When Art Direction Is Masturbation.
This is what happens when art directors abandon the left side of their brains and self-satisfyingly jerk off on the page.
Art directors can be quite self-obsessed, self-pleasuring—ad effectiveness be damned. Mind you, copywriters can be just as selfish about their words. But visuals are, well, more visual.
The below French Weight Watchers campaign by Fred & Farid is a primo example. Headline: TREAT YOURSELF BETTER.
Straight-up, rock-hard phallicism. But does it make a woman want to join WW? Here’s the rest of the print ads, and here’s the TV spot from the campaign, a campaign which makes for an enticing female mouth fetish exhibit. I need a BJ.
South American ad agencies (particularly Brazilian ones) are very well known for their self-indulgent art direction. These ads for Companhia Athletica, a chain of Brazilian gyms, were made by masturbating art directors, for masturbating art directors.
Copy: What they see is what you are. L—a pulled apart woman’s ass in a thong. Inside word (yes, in blood): “boring”. Word on ass: “SEXY”. Can’t see it? Keep staring. R—Ripped apart man’s arm. Inside word: “chicken”. Arm word: “MACHIO”.
There is a concept in there, I guess. Ad agency: DM9.
This new Michelob Ultra campaign is via Mullen Lowe BEAT, Columbia.
Headline on all the ads:
Celebrate your effort with a light superior beer.
The press note:
“Fitness and beer don't have to be enemies. That's why Michelob Ultra created a beer low in carbs and calories so people who enjoy exercise can celebrate the effort without worries. For these prints we used nothing but an athlete, sweat, lights and close ups. No montages.”
The sweaty bodies look like glistening glasses of beer, yes? No? Not really? Maybe if you squint. Still, yeah-nah. Unretouched skin is not that color.
Michelob Ultra’s worldwide positioning is that it is the beer for athletes, the Gatorade of beers. Which is utter fucking hooey. It’s alcohol, therefore counterproductive to exercise, for fuck’s sake.
Anyway, art directors stick your hands down your pants and touch thyselves.
I can’t stomach belly button hair in my beer.
If Michelob Ultra was actually made with human sweat, well, then, OK. But, ew.
Perfectly-shaped Photoshopped workout sweat bubbles do not make me want to drink a tasteless beer. Or any beer, Or any beverage.