Archives for category: Advertising

During my daily morning read of Sky News’ error riddled iPhone application, I stumbled across an article criticizing an application created for Vaseline to promote their skin lightening range, which is hugely popular in India. Whilst The Guardian’s take on the matter included a slightly more valid point of view

“What makes it even more nauseating is the fact that Vaseline is a sub-brand of Unilever, which also own brands like Dove. Dove, if you remember, set about saving our little girls from the beauty industry with their Campaign for Real Beauty. The much lauded campaign included inspirational films like OnSlaught, which suggested “you talk to your daughter before the beauty industry does”

They still failed to recognise that the want to alter the colour of your skin is something that is not only exclusive to India’s culture but is prevalent in the cultures of many Western nations. This is what annoys me so much. It is so easy to look in from the outside and point out the flaws of something else without realizing that the exact same thing, for very similar reasons and with very similar consequences goes on within your own belonging.

The funny thing is, this isn’t the first time I’d encountered this issue. To earn what are formally known as ‘beer tokens’ within University circles, I worked at Ventura on a department that had a very good representation of traditional Indian culture. Not to my surprise, a group of white British women failed to see why any woman would attempt to lighten her skin colour with a low concentration of acid. I know what your thinking, who wouldn’t see this is a bad thing, acid is the stuff we use to digest our food and unblock our drains. What makes me laugh is that the same women, or at least 2 of them in the hope of convincing their colleagues that the 2 weeks they spent caravanning in Skegness was actually a fortnight relaxing besides a pool in Spain’s finest Benidorm, regularly used sun beds. Yes, those cancer inducing beds of joy that emulate one of the most powerful and potentially destructive things in our solar system, THE  SUN!

The issue of skin lightening comes from the Indian caste system (which is very similar to our hierarchy) where lighter skinned people are seen of as a higher caste. Do white women use sun beds because they want to be Asian? No, it is because they want to look like they can afford time to leisure in the sun i.e belonging to the middle class.

To cut a long story short, whilst I agree that Unilever have been hypocrites, using acid on your face is bad and that changing the colour of your skin isn’t going to make anyone love you I don’t think that we should spend our time nit picking other peoples cultures when ours is just as bad. It’s easy enough for journalists to sit on their pedestals and criticize the efforts we go through in the hope that maybe, just maybe, someone rich may be convinced we are holidaying in the Bahamas and marry us.

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I would thoroughly expect the recently announced iAd platform Apple launched at iPhone OS 4 developer preview is going to force mobile advertising into the same echelons as search engine advertising, possibly above. Whereas the current mobile advertising is focused around accountability, very much like current search ads, iAd looks to create rich user experiences that invoke emotion and stimulate desire. It also offers brands the opportunity to add a dimension of personality to their product or service.

The fact that companies are now creating intelligent ways of distributing brand messages makes me so happy and excited that I decided to persue a career in marketing and adveertising. iAd, Digg Ads and Twitter COO has said that their new platform

“It will be fascinating. Non-traditional. And people will love it… It’s going to be really cool.”

and thats exactly how it should be. Businesses need to be more aware of how to build a model thats going to sustain them rather than worrying about short term profits because that’s just self destructive. Perhaps this new era of management is a result of the recession, I’ve read in a few places about how a recession acts as a catalyst for progression.

I was reading this post on Ad Lab about Burger King’s ads now being included in searches of Digg that yield no result. The thing I like about Digg is that whilst it needs advertising to keep running, they never go over the top or shove it in your face like a lot of other sites do. Digg has a very loyal fan base, and for good reason too. If you aren’t one of the 18 million people who casually browse Digg already I’d suggest you make it the first port of call for off the beat, or just down right weird news.

Digg also runs ads alongside the links to content, and the ads usually link to some kind of article or image promoting something meaning they fit in with the context and if you do click them you can get some kind of satisfaction even if you aren’t interested in whats being sold. Whilst I’m sure Digg would be able to make a lot more money plastering page engulfing flash ads all over their page they are making sure the experience stays the same, something which a lot of companies are getting wrong.

Italian denim connoisseurs Diesel have worked with Anomaly to create this interactive music video/clothing catalogue for Josep Xorto. Whilst the song and video itself is distinctly average, the interesting part is when you read about Anomaly’s part-label, part-management, part-publishing music group. Intent on finding new ways of artists to find new streams of exposure and revenue, Anomaly Music Group is a breath of fresh air on models for capitalizing on musical talent and it makes me think with company’s like Anomaly, Spotify and even Apple giving artists platforms for creating and releasing music and promotional content where do traditional, innovation hating labels stand? Will they continue pressuring governments to stifle anything that challenges there ways of making money because they fail to understand how drastically their environment is changing and can’t do anything about it apart from pulling the strings of the political puppet?

It’ll be interesting to see, and I believe the less involvement record labels are in music the happier artists will be. The reason we see so many manufactured pop-stars today is because they make the labels the most money, they don’t write their own songs, they don’t dress themselves and they certainly don’t think for themselves. Compare this to an independent group such as (bad example) The Darkness who got 90% of the royalties from their short-lived career because they didn’t sign away the rights to their music to a label. But now artists don’t need the muscle of record labels money and contacts, it’s relatively straight forward to get a song listed on iTunes and you have to look no further than the success of US rockers OK Go to see how easy it is to market yourself on the internet. As long as you have a true talent for music, or in their case dancing, you will succeed.

The video (not interactive version, check the link in the post to view)

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At the risk of sounding too much like an article Carrie from Sex and the City would concoct, I can’t help but notice the resurgence of masculinity over the past year. Us men have been walking around with our tails between our legs for too long (so to speak) and its finally time to give in to the build up of testosterone the influence of metrosexuality has had us clutching onto. In my eyes, Micky Rourke’s career turning performance as Randy “The Ram” Robinson has let the world know that men are back, and this time we’re not wearing sarongs.

So, what is 2010’s ‘man’?

(also check out their blog Manifesto, it was done by one of my favorite agencies, Poke.)

This is how we SHOULD behave, this is how we SHOULD look. It’s time to throw out the straighteners, boot cut jeans and whatever questionable footwear today’s males are choosing to adorn and time to go back to the times of James Dean, Sean Connery and, most importantly Steve McQueen. So, who are the people that are going to take you there? Well, it looks like French Connection are at the forefront of the high street man resurgence but for unforgiving cool that will seep from every inch of your body look no further than Tom Ford. This man creates some of the most classically structured designs most of my generation will ever see (If they stop looking at topshop and ASOS.com), even his aftershave will make you smell like a VIKING (The king of all men).