Friday, January 30, 2009

Ad alert

After reading "Buy-ology," I am especially alert to issues around advertising, and they seem to be popping up all over the place.
Yesterday, I picked Sr. Barbara up at the airport (YAY! She finally arrived to join our Chicago community!); I didn't take the car, though. She wanted an introduction to public transit in the Windy City, so I took the el. On one platform, I noticed that the billboard was a single word (HOWDY), with the "O" replaced by the Pepsi logo. Only nothing on the billboard said "Pepsi." And I realized that the Obama campaign logo bore a striking resemblance to that of Pepsi. (So striking, in fact, it's surprising there wasn't a suit for trademark infringement--but Pepsi may have reasoned that it wasn't going to hurt them one bit to have a copycat logo plastered across America.) On the way back, as we waited on the platform to change trains, I saw that the whole platform was decked in these Pepsi billboards, all featuring enormous words with a prominent logo in place of the letter "O." It was so over the top a case of riding on Obama's coattails, one of the billboards was the word HOPE!
Then yesterday's paper indicated that a Super Bowl commercial (if you're not into football, that's all the Super Bowl is about) was rejected for "sexual content." (According to Martin Lindstrom, some ad campaigns deliberately push the envelope on this, because the controversy is even more effective in promoting their image than the ad itself would be!) Anyway, I learned today that it was an "animal rights" ad from the people at Peta.
And today I heard of another rejected Super Bowl ad. Only this one you've seen already. On this blog!

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