Tag Archives: advertising

Stick Aliens Drink Soda

It’s been awhile since I did a post on the trend in advertising campaigns to not just photoshop women in ads into skinny forms, but to literally make them physically alien and insectoid in their concentration camp images, as something that is supposed to appeal to women in purchasing considerations. And not in a SFF sort of approach where it’s deliberately supposed to be strange, but in ads where we’re supposed to consider them beautiful human woman who we’d want to emulate. If we had elongated spines that turned in ways human bodies can’t actually go.

Previously, these ads have not made much sense in terms of the elegant products they were pitching — upscale fashion, handbags, perfume. And that’s what struck me about them. But this time, it’s a product where skeletalization of the body is directly connected to the product — Diet Coke. That staple of acidic corn syrup and artificial sweeteners that the company keeps pretending starving models drink to look the way they do. Sales of Diet Coke are declining, apparently, (along with non-craft soda in general,) so Diet Coke has launched a new campaign called “It’s Mine” with women grabbing after bottles of Diet Coke now packaged in cutsey colorful graphics of the kind they put on kids’ plastic cups. (Including pink and purple!) That pretty much hits the trifecta: women are easily distracted infants, greedy harpies and obsessive shoppers chasing after purchases.

But it’s this image in particular that ultra goes for the stick alien look:

mymo

The dress of course is supposed to resemble Diet Coke itself in a sort of bottle shape. (Hey, they may even have the word “sex” in there subliminally.)

But the woman, oh where to start with the woman. First off, she has one hip that apparently can elongate and swivel outward from her body and around. Her upper torso can twist at a dramatic angle from her lower half, facing forward, while her other leg goes straight back sideways. (Maybe she does yoga.) Her arms are cadaverous and her fingers elongated. Her neck is also elongated, really giving the stick alien appearance, further enhanced by her blonde-ish hair which has been done short and appears in the photo as kind of spiky, in a manner resembling antennae tendrils. (You think they’d do curls for a soda foam resemblance, but I digress.)

She looks, in a word, kind of scary. You would not be surprised to see webbing or ichor or something coming out of her hands and snagging the Diet Coke bottle.

The photo is actually kind of a still shot from a t.v. ad that Diet Coke ran for the Oscars ceremony. (Hence, the ball gown the model wears.) But that ad uses CGI to make the woman’s body like pouring soda with the dress rather than human mobility, and then clearly the image was further photoshopped for print for graphic design reasons over human ones. (In the t.v. ad, when the model drinks the Diet Coke she has caught, her arms are not nearly as frightening.) The print ad is now showing up in various magazines.

Again, it’s one thing to do all the tweaking and glass polishing they regularly do to women in ads. (I can no longer recognize the faces of actresses on magazine covers because they turn them into life-size ceramic dolls.) But to turn a woman in-human, beyond skeletal, does this work to sell the product by just producing a striking image? Maybe it works for something like Diet Coke, but it seems again a fascination of photo editors indulging in surreal art. Rather than selling sex or elegance that might be desired, it’s wiping out the human woman from the image altogether into the otherworldly.

In any case, way to keep it regressive on the product re-packaging and sales pitch, Diet Coke. The soda still tastes awful.

 

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When Publishers Don’t Have Enough Chocolate

I am ill, so this mock Twitter battle cheered me up. It’s between publicists at small Brooklyn press Melville House and giant Penguin Random House. Pretty sure these two people probably know each other — book publishing is a small industry. Click and enjoy:

Clash of the Twitters

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Gamesplayers Are A Mighty Wave

Once upon a time, a very angry man teamed up with some anti-feminist frothy guys to get revenge on his game-designer ex-girlfriend. They claimed that she had sex with a game reviewer in return for favorable review coverage of her game, and harassed, doxed and death threatened her. The fact that the favorable review coverage never occurred was irrelevant; the charge was meant only to raise questions on the Net. Meanwhile, the frothy guys proceeded to attack with doxing, harassment and death threats other women who had nothing to do with game reviewing or game company PR, and then went after anyone and any website that criticized them for it.

Despite all this, their efforts didn’t draw much media attention outside of the geekosphere until two events occurred. First, the frothy guys confused some Intel marketing folk into withdrawing one of thousands of ad buys from a games website that had been critical of them.* And second, they shut down a talk by an academic in women’s studies at a university by threatening a mass shooting at the event. The bulk of the media coverage from that was negative, depicting the frothy guys as terrorizing women and bigoted. Right wing activists, who used to decry games as violent degeneracy, about-faced and helped push the message that those calling for better diversity and talking about the presentation of women in games were somehow corrupting the gaming industry and engaging in vague, often contradictory conspiracies. (*Update: Intel has now re-bought the ads they pulled a month ago, after getting a clue.)

The saddening thing about this campaign – and it has been an organized campaign — is that its threats and identity theft towards these women are ultimately futile towards its main stated goals. Yes, women have only a toehold in the engineering, tech, animation and gaming industries. But women used to have only a toehold in the fields of medicine, law, education, publishing and laboratory sciences too. The men in those areas used to throw up their hands and suggest that maybe the women were few because they weren’t really suited for those fields, while frantically rolling boulders to try to keep women out and making the atmosphere as toxic as possible for the ones who were there.

Women have always worked in games, despite such barriers, from board and tabletop to educational games, sports, and electronic games from the arcade to the console to the computer networks. And women have always played electronic games, in great numbers, from their earliest days. Currently, they make up half the gaming market and the largest demographic group in the 18-39 age range. Electronic games have always been commercially mainstream, put out by large companies for a global market, and sporting a wealth-load of popular spin-off merchandise and toys, from Pac Man lunch boxes to Pong earrings.  Continue reading

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Spam and Eggs Poetry

Spam poetry now, more substance later:

The other day, while I was at work, my sister stole my iphone and tested to see if it can survive a thirty foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My iPad is now broken and she has 83 views. I know this is completely off topic but I had to share it with someone!

This could actually be true. But yeah, it is off topic.

Sometimes, associations has the potential to not damp your out side, as well as make each of them feel disagreeable.

And of course, we all want our out side damp. And agreeable. Like Colin Firth in Pride and Prejudice.

Regrettably short analysis gives you showed significantly more. Mars was seen as of course once whet, While the drier seabeds and so riverways of the fact that most rating the book’s surface area confirm. That is correct, It definitely needs water, As more sightings related to periodic streaking off mountain peak deals with related to ongoing planting season ice cubes burn provide,

Right, we need our out side damp in order to provide Mars with water while burning ice cubes. Makes perfect sense.  (Note: Burning Ice Cubes is the name of my new rock band.)

Last time, we talked about the Amistad case. The Amistad was a slave ship from Cuba. In 1839, it appeared off the eastern coast of the United States. The Africans on the ship had killed white crew members, including the captain. They demanded to go back home, to Africa. But the two remaining slave traders on the ship secretly sailed the Amistad toward the United States.

Yes, spam is now teaching us history lessons. This is the natural evolution of spam. Next week, we will learn about the Magna Carta and which shoes to buy.

Have a happy middle week folks!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Keep Flying with “The Verse,” Firefly Style

The television show Firefly basically became, with one short season on Fox in the U.S. and a follow-up movie, Serenity, for the fans, the mini-series that could. Over a decade after its ending, it’s still loved and feted internationally, and hosts an empire of comics, toys, models, games and merchandise. (My daughter currently has an official Jane hat in her room.)

One of those purveyors of “geek” merchandise, Loot Crate, does subscription gift boxes, and to promote its newest one, it decided to fund a “fan” short film in the Firefly universe, employing the help of several Firefly fan organizations and having Quantum Mechanix, the creators of Firefly Online, do the ship model effects. The result is “The Verse”, a 17-minute short film on the Web that looks and feels close to Joss Whedon’s western with spaceships, with characters loosely similar to the original show’s, but different enough in ways that make them rather interesting.

“The Verse” appears to have had official permission or at least no official objection from the show’s rights holders, since it’s helping sell Firefly merchandise and it’s free. And for us Browncoats, it’s both a pleasant shot of an old fix and a murmur of hope that maybe an official Web or t.v. spin-off of Firefly might get off the ground somewhere. I wouldn’t mind seeing more chapters of “The Verse,” in any case, though the actors need to get a little more comfortable with the dialogue style.

So if you want to have some fun, take a gander at a labor of love and commerce that still charms our attention:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Movies/TV, SFFH

Spam Poetry, Philosophical Version

My current batch of spam comments, when not in Asian print characters, has gone from admonishing me to philosophical cultural commentary.

“Perhaps I’ve been looking at too many fashion magazines. There are a lot of them, proliferating in somewhat the way fashion itself has, as a decentralized system constantly mutating, replicating and deconstructing itself as the globe grows ever smaller. Increasingly, fashion has come to seem influenced not so much by monolithic and oracular editorial posses as by renegades, outsiders with few historical ties to the trade.”

Interesting thesis, give me a twelve page proposal on it by Monday. What? It could be true. I don’t know, I don’t read fashion magazines. What I do know is that A) 90 percent of fashion for stores is designed for fifteen-year-old underweight straight-figured girls, and B) fashion currently is frantically recycling styles from the 1970’s, 80’s, and early 1990’s, which I suspect is not very outlawy.

“’Whether an abduction occurred or not remains to be seen, and out of respect for those close to the ski, I’m not going to speculate on that at this time,’” Sheriff DiSalvo told reporters, adding that every second the ski remained missing its owner was losing valuable time on the slopes. “’Obviously, the pain of knowing one’s ski is out there somewhere, very possibly in harm’s way, is a lot to bear. I just can’t imagine if it were my own ski.’”

This is quite funny satire and fairly coherent, so I’m guessing they cribbed it from something. How this is supposed to sell me anything other than skis, I’m not sure. Perhaps it was penned by a renegade outsider with few historical ties to the trade.

“Fit a period restricted in songs. Similar to a patent is basically a fixed monopoly whereby typically the obvious support is actually awarded the particular unique to certainly make, work with, market the actual branded innovation for any confined time period. Once the name associated with defense has finished, typically the branded development goes in anyone area. Songs is no distinct after that an individual inventing anything.”

Sounds pretty, but doesn’t scan. I think they are making an argument for plagiarism of music and limitation of copyright. Why are they doing such a thing? They’re renegade outlaws! Don’t question it!

 

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Spam Confusion

I have not done a spam poetry entry in quite awhile because I’ve been getting nothing interesting. (Although, it seems the German spammers have found me and send me fake comments in German, which might have something interesting if I spoke German. My German flatmate in Scotland tried to teach me some German long ago but I am physically incapable of making the back of the throat sounds that seem to be required for proper speaking of the parts of the language that do not sound exactly like English words which were originally German words we borrowed or is  the word Volkswagon.)

But I recently got a couple that struck me as worthy of exploring. The first one I think is a psychological test:

You are foregoing rest. You are forcing the children to make their own pancakes. If you jump into the binge pool, head first, then make sure it is the deep end.

It’s true! I have been foregoing rest! But why would I force the children to make their own pancakes? How terribly heartless! And if I jump into the deep end of the binge pool, won’t I drown? Wouldn’t shallow binging be safer? (Note to self: entitle something The Deep End of the Binge Pool before someone else steals it. Also, possibly, The Shallow Binge Pool.)

The word salads of strange translations of disparate languages creates a wonderful kind of art. You should contemplate it next time you are forcing your children to make their own pancakes. (Note to self: entitle something Make Your Own Pancakes.)

But there’s a new trend in spam advertising commentary, one that eschews flowery word salad and existential insights. Yep, they’ve gone for a reverse psychology approach. It’s the Men’s Rights philosophy — insult your target and she will be yours:

Hey, you used to write fantastic but the last several posts have been kind of boring.

This was of course attached to a post full of embedded videos from more than a year ago, not text by me, but no matter. The fact is that I am horribly, horribly chastened, yes I am, and I see nothing for it except to buy a designer handbag and sunglasses. Or possibly to just point out that such a bland insult is nowhere near as interesting as telling me how I should jump into a binge pool. And without waiting a half hour after eating the pancakes, so there.

 

 

 

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