Monday, 28 June 2010

Caution: Always Remember to Eat and Drink

Product : KFC iTwist
Slogan : 1 Megabyte of Flavour!
Suggested Alternative : Comes in a Bakelite Box with a Free VHS of the latest Care Bear Movie.

Well, these sure took a long time to come out.  I say that because I was focus-grouped about this product almost a year ago.  Unfortunately they only asked me about flavours, rather than marketing, or perhaps they wouldn't have come out with this doozy of a slogan.

I propose that the slogan was invented by someone of at least sixty years of age.  I imagine that this is the only age group who (may) still consider one megabyte to be large or impressive.  Even a gigabyte is somewhat passe among the young, trendy people at whom this advertising campaign is no doubt directed (remember, kids: lower case 'i' makes everything cool!).  Perhaps Terabyte is going a little too far for mass marketing even now, but megabytes?  This slogan sounds like something I vaguely remember being associated with a Pizza company in the late 80's or early 90's.

Actually, I'm wondering if Apple could claim copyright infringement here.  The association with iProducts, as well as the quoted storage capacity is clearly a reference to them.  It's just a chicken wrap, after all.  Except, of course, for the fact that a 1Mb iPod could hold about a minute and a half of music.

Product: Tango (Again)
Slogan: "Tango Made My Stalk Shrivel".
Suggested Alternative : I suggest they borrow the one from the cigarette packet.

So, I noticed this on a can of Tango yesterday and thought it best to do an update.  Don't worry - Tango may cause you to black out and try to engage in sexual congress with animals, but it'll also make sure you can't go through with it.

Product : Budweiser
Slogan : Responsibility Matters
Suggested Alternative : Only Consume Under Strict Medical Supervision and Once All of Your Affairs Are In Order.

A beer company with an advert purely based on drinking responsibly?  Has the world gone mad?

Well, yes.  Long ago.  But this is suspicious.  Is it a double irony?  I'm stuck.  It reminds me a little of those warnings you always get on DVDs insisting you don't pirate them.  "You wouldn't steal a handbag!"  Actually, some people would.

That's why I don't trust this advert.  They KNOW they can't make 'drinking responsibly' cool.  This is the company that brought us the annoying, but undeniably memorable bullfrog advert after all.

I'm not going to rant on about stupid warnings here, but it is getting silly.  'Drink responsibly' and such.  I am a fan of Twining's Tea, but I was gravely disturbed to find "Enjoy Twinings as Part of a balanced, varied diet and a healthy lifestyle" written on the packet.  Leave me alone!  If I want to send myself to an early grave never doing anything but sitting in an armchair swigging camomile tea, that's up to me.  Ok, I guess I did rant about it.

Besides, this is Budweiser.  You can probably drink 17 of them without getting drunk anyway, so you're probably more at risk of drowning than ending up in a hit-and-run.

Goodnight.  And stay safe, or else.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Odds and Ends

I have not posted here in some time, so I thought I'd put up a few entries that a wrote some time ago and forgot about.  New entries soon!

Product : Shampoo (Unknown brand.  I can't remember, the adverts are all alike.)
Slogan : "Leaves your scalp up to 100% flake free!"
Suggested Alternative : "Statistically This Shampoo May Cause Severe Dandruff."

Up to 100%.  UP TO 100%!  Do they think we're stupid, or is this some kind of joke or error on the part of the advertising department?  Everyone's scalp is already up to 100% flake free, unless their head is 100% flakes, which is too gross to even contemplate, and probably  beyond the help of mere shampoo.  This slogan does not even imply that the product will have any effect whatsoever, and could indeed mean that the shampoo will leave you with more dandruff than you started with.  Possibly the most hilarious slogan I have come across yet.

Product : Tango
Slogan : I Drank Too Much Tango and Sucked A Bull's Udder
Suggested Alternative : Warning; May Cause Homosexual Bestiality

I was shocked to see this prominently displayed on a bus-shelter poster.  I'm not into over-censoring things, but I think this is going too far.  Besides the searing of deviant sexual imagery onto the minds of the very young, I am also unsure as to what quality of the beverage this advert is extolling.  Essentially, it seems to be implying that it gets you drunk, which is a bizarre claim.  Many non-alcoholic drinks marketed to adults advertise themselves based on the fact that they can be drunk on an evening out without impairing judgement; perhaps this is intended to be an ironic take on those brands.  If so, it must be noted that even the manufacturers of the most downmarket alcoholic beverages know better than to market their product based on the horrific mistakes you might make whilst inebriated.

Product : Marks & Spencer

Slogan : Christmas Wouldn't be Christmas Without YourM&S
Suggested Alternative : Something Evocative and Nostalgic.

Now hang on a minute... when did we stop saying Marks & Spencers?  I thought they were supposed to be upmarket.  Are we here witnessing the dumbing down of a well-respected brand to cast it's marketing net wider after the much maligned 'credit crunch'?
I' ve had to look up exactly what 'Your M&S' is.  I can only find marketing dross.  Apparently, it's an umbrella name for all the sections of Marks & Spencer, including their food shops, financial services and whatever the hell else they're up to these days.  Apparently it represents a 'handing back' of the brand to the British public, although I would imagine this requires something more than simply shoehorning the word 'your' into the name.
I'm fed up of needless abbreviation, and I thought a company like Marks & Spencer would be above it (yes, I see the irony, but the ampersand is part of the trademark, so poo to you  Apparently we're condemned to a future of cold, stupid acronymic brandnames.

As for Christmas, well, YourM&S was apparently introduced in 2004 (who knew?).  If Christmas has changed appreciably as a result, I haven't noticed.  Even if the slogan were talking about Marks & Spencer in general, I've managed to get through 25 years without having any particular involvement with the company during the holiday season, and I don't feel I've missed out terribly.  The thing is, even the highest quality commercial goods can't approach the quality of traditional, homemade fayre (or at least that's what us poor folks tell ourselves, and we're sticking to it).

Having said all this, I do quite like the adverts (they do have Stephen Fry in them after all).

Product: Hellman's Mayonaisse
Slogan: Hellman's; The Only Mayonaisse.

It demonstrably isn't.