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Welcome to I'm Not Buying That, the blog where we dissect the woeful mistakes of the advertising industry. I'm your host, CJ Garrett, and I view terrible ads so you don't have to.

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Ye olde tymes, when men were men...

I never get tired of vintage ads. They're so wonderfully inappropriate, and so easy to mock when examined from the perspective of the modern day. The ones that keep popping up again and again tend to be sexist and racist, but every once in a while you get a real gem that's directed squarely at teh menz. It's usually something the like of which would make guys who ain't completely comfortable with their sexuality just a little bit nervous.

There's more than a few of these ads knocking around, and nearly all of them give me a major case of the giggles. They're so overtly homo-erotic that I have to question whether the marketing departments of yore were actually all staffed by gay men with a great sense of humor. Oh, how they must have chuckled, as they covertly spread their deviant lifestyles through the use of common imagery! Someday I'd love to meet a few of them and buy them drinks as a small thank-you for services rendered unto all mankind. (If they exist, that is, and not only in my overactive imagination.)

Today's vintage fail comes courtesy of Creative Advertising.


That guy on the far right looks like he's having the best time EVER, like he's in a L'Oreal commercial or something. And that tagline, hur hur hur. It just makes me laugh, every time.

The reason that I'm calling this a fail, however, is because I honestly cannot work out who it's supposed to be selling to. It suggests that this is a group of... okay, I'm going to say friends, and thus avoid the implications of what may be going on there, and they've pooled their money to get a group shower. Which is then installed where, may I ask? Do they all go over to one guy's house to clean themselves? Is it installed inside or outside? The other alternative is that they're living together and decided to get a shower where they can all be naked at the same time rather than taking turns, like, y'know, regular heterosexual dudes, and that begs the question of just how big their bathroom is. I'm not sure when exactly this ad was created - I guess the '50s, maybe? - but this still seems very suspicious, and I think it supports my theory of the ad agencies back then being staffed with gay comedians-in-training.

Here's another one from the Copyranter:

I mean, look at that! There's three guys openly staring at the ass of the guy in the shower! Check out how close their feet are, too - the guy with the towel over his shoulder, with the guy leaning over in front of him?! THAT IS NOT A FUCKING ACCIDENT. Or, well, maybe it is a fucking accident, ho ho ho, I made a double-entendre.

I love the Copyranter's take on it. "And what's with the guy in the left stall with his hands behind his behind? Modest? Or receiving oral?" That question may never be answered, dear readers. I shall leave it up to you to decide.

Here's a book on vintage art. I suspect it doesn't have examples like the ones above, but we can still hope.

CJ, over and out
Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Rule #1: Don't advertise other companies

What exactly is it with companies using other companies' logos or styles in their advertising? One would think that this would open up a shitstorm the like of which men were not meant to know, especially if the logo of someone with the cash to keep a team of trained attack lawyers on staff were appropriated.

It's a gray area, is what I'm saying here. Yeah, fair use and all that, and I'm sure you're willing to test that in court no matter the expense, right? Right. Other more sane people are already mocking you for being dangerously stupid.

Anyway, let me get to the point. DirecTV is some cable service that is likely to go the way of the dodo when people realize that the Internet can supply all the entertainment they'll ever need for free. I neither know or care about the particulars of what they do, but I was pointed at one of their adverts from the ever-popular Ads of the World. Take a look at this lovely graphic:


The tagline down at the bottom reads 'Set your DVR over the Internet. Anytime. Anywhere.' I don't get the misspelling of Google's name. If the other ads in the series are anything to go by, it's related to the name of a movie or something, but damned if I can work out which one.

Using Google's logo is probably not the smartest idea ever. Not that I think the Overlord of Search Engines is all that bothered by some cable company ripping off their look; it's the fact that it's kinda tacky to start with. I mean, this is the best they could come up with to advertise their new service? Somebody in marketing has been phoning it in, methinks. It doesn't really make any sense, even in context - the first impression is that it's actually an advert for Google itself, with an extra 'e' added on for reasons unknown.

(Let's leave aside the obvious fact that anyone smart enough to be able to set their DVR over the net probably knows what BitTorrent is, and therefore can get their hands on a sizable chunk of TV shows without having to do anything so crass as wait for them to be shown on some TV channel. Wrong demographic, perhaps?)

It's weird, but this shit isn't exactly rare. I just posted about a radio company ad that rips off Facebook, after all. The mind, it boggles...

Today I learned that Amazon sells DirecTV receivers. Isn't that awesome? Now I can get some soon-to-be-irrelevant technology shipped right to my door!

CJ, over and out
Monday, May 23, 2011

Beer, Beer, Beer, RED TRUCK BEER

I'm more of a vodka man myself, but with the absence of quality vodka in many areas of the world, I sometimes have to take what I can get. Trust me, when you've been dealing with marketing sheep all week while sober, the only thing you want on Friday night is to get blind drunk on the nearest alcoholic beverage to hand, even if said beverage tastes like fermented mouthwash.

Now, beer is something of a hit or miss thing for me (I've never met a vodka I didn't like, however - make of that what you will). Some beers I would drink all day long, pass out happily with a smile on my face, and accept the hangover as a natural karmic consequence of having imbibed such ambrosia. Some other beers I despise with a deep and unholy passion, and nothing on earth can make me put them in my mouth willingly. Red Truck Beer falls in the middle of these two extremes, I think - I'll drink it, true, but I'll be thinking about vodka. Or a nice appletini.

Today's fail comes courtesy of the big red truck - behold!


Now, I saw this and immediately thought, 'How do you drink a truck?' Obviously their clever marketing ploy failed on me, and for that I should feel bad. As I kept looking at it, it dawned on me that the font wasn't exactly easy to read, and if you were in a hurry, you could mistake that 'tr' there for an 'f'.

At that point, I became very conflicted - this is either a fail of epic proportions, or it's the kind of subversive adult advertising that makes me giggle far too much. The purist in me wants to lean towards fail territory if only because that goddamn font is not working - yes, I know it's in character or some shit, but that's no excuse for ignoring basic readability. The internet troll in me wants to call it a win because HERP DERP FUCK LOL.

Hmm. It's a conundrum.

One other thing that made me suspect some kind of shenanigans is the fact that the tagline on the Red Truck Beer site is actually 'The Freshest Beer on Four Wheels'. Same silly font and everything. Did someone notice and change it to avoid possible internet mockery? Well TOO LATE, assholes! To paraphrase Reddit, 4Chan, and others... I SEE WAT U DID THAR.

Alright, alright, sorry. I'll go back to drinking vodka. This stuff clearly isn't having a good effect on me. Here's the red truck I wish I could afford.

CJ, over and out
Friday, May 13, 2011

And yet, I can't look away.

I'm an open-minded kind of guy. I think you have to be, in order to work in marketing and advertising. Well - no, let me qualify that a bit: you need to be open-minded in order to work in the industry successfully, because trying to think up new ways to sell to people means you need to empathize with them on some level. I guess that's why a lot of creative type people are liberal.

It makes sense in my head. I think.

Anyway, on the topic of being open-minded - I am aware that there are such things as furries, and I am also aware of... stuff... that goes on in that particular fandom as a result of one unfortunate afternoon when my curiosity, and Google Image search, got the better of me. Despite the ensuing mental trauma, I am largely okay with them doing what they do, but I never thought I'd see the day that such things would cross over into my area of expertise.

Brace yourself, and only press play if you're really, really sure you want to see softcore porn.


Now, there were a few things that jumped out at me, but top of the list was HOLY BOOB JIGGLE BATMAN! Then I just started to count the number of overt references to hentai and sex fetishes. And then I saw the octopus.

After that, my brain just went 'Fuck this' and left the building.

As far as I can tell, this is an actual advert made by an actual ad company with actual money, paid (presumably) by Orangina to help promote their drink. I have to ask if they knew what they were getting, or if they were aware of all the connotations surrounding the sexual objectification of anthropomorphic animals. I suspect, though I'm not sure, that someone was aware, and they went with it anyway for shits and giggles.

But that's not all. There was an entire ad campaign surrounding this, remember. Here's one of the pictures from it, courtesy of some website:


GAAAAH I'm reliving Day of the Triffids! MY EYES, THEY CANNOT UNSEE!

On one hand, I want to call this a fully fledged train wreck the like of which marketers have nightmares about, but on the other hand... I can't look away. I guess you can call it successful in that it got people's attention, even if those people were alternatively wincing or shuddering in disgust. Maybe they're aiming at the furry demographic... do furries drink a lot of Orangina? I have to wonder.

I find this kind of thing problematic anyway. It's another example of the brain dead 'sex sells' mentality that pisses me off. I mean, the whole concept of the campaign is how Orangina is naturally juicy, or whatever - couldn't they have done that without the addition of porn? If the production values are anything to go by, they had the money to spare.

It might not be so bad, except I know that some poor animator had to produce this advert, and unless they're a furry, they probably wanted to gouge out their brain with a spoon afterwards. Whoever you are, I salute you, sir. You're a braver man than I.

I'm gonna go rewatch this now.

CJ, over and out

Never eating sausages again

I'm not all that picky about what I eat, if I'm being honest here - and on INBT, I'm nothing but 100% honest. Really. No bullshit, hyperbole or anything. Everything I say is the absolute truth, especially that thing about being hunted by the soda goons for figuring out Pepsi's evil master plan.

I don't drink Pepsi, by the way. I do like sausages, though - or at least I did, until I saw this particular gem of an advert. Behold its wince-inducing glory, courtesy of MomGrind:


I've been meaning to write about this one for a while, but I got distracted by some other vintage ads. Don't ask me what any of that crap means - I can speak Sindarin, and I can insult someone's mother in Chinese, but I never learned French. (That is French, right?) I just can't get over the image, though - it just... defies gravity, and physics, and I dunno, common fucking sense when you think about it. It's a pig. And he's dismembering himself with a smile. And his internal anatomy apparently makes no sense whatsoever, being composed of red mush with assorted blue bits.

I can't help but get the idea that it's some kind of cadaver being posed for our horrific amusement, and those blue bits are actually the steel bars that are stopping it from collapsing into a heap of HOLY SHIT I'M SCARING MYSELF. Right. No more of that. Back to happy fun times.

Oh yeah, I'm creeped out now. Damn my overactive imagination! Here's the book I will be reading tonight to help rid my mind of those particular mental images.

CJ, over and out
Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Osama bin Laden Ads: It had to happen eventually

Yeah, yeah - two posts in as many days; you feeling alright there, CJ? What's with this new-found work ethic?

I don't usually post about good ads. This is a given, seeing as this blog is all about shitty advertising. It's not really on topic to point out ads that are really good. I'm largely okay with that, seeing as good ads are about as rare as fucking unicorns.

Today, I have to break with tradition and highlight an ad that I personally think is one of the best you're likely to see. Courtesy of my comrade-in-arms, the Copyranter...


You'd better just click on it to get the full effect. You might not actually get it straight away, but look at it a while and it'll probably jump out at you. I'll just wait here until you're ready.

.....


..........



See?! That's an emotional punch in the gut right there! It's shockingly simple, clever, and powerful all at once. The agency is MSTF Partners in Portugal, and this was made for a Portuguese paper called the Expresso. They deserve a fucking medal for this one.

(If you still don't get it, those are the birth and death dates of those killed in the Twin Towers bombing, and the last date is, obviously enough, the birth and death of the dude on the top left.)

Thing is, I've been expecting a lot of shitty advertising to pop up after the death of Mr Beardy up there, with companies trying to cash in on the wave of 'AMERICA, FUCK YEAH!' I got kinda blindsided by this one if only because it's appropriate and tasteful while still referring to two very touchy events, i.e. 9/11 and bin Laden's death. It works on a few different levels and across multiple languages, which is really not easy. There's not really much more I can say about it, except that it's one of the finer examples of my industry and I'd like to salute the guys that did it.

Anyhoo... tomorrow I'll be back to my usual vodka-fueled snarkiness. In honor of Expresso, and the fine job their advert agency is doing, here's a coffee maker.

CJ, over and out
Monday, May 9, 2011

Facebook, what? This is advertising?

You know, some days I feel like I should be an advertising consultant. Now, I know what you're thinking - that would mean selling my eternal soul to the Devil and killing at least three puppies - it seems extreme, but hear me out.

Those guys make buckets of money. Like, enough money to swim in, Scrooge McDuck style. (If you don't get that reference, you are too fucking young and I hate you.) They also get away with the most ridiculous shit you've ever seen, the kind of stuff that makes me think they've been making bets as to who can get the most ridiculous shit into print and still get paid for it. This appeals to my sense of dramatic lunacy, in a twisted kind of way.

Case in point: this ad, courtesy of Ads of the World again.


For once the miscreants who inhabit Ads of the World and myself agree: this is pretty shitty, as adverts go, hence my theory that someone pitched it as a bet and the powers that be didn't spot the fact that it's shit. It looks like an ad for Facebook, right? It's not - as far as I can tell, it's supposed to be for a radio station.

I think, and don't hold me to this, that it's got something to do with singers having a conversation using lines from their songs. And the little tagline there is just saying hey, it could happen. I guess it's clever, or something, but I'm still scratching my head and wondering how this connects to anything the radio station might do. It's not hugely effective either, not with all that white space, anyway. I bet lotsa moneys were paid for it though. IT LOOKS LIKE FACEBOOK THAT MEANS IT'S TOPICAL WOOO.

Yeah... I don't get it. Here's a book on radio stations with a flashy cover instead.

CJ, over and out

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