31Oct/110

ChapStick Digs Its Own Grave on Facebook

Posted by Emily

A recent ChapStick Facebook “campaign” had fans pondering, “Where does lost ChapStick go?” The social media promotion was accompanied by a print ad (at left) featuring a woman looking for her ChapStick behind the couch – her derriere being the main focus of the ad. Well, the humor was lost on some and several well-known bloggers deemed the ad disgusting and inappropriate, something they unabashedly plastered all over the company’s Facebook page. I’m not entirely certain who managed the public relations surrounding the “attack” on the ChapStick Facebook page, but they did not handle it appropriately. Rather than responding to the criticism of the ad with a frank apology, or even a witty acknowledgement of the critics’ absurdity, they deleted EVERY negative comment. Subsequently, people began commenting about their deleted comments so ChapStick deleted all of those comments, further infuriating people. It seems the folks at ChapStick assumed the problem would magically disappear if they went the denial route. Wrong. Although I think the criticism of the ad is pretty ridiculous, especially considering the hundreds of ads out there that are FAR more sexually suggestive, I think ChapStick handled the situation quite poorly. What do you think would have been a better response?

21Oct/110

Do you like Schweddy balls?

Posted by Jessica

Remember the Saturday Night Live skit “Schweddy Balls” from 1998? It featured Alec Baldwin as a baker named Pete Schweddy who claimed that no one could resist his Schweddy balls. The iconic skit brought laughter to Saturday Night Live fans then and now, but it's not so funny according to certain grocery store chains. The anti-Schweddy Balls stores claim that, “the name is nothing but locker room humor that’s not appropriate for young children.” Ok, since when do young children do the grocery shopping? Last I checked the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream is typically located in the freezer well out of the reach of little hands. Sean Greenwood, the spokesman for Ben & Jerry's, said, “Schweddy Balls has quickly become the most popular limited-edition flavor the company has produced,” and he went on to say that Ben & Jerry’s respects the decision of grocery stores not carrying the flavor. The conservative group One Million Moms first deemed the ice cream flavor as disgusting and inappropriate, encouraging grocery stores not to sell the flavor. The group felt compelled to say something because they failed to publicly convey their dislike for the “Hubby Hubby” flavor, which recognized same-sex marriage. What do you think about Schweddy Balls – repulsive or harmlessly funny?

17Oct/110

The World’s Largest, Unscannable QR Code

Posted by Emily

As QR codes continue to gain popularity, and art directors continue to cringe, companies are taking the scannable bar code to new levels. Skanz, a tech startup, is the first to create what they claim to be the world’s largest QR code. The 10,000 square foot QR code at Wall Stadium Speedway in New Jersey seems like quite a lot of labor for a rather dubious payoff. In fact, Skanz’s giant QR code is no longer a novelty; an “art-and-tech collective” in Charlotte, North Carolina recently created it’s own 10,000 square foot QR code on the roof of a scrap yard. The creator of the giant QR code in Charlotte admits, “This one doesn’t have that much of a practical purpose, other than it’s a fun project and it beats sitting around watching TV.” Although the honesty is appreciated, I wonder why either company didn’t use the time, manpower and 80 gallons of paint used to create their giant QR codes to produce something more artistic and aesthetically pleasing. On top of being pretty unattractive, these giant QR codes aren’t even scannable, so what’s the point? Do you think this was a waste of time and money or significant advertising?

7Oct/110

A Tribute to Steve Jobs

Posted by Emily

In the wake of Steve Jobs’ resignation in August Jonathan Mak, a design student in Hong Kong, decided to create a “commemorative” Apple logo using Jobs’ silhouette as the bite out of the famous apple. He  was inspired by Jobs’ affinity for minimalism: “Fewer elements but a powerful message.” However, the creative logo did not garner much attention until Jobs’ death this past week. Since then, Mak’s design has gone viral. The modest student was flooded with thousands upon thousands of emails and Twitter messages from people praising his work. Newspapers and companies wanted to buy the copyright to his logo and some even extended fulltime job offers. Mak’s response to his newfound fame? “I’m flattered by the attention but I would like to focus on my study before taking on any full-time job.” Merchandisers are currently using the logo on shirts and hats but Mak said that he plans to donate those proceeds to cancer research, in light of the fact that Jobs died from pancreatic cancer.

   
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