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Let's go local. This is Bowlmor Lanes in New York's Greenwich Village. Bowlmor, despite being the Big Lebowski of corporate bowling spots — not to mention the presence of a Bar Mitzvah section on its website — has been cultivating the downtown airs of a crazy club kid's hangout in its print work. Is this ad striking you favorably? Or are you screaming, "Spare me!"? Sorry about that. Rate it on the Rate the Ad-o-mometer's six-degree scale of excellence, with 5 being the top score: 5 World-changing, 4 Great, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Forgettable, 0 Actively Annoying. And feel free to comment on the art direction, the photography, the typography, the concept, whatever. Click the ad to play.
Last week's Rate the Ad. Though it seems to be a tossup among Rate the Ad players as to whether or not the whole "Milk Mustache" borrowed interest deal is way past its expiration date, studies — namely this one — suggest that Sheryl Crow clearly isn't everyone's cup o' singin', bass-slingin', 44-year-old tea (speaking of diet beverages). This ad may require a reprise of "My Favorite Mistake," pulling a Good/Bad ratio of only 49/51 on the Rate the Ad-o-mometer, and that's with the easygoing four tiers/two tiers split. Fully 52% of pollees have her in the rancid two bottom tiers of the meter. The dashed marriage plans with Lance de France, alluded to frequently in comments, seems to have shrunk her Q rating. There were other recurrent complaints here — it was pointed out repeatedly that in fact she doesn't rock hard; her milk mustache is demonstrably phony and disgusting (we won't deign to mention all the lewd remarks, often involving Lance de la Tour, attached to this notion); the seedy motel room looks like a porn set (more lewd remarks, many referencing the mustache and you know who); and Ms. Crow is distinctly dudelike. Yes, there are more than a few people who are convinced that Sheryl Crow has a decidedly manly cut to her jib, at least in this picture. Go figure. Fume of the Week to the bilious fellow who wrote, "I've seen more enticing photos of meth addicts." Anyway, here are the results.
5 World-changing 1%
4 Great 11%
3 Good 17%
2 Fair 19%
1 Forgettable 26%
0 Actively Annoying 26%
And here are some of our fave responses.
0 So when was Sheryl Crow ever fat? Putting her skinny ass next to a promo for milk as weight-loss product makes no sense.
0 Hey, look! Sheryl Crow stays in the same cheap motels accountants use to bang their secretaries! Cool!
4 I like the idea of milk in this new context. What's next, whips and chains? Go for it.
2 You know she doesn't drink 24 ounces of milk a day. She probably eats a small fries, drinks a beer and calls it a day.
1 She should have tucked her jeans inside her boots.
0 A campaign that has been around so long it finally spoiled.
0 If it weren't for breaking up with Lance Armstrong, nobody would care what she's up to. She's one step from playing at the local casino. Whatever happened to the beautiful simplicity of this campaign?
0 Sure, Crow looks hot, but how many more of these ads do we have to endure? This campaign was tired years ago, and why doesn't it bother anyone that the junk on the models' lips is obviously NOT milk.
1 Ever since I visited my first food photo shoot and saw that they used Elmer's instead of milk in the cereal box photos, I've been disturbed by this campaign.
2 How's that phlegm-producing milk working with the vocals, Sheryl?
1 I like the colors, but Sheryl Crow doesn't rock hard ... she rocks mellow.
3 Celebrity-as-endorser worked when movie stars sold Lux soap, and it still works today. What keeps this campaign fresh is the number and range of the celebrities they get.
0 A milk ad with a ready-to-rip bustier. Zowie! Love the pregnant lady Rorschach on the headboard.
0 Please. Let's put another woman suspected of controlling her weight in unhealthy ways on a pedestal. Come on girls — drink milk, and ONLY milk. And don't even think of trying it with cereal.
2 I think I've had enough of these ads. It would help if I thought any of these celebs actually drank milk.
1 Notice that her agent agreed to do the ad only if they could pimp her CD.
0 Why is she holding the guitar case, when the guitar itself is on the bed?
0 The effectiveness of this ad is predicated on Crow being a palatable and likable celebrity. Regretfully, I despise her.
1 Crow is hot, but borrowed interest advertising is sooooo not.
5 Only ad snobs get bored by this stuff. Everyone else calls consistent reinforcement "good parenting." And I like the album cover plug.
Call for Entries
Creativity's May 2006 Advertising/Design Annual
Send us your best print and outdoor ads, posters, collateral, brand ID, annual reports, promotions, graphic design and packaging from 2005. Submissions Guidelines: Do not include actual paper ads or any paper text materials with your submission. Only digital files will be considered. File specs: 300 dpi, CMYK or RGB. File types: .pdf, .eps, .tif, or .jpg are acceptable but uncompressed jpeg files are recommended. Minimum image size: 5x7. NO Zip or Stuffit archive files will be accepted. Complete credits and a brief explanation of the strategy/execution of the project MUST be included on the CD in a Word doc, along with details of any awards the work might have won, as well as phone and e-mail contact info.
Send submissions on a single disc to: Terry Kattleman, May Annual, Creativity Magazine, 711 Third Ave., New York, NY 10017. Work must have appeared in 2005. No spec work or student work will be considered. Foreign submissions are encouraged. No more than THREE campaigns/projects per company/office will be considered. There is NO fee for submissions. Work must be submitted by March 31, 2006.