Calgary airport regrets converting disabled parking spaces into "Lexus only" parking spaces

The Calgary airport authority has apologised for a botched marketing campaign in which it sold Lexus on the idea of designating some of its parking places as "Lexus only" and then, unbeknownst to the car company, used disabled parking spots for the purpose (presumably, they were luxuriously spacious). Read the rest

The failure of OK Soda's reverse-psychology ad campaign

OK Soda was a short-lived 1990s soft drink put out by the Coca-Cola company, remarkable for the brilliant postmodern irony of its marketing campaign. Thomas Flight's short documentary tells a fascinating story about its failure.

Can you sell disillusionment? Can you subvert something and achieve the same thing that what you're subverting achieves?

Coca-cola couldn't in 1993. But compare to the successful 2015 LeBron commercial for Sprite, which also sells disillusionment. What, Flight asks, did it do differently?

Flight does point out that OK Soda tasted bad, which might well have been a factor in its quick disappearance.

Conscious postmodernism in advertising usually leads to:

a) Cringe-inducing forced coolness. b) "How do you do, fellow-cynics?" c) the toxic media spillway that ultimately dumped America in a giant tub of Trump. d) The obvious impossibility of marketing piss with metahumor about the awfulness of marketing and of piss.

But sometimes someone gets it right. Read the rest

Google "respectfully disagrees" with €2.42 billion fine

Google expected to be punished by the European Union for anticompetitive shenanigans, but it didn't expect a slap this hard: €2.42 billion, the largest fine on record. The company says it "respectfully disagrees" with both the ruling and the amount and may appeal.

The commission believes it has struck a blow for consumers and for little firms at a time when online advertising - particularly on mobile phones - is dominated by Google and Facebook.

Google believes the regulator has a weak case and has failed to provide evidence that either consumers or rivals have been harmed.

In essence, it sees this as a political move rather than one based on competition law. You can be pretty confident that the Trump administration will share that view.

There's mounting anxiety in European capitals about something called Gafa - Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon - the four American giants that play such a huge role in all of our lives. That means we can expect further action to try to limit their powers, with the potential for growing political tension between Brussels and Washington.

Google abused its dominance of search to promote its own shopping services, the European Commission wrote, systematically shutting out competitors, distorting the market and hurting local shoppers.

Since the beginning of each abuse, Google's comparison shopping service has increased its traffic 45-fold in the United Kingdom, 35-fold in Germany, 19-fold in France, 29-fold in the Netherlands, 17-fold in Spain and 14-fold in Italy.

Following the demotions applied by Google, traffic to rival comparison shopping services on the other hand dropped significantly.

Read the rest

Big Cable asks FCC to ban states' investigations into lies about broadband speed

The cable industry lobby has petitioned the FCC, asking it to ban states from investigating and taking action on deceptive advertising claims about broadband speed -- seeking an end to actions like last year's New York State Attorney General's investigation into Time-Warner's lies about its broadband offerings. Read the rest

Johnny Depp Pimps Beer in Japan

Pirates of the Caribbean 5 not to your taste? How about some ice cold Japanese Asahi Super Dry beer? I can’t get enough. Whether Johnny Depp loves the beer (or just the millions of bucks he was paid by Asahi for making this Japanese TV commercial for their beer) we shall never know.

Hollywood stars (Paul Newman, Tommy Lee Jones, and many others) have a long history of making commercials in Asia that no one in the west is supposed to see. But these days the internet leaves nothing unseen, and so heeeeeeeerrrre’s Johnny!

Via SoraNews 24. Read the rest

Condom ad features Donald Trump

Platinum FMD created this series of spec ads featuring the tagline "some people should never have been born." Read the rest

Creepy satirical VR ad pitches cyberpunk thriller

Harsh Reality is a short movie about how horrible VR is going to be; here's the trailer for the crowdfunding campaign.

ENERGEIA FILMS is proud to be a part of the launch campaign for NOIR Systems's latest entry in the field of VR-enhanced rehabilitation -- the NSYS-EX. As seen in the new short film, HARSH REALITY!

What happens when the technology designed to help us is turned against us? Please help fund HARSH REALITY so you can find out!

VR dystopias are usually posed as an assault on our senses, on our privacy, our sense of self. But honoring the utopian viewpoint--VR as a manifestation of everything we want to see and become, an unfettered self--always held more power for me, especially as prelude to dystopia. The 1988(!) Red Dwarf episode Better Than Life, wherein fully-immersive VR is revealed as a way to completely idealize one's everyday personal flaws, remains my favorite! Read the rest

Classic local auto dealer ad from Baltimore (NSFW unless you are in Baltimore)

Hey, it's new to me! And after a decade living in the U.S. northeast, I feel like I've come to appreciate how it captures Baltimore's unique spirit. [via] Read the rest

Brewers Association to "crack down" on sexist beer ads and labels

A business trade group representing small craft breweries wants them to knock off sexist labels, product names and ads. Zach Fowle, reporting for Draft, says that the new guidelines also want them to stop using imagery that encourages underage consumption.

The organization added two new lines to its Marketing and Advertising Code Wednesday, advising brewers that, along with avoiding advertisements that encourage things like underage consumption or drunk driving, their marketing materials should not:

contain sexually explicit, lewd, or demeaning brand names, language, text, graphics, photos, video, or other images that reasonable adult consumers would find inappropriate for consumer products offered to the public; or contain derogatory or demeaning text or images.

Offenders won't be penalized, they'll just be prohibited from marketing themselves with the groups' awards and indicia, etc. As always, though, you get the feeling people aren't quite up to speed, and might be surprised to learn that vague bans on "inappropriate" content might not serve the interests of diversity.

A staggering baby step in the right direction, though; check out the Beer and Sexism blog. [via Metafilter] Read the rest

Hey, Let's Call the Cast of Star Trek

In 1990, probably around the time that the last film with the cast of the original Star Trek TV show had just finished wrapping up the principle shooting of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (which came out in 1991), MCI somehow managed to wrangle all the cast members, including William (I-Really-Don’t-Want-Anything-To-Do-With-The-Rest-Of-You) Shatner into making this commercial for MCI for their new “Friends and Family” package.

MC-who? For many of us over the age of 40, that was our phone company before it sailed into the corporate void and was bought and put into stasis. It still exists, and is now owned by Verizon, but are there any MCI customers still out there? Maybe they are marooned on the planet where Kirk died after living in a time warp for a century before being killed in a meaningless gesture in Star Trek: Generations. Or maybe he died on some other planet … I’ve managed to erase most of the movie from my mind.

While the commercial's dialogue never rises above late 1980s television cheese, at least it attempts to feed into the actors' onscreen characters. Of course Leonard Nimoy comes off best—he was always the coolest guy on the bridge. Read the rest

The truth behind Pepsi's tone-deaf #blacklivesmatter-commodifying TV spot

How, you say, could Pepsi have been stupid enough to run a TV ad that trivialized the popular uprising against the official murder of black people by American law enforcement? The answer is obvious: They Live. (via JWZ) Read the rest

Unusual computer ad from Japan

Mouse is a middling Japanese laptop brand (Engadget stayed on top of it for a while) with an excellent ad agency. Read the rest

Trump running Facebook ads asking people to attend inauguration

We knew President-elect Donald Trump was having trouble finding acts willing to perform at his inauguration, but now we know he's worried about public turnout too. How? Because he's running Facebook ads begging New Yorkers to attend. Read the rest

Scottish techno version of 1980s Turkish Delight ad

Fry's Turkish Delight was full of Eastern Promise in the fabulous yet problematic 1980s UK advertisement embedded here. The amazing thing about it is how it made me, a child, think that eating this vile substance1 might be a good idea; when I did so, as a result of this ad, I instantly and completely understood the power and magic of advertising.

Below is Limmy's "Scottish remix" of the Fry's Turkish Delight theme, which somehow captures all of these feelings and contexts ("It's like eating an old woman's perfume") and nails them to the tree of wonders. [via]

Limmy's Soundcloud is going to keep me occupied all day; sadly, he hasn't done a techno remix of The Ambassador's Reception yet.

1. I know that real Turkish Delight is different and better. Read the rest

Beijing subway ad for an anti-smog rebreather

Bloomberg Asia journalist David Ramli tweeted this photo of a bicep-mounted anti-pollution filter for joggers, displayed on the wall of a Beijing subway station, the day after Beijing posted record pollution levels, 24X the WHO recommendations, with 24 other cities issuing red alerts. (via JWZ) Read the rest

Mumbai's beggars and Trump Tower billboard: not fake news

Last weekend, your social media feed might have featured this photo of beggars sleeping on a pavement in Mumbai, in front of a Trump Tower billboard emblazoned "There is only one way to live. The Trump Way." Read the rest

Public Citizen's Fox News ad shows Trump putting a fox in every henhouse

Public Citizen's extraordinary new 74-second political ad features audio of Donald Trump promising to end the role of big money, lobbyists, and special interests in politics, contrasted with headlines describing the industrial big-money ties of his transition team and cabinet picks, packed with billionaires, notorious CEOs of corrupt companies, offshoring specialists, and other looters. Read the rest

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