Freak Week

Super fallout: Godaddy and ashleymadison
Super Bowl ads always seem to generate some controversy. Gay-rights and suicide-prevention groups have been miffed by ads in recent years. This time, most of the fuss was directed at a pair of Web sites: GoDaddy.com and AshleyMadison.com. Scores of Christian Webmasters reportedly dropped GoDaddy following its pair of racy spots (did they not watch in previous years?), while the Parents Television Council blasted AshleyMadison for its pro-adultery ad, which aired in some markets.

He sees dead people: U.K. anti-speeding PSA
The British have the gnarliest anti-speeding ads around. The latest one, which we posted last week, shows a man haunted in his everyday life by images of the boy he killed while speeding. U.K. road-safety minister Jim Fitzpatrick told the Guardian that the point was to make viewers think about “what life is like for the driver who kills because [he is] in a rush to get home.” In short, it’s not good at all.

What, you didn’t know? Face to face NYC ads
Thank goodness we have the Face to Face NYC spa to keep us up to date on the most fashionable personal-care routines. The ad is part of a larger series running in various NYC magazines (and which includes images racier than the one on AdFreak). The campaign was described in the press materials as “raunchy, yet classy.” Some might question one-half of that assessment, but as one AdFreak commenter wrote: “If it gets people in the door, it’s an effective campaign.”

Link love: Oscar Mayer’s bloggy print ad
Hat tip to Oscar Mayer for finding a rarely used adjective to describe food: blogworthy. As it turned out, it was blogworthy enough for us — although, of course, we reviewed the ad itself and not the microwaveable flatbread sandwiches it’s promoting. Soon after our post, Gawker picked up the story, and a commenter there wrote: “If they don’t want me to go on a violent rampage at Oscar Mayer corporate headquarters, they should probably stop letting Diablo Cody write their ad copy.”

Zapped! Mountain Dew Voltage spot
The oddest spot of the week might have been this bug-zapper themed ad for Mountain Dew Voltage. The soda evidently causes you to glow from within and gives you the power to zap giant insects, which then barf green slime all over you. Then there’s an on-screen disclaimer that says, “This was simply a metaphor, an admittedly weak metaphor, to suggest it is intense.” If they’re apologizing for the spot, we accept.

THE BEST OF THE REST — TOP POSTS FROM OTHER MARKETING BLOGS:

Heart of gold: Movie Marketing Madness
Chris Thilk, movie marketing blogger extraordinaire (and sometime BrandFreak contributor), delivered a typically comprehensive review on his Movie Marketing Madness blog of the campaign for He’s Just Not That Into You. Covering posters, trailers, online and social-media efforts, cross-promotions and more, Chris concluded that it’s “a nice cohesive campaign that certainly presents an attractive product to those likely to be interested in it.” [tinyurl.com/FWmmm1]

Value of taglines: Make the Logo Bigger
Bill Green of Make the Logo Bigger turned his attention to taglines again last week. “I’ve worked with brands who place great importance on them. Maybe too much. One single aspect of a company’s overall marketing effort will not make or break it. Never does. Expecting it to carry the weight like that is unrealistic. If it does, then when the stock tanks, please, by all means, blame it on: ‘Values that bind.’ ‘Your dreams. Our commitment.’ ‘Empowered by innovation.’ While I agree that a tagline like ‘Just do it’ is unrivaled, my point is that a mega brand doesn’t need one after it reaches meganess. It may even work against the brand depending on whether or not your experience with it was negative or not.” [tinyurl.com/FWtaglines]