sometimes the small print is merely legal ass-covering as in the case of the Cadillac ads

Caddy

But sometimes the small print is a little bit sneaky, which is why it’s small. The only problem is HD-TV, the bane of advertisers makes it legible to all. There is a very popular line of products called President’s Choice (PC) that is available right across Canada in various supermarkets. They have a series of ads that are supposed to be interviews. I’ve personally never been a fan of the fake interview strategy in advertising. In one such ad for the company, the alleged interviewer is talking with a couple who own a pig farm. Specifically about the humane way they raise the pigs that PC uses in its products.

Not just PC bound pigs, but all similar pigs raised in Canada are antibiotic-free

PCA big deal is made of the fact no antibiotics are used on the pigs that PC uses. That sounds pretty good – I guess. Unless one of the pigs has an abscessed tooth or a bad case of pus-hock, but I digress. What kind of spoils the effect is the small print, easily readable on an HD-TV informing the buying public that no antibiotics are used on any pigs in Canada. Not just PC bound pigs, but all similar pigs raised in Canada are antibiotic-free.

So the days of hiding behind a slew of small print caveats and warnings may be coming to an end as television viewers have sharper and clearer images to watch.

So the days of hiding behind a slew of small print caveats and warnings may be coming to an end as television viewers have sharper and clearer images to watch.

 

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Advertising, Humor, Hurricane Sandy, Weekly Writing Challenge

Weekly Writing Challenge: Image vs. Text – Viagra advertisement

The Weekly Writing Challenge offered the theme of Image vs. Text this week. This brought advertising to my mind. The concept of what is called direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription drugs differs greatly in Canada when compared to the United States. In the US these ads provide details on what the drug treats and then go into chapter and verse about potential side effects. They usually end with a phrase such as “ask you doctor if (insert drug name here) is right for you”. The goal is to have people arrive at the doctor’s office with their requests for these drugs, before they have even been diagnosed by the doctor.

In Canada the ads are much stricter and simpler; the product can be displayed, but you can’t say what it’s for. According to the Health Council of Canada (emphasis is mine):

Direct To Consumer Advertising is prohibited under two provisions in Canada’s Food and Drugs Act, which is enforced by Health Canada. Despite this prohibition, Health Canada currently allows two forms of advertising:

• Reminder ads: these include only the brand name and no health claims or hints about the product’s use. No risk information is required. In the US, reminder ads are prohibited for products with “black box” warnings of serious risks on their label.

• Disease-oriented or help-seeking ads: these do not mention a specific brand but discuss a condition and suggest consumers ask their doctor about an unspecified treatment. No risk information is required.

In an effort to stay within the Canadian rules I propose the following three-step concept for a very popular blue pill:

BEFORE

Viagra

AFTER

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Advertising, Canada, Misused words

Gerber Life Insurance ad: during age 18 or at age 18?

It could just be me, but I’m always looking out for ways that companies try to mislead potential customers. Since 1967 the Gerber Life Insurance Company has been offering insurance, it is an affiliate of the Gerber Products Company of baby food fame. Recently they have been aggressively advertising their Grow Up Life Insurance plan. Not long into the ad, the following appears indicating that protection doubles “during” age 18 (in some places it’s during age 21). It seems to me that this increase, at no extra cost, is only good for one year: i.e. during age 18. During is not the same at at. Something that doubles at age 18 stays doubled, but to use the word during clearly implies that after age 18 things are going back to the way they were previously. Do they explain that somewhere?

Gerber

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