Advertising

Freedom (American Check the Party Mix)

Science of Us“Take that, American companies with product names that sound as though they come from the language of a country that disagreed with the U.S. on a foreign-policy issue!”

Jesse Singal

What? It’s not like this is surprising. Or is this another moment from American history people would prefer pretend never happened?

Freedom fries? Freedom toast? Freedom poodle? What’s that? Going to forget that first freedom kiss?

Yeah. Not surprising in the least.

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Singal, Jesse. “Americans Punished French-Sounding (But American) Brands During the Iraq War Argument With France”. Science of Us. 4 May 2015.

Rape Fuel (Anheuser-Busch InBev Promo Mix)

Detail of photo by Nita Lowey, 28 April 2015.

One really should not need a list of reasons to avoid drinking Bud Light. That is, the fact that it is Bud Light ought to be enough. Yet, as Stephanie Strom’s report for the New York Times makes clear, we can add another reason to that list:

A new label on some bottles of Bud Light, one of the brands owned by the beer giant Anheuser-Busch InBev, is falling flat among women, a demographic group the industry has been desperately courting in hopes of jump-starting flagging sales of suds.

In a continuation of its “Up for Whatever” campaign, a wide blue band low on the label says, “The perfect beer for removing ‘no’ from your vocabulary for the night.”

Alexander Lambrecht, vice president of Bud Light, acknowledged, “It’s clear that this message missed the mark”.

This is unacceptable. Consider the idea of a simple mistake, and then consider the idea of being a massive corporation with a marketing department, lawyers, and all that. And while the “pumpkin peach” gaffe Strom notes about a Bud Light advert for a sporting event reminds what we already knew about AB-InBev being pathetically inattentive to reality, there really is no excuse. However many valences of review this campaign went through, we are supposed to believe that nobody at AB InBev noticed the problem?

“Missed the mark” is beyond inappropriate. And Mr. Lambrecht’s expression of regret misses ears not deaf but unwilling to sit for this manner of odious lie.

“We would never,” Mr. Lambrecht explained, “condone disrespectful or irresponsible behavior”. And it’s true; Bud Light would rather promote Rape Culture.

Perhaps they should rebrand the entire product, and instead of “Bud Light” just call it what it is: Rape Fuel.

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Image note: Detail of photo by Nita Lowey, via Twitter, 28 April 2015.

Strom, Stephanie. “Bud Light Withdraws Slogan After It Draws Ire Online”. The New York Times. 28 April 2015.

A Post in Need of a Title

Okay, I burned up all my bad suggestions for what to call that drink, though I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to have the word “Startini” in it. Yeah, that’s how bad my riffs were.

Detail of 'Bug Martini' by Adam Huber, 8 April 2015.One thing I cannot stress enough, however―though it seems Adam already understands―is that it really helps to include an awesome panel with an image that can easily be lifted, which in turn makes it easy for people like us to fill our blogs with quick-hit posts that bring the artists some measure of free advertising.

Nonetheless, we might be looking at a requisite t-shirt.

And you know what that would mean, right?

A Doctor Who mashup, of course, from those folks who can’t help but litter social media with all sorts of not-quite imaginitive crossovers even more predictable than Adam’s title puns.

Not that I’m criticizing the puns. It’s a comedic form that is dying in the new age of thoroughly disconnected irrelevance about our increasingly connected human endeavor.

I mean, think of it this way: If you absolutely had to choose, would you prefer Bug Martini for the whole of eternity, or a replay of Arnold Schwarzeneggar’s film career?

That’s what I thought.

Sure, the former California governor has The Terminator, but Adam has the bit about Switzerland. And plenty of fallback material. Where does Schwarzeneggar go next? The Last Action Hero? Oh, wait, I know: Commando.

Oh. Damn. That’s right: Twins.

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Huber, Adam. “I Got a Drone to Pick”. Bug Martini. 8 April 2015.

—————. “Why I Love Switzerland”. 26 March 2015.

Harriet Tubman (McFadden Motif Mix)

Detail of cartoon by Brian McFadden, 5 April 2015, via Daily Kos Comics.Okay, this one is just fun. Well, you know. And incisive. And insightful. And illuminating. And funny. Kind of nice when it all works out that way, y’know?

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McFadden, Brian. “Keeping currency current”. Daily Kos. 3 April 2015.

An Obvious Question with an Obvious Answer

To: Facebook casual gaming advertisers

re: Why would I want to?

There are, certainly, a few things I might say about this or that. “Won a big win”? This must be what we call the dynamic evolution of language. I’ve been learning a lot about this aspect of human communication over the last few years, from friends on the internet. And it turns out I’m some sort of old, pedantic fuddy-duddy, beacuse I have yet to understand that the language must evolve, and that means it must diminish its communicative utility. Sentence structure, proper spelling, and even basic literacy are just too oppressive for free, intelligent humanity.A Facebook advertisement cajoling users to play casual video games because their friends are.

Never mind. Inside joke. Filler material.

Look, the bottom line is that these constant adverts telling me that my friends are playing and winning your games actually discourage my participation.

And, seriously, if I want to gamble, I’ll go to a casino. If I want to play slots, I’ll consider assisted suicide instead.

But no, you’re not actually contributing to the species. Indeed, your endeavors are to its detriment.

Relativity (polo-tics mix)

Detail of 'Tom the Dancing Bug' by Ruben Bolling, 12 March 2015, via Daily KosNonetheless, it’s probably still a good question. You know how it goes.

(Detail of Tom the Dancing Bug, by Ruben Bolling, 12 March 2015, via Daily Kos Comics.)

Seething, Useless, Petty Rage

Okay, in the first place, yes, there is obviously something amiss.

The Salon article itself is by Kendall Anderson, and bears a familiar, queasy sentence for a headline: “I wish I’d never reported my rape”. It is, of course, as depressing as you might expect; and it is also another one of those pieces that ought to be some sort of required reading.

I sit in the windowless interrogation room, fingers brushing against the cool metal of handcuffs attached to the chair, and try to comprehend what the detective sitting across from me is asking.

Salon.com“Were you a virgin?” he says, his lips curling slightly as he repeats the question. “Explain to me, how could you have been bleeding if you weren’t on your period? Have you had sex before?”

I feel my face flush with embarrassment as I think about how to respond. Before I can say anything, there’s a knock at the door and another officer walks in.

“The suspect’s attorney is here.”

Suspect? My stomach drops. Did he really just refer to me as a suspect?

The detective turns to his colleague.

“She agreed not to have the lawyer come in for this.”

I open my mouth to object. Our “agreement” consisted of the detective asking me why I needed a lawyer if I was innocent. Before I can speak, the other officer leaves, the door closes and it’s just me and the detective again, alone in the windowless room.

There are so many things to say at this point.

(more…)

An Appeal to Facebook

After I criticized Facebook, they decided to poll me, asking which posts look like adverts or not. Including my own. Yes. Really. #GoodOneFacebook ….

Actually, you know what? Here’s a #SuggestionForFacebook: How about instead of a “like” button, you give us three or four options:

3-option: Appreciate/Notice/Disdain ; Like/Notice/Dislike

4-option: Appreciate/Notice/Disdain/Indifferent ; Like/Notice/Dislike/Don’t Care

Also, users need a button that says, “Stop polluting my feed with this garbage”.

FacbookThese options will help #MarketResearch, which of course, is the #ReasonFacebookExists. And it will also help users to know when they’re annoying the hell out of their friends.

The problem is simply that as long as the only option is “Like”, market research can easily construe public interest as public favor. To wit, when mourners are checking in with a grieving family after laying a three year-old neuroblastoma warrior to rest, it really does suck to have the only option be “Like”.

And you can ask the market researchers: Repetition of a form will build the habit.

You know, #JustThinkAboutIt? Please?