Rant of the month:

You really gotta hope clients don't get specialty channels. We wouldn't want them getting any ideas from seeing the ads.

You really gotta hope clients don’t get specialty channels. We wouldn’t want them getting any ideas from seeing the ads.

You know the ones (don’t pretend you don’t): The loud, post-production-on-drugs, so in-your-face they’re practically up your nose ads for OxyClean, Orange Clean, Zap, Thigh-thingy XL (doesn’t that mean extra large?)…and my personal teeth-gritting favourite, the hair-removal series. There’s nothing quite like enjoying your brunch and seeing somebody swipe a great slimy wad of hair from an ape-man’s back. Although you have to admire the gritty, black&white treatment of the woman ripping hair from her shin. Hell, it’s darn near Hitchcock. You can almost hear her scream. I know I did.

Even Black & Decker is trashing their image with a doofus ‘how-to’ couple hawking the Scumbuster (They should try it out on the ad.) But there’s more! Miracle vacuum-sucked storage bags, freaky old people in bizarre adjustable beds, landfill items for perfect poached eggs… Don’t sell your timeshare!! Okay, okay, I won’t!

Who are these people? Where do they come from? It’s like Veg-o-matic went forth and multiplied in a parallel advertising universe. Remind me not to get transferred to Cleveland.

Jennifer Goddard, Co-CD

Marketel, Montreal

Special K still special

Last year’s Special K advert ‘Men don’t obsess like this, why do we?’ was fantastic. This year’s is just as good – a rarity! It features a woman looking at clothes and another asks her what diet she’s on. ‘I’m just eating well.’ The other says, ‘Oh you know I’ve been meaning to read that….’

The whole concept is so much like a woman with whom I work out at the gym that I have to laugh whenever I see it….And do I remember the brand? Yep. And do my friends? Yep! That’s the amazing thing: friends who love the ‘Zoom Zoom’ song by a notable car manufacturer can’t remember what brand is involved, but they remember this woman eats Special K breakfast cereal. (Despite my friends’ inability to recall the Mazda brand, the Zoom Zoom campaign is brilliant.)

To avoid the appearance of bias, I won’t nominate my favourite ad, ‘Saving Eddie’ for Coors Light beer which was produced by a sister office.

James Connolly

Manager, Information Systems

FCB Direct, Montreal

W Channel: ‘The Guy’ doesn’t deserve this

Well, you’d think Zig would zag when everyone else was zigging. That’s how they made their rep. Not lately, though.

In their new push for the W channel, the agency that kicked gender stereotypes around for Kellogg’s Special K succumbed to the temptation to whack the hell out of that poor old schmuck, ‘The Guy.’

You know the guy, the one we’ve been thumping on in TV shows, movies and ads for the last five years. Poor jerk, you’d think he’d about had it by now. But here he is again, screwing up on sex advice, interior decorating and all that other stuff women are intrinsically better at than men. This campaign even manages to work in Red Green’s old duct tape gag.

So much for smashing gender stereotypes. Of course, Zig’s worst sin here is not hypocrisy but lack of imagination. The schmuck simply isn’t that funny anymore. Heard the one about the priest and the rabbi?

Bob Wood

Senior Writer

PJDDB Edmonton

Edmonton, Alta.

A&W A-OK

The ad campaign that stands out in my mind is the one for A&W. It’s very intelligent and playful. I laugh everytime I see the TV ads – the family in the biosphere and the couple lost after the plane crash.

I don’t think I’m in their target demographic, but I like the brand personality. The campaign is integrated really well because it reached me through my Scarborough Mirror [community newspaper] the other day. An ad with a coupon encouraged me to go try the food.

Oswyn Alvares

Toronto, Ont. Win a free bag of swag!
Send in your rant (adsthatsuck@strategymag.com) or rave (adsthatrock@strategymag.com) and, if we deem your response the best of the lot, we’ll send some goodies to your office. If you think you’ll be a winner, demographic tips are helpful for our swag compilation, like if you have a pet, kids, or are in need of stress balls, speaking of which, this issue’s winner: Jennifer Goddard.