Posted by Rosepixie on June 12, 2010
This is an ad for the Microsoft Kin, a smartphone aimed at young customers.
This ad really bothers me. While the social experiment element of the whole thing is an interesting idea in theory, the reality of sending a young woman out to actually meet people she knows very little about for certain (if anything) is a very dangerous prospect. And why they chose this particular meeting to showcase their experiment is just beyond me.
Here’s the thing – Rosa explains pretty well why Matty’s behavior towards her online is problematic without getting into the dangerous and triggery possibilities of it. She says that it’s creepy and sounds as if she sort of regrets having accepted his friend request. Matty clearly doesn’t have any idea why his behavior is problematic, or even that it is. He seems to think it’s a great thing because it means it easier for him to “pick up girls” without any risk to him – he can sit at home “half naked” and he believes that he has the “magical words” to start a conversation and get to know someone in a way that he couldn’t do in person. But is it a “nice” conversation if it’s begun by objectifying the girl (and clearly creeping her out) and has pretty much exclusively the purpose of “picking up” the girl? He doesn’t mention getting to know her until he’s talking to her in person, which he clearly never expected to actually happen!
When she walks up to him and confronts him about the behavior, he clearly still doesn’t get it. He justifies it and says it’s just a way of getting to know someone. He also accuses her of cutting off the contact without giving him a chance and of inviting it in the first place by accepting the friend request. He says “how else am I going to meet you?” And you know what, she seems to accept responsibility for it. He doesn’t. At all.
And that’s how rape culture works. That may sound extreme, but if you go back to early in the ad when she was describing Matty before they met you’ll hear that she said he was the online equivalent of a construction worker hollering at a pretty girl walking by, and that kind of thing is very recognized as part of rape culture. Check out HollaBack if you don’t know what I’m talking about here. It’s also very indicative of rape culture in that the person performing the action here (the guy making the overtures) is not determined to be at fault, but rather the girl is determined to be at fault because she somehow “invited it”. But she didn’t ask him to hit on her this way – he did it under his own power. He could have approached her in conversation many other ways that would have been not creepy and more likely to invite her to get to know him (and to let him get to know her). But that doesn’t seem to have even occurred to him.
This is just such a problematic ad. They could have done so much with this concept that could have been interesting and appealing, but instead they came up with this ad which mostly taught me that people are scary and Microsoft thinks that’s a good thing. Sorry, but that doesn’t encourage me to buy your products. I think this is a horribly irresponsible ad and am pretty disgusted that Microsoft came out with it.
Posted in Electronics | Tagged: cell-phone, commercial, kin, microsoft | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Rosepixie on May 25, 2010
This is a commercial focused on Nokia as a brand, rather than one specific product of theirs, and stresses the company’s efforts to be environmentally responsible.
This commercial visually used a lot of the “green” shorthands – crumpled up paper, a hand-drawn appearance, leaves everywhere, and (of course) the color green. That said, it’s fairly well designed from a visual standpoint.
The flow is pretty good too – it takes you through the process of designing, building, packaging and shipping products, stressing the environmental focus at each step. It’s problem is that this takes a long time and gets a little bit boring at points. But overall, the visuals keep things moving pretty well.
In terms of branding, I think this does a pretty good job. Am I convinced that Nokia phones are super awesome for the environment? Not really. They’re still phones. But I am likely to remember this and it might be the thing that tips my decision in Nokia’s favor when I’m next debating between two phones from different companies.
Posted in Electronics | Tagged: cell-phone, commercial, nokia | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Rosepixie on April 3, 2010
This is a recent commercial for Blackberry, a brand of smartphones.
So there are a few clips showing people using the phone in the ad, but for the most part, this ad has absolutely nothing to do with cell phones or anything relating to cell phones. I think it’s cute as a piece of short film and I love the song, but the song isn’t theirs by any means and is so classic that there’s little hope it will ever truly be associated with Blackberry. I guess I just don’t get it as an ad. Why would this make me even remember the brand, much less want to buy one?
I saw this commercial first with my mother, who couldn’t figure out what it was for. I couldn’t either until the end when it gave the brand name. Later, I decided I wanted to feature it here, but couldn’t remember what it was a commercial for, even though I could remember some of the specific things that happened in it (the fashion designers, the couple in the cafe, the dancers). I only found it again by accident. That doesn’t really speak well to it’s marketing value. Clearly it stuck in my mind, but not what it was for.
What do you think of this ad? Does it make you think of Blackberry? Does it make you want to buy one? If it does, please tell me why, since I’m really trying to figure out what the thought process behind this one might have been!
Posted in Electronics | Tagged: blackberry, cell-phone, commercial | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Rosepixie on February 27, 2010
Here is yet another ad for the Droid mobile phone. Previously I’ve looked at ads from this campaign that claimed that history shows robots never get lost and that presented us with a great image.
This ad is rather more confusing than the previous two. I think that it’s supposed to be telling us about how great the search engine on the Droid works, but somehow the message is a little garbled. Let’s break it down.
Unleash digital bloodhounds.
Ok, so the phone will find things for you. Makes sense so far.
Just say the word and your phone jumps into overdrive. Because Droid mashes applications with streamlined ease.
What? So, is this telling me that the search will be fast because the phone’s applications are fast, implying the browser application is fast or that I can perform searches even when running a whole bunch of applications because the phone can handle many apps at once? Either way, that’s not a clear way of saying it at all (btw, I’m pretty sure they meant the first one, but it took me three readings to make any sense at all of it).
Including speech recognition.
Um… ok… cool. So I can just talk to the phone and it’ll know what to do. I have so much faith in that, since phone speak recognition technology is generally fantastic (note: that was heavily sarcastic).
And Google-fueled search that knows exactly where you are.
Wait, so we’re talking about searching for physical things? Or web searches? I’m confused again!
A canine-precise detection device. So nothing eludes you.
Except the meaning of this ad.
Oh, and just as a note, this ad has some of the worst grammar I’ve seen in a very long time. You can use punctuation other than periods, guys! Trust me. Try it sometime, you might find it useful.
Posted in Electronics, Services | Tagged: cell-phone, droid, google, print-ad, verizon | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Rosepixie on February 25, 2010
This is an ad for the Nissan Cube. I have two different versions of it, but it’s exactly the same ad.
The text reads:
It’s your space. The Cube mobile device lets you personalize with over 40 different colorful accessories. Go ahead and edit your dash topper, 20 color interior illumination, ripple hooks and interior appliques. Then upgrade your storage capacity with front-door bungees and a utility pouch. Your undos and redos are limitless.
Shift the way you move.
I’m… not even sure what to make of this. It’s describing this car like it’s a cell phone or an mp3 player or something. Personally, I don’t shop for cars the same way I shop for small electronics. For one thing, I’m far less likely to die if something goes wrong with my iPod than if something goes wrong with my car. So while I do have a preferred range of colors on my list of things to look for in a car, it’s at the bottom of the list with the things marked “optional features”. It’s not remotely near the important stuff that actually makes me consider looking at or buying a car.
And while I realize there are people who buy new cars as frequently as they buy new cell phones, I’m guessing that they look for different features than those listed here and are generally looking for more expensive cars than this (if you can afford a new car that often, chances are you can either afford a more expensive/flashy car or you can build/fix one yourself). So who is this aimed at? It actually reminds me of the way salespeople used to show women the mirrors as a feature because they facilitated make-up application. It seems rather patronizing. What do you think?
Posted in Cars | Tagged: cell-phone, cube, nissan, print-ad | 5 Comments »
Posted by Rosepixie on February 20, 2010
This is a recent commercial for Verizon Wireless.
Recognize it? Watch the original commercial to see just how closely they mimicked it.
This Verizon commercial is brilliant. Not only does it tap into nostalgia, but it manages to include a surprising number of entertaining things you can do with a well-connected cell phone. It could be pointed out that the original gum commercial was about bringing people together while the new version mostly shows people by themselves, but since arguably cell phones bring people together more than gum does, I can’t say that particular change really bothers me. In fact, I’d have to say that the idea of gum bringing people together for kisses and stuff is kind of disgusting and the Verizon ad does not suffer from that at all!
I think that a parallel this close really works because we are able to so easily pull up the old ad it’s based on. If we couldn’t do that, while the jingle would bring up warm fuzzy feelings of nostalgia, I’m not sure that it would be quite as effective and entertaining. I think this ad is a good choice for Verizon. It’s fun to watch and definitely conveys some major positives of their service.
Posted in Services | Tagged: 1990s, big-red, cell-phone, commercial, gum, verizon | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Rosepixie on February 6, 2010
These are two commercials from a recent Virgin Mobile ad campaign.
For some reason Virgin Mobile decided to seriously tap into the ick factor for this recent campaign. The concept of people removing their mouths to continue talking on their cell phones while they do other things is a little disturbing in and of itself, but not actually that icky they way they portray it. So I guess they decided they needed to make it grosser?
The girl with the gum in the first ad is pretty icky, but the second ad is way worse. It *might* not be so bad if it weren’t for the expressions on the other girl’s face as she listens in to the very disturbing conversation. So why is this? All the ads that I could find in this campaign featured women talking (and the articles online about the campaign back this up – the idea was that women are “chatty Cathys”).
So, I guess I have to ask, why did Virgin feel it was necessary to make the ads gross? Their ads generally have something odd about them, but they aren’t usually gross. On the other hand, Virgin isn’t exactly new to sexist ads (there was a major ad a while back with a naked girl who had “nothing to hide” because she bought a pre-paid phone – no guy ads, though, because it’s all about the naked girls, right?).
For me, the mouth thing wouldn’t have turned me off to their product. It wouldn’t have necessarily made me buy it, but it would have made me remember it, which could be enough when I next go looking for a new plan. The fact that the ads both felt the need to throw in a feeling of “girls talk to much and about gross things” (suggesting they let anything that runs through their heads just run right out their mouths as though everyone wanted to hear about it!), definitely turns me off. And as I already said, the mouth thing makes the ads memorable, so adding in the negative reaction means that Virgin has pretty much guaranteed that it won’t get my business. That’s not good advertising.
Posted in Services | Tagged: cell-phone, commercial, virgin-mobile | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Rosepixie on January 28, 2010
I’ve already looked at how Droid claims history proves robots prevent man from getting lost, but that’s only one of their very strange ads. This is another from the same campaign and made me laugh almost as much.
I have to admit, “a caffeinated cricket in a room full of hungry lizards” is a really funny image. Where did they ever come up with it? And would a caffeinated cricket necessarily jump faster than a non-caffeinated one in a dangerous situation? Does caffeine even affect crickets? Not that any of that matters. The point is, I spent a lot more time thinking about the amusing image than about what the ad wanted me to think about – Droid phones and their (apparently) fast browsing speeds.
To be honest, I only remembered what this ad was for because I’d already written about Droid phones on this blog and the other ad looked exactly the same as this one. If I hadn’t already had the robot ad in my head, I doubt that I would have managed to remember “Droid” with this ad, although I definitely would have remembered it. So the image got my attention, but it failed to create any correlation in my head with the product, which is sort of a problem since that’s the whole point of the ad. What do you think? Do you think it works or not?
Posted in Electronics, Services | Tagged: cell-phone, droid, google, print-ad, verizon | 1 Comment »
Posted by Rosepixie on December 20, 2009
I found this ad for Droid cellphones in a men’s magazine and just had to post it.
I love this ad. It made me laugh.
Ok, so can you come up with one example from history of a man being not-lost because he has a robot? Because I can’t. I actually can’t come up with all that many people with robots from history (clearly this is a hole in our history that needs remedying so future people don’t have this dilemma). I can think of hearing about space robots being lost several times, though, so that doesn’t speak well to robots and their not-being-lost powers.
That said, it’s a cute ad. It does a great job of playing on the idea that robots make things better, or at least more interesting. And really, it’s just a phone, not a robot in any way at all. Still, making it sound like you’re buying a robot sounds like it’s way more fun than if it’s just another phone (which, realistically, it pretty much is, even with it’s GPS-like functionality).
Posted in Electronics | Tagged: cell-phone, droid, google, print-ad, robot, verizon | 1 Comment »
Posted by Rosepixie on December 19, 2009
These are screenshots of the iTunes app store that were sent to me by a friend of mine.
Notice that apps are divided into “Apps for Boys” (which is denoted by the rocket ship) and “Apps for Girls” (which is written in a curlicue font). So what are boy- and girl- specific apps?
Boys apparently get branded games (Shrek, Transformers), Radio Disney, something called Snakes (?) and a fun sounding math game.
Girls get Disney as well, although it’s a different app, and branded games (Hello Kitty), but their games are about fashion and predicting your future (if it’s like the MASH games I played as a kid, it’s probably pretty focused on marriage and home). They also get a math app like the boys did, but instead of a fun game, they get flash cards. Because girls suck at math, right?
So not only is the app store dividing apps up by sex, but it perpetuating stereotypes while it does it. Boys like action and creepy crawlies while girls like fashion, mostly dream about getting married and having families and are bad at math.
And people wonder why these stereotypes won’t go away and why even toddlers often buy into them.
Posted in Services | Tagged: app-store, cell-phone, iTunes | Leave a Comment »