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Hardees, Carls Jr, like you mean it

TRUTH IN ADVERTISING DEPT.-- Critics of the latest Hardees & Carls Jr ad campaign don't think the supermodel actually means to eat that egg & bacon cheeseburger, sandwiched between buns of mortarboard. Obviously she's neither eating that burger, nor blowing it. But don't underestimate her acting skill, or the porn food purveyor's poisonous intent. This is truth in advertising, and that's the money shot because Hardees knows their customer.

Facebook advertisers can repost “likes” in your name so you don’t have to

Users of Facebook are accustomed to seeing friends listed in right-column ads, mentioned liking such-and-such a brand, or two or three. It's understood that those friends at some point visited the brand's page and clicked "like", permitting that company, Amazon for example, to pay Facebook to advertise the "like" as frequently as it wishes. It's also understood that when one "likes" a page, a post is simultaneously shared to herald the act and appears on the user's wall unless that feature is turned off. What you may not know is that your initial timeline post can be reposted, in the center-thread, at the advertiser's whim, perhaps limited to when you're online, perhaps triggered when you log on, but not logged on your wall and thus unseen by you. Does it also boost the number of people pretended to be "talking about" that brand? Are 372,523 talking about Starbucks? That could include "you", repeating yourself ad-maybe-nauseum. 35593

Any surprise that China, McDonalds and ad world would be averse to sunshine?

Advertizing creatives Doug Nichol and John Benet made a wonderful behind-the-scenes "making-of" as they filmed two commercial spots for McDonalds China, and neither their client nor their employers are pleased. The title SUNSHINE works on several levels and hopefully this will be the social engineering industry bridge-burner to jailbreak their every[ad]man inner artist.

Betty White’s muffin on the boob tube

Which came first: the Snickers ad, the Facebook group, or SNL's crowdsourced mandate to fete American sitcom icon Betty White? To me this blonde's netroots smack of a publicist's hand, and White's performance Saturday night all but validated SNL's reluctance until now to spotlight the octogenarian's one note routine. The SNL tribute could laud only her age, raising the specter that a proverbial domestic bread might have been named for her. 16663

Obesity is office equilibrium state

TRUTH IN ADVERTISING- Jimmy Dean urges its office Solar System to Fight the Morning Fade with fatty pork product. No sign of Pluto, only rotund planetary bodies floating high on chemical flatulence. The spheres are not size-proportional, but their shapes correspond exactly to bodies stuffed with an everyday Breakfast Sandwich. Truth in Advertising? Jimmy Dean isn't targeting breakfast, their Morning Fade is the Snickers pitch, marketing a non-nutritional fix for the predictable post crap-breakfast crash.

sweet lies of high fructose corn syrup

I'm sure you've seen the Sweet Surprise commercials. There are several to target different consumer groups, but all involve a person #1 expressing hesitation at the offer of a high fructose corn syrup-laden "treat" and a smug HFCS-pusher asking sneeringly, "Oh yeah? Well, what's so bad about HFCS?" 8368

Progressive Insurance clown makeup

My favorite TV commercial has to be the Dr Pepper candy aisle parade, but next best is Progressive Insurance's painted lady Flo. The unselfconscious checkout geek is simply a brilliant solution to a daunting PR challenge. Who does not despise their insurance company? We hate their greed and eagerness to invade our privacy, in the person of the operator trying to glean more information than you want to tell, to the adjuster intent on paying out as little as possible. How then does an ad campaign portray an insurance spokesperson who is likeable and still believable? 6549

Multitasking inefficiently, but fast!

Yo AT&T Fast Dude. With your AT&T Blackberry 3G cell phone, you "can surf the internet fast, download attachments fast, and send them to colleagues fast."   Okayyy... And while you're thumb sprinting in 3G, a tortoise could email his colleagues with the direct link to the file, and do it even on a 300 baud modem. Faster?

Halls: a pep talk in every cough drop

It's a TV commercial to define our time! The new HALLS ad pictures an obese multiracial menial worker restocking a Wal-mart frozen food aisle. And she's in ill health, and her only recourse for medical care is a piece of hard candy. But forget soothing medicinal relief, these days the "Halls of Medicine" promises a "pep talk in every drop." In this TV spot, the encouragement comes from a drill sergeant with the bedside manner of a Post-911 blimp-neck who addresses her as "Shorty." He yells into his squat patient/plebe's face, who by her welcome response must also be a military reservist, urging, and I'll paraphrase, to repress her symptoms and put on her "war face." It may as well be a health insurance company pep talk repartee: suck it up.

Shell Oil’s Green shell game

Shell Oil claims to be Green, Green, Green! Corporate Green is more like it though, yet that did not stop the oil company from running advertisements in recent years that included a picture of an oil refinery, with chimneys producing flowers and a headline that read "Don't throw anything away -- there is no away". 6091

Red Bull is dangerous

RED BULL contains: caffeine, ginseng and guarana (all legal stimulants) sugars, artificial sweeteners, taurine (an amino acid said to lower blood pressure).   RED BULL promises: increased energy, better concentration, sharper cognitive performance, greater endurance, higher metabolism, faster reaction time.   RED BULL delivers: increased heart rate, heightened blood pressure, anxiety, jitters, hyperactivity, insomnia, hypoglycemia, dehydration. 5741

The Barack Plan to re-brand and re-market US occupation of Iraq

Obama Doesn't Plan to End the Iraq Occupation There in the title to his commentary, Jeremy Scahill puts it quite simple for people to understand. Of course, there are plenty of people who simply do not want to understand The Barack Plan at all, because those people invested a lot of themselves in justifying their vote for Barack Obama. They prefer to be pretend 'counsellors' for the President instead of actually admitting what his true plan for Iraq actually is, a re-marketing of the occupation of that country to the American people. 5698

Bigger gun nuts taking aim at Obama

Just what is the NRA hoping to convey with this ad? Does this depict a typical gun enthusiast? It sure resembles a Cracker out of Deliverance, armed to the teeth, looking to hunt someone down.   I read: PWT with HPR on ATV waiting for MLK. 5304

Regulation, testing, law, and deception

In America we are seeing a convergence of the meltdown of all capitalist for-profit driven systems breaking down all at once, whether it be the Financial System, the Health System, the Legal System, or the Educational System. At the heart of the problem is that regulations, testing, and law have been turned into their total opposites by the American Business Community, as they search out profits with an unparalleled, in the history of Humankind, greed and avarice. 4874

Thank you Mr. President for all you do

Isn't it vaguely jarring when someone is asked publicly what would be their fondest wish, and they don't say "world peace?" I feel that way about athletes and celebrities in these times of great conflict. They could say Impeach Bush, Stop Torture, the Media Is Lying, or at the very least, the Emperor Has No Clothes! Instead they feed the media narrative fretting about their quest for a medal, about which we know already. 4325

An obsession with the boyish figure

Was this magazine ad for Calvin Klein's OBSESSION FOR MEN controversial because it featured an underage Kate Moss disrobed, or because it winked at the greater fashion culture fixation masquerading as the androgynous waif look: the sexualized, pure, although suggestively available, almost shapeless, pretty, prepubescent boy?

Mental detox

The idea is simple: take your TV, your DVD player, your video iPod, your Wii, your laptop, your PSP, and say goodbye to them all for seven days. Simple, but not at all easy. Like millions of others before you, youíll be shocked at just how difficult -- yet also how life-changing -- a week spent unplugged can really be.   This post is a clear violation, I know.

The Decembrists & The Bagman’s Gambit

I ran across an atrocious attempt to do Godard, post-Weekend. It was a David Spade infomercial for the pitiful AXE campaign, parading as an indie contest to make The Dirtiest Film in the World. Spade played a Salvador Dali impressario with the contrived posture of a Tanqueray ad. 2999

Putting lipstick on a big fat pig

Brazenly pandering to a large local Asian population and hoping to attract members of a nearby Buddhist temple, a California McDonald's has gone feng shui. The restaurantís owners say the designs are aimed at creating a soothing setting that will encourage diners to linger over their burgers and fries and, of course, come back again and again. 2776

Shieldher for her own good

I had to elaborate on Tony's clever post about the fun-in-the-stun state of Arizona. I am shocked at the idea of personal tasers becoming as ubiquitous as Tupperware!   Did you ever carry pepper spray, or Mace as it was known when I was in college? It was pitched to women as a sure-fire way to stop a predator in his tracks. Just spray it in an assailant's eyes and he'll stumble around yelling "Ah, my eyes! my eyes!" long enough for his prey to flee. 2412

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