Tag Archives: codebreaking

The Hidden Reference to Scientology in Air Force One

The Hidden Reference to Scientology in Air Force One

Before I show you what I’m about to show you, I want you to understand that this is something I saw nearly 15 years ago. When I saw it, I tried to convince my friends sitting next to me in the theater that I saw it, and they didn’t believe me.
And for the next decade or so, I&#133 Read the rest

Posted on by Pastabagel | Tagged , , , , , | 11 Comments

Codebreaking: Samsung’s Next Big Thing

In it’s latest ad for it’s flagship smartphone, Samsung has decided to attack Apple head on:

Ok, actually they’ve decided to attack Apple’s customers head-on. By casting Apple’s customer base as a status conscious nothing-better-to-do hipster fanboys, they hope that you will infer that Samsung customers are the opposite: rational, driven people, persuaded by performance and quantifiable feature not&#133 Read the rest

Posted on by Pastabagel | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

CODEBREAKING: Vladimir Putin Ad Shows A Couple Having Sex In Voting Booth

CODEBREAKING: Vladimir Putin Ad Shows A Couple Having Sex In Voting Booth

They’re not actually having sex– she drops her bag, not her clothes as the websites say she does– so she’s not having sex with him, she’s doing something else.
Putin videos are notoriously sexy. But in sexy ads, videos, and films, while the woman is the obvious draw the branding belongs to the man. The message isn’t that if&#133 Read the rest

Posted on by TheLastPsychiatrist | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Codebreaking: “No Women Allowed” to Drink Dr. Pepper

Codebreaking: “No Women Allowed” to Drink Dr. Pepper

Stupid question: is this commercial sexist?

The highlights: The ad plays on masculine stereotypes in an tongue-in-cheek backlash to some imagined feminized world. Beard guy doges lasers and shoots a big gun while running through a jungle, simultaneously mocking romantic comedies. He hops into a jeep driven by his square-jawed friend, all the while extolling the manly virtues of&#133 Read the rest

Posted on by Pastabagel | Tagged , , , , , | 13 Comments

Toyota Thinks You Hate Your Kids

Toyota Thinks You Hate Your Kids

Toyota has been buying a ton of ad time promoting their Venza “crossover” SUV outside of the normal target demographic for this type of vehicle. Rather than aiming at young, childless couples, they’re now aiming at retiring boomers. Salon reasons that this move is a result of the economy hurting younger buyer’s spending power, while the agency&#133 Read the rest

Posted on by max | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

Codebreaking: AT&T tries for authenticity

Codebreaking: AT&T tries for authenticity

I’ve written before about the previously dominant postmodern cultural modes are yielding to a new cultural attitude that based in “our grandparents” generation, one that seeks authenticity, purpose, and meaning.
Advertisers and the commercial semioticians they employ, are of course among the first to pick up on this, dissect it, and attempt to exploit it. Here is a&#133 Read the rest

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Codebreaking: Doritos’ “Best Part”

http://www.youtube.com/user/CrashtheSuperBowl#p/u/5/qRMMBXx3kqk
Advertising doesn’t just sell you the products you love and aspirational images. It also tells you what to shun and who not to be.
In Doritos’ “Best Part” we see a masculine, recently haircutted black man just a notch or two of attractiveness below Nivea Man. Looks good but not a supermodel – he could be you if&#133 Read the rest

Posted on by xiphoidmaneuver | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Codebreaking: Nivea’s “Re-civilize Yourself”

nivea-ad_afro

Is this ad racist?

Lots of people sure think it is, and it may be, but it appears everyone missed the true focus of the ad.

Posted on by TheLastPsychiatrist | Tagged , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Codebreaking: Cyborg Eye from HAL 9000 to Droid Smartphones

Codebreaking: Cyborg Eye from HAL 9000 to Droid Smartphones

Verizon is currently rolling out its 4G LTE network (better, faster, more, etc) and is heavily promoting the phones that support that network. The latest of these is the Samsung Charge, rechristened by Verizon as the Droid Charge, indicating its flagship status in that carrier’s product lineup.
Here’s the ad:
http://youtu.be/fEhaeMa9F5M
Gunmetal grey, distressed concrete and stone, heavy-handed references&#133 Read the rest

Posted on by Pastabagel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Codebreaking: Playing Spot-the-Difference in new Acura ads

Acura released two ads promoting the new 2012 Acura TL. In each ad, a famous athlete dressed in full gear and uniform is systematically stripped down to their undies and then redressed in stylish eveningwear. Cut to TL, which is as stylish as the newly-dressed athlete, and therefore, as our subconsciousness connects the dots, as equally high-performance. Beauty and&#133 Read the rest

Posted on by Pastabagel | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

Codebreaking: Asian Kids Raised By White Parents Party Too Much

Codebreaking: Asian Kids Raised By White Parents Party Too Much

Okay, folks, this one should be a softball:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Cj3aBjCJyM
We have older white parents and an Asian son. Asian son comes home from college holding VitaminWater Revive, older Dad calls Asian son on it, son flashes back to his Hangover-style lost weekend spent partying, then Dad congratulates him on hitting the books, and all is well in sugarwaterland.
The&#133 Read the rest

Posted on by Pastabagel | Tagged , , , , , | 19 Comments

Codebreaking: Imported from the Rust Belt

Codebreaking: Imported from the Rust Belt

All three ads tell a decidedly post-crash story. What is the story they are telling? How is the story told? Consider the signs (it helps to turn off the sound): dilapidated buildings, obstructed flags, obscured parades, closeups of large hands, arms, and backs. Labor, physical work. Black and white, and desaturated color. Old footage inter-cut with new. Railroads. Power&#133 Read the rest

Posted on by Pastabagel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Codebreaking: Diet Coke’s “Stay Extraordinary”

Codebreaking: Diet Coke’s “Stay Extraordinary”

The older a product is, the more it is a commodity, and the fewer objectively discernible qualities or features it has, the more the advertiser is forced to construct a fictional “grand narrative” to sell you a product. They have to tell a story about the world, and place the product within that world in a way that is&#133 Read the rest

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