Archive for the ‘Language in advertising’ Category

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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Annals of phallic reference: a real fireman’s nozzle

April 17, 2015

Caught in a tv commercial this morning, for the Mighty Blaster Fireman’s Nozzle (“as seen on TV”). From the copy:

Mighty Blaster Fireman’s Nozzle is the first-ever household sprayer with the power and precision of a real fireman’s nozzle, with 50% more power than regular hose nozzles.

You can watch the whole commercial, or just study this still shot:

Hoses are such natural phallic symbols that the makers and sellers of the Mighty Blaster might not have appreciated the possible readings of their ads.

Magnum

April 15, 2015

Just went past me on television: an ad for Magnum Ice Cream Bars:

(#1)

(from the Magnum Ice Cream site; “Magnum Ice Cream Bars are made with creamy Ice Cream and Belgian Chocolate”). The bars are big in size and big in flavor. The ads tend to feature (female) models with bars in their mouths: both oral and phallic. Here’s model Lucy Wolfert in one ad:

(#2)

Magnum things are all about size and masculinity.

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Stan Freberg

April 8, 2015

In today’s NYT, an obit by Douglas Martin, “Stan Freberg, Madcap Adman and Satirist, Dies at 88″:

Stan Freberg, a humorist whose sprawling imagination fueled a multifaceted career that included pretty much inventing the idea of using satire in commercials, died on Tuesday in Santa Monica, Calif.

… Mr. Freberg was a hard man to pin down. He made hit comedy records, voiced hundreds of cartoon characters and succeeded Jack Benny in one of radio’s most prestigious time slots. He called himself a “guerrilla satirist,” using humor as a barbed weapon to take on issues ranging from the commercialization of Christmas to the hypocrisy of liberals.

Freberg on a 1957 comedy album. Photo: Capitol Records.

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Specialists in International

April 7, 2015

Slogan on the side of a DHL truck in Palo Alto:

DHL — YOUR SPECIALISTS IN INTERNATIONAL SINCE 1969

The adjective international is serving as a noun here, conveying something like ‘international shipping’ or ‘international mail’ or ‘international delivery’. Informally, this is “nouning by truncation”, but the implicit noun head isn’t uniquely identifiable.

Two pieces of background here: on “nouning by truncation” and on the DHL company and its slogans.

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