Monthly Archives: May 2011

‘Limitless’ confusion

Sitting on a train during rush hour, your attention is caught by an ad with a handsome man holding a pill. It says, ‘Accessing 100% of your brain is now possible with THE CLEAR PILL!’ This definitely sparks your curiosity, especially if you’re stressed with summer exams approaching or your company is planning lay-offs and you’re wondering if you’ll be smart enough to make the cut. But once you read the first sentence, your eyes slip a bit down and you see the warning,

‘SIDE EFFECTS WILL INCLUDE PARALYSIS, PSYCHOSYS, EXTREME SEXUAL APPETITE, BRAIN DAMAGE, IRREVERSIBLE COMA, HOMICIDAL BLACKOUTS, AND SUDDEN DEATH’.

You start reading it again and again until you come across the fine print and actually see the website’s name with the word ‘film’. You realize it wasn’t another sequel to the endless ads we see about the next big mind performance drug or brain enhancement vitamin after all. Too bad – it could have really helped on your exam or with impressing your boss in the next board meeting!

Newly dumbfounded, you begin to wonder just how anyone can really distinguish between reality and fiction, between the real ad and the movie one. The film industry fights for our attention in all possible ways since we, the audience, are so picky and unimpressed that just a pretty face of an actress or a gorgeous body of an actor is no longer effective on its own anymore.

Come to think of it, almost any recent movie ad might have been presented in similar reality-stretching ways. Take, for instance, recent popular films like ‘The Black Swan’ and the ‘The King’s Speech’. The first one could be posted in front of our eyes in a tube with something like, ‘Watch the real ballet with the tragic ending’ and then on the bottom, ‘Everyday from 1 January in cinemas’. The last one could read something like a magic show: ‘Come and see for yourself that Kings can be cured from stuttering’.

A film and an actual commodity (say, a dress from a particular clothing outlet) are both ‘products’ to be sold, but we usually associate each with slightly different promotion techniques. Confusing the two would be like advertising the movie ‘School of Rock’ by misleading consumers into thinking the school actually exists and attracting would-be student-musicians by making it seem that they can sign up for classes. But some might wonder why more and more ads like to assume the audience is dumb. Is misleading the consumer, even if it’s just for a moment, really the best that we can do?

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We’re in Oslo…

an intimate gathering where leaders who are transforming the world present effective solutions and inspiring testimonies that impact human rights and freedom

….attending the Oslo Freedom Forum which is run by our friends at the Human Rights Foundation in NYC. An
eclectic mix of people are here and some really inspirational speakers making for what is an incredible experience.

You can watch the highlights at http://www.oslofreedomforum.com


Baby says don’t always trust your instincts!

VSO brand campaign

Today is an exciting day for Baby…why? Because it is the launch of our new ad campaign for VSO.

We’re really proud of this campaign  –  why? Because it is different, it breaks the rules, it plays a to a new angle. For we have put together a new campaign that is counter-instinctive…yes anti-instinct. Why? Because when most people see development charity ads or images of poverty plastered across the media their natural instinct is to want to send: money, food, equipment etc – that is great but if we had developed ads around this it would have been the same as so many other charities’ rather formulaic approach – yawn!! Yep another ad that fails to break convention!

However, we at Baby spotted an amazing truth – that the power of VSO is that it is not an ordinary charity. Its USP lies in the fact that it sends people…these people are skilled professionals who can really make a difference.

In film, online and in press we have demonstrated that by supporting VSO you can do more, you can go beyond your instinct, you can do much more…check out our work and see how through the power of people VSO goes that extra mile and does so much more in the crucial “fight against poverty”

visit http://www.beyondinstinct.org.uk