an Ad a Day

A look at the marketing that surrounds us.

Posts Tagged ‘banner-ad’

L’Oreal True Match: Get Your Airbrushed Finish

Posted by Rosepixie on June 23, 2010

This is a banner ad I came across online for L’Oreal True Match foundation.

The text reads:

L’Oreal Paris

New True Match Roller – Perfecting roll-on makeup

Get your airbrushed finish

Two things bother me about this ad.  First is that the makeup roller looks an awful lot like a paint roller and I don’t want to feel like I’m rolling paint onto my face.  That gets into the “what’s wrong with my face that you think I need so much makeup?” territory.

The second thing that bothers me about this ad is the last line about getting an airbrushed finish.  We all know that the images we see of models all around us are airbrushed, but somehow actually coming out and suggesting that we should all look airbrushed in real life has a very creepy vibe to it.  I don’t want to look airbrushed – I want to look human.  And I know I’m not alone on that one.

So this ad, even with so few words and a single image, managed to give me a lot of creepy, negative impressions.  This is not a great thing for an ad to do.  So, while I think this ad might work for some people, I’m not sure it was a great choice because I think it might turn off as many people as it attracts.

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

Zatanna: Mistress of Magic

Posted by Rosepixie on June 22, 2010

Last month DC Comics started a series focusing on the character Zatanna who is a stage magician with real magic powers.  To advertise this new comic, they’ve been using these two banner ads online.

What I love about these banner ads is that they have the feel of old carnival posters, which is very in line with Zatanna’s character and theme.  Even better, they’ve carried this idea through to the actual covers of the comic as well!  This is the cover of the second issue.

I love the poster feel and I could see the cover actually being a poster.  Actually, they should totally make poster versions of this cover.  Sadly, they probably won’t, since Zatanna doesn’t have a red S or a bat on her chest.  Too bad.

Basically, I think this is one of the most appealing, appropriate marketing campaigns I’ve seen from DC in a very long time.  I hope they keep doing interesting and fun things like this!  These are the kinds of marketing campaigns that make me want to read new comics!

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

Angelsounds Fetal Heart Rate Monitor: Listen to Your Baby

Posted by Rosepixie on June 19, 2010

A friend of mine sent me this set of banner ads for Angelsounds Fetal Heart Rate Monitor.

I have no idea if the second ad is missing a word or if there’s just an extra apostrophe, but the sentence as it is isn’t terribly clear, since either you’re listening to something that isn’t specified or the ad is aimed at the small percentage of people expecting multiple children at once (twins, triplets, etc.).  The image and the placement of the words could indicate that you’re listening to your baby’s footsteps, but if your baby is taking footsteps while in your womb you have bigger things to worry about that what it’s heart rate is!

Basically, I find these ads really confusing.  There might be a perfectly reasonable need for a fetal heart rate monitor at home during pregnancy, but I’m unaware of what it would be.  As far as I knew, you could reasonably go your entire pregnancy only having the fetus’s heart monitored during visits to the doctor and while actually giving birth in a hospital.  I can totally understand a midwife wanting such a device, but I’m not clear on why an expectant parent would need one.

And the one year warranty kind of made me laugh, since I doubt most people would get any use out of this for more than a few months.  I mean, what do you do with it after you give birth?

The friend who sent this to me said that the ad also suggested the device would strengthen the feeling of being a mother.  This also seems odd to me.  It seems to suggest that women need their maternal feelings strengthened and I have to wonder how hearing the baby’s heartbeat through a device is supposed to do that when, presumably, feeling the baby actually kicking your internal organs daily isn’t apparently doing it.  I mean, it seems like the woman who isn’t sufficiently feeling maternal from what she can already feel of her baby as she carries it isn’t likely to be suddenly turned onto the feeling by a blipping on a speaker.

Besides, who’s to decide that a woman isn’t feeling motherly enough?  The ad seems to suggest that it’s aimed at the mother herself, but this does seem more like the kind of thing you get as a gift than something an expectant mother actually buys for herself.  And if you’re giving the gift to help the woman feel more like a mother, that’s somewhat insulting to her.  As if you’re saying “you aren’t motherly enough, so I got this to help you (or maybe make you feel guilty about your lack of motherly feelings)”.

Basically, I can completely understand these devices needing to exist.  I just think that this is a pretty insensitive and thoughtless way of advertising them.  Although, apparently the people making the ads didn’t feel the need to even proofread them, so perhaps thought is asking a bit much.  Still, this feels very callous and money-grubbing.  It could be worse, but that’s never an excuse.

Posted in Electronics, Health and Science | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Mars Chocolate: Healthy Living

Posted by Rosepixie on June 17, 2010

This is a banner ad for a new initiative from Mars Chocolate, the makers of brands like M&Ms, Snickers and Dove Chocolate.

Doesn’t this ad look friendly and well meaning?  Like something you’d see in an educational pamphlet about eating right or at a doctor’s office or something?

Except that the center of the cute Earth-like image at the bottom is a big round piece of chocolate, which isn’t usually the featured food in health-food pamphlets.  And when you go to the website, it’s all about health, how to make sure you’re eating right and exercising.  Oh, and chocolate.  It talks about the history of chocolate and extols the virtues of the chocolate sold by Mars.

The website does a great job of actually not being full of mixed messages, despite being run by a chocolate company.  It’s very up-front about their products and their marketing, actually.  The problem is the banner ad, which isn’t so up-front.  When I first saw it I wasn’t even sure what it was for.  I thought “Mars, the chocolate company?” and “is that chocolate in the middle?” and generally thought it was weird.  Honestly, if it weren’t for this blog, I doubt I would have followed the link to see what it was pointing to.  I was kind of put off by it.

While I appreciate the efforts Mars seems to be going to in order to encourage healthy eating and everything, I can’t help but feeling like this banner ad doesn’t convey their message that well.  It feels almost deceptive, and that’s not something that I would think they’d want, given how the whole campaign is about how they’re trying to go out of their way to be open about the health information on their products!  I just think that there has to be a better way for Mars to advertise this initiative beyond the website.

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

Women of Marvel: More Pin-Up Girls than Heroes

Posted by Rosepixie on April 24, 2010

Being female around Halloween can be challenging.  Having a female child around Halloween is even more challenging.  The problem is that nearly all Halloween costumes sold commercially for women and girls are either SEXY or so over-the-top girly that they may as well be SEXY.  So if you don’t want your four-year-old dressing as either a pink puffy princess or a sexed up version of a pop star, you’re probably out of luck.  Even when we get the option to be something cool, it’s clear that the creators of the costume sort of missed the point.

Take the Women of Marvel line from Disguise, for example.  This line consists of 23 different costumes representing only four different characters (which in itself is sad – Marvel actually does have quite a few great female characters and this line does not represent them well).  The line has costumes designed for different ages, ranging from little girls up through adults.

*sigh*  Pink?  Really?  Really?  Black Cat seems a slightly odd choice for poster girl, as well.  She’s not one of Marvel’s biggest drawing female characters for female fans.  Why not use one of the amazing women from the X-Men, a book extremely popular among female comic fans?  Or Invisible Woman or Spider-Girl, the two biggest female characters really familiar to younger fans?  Or maybe Ms. Marvel who has the company name as part of her name?

But I think I’m missing the point here.  I’m expecting “Women of Marvel” to be a line of costumes representing superheroes.  Maybe I’m mistaken about that impression.

And here we see the real problem.  This isn’t a line of superheroine costumes – it’s a line of pin-up girl costumes.  If they were heroes, the ads would show them, you know, as heroes.  Instead we see them as snapshots being pulled out of Spider-Man’s wallet.  So they aren’t even people – they’re pictures owned by a guy.  Great.  Now there’s something I want to be!  “Mommy, Mommy!  I want to be a pin-up girl for Halloween!  How about that pink Spider-Girl dress?” (Seriously, there are two pink Spider-Girl costumes in the line.)

The marketing sort of explains why the line consists of two characters from an alternate future timeline and two relatively minor characters and none of the actual costumes worn by… any of them (although Emma Frost’s is close, but she’s already SEXY).  And why every single costume is a dress.  The message here is that girls aren’t superheroes, they’re girly sex objects.  Boys can be superheroes, though, with fake muscles and everything!

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

WebSafe: Be a Fly

Posted by Rosepixie on March 9, 2010

This banner ad for WebSafe was sent to me by a friend.

The ad makes it sound like a service that will tell you what your kids are looking at or doing on their computers, doesn’t it?  But that doesn’t actually appear to be one of the features that the WebSafe service provides.  Their service provides you with mostly vastly trumped up facts about things you should be worrying about and then the ability to block those things from web browsers on your kids computers.

See, the “fly on the wall” metaphor implies listening in covertly.  Flies can’t actually interfere with what’s happening, they’re just not in a position to do that.  And when people say they want to be a “fly on the wall” they aren’t usually saying they want to control what’s going on, they’re saying they want to *know* what’s going on.  There’s a big difference there.  And there are very good reasons parents might have to want to know what their kids are doing online when they aren’t around, but that’s not what this service offers you.  It offers you panic and probably not very good filters (honestly, I have yet to see a filter that actually blocks everything it’s supposed to and most can pretty easily be gotten around by someone half aware of what they’re doing – which most teenagers are).

Truth in advertising is important.  For some reason, WebSafe seems to have missed that message (although, truth doesn’t seem to be one of their big things anyway).

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

Bing: The Decider

Posted by Rosepixie on February 11, 2010

This is a banner ad for the search engine Bing.  There are many designs with the same text.

So, what is a decision engine and how is it different from a search engine?  See, it doesn’t sound like something I’d want, since I don’t generally want other people deciding what I want for me and that’s the only thing I can imagine this means.  And if it doesn’t mean that my free will when browsing the internet isn’t taken away from me, then what does it mean?  Am I only going to be given one result for a search query because Bing “decided” that was the best one?  Is Bing going to “decide” if I’m looking to get information about ponies or to buy one when I search for “ponies”, regardless of what I might have actually wanted?  Or is it something else?

And the fact that I’m so uncertain about it and currently pretty sure that whatever a “decision engine” is, I don’t want one, says that this is probably not a very good advertising campaign.  Clarity is important.  And it’s important not to suggest you’re going to take away what people are getting already, because if you are, why would they want to switch to your product?

Posted in Electronics | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Global Warming Undo It: For the Baby!

Posted by Rosepixie on February 7, 2010

This is an ad from the Environmental Defense Action Fund as part of their Global Warming Undo It campaign.

This ad is blatantly playing on the “aw” factor as well as the protective urges many people feel when they see babies.  They want you, the viewer, to want to protect this baby and ensure it’s future is perfect.  The idea is that people don’t care enough about global warming because they think it won’t affect them in their lifetimes, but they might care about how it will affect someone they care about who will be around longer than them and will feel the affects.

While this is about the cheapest shot they could have taken for many people, it works.  It reminds people that the future matters, even if we won’t be here to see it.  This may not be how I would wish they would advertise their cause, but it is an effective way to do it, and it’s not particularly offensive.  And the baby is cute.

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

Direct Buy: Because it’s Not Home without the Right Stuff

Posted by Rosepixie on December 17, 2009

I came across this banner ad on a news website.  It’s for DirectBuy, a company that sells home remodeling products (flooring, appliances, counter top surfaces, cabinets, etc.).

The thing that struck me about this ad is that while it says “turn your house into a home”, the image doesn’t look like a home at all.  At best it looks like a model home (you know, the kind of house nobody lives in but has all the latest shiny designer stuff and you can go walk through it and find out about the stuff?), at worst it looks like a room on a show floor – not part of a house at all (at least it has windows).

I guess that I just resent the idea that it takes shiny cupboards and new appliances and slick flooring to make a house a home.  To me, those things make a house, a home is some place that people live and love.  It’s the place where the couch looks like it gets used all the time, there might be places you suspect spaghetti sauce was once spilled, family photos or mementos are around and you find things like dilapidated teddy bears and books that have clearly been read a thousand times.

A “home” is more about the people and pets that live there than about the furnishings.  A run down apartment with old appliances and cracks in the wall can as easily be a home as a shiny newly built house because it all depends on the people inside.  Living room full of toys when guests arrive?  No question – that’s a home, even if Mom is apologizing for the mess.

I guess what I’m saying is that a home has character.  And while I agree that it’s important to love your house and make it your own, which can sometimes mean remodeling, that’s not what makes it a home.  It can be a home before the remodeling happens as easily as after, even if everyone really wants the remodeling to happen.  And model houses never look like homes to me.  They have no books that look like anyone has ever read them, no toys that look like they were ever played with, no children’s drawings on the refrigerator, no half-finished projects tucked into a corner or in a side room (usually not even half-finished projects if there’s a sewing room), the pet food bowls don’t look like they’ve been eaten from or pushed around the floor, no half-squeezed toothpaste tubes in the bathrooms.  These things don’t make a home, but they’re a good sign that you’re in one.

Posted in Home | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Scarleteen: Questions and Answers

Posted by Rosepixie on November 24, 2009

This is a banner ad for the website Scarleteen that I saw online.  It cycled through a bunch of photographs of teenagers above the text, but all of the text is represented here.

Even though there isn’t a ton of information here, I really like this ad.  It shows a wide variety of teenagers, both male and female, and in general they look pretty normal.  The implication that they will try to answer real questions with real answers implies an attempt to really address the issues teenagers are facing, not just the issues adults want them to be facing.  I have no idea if this is true, but the ad certainly does a great job of making the website sound informative and inviting.  No mean feat when that is rarely the case with sex education in any format these days!

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