February 6, 2014#

The Super Bowl Diaries II

For the second consecutive year, I’ve decided to forgo the opportunity to prematurely view the barrage of Super Bowl ads that find their way onto YouTube, and instead, watch them like millions of other people: with virgin eyes, ears, and opinions. Because of social media, it’s difficult to ignore every little fact about the big game’s big ads, so here’s what I knew going in: Continue Reading

June 12, 2013#

Assembled by Apple in China

With the announcement and beta-release of iOS 7 at WWDC, Apple ushered in the next era of its feelgood advertising messages: Designed by Apple. Love it, or hate it, Apple is right to focus on the logical and emotional thought behind the design of their products. It’s how you create iconic, revolutionary, amazing feats of engineering. This self-righteous banging of the drum, however, is only half the story.

So I thought, what would the other half of the story look like if presented in the same vain as “Designed by Apple”? Well, it might look something like this:
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February 5, 2013#

The Super Bowl Diaries

As a red-blooded American, Super Bowl Sunday is my favorite de facto holiday. It’s a day filled with the gluttony of food, sports and entertainment. AKA: Glory, in its finest. But because advertisers continue to whore themselves out by “leaking” their big game spots online a week or two in advance, I decided to purposely avoid any information about them so that I could watch them with virgin eyes and document my initial gut reactions. A few details snuck through my embargo however, so here’s what I know going into the game:

Continue Reading

January 2, 2013#

Giving Unthanks

In the anti-spirit of the season, here are 10 things I hate about working in advertising.
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October 15, 2012#

Moving Pictures

Kick-ass Rush album, or entertaining new mash-up of print and mobile executions from Lexus?

In their latest attempt at the “pursuit of excellence”, Lexus, working with agency Team One, debuted a new ad that combines a static print image with an animated feature on the iPad. They’ve even trademarked the collaboration as CinePrint.

Simply put, the iPad’s backlit screen shines through the thin magazine paper and brings the ad to life. It screams of gimmickry, but the final result is actually pretty cool. It brings a surface projection vibe into your lap.

Though it’s not the first time the company has combined print with digital, it may be the most intriguing (will QR codes die already?).

Gizmodo thinks it’s a huge waste of time. I beg to differ. Sure, you could just watch the video on your iPad without the magazine, but this ad isn’t designed to be logical. It’s about “wow” factor. It’s about going above and beyond the ordinary (this IS a luxury brand after all). And at it’s most basic level, it’s about getting people to interact with the brand, because the longer you have a pair of eyeballs on your name, the more likely they are to remember it when a competitor is in their face. The fact that tech blog Gizmodo is talking about an automotive ad already tells me that it’s doing its job effectively.

Sometimes generating a lot of buzz is worth more than moving a little merchandise.

If you want to check it out for yourself, pick up the October 15 issue of Sports Illustrated (along with your iPad). Visit Lexus.com/stunning on the tablet, slide it underneath the print ad and watch the sparks fly. Own an iPad subscription to SI? It works in there too.

If you want to watch my sparks fly, pick me up on Twitter

August 23, 2012#
August 10, 2012#

It’s Been Such a Long Time

Foreplay/Longtime is a great song from a great band named after a great American city. But it has been a long time since my last real blog post. Far too long indeed. I don’t really have a great excuse for my lack of blogging, other than I really didn’t feel like doing it. I did start a new job along the way, so let’s chalk it up to that, shall we?

At any rate, I plan on getting The Shady Milkman up and running again. Until then, enjoy the archives–the posts haven’t soured yet–or keep up with my antics on Twitter @mellerad.


November 29, 2010#

Stouffer’s Redefines the Nuclear Family

I ran across this ad in a Family Circle magazine (was reading it at my Grandma’s house):

Better call Mike Sorrentino, because we have a situation on our hands:

Mom is recently divorced. She’s got a couple daughters, and wants to make sure that having dinners with the frat boy she met while out on the prowl, instead of their father, doesn’t turn them into some drug-abusing skanks with daddy issues. Her solution? “Easy Express” microwave dinners by Stouffer’s.

If mom’s idea of a ”home-cooked family meal” is a 2 lb frozen lasagna that sags its way out of the microwave after it’s been nuked for a brisk 18 minutes, then dad leaving should have come as no surprise.

However, I’ll hand out an E for effort to the ad agency responsible for this. At first glance, you wouldn’t think Family Circle is the ideal magazine in which to place an ad whose whole angle revolves around a family potentially being ruined by divorce. But with every other marriage ending in divorce these days, I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that the main readership of this magazine was a bunch of recent-divorcee cougars who need to prepare meals quickly so they can get back to trolling the clubs for young pieces of meat.

I see what they tried to do here. I get it. It was a valiant attempt at turning something predominantly negative, like divorce, and making it positive by using the advertised product: quality, microwavable meals.

Unfortunately, this ad was doomed the minute execs approved this idea, just like the your expectations are the moment you decide to pick up any microwavable meal while you’re starving: 

You know the feeling:

You’re hungrily shopping for groceries late after work; you haven’t eaten since noon. You’re staring at the meat counter like a ravenous wolf as you venture towards the siren of the supermarket—frozen foods. Walking through this section on an empty stomach is like bringing a fat kid to a KFC buffet.

Appetizing images of gourmet meals surround you, five rows high, and they all come with the promise of being ready to eat in mere minutes. You try to rationalize, “They can’t possibly be as good as that picture on the box,” but their siren song is too strong. You settle for “Golden Honey-Glazed Chicken Breast on a bed of Rice Pilaf and Seasoned Autumn Harvest Vegetables—codename for processed chicken with white rice and broccoli.”

You cut a small slit in the plastic film covering the plastic tray that’s filled with a solid block of colorshapes and slide it into the microwave. Your hopes are still sky high, though—your stomach, not just your eyes, saw that picture on the box. You punch “5 0 0” into the keypad as your mouth salivates at the thought of complimenting the peppery vegetables with the sweet, succulent flavor of the chicken.

You stare at the rotating black tray through the mesh glass window as the timer counts down. You briefly worry about the radiation that may or may not be penetrating your skull, but not for long. The microwave beeps, and like Pavlov’s human, you swing open the door to grab your steaming food without any disregard for the warning on the back of the package that said “CAUTION! CONTENTS WILL BE HOT! Wait 1 to 2 minutes before removing the food from the microwave.” That giant plume of steam doesn’t intimidate you either. Your taste buds are ready for some wild honey autumn goodness.

You gather a portion of each food item onto your fork to assure you’ll get the “best of both worlds”, raise it to your mouth and sink your teeth into the molten-hot amorphous blob that is your meal.

It is at that moment that everyone finally realizes, no matter how good some ideas sound at the time, their outcomes will always be disappointing.

September 24, 2010#

Galaxy Tab Demo

Samsung is apparently close friends with Bill Gates and Steve Jobs’ younger, Bill-Gates-doppleganger brother, Bill Jobs.

September 2, 2010#

New Ad for Summer’s Eve is Bringing Vintage Sexism Back

Summer’s Eve’s latest ad for feminine hygiene products is making its rounds on the internets, awkwardly connecting the dots between vaginal cleanliness and getting more money at work:

Summer's Eve's Sexist Ad

Now, I understand that advertising for this subject isn’t exactly the easiest thing to do in this world. It’s a taboo subject that most people don’t want to think about, let alone see advertising for. I mean, just think how many people still complain about TV commercials for tampons. But still, claiming that having a stanky vajayjay can ruin your chances to get a raise is a little ridiculous.

To add insult to injury, they also throw in that a woman should remind her boss of what the higher executives say about her with quotes like, “Great job on the XXX project! You made me look good!” 

In other words, not only do women need to remember to keep their vaginas free from foul stench, they need to recall the time they degraded themselves by having a filthy sexual rendezvous in the corporate executive’s penthouse office just to get their job in the first place!

This is the worst attempt at subtle sexism I’ve ever seen. Shame on you, Summer’s Eve. If you’re going to be sexist, why not go in 100%, like the good ol’ days?

Sexist Lysol Ad