In their attempt to get consumers to look at unnecessary products and services as relevant to them, some marketers and advertisers have, over the years, invented diseases and medical conditions that never really existed. Yes! Ipana Toothpaste for collapsed capillaries. Royal Typewriters, for people who suffer from shift key fatique, while working typewriters. Here is a small list. Also an interesting article on how advertising can ruin your health. The scourge continues to this day, with some people blaming the pharmaceutical industry for using humdrum medical information to make the industry more relevant and profitable.
Here’s more on an attempt to rebrand medicine.
Some years ago there was this hilarious little episode of two competing brands, Gateway and Dell, using the same stock image for a campaign that broke around the same time. Looks like we have not learnt from our mistakes and continue to use stock images to pockmark marketing and advertising messages. So here is a little rant from the keeper of The Best Page in the Universe on nine reasons why we should not be using stock.
Bizarre seems to be the flavour of the moment in advertising around the world. At least if you look at some of the ads from last week’s Superbowl. Insurance company Geico unleashed cavemen in their commercials and web efforts. Softdrink maker Sierra Mist featured a guy who needed some serious grooming skills. The normally staid Revlon pretended with Sheryl Crow. Starburst got all juicy with whale puke. A creepy Russian is selling Citi rewards to Americans. Not to be undone, Swatch has launched a range of Voodoo watches (ouch, what was that?), just in time for Valentine’s Day. In plannersphere there’s this chatter on the subject of sadvertising. How it’s time we gave brands more of a darker side. The guy who gave us Transmedia Planning is talking about the dark side of brands and everyone’s taking notes. Seems like it’s an open season for brands seeking attention. Any kind of attention.
The world’s largest MP3 download site Pirate Bay wants to avoid being napsterised. To escape Government agencies chasing it, looking to shut it down, Pirate Bay wants to buy Sealand. Estimated to be worth around a billion dollars, the Micronation of Sealand, an abandoned oil rig in the North Sea, seven miles off the coast of southern England, was settled in 1967 by an English major, Paddy Roy Bates. Bates proclaimed Sealand a state, issuing passports and gold and silver Sealand dollars, and declaring himself Prince Roy. Related Wired cover story.
Diesels seem to be the new heroin as e-bootleggers rear their head on cyberspace. Backpackers in Thailand are making a killing by buying local counterfeit clothing and passing it off as the real McCoy on eBay. In a country where counterfeit brands are easily manufactured and procured — Adidas, Diesel, Lacoste … you name it, these young cyber forgerers seem to have found a way to perpetuate their petty crimes obscured by their digital identities.
Jargon is best described as unnecessary for mere mortals but who said advertising folk were mortal? Client briefings and brand workshops can become more meaningful thanks to a little brand sharpening in the form of an online brand glossary. When faced with the difference between ‘Enhanced’ and ‘Generic’ Descriptor, the A-Z of brand jargon could be the end of quizzical expressions floating around the conference room.