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Archive for the ‘Advertising’ Category

Too Much of a Good Thing?

So even though I don’t have one, I love TV. Obviously. I would not be who I am today if not for TV. None of us would.

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Banksy loves TV too.

But as hard as I try to embrace technology as it infiltrates my simple life, sometimes I encounter a situation that makes it hard to unabashedly embrace the boob (tube, that is).

This morning I went to the dentist. In their lobby they have a huge flat screen that is always showing vivid undersea explorations set to Enya, with informational captions at the bottom of the screen. After I was treated to the sperm ejections of a giant clam, I was called into the dentist’s office.

For some deeply ironic reason, since I stopped eating most processed sugar products this year, I have gotten LOADS of cavities. Damn natural licorice always gets caught in my teeth. Ew. No. But really. Lots of cavities. So in this, my final and certainly not first trip-to-get-fillings this year, I came prepared.

I said, “Hey dentist lady, I am going to put on my iPod so you can do whatever you want with the TV.”

That’s right, because there’s a TV in the examining room too! Now, I know that might seem like a great idea, but remember what it’s like to be in the dentist’s chair? That goddamn light in your eyes? You can’t see shit except the neck hair of your good doctor. But you can hear the dulcet tones of Christmas commercials, the golden retriever puppies playing over the Dirt Devils as they throb in time to your Novocained gum.

So okay, whatever, she didn’t turn it off. I don’t care. I am content listening to Ira Glass recount various tales of this lovely country of ours. I close my eyes.

And every now and then, I open them again. In my peripheral I see tools and devices sticking out of my mouth, the aide wielding that filling-dryer that may or may not project toxic light? The staff puts on protective goggles but I lay vulnerable on the other end. Do I see their eyes, reassuring and steady, guiding these potentially dangerous materials around my delicate oral orifice?

Um, no. I see the sides of their slack jaws as they STARE up at the TV! I know it’s hard to look away! It’s impossible even! But you know what? They used to think that repairing a tooth was impossible and the only way to get rid of a cavity was to yank the whole thing out! And we’ve progressed away from there. So I am here to stand up and say NO! It is NOT impossible to look away from the TV, especially if your JOB is to be facing in literally the OPPOSITE direction, pointing DRILLS and NEEDLES into my mouth!

Seriously? You seriously were watching TV when you were supposed to be filling my cavities? If you can’t look away then TURN IT THE FUCK OFF!

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I am a big fan of many of NY Mag’s online features… they help me find things like restaurants, stores, and things that I should or should not approve of.

I just tried out one of their newer features, the Shop-o-Matic. Right away, I like that it sounds like a Dr. Seuss invention, if Dr. Seuss were motivated by capitalism rather than love and friendship.

So since NY Mag is (thankfully) motivated by capitalism and that urge to spendspendspend!! their Shop-o-Matic provides us the opportunity to ogle this season’s exciting designs without leaving the comfort of our (my) home (cubicle).

You can view 114 women’s coats as a slideshow, and what I didn’t realize at first is that the price goes from low to high. So at the beginning I’m saying hey, I didn’t know Target had such a good looking coat for $90….

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And then with each successive click I’m saying huh.. I wish I had $325 to spend on this coat….

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And then is starts getting into the realm of things where it’s the coats that don’t even have price tags on them in the store, because blah blah blah if you have to ask then you can’t afford it.

And you know what? I learned a valuable lesson. I learned that sometimes clothes, like people, are ugly no matter how much money they are worth.

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$2,895 will get you the sleeves to end all sleeves.

 

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$16,800 will get you Oscar de la Renta’s grandma’s coat.

So, thank you NY Mag for reminding me that though I am still alternating between my $35 Old Navy jacket from 2004 and my dad’s old down vest with a snap missing and the fluff coming out, I am still looking better than some crazy lady in a chinchila-lined coat.

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Dear Advertising Agencies,

I remember when I saw my first Fred Astaire movie. It was Flying Down to Rio, which was Astaire’s first movie as well. And his first pairing with Ginger Rogers. It was delightful. I also remember when I was flipping through the channels once, and saw Fred Astaire dancing around with a vacuum cleaner. I remember thinking “Huh, that’s weird, I thought Fred Astaire died a decade ago,” and “I don’t remember Ginger Rogers looking like a vacuum cleaner.” Apparently, the use of dead celebrities in advertising is quite common, and has, of late, come under fire. Saatchi & Saatchi, a British advertising agency who were employed by Airwair who make Dr. Martens, released a series of photos of dead rockers Kurt Cobain, Joey Ramone, Joe Strummer and Sid Vicious wearing togas, standing on clouds, all happily clad in Dr. Martens boots.

Now this is just shitty. First of all, I don’t think any commercial featuring a dead person is going to make me want to rush out and buy a product. Seeing a re-animated Orville Redenbacher listening to an iPod and eating popcorn did not give me a hankering for his salty, buttery kernels (I’ll take Paul Newman’s sexier and more alive brand any day of the week). I’m not running to the Gap to pick up a pair of black skinny jeans just because Audrey Hepburn danced around to an AC/DC song. Why do you think that having dead people promote your product is going to make us want them any more than having living people do it?

And do you really think you are somehow paying homage to these people by using their image against their will to push a product on people? And of all people, these four rock stars? I mean, if Smash Mouth all died in a plane crash, I would guess that they would be okay with their image being used to advertise a brand of, I don’t know, Tempur-Pedic Mattresses (the only mattress endorsed by NASA!). But somehow I doubt that four rock stars, known for their anti-establishment punk rock sensibilities would agree to be posthumous spokespeople for a brand of shoes. And let us all not forget what is possibly your most shameless effort:

In a word, dear advertising CEO’s, it’s not cute. It’s fucked up and disrespectful. I don’t care whose permission you’re getting to advertise what, unless the celebrity’s corpse reanimates itself to sign some contracts, leave it alone. There are plenty of living celebrities out there willing to push your products for you.

Love,

Plainclothesman

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Lastings Milledge – funny-named, hubris-filled, 12-year-old 22-year-old Mets outfielder – has a side project that I totally didn’t know about. He’s the CEO of Soul-ja Boi Records and, even more excitingly, is a guest rapper on the song “Bend Ya Knees” featured on an upcoming album.

Some important issues to note:

He is going by “L Millz” on the album. This is only slightly worse than his actual name.

“Boi” is such a cute way to spell “boy.”

The song features some mega-potty-mouth, not necessarily uttered by L Millz, but certainly by nearby party. What will this say about the otherwise lovely-tempered, corn-fed Mets?

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