Mixed Blessings

A WORLD OF WONDERS, UNSOCIAL CLIMBERS, GIVING AND GIVING, ETC.
Along with its more obvious benefactions to mankind, the Wonderbra has given a lift to the ad biz as a theme for jokes. The latest advertiser to get into the act is the Daffy’s discount-clothing chain. The topic is used adroitly in an ad whose small type says Daffy’s sells designer clothes “40-70% off everyday.” After all, you don’t want your clothes to exhibit your skill as a cut-rate shopper. You want them to leave people assuming you’re as rich as Croesus-but with a better fashion sense. DeVito/Verdi of New York created the ad.
Honors for the Best Unrhetorical Question in an Ad go this week to Atwater Carey for a piece touting a first-aid kit. It seems climbers don’t want to be burdened with the extra weight of a kit, and they rationalize that inclination by telling themselves they’d be killed outright rather than injured by a misstep. Well, maybe they would and maybe they wouldn’t. Created by Bender, Browning, Dolby & Sanderson of Milwaukee, the ad prods the target audience to consider the latter possibility. That way, a clumsy climber can congratulate himself on his prudence as he plunges into the abyss with a first-aid kit tucked snugly into his pack.

Unless you’re marketing tombstones, it’s usually considered unwise to associate your product with death. Call it a silly taboo, but there you have it. And it goes double for foods, since most folks find death an unappetizing subject. But if rules are made to be broken, Halloween is the time to break this one-as Kraft Foods cheerfully does in an ad (via Young & Rubicam, New York) featuring a confection called Ghosts in the Graveyard. Jello-O pudding and CoolWhip are the key ingredients.

All dressed up and no place to go? At least you can look chic as you sit at home and order more clothing. In an analysis of consumer spending through catalogues, Abacus Direct Corp. finds the Women’s & Men’s Combined Apparel category the top revenue generator among 25-54-year-olds, while Women’s Apparel & Accessories led among those 55-plus. (The research by the Westminster, Colo.-based firm covers the second half of ’96 and the first half of ’97.) Among other tidbits: Consumers age 25-34 spend 2 percent of their catalogue dollars via Men’s Apparel catalogues, while the figure is 6 percent for those 65-plus. Spending in the Home category claims its largest share of catalogue outlays among the 25-34s, while Sports & Outdoors fares best among 35-44s.

When the same day’s mail brings press releases for magazines called Fit Pregnancy and Senior Golfer, one wonders if there’s money to be made by launching a publication called Pregnant Golfer. Any backers?