I walked out of my hotel this morning and saw an outdoor ad that made me stop in my tracks. Usually, I have a very immediate love / hate reaction to advertising. With this ad, I wasn’t sure.
For those you who are having trouble reading it, the copy says: ‘I am Asian when I’m experiencing prejudice. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes.’
Really interesting concept, but I’m not 100% sure about the execution – but I suppose that’s the point. It’s unexpected and provokes conversations - conversations about the grammar. Should they have used contractions to make the ad more accessible? Should they have used less obvious photo stock shots. I know it’s charity work, but don’t agencies use this as an opportunity to showcase their best work?
In another one of my ‘advertising is so full-on in North America‘ posts, I need to share my gall at the seductive pharmaceutical adverts that all over TV over here. I’ve gotten really addicted to the Hills (again, don’t judge – everyone has a little bit of trash that they like), which is watched by 13-34 year old women (and gay men – hello, Eugene Levy’s son? Just saying.) Every single ad break has Neutrogena, film, make-up and birth control commercials. Having lived in the UK for the past six years, I’ve gotten used to a certain level of advertising and things are completely different over here.
I can’t get over the fact that pharmaceutical adverts are allowed on TV over here. It creates a cheerleading element around certain illnesses and because the creative agencies do their job so well, you get seduced into wanting whatever is being advertised.
Take this commercial for Yasmin, a birth control.
It has all of the sharing, talking and gossiping that women do. Basically, they’ve got the female camaraderie element bang on and Yasmin will probably see an uplift in requests from doctors & patients. Is it responsible? Well, that’s another question.
Then there’s this advert for Cialis, the Viagra competitor. It’s an incredibly seductive piece that I imagine would work extremely well with the target audience – it’s basically an uplifting lifestyle ad with an erection medication message weaved in.
In the UK, direct to consumer prescription drug adverts are banned but disease awareness campaigns have just been allowed. Watch out for ads like this, which was a UK advertising first. Get ready to be seduced.
Politics aside, here’s my personal perspective on this: I’m 28 and McCain is 4 years younger than my 78 year old grandmother. She’s feisty, clever and charming, but I wouldn’t want her as the next President of the United States. Just saying. More things younger than McCain.