Hello, essence of modern masculinity! This striped nautical sniffer was found in the May issue of Maxim. "Le male" is the front, the (partial) package is the back, and the copy under the strip, once your head clears from the fumes and you can read it, is: "A fresh and tender, strong and sensual fragrance. The ultimate resolution of virility and sensuality." There's also a rundown of Le Male product prices, and none of these items is affordable on a midshipman's salary. However, if you're unfamiliar with this objet de stud, before you drop anchor and rate the ad — 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 — do go to the website so you can get the full frontal effect of the "package" design. And feel free to comment on the art direction, the photography, the copy, the logo, the virile vessel, whatever. Click the ad to play.
Last week's Rate the Ad. Confusion was yelping at this week's entrants like a pack of wild cacophonists. Is this ad selling a bullet? A gun? A flashlight? A flashlight that shoots bullets? A gun with a courtesy light? Since when do bodyguards use big words? Do packs of hyenas really attack humans? How often does this happen in, say, New Jersey? The result, on the four/two handicapped split on the Rate the Ad-o-mometer, is the searing pain of a 48/52 Good/Bad ratio (though we've had far worse showings than this). And since great ad minds think alike, there were many suggestions along the lines of, "What this needs is 20 pairs of shining hyena eyes in the background." You ever try to get 20 hyenas to sit still for a photo, people? Anyway, here are the results.
5 World-changing 0%
4 Great 13%
3 Good 17%
2 Fair 18%
1 Forgettable 31%
0 Actively Annoying 21%
And here are some of our fave responses.
0 They've taken a flashlight and tacked on brutality. Nice. Is that what appeals to the target? Probably. It makes my stomach churn.
2 Shotgun shells and hyenas — that's something everyone can wrap their mind around. They should have created an image that showed how the flashlight illuminated the dark.
1 Even if that's what Jeffrey Day said, I don't believe that's how he said it. A contrived testimonial is an ineffective testimonial.
1 So hyenas are scared of lipstick?
4 I want to load it and go on a night shoot. Love the color and layout.
2 Hyenas and a bodyguard? Who is this guy protecting, Brangelina?
4 Strong ad all around. I could make fun of the phallic shape, particularly juxtaposed against the condom-package copy block. But that wouldn't be fair. The ad works.
1 The days of the heroic Tarzans are gone.
2 "I brought my shotgun to bear ..." Who talks like that? Otherwise, a pretty cool ad if you're into hunting. If you're not into hunting, the macho crap could be annoying.
2 A light so bright it blinds hyenas. Not sure that's a ringing endorsement unless you actually ARE a bodyguard in central Africa. Pretty small market.
4 I thought immediately it would be a completely useless product. But every inch of this ad is perfect; I couldn't believe how badly I wanted to visit the website after reading it.
0 Actually, I was rooting for the hyenas.
1 In the future, everyone will be using these flashlights to control copywriters, who shall receive a burst of searing-pain light for every excess adjective. Having said that, when I'm rich and famous I want a bodyguard who uses "cacophony."
3 No Escalade should roll without one. Swarming hyenas or gang warfare, I need a laser scope.
1 I don't get it, where do you load the shell?
2 A "digital" flashlight? Unless this thing can actually blind hyenas with 1's and 0's, I want to know what makes this a "digital" flashlight.
0 Dude. I have totally been sooo looking for something to shoo away the hyenas in my yard. I will so get this.
4 No unnecessary elements in the ad, and the story is so intriguing I went straight to the website. Bonus: I learned that the euphemism for "knife" is "edged weapon."
0 This ad hurts my eyes more than the beam of a SureFire.
1 Seriously. How many people reading Popular Science can relate to running around the savanna with shotguns and mini flashlights at night?