Tag Archives: stunt

Your Copy Sucks: Thanks for nothing, Dexter ads

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I love TV. I love it so much that I harshly judge people based on their viewing habits. I’ve ended relationships because of disagreements over which Iron Chef series is better (original, duh). So I take TV very seriously.

I also watch a lot of TV online or via Netflix because, you know, geek. I finished Dexter season two months ago and was really looking forward to starting season three, which just came out on DVD. This is all background information for my griping.

My point is, I walk outside my office one afternoon and I see this noise:

2009-09-01 21.38.40

Y’all in NYC have probably seen these promos for Dexter season four all over. It’s in the subway and on buses and, I dunno, stuck to the backs of the doors in women’s rooms.

And it pisses me off because it’s like a giant spoiler that’s following me everywhere!

“Teej,” say the unfortunate people who must listen to me whine about this, “it’s not that big of a spoiler. I mean, it’s just Dexter holding a kid. Could mean anything.”

To those unfortunates I say: LOOK AT THE COPY.

2009-09-01 21.38.40

Here’s my dramatic reenactment of how this ad campaign came about. Imagine a room full of modern day Mad Men wannabes: Diet Coke instead of scotch, mint gum instead of cigarettes, you get the picture. And GO:

“We can just have the picture of Dexter and the baby. Good image.”

“Do you think people will take it the wrong way? We don’t want people thinking he’s going to kill the baby.”

“Yeah, we definitely don’t want people to think he’s going to kill the baby.”

“Can’t have baby-killing.”

“Nope. No baby-killing. Can’t have that.”

“We need some copy that explains that he’s not going to hurt the baby.”

“Oh, how about ‘This is Dexter’s baby that he had in season three that TJ Dietderich hasn’t seen yet because it just came out on DVD’? Good?”

“Yeah, but ‘World’s Most Killer Dad’ is snappier.”

“Cut! Print! We’re done here.”

End scene.

It’s not like this baby was a secret; I’m told there was a special behind-the-scenes episode about this plot line. But I had gone to great lengths to avoid those things. Copy, on the surface, seems to have very little to do with my spoilery anger. But allow me to make an incredibly far reach.

I believe that all copy, even ad copy, should consider its audience. Not its intended audience, not its target demo, but every single person who’s going to be looking at it. Obviously the ad dudes considered the people who might be offended by the image of the baby with a serial killer (oh, spoiler alert, if you haven’t seen season one: Dexter is a serial killer). Why not also consider the people who would be offended by spoilers? Why not just let that image and the show logo speak for itself? Why the annoying little pun that destroys all the mystery?

Who is this ad for? All the people who are caught up on the show and already know about the baby? All the people who are only vaguely familiar with the premise of the show and love babies? What about me in the middle ground, yo? Where’s my Dexter ad?

Signed,
baby-hatin’ Teej.

[reus id=”1″]

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Pageant Scandals or Publicity Stunts

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Disclaimer (ugh, I hate disclaimers): …ok, background information:
I used to compete in pageants. I don’t think this is a terrible surprise since I’ve talked about it before (http://twitter.com/KOttavio/statuses/3512327971). Pageants are good…pageants (Miss America Organization) (http://www.missamerica.org/) give scholarship money…pageants helped me hone my interview and “stay cool under pressure” skills. Most importantly, I have made some lifelong friends in the pageant system.
That said—pageants are a business. Miss America is a scholarship program…so let’s leave them out of this discussion (don’t even bring up Vanessa Williams or I will…). Miss USA (http://www.missuniverse.com/missusa), on the other hand, is owned by Mr. Donald Trump (along with Miss Teen USA (http://www.missuniverse.com/missteenusa) and Miss Universe) (http://www.missuniverse.com/). And like any business, numbers need to be high and those dollars need to be raked in.
So I can’t be the only one who found it a little disheartening (ok, fishy) when the “pageant scandals” (http://television.aol.com/photos/beauty-pageant-scandals) became more and more prominent. Take the most recognized semi-recent mishap: Tara Conner, Miss USA 2006 “Oh no she didn’t.” The young woman was splattered all over the press for “alleged cocaine use, public kissing sessions with Miss Teen USA and random men were seen emerging from her swanky New York apartment.” And how was this young lady reprimanded? Trump held a press conference and let her keep her crown. I’m sure sparkling jewels look fab in rehab.
Not to draw this out, but there’s also Ashley Harder, Miss N.J. USA 2007 (she got pregnant), Katie Rees, Miss Nevada USA 2007 (naughty nightclub romp with photo evidence), Leona Gage, Miss USA 1957 (lied about her age), Oxana Federova, Miss Universe 2002 (I can’t fault this one…she hardly attended any appearances because they interfered with her studies. Still, it’s press!). Oh yeah and there was that Carrie Prejean girl…
Are these incidences just that? Young human beings, stressed out under the spotlight, making mistakes that we “regular people” just don’t get caught for while they do? Or calculated publicity stunts? I’d like to believe the former. (Tara actually did go to rehab.( http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20005269,00.html)) Perhaps it’s just the genius team at Trump’s office exploiting such happenings into publicity stunts for high viewership numbers, ultimately bringing huge dollar amounts to the organization.
Thoughts? I will donate one dollar for every male who comments (and offers legitimate opinions/insight) on this blog within 24 hours of posting to The Children’s Miracle Network, the official national platform (http://missamerica4kids.com/) of the Miss America Organization. Donation will be capped at $100 (we’re in PR people, not venture capital). [Editor’s Note: In honor of the PRBreakfastClub.com launch we will match this donation — $1 per legitimate male-authored comment to 12for12K (12for12k.org)]
(Insert Picture)
Katie Stam, Miss America 2009

Disclaimer (ugh, I hate disclaimers): …ok, background information:

I used to compete in pageants. I don’t think this is a terrible surprise since I’ve talked about it before. Pageants are good…pageants (Miss America Organization) give scholarship money…pageants helped me hone my interview and “stay cool under pressure” skills. Most importantly, I have made some lifelong friends in the pageant system.

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