—Finally! A toothbrush with an "on-board computer." How would you sell such an amazing technological breakthrough? Like this? Rate this Oral-B 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. And feel free to comment on the art direction, the photography, the copy, the typography and, of course, the product. Click the ad to play.
Last week's Rate the Ad. Paris Hilton, something of a female flasher herself, will be proud to know she came within a hair — never mind what kind of hair — of tying the infamous 1812 tequila ad, the one with the female flasher, for second worst-rated Rate the Ad of all time. First place, of course, belongs to the recent Bill Ford corporate showcase in what's now officially known as They Taurus a New One. Paris and her supposedly manly scent pull a Good/Bad Ratio on the Rate the Ad-o-mometer of 13/87 — comparing the top tiers of the scale to the bottom tiers — edging out 1812 tequila by a single point. Bill Ford went 5/95, though it must be noted that Paris' two bottom tiers — we're talking about the Rate the Ad scale here — total a whopping 80%, well below Ford's 66%. At any rate, this wasn't so much a review of the ad as a review of the woman. Practically no one had anything nice to say about poor Paris Hilton; if she were a Motel 6 you people wouldn't leave the light on for her. Among popular comments, the "anal beads" were, predictably, frequently noted. The fact that Paris' cologne is "for men," as is Paris herself, was a constant refrain. The term "skank" was tossed around like rice at Uncle Ben's wedding. There was general disbelief that this effetely packaged product is really intended for men — the ad was found in the December Men's Health, we hasten to point out. Then there's the large contingent of pollees who insist Paris is repulsive, assisted by a team of gender investigators who think she looks like a transvestite. Someone even suggested she has "man hands"! Anyway, here are the results.
5 World-changing 3%
4 Great 5%
3 Good 5%
2 Fair 7%
1 Forgettable 37%
0 Actively Annoying 43%
And here are some of our fave responses.
3 As much as I hate her, Paris makes me take a second look at the ad — more than it would have gotten otherwise.
2 The cologne packaging misses the mark for its intended audience, paradoxically being both too feminine and too phallic.
2 The font for the product name is beautiful. That's the only positive thing I can say.
0 By law, Miss Hilton should be allowed to use her name only to promote the Hilton Hotel in Paris. Nothing else, ever.
3 The big idea was to extend the line.
0 Paris Hilton For Men That Are Pre-Op.
0 If I ever buy this, I'm fit for a divorce! Also, this is the WORST shot of Ms. Hilton I've ever seen. The lipstick, the shadows, the skin ... gross!
1 The only way that having sex with Paris Hilton is an exciting proposition is if it comes with a lifetime supply of antibiotics.
1 It falls into that category of typical cologne ads, but this time with a feminine twist. I think it may be more appealing to women than to men.
3 Given the questionable provenance of the product, they've nailed the requisite skankiness.
1 I wish someone would put at least 10 minutes of thought into a cologne ad. Would a concept actually hurt sales?
2 Are you sure they're targeting MEN?? The whole ad is so girlie ...
0 She looks like a praying mantis with '80s cheap hooker makeup.
5 Paris is hot and so is anything that's next to her. The design elements may not be award-winning but they sure don't get in the way of her sexy attributes.
0 The package straddles the masculine/feminine line so completely, she must be targeting men with gender issues.
2 In a man's magazine it would probably work — it would cause a man to pause on the page, and, after all, isn't that what we want an ad to do?
0 Paris Hilton AS a man in an ad for Paris Hilton for Men! Very clever.
4 This ad is perfectly targeted to its demographic.
1 What guy is going to buy something that looks like lipstick or a tampon holder?
1 There is no chance any woman will ever sleep with you if she finds out you're wearing this.
1 Guys want their cologne to come in industrial packaging that looks like an oil barrel or lab equipment. What's with the fruity bottle?
0 I have such a negative physical reaction to her, she could be naked and pitching, say, an iPod and I WOULD NEVER LISTEN TO MUSIC AGAIN!
0 Sensual aura? Paris Hilton? Oxy-fucking-moron!
0 I got herpes just waiting for the preview to download.
In last week's Exhibitions item, Justin Bilicki was called Jason Bilicki on a couple of occasions. Our apologies. Justin, a rising young editorial cartoonist as well as the design director at Cliff Freeman & Partners, has a show through Jan. 3 at the Lockinn in Brooklyn, N.Y. See www.bilicki.us for more.