Saturday, April 09, 2005

Bambi's perfect tan

Bambi's perfect tan
Originally uploaded by imarsman.
I've started to notice how chock full parts of downtown Toronto are with advertisements.

Someone's making money off the ad space, but we all pay in terms of the change to our visual landscape. I'd not want no colour or ads, but what is a good balance?

This is one I'd classify as un-subtle, but then how else do you advertise tanning oil that is supposed to make you look fantastic?

The tanning oil ad has a simple message. Use this and you will be sexy, bronzed, youthful. Some ads have a more complicated message because they have to overcome problems with thier images. SUV ads fit in this category. They often go to great lengths to show that you can use these gas-guzzlers that pollute the world to visit and experience nature, often probably causing erosion or damaging fish spawning streams in the process. SUV ads often suggest that you can view the world much as a general views a battle, from on high and from a position of safety while still enjoying the excitement of it all. Robutusson tries to differentiate itself from other cold remedies by suggesting that invoking its name is about the same as saying "bless you", a statement originally used in an effort to ward off the plague. Breaking ads down can be great fun, since the underlying message is often hilarious. Perhaps we don't because it's tiring to do constantly or because we don't mind the bait.

As a side note, I actually wrote the company that makes Robutusson, asking what one should say if a person has cancer. Would Robutusson or another product name be appropriate? After this initial sarcasm I told them that I did not appreciate having a product name supplanting the name of God for purposes of product promotion. They replied telling me that in the testing of the ad customers had responded favourably. That's what it all boils down to. "Will it sell product?".