Friday, May 8, 2009

Time-travel tourism

We're cheating a little bit today because it's Friday and it's almost too easy to go after stock photography. And advertorials are hardly the cream of print advertising. But seriously, they couldn't find anything newer than 1987? Keds and Tretorns? Giant glasses and headbands?

If you're a word person, don't read the words in this advertorial, either, because it will make you sick that you're an out-of-work copy editor and other people can afford to let errors like that get into print.

Spotted: Minnesota Monthly

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Not exactly reassuring

It seems to me that it was that kind of crap that got us into trouble in the first place, really. Who's the dean of the SDA Bocconi, an underwear gnome?

Spotted: The Economist

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


When it comes down to it, if my local lighthouse failed during a foggy stormy night, I guess I'd want the coast guard investigating it, too. Because if someone's shining a light on something and it's not working, there's a problem. A company that sets itself up as one that's going to defend a lighthouse for not working -- well, you're going to need a better ad than this one to make me trust you.

Spotted: The Economist

Monday, May 4, 2009

Where Do They Find These Guys?

It's like they're trying to find the most feckless-looking sons they can. Neither of these offspring look like they could be entrusted with a multi-generational watch. I'm starting to wonder about the lingering issues of inadequacy the ad director for this campaign might have regarding fathers. I'm all for a classless society, but if there has to be an upper class, I'd like it to have a little class, know what I mean?

Spotted: The Economist

Thursday, April 30, 2009

I had a farm in Africa...


Look, I know the model is way too skinny and photoshopped to look 17 feet tall. And yes, we expect colonial classicism (and classism) from Ralph Lauren. But the light, the pose, the dress, all of it -- it's got me. I know how warm it there just by looking at it. It works.

Spotted: Vanity Fair

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I don't want to have to tell you again.

I could like this ad. I like the red smeary light effect that makes it look like a badly developed photo. Good colors, nice model, unoriginal yet solidly executed military hottie theme. It's all fine except for the thing ad designers can't keep from doing: turning letters backwards to make them "Russian."

я is not an R. ч is not a Y. Those of us who care about such things will hate your ad when we see you abuse the Cyrillic alphabet.

Spotted: Vanity Fair

Monday, April 27, 2009


The Engineer: Why is this a bad ad?

Me: Look at it! It's got way too many things going on. We have a model swooping in front of a skyline, which you can't see, because it's got this mass of cotton plants in front of it. The lighting and colors are cold. She looks like she's freezing.

The Engineer: Are you kidding? It looks nice and warm. And look at those big puffy bolls of cotton.

Me: They're not puffy, they're full of sticks and poky things!

The Engineer: No, they look soft. And she's in a soft sheet.

Me: I -- what? No! If you're going to show cotton you shouldn't show is with a bunch of pieces in it! It's terrible! And don't prop it up in front of a skyline on a windy day! This is a terrible ad!

The Engineer: I think it's a nice ad.

Me: Cotton should say soft and comfortable -- and you can have a high-fashion cotton ad, but not wrapped in a bedsheet and with your finest feature, something soft, full of twigs and sticks in front of the New York skyline.

Spotted: New York Times Magazine