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Two Forks Up?
Beef. Cue the Aaron Copland music. Or maybe a Moby track would be more appropriate. Seems like a very simple ad, but the more we look at it, the more ways there are to slice it. What exactly do you think the Beef Board is bringing to the table with this idea, and are you buying it? 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 copy, the art direction, the photography, the typography, the concept, whatever. Click here to play.

Cruisin' for a Bruisin'
Well, the Good Ship Lollipop this ad is not. Cunard's tale of mid-Atlantic fertilization did not light up the top of the Sweet Meter, pulling a leaky 40/60 Good/Bad ratio — comparing the top half of the meter to the bottom half — with a bilge-heavy 41% in the Grimace Zone. Some people could handle the text, more people couldn't. Few had anything nice to say about the picture page layout, and there were plenty of complaints about the use the same pic of the ship on each page. Some Love Boat and Titanic jokes were inevitable, of course. No one who read the story, however, noted that even back in 1938, CPS — Cruise Pig-out Syndrome — was in full effect, as we learn that this girl "devoured lobster and duckling and Ox Tail Florentine" all at the same dinner. Anyway, here are the results.

5 Very Sweet 6%
4 Sweet 19%
3 Semi-Dry 15%
2 Dry 19%
1 Extra Dry 19%
0 Sour 22%

And here are some of our fave responses.

0 The instruction sheet for my son's bike is a more interesting read/layout than this.

0 All of those words make me really . . . not care.

1 I spent about five seconds on this ad, long enough to click and enlarge, but I didn't even wait around for the whole thing to load. It's that boring.

5 I read every word. I really like the concept, and the story draws you in. Very well written.

4 A classic piece. Old-time pics like these always grab attention.

1 I was just barely able to vote before this ad bored me into a stupor.

1 The brief took a few reads to sink in, but I ended up reading the entire text and learned of a story about a young Jewish girl who got knocked up and ditched by a German boy. Not exactly classy.

3 If I was the kind of person who could afford a Cunard cruise but wasn't famous enough to be pictured on one of these society page-type photo collages, I would probably really dig this ad. But I'm not.

1 The uninviting layout is dull on one side, chaotic on the other. The art director should be thrown overboard.

0 If I was on a Cunard ship that sank at sea and left me stranded on a desert island with only this ad, I might read it . . . after a few days.

1 I read it and loved it, because I'm a writer. Then I looked at the other half of the spread and hated it. Because it sucked.

4 Yes, I read the copy and the captions. I like it; it's nostalgic, romantic and a little predictable. Everything a 55+ person with lots of extra cash could wish for in a dream vacation.

5 As a copywriter, I'm drooling for this client. Sometimes it's nice to get involved through words instead of pictures.

3 The only reason I read the ad is because it was sent to me by PrintCritic.

4 Loved the writing, but the photographs are all over the place, reflecting neither one era nor the other well. What do the celebrities have to do with the love story? And two identical photos of the ship?

1 Oh, good, we're romanticizing illegitimate children now. If I see that boat, I'm running the other way.

1 I feel like a duck in a foie gras factory! Excuse me while I purge over the rail.

4 The writing's a little schmaltzy and the layout is cumbersome, but I actually enjoyed this ad. Then again, I'm not your typical fathead American lardass. Good luck getting anybody but nerds like me to read this thing.

2 Please don't try to tug my heartstrings with clich├ęs about German Jews and young men destroyed by war. I liked this better when it was Titanic, Saving Private Ryan and Schindler's List.

1 Cruising is now, not history. Show me a great destination, a great price and a web address.

5 Very compelling, puts a new focus on shipboard drama. Offers a promise of destiny and history. Wow!

4 The kind of people willing to read through the story and captions — well, the ones with the funds, anyway — are those most likely to shell out for a cruise that boasts a writer's workshop.

4 This is exactly the sort of advertorial approach that works well in magazines like The New Yorker, and I lapped up every word of it. The only problem is, it's too busy entertaining me to tell me much about the new Queen Mary.

4 Rather reminiscent of the old David Ogilvy ads. The copy carries the ad; they could have dumped the photo page and the ad would be just as sweet.