Archive for the ‘Language in advertising’ Category

An ebook

June 28, 2015

A cute pun and, with it, a use of the symbol @ in advertising:

A book in the shape of the letter E, not an electronic book (eBook, e-Book, e-book, ebook). Plus the attention-grabbing L@@K, now used on websites offering things for sale or rental (eBay especially, but also Craigslist, home rental sites, etc.).

(The image came to me from Michael Palmer, who got it on Steven Gatke’s Facebook page. I couldn’t trace it back from there — but Gatke has lots of stuff about books and bookbinding.)

Annals of advertising and poor taste

June 25, 2015

A recent tv ad for the candy Skittles lies, for me, somewhere between absurdly silliy and just plain creepy. The premise is that there’s an epidemic of Skittles pox, which manifests itself in an outbreak of Skittles on the face. The unlikely ad copy:

Warning signs of a Skittles pox outbreak include Rainbow colors, increased dating prospects and loud “Mmmm” sounds from the afflicted. Contract the Rainbow. Taste the Rainbow.

The equivalent of a pustule in this infection is an individual Skittle — entirely edible, hence the enhanced dating prospects and the appreciative noises (and, for me, the creepiness).

Oh yes, it’s contagious.

(Earlier on Skittles, its “Share the rainbow … Taste the rainbow” campaign, and rainbow food composed of the candies, in this posting.)

A still from one ad:

and the video:

Annals of advertising: patriotism, sex, and overwhelming mouthfuls of food

June 9, 2015

It burst recently (with actual fireworks) onto the American fast-food scene: the Most American Thickburger from Carl’s Jr. / Hardees:

This clip doesn’t include the final tag, “Because America, that’s why” (with the recently popular because NP construction). But the entertaining businessday (NZ) story about the ad does.

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Naming that company

May 28, 2015

Here’s a clip of an ad for the Wealthfront firm, with two friends playing with possible names for a company they’re thinking of creating.

Text from Wealthfront:

A man and his friend are knitting together and discussing Wealthfront’s automated investment services. Because Wealthfront has such low fees and minimums, they’ll have enough money to buy all kinds of yarn, or even open that yarn shop. But what to call it? The Yarn Barn, Knit Wit, Knitty Knitty Bang Bang or Knit Happens? Visit wealthfront.com and you too can decide what to do with all your savings.

All very playful.

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But wait!

May 23, 2015

(This would be an occasion to announce that an inventory of Mother Goose and Grimm postings, on Language Log and this blog, is now available as a Page “MGG cartoons” on this blog.)

Today’s Mother Goose and Grimm:

Grimmy is lured by the tv commercials. From my “Pitchmen” posting of 2009:

The Atlantic City “boardwalk product pitch” plays a big role in the development of the television infomercial, from its beginnings with Ed Valenti and his business partner (Ginsu knives, “But wait! There’s more!”, and “Call now!”, among other things)

Hatch NM

May 10, 2015

Today’s Zippy takes us to Hatch NM, which is famous for two things: green chiles and giant fiberglass figures:

(#1)

The two are packaged together in this remarkable artifact:

(#2)

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Flavor combos

May 9, 2015

Sonic Drive-Ins are currently advertising Master Blast flavor combos in a “Blast Scout” commercial featuring three of its ice cream plus mix-in desserts:

Waffleberry Brownie. Strawberry Pucker Pie. Banana-Bo-Bana Crumble.

The last has a bit of well-known word play.

(These have more inventive names than the flavors officially introduced to their menu recently: Triple Chocolate, Turtle Pecan, Pineapple Upside Down, Banana Split, Caramel Brownie, Cookie Dough. But then customers are free to create their own combos using the many mix-ins available.)

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L’eggo my Eggo!

May 8, 2015

Recently I’ve been noticing an apparent uptick in “L’eggo my Eggo!” commercials on tv, after a period in which the slogan appeared but was not the focus of Eggo ads. My impression turns out to have been accurate: a 10/27/14 article in Advertising Age. “‘L’Eggo My Eggo’ Tagline Makes Comeback” explained that the slogan had indeed been sidelined for some time but was revived as the centerpiece of the ad campaign last year. The slogan has a number of things going for it: it’s familiar (it’s been around since 1972); it rhymes; it has an attractively vernacular tone to it; and the conceit embodied in it — that Eggo waffles are so delicious that no one would be willing to share one — is entertainingly hyperbolic.

To consider: the history of the food; the history of the slogan; phonological and syntactic notes on the slogan.

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Morning: Great American Dream Machine

April 26, 2015

This morning’s name: the television show The Great American Dream Machine. Bonus: grades of olives and their names.

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Apologetic candy

April 26, 2015

On the tv this morning, a (very short) commercial that turned on the apology “Sorry I was eating a Milky Way”. It’s on this site, with an explanation of its content:

A hairstylist, a rodeo clown and a cruise ship captain all completely forget what [they’re] supposed to be doing while eating a delicious Milky Way chocolate and caramel candy bar. Hilarity ensues, but their Milky Ways are just too good for these people to care.

On another site, a set of other “Distracted Chocolate-Eating Ads”:

Although being distracted by a chocolate bar might not be the best excuse for certain scenarios, the Milky Way Caramel campaign shows that this snack may be particularly irresistible. With its gooey caramel center, how could a bride possibly make it to her wedding on time? Or a mother not burn her son’s boy scout uniform with an unattended iron? These situations and more should be excused, at least according to the Milky Way Caramel campaign.

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