For the Love of a Controversial Ad
The advertisement industry is fueled to catastrophe levels with the approaching holiday season. Tv commercials and newspaper ads are on steroids, practically seen any and everywhere in attempts to get people to buy, buy, buy! Since consumers are constantly bombarded with ads, sparking interests and starting a viral conversation begins with controversy. Over the years we have seen how sex sells and how explicit advertisers were willing to go to draw attention to their product.
Recently Bloomingdale’s was on the chopping block for launching a questionable holiday ad. The ad shows a smiling woman glancing away as a male model leer in her direction with the quote, “[s]pike your best friend’s eggnog when they’re not looking.” The ad sparked outrage as people went to social media to vent their distaste for the ad and deem it as suggesting date rape.
Media outcry forced Bloomingdale’s to tweeted an apology stating, “we heard your feedback about our catalog copy, which was inappropriate and in poor taste. Bloomingdale’s sincerely apologizes.”
While many can agree the ad is inappropriate, the ad ultimately achieved its goal by capturing the consumer attention-and like the saying goes “even bad press is good press.” When Bloomingdale’s was questioned about who gave the ok for the ad, no one commented.
Why did Bloomingdale’s even apologize, they knew what they were putting out and should stand behind it. After all, aren’t we entitled to free speech our First Amendment.
In an article for WWD, Lisa Lockwood, Cynthia Martens and Lauren McCarthy suggest that social media is becoming the check and balance for ads. The authors suggest that many companies want to be liked and appeal to everyone through the many social media platform, that they are now playing it safe.
Photographer Oliviero Toscani express in a WWD interview, that provocation is a positive force, and images that provoke or shock encourage people to think about the world and to be creative.
Are we becoming too sensitive, or politically correct? What are you thought on provocative ads?