an Ad a Day

A look at the marketing that surrounds us.

Posts Tagged ‘banner-ad’

Dungeons and Dragons Online: Not Cute

Posted by Rosepixie on November 2, 2009

I saw this banner ad on a political webpage (of all strange places) that I really wanted to post about here.  I, unfortunately didn’t get good shots of the banner ad and was very sad.  I mentioned this to my wonderful husband and he was able to find me something even better!  Apparently they used the same images from the banner ad for a commercial!  Here it is:

When I first saw the banner ad, I had no idea what I was looking at an ad for until it got to the end.  Obviously, it’s an ad for Dungeons and Dragons Online, a massively multiplayer game based on the classic pen and paper RPG.

This ad is so awesome I can’t even explain it.  The cuteness paired with the horrible beholder was perfect.  It totally got me to want to play DDO, which is quite a feat since I’ve played DDO before and thought it was a good game, but I wasn’t impressed enough to stick around.  Of course, it’s had a huge make-over since then, so it’s probably totally different and I should try it again.  But this ad’s awesomeness was too great not to share, so here it is.  Hopefully this ad will be in more places in the future!

Oh, and I think that the DDO people should totally make t-shirts of this.  Wouldn’t a “broccoli or the beholder?” t-shirt be great?  I’d buy one.


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

Nip/Tuck: Lacing Up the Objectification

Posted by Rosepixie on October 20, 2009

These are two promotional images for this season of the television show Nip/Tuck.

I found this image on the front page of YouTube last week.

Nip/Tuck 1

Then I decided to look for a larger version of that image for this post (which I never did find) and checked the official website.  This image was plastered across the website.

Nip/Tuck 2

I find these images incredibly creepy.  First, the idea that a woman could lace up the skin of her back like a corset is incredibly disturbing.  It not only implies that the woman is actually threading laces through her skin (a very oogy idea), but also that she can pull her skin tighter to reshape her body like a corset does.  That is a very disturbing idea on so many levels.

But it’s not just the lacing itself that’s disturbing in these images.  It’s the treatment of the woman herself.  She’s barely a woman at all, she’s just a body on display for the male gaze.  In both images the woman is nearly naked, clad only in white panties, while the two men are both fully dressed in suits.  The woman is facing the two men in both images so that we, the viewers, only get to see her back, but the two men appear to have a great view of her bare breasts and rather attractive and sensually posed body.  They also appear to be enjoying that view, leaning into her and taking sexual poses themselves.  They are very much in control here, though.  The man on the left in both images holds the ends of the laces from the woman’s back, so he’s literally controlling her body.  Not only do those laces let him pull her like a puppet in the second image, but implicitly they allow the man to decide what she looks like as well.  That’s pretty creepy on a lot of levels as well.  It’s a step beyond objectification – it is allowing the observer decide what the observed looks like, to mold them to their choosing.  How creepy is that?

I understand that the show deals with some pretty extreme body modification, but by and large the women who have plastic surgery are directing the changes to their own bodies, even if it is male doctors who are enacting those changes.  It may be the pressures of society that make the women feel they need these modifications, but it is still the women who choose them.  These images don’t show that agency.  They show a creepy and almost oppressive objectification.  I find these images really disturbing and if I ever had any curiosity about this show it’s now totally squashed.  I’m now certain that I actively don’t want to see this show – ever.

Posted in Entertainment | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »

Duplo Toys: Options?

Posted by Rosepixie on October 13, 2009

This is a very interactive banner ad for Duplo that I encountered on a blog.

The ad as you see it before you interact with it:

Lego Duplo 1a

Once you move your mouse over the image, it opens up and you see this:

Lego Duplo 1b

You click on one of the little check boxes and the next question automatically loads.  It looks the same (except for the words boy or girl and the pronouns) for both genders:

Lego Duplo 1c

Again, you click on one of the check boxes and automatically get the next question, which looks the same no matter what:

Lego Duplo 1k

A third time you click a check box and a new question loads, looking the same no matter what:

Lego Duplo 1e

Now you pick a color and see this screen ( the blocks keep getting added and when they are all the way across, the next screen appears):

Lego Duplo 1f

Finally, you get your results!  Now, in theory, there should be 32 possible results because there are 32 different combinations of answers.  That does seem like a lot to ask from a banner ad, but you’d still expect a fair number of possibilities, given the amount of customization concerning the child, right?

Here are all of the possible results:

All combinations including the “3 Years or Under” option get this result, regardless of what other information is given:

Lego Duplo 1g

Combinations with “Over 3 Years” and a favorite color of “Red” or “Yellow” gets this result:

Lego Duplo 1h

And combinations with “Over 3 Years” and favorite colors of “Blue” or “Green” gets this result:

Lego Duplo 1i

And that’s it.  Those are all of the possible results.  I noticed that most of the toys pictured throughout the questions were not in the results (unless there’s a horse on that school bus and a bridge for the fire truck to save or something).

This seems like it could be a really cool piece of marketing – answer a few simple questions and get some cute toy ideas, but it kind of fails.  First of all, the results often didn’t even feel like they were related to the information that was input.  For example, why is the recommendation for a “soft spoken” little kid who likes yellow a bright red fire truck?  Duplo makes a pretty wide variety of toys, it seems like it should have been possible to do this kind of ad without it falling flat like this one did.   I love the idea of this ad (especially going into the holiday season), but this one just really felt disappointing.  Even if the end result was a “click here to see your results” link that took you to an appropriate page of the Duplo website with suggestions, that would be better.  That could be more customized and have more varied and actually customized results.  This just felt like someone had a good idea and then gave up before fully implementing it, and that’s disappointing.

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

Movie Monday: Bright Star

Posted by Rosepixie on October 12, 2009

This is a banner ad for Bright Star that I saw on a blog.

Bright Star 1

The box on the right half of the ad played a trailer for the movie if you clicked on it where I originally found it (this is just a screenshot of what it looked like before you clicked on it, so the trailer doesn’t work).

This movie is set in the early 1800s and tells the story of the poet Keats and the girl he fell in love with.  It is most definitely a British period piece.  The women are in Jane Austen era gowns and bonnets and there is at least one dancing scene.  Interestingly, that is not obvious at all from this ad.  In fact, Keats almost looks like he’s wearing a button-down shirt and sweater-vest.  It doesn’t necessarily look like a romantic comedy, but the image doesn’t really evoke Regency gowns and breeches either.  The book in the frozen trailer image doesn’t look like it’s necessarily historical either.  It doesn’t look like the latest Dan Brown, but it still could be a book you might see in a more modern movie (especially if one of the characters is into poetry or something, since it totally looks like it could be the frontispiece of a modern poetry collection).  The movie looks interesting, but I do wonder who decided on the almost deceptive ad campaign.  Even the tagline, “first love burns brightest”, gives nothing away.  I really could see someone seeing this image on a poster outside a theater and going in to see the movie with no idea they were going to a period piece about real people.  And maybe that was the point in the first place.

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

Amino Skin Care: Oh No! I Lost Years of My Life!

Posted by Rosepixie on October 7, 2009

This is a banner ad for Amino Skin Care and I encountered it on a news website.

AminoGenesis 1

There are two things about this ad that make me laugh.  First, the woman is exactly the same in the two pictures.  She’s just smiling in the second one, has brushed her hair and her skin color has been changed.  She doesn’t even have fewer wrinkles (she didn’t have that many in the first picture).  They look like they were taken around the same time, and if they weren’t it doesn’t exactly show me that their skin care system does anything.  Incidentally, I’d also like to point out to whatever marketing genius did this that from April to May is one month, not two.

The other thing about this one that made me laugh was the way it’s phrased.  While it may be desirable to look younger, it is not really desirable to actually lose years from your life (remember the torture device from The Princess Bride?).  So, even if I wanted to appear 13 years younger, or even be 13 years younger, I’m fairly certain that I don’t want to lose the years I’ve lived to do it.  How would you pick which years?  And would it affect everyone else?  Would your kids be 13 years younger, too?  And if not, isn’t that a little weird?  See how this quickly gets into creepy territory?  Words are important!

Posted in Beauty | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

Kingory: Game or “Adult Entertainment”?

Posted by Rosepixie on September 29, 2009

This is a banner ad for Kingory that was found on a website for shortening URLs.

Kingory 1

This ad appears to be for some kind of porn game, doesn’t it?  The line “come play me” particularly bothers me.  It’s selling the girl, not the game, and people aren’t products (no matter what the ad agency seems to believe).  Even weirder, the game (which claims to be the “most-played web game”, but is not one I’ve ever heard of, which strikes me as suspicious) is a war strategy game with what appears to be building, resource management and troop disbursement.  This game does not appear to have anything to do with sex or even women.  Now, the Evony ads are rather notorious for using breasts to sell a civilization building game, but they at least don’t say “come play me“, just “start your journey now, my lord” and “save your lover”.  This seems somehow worse to me, since it’s actively implying that you get to “play” or control a woman.  I don’t know.  It just creeped me out.  Anyone else have thoughts on this one?

Edit: Here’s another version of this ad (this one doesn’t even give the title of the game).  Best of all, this one was found in an article about racist ads (not featured in the article, but as the ad breaking up the article).

Kingory 2

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

Philips: Exercise, with Electronics?

Posted by Rosepixie on September 23, 2009

This is one of a series of banner ads that I’ve seen recently on news websites and blogs for Philips, which is an electronics manufacturer.

Philips 1Philips makes electronics, like TVs and electric razors and cordless phones and Ultrasound machines.  Not time or, as far as I can tell, really anything that has to do with exercise (they don’t have a section of treadmills or anything like that on their website).  So what this ad has to do with their company, I really don’t know.  And it’s just one of a whole series like it!  Some suggest that taking breaks at work is important.  Well, yeah, but what does that have to do with Philips?  Some just say things equivalent to “health is a good thing to have”, which seems equally weird.  Now, it’s possible this is all simply supposed to somehow cause consumers to equate Philips with health, which puts the company in a good light, but this is a weird way of trying to do that.  I mean, the ads don’t even tell you what Philips is!  I just don’t get it and mostly it made me think Philips needs to rethink their marketing as it’s largely making them look confused, which does not make me want to buy one of their products.

Posted in Electronics | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

IMVU: Dating Service?

Posted by Rosepixie on September 21, 2009

This is a banner ad for IMVU (I don’t think it stands for anything?) that was found while browsing the internet (I think it was on a news site, but I don’t remember anymore).

IMVU 1Doesn’t this look like a dating service ad made with avatars from Second Life or The Sims 2?  Even the “Meet New People” tag at the bottom screams “sleazy online dating service!”  Not to mention the girl who looks kind of like maybe she’s only wearing a bra and the couple making out like they’re in the latest teen movie.  Apparently IMVU is not a dating service, though.  It’s… well… I’m not actually sure what it is.  The website claims that it’s a “3D Avatar Chat Instant Messenger and Dress-Up Game” and I’m not sure what to make of that.  It sounds like it’s sort of a virtual world-lite.  Apparently you can make an avatar and choose a setting to be in and… I don’t know what happens after that.  You chat with other avatars that are there or you play with it like it’s a virtual paper-doll or…?  See, it’s kind of confusing.  And somehow, the idea that it’s really just a dating service with avatars never goes away.  So, while I’d like to say that this ad is probably misleading, if it is, then it’s misleading in the same way that most of their website is and they have bigger problems than one banner ad that sends the wrong message!

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

AccuQuote: My Fair Godmother?

Posted by Rosepixie on September 17, 2009

This is a banner ad that I’ve seen in all sorts of places online.  It’s for AccuQuote, which is an insurance company.

AccuQuote 1

So, the funny thing about this banner is why it caught my eye.  I noticed it because of the fairy.  I have no idea how long I’ve been seeing this ad, but I started noticing it while I was reading the book My Fair Godmother.  Check out the cover, below, and you’ll see why.


Other than the fact that the book cover fairy has pink hair while the banner ad fairy is blond, it’s the same image!  Even the house roof is the same!  This isn’t actually a good parallel for AccuQuote, either, since the fairy this represents in the book is awful at granting wishes and pretty much makes the lives of everyone she meets miserable.  Not that I was looking for life insurance anyway, but if I was, I wouldn’t buy it from a place with a fairy who messes everything up and has a chronic problem with listening as the star of their ads!

Posted in Services | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Samsung Go: Do Your Homework at the Party!

Posted by Rosepixie on September 13, 2009

This ad was found on a news website and is for Samsung Go laptops.

Samsung Netbooks 1The text reads:

You just got invited to the beach, but you need to write your English paper.

– Stay

– Go

Samsung Go

When I first saw this ad I thought it was suggesting that you could get your homework done really fast with a Samsung laptop and still make it to the party at the beach, but after looking at it again I’m pretty sure it’s suggesting you take the laptop to the party and do your homework there.  Which I’m certain is a great idea.  Given that I was confused by this ad and that what it’s suggesting is actually pretty stupid, I have to wonder what the marketer who designed this was thinking.  And the guy looks freakish and weird, like the some horrible Photoshop accident happened to him (notice how the head seems like it doesn’t belong to this particular body?).

Posted in Electronics | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »