Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Cellphone Dump 1

***Mind the load time, there be many pictures in this post.***

While strolling about the city, I occasionally see an advertisement that strikes me. It could be a good or bad thing, but in either case I get the urge to whip out the ol' cellphone camera and snap a picture of it.

Cellphone cameras are such fickle things. The quality of the following pictures are ludicrous (due to the minuscule nature of the camera and the shakiness of my hands) and yet it is so convenient that we don't mind. I remember an odd comic strip a while back, it might have been in the The Peak newsletter (the dedicated weekly from my campus), it had a character that complained about the pointless nature of a fridge with a built-in television set before saying "Oh wait, I took a picture of it with my phone." And while the joke was clever and funny, it got a silly grin and a chuckle out of me anyways, it does not quite hold true.

The main reason being that the camera add-on feature on phones is just simply convenient while a television in a fridge is decidedly the opposite. In my household, we have a television in the kitchen and the furniture is arranged so that people can be seated at the dinner table and be able to watch TV. This means that, in my household, we would not need a second television in the same room. At the same time, said television in fridge would only take up valuable storage space in the fridge. I can think of at least one friend that is constantly thinking of creative ways to cram more foodstuffs into his fridge. The last thing I'll say on this matter before moving onto the pictures is that sitting down to watch your fridge, and arranging your furniture to enable the action, is just plain silly. I don't know about you, but I would feel like I just turned my chair towards a freshly painted wall for a few solid hours of entertainment.

Anyways, enough rambling, let's get to the good stuff.

Item 1: 7up lite - Richmond Centre

At first I couldn't decide if I liked the ad or not, despite having my attention drawn to the ad and spending a good few moments contemplating it. However, I then recalled the other lite/zero ads for other drinks. You know, the one that included nak3d people. After that, it was easy to say that I prefer these ads as invoke more emotions and stimulate better discussions that straight forward sex appeal.

The campaign is more capricious as well, as the bottom picture would demonstrate, allowing 7up's marketers to flex their collective creative muscles.

An aesthetic element of the ad that you can't see here, is the fact that they were hung, in giantesque form, from the ceiling of the shopping centre entrance. This added to the "lite takes flight" message that the ads were trying to produce.

I'll mention it again and again, but it is always amazing how we no longer care much for the actual product itself. People may deny it, but the marketers certainly think so and they're the ones spending billions on research. The messages that these soda ads are sending out have little to nothing to do with the physical qualities of the product themselves. Instead, they work with a reflection of a particular lifestyle, allowing those that wish to live that lifestyle (or to look like they're living it) to do so by copying an existing reflection.

Item 2: Richmond Centre - Richmond Centre

And it works to some degree, if you think about it. Ads are so saturated in our daily lives that they make up the vast amount of "white vision", akin to white noise, that we absorb and dilute in our consciousness. Thus, when presented with the simple equation of product=lifestyle, we learn to interpret it as such, even if we aren't invoking it ourselves. What I mean by this is that we are utilizing a kind of stereotype in classifying each other. When you see a person dressed in a particular way, you make assumptions about them with whatever signifiers are available. These associations are programmed into us by ads, making them almost our bible for judging each other. Naturally, assumptions are revised as more signifiers come to attention, but that is still within the context of what I'm saying.

Anyways, this ad from Richmond Centre I don't like. I don't understand it and I get the feeling that if I do get it, I won't like it. There was another ad campaign that Richmond Centre ran before this that likened the shopping experience at their mall to men on a fishing trip. I don't think that is quite the image you want to portray, nor one that you want your shoppers to emit.

Item 3: 30 Hour Famine - Richmond Centre

Last one from Richmond Centre. It's funny, I actually collected these images after a series of trips to Richmond Centre, but I just felt that it made more sense to put them all together.

I just like this one because it's eyecatching and clever. If you have never done the 30 hour famine before, it's great. I highly recommend it.

I've personally never done it before, but when my high school did it, my drama group put on a show for it. It was "An Evening of Monty Python" and for one sketch, Fresh Fruit Defense, I got to eat a banana. I enjoyed that banana a lot, and the booing from the hungry crowd as well.

Item 4: Dragonfly Business Solutions - Nelson and Seymour

This is an example of an ad that I don't like. I don't quite understand why a company would spend money promoting someone else's product. Sure, you may be a licensed retailer, but others will be as well. Instead, why not put those dollars towards showing why businesses should choose your company over Business Objects or Office Depot?

Also, "Dont Get Mad. Get a Xerox?" I'm sure you mean to say "Get Glad" right?

Wow, this took an hour to write and I still have more pictures. More to come in the following week, I'm off to kickboxing now. I'll have to remember to empty out the cellphone more often.

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