October 7, 2012

IconTop five dos and don’ts of advertising.

To advertise or not to advertise that is the question. Once you decide to take the plunge how do you know that you are doing it right? With this in mind here is my top 5 list of dos and don’ts for those who advertise.

1. Do remove images of women from your catalogue.

If you want to hit expanding markets then appeal to a country’s better side. For example, Ikea decided it was a good idea to ‘airbrush’ women out of the Saudia Arabia edition of their catalogue. Nicely done Ikea, and thanks to Guardian reporter Nesrine Malik for this little gem,

‘I perused the entire Arabic catalogue and in the Saudi Ikea universe, the world is populated entirely by single dads, children and the occasional cat.’

Ikea are now in hot water with Swedish Gender Equality Minister, Nyamko Sabuni and more importantly…me. Let that be a lesson to them.

2. Don’t ‘borrow’ personal wedding photos.

Or you will get sued. This one comes from the idiot’s guide of things not to do when advertising. Well done to the US anti-gay group, Public Advocate of the United States for providing a textbook example of this. Imagine Brian Edwards and Tom Privitere’s surprise when they discovered they were now the poster boys for a dig at a State Senator Jean White and that old evil devil ‘same sex marriage’. Exactly what they hoped and dreamed of on their very happy day. ABC has a touching video of how the two came to find out that they were now such a source of national pride. It will warm the cockles of your heart.

3. Do use positive imagery and you might even find yourself running off with an award!

JC Penney, a USA fashion retailer found themselves honoured with a GLAAD award when part of their father’s day campaign involved depicting a picture of – hold your breath – a family with two dads. Of course, One Million Moms once again boycotted the chain for promoting positive inclusive family values. One Million Moms could soon find itself in trouble for overinflating their member numbers, a wee not very funny joke at their expense. If you do however want a real chuckle, visit their website.

4. Don’t use ‘dodgy’ slogans.

It doesn’t matter how big or small you are they’ll catch up with you eventually, as Australian tour operator Wicked Campers found out. It might have taken until now for one small complaint to effectively ban the company from using the slogan, ‘It’s better 2 be black than gay, cos you don’t have 2 tell your parents’ (which has been on the road since way back in 2009) but in all seriousness maybe this is a positive sign that times are changing. I am still not entirely sure what Wicked Campers were hoping to achieve with this well thought out slogan, perhaps they were just going out of their way to be ‘wicked’ (boom boom). But whatever it was they will now have to spend one shiny Australian dollar to think of something better. I wish them luck.

5. And finally… Don’t use rainbows (my personal favourite).

PepsiCo found itself in trouble with Russian anti-gay activists when the milk company used a rainbow in packaging on one of its products. In Russia it is illegal to ‘promote homosexuality’ and obviously the use of the rainbow will turn heterosexual heads everywhere into the murky underworld of ‘the gays’. Next on the hit list for the anti-gay zealots is the spectrum of light. This seedy group is known for making the worldwide ‘gay’ sign across the world whenever light is reflected in water. Russian officials were unable to comment about the SOL group but I did hear a rumour they are suggesting people only go outside in sunglasses to avoid their brains being frazzled by that troublesome natural phenomenon.

So there we are, a list and dos and don’ts for advertisers everywhere. Remember to mind your P’s and Q’s in the future and the world will be a much better place for it. Less amusing, but better.

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Are women funny?

We were at Funny Women in Brighton attempting to find out if women are as funny as men.

June 13, 2012