an Ad a Day

A look at the marketing that surrounds us.

Posts Tagged ‘drugs’

Friskies: Giving Cats Hallucinations

Posted by Rosepixie on June 20, 2010

This is a current commercial for Friskies cat food.  My husband and I saw it while watching a television show on Hulu and were both so baffled by it that we had to pause the show and go find the ad on YouTube and watch it again to see if we’d imagined how bizarre it was.  We hadn’t.

Now that I’ve seen this ad a few times, I realize that it’s actually even stranger than I realized on that first viewing.  I have no idea what the people at Friskies were thinking when they made this ad because this seriously seems to tell viewers that Friskies pet food is laced with LSD or some similar hallucinatory drug.  If I had a cat who ate Friskies, I’d switch brands immediately.

The thing is, I’m pretty sure Friskies isn’t laced with LSD (or even with Cat Nip).  It may not be the very best cat food out there, but I don’t think it’s the equivalent of feeding your cat street drugs either.

Still, the commercial shows one seriously messed up cat trip.  It may look all cute, but think about this for a minute.  What’s wrong with that cat?  It’s in a happy fun world filled with it’s favorite food that are all just begging to be stalked and killed – frolicking cat-sized turkeys, ambling cat-size veal on four legs, dancing fish and chickens practically laying themselves out at the cat’s feet.  But what does the cat do?  I would have expected it to chase and probably eat the animals (they’re food, right?).  That’s not what it does.  It lazily strolls among them, almost like they’re it’s friends.  It’s eerie.  Cats don’t do that with prey.  That’s not a cat who realizes it’s in kitty paradise – it’s a cat who’s so strung out that it no longer realizes there are tasty meals dancing around it just begging to be pounced on.  That is not a healthy cat.

Friskies may have been trying to show a happy, wonderful human version of a happy cat, but anyone who actually has a cat will tell you that a real cat wouldn’t be happy like that.  A real cat would go crazy in such a fantasy world where they couldn’t chase the prey that’s everywhere.  And that’s why I have to stick with my original thought that I’d switch brands to something other than Friskies after seeing this, because Friskies clearly doesn’t know cats.

Besides, on the off chance the food is laced with LSD, I’d rather be safe than sorry.


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5-Hour Energy: Studying?

Posted by Rosepixie on April 10, 2010

Sometimes companies buy ad space that lets them cover up the actual covers of magazines.  Sometimes they make it obvious that the wrapper isn’t the real cover, and sometimes they don’t, because if you can convince someone that their favorite magazine is shilling your product in one of their featured articles, you win, right?

This recent example of this kind of deceptive cover ad is from a recent issue of Maxim and is for the drug 5-Hour Energy.  Here’s what the readers of the magazine saw on the cover:

The page after it was the actual cover. The backside of this fake cover continued the ad:

The product didn’t have any other ads in the issue and, unsurprisingly, no articles were about it (I have no idea if it was mentioned in passing anywhere, but it’s remotely possible, regardless, it wasn’t featured anywhere prominently).

While the cover generally mimics Maxim covers (sexy girl, little else of note), it’s actually not really very much like actual Maxim covers.  For one thing, Maxim cover girls are rarely wearing that much clothing (and when they are, it’s not all properly buttoned up like that).  They wear trashy lingerie and have poses to match most of the time.  And backgrounds of any kind are rare indeed (why distract from the sexy girl?).

All that said, the ad is surprisingly coherent.  It sticks to it’s school theme well.

Still, it’s deceptive, which doesn’t seem like a great move for a product that feels more than a little shady to begin with.  This probably wasn’t the best choice.  The target audience they were trying to reach is likely to be more interested in the girl (and even more interested in the less clothed girl on the real cover on the next page) than bothering to read the information or remember the product.  I don’t like this ad very much, even beyond the sexy girl or the venue it’s trying to mimic.  I think the choice to try and deceive the reader was a poor one and the ad itself isn’t that compelling.

What do you think?  Are deceptive ads like this a good idea?  Does this one work?

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