MrConsumer specializes in spotting packaging tricks such as mouse print: small, low-contrast or otherwise obscured text designed to fool the consumer into thinking a product is something it is not. He spotted this very bland, normal looking bottle of olive oil available at Target. It's just olive oil, right? It says right there that it's extra virgin olive oil. Look closer, with a child's perfect eyes.
So how does this company get away with a label so seemingly deceptive? No one had gone after them — until last month. A New York law firm just filed a class action lawsuit against the company alleging that its label is violating the deceptive practice consumer protection laws of all 50 states.
Here's the class-action lawsuit filed against Iberia Foods, the company behind Sunflower Oil & Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
The “Extra Virgin Olive Oil” is in conspicuous gold that is prominent to the eye. By contrast, the sunflower oil disclosure is in black typeset that b lends into the dark green background and will be readily missed once the more ostentatious olive oil disclosure catches the hurried shopper’s eye
In any case, much supermarket olive oil is reportedly fake even when it's "honestly" labeled.
I recommend Dehesa de la Sabina [Amazon], an award-winning olive oil sourced from a single-estate cooperative in Spain and not outrageously expensive. Read the rest “Amazing "extra virgin olive oil" labeling scam”
Kevin McCallister (played by Macaulay Culkin, of course) is no longer a boy but has been left home alone again in the same house he was back in the early 1990s. The difference? This time the house is controlled by voice-activated devices so he's able to get stuff done without lifting a finger by talking to Google Assistant.
It's a cute advertisement but remember, ya filthy animal, that EFF has put "creepy, surveillant" devices like the ones featured in the video on the don't-buy list.
Personal side note: My awesome cousin James was the art director on this!
Thanks, Andy! Read the rest “38-year-old Macaulay Culkin is Home Alone again in this fun ad”
The film above documents "Treatment Box," a one-day installation in New York City's Greenwich Village over the summer where passers-by could watch 26-year-old Rebekkah suffer through the horrors of painkiller and heroin withdrawal. Anti-addiction organization The Truth orchestrated the recording and public showing of Rebekkah's five-day experience that was edited into a single long-form video. After the detox, Rebekkah entered a treatment facility for treatment at no cost to her. From Ad Age:
Read the rest “Public watched opioid addict detox on big screens in Greenwich Village”
The scenes of her shaky limbs, nausea, vomiting and insomnia played out on a three-dimensional installation at Astor Place in New York City in June. Passersby stopped to watch a life-size Rebekkah in her room, often huddled in bed, wracked with pain. Interspersed are short interviews where she explains that she was prescribed opioids when she was 14, after injuring her ankle during cheerleading practice. Addiction quickly followed, and two months later, she tried heroin. “I feel like I’m coming back from the dead,” she says on Day 3 of detox...
Before beginning the campaign, the organizations met with a medical ethicist to determine whether the project should move forward, and the treatment protocols were reviewed by Phoenix House, a national addiction treatment program.
I can imagine the first brainstorm: "What if the monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey was actually a massive pack of cigarettes? And they found it at the bottom of the ocean?" Here's the actual back story according to Big Dog Media Productions:
When health warnings first appeared on packets in 1971 and the rules for cigarette advertising rules were changed, tobacco companies were faced with the challenge of maintaining brand awareness and driving sales in a market made more aware of the risks than ever before.
The change in rules, coupled with a fresh approach to advertising in general, gave birth to a unique genre of advertising that neatly ticked the boxes of the rule book yet created an art form. As with Surrealist art, these ads aimed to surprise and intrigue the viewer by replacing the objects people expected to see in a particular scene with something incongruous – in this case, a packet of cigarettes.
Collett Dickenson Pearce was tasked with the advertising for Benson & Hedges in 1973....
The story goes that Frank Lowe, Managing Director at CDP in 1977, had two finished campaigns to present. After much debate, he took both campaigns to CDP’s Creative Director, Colin Millward, and asked him his view.
Colin said “…one will let you sleep at night, the other will make you famous.”
(via r/ObscureMedia, thanks UPSO!) Read the rest “An astoundingly odd cinematic cigarette commercial from 1977”
Just when you thought that Facebook couldn't get any more greasy, they have outdone themselves in a manner that places them well beyond even the most succulent of French Chef finger-kisses: the phone numbers that many folks gave them in order to activate the service's two-factor authentication protection? Zuckerberg and his crew are using it to serve up advertisements to unsuspecting users.
Facebook’s confession follows a story Gizmodo ran a story yesterday, related to research work carried out by academics at two U.S. universities who ran a study in which they say they were able to demonstrate the company uses pieces of personal information that individuals did not explicitly provide it to, nonetheless, target them with ads.
While it’s been — if not clear, then at least evident — for a number of years that Facebook uses contact details of individuals who never personally provided their information for ad targeting purposes (harvesting people’s personal data by other means, such as other users’ mobile phone contact books which the Facebook app uploads), the revelation that numbers provided to Facebook by users in good faith, for the purpose of 2FA, are also, in its view, fair game for ads has not been so explicitly ‘fessed up to before.
The best part of all of this is that, according to TechCrunch, Facebook had the chance to confess to their shitty behavior some time ago when it was revealed that users who submitted a phone number for 2FA purposes were being spammed with texts ads sent to their smartphones. Read the rest “Facebook's been caught using their customers' 2FA information to spam them with text ads”
In 1985, HR Giger created a Japanese ad campaign for Pioneer's Zone home audio system. Apparently the biomechanical masterpieces seen in these print and TV campaigns were originally created by Giger for Alejandro Jodorowsky's never-made adaptation of Dune.
Read the rest “Watch H.R. Giger's fantastic home stereo commercial from 1985”
Everything has a cost, especially in the realm of online services. It used to be a pretty common practice for providers of 'free' email services to scan their user's messages for data that'd be valuable to advertisers. The data got sold to keep the email provider's lights on, with in-browser advertising filling in the financial gaps. Most email providers abandoned the practice, years ago: they were amazed to find that it pissed off their users. Yahoo's parent company, Oath, however, is getting back on this particular brand of bullshit.
From The Verge:
Yahoo’s owner, Oath, is in talks with advertisers to provide a service that would analyze over 200 million Yahoo Mail inboxes for consumer data, sources told WSJ. Oath did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Oath confirmed to the WSJ that it performs email scannings and said that it only scans promotional emails, usually from retailers. Users have the ability to opt out, it said. Oath’s argument is that email is an expensive system, and people can’t expect a free service without some value exchanged.
Greasier still is the fact that even if you pony up the dough, on a monthly basis, for Yahoo's premium email services, your data will get scanned unless you opt to opt out. Finding the page that lets you do this, surprise, surprise is not easy to do. We've got your back, though. Follow this link to take control of your Oath-related privacy settings.
Oath swears that the data scraping method they use ignores personal information and personal identifiers. Read the rest “WSJ: Yahoo plans to scan users' messages for data to sell to advertisers”
Japan's Wakino Ad Company is selling ad space on women's underarms for rates starting at 10,000 yen/hour. Their first paid campaign comes from Seishin Biyo Clinic for its armpit hair removal process. From Straits Times:
Read the rest “Ad space available on people's armpits”
Meanwhile, Wakino is calling for aspiring models to raise their hands, as it has since embarked on a recruitment drive via its website.
The company, which said it is open to hiring male models as well, will also be organising an armpit beauty contest.
Through a mix of archival and current footage, this lovely documentary puts Milton Glaser's iconic I ❤ NY logo in historical context. Read the rest “Documentary on Milton Glaser and the legendary I ❤ NY logo”
Thanks to YouTube and short attention spans, the humble movie trailer has surged in popularity in the past decade. In that time, the number of agencies that make trailers jumped from 12 to over 100. Read the rest “The movie trailer business is booming, even if theatre attendance isn't”
Please don't shoot the messenger on this one. But to show how mad advertising has become, I present to you this super-weird commercial for Gain laundry detergent where a boy sniffs a jockstrap.
Here's the premise: Two boys (the "Martinez brothers") attempt to prank their napping "dad" by placing a jockstrap (that they just pulled out of a gym bag with a stick) on his face. What the young pranksters don't know is that the jockstrap has been washed with Gain, which has effectively eliminated the man-crotch aroma. So, instead of being woken up in disgust by the smell of his own junk, the dad just smiles and keeps on sleeping. Confused, the older boy then takes the jockstrap back and gives it a deep huff. The announcer says, "That, boys, is the sweet smell of defeat."
I'm laughing so hard. Who greenlighted this?! And what parent would be ok with their child taking an acting role that involves sniffing a jockstrap to sell laundry detergent?
The internet has questions too:
Read the rest “There's jockstrap huffing in this TV commercial for Gain”
"101 degrees in the shade..."
It's been hot in the Bay Area and I was joking with a friend that we should take the "Nestea Plunge." They had no idea what I was talking about which surprised me, given the iconic ad campaign ran from the 1970s through the 1990s (and came back in 2014).
I grew up on Cape Cod, so we didn't have a pool, we just went to the beach when it was hot. For hours, my friends and I would put our arms out and fall backwards into the Atlantic, trying to reenact the Plunge we saw on TV. It was like an in-water trust fall with only the waves to catch you.
Cripes, you all remember it, don't you? Surely it's just an anomaly that my friend didn't know about it.
"Temperature was up around 103..."
"The temperature was up around 111..."
"Come on, taste the taste of wetness..."
Even legendary groupie Pamela Des Barres took the Nestea Plunge
They're *still* taking the Plunge in the Philippines Read the rest “Remember taking the "Nestea Plunge" when it was hot?”
"Red Coke," aka Riunite on Ice, was largely inspired by the 1940s "Man, Oh Manischewitz" ads. Here, voiceover genius Bob Crane does several impressions for that Robitussin-adjacent wine beloved by middle-class boomers both Jewish and gentile. Read the rest “Listen to noted perv Bob Crane improv an ad for "Man, Oh Manischewitz"”
Mr. Friendly is a waterless public urinal that integrates a video screen to show you ads while you pee. This is just begging for "gamification." From the Dutch manufacturer:
Mr. Friendly Toilet (via Neatorama)
Every gentleman knows that a toilet break is a moment of relaxation. This is when we have “time on our hands”. We seize that perfect moment with our unique Mr.Friendly urinal. Sponsors of environmentally friendly urinals are happy with that moment when they can display a nice video to introduce themselves.
As a location holder you can also use the built-in display. Communicate your message at a unique moment.
Read the rest “Video toilet displays ads while men pee”
Ram used a sound clip from a Martin Luther King Jr. sermon, played over a montage of stereotypically patriotic imagery, as an ad for a truck. In response, Nathan Robinson took another quote (reportedly from the same speech) of MLK's thoughts on advertising--specifically, automobile advertising--and put it to the same video.
The agency knew what it was doing. They knew it would upset people. What a rotten, cynical ad. Read the rest “MLK on car ads”
Donning a much-glitzier version of the black western bowtie and white suit that Colonel Harland Sanders is famous for, country music legend Reba McEntire is now playing an androgynous version of KFC's iconic founding father in a new ad campaign. Read the rest “Reba McEntire plays an androgynous Colonel Sanders in new KFC ad campaign”