Sunday, September 05, 2010

Miscellany: Annoying but Awesome Advocacy Ads

The hip buzzword in advertising nowadays is "earned media" - positive third-party coverage from news sources about a particularly noteworthy product promotion, video release, or social media campaign. One good example is Gillette's spot featuring tennis demigod Roger Federer knocking a bottle off of someone's head. The trick shot got tons of coverage in mainstream sports outlets like ESPN and Sports Illustrated, all while garnering good publicity for Gillette in the process:



As a result of the success of earned media, ad companies are getting more and more outlandish. Take this anti-smoking ad series from the folks at "Truth" and MTV:



I'm not a fan of the preachy "Truth" ads (smoking is bad for you - yeah, thanks, learned it in second grade), but this riff on MTV's "Real World" show is funny and spot-on; who doesn't want to see whiny reality twentysomethings get ripped limb from limb? It's also likely to get some ink in Variety or Entertainment or wherever the heck people talk about MTV shows.

Here's another one, clearly designed for the Web, from the NRA's new "Trigger the Vote" campaign. The NRA has long been the biggest compromiser in the gun rights front (their policy of remaining "nonpartisan" leads to some questionable endorsements), and this ad hews to that mushy, condescending middleground between Zumbo "terrorist rifles" and the gun rights blogosphere. Still, the ad's got Chuck Norris and the term "blue-gar":

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