Archive for the ‘Language in advertising’ Category

All things shark

August 24, 2015

Heavy advertisement on cable tv for the summer-end event Shweekend (Shark Weekend — somehow, sharks provoke portmanteaus) on the Discovery Channel.

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(The poster plays on the film title Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!)

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Kraken! And GEICO!

August 23, 2015

This recent tv ad for GEICO entertained me enormously:

A description, from the iSpot.tv site:

At a golf tournament, a golfer prepares to make a shot over the water. Just before he goes to swing, a kraken emerges from the water and grabs the golfer and his caddy, swinging them around with its tentacles. While all this is happening, the golf commentators continue quietly narrating the event. When you’re a golf commentator, you whisper — It’s what you do. If you want to save 15 percent or more on car insurance, you switch to GEICO.

(#1)

Now, some notes: on the Kraken, and on GEICO and the”It’s What You Do” ads.

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Crab feast

August 15, 2015

Some time ago a tv commercial went past me in the middle of the night: a commercial for a fast-food or casual-dining restaurant advertising specials on crab, a feast of snow crab and king crab. So I wondered about the crab in these two names, suspecting that we might be in a world where the referent of one or both of these names is unclear — where there are several distinct creatures called snow crab, say — and maybe also in a world where biologists claim that some things called crabs (or X crabs, for some specific X) are not in fact crabs at all, or aren’t “true crabs”. My suspicious are justified.

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Annals of fast-food excess

August 3, 2015

Caught on tv yesterday: two, count them, two, recent commercials for excessive fast-food offerings: Wendy’s Baconator (970 calories of bacon, burger, and cheese) and Arby’s new Loaded Italian Sandwich (an Italian sub with lots of ingredients and a mere 630 calories). The latter led me to Arby’s competitor Subway, which offers an “Italian B.M.T.”, with a modest 410 calories, but that’s in their 6-inch sandwich — it’s 820 in their footlong version.

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Dingburg names

July 31, 2015

Today’s Zippy, with two sets of names to savor:

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First, there are the preposterous Dingburger names: Flexo Sodafiber, Glassine Bookpaper, Flemish Spindleplunger. Then there are the products, their mascots, and their names. Commerce and pop culture.

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Protecting fictional brand names

July 19, 2015

It’s all about Duff Beer, on The Simpsons:

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Late summer porn sales

July 18, 2015

(Mostly about gay porn and advertising for it, but there’s some language stuff in there.)

We’re into the latter part of the summer season, and there aren’t many occasions to celebrate in the US, now that Independence Day and gay pride days are past and Labor Day is about six weeks in the future. That presents a challenge for gay porn studios, who like to have holidays to hang sales on. Two of them —  C1R {Channel 1 Releasing) and TitanMen — have taken the challenge, with rather different approaches.

C1R wasn’t inventive; they just declared a “summer splash sale” and offered up chunks of their inventory, plus a new flick, It All Cums Down to Cock (cramming cum, the down of go down on, and cock into a six-word title). The material in their ad, reproduced in an AZBlogX posting (note: visually and verbally X-rated), is undistinguished except for a steamy shot from the new flick (with slim twink Devin Dixon admiring hunk Jason Phoenix’s penis).

But TitanMen went for playful cleverness, with a “Christmas in July” ad campaign (details on AZBlogX).

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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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