It makes my skin Krall…

If you’ve been watching TV at all lately (or have been to the cinema), you’ve seen the slick and sexy Chrysler ad that features Diana Krall singing “The Look of Love.” My initial reaction was neutral — she’s a velvet-voiced and sultry singer getting a fat cheque to croon a classic song for some car company. Hey, why not? I’ve only recently come to realize that this version of the song is also the title song from her new album.

It’s one thing for a singer to rent out their voice for advertising, or to let a company use an old song of theirs to promote something, but when an artist sells a new song — particularly a title song — to advertising, that really stinks. It seems like the ultimate sellout, the overt and pornographic crawling-into-bed between an artist and a big corporation. The kind of thing for which Mordecai Richler never forgave the poet A.M. Klein.

It is, indeed, a brilliant coup d’etat on the part of the car-pusher. Boring old Chrysler is now hip and sexy. Redolent of rainy urban nights, pearls, and illicit romance. On the part of the singer, however, it is disasterous. When we hear the song outside of the ad, we won’t feel sexy, we’ll just think about cars. The song is no longer a jazz standard, it’s an advertising jingle. Who would buy such a CD?

I must confess I’m particularly sensitive to this issue because I am so tired of relentless advertising. I can no longer listen to commercial radio, and I rarely watch television, for exactly that reason — I can’t bear the commericals. This is also why I won’t link to a blog that causes pop-up ads when you go to it. I don’t mind banner ads (in fact, my privacy software blocks most of them), but pop-ups are very intrusive, annoying, and downright vile. I don’t just boycott blogs with pop-ups — I won’t go to any website that I know will cause these intrusions, (for example, any “about.com”, and Systran’s Babelfish translator), and I encourage all of you to do likewise.

I’m sorry, Ms. Krall, but that husky and sensuous voice of yours is falling on deaf ears with me. Instead of your music setting a mood and casting my mind towards slowly peeling off that black evening gown of yours, it makes me think about oil changes and anti-rust treatments. No thanks.

More on the naughty advertising

There’s a follow-up in today’s Montreal Gazette to the story I reported yesterday about the guy getting fired for publishing a rather naughty ad promoting Marketing Magazine‘s advertising competition. In the kufuffle, the chair of the competition quit.

The Gazette article doesn’t say much more than what I said, but it does show another of the three ads that were created for the competition. This one is very, very cruel and nasty. that's so mean! The Gazette story also points out that Canadian advertising (like many things Canadian) is notoriously bland, and the designer of these ads, home-boy ad whiz Paul Lavoie, is on a mission to introduce edgy Euro-style advertising to the domestic market. Apparently he’s doing a good job of it–maybe too good. (In the ad, the Dad is saying “HACK“. The theme is “really tough judging.”)

Keep in mind that these ads, and the niche magazine in which they appear, are targetted at battle-hardened advertising professionals who have seen and heard it all. Most of these folks are crying out to push the proverbial envelope, but their clients are fickle and squeemish. (For example, McDonald’s Canada recently nixed an ad concept featuring a single Mom because they were worried it reflected badly on their image of wholesome family values.)

Here’s an exclusive, of sorts

The National Post reports:

Rogers Publishing Ltd. has fired the publisher of Marketing Magazine, just a few days after the trade publication ran a sexually suggestive ad touting its annual industry awards show.

A day later they report:

Paul Lavoie, the chairman of the 2002 Marketing Awards, has resigned in protest over the firing Monday of Cameron Gardner, publisher of Marketing Magazine.

Apparently Mr. Rogers is disturbed at the thought of a bit of cunnilingus. According to the first article, they axed Gardner because they found the ad “offensive and an embarrassment to Rogers Publishing and Marketing Magazine“, which is not the same as saying “some people may find it offensive.” The former means you have a stick up your ass and are no fun at all. The latter means you have someone else’s stick up your ass and and are beholden to the money they pay you to keep it there, which in some small way is slightly less stupid.

Here, for your viewing pleasure, is the ad. Forgive the low resolution, as I captured this with my digital camera after laying the magazine on the floor. yummy!In the balloon over the woman’s head she’s saying “MERIT”, which is even worse than “bronze”. Underneath the ad it says “Really tough judging. The 2002 Marketing Awards.

OK, maybe I’ve spent too much time with my face in someone else’s crotch, but I don’t find this offensive. Borderline misandric, but hey, it’s funny as heck. And yes, I can see why a few of those stiff and starchy old fogeys who inhabit the rarified ivory towers of marketing might feel their butt-holes pucker at the thought of such salacious debauchery. After all, no one has ever used sex in advertising before!

Of course the very tasteful National Post declined to supply a supporting illustration (hence my fuzzy reproduction), but Our Man in Toronto (Sinclair Stewart) described it thusly: “It features a man under the sheets of a bed apparently engaged in a sex act with a woman who can be seen above the covers, her arms crossed and eyes upturned in boredom“. Which begs the obvious question…

how do you know it’s a man under the covers?

Note: Here are links to the stories: (fired, quit), but they might not work because the National Post’s ASP system is so lame. If the links don’t work, go to http://www.nationalpost.com and enter “Marketing Magazine” (with quotes) into their “60 day search” thingy and you’ll find them… at least up until December 25, 2001. Don’t go through the ghastly “canada.com” portal or it will take you an hour to find the 60-day Search field.

Very Impressive…

Check out this scan from the back of a box of new Aquafresh “dental mints.” Look at the graph… the red line shows how much you salivate when you’re just standing there like a dope. The blue line shows how much you salivate when you’re sucking on a “dental mint”.so lame

(a) When did salivation become the cornerstone of dental hygiene?

(b) Big freakin’ deal! So the mints make you salivate. Don’t they all? How about showing us a comparison against Altoids, or Hall’s? How about if you’re chewing on a piece of wood?

The worst of it is, there are people out there who fall for this crap. Grrrrrrrr