Khakis with 'TUDE!

I hate advertising. Who doesn't? Even the Superbowl commercials sucked this year. Except for those Bud Light "Real Men of Genius" commercials all commercials should be taken off the air; and except for the brilliant South Side Chicago Board of Tourism campaign on the Chicago El system, please spare me all visual advertisements. Don't get me started on on the half-clad insipid women who stare at me all day long from wherever ad agencies can find a blank spot. They've been eying the wall opposite my desk since the day I started here, waiting for me to take a long weekend or something.

Ad companies are ALWAYS putting forth campaigns that I'm sure sound fabulous and amazing and sexy and eyecatching around the brainstorming table, but some of them are not just bad, but in seriously poor taste. Take this Dolce and Gabbana ad:

Gang rape is just SO sexy.
Do we really think about what we're looking at??

Then there's the newest Gap ad campaign - "Khakis with Attitude." Some of them are just sloppily dressed men and women, like this guy who showed up for the shoot after sleeping in his kit for, say, 2 weeks. Harmless, but who'd want to look like this slob?

Then we come to the women. The third one especially holds the look of a trauma survivor. Again, how is this sexy? What are they trying to sell? If it is indeed attitude, Gap is selling the attitude of "Victim" or "Helpless" or "Haunted."



This one just creeps me out -
so much so that it inspired this blog entry in the first place.

Here's another slob . This one says,"Hell, yeah, I got attitude! I got it from the six shots of Jack I just had at the bar! You totally want me. Am I wearing your pants? How weird is that!"


Shannon said...

I have a low, low, low opinion of marketers/advertisers. People who create (a previously non-existent) desire in others just to make a buck ... well, let's just say that I'd rather hang out with primordeal ooze (it's more evolved). To paraphrase Douglas Adams, they'll be the first against the wall when the revolution comes. ;)

OrangeMoJoJo said...

*laugh!!* I love Douglas Adams.

"People who create (a previously non-existent) desire in others..." But the only desire I have is to rip these ads off the walls - I have NO desire to look like a slob or a victim.

Anonymous said...

I actually like advertising.

OrangeMoJoJo said...

You have little choice.

Rev Transit said...

Well, actually, I have plenty of choice. I don't watch much TV and I listen to NPR in the mornings but otherwise no radio. There are no ads before the movies at Doc.

But a lot of times, more thought's gone into the ads than the TV programs. I said before that I like advertising, which isn't exactly accurate, I guess. I rarely seek it out. But it's the programming that sucks on commercial broadcasting, not the ads IMO.

Shannon said...

"Well, actually, I have plenty of choice."

Not really - even if you never watch TV, listen to the radio, read a magazine or newspaper, if you leave your house, you'll be bombarded by ads on buses, trains, bus stops, on the sleeves of coffee cups, billboards, the internet, cars passing by, moving billboards, t-shirts, planes flying overhead at or around sporting events (not to mention the ads on every surface available at sporting events), etc. etc.

The thing I hate most about (some) advertising is that it tries to sell product by making us feel flawed: inferior, fat, stupid, not sexy, alone, etc. Or they tie the idea of our self-identity to their product: Little Jimmy HAS to have $150 Air Jordans or else he's a big dork at school. Blech. It's the only way those things can sell (who would naturally spend several times what they have to for a shoe otherwise?). I find that reprehensible.

OrangeMoJoJo said...

My apologies rev - I thought that "I actually like advertising" was a tongue-in-cheek comment from a family member of mine who actually works in advertising.

"Well, actually, I have plenty of choice."

The Gap ads I posted about were on the El. We saw them on the way back from the opera.

"I don't watch much TV and I listen to NPR in the mornings but otherwise no radio."

We don't even have an antenna, so everything we watch is blissfully commercial-free (on DVD). I love NPR, but I like to listen to music to get my blood moving and to make my commute seem shorter as I sing along. I can't sing along to the pledge drive they've had going the past two weeks.

When you go to a non-DOC movie, you are now subjected to commercials. Before the previews. We'll have to suffer through it tonight, as 300 is not playing at the DOC.

As a chick, my main problem with ads is the way they portray women - as objects, sex toys, things that need to look a certain way, and that certain way is determined by the marketer du jour. I'm not as affected as I was as a totally insecure teen, but I can't help but notice when I see an ad showing a woman who's eyes are sunken - maybe bruised? - and think, godDAMMITT!! Why have we made NO PROGRESSION WHATSOEVER in the way women are portrayed?? It's just more subtle. Look at any beer ad, clothing ad, or makeup ad - and don't tell me you won't see one just because you don't watch TV - you see them just walking to the bus stop. They're on billboards, in busstops, in shop windows, on top of cabs, in every El car. No wonder there are so many eating disorders diagnosed in this country. You and I are old enough to see that it's an ad and has no value, no meaning.These ads are not directed at you or me. That's why we can simply dismiss them. I choose not to.

Even "strong" women seen in ads are "that way" because they bought and use such-and-such a product.

There are no ads in my car when I use my PodFreq! I guess I should just continue driving to work! (o;

Rev Transit said...

I'm usually reading a book on the El.

I'm all for stigmatizing people who buy things because of advertising, if you think that will help.

OrangeMoJoJo said...

Seeing as I'm a total marketers dream ("Orange packaging?? SOLD! In fact, gimme two!!!") I'd hate to be stigmatized. I just really think we should pay close attention to what we're buying and what marketers are selling or are using to sell.

"I'm usually reading a book on the El."

There are ads on the OUTSIDES of every El car, and on billboards at every El stop, in every warming booth. There are many even on the sides of buildings the El passes by, and there are billboards along the streets the train passes angled so that El passengers as well as street commuters can totally enjoy them. There are ads on the back of every magazine your fellow passengers are reading, on almost every bag, on almost every beverage container. Unless you walk from your home to the seat of the train and then on out to your destination with your nose in a book, you're going to see several advertisements, whether you really notice them or not.

Rev Transit said...

On the way to the el stop and on the platform, I'm usually looking for hot guys. That doesn't give me much of a chance to read advertisements.

The bus stop at State and Van Buren has had a gorgeous at for Yellowtail wine for quite a while. It's mostly a peacock and its feathers are colorful in the shiny glass.

OrangeMoJoJo said...

"On the way to the el stop and on the platform, I'm usually looking for hot guys. That doesn't give me much of a chance to read advertisements."

*laugh!!!* Excellent!

I actually ripped an ad out of April's Real Simple magazine because there's a MINT Mercedes Benz 300-SL Gull Wing Coupe in it. I don't know what the ad is for because I haven't stopped drooling over the gull wing long enough to actuall read the ad. Although, come to think of it, I've suddenly felt the need to redo the back porch storage space with California Closets....

Anonymous said...

Lots of advertising is about creating insecurities in people to make a buck-a-roo. People shouldn't buy in to it. Some people are too competitive or too insecure. Buy, buy, buy.....NOT!