When Religion Meets Advertising

Posted April 10, 2007 by lizroth23
Categories: Ads, Advertising, Controversial Advertising, Creative Advertising, Opinion, Positive Advertising, Religion, Religious Advertising, Uncategorized, Wonder Cafe

As I continue to sift through countless site on the web about advertising, I came across one that particularly interested me. Wonder Cafe,  a site based out of Canada, is all about religion.  As my blog continually discusses controvresial advertising, this site is particularly fitting.  Wonder Cafe has developed and advertising campaign that is intended to be controversial.  The idea behind the advertisments is to get people to discuss religion, and it is very successful.  I am unable to show the advertisements in my blog post, but go check them out!

Wonder Cafe Advertisments (click on the link entitled “Ad Campaign” in the bottom left corner of the home page)

 As a born and raised Catholic (not to mention 12 years of the Catholic school system), some of the advertisements go again what I was taught to believe.  The website strongly encourages individuals to talk about the advertisements, with discussion forums created for each ad.  I enjoyed the advertisements, and I think that they provide a good focal point for the ever-dreaded topic of discussion: religion.  I found the forums on these advertisements to be particularly interesting. 

 In my opinion, I beleive that Wonder Cafe does an excellent job of using controversial advertising to promote discussion about religion.


It’s All in the Name

Posted March 22, 2007 by lizroth23
Categories: Ads, Advertising, College Life, Creative Advertising, Opinion

For a project in one of my college courses, I have joined a group of students in creating a website designed for an audience of college students.  One thing I have learned in my previous research about advertising is that a product’s, or in this case, a publication’s name is very important.  The name is so powerful that it can draw unsuspecting visitors to our site as well as deter individuals who might actually be interested in the information provided.

 Thus, search for our publication’s name is a difficult one.  I am asking if you have any ideas that you would please help us!  I have provided a little background information about the project and audience, so if any bright ideas come to mind, your comments would be greatly appreciated.

The audience is local college students in a small city in Western Wisconsin.  The city has three college campuses that the publication would target.  The publication itself will include sections on the following topics in the local area: entertainment, health, travel, relationships/dating, and the bar scene.

Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty

Posted March 22, 2007 by lizroth23
Categories: Ads, Advertising, Controversial Advertising, Dove Campaign for Real Beauty, Positive Advertising

Back in early February, I posted about the portrayal of women in the media.  At that time, I had heard of Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty, but knew very little about it.  Sure, I had seen the commercials of women “loving the skin their in,” but when someone posted a comment on my blog about the campaign, I became interested in Dove’s motives behind this particular campaign.

Through reasearch, Dove came to the conclusion that most women believe that the media and advertising set unrealistic standards for beauty that are unattainable for most women.  Thus, Dove has created a successful campaign that attempts to promote the beauty of all ages, sizes, and colors.  The idea promoted within the advertising is that each woman is different and different is beautiful.

 The campaign website provides links to many of Dove’s commercials, but it also provides statistics about how women view themselves in relationship to the media’s portrayal of beauty.   One of the most recent advertisements that was not allowed to air focused on promoting “pro-age” versus the common “anti-age” beauty products.  The commercial was very controversial, and the website even provides a forum for women to post their opinions, good or bad.

 After viewing the website, I think that the campaign is a postitive step for the portrayal of women in the media.  Every woman is beautiful, and they should “love the skin their in”.

In addition to the advertisements on this website, I also found a video about digital restoration/distortion.  The beginning of the video shows a woman’s face without makeup.  By the end of the film, this woman’s face has been transformed through makeup and digital retouching to be part of a billboard advertisement.  On the billboard, her face is unrecognizable. I strongly encourage you to check out the short film.

Fast-Forwarding Through the World of Advertising

Posted February 19, 2007 by lizroth23
Categories: Ads, Advertising, DVR, TiVo

One major outlet for advertisers is T.V. commercials, but with the increasing popularity of DVR services, commercials are beginning to disappear.  Last night I sat in the living room with my roommates to watch our Sunday night T.V. shows at about 9:30 p.m.  Although our favorite show starts at 9:00, we let our DVR service begin recording the show at 9:00, but we don’t watch it until around 9:30, so we can fast-forward through all of the commercial spots.


 A recent online articleby Technews World states that by 2010, over 50 percent of Americans will have some sort of DVR service in their homes.  Will this statistic be detrimental to the effectiveness of television commercials?  Most researchers say that it won’t be a problem.  Because television commercials are not the only outlet for advertisers, not many advertising agencies have been concerned.  In addition, DVR services are beginning to attempt to include advertisers in the DVR process.  For example, TiVo has proposed using pop-up icons of advertisers on the television screen when individuals are fast-forwarding through commercials (see graphic on the right).

Viewers will then be allowed to click on a company’s logo to view an advertisement or have additional product mailed to their home.  However, I don’t think that this advertising stunt will be very effective.  One of the main reasons people get DVR services in the first place is so that they don’t have to be bombarded with advertisments.

However, I don’t think that the increasing population of DVR services will have a large impact on the advertising world.  Though DVR services provide a way to avoid some advertising, advertisers are just going to find other ways to advertise.


Posted February 15, 2007 by lizroth23
Categories: (RED), Ads, Advertising, AIDS, Creative Advertising, Positive Advertising

The recent (RED) campaign, founded by Bono and Boddy Shriver, raises money to eliminate AIDS in Africa.  This ad campaign joins many companies, from Gap to Motorola, in a fight for a good cause.  The participating companies promote the campaign by advertising special editionsof products in the color red: a red ipod, a red Gap t-shirt, a red American Express card, a red Armani watch, and so on.

 The idea behind the campaign is simple: citizen consumers have great power.  Individuals can choose to buy or not to buy certain products.  If consumers sign up for (RED) services or buy (RED) products, at no additional cost to them, the campaign will donate money to distribute medicine to AIDS victims in Africa.

 The founders of (RED) believe that if the (RED) products meet the consumer’s needs, when given a choice, they will choose (RED) sponsors over non-(RED) sponsers.  As consumers begin to choose (RED) products over non-(RED) products, more and more companies will want to join the campaign, because it makes good business sense to do so.  Thus, the more companies selling (RED) products, the more lives saved.

 I don’t think it is that difficult of a decision.  Buy (RED); save lives.

 After my last few posts about the negative aspects of advertising, it is refreshing to research a campaign for a good cause.  Go (RED), I did.

(RED) Blog

Starbucks Pulls Advertising Prank

Posted February 12, 2007 by lizroth23
Categories: Ads, Advertising, Creative Advertising

At Connecticut and K NW, good Samaritan Debbie Harris falls for the cup-on-car-roof trick  --  part of a Starbucks promotion. 

This woman stopped to assist someone who began driving and left their coffee on the roof of their car.  Little did she know she was part of a advertising stunt by Starbucks.

The past few holiday seasons, Starbucks has taken a different approach to advertising.  During the winter months, Starbucks sells holiday-flavored coffee in red cups.  To advertise these drinks, the Starbucks company has been reported attaching red cup replicas to the tops of cars around larger cities.  The idea is that individuals will stop the driver to let him/her know that they left their cup of coffee on the roof of the car.  The drivers then spread the message, “Happy holidays from Starbucks” and give the individual a coupon for Starbucks.

 This promotion breaks the boundaries of print advertising and commercials.  In a society that is overloaded with advertisements, I think that this campaign is a refreshing change to the advertising individuals see every day.  I commend the creative minds behind this cup-on-the-car stunt.

Diesel Ad Campaign

Posted February 8, 2007 by lizroth23
Categories: Ads, Advertising, ASA, Controversial Advertising

In attempt to grasp viewer’s attention, advertisers often push the limits on sexuality.  On the same wave-length as my last post about women in the media, beauty, or sex, sells.  It is as simple as that.  Researchers today argue that the average American is exposed to around 3,000 advertisements each day.  For an advertisement be successful, the product must remain in a viewer’s mind after viewing it.  Thus, advertisers attempt to push the limits, and one way is through sexuality.


This ad is part of the Diesel clothing company’s 2005 ad campaign.  I found this ad while paging through an old issue of Cosmopolitan Magazine on my lunch break at work.  It amazed me that this advertisement was even able to be published, and after further research, I found that the ad was banned by the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) because many viewers complained that it was too sexually explicit.  I agree.  I feel that there are other ways than extreme sexual exploitation to gain a viewer’s attention.  This is just one example of many advertisements that are over-the-top.

 The Diesel ad on the right is the original, but many magazines said they would not publish it.  So, Diesel added the jeans to the man (left ad).  My opinion: neither are appropriate, and I guess the ASA agrees.