Sunday, February 11, 2007

Metros, retros, and that Super Bowl ad

I see the Snickers ad has been deep-sixed. Mars got the buzz it was hoping for, but discovered that not all buzz is good buzz. A few million dollars thrown away because some creative guys wanted to be edgy and no one in marketing had the guts to tell them "no".

The commercial itself was stupid and offensive in so many ways it is hard to know where to start. So, like all good pundits, I'll ride my pet hobby horse.

The two guys in the ad fit the media stereotype of retrosexuals. They were paunchy slobs, dull-witted, without charm, grace, or style. Similar caricatures appear on most sit-coms. They are the preferred "spokesmen" in ads for products that aim to appeal to retrosexuals-Dial soap, Miller beer, TV dinners, pizza, etc.

That's how TV advertising works. Everything gets viewed through a metrosexual lens because metros are over-represented in the advertising racket.

Marketers waste a ton of money out of ignorance and fear. No one wants to be a "suit" with no sense of humor and no grasp of "great, edgy creative." Peter Drucker said marketing and innovation were the only real functions of a corporation. Yet all too many companies have marketing departments that lack the courage and strategic mindset to live up to their responsibility.

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