Friday, December 28, 2007

copyranter has a head cold.

He will resume normal posting schedule on Wednesday, January 3rd, 2008, when his head will hopefully be cleared of (L) mucus and (R) phlegm. If you've got a request for a post and don't want to email me, leave it here in the comments, and he'll almost certainly ignore it.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Link Haze, 12/21/07.

• I am back from another holiday luncheon, and I am again drunk.
• My friend Brett, aka Cajun Boy In The City, likes to write fake craigslist ads. This one, where he pretends to be a banker looking to spend his "772k" bonus on a woman, is precious—more so are the replies. (link)
• For those of you looking for another way to support our troops, here's covert X-mas ornaments that blend in with the tree—camo balls. (link)
• This is the worst ad wordplay I've seen since this one. (link)
• Three commercials of note: a recruitment spot for the Ukrainian army (link), nothing like racist local auto dealership ads (link), and Germany needs more babies ladies, so wear more sexy underwear (link)—thanks to Edith George for the tip!
• Make your own Jackson Pollock knockoff. (link)
• Arby's is airing a commercial showing chimpanzees doing a traditional Irish step dance. If I wasn't so drunk, I'd be offended. (link)
• Svedka is finally being forced to pull their moronic ads. (link)
• A wonderfully warm holiday chav story from England, complete with the funniest chav joke (OK, the only chav joke) I've ever read. (link)
• This is exactly what's it's like in a radio V/O session, except this time the talent is Santa Claus. (link)
Merry Fucking Christmas, Douchebags!

"Hi Mom! I got my first modeling job! Well uh, I'm blowing condom bubbles...but my hair looks nice!"

(click ads for closer look)
Billy Boy condoms, "No.1 in Germany," cum in three flavors—tuttufrutti (L), strawberry (R), and orange. I (and probably NYU students) don't really get the draw of flavored condoms. I guess if I was an escort and had to give 10 blowjobs a day to condom-wearing men or eat 10 asses I'd just plundered, I might want some different tastes for variety. I guess I could also mix in some flavored lubricants, and turn the trick's cock or asshole into an exotic fruit salad. Bon appétit!
(images via)
And remember ad students: like I said yesterday, no condom ads in your portfolio!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Next stop on Amnesty International's 'Solving The World's Problems Through Advertising' Expo: female feticide in India.

(click ad to read copy and examine the fake bullet hole)
After stops in Beijing, Iraq and Africa, Amnesty's 2007 magical marketing tour visits the second most populous country on Earth. Graphic! For those of you unaware, the barbaric act of killing female fetuses to control population is still alarmingly widespread in India (maybe more Kama Sutra condom ads would help). Noteworthy that an Austrian agency (Demner, Merlicek & Bergmann) produced this ad. Same question as with the AI female genital mutilation ad: effective visual or not? Offensive? (image via)

Well, it is the subtlest WonderBra ad I've seen.

(click ad for closer look)
And at least the woman is alive.
Time for classroom with copyranter. There are three certainties in life: death, taxes, and somewhere in the world. right at this exact moment, an ad student is working on a spec campaign for WonderBra. If you are that student, delete the file. NOW. If your teacher has assigned WonderBra, ask him/her to assign you something else. Because no matter how good you think your idea is, you can bet your sweet boobies that the headhunter/creative director who'll be flipping through your portfolio has already seen about a bazillion campaigns for the accoutrement, and that a dozen of them were better than yours. Same goes for Viagra and condoms (and fucking how). DELETE THEM. The way to set yourself apart is come up with a brilliant idea for selling printers or a bank or a household cleaning product—you know, something you might actually get a chance to work on. Because you sure as shit ain't gonna get a chance to work on WonderBra. (ad by Publicis Paris, via)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


(click ad for closer look)
Also, he's "activating his fucking destiny."
Here in NYC, Equinox Fitness's serious-as-death marketing is the antithesis of the goofy Crunch ads. But when you're laughably overcharging for "membership" to overcrowded smelly rooms, you gotta bring something, I guess. But look at this cutey pie! Is that his best 'hate' look? I can't believe he actually has any enemies. And he's certainly gonna have lots of friends at that new Chelsea location. One suggestion: an even smaller towel!
(link emailed by Dana, via MakeTheLogoBigger)
update: Here's Dana's much more socially-conscious take on the ad.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Example of print ad that would've made a great TV commercial.

(click ad for closer look)
Product: Pattex glue. Selling point: powerful.
A glue that frustrates hotel-room-destroying rockers is a good notion, no doubt. It's just not quite there with this print execution. The photography (amateurish), the casting (too clowny), the layout (just bad), are all off. Off just enough to make you think, 'Man, this idea could've been made into one hell of a TV spot'—a TV spot I would love to have on my reel. Probably, this client doesn't have the money for TV. Taking a moment in time and making it into a good print ad is not an easy thing to pull off. When it works, it usually wins awards. Here's one of my favorite instances when it has worked. (via DDB Berlin, image via).

Monday, December 17, 2007

North Pole, Candy Cane, Icicle, etc.

(This ad is Dickwad approved)
Warehouse One, a Canadian jeans store chain, is using the now-tired dick-in-a-box joke in their holiday promo materials. Do you have anything to say about it? I don't. Except, Eat DICKMAN'S MEAT! via.

"Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge even where there is no river."—Nikita Krushchev.

(click ads to read buttons)
I stay away from politics here (unless a politician does something so visibly insipid as to pretend to know how to play stickball or hatches the meekest slogan in history), because who gives a shit what I think? For the record, I'm a non-isolationist Libertarian. Whatever that means.
But, if I was a Democrat, 2008 would definitely be the year to run strictly as "I'm not a Republican." Sure, made-up buttons isn't an original idea, but when "the little Bush" (as he was so beautifully called by the brilliant former Iraqi Information Minister Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf) has produced so many laughable sound bites—and you don't have a coherent platform of your own—gathering W's legacy together on one page makes for an effective ad. related: the best political slogan ever. And, the best protest sign/visual from the 2004 RNC in NYC.
(I don't know if these have run anywhere. Campaign by Conscience in Richmond. images via.)

Friday, December 14, 2007

Link Haze, 12/14/07.

• It's 4:15pm, and I am just back from a client holiday luncheon. I am fucking shitfaced.
• (right) Ad for the Tourneau Technomarine watch line. Yes, of course it is. (link)
• The ten biggest cocks in English advertising, via Charlie Brooker. Very UK video rant. (link)
• Every shitty celebrity blog out there posted about the new Paris Hilton for Rich Prosecco advertising. Defamer's Mark Lisanti's take is the only one worth reading. (link)
• Today's truthful headline from Pravda: "Conceiving baby turns out to be extremely difficult and painstaking job." (link)
• Fucking pandering American Airlines ad rewritten truthfully. (link)
• An X-mas entry from Pepto-Bismol's singing ad contest. (link)
• I again agree with Bob Garfield: the Burger King should be killed. Fuck you, smug cp+b. How many fucking burgers has he sold? (link)
• Del Monte dog treats look like penises. (link)
• A smart woman dissects the next stupid ad in the idiotic Tampax campaign that I shat on awhile back. (link)
• FishNChimps has conclusive proof that the package you see in the new David Beckham ads for Armani underwear is real. Also, note the "come in a posh box" brilliance. (link)

FHM Magazine's debut in India makes some sort of liquid come out of Indian men's mouths.

(click ads for closer look)
How droll. And what's with the fucking whistle? I guess he's supposed to be a traffic cop? Soccer referee? DJ? Help? Anybody? These ads make this men's mag advert look positively Mensian. (What? It's fucking Friday. You want more erudite yet equally pointless ad commentary, go (re)read Ogilvy on Fucking Advertising. images via)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Magilla Gorilla, Esq.

(click ad for closer look)
A gorilla's DNA is a 97% match of a human. However, these two grim-faced ambulance chasers are probably more like a 99% match. And—as part of their initial free consultation—if you think your injuries aren't quite serious enough to win your lawsuit, ex-Marine Smith (L) will howl, pound on his chest, and throw you around their offices until sufficiently concussed. Try getting that kind of hands-on service from an ostrich, zebra, or giraffe lawyer. (seriously, WTF? there must be a loony consultant out there advising law firms to put animals in their ads. thanks to Stacy Stockard for the image.)

T'aint another American Apparel ad, is it?

(click image for closer look, perv)
'Tis. It's for the "Baby Rib Thong," found in a Danish biannual "art" magazine called "S." No, I don't know what the "S" stands for. Last AA thong ad, we at least got to see a little more of the model and product. Maybe next thong ad, they'll crop right in on her vulva? And forget the thong? Shit, for all we know, that could be AA founder Dov Charney's waxed nether-region. It's 8:30, and I have nothing else to say about this sublime piece of advertising art. related: here's two more ads that feature models wearing thongs—for Perrier and for a German technological career forum (the most gratuitous use of ass in an ad ever, I believe.).
(image snapped and emailed by Sean Louis McQueen)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Contextual Ads: The Very Best and The Very Worst.

(click two images for closer looks)
(L)—One transportation mode's risk is another transportation mode's reward. Bravo Amtrak! (thanks to PJ Galgay for the screen grab!)
(R)—The Samsung BLAST. It's the latest killer model in our hot-selling Flash™ line of phones. (found here in the comments section of this post about a Verizon ad attached to the same story—a screen grab of which was emailed to me by Amanda Murphy [there. I think I've followed proper blog etiquette.].)

Copulating molecules sell men's hair gel.

(click ads for closer look)
göt2b, you've got2b kidding.
Ads are for göt2b's (what an idiotic name for a brand) magnetík hair gel. Copy reads: "pheromone infused hair gel, for better chemistry." Apparently, the core target audience for this crap is institutes of technology frat boys. Axe has, amazingly, already convinced a substantial number of alpha males that girlie-spraying their bodies will help them get laid. Old Spice sort of copied Axe's dubious strategy. And now, göt2b (jesus, that name. it's perfect. for 8-year-old girls.) has picked up the stupid scent. There's even a Website where you can create your own "sex molecule." But first! You have to confirm that you're 18+ to perform such a mature task. Remember, this is all for fucking mooky hair gel "infused" with insect sweat.
(ads via BBDO West, via)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

grandma's a pisser (sorry).

(click ad for closer look)
Making fun of old people who piss themselves
is something even I wouldn't stoop to do. The main reasons being, I'm pretty damn old and already have IBS. BUT, I am not above making fun of this Depend ad found in a recent copy of Reader's Digest. Keep in mind, any visual that goes into an ad for this type of product is analyzed and focus-grouped into the ground. And, Kimberly-Clark chose that age-old, old-age activity—bashing a fucking piñata (better than snorting coke, I guess). Me, I would have made the piñata bladder-shaped so that Pissy Spacek's joyous moment would have been deliciously ironic—bursting a bladder to celebrate peepee protection! Wee!
previously in piss:
1. PeePee Panels?
2. there's pee in your butt.
3. My urine art vs. Warhol's.
4. Moises Alou pisses on his hands.

The men's dress shoe as phallic symbol.

(click ads for closer look)
"made by hand"—by naked female artisans. The English are fine, fine footwear makers. I've had one pair of now-discontinued John Fluevog boots (update: which as a commenter has pointed out, are made in CANADA, not England, as I thought. Well Dr. Martens are well-made. update #2: the majority of Fluevog shoes are actually made in Poland & Portugal.) for about 13 years, and they are still sharp and still going strong.
But these models...such supple uppers...smooth STOP staring at those lady parts! These John White shoe ads are wrong wrong wrong! Such gratuitous sex! Shame on you, you randy Brits. These shameful portraits of shamelessness have now been entered into copyranter's Advertising Gratuitous T&A Hall of Shame, hanging next to these French, German and American examples. For SHAME!!! (I gotta say, with the second ad above (R), the frilly thing gets in the way of my consumerist thought process.)
Ads via Chimp Media Monitoring, headed up by a highly entertaining ad chap whose words soothe and seduce me.

Monday, December 10, 2007


(click HERE to watch video)
If I was charged with the task to advertise "Roadkill Toys," this is about the best way I could think of to do it. Listen for the disgusting sound effects, plus the maniacal play-by-play by the crazy old British lady—a brilliant bit of casting there. This source says the agency is Compost Communications, London. Thanks to Tina Wayland for the tip!

Dills Digestive ads are pretty, confusing.

(click ads for closer look)
Print ads out of Belgium for Dills digestive mints. While the attractive layouts/visuals will have art directors the world over vigorously rubbing their genitalia, I think the ads have a bit of a message problem. The copy line, which is a translation from Dutch (I think), is "For a fast digestion"—so they help you digest food faster. O...K. But for me, images of a salmon sushi Concorde and a meat (or is it fatty tuna?) Porsche conjure up one overriding sensation—explosive diarrhea. My sphincter's spasming just from thinking about that raw fish jet going supersonic through my colon and then splattering into a million pieces against the side of my toilet bowl. What do you think?
(related: a beano jingle I once wrote; and a beano print ad where a farting woman writes love letters to gassy foods.)
(images via)

Friday, December 07, 2007

Link Haze, 12/07/07.

(right) More typo fun: Harvard-educated "editors" will help you improve your grad school essays. Just make sure you use spell check (click image). Thanks to Alex Frankel, who found this is on the StanfordDaily Website.
Free Horseshoe! Complete with "alleged" good luck! All copywriters are going straight to fucking HELL. (link)
The Sweeney Todd poster is historically inaccurate. (link)
Manolo Blahnik slingbacks...for men. Yeah, I'll get a pair just as soon as I hack off my dick and balls and carve a working vagina into my crotch. (link)
Either Mary Lou Retton or Ralph Macchio for Tampax, I can't tell. (link)
Remember previously: diamonds replaced a man's sense of humor. Here, they replace a man's sensitive side. (link) Thanks to Jacquie Paul for finding the clip.
O. Burtch Drake, AAAAs chairman, recently retired. Here's a roundup of the pathetic AdWeek suck-up ads, plus a parody one thanking him for his "work" on behalf of industry diversity. (link)
Have you ever seen 20,000 teddy bears rain down on a ice hockey rink? Very soon, you will have. (link)
Mitt Romney is the Devil. Here's the proof. (link)
Delicious for Chanukah—Boneless Spiral PIG. (link) Thanks to Alexa Antopol.
Ten hilariously terrible tech ads. (link)

Puking Drunk Chicks Forced To Look At Puking Drunk Chick; Drunk Dude Forced To Try To Piss With A Hard-On.

(click images to read the t-shirts)
Two pieces of ambient public bathroom advertising done in the name of a Website called ArriveAlive, started by the Father of a young man who was killed in an accident while driving intoxicated.
(L)—Praying to the porcelain God is something best done along. I would puke on the floor chick's head just to spite this overly-intrusive and, I bet, not at all effective bit of marketing. And why does she have to be dressed so slutty? Wearing a G-string? Because only SLUTS get drunk, stoo-pid!
(R)—This one is even worse. Why is the drunk slutty chick on the floor of the men's room? If I was the type of dude who went out to meet drunk sluts, this Colorforms® Wallbanger® chick would just encourage me to get back out in the club and keep drinking. She's exactly what I'm looking for!
Why do anti-drinking PSAs always confuse the issue? Huh?
It's Friday. Let's get FUCKING DRUNK.
(images via)

BANK PEN WARS! Chase vs. Commerce.

(click images for closer look)
The bank lobby pen—long a symbolic anger flash point of bad bank service. First up (L), a Chase branch on lower Broadway. Keep that cliché alive, baby! The unfriendly, dirty, chipped fake wood screams 'We're Chase, BITCH, we don't have to try! Did the ugly, germy black pen work? What do you think? Now take a look (R) at the lobby of this lower Broadway branch of Commerce Bank. Sure, it's maybe a little too glitzy, BUT...look to the right. It's a shiny silver bucket. Of pens. A fucking CHAMPAGNE bucket full of BUBBLY NEW BLUE INK PENS! Take one! Take TEN! It doesn't matter. Commerce keeps that baby FULL all the time. Worse for the environment? WHO GIVE A SHIT? I ALWAYS have a working pen. ALWAYS. (photos by the archeress.)
(Disclosure: neither of these banks is mine; I transact with B of A, the opportunistic stock photo-using bank.)

Thursday, December 06, 2007


(click ad for closer look)
RACKS have been exploited to advertise pretty much anything and everything, including yucky aperitifs, ugly-ass coffins, and most certainly, dating site And now, a cutesy-though-ample, metaphoric one is used to ostensibly sell a Pittsburgh pool hall's "ladies night." Yes. Because they are targeting the ladies here, thus the focus on tits in the ad. They're most certainly not at all—like every "ladies night" ad ever done—simply trying to get more guys to come on Thursday nights, where I'm sure, because of this irresistible ad, the pool hall is merrily overflowing with the women folk.
(image via)

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


All the senior editors quit Gawker last weekend. (Frankly, since editor Alex Balk—who hired me—quit a couple of months ago, the site has become boring as piss.) So instead of waiting for them to get their shit together about whether they still want my weekly ad column, I'm offering myself up to the best bidder. My rate is very reasonable. I am looking to write for a popular media/culture/advertising site, not a shitty blog like mine. I've worked for 16 years at the same small NYC ad agency. So unlike other ad columnists, I actually, you know, MAKE ADS. I've also guest taught ad courses at the School of Visual Arts and FIT. One more thing—I would prefer a place where I can fucking curse. If you want to view writing samples, just type Lies Well Disguised in Gawker's search window. No, I'm not married to that column name.
email me: copyranter(at)hotmail(dot)com

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Who would you entrust with your capital—Gunther Gebel-Williams or General Custer?

(click ads for closer look)
Whereas lawyers don't often put themselves in their kooky wildlife ads, finance honchos seem to relish being portrayed taming beasts. Above, in ads for the CME Group, we have (L-R) Michael Platt, CEO and founder of BlueCrest Capital Management, and Thomas Peterffy, founder of Interactive Brokers Group. You know what guys? I'm just going to go ahead and give a Scottrade rep a call. He may still use an abacus, but at least I know his mind's on my money.

It's the Coffin Cuties of the 2008 Necrophilia Calendar.

(click images for closer look)
This is an advertising critiquing blog, right? So why am I posting images from an ultra cheesy calendar put out every year by a sleazy Italian coffin company? Because somebody named Ryan Ressler sent me the link, and it's dead-on inane. (Wonder if any of these "models" are wearing WonderBras?) When you die, are you Hell bent on having your body placed in an overpriced wooden container and buried in dirt? Not me. Burn me. And then, toss me somewhere; the somewhere hasn't hit me yet, but it will.
previously in Death:
1. AccuQuote. Death Becomes Us.

Monday, December 03, 2007

the au bon pain of grammatical errors.

(click image for closer look)
Line is: "Definitely Not For The Feint Of Lunch."
As tipster and photo snapper Jane Leibrock points out, it should read "...The Faint Of Lunch." Right now, it reads as, "Definitely Not For The Deceptive Or Pretended Blow Of Lunch." Looking at that sandwich, I believe it would deliver quite the direct blow to my intestines. Ha, see what I did there!!! (sigh) Is this worse than Reebok's subway typo? ING's informal window poster? It's definitely not as bad as this horrific, error-filled Labiaplasty ad. Proofreaders? YOUR (I'm mean, "you're") UNDERPAID!


Wait, I'm a piss-poor, dead hack?
An email was sent out recently to "creative people" the world over from Absolut's digital agency in Sweden soliciting work for the next phase of their new, dubious Absolut World ad campaign. Here's the email text, including the nice misspelling of Warhol:
I'm Mikael Zetterberg working as a planner at the digital agency Great Works in Stockholm.
One of our clients is ABSOLUT VODKA, which have a heritage of working together with creative people like Andy Warhool etc. At the moment we are doing a project with ABSOLUT where we are letting creative people pitch ideas in order to be part of the new brand campaign called In An ABSOLUT World.
We are a big fan of what you're doing and think you would really fit in to this project and continue the work of collaborating with the creative scene. If this sounds interesting please click on the attached link and be a part of this pitch.
All the best,
Mikael Zetterberg
Great Works
Here's the link, where they also write that they want you to be an "Exclusive Absolut Visionary."
What's the matter TBWA\Chiat\Day? You creative visionaries out of ideas already?
(thanks to Cassie Murdoch for the tip!)
UPDATE: Patric Blixt from Absolut responds in the comments.

NSFW! French AA Ad Finally Gets To The F*cking Point.

Sorry for the nudity, readers. But this is a monumental point in my now two-year anthropological study (funded with a $100,000 grant from Herb Vest) of American Apparel's quixotic, groundbreaking advertising.
Whereas previously, we've witnessed near nip slips, chesty Lohan look-a-likes, and heady rack metaphors in AA's continuously fascinating campaign, this particular canvas, via artistically-superior France, presents to us the undeniably classic "tits flash."
Viva La Inélégance! (wonder if the model is 18+?)
(image found on the new shelton wet/dry, a daily mélange of a dozen+ original posts within which I guarantee you will find at least a couple of things that will add positively to your day. copyranter recommended [being serious here. they quote Nietzsche a lot!])
addn: Erin Bradley has written an in-depth rant against AA here.