Lego Empowers Girls

Lego recently released an advertisement that attempted to empower girls. Often Lego is associated with boys and building cars, trucks, or other “male” toys. Emerging companies are beginning to rival Lego’s idea of building blocks so they needed to come up with a counter advertisement. This one outlines the life of a strong girl who defends her decisions and uses Lego to explore her imagination. There is no gender specified Lego product, so they continue to aim their ads at young girls as well as young boys. Nerf guns are also doing the same thing, however they call their guns and arrows the Rebelle brand which is controversial sometimes.

Regardless, Lego is working to end gender stereotypes through their advertisements and products that market to both genders.

They also created a social media campaign with the hashtag #keepbuilding. It’s empowering and effective. Hopefully Lego continues this trend and other toy companies follow suit.

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Bissell and Subways

Bissell is a well known vacuum company. In their latest advertising campaign, they set out to prove how well their product actually works. They used one of their vacuums on a Toronto subway station’s floor. To everyone’s astonishment, the floor was cleaned. Living in Chicago, we can assume how dirty the L platforms are. It’s safe to assume it’s that dirty in Toronto as well.

Bissell showed how confident they were in their product, they even had people watching and gasping interested.

However, most of these people may have been actors, because as it turns out, the ad was entirely filmed on a platform that is no longer used. (AdWeek)

Do we trust the results Bissell highlights if they weren’t on a used subway platform? Is this a tricky way to  get around advertising and create an idea of a product that does not exist?

Dove and Beauty

I am a person fan of Dove. Their ads related to self-esteem and body image almost always make me tear up. In their latest ad spot, they demonstrate how the feelings you have about yourself, can radiate and echo to those who love you. They used the example of mothers and daughters. They described what mothers liked and disliked about themselves and then their daughters also wrote a list. Most things matched up and Dove highlighted why this isn’t the way it should be.

These ads are effective marketing for Dove. They set themselves apart from similar beauty products. Creating that relationship through advertising is pretty much the most effective thing you can do. Some ads might inform people or encourage them to try something new or buy something once. Marketing stories create a feeling towards the brand. Dove stands up for women and their right to feel beautiful no matter what. I for one, am willing to pay extra to support a brand that brings ads into mainstream culture that highlight these issues.

Was this advertisement an effective use of Dove’s money? It doesn’t describe any of their products and what they can do. It does not inform anyone about a new lotion or sale.

Does marketing and storytelling pay off in the end?

Playful Violence

Dollar Shave Club is an online service that delivers men’s razors directly to purchaser’s doors. They recently released four videos that highlight what it’s like to buy razors at an expensive retailer in a comedic way. Their funny methods attract attention of their customers while also still selling their product. In one instance, the man buying a razor gets punched a few times by a trick one of the employees sets up. This is supposed to represent the way these employees often treat their customers.

In another one, an employee shoots a poisonous dart into a man who is simply trying to buy a razor.

Is the use of comedic violence effective in this case? Most razors have nothing to do with violence.

Are the producers creating a semblance of a problem that doesn’t actually exist in the first place?

Little Kids Swearing for Effect?

Recently, a group dedicated to creating an equal place for women, FCKH8, has been creating videos about girls. These girls are younger than 15 and wear princess dresses. The real controversy? They swear A LOT. It gets a lot of attention and gets people talking that’s for sure. In their newest online video, the girls have black eyes and beat up faces (just from makeup). They talk about domestic violence and standing up for yourself as a women. PLUS, they focus on men’s responsibility in the situation as well.

I personally think these are great. However, I can see why people would be offended by this. Children probably shouldn’t be swearing, especially in permanent and public settings such as these. But I would argue that the same reason we think little girls shouldn’t swear, is the same reason we tell women to ignore men, bring pepper spray, or learn self defense, instead of, you know, teaching men not to rape.

On a more relevant advertising note I think this is an effective viral video. It gets people talking about the subject, which is the ultimate goal of any ad.

Is the use of swearing helpful because it sparks controversy and conversation or does is negatively effect the overall goal of the producers?

All Grown Up

Recently, Old Spice took their creativity to the next level. They used their mantra of “what a real man wears,” and applied it to adolescent years. It reflects what happens to the parents when a boy starts to become a man. Only this time, we know he’s becoming a man because he wears Old Spice. The target audience seems to be younger adults/teenagers, which could hurt Old Spice’s branding and they could become the next AXE. If their market is primary young teenagers who want to be more manly, they could lose a lot of respect. On the other hand, Old Spice may be purposefully targeting this audience because they are failing within the older demographic.

Is this a flawed way to reach their changing target audience, or does Old Spice understand how this could backfire?

Do they want this “backfire?”