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Hamburger High Art

Help her! That burger is eating her head!

When great ads support “not so great for you” products

Have you seen this new Wendy’s baconater commercial?

This ad is a great example of a really funny use of innovative graphics to do what?
sell you a hamburger that is bigger than your head!
Now I am not adverse to a good hamburger every now and then, but I usually choose In-N-Out Burger who I believe do not even advertise anywhere, yet they are always packed.
But back to the baconater, these ads remind me of David Wojnarowicz, when he took all these pictures around New York City with a iconic mask of Arthur Rimbaud on, Rimbaud is the poet who inspired everyone from Surrealists to Patti Smith.

You know this ability to use such compelling graphics to sell stuff that makes us really fat is the reason why I am such an advocate of culture jamming being done by the people over at AdBusters. I am pretty sure that no one ever needs to eat in one sitting: Six strips of hickory smoked bacon piled high atop two 1/4 lb. patties of beef, complete with two slices of American cheese. EEEEEK!
As my good friend Gwendolyn always says “you have to use your powers for good, not evil.”
Someone who is using his power for good and not evil is Shaquille O’Neal, in his new ABC show called Shaq’s Big Challenge, he takes 6 children through a medical weight loss program and inadvertently deals with school lunch programs and physical education (or the lack thereof). Shaq is so empathic towards these kids, you can see even this mighty man being demoralized by the forces that weigh these children down (no pun intended)
We have a responsibility to create inspiring exciting design for good not evil.

Tell us some examples you have of great ads that are created for “not so great” products.

Absurdist Advertising

Recently advertising is taking a turn towards the absurd… well I shouldn’t say recently, advertisers have always pushed the envelope as far as unconventional humor goes, but you typically only saw this approach with smaller brands that were more flexible and willing to take risks.

I’ve posted one print campaign and three separate tv commercials from major brands to exemplify my point.

Orbit Gum:

Beautiful Teeth
Emerald Nuts:

Old Spice:

Hot Pockets:

There are two benefits immediately apparent in this style of marketing:

  1. It is, or can be, dirt cheap.
  2. It is very effective with mellinials (god how I loath that word, but it’s very apropos in this instance)

One warning though, it is much easier to execute this style in video rather than in print.

I would be curious to know what all of you think of this?

You are infected with… HUMANS!!!

This video was pulled from Three Legged Legs via Drawn!. When I saw this I was struck by how, a campaign framed in this way, would be infinitely more effective than the advertising that PETA puts out, which is odd since Three Legged Legs isn’t trying to change the world, they are just showing off their amazing animation skills.

That’s the problem with non profits in general – they get so bogged-down with changing the world that their message gets lost because of their own self-importance. Shoving images of butchered lambs into the hands of people who are enjoying their morning Starbucks (à la PETA) is alienating the people they are trying to influence; however, a simple re-framing that connects to the audience would work wonders.

This video communicates the same core message just in a way that is much more accessible to everyone.

Campaign against READ

Look at all the Celebs that want you to READ.
I can’t be the only one that thinks these are awful.

I’m not one to bash other people’s marketing efforts; I think it is extremely admirable that ALA got hip to marketing before everyone else, but i feel like they are beating a dead horse with both “READ” and “@ your library”.

It is time for ALA to re-think their marketing. There is one rule in marketing: Know thy audience. I don’t care how many skateboarders and rappers they slap on those READ posters, there is no way they are ever going to be cool.

Libraries are hard pills to swallow for millennials, this campaign helps alienate them even more. If ALA is serious about getting the next generation into libraries, they need to breath some fresh life into their marketing and come at it with a different perspective. This axiom stands for all institutions; I know for a fact that some of you out there using the READ campaign as some part of your marketing.

Something that ALA hasn’t grasped is that at this stage in the game it is more important for libraries to market to their specific audiences rather than to work toward creating a cohesive image for libraries as a whole.

Speaking as a “millennial” (although I hate to admit it) your job as a marketer is to let me know why I should bother stepping foot in a library when I have the world at my fingertips on the internet, telling me to READ isn’t going to cut it.

Message Placement


Our friends over at Advertising/Design Goodness have brought us another great example of effective message placement; talk about demographic targeting.

“Great idea for Fissler pans. When you buy a piece of meat at the grocery store it will be wrapped in piece of paper with the pan on it.”

Striking a Chord

I found this post on We-Make-Money-Not-Art about La Linea by Osvaldo Cavandoli (see video below) a French TV show from the early 70s. I love this concept of using a simple line to convey complex emotion/action.

Immediately upon seeing La Linea, I thought of a modern example of of this same technique… The new Hilton Hotel’s advertising campaign “Travel should take you places” (see video below).

I really love the simplicity of these.

You can find other clips of La Linea here, here, and here.
And the other three Hilton ads here, here, and here.

Advertising/Design Goodness Blog


Advertising/Design Goodness is a great resource for inspiration with some of the best ads from around the world including corporate design, student work, and guerilla marketing.

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Advertising/Design Goodness