Thursday, April 10, 2008

Ads that inspire...a chill

The world of advertising is slick and misleading anyway, but there are a few products and services whose ad campaigns really creep me out.

Abercrombie and Fitch: This one’s a no-brainer. The company’s been cited in the past for their inappropriate picture advertisements, almost all of which border on child porn. And they’re not just selling clothes to “aspirational men and women” (quoting the site here)—they’re selling to children (see What are they selling? Clothes? Then why, on either site, are the clothes barely visible or entirely missing? Does that make sense? This is the image being impressed upon our kids: a precocious, seductive sexiness that is entirely inappropriate for the age being targeted. Frankly, it’s inappropriate for any public campaign. This company makes a lot of others who used to be questionable suddenly look tasteful.

Every prescription drug company that has ever advertised on TV or in a full-page magazine ad: I’ve already hit on this topic on an earlier post, so I won’t flog the dead horse here. Just remember how much money these companies make the next time your doctor starts touting the benefits of the newest version of something to save your life. How interested is this drug company in your health? Are they perhaps more interested in your pocketbook, or (gold mine!) your insurance company?

Botox injections: How many of you have witnessed this same toothy dame on television, repeatedly flashing pearly whites at the camera while “Express Yourself” plays in the background? Did anyone else notice her fruitless attempts to wrinkle her brow? Does any other viewer feel slightly ill when viewing her ageless but plastic face? What are we encouraging here?

Aestique Medical Centers, a local plastic surgery company: Okay, this is a more local ad blast. But I see the billboard on my way home all the time and it just irks me beyond belief. A woman— obviously no longer dewy, but redone, redistributed, and stretched in such a way so as to disguise this—is dancing with what appears to be a much older gent in a rather lurid fashion. And the caption? “Waste it again.” Youth, of course. Nice message.

Bebe: I don’t know much about this company, which appears to sell revealing women’s clothing, but the impression I’ve received from their splashy ads in bus kiosks is “Tramps R Us.”

I could go on and on. I won’t. Perhaps you have a few that stick in your craw? Do tell.


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Lordy dont get me started. I DESPISE that commercial where the mom wants everyone to take a ride in their new nifty van. The Dad grumbles b/c he is busy playing video games...???? A grown man?? Oooookay. the girl is busy talking nasty on the phone making fun of someones clothes. the two boys are being mean to each other. But luckily, the magical van will bring them all together. There are TWO screens so that junior doesnt have to go five minutes without someting to entertain him. There is a card table, which is something I ALWAYS wanted in my van, right?? Finally , the family is happy and closeknit , and the daughter learns that her brothers name is Bobby instead of Billy. cue hysterical laughter. I wont buy that van EVER.

The other one I LOATHE is the woman with a huge table load of stuff--toys, backpacks, etc, that needs to be fitted in the car. The van maker is like "yep, you need more room". OK, first off, there is the worlds largest stuffed dog, perhaps mom could ask the kids to leave that one at home and bring a smaller one? Backpacks?? Ok how long are those in the car, five minutes while you get to school?? It just irks me. Can we no longer walk outthe door without eight tons of stuff?

Mel said...

I also hate that "the right van will reunite your family" crap. don't know if I've ever seen the other one. I guess the ads figure that the more we identify ourselves with our crap, the more we'll be willing to buy. maybe the people who market crap are in cahoots with the people who market giant vehicles? and yeah, the table in the van is bizarre. is this for people who spend more time in a car than at home? how sad is that?!