Tag: Advertising

Unbearable Surprise

 

charmin bearsI have been the chief cat herder for the theme writing project for the past few years. By way of exhorting and occasionally extorting participation, I have been known to threaten to fill white space with posts featuring bears, disco, or even disco bears. From time to time, I must make good on these threats, just to maintain a bit of credibility. Well folks, you’ve gone and done it. You’ve driven me to the bears. It being October, I am reposting a 2018 story with a haunting question. Quick! Go sign up to fill the rest of this month’s roster for “October Surprise.”

Advertising for products dealing with our bodily functions predates radio and television, as Kellogg’s built an eventual corporate empire on “healthy” food centered on bowel regularity. Indeed, Kellogg’s followed the success of Cascaret’s sweet-flavored lozenge, advertised as a palatable alternative to castor oil.

But around 1900, Americans didn’t just associate constipation with abdominal discomfort or gas or indigestion. Constipation for our great-grandparents was the root evil of just about every ailment and malaise you could think of. And for whatever was wrong with you, a laxative (or purgative or cathartic–the terms were used pretty interchangeably) would do the trick.

“Two Full Glasses, That’s a Lot”

 

pepsi best adPepsi-Cola hits the spot
Two full glasses, that’s a lot
Why take less when Pepsi’s best?

Listening to Counterspy, an old time radio program from the 1940s and 1950s, I was gradually struck by the sponsor’s advertising campaign. Pepsi was the sponsor for several years, and their big pitch in the context of World War II and post-war belt-tightening was that Pepsi was more economical than the unnamed competitors, Coca-Cola and its distinctive bottle first and foremost. Pepsi’s big idea, their play? The original super-sized packaging, the 12-ounce bottle.

The jingles and the script repeatedly pointed to 12 ounces as two servings. That seems strange to us today, but that is because our glassware, our tumblers, our mugs, have grown to accommodate larger portions over the decades. Consider that Coke was mostly purchased in a 6.5-ounce bottle. That was a serving. Think about airlines when they served you cold drinks in plastic cups, the same cups found at the bar of any catered party. Fill the glass with ice and pour soda over the ice. You are getting about half a 12-ounce can.

Psst, Consumer, Wanna Buy Your AlieNation?

 

Like many Americans right of center, the ads I see online feature plenty of vaguely patriotic products. Some of the stuff’s campaign gear. Some of it’s randomly tacti-cool. (Already got a tactical pen? Have you tried our tactical toothbrush yet? Got the toothbrush already, have you? What about a tactical toothpick?) Perhaps because my browsing habits are eclectic, the ads “targeting” me are eclectic, too. According to my ads, I’m a Trump-voting, militantly pro-life charismatic sedevacantist Catholic wiccan secular humanist who’s also militantly pro-choice and pining for the deceased Ruth Bader Ginsberg. I’m deaf, too. Because of earwax. But at least I’m not alone in that: judging by consumer ad complaints, the main symptom of Covid-19 is massive earwax buildup.

People who say they know about these things say that Covid’s virtual earwax buildup is a symptom of declining click-throughs on online ads. The more time we spend online without clicking through on ads, the more “bottom feeder” ads we see. Maybe I am who I am to online marketers because I don’t click through. Therefore I must “want”, in no particular order, Osteen Cubes, <insert name of Biblical woman here> Anointings, conversational Medieval Latin kits, “homeopathic” essential-oil blends consecrated to Jesus or my choice of goddess. Little lapel pins featuring lab flasks bubbling vacuities like “Science is real!” or light-splitting prisms spelling out “I’m gay for science!” in rainbow writing.

Rapid-fire lapel pin advertising directed my way, whether from right or left, never hits its target, since even if I saw a pin I liked, I wouldn’t buy it. If I saw an ad for a lapel pin featuring the smexxxiest anthropomorphized doped garnet laser — adorned with real synthetic garnet chips reading “She blinded me with science!” — well, I’d chuckle. But I wouldn’t click.

Member Post

 

This SF novel from 1954 has uncomfortable relevance to our present era. It is set in the then-future year of 1990.  The United States is still nominally a democracy, but the real power lies with the social engineers…sophisticated advertising & PR men…who use psychological methods to persuade people that they really want what they are supposed […]

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Woke Capitalism: How Huge Corporations Demonstrate Status by Endorsing Political Radicalism

 

It’s a rather strange claim of the American far left that their interests are opposed to that of corporate America, because there’s virtually no evidence to support it. Quite the contrary: During the wave of Black Lives Matter rioting that took place during the early summer of 2020, American corporations marched in lockstep. Not only did they use social media to swear fealty to this political movement, but they also made massive internal changes in conformity with BLM propaganda.

It’s called “woke capitalism” and while it’s not necessarily new, it’s certainly more prevalent than it ever has been. The term itself was coined by conservative editorial writer Ross Douthat in 2018. He succinctly summed up what woke capitalism is: superficial nods toward cultural leftism that allow the company to do what it really exists to do – make money.

You might be confused or think that there’s something ironic or askew about major corporations backing supposed “rebel” ideologies. However, this stems from a very surface understanding of the topic. When we delve deeper into it, the motivation for large corporations siding with ostensibly “anti-capitalist” groups will come clearly into focus.

‘Let Them Eat Ice Cream’

 

Nancy Pelosi, second-time Speaker of the House, third in line to the presidency, gave two truly clueless interviews. Was it the Botox or the brain freeze from her favorite ice cream? Pelosi stood in front of a refrigerator that could easily be looked up. The price tag: $24,000. She opened the freezer section and gushed over pints of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream, $12 a pint at their online store.*

On the same day, Nancy Pelosi boasted to MSNBC about blocking the refill of the Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses and their employees. She spoke to MSNBC while standing in front of that luxury refrigerator, stuffed full of very expensive ice cream.

It’s So Shmoooth!

 

“That champagne velvety taste, So shmoooth!”
Champagne Velvet Beer radio commercial, 1940s-1950s

If you listen to old-time radio shows, and if the person posting them leaves the ads in, you will eventually run across this ad from a mid-sized regional brewer in Terre Haute, IN. The brand survived Prohibition, then faltered in the great brewery consolidation era, eventually reformulating as a high-alcohol malt liquor before failing and then having their brand revived as a retro-craft beer by Upland Brewing. The ad pitchman’s delivery of the “so shmoooth” line in a slightly nasal tone, with smooth changed to a drawn out shhmoooth, produced a great earworm … which came back to mind when I saw a Korean beer in my local Korean supermarket.

Life Imitates Art: Dog Drives Car

 

Looking for a bit of relief from the Congressional circus? Everyone loves a good dog story, take it as you will. In a break from Florida man stories, we have a Florida dog story:

Some Port St. Lucie neighbors watched a dog get the ride of a lifetime. It was stuck inside a car spinning in reverse for nearly an hour.

…Police say the dog’s owner had briefly stepped out of the car when the dog somehow knocked the car into reverse.

Facebook Censors Conservative Author Brad Thor

 

Someone at Facebook decided that paying to promote a post on your favorite internet destination is verboten. Carol Roth, host of The Roth Effect here at the Ricochet Audio Network, wanted to promote her latest episode, an interview with best-seller author Brad Thor, but was told she needed to get “authorized” to run ads about “social issues, elections or politics.” So what triggered the rejection? Was it her name, the name of her guest, Brad Thor, or was it the destination?

Here’s the ad she tried to buy:

Member Post

 

July 1st was National Wine Cooler Day. This called to mind Bartles & Jaymes. Others hear “wine cooler” and think Bruce Willis for Seagrams Golden Wine Coolers. “Cooler” led to “cool” and then to “Kool,” and therein lies a policy puzzle. Reflecting on where the market has gone since those days, an apparent contradiction emerges […]

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Member Post

 

I’ve a confession to make. I used to be a phillumenist. I have an excuse though – I was young. Plus, until about ten minutes ago, I didn’t know what a phillumenist was. As per the British Matchbox Label and Bookmatch Society (BML&BS), phillumenists collect items related to matches including but not limited to matchbooks […]

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Who Eliminated Mr. Whipple?

 

Advertising for products dealing with our bodily functions predates radio and television, as Kellogg’s built an eventual corporate empire on “healthy” food centered on bowel regularity. Indeed, Kellogg’s followed the success of Cascaret’s sweet-flavored lozenge, advertised as a palatable alternative to castor oil.

But around 1900, Americans didn’t just associate constipation with abdominal discomfort or gas or indigestion. Constipation for our great-grandparents was the root evil of just about every ailment and malaise you could think of. And for whatever was wrong with you, a laxative (or purgative or cathartic–the terms were used pretty interchangeably) would do the trick.

Member Post

 

I noticed that Simplisafe decided to jump on the progressive, anti-Second Amendment bandwagon.  I am very glad I never gave them business.  I believe Ricochet should avoid doing business with companies that want to make a political statement against the NRA and the second amendment.  Thankfully, it appears Simplisafe is not a current sponsor. I […]

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My Capitalistic Outrage

 

I’m not one to call for boycotts or protest marches. But sometimes I see things, from sources I don’t expect, that simply make my blood boil. Take the History Channel. They have drifted from the programming I used to love back when we lovingly called it “The Hitler Channel.” They still offer some decent scripted shows and a couple of decent “reality” shows like American Pickers and Forged in Fire.

I don’t DVR much and, like most Americans, I’m not into appointment television. So last night I was catching up on a few series using the History app on my iPad. Programs still have commercials but usually the most annoying thing about them is that they are too damned loud. If you’re listening in on headsets some of them can knock you into the middle of next week. But last night was different. On came an ad for a company called North Korean Express. They offer backpacks and all sorts of merchandise decorated with North Korean propaganda posters. OK, fine. If you want to be a schmuck* and wear the shining face of Kim Jong-Un to class I guess it’s not any worse than parading around in a Che tee shirt.

Religious Discrimination or Protecting the Homeland?

 

There seems to be no end to the government’s infringement on our freedom of speech and religion. And now the latest excuse is that the Catholic diocese is threatening the safety of our citizens with their advertisements. An article in The Federalist explained the problem.

On October 24, the archdiocese submitted advertisements to be displayed in the DC Metro. In response, the Metro explained that the ads were not in compliance with Metro guidelines and therefore couldn’t be posted. Under those guidelines, “advertisements that promote or oppose any religion, religious practice or belief” were not permitted. They further explained that the religious scene in the ad promoted religion.

After unsuccessfully appealing to Metro officials, the diocese sued:

Body Shaming, Dress Shaming, and Snail Shaming

 

As one often is, I found myself inspired by @peterrobinson’s latest post – in this case, a post on beauty products which may or may not have been shed by cows. Specifically, I was inspired to look up beauty products shed by other animals, such as snail slime and nightingale droppings. Well, it is difficult for a gal to look these things up without being bombarded by other supposedly female-friendly stories, on love and fashion and the like. To go in reverse order, let me start with the snail shaming:

Love is tough. Even tougher if you’re a snail born with the wrong chirality. Poor Jeremy was a left-swirling snail. Maybe that doesn’t sound so bad, for a snail. But he was a left-swirling snail born into a right-swirling snail’s world. Snails are hermaphrodites, which sounds pretty flexible, but they can’t mate with themselves and a pair of them do have to both swirl the same way in order to mate. Scientists wanting to breed Jeremy to study his (zir?) kind found Jeremy another left-swirler, Lefty, to mate with. The two had only begun flirting when they were forced to hibernate together in the fridge, which sounds like a big step – imagine being forced to move in with someone just because the two of you had been caught kissing! After this first scientific violation of gastropod sexual autonomy, stuff just kinda snowballed from there, leading to what’s certainly the most adorable use of “cucked” I’ve ever seen:

Female Fantasies? The Nose Knows!

 

Glade Autumn GlampfireScented candles. What are they for? Ask a man, and you might get varying answers – for masking the stank of indifferent housekeeping; for turning one’s home into a firetrap (bonus if careless children and pets serve as the arsonists); for frittering away money; for making grown men sneeze. Like cushions, scented candles seem an item of home decor most men could do without. Indeed, 90% of candles are purchased by women. Yet candles grace seven out of ten households and come in more than 10,000 different scents for US customers alone.

As the autumn nights draw in, even earlier now that our clocks are set back, the clever advertisers at Glade invite you into the mind of their typical female consumer, so you can see what all the scented fuss is about. “LET TEMPTATION FILL THE AIR,” Glade’s ad proclaims, as a sultry alto invites you to “Dare to let fragrance take you places you never thought you’d go…”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MocSwKG7gzA