Unlike 4A's conferences in recent memory, soul-searching was the underlying theme in Miami this year—mostly the result of the fallout from the case against former J. Walter Thompson CEO Gustavo Martinez over alleged sexism and racism. Panel sessions and keynotes hit on the lack of diversity (and, to a lesser degree, transparency) in the ad business.
If you needed evidence women are still stymied by stereotypes in ads and shows, look no further than this eye-opening and eye-rolling video. "Casting Call, The Project" features 18 women reading real casting notices into the camera, with their reactions ranging from raised eyebrows and exasperated sighs to obscenities and abject disgust. "In our quest to find and create work, we became all too familiar with reading character breakdowns posted on casting call notices via the numerous casting websites (some legitimate and reputable, others, not so much)," wrote the three artists who created the project. "Throughout this journey, we would often share with each other particularly ridiculous, hysterical and appalling casting call notices." The three friends—Julie Asriyan, Laura Bray and Jenna Ciralli—decided to compile some of these many infuriating notices into a video that could be passed along by those who share their frustrations. The plan seems to be working, with the video having received more than 320,000 views in its first 24 hours on Facebook.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens introduced several new characters to the Star Wars universe, with one of the most notable being scavenger heroine Rey. Some of the fans of Daisy Ridley's character were disappointed to see her omitted from a new Star Wars Monopoly game that features an all-male lineup of character tokens: Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Kylo Ren and Finn. Why feature Finn (John Boyega's good-hearted stormtrooper) and not Rey, who's arguably the star of The Force Awakens?
GoldieBlox has defined its advertising with feminist messages, so it makes sense that the brand would launch its new action figure, Ruby Rails, with an ad that rails against sexism in Hollywood. The 90-second spot, created in-house, reimagines everyone's favorite movie heroes—the Indiana Jones, Rockys and Gladiators who have valiantly grunted across our cinema and television screens—as Ruby Rails and GoldieBlox (who are actual dolls you can buy).
Companies got away with some pretty racy advertising in the '70s—the cocaine paraphernalia ads uncovered earlier this month certainly showed that—and, as it turns out, selling stereo equipment could be just as ribald. Dangerous Minds dug up several ads (some of which are NSFW) that were likely featured in National Lampoon and men's magazines, and each one seems more sexual than the last. Apparently, selling stereo equipment meant you had to appreciate, and use, every breast pun or group-sex reference you could think of. Check out some of the ads below:
A report claims some online advertising may be showing a bias against women by serving ads for high-paying jobs disproportionately to men.
As Old Spice and agency Wieden + Kennedy continue to roll out ads featuring their chronically malfunctioning spokes-bot, it's hard to decide if they're succumbing to one of the most tired cliches in advertising or if they're skewering it. The gag, which competitor Axe spent years building its marketing around, is that using the brand's grooming products will make any man irresistible to women. Old Spice took the trope to its logical extreme, creating a mandroid who can score a hot date even when his face is falling off or he's crushing a woman's ribs with the weight of his industrial endoskeleton. In the campaign's newest spot, the robot has made the mechanically unwise decision to lounge in a hot tub, surrounded by women so enraptured by his scent that they seem to have lost the common sense to leave a body of water that contains a sparking, error-spouting electrical device. The campaign's ads definitely are good for a few laughs, but their portrayal of vapid women is also a departure for the brand.
Snapchat’s CEO Evan Spiegel has apologized after a series of emails from his college days revealed insensitive statements regarding women.
Australian construction workers simply aren't themselves in this amusing stunt from Clemenger BBDO in Melbourne. In fact, they're actors who shout empowering statements to women on the street in a real-world extension of Snickers' "You're not you when you're hungry" campaign.
We've seen plenty of women get makeovers in advertising lately—either in pursuit of some market-driven ideal of beauty, or in critique of same. In this video, though, a woman is transformed for a different purpose.