Tag Archives: advertising

Reasons To Be Cheerful #67: Cats in Ads

27 May

Just the other day I was tolerating the adverts during a break of some highbrow show like Made In Chelsea when my significant other commented, quite astutely, that cats are used to sell everything. I replied with the astute and potentially groundbreaking assertion ‘sex sells and cats are currency’. I tested out the popularity of this original aphorism by sharing it on facebook. It got 2 likes, but that’s a story for another day. The point is, cats are not just tools to gain more Youtube views, they are actual living, breathing, fluffy marketing tools for admen and I for one, welcome this wholeheartedly. Here are my reasons to be cheerful…

1. They Get to be Even Wilier Than Usual

Cats are pretty gaddamned wily. It’s what they’re known for. They play with your emotions and use their paws to get in the fridge if they can smell chicken. But in adworld, this is not enough to represent the feline species’ clear intellectual dominion over us. That’s why we get cats with opposable thumbs (Cravendale), talking cats (O2) and even cats that play the accordion (Crusha). What’s not to love?

2. They Don’t Need Sex to Sell Stuff

When I’m not enjoying a cat advert or being harassed by one that features a breathy idiot doing an inane cover of a once-great song, I seem to be watching Nichole Scherzinger do her best not to Scherzizz all over herself as she over-enjoys a yoghurt or shampooing session. I don’t need this in my life. I also do not appreciate whichever advertising guru decided that eating a low fat yoghurt was tantamount to enjoying an orgy. But, I digress. This is reasons to be cheerful and the great thing about cats is that they transcend sexiness. They just don’t need to try, which is more than I can say for some people…

Real cats don't need PVC

Real cats don’t need PVC

3. Cats are Natural Stars

Anyone that knows cats knows what natural superstars they are. The limelight just shines on them in a way that it doesn’t for most animals. And no wonder: these animals are just like Kate Moss – they go out at night, they avoid attention whilst effortlessly attracting it and they slink. All of these qualities plus their good looks make cats obvious icons of the screen. Even when the campaign claims to be about dogs (O2’s be more dog), who fronts the ads? Why, cats of course.



There’s really no need to use words to explain this one. Just watch the clip.


(REASONS TO BE PISSED OFF: ‘Mullerlicious’)


Reasons To Be Cheerful #31: Clothes Adverts

17 May

So, it turns out that Abercrombie and Fitch – a brand matched in overall blandness only by Jack Wills – wants thin and attractive people to be seen in its clothes. I’m not sure why this is a surprise. You only have to look at a billboard or open a magazine to see what kind of people any brand wants in its clothes. Except maybe Evans, or Dove when it’s making a point. But deodorant isn’t the same as clothes anyway, so…. I digress. Let’s look at some reasons to be cheerful about advertising:

Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries: "We go after the attractive, all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don't belong [in our clothes]"

Abercrombie & Fitch CEO: “We go after the attractive kid with a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes]”

1. They Show Off a Woman’s Best Assets

The female form is one to be celebrated. And where best to do it than in a publication with a key 18-30 demographic with a disposable income? Naturally the shoppers want to know they’ll look HOT. Why else would American Apparel models be constantly trussed up in a diverse variation on the vests/bottomless, tights/topless, jeans/shirtless combo?

The ONLY way to wear tights

Tights/topless. Very 2013

Tops are for boys

Jeans/shirtless. Hot right now.

2. Variation

The world don’t move to the beat of just one drum; what might be good for you, may not be good for some… That’s why we get to see size 6 models, size 8 models and… oh wait that’s it. But there is a range of hair colours and styles to be seen atop the waifish clothes horses. And, most progressive of all, nearly all the big high street chains now regularly feature a token mixed race girl in their campaigns.


Spot the token: from H&M…

M&S new Autumn 2012 ad campaign

…to M&S

Everyone's favourite token: the hot girl who used to do M&S ads

To everyone’s favourite from the old M&S ads

3. They Are Aspirational

Fashion dares us to dream and that’s a beautiful thing. Like when we see Rosie Huntington-Whiteley bowling around in a Marks & Spencer jacket and we briefly entertain the notion that M&S could make us more supermodel-like. Or the assault on our senses of a bikini-clad Beyonce courtesy of H&M. Then there’s the Kardashians in Dorothy Perkins and Rihanna in River Island: the collections might be fugly but if the stars are doing it…

If you've managed not to see this.... I commend you

If you’ve managed not to see this…. I commend you

Rosie loves to treat herself to Per Una

Rosie loves to treat herself to Per Una

4. Promoting Rainbow Families

Now some people find children’s fashion adverts  to be nauseating, unnecessary and an ugly mirror on the state of the world today. Fortunately, I am not one of those people. I see a world where little children of every colour hold hands and make friends. A world not miles apart from that shared by the whole Brangelina clan. If I may:

kids ads

kids benetton

kids gap

kids h&m

(REASONS TO BE PISSED OFF: The real world doesn’t quite live up to the promise of these children’s adverts)