Monday, June 16, 2014

Today’s Tech Ads Are All Made By Men And Are All Terrible.

That Silicon Valley & Alley are both massively dick-heavy is not news—if you’ve ever been to a tech trade show, well, you know. Therefore, it makes sense that tech company ad agencies would put their best men on the job, and only men. How’s that working out? Take a look.

AT&T’s “Network Guys”

This newish campaign manages to insult both IT people and all the rest of us. That’s because the “guys” are both unfunny condescending assholes and complete fucking losers. “You wouldn’t understand what we’re doing, honey, just go post your cat photos, and hey, can I fuck your homely ass?” A second spot, set at a rock concert, is just as bad—“enjoy the show” (you unemployed fucking dumbass stoner loser).

“Rethink Possible” is AT&T’s current tagline. They should turn that slogan around to face themselves.

Ad agency: BBDO NYC. Creative team: seven men.

Norton: “Boldly Go”

“…The boldest email has yet to be opened. The boldest app has yet to be bought. The boldest file has yet to be downloaded…

But the worst ever internet security commercial has now been written, so close your laptops, young ad scribes.

“Well guys, our ad bites, so let’s at least shoot in black & white to add bogus gravitas. And get some pretentious girl who sounds like she goes to Hogwarts to do the V/O.”

The creative team on this awful new spot by Grey San Francisco? Six men.

LG G Flex “the most human phone ever”

LG loved this creepy-ass ad so much, released earlier this year, that they’ve removed it from their official YouTube page. I’m all for super surreal shit, if the writing’s funny and I’m sold on the product. Yeah—no and no.

(What do you think Danny’s hand phone looks more like—a heavily bearded clam or a very hairy asshole? Also, logically, the mouth should be in the fingers, and the ear in the palm.)

I don’t have the credits for this spot, but you can bet all your shiny “gold” ad awards that the creative team was XY.

Toshiba “Field testing with Matt & Jamie”

Oh goodie: another unfunny pair of spokes-jerkoffs. The “field testing” concept is sometimes a good if unoriginal idea—at least I’ll maybe see some product benefits for my time. But again: the writing here is just epically bad. Fat macho Matt calls Toshiba’s tech people “dorks” and us “nerds.” He’s an ironic character. Maybe.

They made nine of these terrible field test spots. If you’d like to waste eight more minutes of your life like I did, you can watch the rest of them here. Their laptop fails a monster truck test and passes a jumper cables test that makes zero sense. Their tablet screen cracks when it’s thrown like a discus. Like Matt, these “tests” are “ironic,” irony being, ostensibly, a formula for humor.

The creative team? Three men.

Still, these ads are an improvement over their “get unstressed with Lucy” (and her exposed tits) Toshiba commercials from 2012 (all balls creative team, btw). Toshiba thinks they’ve scrubbed the Internet of all traces of this amazingly crass and sexist campaign. Sorry, guys.

Then, there are the endless Apple-bashing commercials of Samsung. Now I’m all for bashing Apple, but Samsung has no continuity, no Big Idea. It’s just a bunch of one-off reactionary spots that make the Korean company look childish, and much smaller and less important than they are.

And, of course, the creative teams on almost every Samsung tech spot you’ve seen—via Cheil & Partners (their worldwide agency), the UK’s CHI & Partners, and RG/A and 72andSunny in America—are all dudes. I’m not linking to all the spots, but you can look up the credits on Adfreak and Ads of the World.

The best tech ads from the last five years have been by Google. And many of Google's spots are created in-house, like this Cannes Lion-winning Google Instant ad from 2011.

The copywriter? Yes, a man. And a man wrote this playful campaign for Google Play, another favorite of mine. But Google has at least, occasionally, let women into the "ideation" process. Google is not a stupid company.

Besides the bro-culture, another problem with tech ads is that they’re made with one eye on Silicon Valley, one eye on NASDAQ, and one eye on the company's own fucking navel, which doesn’t leave very many eyes for the people who might be interested in buying their overpriced nonessential products. So what you end up with is tech companies figuratively rubbing one out on camera. Right Apple?

It wasn’t always this way. During the dot-com bubble of the late 1990s, tech advertising was wonderful. There was the inspiring Apple “Think Different” campaign; the hilarious sock puppet commercials; and the brilliant spots. The period was punctuated by the amazingly bombastic “we just wasted 2 million dollars” 2000 e-trade Super Bowl commercial.

I am flummoxed that the supposed best analytical minds in the world can’t make/approve better ads. But—just maybe, guys?—if more women were involved in creating and approving tech ads, the ads would be more creative and more effective and less masturbatory bullshit?

Tech CEOs? It's probably worth giving some female creatives a shot. Remember: Frankenstein's monster, one of history's most innovative high tech ideas, was created by a woman.


Blogger copyranter said...

If you have a tech ad made by men that you think is good, go ahead, post here in the comments (WITH credits), and I'll review it.

9:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you seem to be royally rumpus ravaged. It amuses me.

4:51 AM  
Anonymous Kanye West said...

There would have been no Beats deal without the Samsung deal. It showed the No. 1 company the importance of connecting with culture. The reason I said I didn’t like Samsung particularly is because throughout my entire life, because of how my parents raised me, I have to work with the No. 1. I can’t work with anyone but Jay Z, because he’s No. 1. I can’t be with any girl but Kim, because that’s the girl whose pictures I look at the most and get turned on by. I’m not going to represent any company but Louis Vuitton, because that’s No. 1"

3:31 PM  

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