mADwoman advertising

January 29, 2010

Powerful, positive, brilliant spot — about using your seatbelt

Filed under: advertising,Uncategorized — Laurie Morrow, Ph.D. @ 8:20 pm
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A beautiful, brilliant spot for Sussex Safer Roads, on wearing a seatbelt.  This is not the same tired guts-and-gore message.  Far more powerful.  Wonderful creative work in every respect.  If this were a
movie, it would win Best Picture.

I’ll never look at a seatbelt the same way again.

Thanks to


January 25, 2010

Funny British Ad for Hula Hoops Candy

Filed under: advertising,Food,Uncategorized — Laurie Morrow, Ph.D. @ 11:25 pm

Funny British Ad, for Hula Hoops Candy.

January 17, 2010

FBI Turns Spanish Politician into “Older” Osama, via Digital Imaging

Filed under: Politics,Uncategorized — Laurie Morrow, Ph.D. @ 3:00 pm
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Perhaps your day hasn’t gone so well:  the dog woke you up two hours early, to alert you to the presence of a robin on the lawn.  You’ve been drafted into the army of the “Downsized.”  Your daughter switched her major from Computer Science to Fine Art.

But no matter how bad a day you’re having, chances are that Gaspar Llamazares is having a worse one.  A politician in Spain, Llamazares awoke one morning to find that the FBI had used his photo to illustrate what an “older”  Osama bin Laden might look like.

Bad enough for the FBI to officially pronounce you “older”-looking.   Geometrically worse to find your face identified as bin Laden’s and plastered across the globe.

Pete Cashmore tells the story of how this happened at Mashable.  Rather than start with an image of bin Laden or with a blank sheet of paper and a pencil, the FBI’s forensic artist found a photo on the internet of a man he/she did not recognize and digitally altered the image.  Suddenly, Llamazares is transformed from a politician hoping to be recognized by his constituents into America’s Most Wanted.  Llamazares now fears, quite reasonably, for his safety.

“Using photos from an image search to create a most wanted poster is surely putting the subject at risk, is it not?” Cashmore asks.

One also wonders whether this errant FBI employee also violated the law:  did he/she check the copyright of the image and obtain permission to make use of it?   How likely would the person holding the copyright be to grant such a request, if they knew the use to which their work would be put, and if they wished to continue doing business with Llamazares?

So maybe your day isn’t such a bad one, after all.  Maybe that robin your dog greeted was a harbinger of spring.  And you were home to enjoy it, after years of rushing out in the darkness to do a job you didn’t enjoy any more.  And maybe your fears are groundless, about your daughter being unemployable because she’s switched from Computer Science to Fine Art.  Looks like there’s going to be at least one opening for a forensic artist with computer skills — at the FBI.

Coakley’s World Trade Center Ad

Filed under: Uncategorized — Laurie Morrow, Ph.D. @ 2:27 am
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Just when you think Coakley’s ads can’t get any worse, her campaign launches an attack ad using the World Trade Center — not in the context of attacking Brown’s position re: terrorism, but as a symbol of Wall Street corruption: 

The campaign yanked this version, once it started attracting negative comment, and removed that photo.

I wonder if the choice of photo might have been accidental.  Perhaps some intern was rummaging through the files for an upward shot of a group of buildings around Wall Street, and just didn’t recognize the building.  Improbable as this may seem, it helps to remember that today’s 21-year-old intern would have been 12 or 13 years old in 2001, and thus unlikely to remember what these buildings looked like.  It’s not the kind of mistake apt to be made by someone who’d visited  the WTC as an adult or who was an adult when the towers came down.

We’ve discussed before the problem of clients cutting costs by using interns rather than top talent.  I don’t know whether that happened here, but that’s the most charitable explanation I can come up with for so gross an error.

January 12, 2010

New Music Industry Business Model

Filed under: Uncategorized — Laurie Morrow, Ph.D. @ 3:36 pm

From Clark Howard comes a new approach to selling music — rather than pay $1 per download, you listen to advertising.

Here’s Clark’s video, describing this.

What a great solution:  for a small investment of time, the audience gets free music.  Because there’s no cost, listeners have no disincentive to listen to new music.  New musicians should thus find it easier to get their performances in front of wider audiences.

Best of all:  more work for those of us in advertising.

What’s the down side here?

January 8, 2010

Estonian TV Parody of The Simpsons

Filed under: advertising,Entertainment,Television,Uncategorized — Laurie Morrow, Ph.D. @ 6:13 pm
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This advertisement for Estonia’s Channel 3 is a charming parody of The Simpsons.

Thanks to Karl Altau of JBANC!

January 4, 2010

Bill Salvin, on the TSA’s Failed Attempt at Crisis Communications

Filed under: Uncategorized — Laurie Morrow, Ph.D. @ 4:43 pm
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In his post “What the Underwear Bomber Can Teach TSA Administrators” at  View from the Bridge, Bill Salvin of Signal Bridge Communications explains why the standard PR template for dealing with a crisis didn’t work for the TSA.

When the Underwear Bomber tried to blow up Northwest Flight 253 Christmas Day, the Transporation Security Administration (TSA) scrambled to put new security measures in place to protect the flying public.  TSA issued a security directive t airlines within hours of the bombing, but there was intense confusion because TSA didn’t communicate anything of substance publicly following the incident.

Read the remainder of Bill’s blog post here.

December 21, 2009

Garrison Keillor’s Apologists

Filed under: Uncategorized — Laurie Morrow, Ph.D. @ 3:03 pm
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You wouldn’t believe the nastygrams I’m getting from Keillor’s apologists, who think it’s perfectly fine to publish a column in the  Baltimore Sun excoriating “Jewish guys” for writing

“all those lousy holiday songs . . .  that trash up the malls every year, Rudolph and the chestnuts and the rest of that dreck.  Did one of our guys write ‘Grab your loafers, coma along if you wanna, and we’ll blow that shofar for Rosh Hashanah’?”

Then, again, those who write nastygrams would tend to defend a fellow generator of nastiness, wouldn’t they?

Responses that politely disagree with my position will be posted.  Nasty responses — go post to Garrison Keillor’s blog, where nastiness is welcome.

December 20, 2009

Marketing Evil: Why My Kid Won’t Be Wearing Adidas

Filed under: advertising,Uncategorized — Laurie Morrow, Ph.D. @ 2:21 pm
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Over at Mashable is a post about a marketing campaign Adidas is launching in January to promote their new Star Wars-inspired line.  Instead of aligning the product with the positive, heroic figures in the familiar tale, Adidas is integrating Facebook with Google Maps to create a sort of ‘game’ called the Star Wars Death Star Superlaser, in which participants are encouraged to emulate the evil Darth Vader.

The game opens with a video in which you see the street you live on — thanks to the Google Maps app, you see the buildings on your actual street — reduced to rubble.  The app then allows you to subject the streets your Facebook friends live on to similar destruction at your will.  The cutesy-sociopathic tagline that appears at the video’s end: “Hitting your street in January 2010.”

It’s been less than a decade since the 9/11 terrorist attack reduced a significant portion of lower Manhattan turned to dust, with the loss of several thousand innocent lives.  The vast majority of Americans consider this real-world act evil, just as they considered the imaginary, vicious actions of the fictional character Darth Vader evil.

Normal people find it troubling, not amusing, to contemplate the destruction of particular people and places they care about.   Normal people don’t think it’s fun to visualize the destruction of their friends’ lives, homes, and neighbors.

If the market Adidas is going after consists of sociopaths and would-be terrorists, this is one dandy promotion.

If, however, Adidas hopes to sell sneakers to normal people who cringe at the thought of terrible things happening to their friends, they may want to use another approach.  Unless and until they do, I can promise you that my kid won’t be wearing Adidas.

December 19, 2009

Garrison Keillor, Grinch

Garrison Keillor has always struck me as mean-spirited, wrapping a fundamentally smug and condescending world view in a fondant of cutesy-poo irony.

Now, thanks to Glenn Reynolds‘ posting of Marissa Brostoff’s TABLET MAGAZINE column, “Garrison Keillor Doesn’t Like Jews Writing Christmas Songs,” others may also reassess their opinion of NPR’s favorite son.  Brostoff describes Keillor’s recent Baltimore Sun column, in which he complains about

“all those lousy holiday songs by Jewish guys that trash up the malls every year, Rudolph and the chestnuts and the rest of that dreck.  Did one of our guys write ‘Grab your loafers, coma along if you wanna, and we’ll blow that shofar for Rosh Hashanah’?”

Anyone capable of writing a column like this doesn’t ‘get’ Christmas — unlike Irving Berlin, who very clearly did.

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