Dedicated to “consumer whisperers, mother targeters and brand guardians,” this video by Toronto-based Open Creative Company satirically celebrates the feats of advertising marketers. It was made as a call for entries appeal for Strategy magazine’s Marketer of the Year. The words and sentiments in “The Marketers’ Anthem” are all too true, but the male voiceover, dripping with tongue-in-cheek gravitas, pokes good natured fun at the achievements of men and women who “moved us to vote, follow, share, pin, tweet, retweet and like” everything from underarm deodorant, cookies, toilet paper and shampoo. The video taps into the bipolar reality of marketing people who are both proud and a bit embarrassed by what they do. On the one hand, they know their marketing campaigns are the engines that drive the economy. On the other hand, they know that their days, months, years are spent debating how to express the exceptional softness of a brand of toilet paper, or the virtues of one floor mop over another, or the desirability of frozen pop-tarts. No one has yet won a Nobel Prize for market advertising, so it is good that the industry hosts its own awards. Only a jury of your peers can really appreciate the monumental accomplishment of making a cleaning product stylish and exciting. Bravo.
The Dutch Simavi Foundation, an organization dedicated to promoting safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene in the poorest regions of developing countries, launched its own line of body soaps to help fund their programs. There’s no need to appeal to public’s sense of duty to get people to buy Mama Sopa soaps and bath gels, however. The playful yet sophisticated packaging of Mama Sopa rises to the level of any high-end branded product on retail shelves. Consumers will want to buy the product simply because they like it, not just because they see this as a way to make a charitable donation. Ina Meijer and Marjolijn Stappers of Con-fetti design agency created the playful hand-drawn identity of a woman with curly tall hair and big eyes. A muted color palette of apricot, taupe and seafoam blue gives the packaging a spa-like style that projects a clean, warm and relaxed look. Mama Sopa undoubtedly makes buyers feel good – doubly so knowing that they are helping to give poor regions sustainable access to safe drinking water, a problem that afflicts more than a billion people today.
Reading about this website publication, which describes itself as a “global community for people over the age of 50,” brought to mind a recent news story about the rise of “marijuana parties” thrown by aging baby boomers living in retirement villages. The 50+ crowd is a lot more youthful and hip than it used to be. Its ranks include some of the world’s most celebrated “hunks” – Brad Pitt, Colin Firth, Johnny Depp, to name a few. So, it is interesting that the only 50+ publication that comes to mind is AARP’s. Its story content feels aimed at soon-to-be geriatrics, and its advertising weighs heavily toward adult diapers, chair lifts for stairs, arthritis drugs and walk-in bathtubs. Both the design and content of the AARP magazine feel like they were meant to appeal to the generation who lived through the Great Depression and World War II. Age 50 was probably set as the dividing line for seniors around 1950 when life expectancy in the U.S. was 65.