an Ad a Day

A look at the marketing that surrounds us.

Posts Tagged ‘animal’

Southlake, TX: Dachshund Racing and Barnes and Noble

Posted by Rosepixie on June 24, 2010

Today I have a commercial advertising the attractions of the city of Southlake, TX that I believe was made for the city’s marketing website.

Do you know what I took away from this video?  That this city is weird and that they didn’t have enough footage.  I swear that same shot of the little kid marveling at the fountain was in there multiple times.  And it’s not even that great a shot (he’s cute, but what does it tell me about Southlake, really?).

I do have to admit, there’s a part of me that really wants to know why there are dachshund races being held.  I mean, if you’ve ever met a real, live dachshund you know that their legs are very short (like, less than six inches high for a dog that’s typically about a foot and a half long not counting the tail).  That’s not really a dog built for racing.  They’re cute, but not speedsters.  And why do they each need their own fenced in lane?  Where there fights breaking out between the racers?  That doesn’t really seem dachshund like either.  Most of the ones I know will stand back and bark at you forever if they feel threatened, but if you get to close, they just back away and keep barking – actual contact is pretty much avoided.

Besides the strange dog races, I’m not quite sure what’s in Southlake that’s worth going there for.  There are apparently hotels, which I guess is good, since I’d need some place to sleep, but they didn’t show any especially remarkable hotels.  Beyond that, they showed a lot of retail stores that are basically everywhere else too.  I mean, yeah, that was a nice looking Barnes and Noble, but there’s one of those in pretty much every decent sized town or city at this point and they’re all pretty much the same.  That’s how chains work.  Yeah, the employees can make a big difference in how a particular store is stocked or set up, but fundamentally the same displays appear in every store and the same large quantities of boring bestsellers appear in every store.  So how is that a tourist draw?

Basically, I’m not sure how this video was really supposed to entice me to visit this place.  Maybe find out when those races take place and stop by if I’m already in the area, but that’s about it.  If they have better enticements for tourists, they need to show them, because chain stores, boring hotels and unspecified events isn’t really that exciting.


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Duluth Trading Company: Pants vs. Animals

Posted by Rosepixie on May 11, 2010

These are a few commercials from a recent campaign Duluth Trading Company has run for it’s clothing.

These ads are incredibly light on information and don’t even really illustrate the product that well, since they are line drawings, but they are funny and highly memorable.  I’d have to say they’re pretty effective too, since I’d rather the pants that allow for greater flexibility than the pants that got the guy kicked in the head, wouldn’t you?

I haven’t got a lot else to say about these ads.  They present a nicely consistent campaign and do a pretty good job of getting a not-terribly memorable product name into your head.  I think they were actually probably a good choice on the part of the company, even if they aren’t terribly informative commercials.

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Hillshire Farms: Pony!

Posted by Rosepixie on March 4, 2010

This is a commercial for Hillshire Farms deli meat.

I really like this commercial.  It has the typical things kids like to trade their lunches for (cookies, pudding and candy are generally considered better than lunch meat sandwiches in the school lunchroom trading game), but then it’s got the pony at the end.  And really, if you were offered a pony for your sandwich, wouldn’t you trade it?  I find this extra amusing since several of my friends are always asking for ponies from waiters.

As an advertisement it works because it’s fun and keeps your attention, but also cleverly conveys the idea that the sandwich (and thus the lunch meat it’s made of) is worth all the great stuff being offered for it.  It is also nice that it’s kids doing the trading because not only is it a situation a lot of people recognize (trading at lunch is something many people remember doing), but it suggests that this is a product even kids like.  And yet the ad doesn’t feel aimed at kids or parents particularly, so it’s not too focused.  It does a great job staying on message, being entertaining and being relevant for a wide audience.

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Bounce: Singing Pets!

Posted by Rosepixie on February 4, 2010

This is a recent commercial for Bounce Fabric Softener.

I understand what Bounce was trying to do here with the singing animals.  They’re cute and fuzzy and they’re appealing to the “aw” factor.  The problem is that they’re going for “you love your pets and snuggle with them so their hair gets on your clothes”, yet we’re mostly seeing the pets deliberately being kept away from the people and their clothes.  Not to mention that it was unclear to me if the ferret wanted to be with the person, the laundry, or the fabric softener.

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Sea Kittens: Because Nobody Hurts Kittens?

Posted by Rosepixie on January 2, 2010

So I could probably just fill this blog entirely with PETA ads, but I’ve mostly avoided them because it’s kind of a bottomless pit of bad advertising and for the most part doesn’t require much comment.  They do have a recent campaign, however, that I felt deserved to be posted.

Historically, renaming things to improve their appeal is pretty common.  Usually they are being renamed to get people to be more interested in eating them, though, not… cuddling them?  To be honest, I’m not entirely certain what PETA hopes to gain from this campaign.

The “Sea Kittens” website says this about the whole thing:

People don’t seem to like fish. They’re slithery and slimy, and they have eyes on either side of their pointy little heads—which is weird, to say the least. Plus, the small ones nibble at your feet when you’re swimming, and the big ones—well, the big ones will bite your face off if Jaws is anything to go by.

Of course, if you look at it another way, what all this really means is that fish need to fire their PR guy—stat. Whoever was in charge of creating a positive image for fish needs to go right back to working on the Britney Spears account and leave our scaly little friends alone. You’ve done enough damage, buddy. We’ve got it from here. And we’re going to start by retiring the old name for good. When your name can also be used as a verb that means driving a hook through your head, it’s time for a serious image makeover. And who could possibly want to put a hook through a sea kitten?

Point number one: I think the problem is actually that people do like fish – they taste good.  There are whole restaurants designed around serving them as fancy food.  If people didn’t like to eat them, PETA would have less of a problem with the whole fish thing.

Point number two: The “sea kitten” thing is weird on multiple levels.  First of all, fish dressed as cats (and elephants and whatnot, which is even weirder and makes even less sense here) is a little strange and I’m not sure how it’s supposed to make me sympathize with them any more.  And are these just baby fish?  Are there sea cats?  Or are all fish babies (kittens = baby cats)?  Because that’s confusing.  Especially since those don’t look like any baby fish I’ve ever seen.  Seriously, if you wanted a “save the fish” theme, talk to Pixar and hire Nemo as your spokesperson.  I’d run screaming from a “sea kitten”, but I would never hurt Nemo.

Point number three: Who thought bringing up Jaws was a good idea?  Fire that guy.

I think I liked fish better before I visited this website.  But it did make me hungry.  Strangely, many PETA ads and websites have that effect on me.  Since they usually make me hungry for whatever they’re telling me not to eat (in this case, I’m sort of craving salmon in a buttery sauce), they might want to work on their techniques.

Posted in Advocacy | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Pier 1 Imports: Furnishings for Squirrels!

Posted by Rosepixie on September 27, 2009

This ad was an insert in one of the local papers in Austin, TX and is for Pier 1 Imports.

Pier 1 Imports 1The text reads:

Pier 1 Imports

Creature Comforts

Hey critter, scamper in today for acorn-ucopia of savings!

up to 25% off

“Hey critter”?  I have to wonder if this ad is really aimed at humans or if Pier 1 Imports has a new division of products aimed at squirrels and chipmunks, because I can’t really think of any humans I know who identify themselves as “critters”.  And if Pier 1 has started selling products for squirrels, why are they advertising them in a human newspaper?  It doesn’t seem like very well-targeted marketing.  Of course, I’m not really sure how you would advertise to squirrels…  Anybody have any ideas?

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Hermes: Yak Saddles!

Posted by Rosepixie on September 24, 2009

This ad was found in a fashion magazine and is for Hermes, a brand that makes clothing, household items and various random fashionable things.

Hermes 1aHermes 1b

Hermes 1cHermes 1d

(click on the images for full size)

The text reads:


An Indian Winter

This ad makes me laugh.  I love the yaks in high-fashion saddles.  Who thought up this ad?  Seriously, it is just so weird!  It makes me wonder if you can really buy a yak saddle from Hermes.  And if you can, why do they make such a thing?  There can’t possibly be that much demand for overpriced, fancy yak saddles!  I mean, it’s pretty, but it’s for a yak, not an thoroughbred horse!  Even the one in the ad doesn’t look especially cooperative (of course, it’s probably wondering what kind of idiot tries to lead a yak around in the snowy mountains wearing a cashmere skirt and high-heels).  I like this ad, though.  It’s quirky and strange in kind of a fun way.  It makes absolutely no sense, but it’s fun to look at!

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