Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Swathed in a blanket of candy
Funky site. Toaster Museum Foundation has more information on toasters than you'd probably ever want to know. Send a toasty e-card, test your toaster knowledge, check out the vintage toaster ads, and check out toasters from 1900-2000. Or if you're in the Charlottesville, Virginia area, you could just stop by.

After 189 complaints that the ads were demeaning to women and trivialized the war in Iraq, EasyJet "Weapons of Mass Distraction" ad gets the green light. From the ASA site:
"The advertisers stated that the advertisement was the latest of a series of topical, humorous and irreverent advertisements. The advertisers said they believed the advertisement was not sexist or demeaning to women; they asserted that they had received positive feedback from both male and female customers. They said they believed the advertisement did not trivialise the recent war in Iraq; the term "weapons of mass destruction" had been in the news for several weeks and they had changed the last word to "distraction" to highlight one of the attractions of being on holiday in the sun. The advertisers explained that they had thought of the phrase first and had sourced a picture to support it. The advertisers stated that the number of complaints received was a small proportion of those who had seen the advertisement.
The Evening Standard said they believed the advertisement was a witty play on a phrase in common usage and did not trivialise the Iraqi war. They belie! ved the woman's body was modestly clothed and not exaggerated. They said they believed the advertisement would appeal to their open-minded and modern readers and they had received no complaints. The Independent and Independent on Sunday said their readers were mostly young and open-minded people who would recognise the humour of the advertisement. The Telegraph and the Sunday Telegraph said they believed the advertisement used traditional "Carry On" humour and did not trivialise the war in Iraq. They said they had received four complaints but the vast majority of their readers had seen the advertisement as humorous and had not been offended. The Mail on Sunday said they had received one complaint. The Daily Express, the Daily Star and the Sunday Express said they had received no complaints. The Times and the Sunday Times said they had run the advertisement because of a fault in their internal procedures but had received no complaints from their readers about it. The Sun said! they had had a very positive response to the advertisement from their readers. The Metro said they believed the advertisement used a clever play on words and was not degrading to women. The Sunday Mirror did not respond."
Media Guardian has it's own article and couple samples of the print and interactive ads here and here.

Lack of support from within can doom a branding campaign. Rob Reuter points out that instead of blaming failed brainding campaigns on the strategy, execution or advertising, they should be blaming themselves. Lack of establishing roots deep within the organization results in failing to receive proper respect or support in the company.

"The face may be new but the Maytag Repairman will still be lonely. Actor Hardy Rawls will take over the part of Ol' Lonely in Maytag advertisements from Gordon Jump, 71, who is retiring from the role, the company said Tuesday. 'I've never been so excited about something in my life," said Rawls, 50, another veteran character actor. "I feel it's truly a heartwarming and lovable character that is so much fun to play.' "

The last Beetle is produced today in Puebla Mexico. After 58 years, the last Beetle to role off the assembly line at the VW plant will be #21,529,464! Such cute cars.

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