Two Thumbs Down, Two Thumbs Up

I don’t consider myself a prude.

When you’ve seen grown men pee in the corrals at the Boston Marathon, all hangups about body parts and bodily functions pretty much disappear.

I received the May issue of Runner’s World this week. (Obviously, they did not process my cancellation request in time to stop the mailing. Great. Now my expected refund of $11.29 will be not so…grand).

So, I’m flipping through this new issue, and two advertisements catch my eye. Let me rephrase: two ads pop my eyeballs open in wide surprise.

The first one:

read the caption up there in the top corner...

And the second one:

yea for vibrams (i have two pairs) but this ad???...

So, in Ad #1, I am genuinely shocked that they’d use the word BOOBS in print!  Attention grabbing – yes. Classy – no. I honestly don’t recollect ever seeing tatas referred to this way before! Am I just behind the times??

Ad #2 – Naked Man + his strategically placed hands…Risqué – yes. Innovative, perhaps. And I can even see how Naked Man relates to the creative slogan, and ties in to the Vibram shoe minimalist mentality. Still, I was surprised to see such a scantily-clad model advertising shoes!

Am I off-base?

In contrast, here are two ads that I do embrace. The first one is from the same RW issue mentioned, above:

read the white print under the "ONWARD" book cover, L hand side...

I love A-Ha quotes about life. This is meaningful stop-and-ponder ad print. Thank you, Starbucks. *Like.*

Secondly, a great ad from Oprah magazine:

this ad would fit nicely in RW, eh!?!

Now that’s smart writing. Way to go, National Peanut Board.

Any ads that have caught your attention lately, positively or negatively?

A few years ago, Pearl Izumi ran a series of ads, differentiating between runners and joggers.

Here’s an example:

At Pearl Izumi, we don’t jog. We run. And we think that matters. The thing is running is endangered. You might find this hard to believe. After all, the number of entrants in your local 10k is surely on the rise, and every Saturday the park is packed with people prancing around in brand new trainers, trying to nurture their chi or look good for their wedding or whatever. Unfortunately, few if any of them are running. They’re jogging, a half-hearted fore-aft movement of the legs that has about as much in common with running as bowling. And with all the jogging going on out there, runners are losing the soul of their sport. A sport that started with our ancestors running wn dinner and remains to this day predatory at its core. Joggers are prey. Runners are hunters. If you belong to the latter group, revel in the fact that you sit firmly atop the bipedal locomotion food chain. And run like an animal.


Considering that I still remember the campaign a couple of years later, the ads obviously did their intended job: they were attention-grabbing, and provoked discussion. (Too bad Pearl Izumi shoes…are…not the *preferred choice* of many athletes!)

Any blasts-from-the-advertising-past that have stuck with you?

Enjoy your Sunday! And if you’re magazine-skimming today, turn the pages with caution – you just never know what you may see!

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  • Julie  On April 15, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    I said recently to youngest son Blake (aged 9 1/2)…”nice bum” (refering to a cute look in his jeans). He turned around and said, “thanks Mommy, nice cushions”… French “coussins” is the word for pillows…Blake uses it for his own bed pillow and my….
    I was not at all offended. 🙂 My little Frenchie son.

    • 1970kikiproject  On April 15, 2011 at 6:11 pm

      kids speaking french sound sooo cute. your boys are so fortunate to be completely bilingual!

  • Johanna B  On April 11, 2011 at 11:48 am

    I received my copy of the May issue of RW last week,too. I tore off the plastic, removed all the blow-in subscription cards, tore out the ones which are glued in and then flipped through it. It seems that I saw more than one naked individual with strategically placed body parts. I don’t even remember what the ads were promoting. I would guess they won’t be very successful.

    • 1970kikiproject  On April 11, 2011 at 11:56 am

      All those subscription cards drive me nuts! I always do that, too: first thing, flip through, take out those cards, any full-page insert ads…THEN I can start reading! I strongly suspect the cover photos are *retouched* – but that’s another rant entirely!

  • Lisa  On April 10, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    I saw that vibram ad too, and I was not crazy about it. I just thought it was unnecessary and trying too hard!

    I think using the word boobs is not classy at all—are they trying to appeal to adolescents or grown-up? Because I’m not impressed by stuff like that!

    Hope you had a great weekend!

    • 1970kikiproject  On April 10, 2011 at 9:05 pm

      i hope you had a fun and fulfilling weekend, lisa – a mix of work, play with nephew m…and other favourite hobbies! maybe the vibram ad is the “gratuitous sex scene” of this month’s issue! every big movie has one, after all!

  • Dorry  On April 10, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    I love that ad from the Oprah magazine! I agree -haven’t seen “boobs” in print much. Some of the description tags at lululemon for bras and tanks refer to boobs as “girls”. 😉 There have been some ads that stuck with me because people posted about them on blogs about body image – Diet Coke had one about the skinny new bottle or something. I guess I don’t pay much attention to advertising because I can’t remember any! Funny because I used to work in advertising for years. 🙂

    • 1970kikiproject  On April 10, 2011 at 5:26 pm

      i’d much rather read about “the girls,” to be honest! that expression is cute and funny, not quite as crass as boobs, IMO! that’s so cool that you worked in advertising…i did not know! oh, dorry, you would have to mention DIET COKE, wouldn’t you!!! 🙂 hope you had a sunny (in all ways!) weekend!

  • Holly @ The Runny Egg  On April 10, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    I hate to be so sensitive but I hate that runner/jogger ad — I mean, I understand what they’re saying, but I know I’d be in their “jogger” category and it makes me feel like my best isn’t good enough, know what I mean? Like I said, I know I’m sensitive about it but I remember seeing those ads and not liking them at all!

    I haven’t seen THAT Vibram ad, I’ve seen the one with a naked woman instead (same idea as the one you posted “your body is the technology”). It was definitely unforgettable!

    • 1970kikiproject  On April 10, 2011 at 3:38 pm

      you’re not alone, holly, in your reaction to the pearl izumi ad campaign – at the time, it really made a lot of people quite angry…i do question how wise it is to tick off at least 50% of your potential customer base?? and i haven’t see the GIRL vibram ad! will keep my eyes open for it…although it’ll likely jump out to my attention quite easily if i do see it! hope you’re having a great sunday and that your run yesterday went well!

  • Gina Unger  On April 10, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    I usually think I lead a somewhat sheltered life… but those ads didn’t even make me blink. Laugh, yes. But I honestly had to read your comments to see an issue with them. I thought they were kinda funny and I can’t really imagine the advertisers writing “breasts” in their ad instead! 🙂
    LOVE the Peanuts Board ad! And love the Pearl Izumi writing… brought to mind some of what Jeff’s been telling me of the book, “Born to Run”. (I’ve got to read that book now!)

    • 1970kikiproject  On April 10, 2011 at 3:21 pm

      yes yes read the book! and let me know what jeff thinks of it! i quite enjoyed it! thanks for sharing your opinion of the ads! and yes the choice of wording needs to reflect the tone they’re aiming for/the audience, i guess! the pearl izumi ad makes me laugh because honest, i don’t think there are that many *SERIOUS* runners who adore their shoes!

  • Zo  On April 10, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    My boyfriend’s daughter has pointed out a number of cigarette advertisements in entertainment magazines lately, which surprised us because we thought they weren’t even supposed to run any more.
    Both those top ads above are attention grabbing. I think the first one is using the “this is how women talk about themselves so we’re gonna talk to them like we’re all girlfriends” approach. I guess I get why they chose to do that, but it does look a bit “men’s magazine-y”

    • 1970kikiproject  On April 10, 2011 at 3:10 pm

      i like your theory on the first ad – i think you’re correct about the tone they’re aiming for… too bad re the cig ads in entertainment mags – give the demographic reading those magazines, they probably target a young population. enjoy your sunday!

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