Thou shalt not offend!

22 May

Remember how bad this year’s Super Bowl commercials were? The flatulent horse et al…There is suddenly a vigilante movement out there making marketers aware how bad things are:

Bob Garfield of Advertising Age was noticably unhappy about Bob Dylan’s appearing in a Victoria’s Secret ad. he said:

“Folk rockers who burst into our consciousness singing war protests should not be doing lingerie commercials in the middle of a war.”

I usually like reading Garfield wacky take on advertising, even though he if off base a lot, but it’s hard to imagine why he wishes there to be a higher standard for lingerie comemrcials, of all things, just because there is a war.

There is a report in the ‘Adages’ section of AdAge that the Percussive Arts Society protested to ESPN about a print ad in USA Today, that had this headline:

“Your kids could learn how to play the drums.
(But then they would know how to play the drums.)

The accompanying visual is that of a youngster swinging a golf club. ESPN cancelled the ad.

This is not of the same magnitude as the offensive Nike Air Goat ad which ran ‘edgy’ copy making fun of people in wheel chairs. See the ad that spoke of a “drooling, misshapen, non-ectreme, trail-running husk of my former self forced to roam the earth in a motorized wheelchair..” Also, check the controversy here.

Bottom line: marketing is about forging partnerships. Not making enemies.

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Posted by on May 22, 2004 in Communications


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