Posts in category 'culture'

  • Honeywell Wanted My Soul Today

    So I just had the weirdest salesman/door-to-door guy bother me. This wasn’t the usual hard sell thing, as I first expected. Instead, what they wanted to do was place a sign on our property to advertise Honeywell (specifically, their home security products), and in exchange they would pay us. How could I possibly say no?? Well, you see, the problem is I’m already pissed enough at the sheer ubiquity of advertising, and the last thing I wanted was my house to turn into a glorified billboard. Not to mention the fact that I think home security systems are largely overrated (it’s not like it would take more than ten minutes to break one of our windows and steal a bunch of valuables) and are nothing more than a way for companies to cash in on fear.

    So, unsurprisingly, I said “fuck that”… though in somewhat more polite language. But the best part was the guy’s reaction. “But… we’re gonna pay you.” he replied, as if the price of my soul, not to mention my values and dignity, were so easily purchased. He seemed genuinely puzzled, not to mention a little put off, that I didn’t want to become a Honeywell marketing tool.

    Well, to Mr. Marketing guy and to Honeywell, I say it again: fuck that. I already have to constantly put up with advertisements. Everytime I browse the web, turn on the TV (after I’ve already paid for cable), or go to the theatre (with a ticket I already paid for), I’m bathed in advertisements and product spots. Why would I want to pollute my nice little neighbourhood with even more?

  • How To Market To Women

    So, I just saw a new Coffeemate ad campaign, and I’ve just discovered what ad agencies now, apparently, believe speaks to women. In the past, the advertising industry has used all kinds of things for marketing products to women: hot men, hot women (who, presumably, the female audience wants to be like), normal women who appear to be “in charge” (remember all those commercials for cleaning products containing extremely competant, MILF-like women who, clearly, are happier using product X?), images of happy families getting along well because they enjoy product Y. Well, apparently the advertising world has discovered the next big thing: gay men.

    Yes, you read that right: gay men.

    Now, granted, this has been somewhat evident for a while. Flamboyantly gay men have become very popular on female-oriented programs, particularly fashion-related TV, celebrity television, and so forth. But this new Coffeemate commercial? This is a new one for me. It features two very gay dudes in a coffee house with a very confident, MILF-like woman interviewing them, asking them about how incredibly awesome Coffeemate is. These gay men then go on to describe, in very flamboyant terms (the use of the word “fabulous” being favoured) how incredibly lovely and delicious this product is.

    After seeing the commercial, I’ve been left feeling incredibly conflicted. On the one hand, if it wasn’t evident before, it’s pretty clear now that homosexuality has hit the mainstream in a big way, and as such, this commercial is a sort of victory. OTOH, flamboyantly gay men have now, apparently, become (extremely transparent) marketing vehicles for selling lifestyle products to women, something I find offensive for some reason. Then again, maybe I’m just being overly sensitive and should relax and sit down with a nice vanilla coffee… mmmm… that texture, so smooth and velvety… just fabulous…