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Profanity in Advertising — What the @#$! do we care?

Profanity in advertising—is it REALLY needed in order to stand out in the all the marketing clutter? Are we becoming immune to it? A recent article on Talentzoo puts it this way: …times change, and we’re slowly breaking down our cultural norms and resistance to expletives. Consider the following ads: For as long as I can […]

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Hey Abercrombie, take your apology and suck it.

Oh, Abercrombie. You continue to steal the headlines with your chiseled shirtless teenagers gracing the cover of your shopping bags, scandalous advertisements, and beautiful hand-selected employees. And thanks to Business Insider for bringing CEO Mike Jefferies’ 2006 comments back to life, Abercrombie is once again in our headlines. In case you missed it, in 2006 Jeffries made […]

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Role Reversal: Perceptions of Men and Women in Advertising

Check out this eye-opening video put together by a Women and Gender Studies class at the University of Saskatchewan by Sarah Zelinski, Kayla Hatzel and Dylan Lambi-Raine. They wanted to show how ridiculous media portrays gender roles and stereotypes in advertising through presenting gender roll reversals. As depicted in the video, our parents went through their […]

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Dove Real Beauty Sketches: Responsible Marketing, I think.

If you haven’t already seen this “Dove Real Beauty Sketches” clip that everyone is posting on Facebook, take a gander: Dove once again pulls through in this touching video about how women view themselves in such poor light compared to how others see them. It is sad how women are especially critical of every mole, […]

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Does sex sell cause-related marketing?

Do you remember this ad? It’s part of PETA’s anti-fur campaign. Though the use of nude celebrities may arouse cynicism, the use of provocative imagery and ardent copy make for a bold message. Ad copy: “Animals killed for their fur are electrocuted, drowned, beaten and often skinned alive. Be comfortable in your own skin, and […]

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Marketing lingerie to tweens: Responsible or not?

Au Revoir Fruit of the Loom. Your plain cotton briefs and boring training bras are of the past. Welcome to a new generation of tween and teen undergarments. Sorry, faux pas. I meant to say, lingerie. Yes, lingerie geared towards teens and tweens is on your store shelves. It’s a $1.5 billion a year and […]

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Volkswagen’s Super Bowl Ad: Get in. Get Racist?

It must be Super Bowl ad season because the critics are a squawkin’.  Well, VW’s “Get in. Get Happy.” ad has taken the spotlight. Some are calling this racist and offensive. Although it’s definitely not as memorable as VW Passat’s 2010 “Darth Vader” ad which charmed the hearts of many and generated 56 million views […]

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Dollar Shave Club viral video

Do we hate Dollar Shave Club’s viral video?

This being the Responsible Marketing Blog, you might think a video with an F-Bomb in it might attract our ire, right? Wrong. Watch this: There are plenty of things we don’t like: Racism. Bigotry. Violence. Corporate greed run amok. Comic sans. But boring marketing is irresponsible, and boring Dollar Shave Club is not. This is f**king brilliant. […]

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Responsible or not? CIT’s college recruiting video

College advertising is usually so, well, meh. Not so with this ad entitled “It’s a Snap” from filmmakers Henry & Aaron, done with full creative license for their alma mater, Western Australia’s Central Institute of Technology. The video has gone viral, leaving some to say it has changed the face of college recruitment advertising. So, […]

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So tasty: Schweddy Balls Ice Cream

Ben and Jerry’s has announced a new limited edition batch of ice cream, “Schweddy Balls.” For the uninitiated, here’s the SNL skit it’s based upon: It’s funny. Really, really funny. Surely some people will be offended, right? Of course. Some people will are offended when you say “darn,” too. I’d argue “Schweddy Balls” is responsible. […]

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BP combating bad press with paid search

Search for “oil spill” on Google and you’ll get this: Click here to enlarge On Bing you’ll get: British Petroleum · www.BP.com/GulfOfMexicoResponse Get Info about the Gulf of Mexico Response Today Yahoo: BP – Info about the Gulf of Mexico Spill Learn More about How BP is Helping. www.bp.com/gulfofmexicoresponse Normally, I’d say this is Responsible […]

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Responsible or not? Nike resurrects Earl Woods

Just in time for Tiger Woods’ return to golf at The Masters, Nike has released the following ad featuring the voice of Tiger’s deceased father, Earl: Here’s what Earl is saying: Tiger, I am more prone to be inquisitive, to promote discussion. I want to find out what your thinking was. I want to find […]

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Responsible or not? Audi’s “Do Your Part”

It ain’t so easy being green. Unless, of course, you buy a clean diesel from Audi. That’s the message of this Audi A3 “Do Your Part” advert: I get the idea: Show you can be environmentally responsible without having to put yourself out. You can have it all. Here’s one point of view from @motorad666 […]

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Evian’s hip-hop roller babies: Responsible or not?

By now, you’ve probably heard about Evian‘s new “live young” campaign featuring the roller babies. You haven’t? Well, now you are in the know: There’s a lot to like here: It’s fun, unique, the CGI was done well and who doesn’t love Rapper’s Delight? It’s the type of video you can hardly resist hitting the […]

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Is Burger King’s “Square Butts” ad responsible?

Last night, a friend from high school sent me this question via Facebook: Can you explain why ANYONE (let alone Burger King) would think it a good idea to adapt “I like Big Butts” to market a children’s meal? Here’s the ad in question: Extended version This is one of the classic Responsible Marketing questions […]

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The Southwest Airlines Bikini Controversy

Remember a few years ago when a woman was thrown off of a Southwest Airlines plane because her outfit was too revealing? Imagine her surprise when Southwest launched the “SI One,” to promote Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit edition last month. The airline expected controversy, but probably didn’t expect how polarizing the image would be. A few […]

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Skittles Twitter homepage: Responsible or not?

Skittles, the chewy, fruit-flavored candy from Mars, Inc. has jumped into social media in an innovative new way: They have coded their website so their navigation now floats over three of the most popular social media websites. Skittles.com is now nothing more than a navigation box floating over the Twitter search results for the term […]

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A-Rod and Kobe and Phelps, oh my!

It was a risk when Activision cast four of the world’s most recognized athletes to dance in their underwear for a video game that that wasn’t sports-related. Imagine it: The greatest Olympian of all time (at least by medal count), the best basketball and baseball player today, and the person that has almost single-handedly popularized […]

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Is Budget’s PrivacyGuard offer responsible?

Why would anyone want a free credit report from FreeCreditReport.com when Budget has partnered with PrivacyGuard to pay you $10 to sign up for ID theft and credit monitoring? Well, as we discussed here before, the credit report from FreeCreditReport.com isn’t free and as you might guess, the PrivacyGuard offer has plenty of strings attached, […]

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VitaminWater or the CSPI: Who do you believe?

The Coca-Cola Company is being sued by the Center for Science in the Public Interest for deceptive claims regarding it’s VitaminWater product line. Coke markets VitaminWater as a “healthful alternative to soda by labeling its several flavors with such health buzz words,” and claims they “variously reduce the risk of chronic disease, reduce the risk […]

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