Show Mobile Navigation

Sunday, August 07, 2016

,

The internet has made advertising weirder than ever

Oyetoke Tobi - Sunday, August 07, 2016

A drug agent-turned-drug smuggler called Andrew Thornton II fell to his death after a parachuting bad luck in the sky over Knoxville, Tennessee thirty years ago.

A moments earlier, he had threw away a duffel bag filled with about 75 pounds of cocaine into the Georgia forest, where a black bear found it, ate a stomach-full of it and promptly died of an overdose.


That bear was stuffed, mounted and spent the resulting decades in a pawn shop, a Chinese medicine store and, for a brief stint, Waylon Jennings' mansion until it found its way into the hands of three Kentucky advertising executives, who tracked it down due to a sudden desire.


So  it is now referred to as "cocaine bear" or "Pablo EskoBear". Its owners recently featured it in a whacked-out local commercial that seems as though it could have also been the outcome of drug over-indulgence.

So the ad may have been too nervy for the three local broadcast stations that rejected it at first, but its strange and funny looks hardly stands out online, where major brands like Old Spice, Skittles, Mountain Dew and KFC have found that surreal visuals, absurdism and anti-humor play specifically well to the internet's eclectic tastes.

As the bar for attention-grabbing gets higher and once-cult humor goes mainstream, young people are growing  bored of straightforward marketing, which is making advertising weirder. 

Old Spice, probably the most extreme example of this aesthetic, was once your dad's aftershave — a stuffy, outmoded brand that advertised to older men with pictures of boats in magazines. 


A years-long makeover later, its most recent commercial featured a three-eyed man with a nose ring and elf ears sharing a set of five-eyed binoculars with a hawk-woman.


0 comments:

Post a Comment