After noticing today’s WSJ article profiling ad trends for 2012, and then re-visiting observations made right here (in May 2010), it seems that this blogger may be just ahead of the curve. But, I’d also acknowledge that when it comes to catching the curl of the wave in the blue ocean of advertising strategies, being too early is perhaps no different than being too late.
According to this morning’s predictive piece by Suzanne Vranica, advertisers are expected to ramp up the use of racy narrative and tongue-in-cheek humor in an effort to leverage the increasing number of delivery channels and to rise above the ever-more crowded contest for eyeballs and mind share.
As much as I patted myself on the back for making similar predictions 18 months ago, trash-talk didn’t get much traction in 2011.
CBS crapped out after purchasing the TV production rights to “Sh*t My Dad Says”, Carol Bartz, the Queen of Potty, has yet to re-emerge in the ad world, Calvin Klein’s half-hearted attempt to shock and awe even more than usual by using a subliminally-placed F-bomb within billboard ads in Manhattan was too subliminal to notice. Adding to the mix, Spirit Air’s March 2011 email campaign: “F–ing Golden Fares” was a feeble attempt to exploit Oscar-winning actress Melissa Leo’s February F-bombing at the Oscars, and clothing company Diesel took a dive into the murky waters last spring by exploiting the f-word in European fashion mag ads. [Given how f*cked up the EU’s economic situation was at the time (and remains as of this writing), phrases like “F-ck This!” appear regularly on the front pages of newspapers, otherwise diluting the shock and awe of a clothing ad.
All of that said, if ever there was a time and place for F-bombing in ads, this year’s Presidential election race provides the perfect opportunity. Stay tuned.