Tag Archives: advertisements

#TheDress Tackles Domestic Violence

When I saw this ad my initial reaction was, “can’t we just let this damn dress debate go? Seriously?” Until I saw the ad the Salvation Army in South Africa just released and it might just be the most gut wrenching, but powerful take on the viral phenomenon — in the form of a domestic violence PSA.


agency: Ireland Davenport


“Why is it so hard to see black and blue?” reads the headline as the model in the photograph is clad in the white and gold shaded dress covered in bruises. The copy then reads: “The only illusion is if you think it was her choice. One in 6 women are victims of abuse. Stop abuse against women.”

(the original version of this posting appeared on tagroom.com)

Karate Chopping Super Bowl Sexism

#NotBuyingIt app screenshot.

#NotBuyingIt app screenshot.

Social media has proven time and time again that it is a ninja raising awareness, causing chaos or in this instance, karate chopping (hiiiyahh) sexism in advertising.

For the past two years and before the existence of this blog, I would sit every Super Bowl Sunday in my yoga pants and Redskins jersey (yes, I’m aware they haven’t been to the big game since ’91) cross-legged on the couch nomming on mini potato skins (with bacon!), nachos con queso, watching teams of men go at it on the field to be the best in the nation. (Cue testosterone grunt.) And then there are the commercials drawing in the non-football fans to the TV. I think these commercials are always overhyped and in my opinion, pretty terrible and lack of creativity  (except for this one) because they too often degrade women, over sexualize women, and objectify women. For the record: If men were portrayed in these big game ads in similar ways, I would have the same problem. Why? Because “sex sells.” But me and many others are not buying it!
My thought: if the products and services were any good they wouldn’t need sex to sell them, amiright?

How many times did we see that Go Daddy commercial starring the first professional female race car driver, Danica Patrick and had NO CLUE WHAT GO DADDY WAS TRYING TO SELL?!?! This ad created that shock and awe factor I’ve talked about before, a buzz around the commercial that led people to figure out (thanks, Google) what or who Go Daddy is and what he was hiding under all that unnecessary sexism. This ad and many others are prime examples of advertising abuse, or not using advertising for the sake of selling, but for the sake of shocking (and awing).

These ads left a bad taste (and no, it wasn’t the queso) in the mouths of viewers everywhere who took to Twitter to share their disgust and concern by using the hashtag #NotBuyingIt. The #NotBuyingIt campaign, created by The Representation Project, is a movement that uses film and media content to expose injustices created by gender stereotypes and to shift people’s consciousness towards change. Due to the success of the campaign in the 2012 and 2013 Super Bowls an app was launched, which you can download for free from iTunes and upload your own examples in the media and everyday life of how sexism won’t sell.

I’ll be tweeting live during Super Bowl XLVIII using #NotBuyingIt and #MediaWeLike to call out the very worst and best in Super Bowl advertising. Super Bowl isn’t just a spectator sport, join me!





Got Insurance? Ads and the Miley Effect

Over a week ago I stumbled upon these insurance ads targeting “millennials.”  And it took me about that long to tame my frustration, disgust and anger to put my thoughts into digestible sentence for consumption. (yum)
The most aggressive ad features a photo of a titillated young woman standing beside a pleased-looking man and holding a packet of birth-control pills. The text reads, “Let’s get physical. OMG, he’s hot! Let’s hope he’s as easy to get as this birth control. My health insurance covers the pill, which means all I have to worry about is getting him between the covers. I got insurance. Now you can too. Thanks Obamacare!” Beneath their photo is the caption, “Susie & Nate Hot to Trot.” Grrrreattt. insurance1

This is the follow up to the original brosurance ads in the Got Insurance? campaign spearheaded by two Colorado non-profits, ProgressNow Colorado and Colorado Consumer Health Initiative. Both aim to encourage young people to enroll in the state’s new heath care exchange, part of the Affordable Care Act.
Though I would have loved to be at that meeting table when someone was like “hey, I’ve got an idea that is so ridiculous it might just work.”

I just find it appalling that no one had the moral compass or integrity to sit there and come up with educational pieces targeting millennials.

You know we have brains and opinions. And well in my opinion the millennial generation is one of the most progressive generations our culture has seen in a long time.
For example, if they were addimat in using the Hey Girl/Ryan Gosling imagery they could have had the copy on the ad read: Hey Girl! …GO GET INSURANCE SO YOU WON’T DIE UNDER A MOUNTAIN OF DEBT WHEN YOU GET SICK! insurance1Ryan(literally).

What’s even crazier is this ridiculous and sexist (yea I said it) ads are working  because they’re drawing attention based on the shock and awe factor, or the Miley Effect. Miley is a talented singer, but her shock and awe tactics (twerkin, wrecking ballin whilst only sporting boots while riding said wrecking ball) tend to overshadow that talent, but somehow keeps her relevant and in the news. This is similar to these ads; (go with me here) there’s a buzz circulating around in news and interwebz about how ridiculous and “oh I can’t believe they…”  keeping them newsworthy, in all the wrong ways because news outlets tend to make a hard left from the real (I hope) reason the ads were created: yo, young people get insurance to protect yourself!

What are your thoughts on these insurance ads? What would your ads say targeting young people to enroll in insurance?! Let me know in the comments!