30-Second Spots: Dispatches from the world of media and advertising
Posted: July 9, 2010 | 11:36 ET
BY SHAWNA RICHER
THE GLOBE AND MAIL
Porsche and Gahndi
Poor Germany! As if the country’s loss to Spain in the World Cup semi-final weren’t humiliating enough, now a guerrilla marketing campaign by Nissan has Porsche crying like ein baby. During last weekend’s Goodwood Festival of Speed in England, Nissan adorned one of its cars with the logos of Audi, BMW, and Porsche next to a notched count of victories it had won against each of them at a German race track. Porsche complained about the unauthorized use of its trademark, and Nissan relented, but it didn’t back off a parallel billboard campaign. Sample tagline? “The Germans Came Off Wurst.”
Maybe Porsche should just take a page from Mahatma Gandhi, and chill. Or so we thought: It turns out some fans of the Indian icon can be pretty touchy, too. A Swisscom print ad for BlackBerry, which uses a picture of Gandhi atop the statement, “To spread the good, was never this easy,” has drawn complaints. This week, an Indian ex-pat living in Switzerland wrote to the Times of India to decry the ad as “a callous, pathetic and gross manipulation of Gandhi's message and legacy.” We wonder what he thought of those “Think Different” Apple ads.
Would it be okay to segue from Apples to nuts? Because this summer the Nova Scotia branch of the Canadian Cancer Society has launched a campaign aimed at raising testicular awareness. The effort, at cancer.ca/nutfacts, follows up on last summer’s similarly jocular Nutcheck campaign. This year’s version – again, aimed at hard-to-reach young men – takes the form of a pamphlet that lays out 10 things guys are supposed to know about their boys. We’re not sure why it’s important to know that the word avocado comes from the Aztec word for testicles. But we certainly won’t look at guacamole in quite the same way.
How would poor worldwide nut maintenance affect airline revenues? For the skies seem full of the promise of sex these days. After Spirit Air launched a campaign mocking the BP spill with oiled-up bikinied babes, a faux Pirelli Aeroflot calendar with real – and really naked – flight attendants hit the Web. Jo Ann Davidson, secretary of the Flight Attendants Association of Australia, wants to ground the tactic: “Such suggestive advertising portraying cabin crew as part of the product they are selling sends wrong messages,” she said, “and puts cabin crew at risk of sexual harassment and abuse.” Where was she when Hooters Air took off?
If those sexy ads want to be seen, maybe they should be on TV. A survey out this week of 1,000 people (by the Television Bureau of Canada) found that 46.9 per cent of adults aged 18-34 said they were most receptive to ads on TV – way ahead of out-of-home (14 per cent), the Internet (10.4 per cent), radio (8.2 per cent), and magazines (4.9 per cent). Then again, the survey also said that only 8.2 per cent of young adults were most receptive to ads in newspapers. So, c’mon, how true is that? Um ... hello?
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