Just Do It, Loser.

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In its annual "Best of Manhattan" issue, the New York Press spots a disturbing advertising trend, away from aspirational messages and toward, well, discouragement. We quote:

"Dreams of heroism and achievement are so last century. Knowing this, the ad guys figure they'll curry a little favor by not bullshitting you. Whether hawking high-speed DSL, the new Lincoln Navigator or cholesterol-reducing Lipitor, the humor in these spots and others like them proceeds from the premise that you really aren't as great as you think you are. Not by a long shot, buddy. Keep an eye out for humiliation and failure. It's today's unique selling proposition."

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