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Posts Tagged ‘dumb commercials’

Volkswagen Takes on ‘Take on Me’

You may have already seen Deutsch LA‘s new Volkswagen spot, which rightly earned “ad of the week” status, but it’s hump day and we love fun clips so here you go:

Yes, this spot makes us feel old. But despite the fact that Ad Week calls its source material “semi-obscure”, we’re fairly sure that anyone who has ever visited one of our nation’s many fine karaoke establishments will appreciate it as soon as they hear that first synthesizer riff…

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Dunkin’ Donuts Didn’t Look So Great in Blackface

Well, then: welcome back to the grind. We hope your hangover isn’t too harsh—and if it is you can just chug some Pedialyte.

So what happened over the long weekend? To start it all off, Dunkin’ Donuts hung its head and apologized for August’s biggest facepalm moment, a “bizarre and racist” ad starring an actress in blackface. This story makes a little more sense when you consider the fact that the spot ran in Thaliand, where CEOs and creative departments are all apparently a little loopy (and racist).

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Axe Will Send 22 Teenage Boys Into Space

Ballsy promotions are nothing new for Axe Body Wash/Spray/Incense/Baby Powder, also known as the secret weapon of hormonal teenage boys everywhere.

The company’s latest stunt is certainly its most brazen. In order to promote a new line of products that will blasphemously be known as Axe Apollo, parent company Unilever enlisted former astronaut Buzz Aldrin (who is only the second person to walk on the moon, BTW) and the Space Expedition Corporation to create its new promo project: sending 22 customers into space.

We’re not exactly sure what intergalactic travel has to do with cologne, and we have a feeling that most members of the target demographic would go “into orbit” if a female so much as looked at them, nyuk nyuk. But Axe is never one to veer off-brand: This commercial, for example, reminds boys that astronauts always get chicks–even when there are heroic firefighters around.

Well, that was dumb.

The most interesting thing about this campaign: the promo concept came before the product.

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Branding Fail: Ellen Mocks Bic’s ‘For Her’ Line

Let’s get the obvious out of the way: Bic’s “For Her” pen series was a really dumb idea. Why, exactly, would women need a different sort of writing utensil—not to mention a premium pen that costs nearly twice as much as the company’s other, 99% identical products? Are we to assume they’re all “For Him”? Bic’s big selling point: this revolutionary line was “designed to fit a woman’s hand”–whatever that means.

For once, we see the inevitable internet outrage as completely justified–this is one of the more condescending exercises in “brandering” (we just made that up) that we’ve seen recently. Forbes even tried to figure out what the hell Bic was thinking and came up empty-handed. 

Here’s the good part: The always-funny Ellen Degeneres caught wind of the stupid story when Bic had the…balls to try recruiting her as a spokesman. She was so peeved that she took four minutes on her show this week to shame the company with a monologue and a fake commercial. We would write more, but we’d rather just let this bit stand on its own:

Touché! (For some more clever takedowns, check out the product’s Amazon page.)

PR Boomerang: America Welcomes William Shatner Back to Priceline


Go ahead, make fun of Germany’s infatuation with David Hasselhoff. But before you scoff at how campy an entire culture can be, let’s direct our attention inward and examine America’s infatuation with William Shatner—who, incidentally, will be returning as Priceline’s “negotiator” in upcoming ad spots.

That’s right, Priceline knows that America has a strangely loyal relationship with Shatner. The fact that his character will return as spokesman after literally dying in a fiery crash earlier this year brings us a level of joy we haven’t felt since the return of the McRib. PR experts, of course, want to capture the secret behind America’s love for Shatner so they can replicate it, package it and profit from it over and over again.

But we’re hard-pressed to define or explain our nation’s collective affinity for a man who has taken us to the final frontier and back for more than 40 years. Read more