Rate the Ad

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Rate This Ad
This week's Rate the Ad: Let's stick with the booze motif. Here's a new Grand Marnier ad, found in the The New Yorker. 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 copy, the concept, the brand, whatever. Click here to play.

Finished Off
Last week's Rate the Ad: Amid a virtual tsunami — ahem — of replies, this Finlandia ad was, to put it mildly, not well received. The PrintCritic Sweet Meter polling ran thus:

5 Very Sweet 4%
4 Sweet 9%
3 Semi-Dry 12%
2 Dry 18%
1 Extra Dry 23%
0 Sour 35%

Which is to say, a whopping 76 percent of pollees demonstrate various degrees of unbridled contempt for this ad; yet a few people do indeed claim to like it, though it's often hard to tell in their comments if they're simply being ironic. By the same token, some of you suggest that the ad is deliberately retro-awful, in that postmodern-hip way that's so often still the rage these days. In which case, this ad would be a huge success, right? Nah.

What follows is a wide-ranging selection from among the many astute comments, presented in no particular order:

3 It's an homage to a very old-fashioned style of ad, but it's really not tongue-in-cheek enough to cut it. If the styling had been more knowingly retro it might have been charming, but it sadly misses the mark.

5 I love it! This ad is exactly what all advertising should be: a steer to the subliminal. I have been seeing things in this ad for 30 or 45 minutes. I need to go now, and get back to watching the Hitchcock classic Rope, which is playing just under the word "cranpiroska."

1 It's almost bad enough to be cool. Almost.

0 The old so-bad-it's-good thing again. Not hip at all.

5 Dag, this ad is radicool! I don't know what's better — the tacky glassware, the footloose and fancy-free model ripped from a Newport ad or the ice sculpture relic from an '80s wedding.

0 I've puked up more interesting layouts after drinking much cheaper vodka.

3 Obviously chick-targeted. Model's enviably skinny. Anything "fresh" sells. It all says "escape!"

0 Why does it remind me of an '80s ad for ladies' cigarettes, or maybe one for a cheap perfume? What is it that makes it just another piece of flick-past-it-in-the-clutter visual wallpaper? Is it the cliched look of the model? The oh so clever falling-water metaphor for refreshment? And, oh look, a big-city skyline! So hip and urban! Or is it the overused positioning of "refreshing"? (Isn't everything refreshing now, from juice to toothpaste to mints to toilet bowl cleaner to airlines?) Or maybe it is the utter lack of a genuine creative idea? Or the lack of any emotional engagement? And they put this in Paper??

0 There are too many items skimming the water and not one of them looks realistic. The bottle cut off at the bottom has been done a million times and has been done a million time better. The white type on the blue background is awfully hard to read. The drinks are interesting enough on their own; they don't need a background. The logo on the glass is illegible. There is no grid system in effect at all. The right side and the left side look like two different brands. The left side looks trashy and the right side is attempting sophistication. The copy is repetitive, literally. How many logos do you need on one ad? Is that ice in that cup or did she just fart? And what is that spot on her face!?

0 Heh? What the hell? This ad definitely does not make me want to buy Finlandia, and, sadly, it doesn't even make me want to nail the model. I mean, what good are booze ads if you can't even lust after the high-priced meat puppet perched on your oversized glass of refreshing . . . vodka?! The line "Please refresh responsibly" is neither refreshing nor responsible — I find it lame. Perhaps this ad is clever in Finland, or when you're bombed on vodka — but I am neither.

0 Meteor crashes into ocean. Resulting tidal wave takes out NYC, killing millions. Meanwhile, skin cancer victim sits on giant Escher-made ice sculpture, staring at unknown light source. Quick, is the one word you take from this scenario "refresh"?

4 Photographic illustration is excellent. Model's toe points strategically at the product. Genius!

1 I'm just impressed that she can sit on that bigass drink and not get hers wet. And all those flowing liquid images just remind me that I have to go to the bathroom.

0 It's about time they refreshed their thinking and their ad agency, stopped listening to research and tried some creativity for a change.

4 She's sitting on a vodka drink in the Hudson River? I'm not too sure about it, but it's hot in this office and the colors just cooled me down a bit. It's definitely refreshing.

5 Nothing is more refreshing than finding a barefoot woman floating in my vodka. And the fact that she remains dry while hovering over a gigantic glass must mean this drink bestows magical powers to those who drink it. And in today's economy, magical powers are highly marketable.

0 They missed it. Would have been much better if she were dangling her feet in the Finlandia. Vodka-dipped toe sucking, the hot new buzz at Spring Break.

1 I don't know why she's so darn carefree — the tidal wave that ate new York looks like it's about to eat her. Looks like it took many AEs to make this ad.

0 In what way will a tsunami refresh you?

0 I don't get it. Why is this woman's hand in my drink? Why did she take her shoes off to put her feet on my drink? At least the tsunami coming in from the top right will knock her off my drink.

1 Looks like someone just got their hands on Photoshop for the very first time. "Hey, and then I make her sit on the drink!"

1 Interesting approach for cross-branding Finlandia and Kohler bidets.

0 This ad looks like it was assembled by a committee of sycophants.

0 In the '70s, where this ad belongs, a photo retoucher would have spent a week working on the art.

2 Great legs. But why should that make me buy the vodka? I give it a 2 because I'd notice the ad (it's those legs again), see the recipe strip, maybe be intrigued by one of the drinks — and then make it with the Ketel One that's in my freezer.

0 This ad is "Alive with pleasure." That's why it "Sucks with teeth."

1 Please, don't drink and airbrush.

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