Blog Archives

Best Name Ever

Need a pick-me-up but not in the mood to deal with any bullshit? Then here’s the coffee shop for you! (Huffpost UK)

The Dark Side

Imperial Dark - The Chive

In this case, the “force” you feel is impending urination (The Chive)

 

Pick-Me-UPS

Carson is the cutest delivery guy around! (UPS)

I am a sucker for good, heartwarming advertising—especially during the holidays. Anything that can save me from “he went to Jared” or “every kiss begins with Kay” is great in my book. Unfortunately, I am unable to embed video on my blog, but that doesn’t mean I can’t link to one.

Need something to make you smile during this stressful holiday season? Then check out this COMMERCIAL from the people at UPS. It’ll warm your heart faster than a stiff egg nog or hot toddy, I assure you.

Merry Christmas!

Worst. Commercial. Ever.

It just doesn’t get any worse than this guy (East Hills Mall)

Normally, I don’t post about YouTube videos since I can’t embed them on my blog. The ability to do that costs extra and, sadly, I don’t make enough money to afford such frivolous expenditures.

However, I sometimes run across videos I would be remiss not to share, like this one from East Hills Mall in St. Joseph, Missouri. This 30-second television commercial features a range of people who simply cannot sing. My personal favorite is a guy who repeats the catchy phrase “boots and pants.”

Check it out by going HERE… and prepare to laugh until your sides hurt!

Stop Faking It

He fouled me! He fouled me! (Real Madrid)

I love truth in advertising, especially when humor is involved. So when I ran across this commercial from Durex, an international condom manufacturer, it tickled me so much I felt obligated to share it.

The commercial plays off World Cup soccer and all the flopping on the ground players do to try to draw penalties against their opponents. Regardless of how minor the contact is, some players act as if they’ve been mortally wounded—and some of them should win Academy Awards for their melodramatic performances, believe me.

Durex uses this faking to encourage people not to fake it in another place: the bedroom. It’s a hilarious approach to selling condoms and, honestly, I might just pick up a Durex product the next time I need one… provided that day ever comes (no pun intended).

Sorry I can’t embed the video on my blog, but if you go HERE, then you should find it. And I hope you enjoy and appreciate it as much as I did!

Getting Personal

Honestly, I would likely react the same way! (Reddit)

Honestly, I would likely react the same way! (Reddit)

Yesterday, the Huffington Post shared a 1973 personal ad placed by a Reddit user’s father that resurfaced recently.

At first glance, it may seem like a husband begging his estranged wife to return home, but the last line puts the entire ad into perspective.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Advertising for Murder

Craigslist is for killers (Craigslist)

Craigslist is for killers (Craigslist)

Newlyweds are known for a lot of things: sickeningly public displays of affection, rabbit-like sexual escapades, “goo goo” eyes and a host of others. In the case of Pennsylvania’s Elytte and Miranda Barbour, though—who were married in North Carolina on October 22nd—an additional feature can be added: murder.

The pair left North Carolina for Sunbury, Pennsylvania, a small city roughly 100 miles northwest of Philadelphia. To make ends meet, Miranda would often use Craigslist to attract men in need of companionship—men who were willing to pay for it. According to Elytte, she would use the site to meet “unhappy men” and would charge as much as $850 for what he called “delightful conversation.”

It would have to be extremely delightful at that price, but I digress.

On November 11th, Miranda met one of her Craigslist “companions” at a local mall: 42-year-old Troy LaFerrara, a married man. She lured LaFerrara into her red Honda CR-V and started to drive towards Sunbury, pulling over a short time later in a discreet location. LaFerrara began to touch Miranda—never knowing that Elytte was hiding under a blanket in the back seat—so he didn’t see her pull a knife from between the seats. As she stabbed him repeatedly, Elytte tied a cable cord around his neck so he couldn’t move. LaFerrara fought at first, but there was nothing he could do.

The killers: Elytte and Miranda Barbour (FOX 43 News)

The killers: Elytte and Miranda Barbour (FOX 43 News)

Miranda later told police that as she and Elytte drove around to find a good dumping spot for his body, LaFerrara was “choking and gasping for air,” but his breathing soon stopped. He was dead.

The Barbours continued to drive around and eventually found a garage behind a house in Sunbury to dump LaFerrara’s body. The owner of the home—Brittany Settler—discovered the gruesome delivery the next morning.

“I was making myself a cup of coffee and when I opened the fridge to get the creamer out, I looked and was like, ‘What is that?’” Settler investigated, found the body—LaFerrara’s face was purple and there was blood everywhere—and immediately called the police. They arrived and discovered that LaFerrara had been strangled and stabbed more than twenty times. Police also discovered his cell phone and the last number he dialed eventually led them to the Barbours.

After dumping the body, the Barbours went on a Walmart shopping spree for cleaning products to use on the bloody SUV. Then they went to a strip club to celebrate Elytte’s 22nd birthday. Apparently, murdering LaFerrara was his birthday gift.

Fortunately for everyone—especially the residents of Sunbury, an otherwise peaceful city that averages one murder every few years—the Barbours were picked up by police and confessed to their crime. In fact, they told the authorities that they wanted to kill someone together—they had apparently tried before, only to have their plans fail at the last second. LaFerrara was the one that “worked out,” but anyone who answered the advertisement likely would have met the same fate.

The victim: Troy LaFerrara (The Daily Item)

The victim: Troy LaFerrara (The Daily Item)

If people want to kill, they’ll kill, after all. It is only a matter of time.

The Barbours are currently behind bars and face a host of charges, including criminal homicide. They have been denied bail and will have their first days in court later this month. Of course, all of this leaves me with one nagging question that perhaps one of you can answer for me.

Given all the violence and death that seems to be connected to it, why in the hell would anyone use Craigslist?

Greatest Hits: Truth in Advertising

Originally posted on August 3, 2012. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Don Draper and the gang on “Mad Men” may be all the rage right now, but I’ve been a fan of advertising since a very, very young age. My interest only intensified as the years flew by and I also became a pop culture junkie (in junior high school) and an English major (in college).

And I never looked back.

These days, I often find myself looking for old gas station signs as I drive down country roads, admiring the finds on the History Channel hit “American Pickers,” and yes, surfing the internet for interesting ads and marketing campaigns, both past and present. The tackier or edgier something is, the more I love it. Kitsch is cool, and there is plenty of stuff floating around cyberspace to keep me busy.

To me, the most fascinating thing about advertising is the way it helps to record human history. We are consumers, so what better way to trace our modern evolution than to look at the way products and services are marketed to us? People work hard for their money and they want to spend it on things they need, like or simply desire. Face it, we’re capitalists—here in America, at least—and advertising, whether we admit it or not, shows us exactly what we can do to improve and enrich our lives. “Buy this and you will be happy,” they call to us. “It’s the American way.”

One thing that amazes me is the way advertising has changed since the days of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. Some older ads now seem shocking and even irresponsible, like these from 7-up and the Soda Pop Board of America.

Can you imagine starting your kids on soft drinks when they’re babies? I mean, my sister was in the Peace Corps in a certain South American country and witnessed mothers feeding their children red soda pop regularly, but this was in a remote, jungle region and the people were incredibly poor. You certainly wouldn’t expect this to happen as often in the USA, but who knows since advertisers obviously targeted the little ones.

And how about this advertisement for Sisley Fashions?

Models trying to snort a fancy dress. What will they think of next?

I do have a problem with misleading or misguided advertising. Consider this ad from the 1960s that is both sexual and, in my opinion, degrading to women.

That’s right. Nothing says “I love you, baby” like some cigar smoke blown in your face. Of course, this more contemporary print ad for Burger King isn’t much better.

It looks like she’s about to get seven inches of meaty pleasure, and all for the low, low price of $6.25. Of course, I feel really sorry for the smaller, more average-sized sandwiches.

What I want to see is more truth in advertising. Don’t show me a woman showering and nearing orgasm simply because her shampoo smells so terrific. Or a guy pumping on some body spray and immediately being ravaged by beautiful women. There’s no truth in that and, if there is, then I’m definitely buying the wrong products.

I suppose the consequence of truth in advertising would be extreme truth or worse. Check out this ad I found recently.

This isn’t something I particularly mind—as inappropriate as it may seem—but I’m sure it would offend the American public at large. That is if they aren’t too busy either supporting or boycotting Chick-fil-A to notice.

I guess what I want is for advertisers to be straight with us. And it wouldn’t hurt if some of the truth they offered seeped into other aspects of American life, either. For instance, I worked in food service for roughly 15 years and oftentimes would have liked to display this closing sign.

This kind of image could increase awareness among our tattooed brethren.

New markets would open up for all sorts of products.

Everyday decisions might be easier to make.

Eating out could include more of an educational component.

And even someone’s ultimate demise might be tinged with dark humor.

Of course, there might be some disadvantages to all this truth, too. Businesses could potentially bite themselves in the “you-know-what.”

Children’s heroes might fall from grace.

Tourism could suffer.

And the “normal” activities of small-town America—like yard sales—might take a far-too-revealing turn.

So I’m not really sure what the answer is. People always criticize advertising for misrepresenting products and I’ve even heard accusations of advertisers lying to consumers. While this may be true in some cases, I ask you this:

Can we really handle the truth?

Buzz about Butt Billboards

This just cracks me up! (courtesy of KARE-11 TV)

I have always been a firm believer in truth in advertising, as some of my previous posts illustrate. However, some of the most creative advertising I have seen recently comes from a rather unlikely source: the Minnesota Department of Health.

In an effort to draw more attention to and increase awareness about colon health—as well as colon cancer—the MDH has posted some eye-catching billboards around the Twin Cities area. And residents can’t help but take notice.

Who wouldn’t notice an oversize plumber’s crack staring them in the face during their morning commute?

Some have questioned this new advertising strategy and a few have even deemed it offensive, but I disagree. According to recent statistics, more than 2,000 Minnesotans will receive a diagnosis of colon cancer and as many as 600-700 of them could eventually die from it, so this is an important issue.

Bend over for your health (courtesy of KARE-11 TV)

“We want people to be talking about this,” said MDH official and educator Laura Friedenberg. “It can be an awkward thing to talk about, but hopefully they will see these and get screened.”

They refers to anyone over 50 years of age, the starting point for regular colon check-ups. And yes, check-up actually means colonoscopy, a procedure most of us dread. At least I hope most of us dread it. I shudder to think there might be people out there who actually enjoy a deep anal probe, but to each his own (or her own, for that matter).

Kudos to the MDH for doing what is necessary to inform the public in a creative and memorable way. And I hope this innovative and edgy campaign actually yields positive results.

After all, when it comes to colon health, none of us can afford to get BEHIND.

A Woman Scorned

Here’s a funny story from my neck of the woods: Greensboro, North Carolina.

A billboard on Battleground Avenue has been catching the eye of everyone who passes by it. The advertising space was supposedly rented by a woman named Jennifer, who used it to “call out” her cheating husband Michael.

Check it out.

Truth in advertising can sting sometimes (courtesy of WNCN)

As you can see, the bottom of the billboard contains a direct reference to Michael’s alleged lover, Jessica. And whether she likes it or not, it looks like she may have a roommate soon, at least if Jennifer has her way.

I can’t help but think of that famous phrase, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.”

It appears that Michael is learning this the hard way. The hard and very public way.

Take note, Jessica. Based on Michael’s treatment of his wife, it seems the next billboard may be yours to rent!

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