How to Advertise Tourism Effectively and Creatively

“Take a look at Brussels” by TBWA for client SNCF (French Railway System) in Paris is a fantastic way to increase tourism.  The cutout for your head really draws in curious passersby, and the charming Belgians on the other end are sure to woo you into buying a train ticket.  I’d like to see this as an entire campaign.

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Fly Over Beautiful 3D Landscapes in Interactive Game Woodbot Pilots

“A 3D gestural game. Using an IR 3D Camera, we translate gestures of the human body navigate a virtual landscape.

Start the game, choose a character and try and get the fastest time through the race track.

This project was launched at Skellefteå airport in Northern Sweden as an installation.”

Credits: Interactive Institute Umeå, North Kingdom and Adopticum

Source: woodbotpilots.com

All images from www.woodbotpilots.com

3D Holographic Displays Grace the Markets thanks to RealFiction

Dreamoc mixes 3D motion graphics with real objects or no objects at all to create a stunning holographic display.  Marketed commercially, Dreamoc is made by Denmark-based company RealFiction to advertise retail.  Leave it to the Scandinavians! This kind of technology holds great possibilities for the arts and experiential realms as well.  Eager to find out more information on how exactly they use the glass pyramid to create a 3D holographic illusion.

Check out this demo video:

 

Interactive Vending Machine Reveals how low People Will go for Free Food

I’ve got mixed feelings about this one: is getting people to bow down to your product the most awesome thing ever, or just plain humiliating?  Personally, I’m embarrassed for all of the people in the video below.  Except for the grandmotherly lady who takes the initiative and hits the button 100 times for her free rice snack.

So what is this thing? It’s Australia’s Fantastic Delites new marketing campaign produced by Clemenger BBDO called “How far will you go for Fantastic Delites?”  As you’ll see below, people go very far indeed.  Dancing, literally getting on their knees and bowing to the machine, doing the chicken dance, pressing the button 100, 1000, and even 5000 times–it’s degradation at its best.  For rice snacks. RICE snacks, people! Does that even sound worth it to you?  For better or for worse, our opinions actually don’t matter because the video shows that type of marketing to be effective –just look at all the crowds!  I think a major part of the appeal is just that–it draws a crowd and attracts attention.  People stop what they are doing to watch another human make a fool of his or herself.  And then of course they become curious, what is this thing, what’s it for, who is Fantastic Delites, and maybe I want one.

This is a fantastic example of interactivity in marketing.  It’s pushing the limits of human-machine interaction, all while making a name for Fantastic Delites not just at its location, but around the world because of that video.  I’m impressed.  And slightly repulsed.  But mostly impressed.

Source: AdWeek

Why we Need More Female Directors in TV and Film: Advertising and the Imbalance of Male Fantasy Potrayals

Whose fantasy is this?

I think one of the biggest reasons many women and parents are displeased with the media today is that there is a harsh imbalance of male-female fantasies portrayed in the media.  In this essay I will discuss the reasons this imbalance prevents gender equality and creates a malevolent, one-dimensional view of young women in America.

Introduction

First and foremost, it is important to recognize that all visual media has been edited.  It is the art of editing–of selecting specific close-up, medium, and long shots in a particular order–that tells a story.  Each shot is chosen specifically and delicately in this order, as to perfectly illustrate the story being told.  Each cut simulates a blink of the eye, and with each blink we are concentrating on a new facet of the portrayed experience.

Editing rolls of film to tell your story is a tedious task

In real life, this is not so.  When we blink, our eyes show us the same scene, the same environment.  We cannot skip over the boring, monotonous, or irrelevant moments like in film.  Life is one long, uncut scene. By editing these moments together with a specific intent (the intent to create a story), we are creating pure fantasy.  Every piece of edited media you see is fantasy.  Commercials, tv, film, video games, and the horribly misnamed “reality” tv.

Problem

The problem is, if you look at the people directing and editing these commercials, they are almost all male.  The director of photography (person behind the camera), the director itself, and the editors tend to be male.  When you get a combination like this, even if the script’s writer is female, the story being told is influenced by the desires of these men in the same way that any film or piece of media is influenced by each hand that touches it.  I want to reiterate that there is nothing wrong with male fantasies, something that vocal people posing as feminists will contest.  The problem occurs when our society is dominated only by these fantasies, and there is a lack of female representation.

All male crew.
Even on shows such as Alias and Buffy, we see that makeup comes before ass-kicking.  Somehow on Dark Angel, Jessica Alba’s character has time to perfect her hair and put on mascara before going to fight the bad guys…In real life, makeup and hair to that effect can take an hour or more to achieve.  It enslaves you, in a real way. Women who see “looking good” as a necessity are prevented from acting on spontaneous decisions and their freedoms are limited because they need to spend an hour doing hair and makeup before they can go to lunch, or the beach, or to work.  Men don’t need to worry about these things because they are told through advertisements and tv that they don’t need to.
Evidence
Here is an example of a GoDaddy.com Superbowl 2012 commercial that objectifies women. This will be shown to families with young girls watching all over America for this year’s Superbowl XLVI.  WHY do you need sex to sell domain names? What on earth does sex have to do with domain names? Simple…sex sells.

And here is another one, also by GoDaddy (are you noticing a trend here?):

By the way: every single crew member, ad executive, and pre-production member for the GoDaddy commercial above is male.  The only exceptions? The actresses.

Now that you’re hopefully starting to feel enlightened, let’s move on to the next part of this essay.  The “equality part.”

To illustrate my point, I would like to use the Old Spice campaign as an example.  Note that this campaign differs only from the Axe campaign in that it switches the stereotyped gender roles.

Well what do we have here? From the advertising agency we have a female Executive Creative Director, a female Producer, a female Producer Interactive, and another female Producer Interactive.  And in the crew, there is a a female Executive Producer, and a female Line Producer.

Hm. Interesting.

Solving the Problem

I love Old Spice commercials.  First and foremost, they are hilarious.  You have a good-looking guy fulfilling every female fantasy in one long take.  One reason this works so well is because of the editing reasons I mentioned before–there is no cut.  It is one long take, and this lack of editing simulates real life.  However, its motion graphics and special effects make it very clear that it is still only a fantasy.

However, if you are to look at this commercial in the manner that sexualized female characters are looked at by other women, you will see that not everything is so fine and dandy after all.  The Old Spice guy is being objectified and sexualized. His character’s only mission is to satisfy women.

Is that sort of male objectification ethical? No. Objectification of either gender causes people’s personalities and souls to be disregarded as we cast them off as objects for looking at, or, as we commonly call it, “pieces of meat.” So how do we combat this? There is clearly objectification coming from both sides of the gender pool, with one side greatly outweighing the other…

The answer: balance it out!  There is no way you can ask a male artist not to paint his fantasy, whether on a canvas or on camera.  That’s not fair nor ethical, as we should all have the freedoms to write, film, or paint our fantasies.  But what you can do is balance out those male fantasies with female fantasies.  And this is important for empowering young women and helping them understand they do not need to be sexual or beautiful to be successful people.

Conclusion

A lot of things have changed for women’s status since our parents time, our grandparents time, and the generation before them, but that doesn’t mean the struggle is over yet.  More women than ever are attending college (and out-attending men even), working, and running for office.  Men don’t offer women seats on the train anymore, and they won’t pay for your dinner every time you go on a date.  We are living under the pretense that both genders are equal, and yet we are lacking a HUGE female influence in the media and political arenas.  This is not right, it has to change.  Too many women and men live in ignorance of our world’s domination by male fantasies and the insecurities it creates for both men and women (but especially women).

Not all women want to be viewed sexually, but thanks to the push to widely distribute photos like this, they are.

Equality can only be achieved by equal representation.  Ever heard the saying, “99% of life is just showing up?”  Well women, you (we) need to start showing up and getting out there.  In film, in tv, in advertising, and in politics.  Don’t be intimidated by male dominance in the industry.  What’s the worst that can happen by trying? In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, a champion of equality, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”