Friday, July 29, 2011

Newspaper Association of America presents one of the truly dumbest headlines in advertising history.

(click ad) It is inane beyond my comprehension: what a stupid, insulting cliche. Do you dying medium idiots actually think that's going sell any newspapers? And what's with that lame, outdated illustration style? The copy ain't much better (sorry for the low resolution scan). Last line: "Because a little depth looks great on you." Just a little, you ill-informed dumbass Americans. Said Donna Barrett, NAA board member, about the new campaign which is being tested in eight markets:
"Literally, everyone at the agency, everyone on our committee, and then everyone on the board had a 100-percent positive reaction to that headline. It sets a fun new tone for [the industry]. Who doesn’t want to be perceived as both smart and sexy? And if you can tie the two together? All the better!”
Jesus Christ, get a new agency. Ad agency: The Martin Agency, Virginia.
Newspapers: forever terrible at advertising themselves.
Related: Magazines: forever terrible at advertising themselves.


Blogger RFB said...

What a shitty client to have to work for. "Literally, everyone at the agency, everyone on our committee, and then everyone on the board had a 100-percent positive reaction to that headline." What that means is that everyone at the agency wanted desperately to be done with Donna and her board and so they all fake-smiled at the presentation, saying how they were all having 100 percent positive reactions.

I don't think I could sell this client to anyone. Maybe "Newspapers! Puppies and birds like to shit on them, but please read it first."

8:50 AM  
Anonymous Vinnie said...

This Martin Agency knows how to fool clients. Remember the lame headlines they did for Manpower?

9:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, what a thorough cock-up from the Art Director.

Why would anyone want to repeat that gross industrial chemical slime green? One big patch of it is bad enough. You want two? The orange against the blue is another piece of grossness. This reeks of newbie art school graduate from Shitsville Local Arts Center who learned that Complementary Colors Go Together. And so he/she slaps colors on the page regardless of shade and tone and whether they actually, you know, look GOOD together. Whoever chose that bland, office supply shade of blue should be fired. Ugh. You can practically feel the fluorescent lights bounce off it.

The person who visually composed this ad probably had an art teacher who drilled it into their head that repetition in a visual work equals unity and coherence in the work. That's why you have foolish little corny touches like the red and the orange showing up in the thought bubble and the Tina Fey-esque woman's shirt and the vase and the table and the copy boxes and the main copy.

It looks like something a nice small town suburban housewife would look at with her five year old son and gush over : "Look Bobby, there's orange here and here and here and here. And see there's two greens! And there's red in these three places! Isn't that pretty? Okay now lets count the yellows!"

And the splitting of the main copy headline into two lines. Really? Was that necessary? Oh I get it, you want the word 'SEXY' to be the main focus of the ad. Right because when people masturbate, they orgasm as soon as they contemplate the raw pulsating energy of the WaPo and NYT coming at them from their mobile phones.

And of course the visual cliche of glasses = smart makes another appearance. Wow, Art Director, good to know that your imagination has not evolved much since middle school.

This ad is really infuriating. The visual design, the concept and the layout are so thoroughly stupid. I'm not surprised it came from Virginia. The South is not a great place for effective and stylish design.

10:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, this ad has that one beat.

11:04 AM  
Blogger copyranter said...

You may be right about that Dell ad. Ugh.

11:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but in the interest of feeling like an argument is being made, exactly what is wrong with the ad? It feels like everyone here is already on the same page (which seems to be 'passionately enraged') and I don't get why such an ad would be a problem.

10:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a copywriter in Minneapolis and when this ad first ran I brought it to my ad agency where we tried to figure it out. Forget the bad illustration, dumb headline and sexist language, it makes no sense. The bubbles are telling me to drop my subscription. If I can get the news on my ipad, phone or computer....why do I want home delivery? What a miss!

5:53 PM  

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