October 31, 2009

Project delivered!

Forgive the long absence--I finally delivered my best project yet. A little late, a little long and a little challenging (why do people not warn you of how hard this really is??), but she's perfect in every way.

I'll be catching up on sleep and this wonderfully topsy-turvy new life for awhile, but I'll be back! In the meantime, here she is.

October 13, 2009

A Reese by any other name...

Reese's Pieces cups--those lovely salty-sweet things--have been running a new campaign for the last year or so. So far, they've produced a handful of 15-second spots that are all artwork and music--with taglines that, for me at least, leave much to be desired. Call me an elitist copywriter, but lines like:

Stop global warming or all the Reese's will melt.

Sharing is a nice gesture. Stupid, but nice.

The perfect three way: Milk chocolate, Reese's peanut butter, and you.

...feel like first-attempt cast-offs. Despite infusing a little New Order and Fiction Factory into the spots, the messages feel dull and predictable.

But looking up the things on You Tube, I realize I may be in the minority. The comments are filled with discussions about the music, the message, the originality. And I'm left wondering if I'm overthinking what are simply nice, memorable spots that are doing their job. Still, I cringe at just how easy the copywriter got off--and wonder again how a big agency can justify the big bills for something that could have been written on the bus on the way in to work.

The writing in one spot left me particularly bewildered--until I found its alternate ending. The ad begins like so:

And concluded with the bewildering:

(Forgive the picture quality--it's all I could find!) What in the world is a Reese? And how is it plural? And just who approved this? And how did anyone think this sounded nice? Or had any flow? Or wouldn't make people stop and say "wha...?"...? Until I found this ending on the Reese's Pieces website:

Ah, much better. Still terribly uninspired, but at least it's comprehensible.

Still, I can't help feeling that all this pseudo-coolness falls flat and feels forced. If any of these win at an awards show, I may just have to eat my hat. While listening to some bygone 80's hit, of course.

October 1, 2009

Baby Talk

In this incredibly round and bulging state, I have become a prime target for a kind of advertising I've never noticed before. Suddenly, sophisticated ideas and lovely language have given way to a kind of dribbly baby talk that, I'm guessing, is supposed to connect with my inner Mommy-to-be--plying me with cute alliterations, mono-syllabic tot-speak and line after line of eye-rolling goo-gooness.

When did I turn from consumer into dribbling moron?

I first noticed this while waiting hours for a RhoGam shot (and not, as I've yet to live down, a Rogain shot) at the hospital. I was leafing through a copy of Pregnancy&Newborn, looking for quick snippits of tips and advice and product descriptions to feed my baby-info overload. Yet instead of being spoken to like an adult, I was coddled and rocked with words like din-din, tummy, meat'n'taters, pre-preggo--and, yes, the dreaded Mumsie. A quick look at their website reveals this bit of saccharine insight:

"Will you depend on convenient disposables to cover your babe's tiny tush... ?"

Now, I've never been a fan of cutsiness. I prefer Vonnegut over Harlequin and The Beatles over... well, anything on the charts today. So perhaps that explains the nauseating feeling I get reading what's intended, I suppose, to be a light-hearted conversation about the cutest subject matter around. But such drivel leaves me incredibly annoyed and, worse, wanting to turn to the woman in the waiting room next to me and say "Have you read this dreadful fluff?"

Just what do the briefs for these articles and ads say?

TARGET: Moms to be
AGE: 25-35
TONE: Write like they've lost their minds to hormones and can no longer form complete sentences

Yes, dear baby advertising people, I'm a Mom to be. But right now, I'm at home awaiting B-Day, half bored and terribly restless. Soon it will be all-baby-all-the-time, and I will--no doubt--crave a little adult conversation and intelligent insights and wit and anything else that will reconnect me to the land of the all grown up. Keep your cuteness to a minimum and treat me like the consumer I've always been.

Yes, I'm having a baby.

And yes, my mind is filled with baby stuff.

But, for the love of all things holy, keep the ga-ga for your cartoons and give Mumsie a break.