02 August, 2008

Friday(ish) Ad Haiku: Offending Consumers

Caving to the outcry from some very vocal and thoroughly offended folks in the gay and lesbian community (and, of course, Bob Garfield), BBDO's Snickers spot--featuring Mr. T doing a drive-by on a speedwalker with a Gatling gun that fires candy bars--has been bounced from TV.

Personally, I thought the ad was funny--and well-positioned for the brand's core consumers: teenagers who eat too much crap and laugh at low-comedy. I certainly didn't see it as a candy-coated gay-hating manifesto, and I said as much on AdRants. Naturally, with a topic like this, there were some who disagreed with me. A lot. Nothing like a friendly debate to remind you why this business is so much fun.

With the recent imbroglio over offensive advertising--from anti-gay to anti-pit bull-- I've been left wondering a few things. Namely, can great advertising survive this current tide of hyper-political correctness and the continual kid-gloving of special interest groups? Or are we destined to sink into a pool of safeness, to drown in the vanilla extract of soft mediocrity?

Channeling legend Ed McCabe, adstud Dave Trott reminds us: An ad that doesn't cause a ruckus is a lousy ad.

Pissing people off is simply the occasional tax on your investment in making ads that get people's attention. I'll take that over shelling out for FICA every two weeks.

Your work has managed
not to offend anyone.
Now clean out your desk.

Previously in the Friday 5-7-5: Finding the Muse.

M.M.McDermott, ACD/Mr. Wrong

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