Category Archives: Media

Just For Fun: Chasers War Ad Road Test – Athelete’s Foot

Just For Fun: Milk Commercial

Covergirl & Drew: Perfect Together

Covergirl ad

I usually don’t review cosmetic ads because they’re basically all the same. This ad for Covergirl Lashblast Luxe features Drew Barrymore. This is part of an ad campaign that uses Drew as their model.

The people at Covergirl are very smart for using Drew because, as you can see, the cameras loves her.

By Marc Librescu

Apple’s Next Commercial

ad_287Yesterday, I talked about how Microsoft’s commercials have influenced consumers’ perception of PCs based on value. Today, I thought I’d throw out my suggestion on how Apple should respond. Here’s my idea for the next Apple commercial.


The scene opens in a coffee shop where STEPHANIE, a 2o-something woman is working away on her PC laptop. Across from her, MAC GUY is working away on a MacBook. Suddenly, Stephanie’s face is contorted with fear.

Oh my God! Oh my God! Noooo!

Customers all stop what they’re doing and look at her.

(looks up from his Mac) 
What’s the matter?

My PC froze up and now it won’t boot!
All my work is on there! I’m (beep)ed.

What were you doing?

I don’t know. I clicked on a link in
an e-mail that I thought came from
one of my friends. The next thing I
knew the whole PC just froze and
now the PC won’t boot and if I lose
all my work, I’m in big trouble.

It sounds like a virus. This probably isn’t
a good time to bring this up, but why didn’t
you get a Mac? They’re virtually virus-free.

I don’t know. This PC was cheap. Cheap
piece of junk is more like it. What am I
going to do? I’m writing a paper for law
school and if it’s gone, I won’t be able to
submit it when it’s due and I’ll fail the class! 

I’m really sorry. What’s your name?

I’m Stephanie. Say, aren’t you…

I’m a Mac.

I’m (beep)ed.

By Marc Librescu

Soyjoy Tries a New Angle

soyjoy ad

This ad for Soyjoy is in stark contrast with their previous ad campaign, which looked like it was designed by a 5-year-old. This is a beautiful ad, full of copy that wistfully extols the ancient virtues of the mighty soybean.

In fact, if you didn’t break out the magnifying glass to see the product shot, you might think this was an ad for soybeans. The word Soyjoy appears in the copy once; it’s the last word in the last sentence of the last paragraph.

I’ve already mentioned that I tried this product and I thought it was awful. Let’s put that aside and focus on the question of whether soybeans are really as good for us as the natural foods industry would have us believe.

The most important reason to avoid soy in your diet is because soy contains a compound called phytoestrogens. Once in the body, phytoestrogens mimic the effects of estrogen. In fact:

In 1992, the Swiss health service estimated that 100 grams of soy protein provided the estrogenic equivalent of the Pill.

Source: Dr. Joseph Mercola

If you’re a woman, you probably don’t want phytoestrogens in your body. If you’re a man, you certainly don’t want phytoestrogens in your body.

Another possible problem with soy is that it depresses thyroid function. It’s beyond the scope of this blog post to list all the negative aspects of eating soybeans and soy-based products. If you’d like to read the criticism of soy by Dr. Mercola you can read the full article on his website. If you can ignore the seemingly incendiary of the title, you may want to read the series of articles by Jim Rutz. Here’s one more article from Mothering magazine.

Soy is big business and it’s added to practically every food. Check the label of just about every food product and you’ll find soy in the form of soy protein, soy isolate, or soybean oil.

Understand that when Soyjoy claims that “for thousands of years, all around the world, soy has been an integral part of cultures and diets,” you can just as easily say that for thousands of years, all around the world, people thought the Earth was flat and if you sailed out too far, you’d find monsters, then you’d fall off the edge. Ancient Chinese and Indian cosmogeny held that the world was carried on the backs of four elephants, which were in turn carried by a tortoise.


While it’s great to have reverence for ancient cultures, just because a culture is old doesn’t mean that everything they believed is true—just as you can’t believe everything you read in an ad is true.

By Marc Librescu

KFC’s Unoriginal Ad

KFC ad

The people over at KFC knew that people perceived their food as being unhealthy. So they added grilled chicken, which has a lot less calories and fat than fried chicken, to the menu.

Fair enough. But their ad campaign is…unoriginal. We’ve seen it before.


By Marc Librescu

Just For Fun: Jack in the Box

Dyson’s Ad Is For Page-Turning

Dyson Vacuum ad

This well-designed ad for The Dyson Ball vacuum uses a cutaway-view illustration.

If you read this blog regularly, you know that I believe that the image and the headline should be all the reader needs to understand the ad. In this case, an image of something electronic, combined with the headline, This ball isn’t just for turning, tells the reader exactly nothing.

Perhaps the reader is expected to see the name Dyson, remember the TV commercials, and make the connection in order to understand the ad. If that’s the case, then it violates another one of my rules, namely that an ad shouldn’t rely on a TV commercial in order to be understandable. The reason should be obvious—the reader may have not seen the commercial, and if she has, she may not remember it.

In addition, the copy in this ad is somewhat technical. Advertisers shouldn’t assume that the reader has a technical background or will even care enough about their product to spend the effort to figure out what they’re trying to say. If the point of this ad is that the Dyson vacuum is small, then say it quickly and concisely. That’s the only way to get the message out.

By Marc Librescu

Post Shredded Wheat Marketing Falls Flat

Post Shredded Wheat ad

There are some ads that you read and the only thing that goes through your mind is: What were they thinking?

This ad for Post Shredded Wheat is one of those ads. You can click the image above if you want to read the copy.

This is some kind of joke ad for Shredded Wheat that makes no sense whatsoever. Most readers will stop reading by the fourth paragraph, fail to understand what the heck the ad is about, and then turn the page.

The truly adventurous reader (all two of them) will go to the website mentioned in the ad: There, they will find a series of videos that may collectively make some semblance of sense, but anyone who has the time to view all the videos probably should be out looking for a job.

Here’s a screenshot of the website:

Post Shredded Wheat site

I watched this video and it was more nonsense. I’m sure this is all very funny and very clever to the marketing geniuses who put this together, but to the rest of us, it’s a big stupid waste of time and resources.

Is this going to sell Shredded Wheat? Sadly, the answer is no. At best, it will get some twenty-something ad people a pat on the back by other twenty-something ad people at the advertising cleverness awards.

By Marc Librescu

Target Market Pantry: Is It News?

Target Market Pantry ad

This ad for Target Market Pantry brand foods appeared in the Orange County Register, opposite a full-page ad for the brand.

It’s definitely an innovative use of advertising, although not necessarily a positive one. It shows that desperate, cash-strapped newspapers will do just about anything to accommodate advertisers. This sort of thing further blurs the line between editorial and advertising.

This is a last-ditch effort to keep newspapers afloat in the final years before newspapers printed on paper wink out of existence—that is, unless the government is successful with their plans to bail out newspapers, in which case the government will basically own the papers, which will make newspapers de facto house organs of the government (which, let’s face it, most of them already are voluntarily).

I expect that as paper newspapers and magazines start to disappear, this blog will eventually have to shift its focus to commercials and web advertising.

By Marc Librescu