Spirit Airlines - Weinergate

June 10th, 2011

jtherkal: Normally, I wouldn’t think to bring a SPAM-type email into the fold here, but I think Spirit’s recent “campaign” warrants some attention. First, for context, if you somehow have missed the news and/or The Daily Show for the last two weeks, we’re currently being inundated with news about Congressman Anthony Weiner’s twitter dick shot and scandalous online sex affairs. So, in timely fashion, Spirit Airlines has apparently jumped into the fray with these cheap “weiner” gag emails.


As if people didn’t already think Spirit is despicable–with their nickel and dime flight booking rape trickery scheme–now they have to go low brow on their advertising? I’m sure someone, somewhere at Spirit thought this was funny–some assistant AE in charge of overseeing the email campaign that no one with a real job gives a shit about. But I can’t believe they thought this would fly. Get it, fly? Airplane? Fly, weiner? Not all attention is good attention. F this.

sjbooher: I’m not as up in arms about it, but I don’t get it… how does the hot dog even relate to the sale? Weird. D+

2011 Tiguan Piñata: Volkswagen Commercial

June 9th, 2011

jtherkal: Wait, this isn’t a Jeep commercial? Every time I see this, I’m shocked that it’s not a Jeep commercial. To me, it is a Jeep commercial. Sorry VW, you’re advertising for Jeep. VW’s grade: D. Jeep’s grade: A. Not only is it good for their brand, but it was free for them.

sjbooher: 95% of the time, I only see commercials in fast-forward on my DVR. Somehow, I caught this one in real time this week, and thought, “huh, pretty good”. And I specifically noticed the VW branding. I like that it’s a simple, clean idea without a lot of extra who-ha. B+.

Carl’s Jr. Miss Turkey vs. Axe Shower Gel

May 2nd, 2011

sjbooher: Here I present two classic, “women as object” ads. The question at hand: which is better, the blatant, simple, give it to me straight version (Carl’s Jr.), or the hide-it-behind-comedy-and-creativity version (Soap dance). I say Carl’s Jr. I respect a person’s attitude/opinion/etc. more if they do not hide behind some illusion and try to dress it up to be something it is not. Both get C-, if only because this brand of ads probably works to some degree, or it would not be so prevalent. At least I hope this brand of advertising is not both tasteless AND ineffective.

jtherkal: No contest for me. I think if you check waaay back on this blog, maybe you’ll find me giving an A+ to the Paris Hilton Car Wash ad for the same burger chain. I’m a fan of Carl’s Jr.’s blatant attempt to combine my meat with a piece of meat. Sometimes I don’t like self-aware advertising, but I think the gimmick and writing here are clever enough. Ms. Turkey! And on her bathing suit…little Turkey Burgers. And that’s just the way it is. Great. A-.

As for the Axe one, there have been a lot of ads done in this category that are virtually the same. This is evidence that either it’s getting hard to do really good ones, or someone is getting lazy. I don’t really like the music, I’m not buying that part of the guy’s washing routine is the exact same motion as untying a bikini, and I’m left wanting my implied nudity when the girls don’t finish the ritual. Still, those girls are hot. I’m buying some Axe. B-. For babes minus bikinis.

T-Mobile Lady

May 2nd, 2011

sjbooher: This lady is in my nightmares. Her series of T-Mobile ads have been all over the NBA Playoffs broadcasts. I watch almost all of my basketball on DVR tape delay, so I have never actually watched any of these in their entirety. I have seen them a bajillion times on fast forward, though. For a grade I’ll go with D-, for their effect in that context. I don’t know why, but I can’t stand seeing her, and it gives me a bad feeling towards T-Mobile. However, the bigger issue, is why don’t more ads take advantage of the DVR factor? A few (the series I think of is a set of ads during Mad Men that tried to mimic the look of the show, trying to trick you into stopping your fast forward) have tried to account for DVR, but why not more? Maybe I overestimate how many people use DVR, but it seems like more should be done. Maybe ads that look “real speed” in fast forward. Maybe more tricks like the Mad Men series. Ya’ll are the creative ones though, you tell me.

jtherkal: This isn’t good, but it isn’t that bad. I don’t like attacking the Apple ads unless you’re actually going to do cutting, seriously funny ads. It’s like someone who is not cool trying to be cool by making fun of the cool kids, only to make it more apparent how not cool they truly are.

About the woman, I think maybe you don’t like her for the following reasons: 1. That dress is ugly. 2. She has sort of a bitch-face, you know? Like Claire from 90210. That’s the best I can do to describe it.

To address your DVR question, I’ve made that suggestion on several campaigns, as I’m sure others have. But you seldom, if ever see them. There are some like the ones you mention that try to trick you. I like those. And then some like the old Apple iPad ad, which basically, if you see it in DVR-FF appears to be a series of titles you can read. Those are okay. Anyways, we’re talking about this T-Mobile ad, right? I guess I mostly think: people use T-Mobile? C-.

Miller Lite - Liteguards

April 29th, 2011

jtherkal: Fifty girls in bathing suits, running around, holding beers. Sounds like a winner. But it’s not. I can’t put my finger on why this is bad. Maybe because it seems cheap and poorly made, like a straight-to-dvd comedy. Maybe because the girls aren’t in bikinis, but instead are wearing unattractive one-pieces. Maybe it’s because they showed me a can shaped like a bottle. Maybe because they’re trying to launch tastepoints.com, a program that’s bound to fail. Suuuuure, after putting down ten Miller Lites, what I want to do is go online and register my cans for some Miller Lite flip-flops. It seems like beer advertising should be easy, but apparently it’s not. D+.

sjbooher: I’m moving to Canada. F.

NAPA Know How

April 15th, 2011

jtherkal: Holy horrible, Batman. At first glance this campaign is terrible. It seems to be riding the Subway $5 Footlong song wave, trying to use a catchy song to get peoples’ attention. It has succeeded, but not in the right way. I remember this as something I never want to see again. So naturally, my first thought was to give it a massive F. But upon closer inspection there are a few factors to consider. 1. I’m not a car guy, so I was probably never the target. But if you look at it from the target’s POV–that being gearheads and NASCAR buffs–then maybe a silly country music song is just what the doctor ordered. 2. maybe they intended it to be terrible. There are a few phrases SJB and I have been using for years that seem to apply here: “So bad it’s good.” And, “If it’s going to be bad, it might as well be the worst.” This is so bad, that in some ways maybe it’s good. And maybe once they realized it was bad, they just went all in and made it the worst.

So for the first time ever, I’m giving this an F. And an A!

sjbooher: That is amazing commentary, JT. I saw this one and had very similar thinking, except I like the song. What I didn’t understand is why they didn’t put the singer more in character. Short of dressing the singer in country western gear, I’m not sure how you do that, but that’s what I’m a critic and not an ad writer. Herkal almost has me convinced, though, hmmm. A. I think if I saw this 10 times I would eventually be singing the song and laughing hysterically.

Fanta — CGI Fanta World

March 25th, 2011

jtherkal: Nooooooooooo! Noooooooooo! You killed off the Fantanas, those four vibrant, beautiful ladies who sang catchy songs about Fanta? I can’t tell you on how many levels this is the wrong move. First, everyone knows that all you need to be successful in advertising is a catchy song (sorry Arby’s). And “Don’t You Wanna Fanta” was it! You look hot in all that plaster, drink some Fanta, faster, faster! Brilliant. Second, never replace hot girls with CGI people who have strange worm lips. And third, the Fantanas were an icon. When I tried to find the original spot on YouTube, I had to sort through all kinds of remixes and imitations, etc. That’s the ultimate success, when people are remaking your ad! Fail fail fail. F.

In related news, I had one roommate, who whenever he introduced me to people would say that I write ads and that I wrote the Fanta commercials, which is false. I wish I had.

sjbooher: The only reason this is not an A for me, is because I agree that they should not have stopped the old campaign. It was very memorable, catchy, all that. I like this new on too though… but I doubt it has the same impact.

(sorry for the poor quality, best I could find)

Dove Men Care — Bobby Hurley

March 22nd, 2011

sjbooher: ARE. YOU. KIDDING. ME. What’s next Jeffrey Dahmer for Heinz ketchup? Osama Bin Laden for Water Babies suntan lotion? How about throwing Kim Jon-Il in the adidas “All In” campaign? Look, I am a Michigan alum and a Carolina fan since a young kid, so I know I’m biased. But the Duke basketball team is one of the most hated, if not the most hated, team in college athletics! And they are personified most by either Hurley or Christian Laettner! And THAT is whom you pick as your spokesperson? Good thinking. I’m guessing a lot of people felt the same way, because by Duke’s second tourney game this weekend they had switched this spot out for one featuring Magic Johnson. Amazing. What are you doing? F.

jtherkal: I didn’t dislike this ad when I first saw it. Probably because I didn’t remember it. And I didn’t remember it because I didn’t notice it. So that’s not a good start. However, if the tag line is “comfortable in your own skin” it makes perfect sense. Bobby doesn’t care that you don’t like him or that you hate Duke. He’s comfortable being that guy. Bobby knows, haters gonna hate. But that doesn’t mean he can’t use soap. That being said, this felt cheap. Like some college kid made it with iMovie. Maybe Bobby was the only person those college kids could get. D+.

sjbooher: I hope Dove is comfortable in it’s “selling less product” skin.

Adidas — All In

March 22nd, 2011

jtherkal: Adidas is launching it’s largest advertising campaign ever, with the likes of Derrick Rose, David Beckham, Katie Perry, Dwight Howard, Lionel Messi, B.O.B., and *fights gag reflex* Notre Dame. There are some things I like about this, and some I don’t.

First, I like “all in” as a tag line. If this is the new direction, I think there’s tons of room to do great work against it. Although I also love “impossible is nothing,” so I’ll miss that. I like that they include the “lesser” sports. Girl’s lacrosse! I love blending off-field style with on field talent, and Adidas is definitely a fashion/sport brand.

But there’s something off about this spot. The music doesn’t do it for me, doesn’t get me fired up, and doesn’t quite match the tone of the footage. And for some reason it feels kind of generic, despite all the star power. That being said, I’m looking forward to a possible ad war between Nike and Adidas. Nike has been at the top for so long, it’s time for Adidas to come out swinging.

And really, they have ND scoring on Michigan in there? Have they been around for the last two years? Shoelaces! Drop half a grade for that. Solid B.

sjbooher: “All In” is ridiculously overused at this point… so they got off on the wrong foot with me. Then they just show a bunch of highlights, barely spotlighting their brand or their products. Well, the products are probably there, but you don’t really know it unless you are really trying to spot them. I don’t get it. Looks like a generic highlight reel to me. 5 people spliced together better reels on youtube of these same stars in the time it took me to write this. And this is the product of their biggest campaign? Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. Or as Dr. Dre so succinctly put it, you talking loud as a MF, but ain’t saying ish. D-.

Arby’s — Good Mood Food

March 11th, 2011

jtherkal: Oh jeez. Two years ago I bought stock in Arby’s/Wendy’s. Why? Because I love an Arby’s Roast beef sandwich, and I love the Wendy’s spicy chicken sandwich. I believe in them. But this latest ad has me questioning my belief. I know after the five dollar footlong song everyone thinks they need a clever jingle to sell fast food. But it has to be a song that makes me want to eat your food, not a shotgun. The guy they cast as the main “song host” is easy to hate, the song is not good, not funny, and that chorus at the end where they’re all in the parking lot is the coupe de grace for any hope this had of being even remotely tolerable. This makes even the terrible BK Breakfast song ads seem brilliant. This ad is bad enough to actually make the stock price plummet. Time to sell. F.

sjbooher: I definitely don’t like this. On top of it being bad in and of itself, it’s DERIVATIVELY bad. I feel like 8 other brands have done this. The first thing that comes to my mind is the beer campaign (was it Miller Lite?) where the guy sings “Mr. So-and-So”. Then the bouncing ball on the bottom has only been done 3 quatrillion times. Also, there is too much going on. I was trying to read, listen, look and didn’t catch any of the punchlines. The only positive is “Good Mood Food”. That could’ve worked. I like looking at those 3 words on top of each other. Also, I most likely will never eat an Arby’s sandwich in my life, if that counts. I will dabble in their curly fries, if forced too, though. D-