Everyone’s been chattering about the controversial Paddy Power ad-campaign that features odds on the Oscar Pistorius murder trial. Clearly, it is in very poor taste, but is being tasteless illegal?
Either way, increased scrutiny has ensured that the campaign will be investigated by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
The ad, which you can see below, shows the head of Pistorius superimposed onto an Oscar statue and says: “It’s Oscar Time. Money back if he walks. We will refund all losing bets on the Oscar Pistorius trial if he is not found guilty.”
The ASA said they are launching the investigation after receiving 46 complaints in two days. Presumably, all the complaints focused on the fact that Paddy Power ostensibly appear to be trying to make some money out of the death of Reeva Steenkamp.
As ever, with anything vaguely topical, an online petition appeared and over 100,000 people signed it asking Paddy Power to withdraw the advert.
The petition said: ”The brutal death of a woman at the hands of her partner is not ‘sport’ or ‘entertainment’ and promoting the opportunity to make money from it is a vile and offensive act which anyone with a sense of human dignity and respect for human life must reject.”
“138 women died in the UK alone as a result of male violence in 2013. This type of random carelessness for the lives of women by Paddy Power is an affront to those women and their families.”
Meanwhile, Paddy Power’s website encouraged “savvy punters” to have a “courtroom flutter”, signing off with: “One thing’s for sure, trial verdicts don’t come much bigger than this.”
Thus far, Paddy Power are not for shifting, saying: ”We are not planning to take down our betting on the Pistorius trial verdict. We have a long history of offering odds on major global news events and the Oscar Pistorius trial is no different.”
Frozen food giant Birds Eye is launching a new branding and packaging as part of a £60 million Europe-wide relaunch.
They’ve ditched the salty dog Captain Birdseye and his keen crew of suspiciously young seamen (which is probably wise, in this Yewtree era), although there’s no word on whether that polar bear character has been given his P-45 yet.
The campaign, called The Food of Life, aims to ‘champion real food and the way real people eat and interact at meal times’. Shall we have a look at it?
Birds Eye are also trebling their digital spend, and increasing its presence on social media. Overall, the company should be spending approximately £16m in 2014 alone.
That means you’ll be hounded by them, day and night, like a seafarer who can’t unsee the terrors of the ocean.
Following on from British Airways’ planespotting ad, it seems like interactive is now quite the thing for advertising and consumer brand engagement.
The pharmacy brand Apotek have fitted out subway adverts in Stockholm with ultra-sonic sensors that react to when a train is arriving or departing the station.
The ads feature a lady with nice hair that swishes about in reaction to the trains.
Sony’s Walkman MP3 player is a pretty robust piece of kit, but this year, they launched a waterproof version for swimmers. In a bid to catch people’s eye, they decided to market it – confidently – submerged inside a bottle of water.
That’s a bit mental, but clearly a smart piece of advertising. Have a look at the video below. Might be useful if you want to listen to some sad trombone music in a flooded area.
In what is no doubt an attempt to stop people harassing them about their sponsorship of the Winter Olympics, Coca-Cola thought they’d do something about it. Perhaps.
As always with the bunfight that are the Superbowl advertising spots, the soft drink behemoth rolled out “It’s Beautiful”, featuring scenes from American life set to the tune of America The Beautiful (someone clearly earning their bonus with that level of Do? You? See???-ness), sung in a variety of languages to reflect America’s cultural diversity, and even featured some gay parents.
Obviously, the large percentage of America, um, embraced this as only they know how – by being shits on social media. Most of them asking why a traditional English speaking country’s corporation would feature other languages, seemingly unaware of stuff like globalisation.
As if that wasn’t depressing enough, #SpeakAmerican became a trending topic on Twitter. Which judging by some of the ‘commentators’ remarks, was an irony vacuum of its own making. Why not see for yourself and adjust your inner enrage-o-meter to suit.
Or you could just think “it’s an advert, the Earth didn’t crash into the Sun after all”.
Ever taken a ride on a bicycle and thought “hey, I like this getting around on two wheels lark, but I wish there was a way of enhancing the experience somewhat”?
Then HELP IS AT HAND with Trotify.
Trotify describes itself as ‘a delightful addition to any bicycle for a rider who likes a touch of whimsy. Simply attach the wooden device to the front of your bike. As your front wheel spins, it mimics the sound of a horse trotting’.
Oh yes, this is a thing now.
If this sounds like your nosebag, take a canter along to Trotify.com where you can order one, and perhaps some mugs and a tote too.
It’s the year of the horse after all.
Adverts have been getting more sophisticated but, British Airways are next level nuts with a billboard that features a little human reacting to a flight that is going past in the air!
As you can see from the .gif (pronounced ‘jif’) below, this is some serious Minority Report nonsense. We can’t decide if this is amazing or terrifying.
If you visit the Halifax Trade Windows website, you’ll find it is a hugely unremarkable place. However, when they run adverts, they are a lot more saucy.
As you can see below, they’re using the kind of chat and imagery you might find in a London phonebox, with risque chat about PVC and all manner of whipping and bondage stuff.
Full marks to anyone who enjoyed and spotted ‘Sod House’ as well.
[spotted by avid Bitterwallet reader, Nikki]
20 years ago Snoop ‘Doggy’ Dogg was once considered a menace to society, and so dangerous that newspapers were demanding he was refused entry to the UK lest he pervert the nation’s youth into becoming drug dealing gang bangers, or something.
Now, in a new advert for MoneySupermarket, he’s become a frontman for car insurance. In a new advert – to be debuted during this Sunday’s Dancing On Ice (oh my) – which is apparently a ‘celebration of old school hip hop videos’ and authentically ‘shot in South Central LA’ using the What’s My Name? hitmaker mooning about to What’s My Name?
Aside from the argument “well, if it’s good enough for Iggy”, what’s the message sent out by the site? That they will be brilliant and helpful enough to steer you through your financial woes? Or that they’ve done so well that they can spunk several grand on an advert shot on location with one-time ‘evil’ rapper Snoop Dogg, on the basis that some bright spark renaming it MoneySNOOPermarket. Oh God.
Well, at least it’s not the bloody meerkats.
Ever wanted to fire a jet of your goo down a dark hole? Ever wanted to obliterate a load of compacted brown stuff with your powerful, arcing liquid?
Well, you should visit www.EveryHolesaGoal.com which will allow you to do exactly that.
Of course, this is a bawdy marketing campaign by Buster, who make gunk that unblocks sinks and the such. If you like your products on the side of FNARR!, then this is the one for you, pappy.
The anti-photoshop campaign has been problematic at the best of times. It has caused some women to say that ‘real’ women have curves, thereby assuming naturally thin women are figments of our imaginations. Thin women in return, slate bigger women and it all gets ugly. In addition to this, women who are already thin are airbrushed even thinner. Some women like their photos being retouched too.
The whole thing is a confusing mess.
To make matters weirder, a company have decided to have a no-airbrush policy. Aerie Real have a campaign for lingerie brand Aerie, which features models that are, presumably, ‘real’. So far, so fine. However, this lingerie brand is marketed at women aged 15-21. Which means, instead of looking at a doctored image, you’re looking at a photograph of, potentially, a 15 year old in her underpants.
Of course, you can look at a child’s rear in a platonic way, but chances are, this ad-campaign will make many people feel really, really weird.
The tagline “Time to Think Real, Time to Get Real, No Supermodels, No Retouching, Because… The Real You is Sexy” adds further problems.
It goes without saying that some aren’t happy about these adverts either, noting the whole Operation Yewtree element and, on top of that, pointing out that these models are still slim and good looking, which will still inevitably make some women feel alienated or pressured.
That doesn’t matter though because we’re probably all going to prison for looking at these adverts. Great.
The marketing team at Old Spice clearly have the freedom to do as they please after a number of hugely successful adverts. And now, they’re at it again.
This time, they’ve replaced their hunk with a bunch of teary, distressing mothers who have noticed that their sons are growing up. The levels of stalking in this are unsettling and, of course, really funny. Get stuck in.
Every year, companies throw stupid amounts of money at their marketing teams in a bid to get noticed above everyone else. Usually, this comes in the form of television adverts. Sometimes, they can be really good. Mostly, they’re pretty dreadful.
With that, let us look at the best and worse of 2013′s Christmas adverts.
The Range - Turkeys shooting lasers out of their eyes. What’s not to like?
Sainsbury’s - Children being weird and stupid is what makes Christmas ace. The last kid screaming “SANTAZBIN! SANTAZBIN!” is a true reflection of how funny Christmas morning can be.
Harvey Nichols – Well done to Harvey Nichols for being the only retailer with the nerve to acknowledge that the best Christmas stuff is the presents you buy yourself.
K-Mart – Can you hear the Christmas bells ringing?
Aldi – Well done Aldi. This is surprisingly funny.
John Lewis – ‘The Bear and The Hare’ is one of the most saccharine, cloying bits of televisiual nonsense ever broadcast. Lily Allen weakly warbles through a sodding Keane song while an animation shows a bear NOT eating every other animal in sight. What’s the point?
Marks & Spencer – Take a pinch of Tim Burton and a dash of the ‘Free As A Bird’ video that The Beatles did, mix it with some Victorian attitude and what do you have? This dreck.
Tesco – Someone tell Tesco that, if you’re going to artificially age some actors, it might be a good idea to spend a bit more money on your make-up team or else you just end up with two actors looking exactly like themselves, only, they’ve been in the bath a bit too long in a terrible wig.
Macy’s – One Direction star in Macy’s advert and… well…
AND THE ABSOLUTE PITS
KFC – KFC’s musical number is so unbearable that it should be dragged into a public square and flogged. Then kicked up the arse for eternity. Then have its face forced into a deep fat fryer. Then made to thrash itself until there’s little more than a dirty stain on the floor. Then set on fire.