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Hot Tub?
This week's Rate the Ad. The American Apparel success story continues to, uh, unfold. And its no-sweatshop, all-USA, hip-with-integrity image is abetted by aggressively real people-styled sexy photography. Or is it? Does this ad float your rubber ducky? Rate it on a six-degree taste scale of excellence on the PrintCritic 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 write in your comments about the art direction, the photography, the copy, the concept, the logo, whatever. Click here to play.

Positive Reaction
Last week's Rate the Ad. Hand-written callouts and a can: who knew? What we thought was a potentially deadly packaged-goods page got a genuinely bubbly welcome. The Good/Bad ratio for this Invigor8 ad, comparing the top half of the Sweet Meter to the bottom half, is a very healthy 56/44. Yes, there were many who scoffed at it, but that 37% in the Sweet Zone is mighty sweet indeed for a tough crowd like this one. Here are the results.

5 Very Sweet 14%
4 Sweet 23%
3 Semi-Dry 19%
2 Dry 15%
1 Extra Dry 16%
0 Sour 13%

And here are some of our fave responses.

5 Clever concept. You actually want to read the comments, and they're amusing. I like the name of the product and the graphics are sharp and artistic.

5 Cool packaging and great copy. Love it.

1 A callout ad without a concept. It's a cool category and this product deserves a better ad.

3 Not carbonated, yet the can design has two columns of what seem to be bubbles. Until I read it, I thought it was an alkaline battery.

4 Great. Nice balance of "It does what it says on the can" and a fresh look for the health drink market, with a sly self-referential edge for the marketing wary.

1 The packaging is really boring. Looks more like an automotive fluid to be sold at Pep Boys.

0 I think I need to drink that stuff after the copy in this ad put me to sleep.

2 It's nice when the design meeting notes make it into the ad. So many meetings go unheralded.

3 It's a bit much, but it's great because this target actually reads this stuff. And it makes fun of advertising hype — what's better than that?

5 Very keepin'-it-real ad. No promises of giving you wings, or hot women having sex in your backyard. I really like the dialogue it opens; I feel like one of my friends made this ad just for me.

1 Brushed steel with a fifth grader's handwriting? They left off the flower stickers.

2 Seems like they were trying to distract us from the poor package design.

0 New slogan at V8 office: "Could've had a better ad."

4 I bike 7,000 miles a year and, based on this ad, I'd try the product. Good design aesthetic, doesn't take itself too seriously.

1 Where does it say that it tastes good?

1 You know the guy who explains a good joke to death? That's this ad. We might have appreciated the "futuristic" logo or the clever tagline. We may have overlooked the streams of bubbles on an uncarbonated drink. But it seems like the copywriter has a bone to pick with the designer.

2 Does it taste like metal?

1 Gee, nice trick having the client write the copy. Saves a lot of creative work.

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