Saturday, March 25, 2006

I Love Magazine Ads

In hindsight, I am surprised that I did not directly choose advertising as a career. I love ads. I love the Super Bowl ads, and I love magazine ads. I love the good ones, and I love the bad ones.

If you want to see a good collection of magazine ads, pick up the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. In addition to the obvious benefits, it is chock full of good ads. Advertising Age's Bob Garfield ripped the ads in this year's issue, but I disagree (Feb. 13, 2006 print issue of Ad Age).

There are many bad ads in the 2006 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. But there are some good ones, too.

There is a clever two-page ad for Las Vegas -- What happens here, stays here -- that uses lottery ticket like scratch off columns to pick arbitrary combinations of name, profession, and hometown promoting the "Be Anyone sweepstakes."

Multiple ads use the body painting that Sports Illustrated pioneered a few years back. We know that sex sells, but we all wonder about the seemingly random connection between sex and some products. The SI Swimsuit Issue provides the link. I mean, of course that's a naked (but painted) woman wearing a Dodge hat. Makes perfect sense, no?

There's the Budweiser 4-page centerfold with a model covered in a swimsuit of bottle caps: "There's one universal truth in this magazine: You can twist anything into a swimsuit.

OK, I've looked through the whole issue again. I was wrong. Garfield was right. The ads are pretty lame this year. But they're still fun to read. It's fun to see people try to be creative. Sadly for 2006, they failed far more often than not. Shoot. Guess I'll have to look at the swimsuits.


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