Confessions of an Overly Opinionated Marketing Student

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Enough is Enough is Enough?

We all know that one person who makes those jokes. You know the jokes that are above and beyond boarder line appropriate. Sometimes despite yourself, you can’t help but laugh. Other times the joke is met to absolute silence. Or worse – incessant anger.

I think the same can be said for product ads. There are some, like the Herbal Essences commercials, that seem somewhat racy and lets face it, untrue. I know myself I don’t hop into the shower, lather up and let out a series of strange moans. I mean, what’s with that? Some of my favourite commercials of all time happens to be the M&M’s commercials. To me, there’s something so hilarious about a piece of candy thinking it’s at a “naked party.” Then again, I have a somewhat immature sense of humour. I can sit down and giggle with five year olds over the funniest of poopy jokes.

But then there comes a time when you see a commercial or advertisement and you think, enough is enough is enough!

Recently, a French gambling company released an online  commercial that revolves around the assassination of John F. Kennedy when he was president in the 1960’S. Yup, the 1960’s. JFK died nearly fifty years ago. But American’s are outraged. The premise of the video is two policemen are standing beside each other along the parade route in  Dallas, Texas when one cop turns to the other cop and with a smirk says, “I bet you I can spin my pistol around ( insert random amount of times)” and once he proceeds to do it, sets the gun off. We briefly see a Jackie Kennedy look alike sprawled across the back of the car before the worried cop points to a top window in a building and proclaims, “the shot came from that window!!”

Now, because I’m pretty open, I found it entertaining. The idea is interesting. But when you’re talking about an event as  historically crushing at that was. . .is it too much? Honestly, I can’t say. Is it too soon fifty years later to make  a joke about it? I would certainly never crack a joke about 9/11 and it’s been twelve years. Keep in mind, laws are more lax  in Europe concerning ads. I have a feeling if it was an American or Canadian company who made and played the ad, it would be a different story.

So just ask yourself. Too soon? Too much? You might surprise yourself in your answer. . . .

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Doug Jeffries, Justin Bieber, Miley and Ri Ri walk into a bar. . .

1011729_10151615017427954_1269817433_n“Meeting you was better than meeting Justin Bieber.”

This was said to my dad this past Sunday while he was having his coffee at the local Tim Horton’s.

Whether she was serious or not ( she seemed pretty darn serious, if we’re being honest) it struck a cord. It seemed RIDICULOUS. To me, he’s the man who growing up would make me spaghetti on Saturday nights to watch Looney Tunes. The man who used to take my arm, slightly hit me and say, “Kelsey, why are you hitting yourself?” He was a DORK. Cooler then Justin Bieber? I guess that’s a matter of opinion.

I should probably take this moment to point out that my dad is the local sports broadcaster on CKWS. Okay, so he’s no Terry Bradshaw, but it’s still pretty cool. But it got me thinking if someone like my dad can influence and make people react that way what can celebrities do?

It’s amazing how many people will refuse to buy a product – until a celebrity endorses the product. It hits that cord. The “coolness” factor so to speak. If Jennifer Lopez is wearing it, I should too. If Miley Cyrus is doing molly, why shouldn’t I?

It’s unbelievable the amount of people who will act like lemmings because a celebrity acts a certain way or dresses a certain way. Girls will put on the most ridiculous outfits to look like their celebrity idol. Black leather pants, flip flops a parka and half shaved head. Are you kidding me? Half these girls wouldn’t have thought to put that outfit together if they hadn’t seen good ‘ole Ri Ri wearing it in a magazine.

Then there’s the more dangerous lemming activity such as that in Teen Mom. Young Teen girls getting pregnant younger and younger and saying they can handle it, “Because like, Amber on Teen Mom totally did it on her own. So I can too!” Well, youre thirteen and can’t even drive. How are you going to get your kid to the doctors? Yeah, think it through.

Celebrities and their actions are dangerous. I honestly believe that we as a society need to stop giving celebrities the power to essentially control our lives. To make OUR decisions. Because that’s essentially what we’re doing. When we put away our jeans and sweatshirts for ridiculous leather pants we give them the power. When we light up that blunt because Miley Cyrus is doing it, we’re giving up who we really are for society. I really don’t think some celebrities understand that. And some do and use it to their advantage.

Personally, I’m going to keep rocking my sweatpants. Take that Ri Ri.

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Don’t Stop Believing

finn-hudson-football-glee“No publicity is bad publicity.”

Unless of course, the publicity is over the fact that your lead male character in your hit television show has been found dead. In his hotel room. How could it get any worse? Oh yeah, he has died of a drug and alcohol overdose just a month after coming out of re-hab. Oh crap.

If you haven’t already figured it out, I’m talking about the late Canadian actor, Cory Monteith.

Monteith played the somewhat dim but loveable singing quarterback with the heart of gold, Finn Hudson. His singing voice wasn’t the best in the land, but when he performed you took notice. His character was relatable and believable. Finn took a journey through four seasons that a lot of us go through as teenagers. He dealt with the death of his father, re-marriage of his mother, teen pregnancy and in the third and fourth season, struggled to find himself in this world after graduating. Which I know first hand, is not an easy thing.

In reality, Cory Monteith was a man struggling with addiction. He was not one to shy away about his problems. He spoke publically about his struggle to stay clean.  He credited his girlfriend, fellow Glee star Lea Michele for helping him get clean. She was not present with Cory when he passed away in Vancouver in July of this year. He was thirty-one.

Many felt no sympathy. Saying a druggie is a druggie no matter how rich and he had what was coming to him. On his death, many were calling for the end of Glee. The fourth season, which had just wrapped a few months previously to the lowest ratings since its inception in 2009. Only 5.9 million tuned in to the season four finale versus 10. 92 million in season one.

So what’s a production team to do? Market their product. And that product was the sinking ship of Glee. Glee creator Ryan Murphy jumped into action and consulted with Monteith’s family and girlfriend to see whether Glee should even continue. They decided it should continue. Then, Murphy decided to give Glee fans everywhere just what they wanted – a Cory Monteith/Finn Hudson tribute episode.

In creating the tribute episode, he did a brilliant thing. He made people forget the unfortunate circumstances surrounding Cory’s death. They began to think of Cory more as Finn. To most fans, Cory and Finn were one and the same. As tragic as it was, Glee used Cory’s death as a new leg to stand on. But they did it in a way that didn’t make it seem offensive or upsetting to fans. The general opinion seemed to be that if Cory’s girlfriend Lea could film the tribute episode, fans should be able to embrace it.

I’ve noticed it myself. I tuned in when Glee premiered season five two weeks ago, just to see if they would make any hints as to the nature of how they would have Finn pass on. As did millions according to FOX. This coming Thursday will be our day to say good-bye to Cory\Finn. Because in our mind, you can’t have one without the other.

I personally will never again hear “Don’t Stop Believing” without thinking of Finn Hudson.

Cory Monteith, 1982-2013

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Poopourrie (Yes, you read that right)

Despite what ladies say, we do poop. Gross, I know. But stay with me here. I have a point – I promise.

I was on youtube this week, waiting for Luke Bryan to “shake it for me” when I was distracted by an ad that blew my mind.  A woman sitting on the toilet in a dress and pearls talking about the enormous poop she had just expelled from her body.

I sat there for a moment or two in shock – and I watched it again. It was like a train wreck. You don’t want to watch, but you have to.  A disgusting, un-lady like commercial that felt unnecessary. Surely there were other ways to promote this “Poopourrie” product? I mean, REALLY?

But then I watched again and realized that it worked. I was amused and flabbergasted all in one. But it made me actually wonder if the product worked. Perhaps it’s a crappy product? ( I know, I know. But I had to. I’m not an individual who can let a golden pun like that go!) Maybe the company is just counting on an amazing campaign to bring customers in?

They claim that it really works (but of course they do!) Apparently before taking a grand ‘ole number two, you apply this “poopourrie” product into the basin of your toilet. Therefore eliminating the smell afterwards. The company claims, “No one will know that you ever pooped!”

I ventured to our neighbourhood friendly Walmart. I was going to stick it in my bathroom. In the name of science of course. It turns out, the product hasn’t hit the shelves in Canada yet It’s only available online. . But I’m still curious. The commercial did its job. No matter how you feel about it. It really works. And the company knew it.

I was sure that I wasn’t the only person to feel this way. So again, in the name of science, I sent the clip to my best friend. Her response? “Quite possibly the best commercial I’ve ever seen. I’m sending it to so and so” and then only moments later, I received a text from said so and so that read “I just S*** my pants laughing.”

Poop humour for the win.

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