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'Pod de Deux?
iRiver portable music players. There are a lot of photog-heavy ads floating around in this campaign, but this one, like the old Dan River print, runs particularly deep. Or maybe it's hopelessly shallow. You tell us. Rate the ad on a six-degree taste scale of excellence on the Sweet Meter, with 5 being the top score: 5 Very Sweet, 4 Sweet, 3 Semi-Dry, 2 Dry, 1 Extra Dry, 0 Sour. And feel free to offer your comments on the art direction, the photography, the copy, the concept, whatever. Click here to play.

Some Ad!
Last week's Rate the Ad. Mass Mutual spins a gossamer winner, pulling an impressive 60/40 Good/Bad ratio — comparing the top half of the Sweet Meter to the bottom half — and an equally sticky-fine 38% in the Sweet Zone. Amid the many Charlotte's Web and Spider-Man references, there was some confusion among pollees concerning a possible 16-month gestation period, and there were more than a few who protested that a soothsaying spider is just too far afield for an insurance ad. But the fact that an ad in this difficult category has such stopping power was widely appreciated — despite problems with the body copy. Here are the results.

5 Very Sweet 15%
4 Sweet 23%
3 Semi-Dry 22%
2 Dry 16%
1 Extra Dry 14%
0 Sour 10%

And here are some of our fave responses.

5 One of the best ads I've seen in years. A real attention-getter.

2 Another beautiful image ruined by shoddy type design.

3 Cool graphics, but the copy is disappointing.

3 Kind of a depressing, dark feel to this ad, which doesn't help sell the product. However, it does catch my eye.

1 Rather helter-skelteresque, conjuring up images of massacred, disemboweled twins. Who needs insurance when Rosemary's baby is about to arrive?

4 If M. Night Shyamalan did an ad, this would be it.

1 What does a spider web have to do with insurance? The headline is barely readable, anyway.

2 I'm guessing the client's insistence on features, features, features is what caused this decidedly bipolar approach. Cool concept and graphic, but it all gets hung up in the mess that is the body copy.

4 I think it's a powerful visual, but it doesn't need so much supporting copy to tell the story.

4 It's a very different way of thinking about financial planning, and it rings true.

1 It's like a really bad acid trip that makes you not want to have sex.

2 Nice visual, but I get a bit of a headache just looking at all of the font treatments in the copy.

1 Makes me want to suck Charlotte up in the vacuum and call my shrink. A little too freaky a concept for a company that should make you feel safe and secure.

4 It's cool and attention-grabbing, except the biggest benefit the copy offers is how old the business is. That just doesn't wash anymore.

0 One time a mailbox told me that I was going to die. That's when I stopped using drugs.

4 I got caught up in this ad as soon as I saw it. I even read it.

5 Have you ever tried to sell insurance? These guys are geniuses. A+ all around: art, concept, copy, even logo sizing and placement.

5 Here's a truly creative concept with real stopping power. Beautiful art and an arresting headline bring the abstract notion of uncertainty to life and evoke real emotion.

4 Looks like Little Miss Muffet should have gotten on her "whey" to typography class. Otherwise, great image!

3 Does Mass Mutual know something about my vasectomy I don't?

1 What's the next version — reading the entrails of a goat?

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