7 years, 9 months, 1 Day, 10 hours, 34 minutes ago...Why Europe will fall, exhibit #524795
World No Tobacco Day: Non Smoking Area. Advertising Agency: TBWA\Athens, Greece. Creative Director: Vangelis Vrouvas. Art Director: Christos Kliafas. Copywriters: George Loukoumis, Vassilis Kleisouras.
There are so many things wrong with this ad that I wouldn't know where to begin—though I suppose that hanging the "creative" director to the first lamppost would be a good start.
Having said that, I'm quite happy to be vindicated once again. In my experience, European operatives of the marketing and advertising industry always struck me as a bunch of half-educated jerks coupling Champaign Socialism with breathtaking stupidity, dreadful arrogance and terminal stages of narcissism disorder; the perfect illustration of which is provided by this sorry excuse for an advert.
Everything is wrong, both from the conceptual and technical point of view. The "visual" is totally irrelevant to the "message", as this is definitely not your average cemetary: the human beings buried under these specific crosses did not die from nicotine poisoning. The morale superiority that's alleged to drive the event advertized here is nullified by this disgraceful use of a memorial to those who fought and fell on the battlefields — in large parts liberating Europe — even more so considering the casual issue it supposedly illustrates, and the paternalizing tone and politically correct nature of those who claim to "tackle" it.
To top it all, even the production is crap. The heavy-handed Photoshop job on this thing (click for the larger version, and sneer at the blurry grass patch in the center) is obviously from the Adnan Hajj / Iranian Revolution1 school of Unstrained Clone Tooling. Bottom line: the art doesn't save the concept, and the "art" director is not worth the "creative" one's skin.
Pathetic, but such as it is, a fine trademark of marketing and advertising.
This is on par with the latest trend of French couples shooting pornographic photos and videos in war memorials and cemetaries2 — the one and only difference being that we could argue that, symptomatic as they are of the depths at which France has sunk, these slobs are just a few sick individuals who can't think of anything better to do with their sorry selves.
Not established businesses in the advertising industry, and the Holier-than-thou organizations and causes to which they lend their services.
7 years, 9 months, 6 days, 8 hours, 24 minutes ago...Change is beyond hope
The Reagan Diaries, entry for Tuesday October 5, 1982:
[…] C.B.S. & Wash. Post described my trip to Ohio as a chilly reception. That is blatant falsehood. I've never been greeted with greater warmth and enthusiasm. I think their bias toward the Dems. is showing(hardcover edition, page 104)
The remarkable thing with Ronald Reagan, and his diaries, is that he writes in a most down to earth and straight to the point way. If he used "blatant falsehood" to describe CBS and the Washington Post, you can safely assume this was no overstatement.
7 years, 9 months, 6 days, 14 hours, 34 minutes ago...September 11 Wall Street Sonnets…
Maybe you remember I also told you how Eugene Schlanger, when he saw it, said that the design idea I came up with was "a stroke of genius"? And I was like "Ooooh look the poet, he says I'm a genius" and you were like, thinking "that's one hell of an ego he's got, but after all he's French" tough you kindly kept your thoughts to yourself with this characteristic Anglo-Saxon politeness that's totally alien to the abuse-hurling French society?
Well then, if you remember that, you may be interested to learn that Eugene Schlanger' September 11 Wall Street Sonnets and Other New York City Poems (a bilingual English/French edition by publishing house Underbahn) is now available on Amazon, both paperpack and on Amazon's electronic reader the Kindle (which is, sadly, not available outside the U.S.)1
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