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Lavender Superstar, Lemon Idol, Rosy Starlet and Fruity Pin-Up promise to “keep nasty smells under wraps”. Fear not vacant fembots, choose one to V.I.Poo like a V.I.P. That’s right, V.I.Poo. The commercial opens with an exterior widescreen view, cameras flash, the marque reads Magic Wanda. Cut to Wanda-

“Even Hollywood’s latest sweetheart needs to punish the porcelain occasionally, to avoid embarrassment I give every bathroom the V.I.Poo treatment. Spray generously before taking a seat and V.I.Poo forms a protective layer trapping the icky smells of your devils doughnuts. So, no red face in front of your boss, Hollywood’s hottest director. Even a VIP needs to V.I.Poo  ”

WTF? Punish the porcelain, devil’s doughnuts? Magic Wanda? Wanda?

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Clearly Wanda is not a modern woman, so why is her Hollywood bathroom unisex? Why is Hollywood’s hottest director portrayed as a greasy caricature of Harvey Weinstein? Are men entitled to punish the porcelain with impunity, mark their territory with odorous devil’s doughnuts to show who’s boss? Why starlet, pin-up scent designations? Is Wanda supposed to be a porn star? Film star? Barbie Doll? Did V.I.Poo miss the memo on #MeToo? Is this supposed to be funny? Relevant?

On the off chance Air Wick set out to create a viral revenue generating video they failed miserably. I’m being generous, V.I.Poo marketing strategy banks on antiquated stereotypes, the duty of women to politely fart, burp and poop in the shadow of a man’s world. Shame on any woman fool enough to tuck V.I.Poo in her handbag.

Cereal Selfie

Cereal box toys hailed from a simpler time, testament to the golden era of advertising. Before dial up PCs squealed brave new world, or UPC codes cataloged purchases – cereal box toys were the reason one week it was Shreddies, the next Corn Flakes. Spy rings, Superman figures, and Tony the Tiger were the reason breakfast meant cereal.


For the sake of brevity and enough self respect to spare tedious musings of once upon a time, I’ll skip to the point (with a strong warning to those over 40 – you may throw up in your mouth). Today I learned that General Mills, makers of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal have come up with a “selfie spoon”. A what? Hey, come on now, you know what a selfie is! All you have to do is pay for shipping/handling and General Mills will send you a spoon that extends into a 30 inch “selfie stick” so you can take selfies while eating your breakfast cereal. Forget rummaging to the bottom of your cereal box, collecting box tops or entering codes online – apparently we’ve become self obsessed morons.

Marketing genius, or the glint of the nails in mankind’s coffin?


Tight and Perky

Ours is a tight and perky world. It isn’t Tight or Perky’s fault, they can’t help youthful perfection. So much to do; billboards to adorn, bars, restaurants, shops, reception desks to fill, ad campaigns, endorsements – Tight and Perky are the face of society, specimens of flawless perfection,  Tight and Perky need only twinkle a forced smile to cement their place in line. Theirs is a world of fabulous illusion – asses tight, breasts perky – opportunities are limitless.

Feigning innocence, never completely admitting it was Tight and Perky that landed the job, overlooked mistakes, shrugged off utter incompetence, or “made an exception this time” – all symptoms of the lofty pedestal society erects for the young and fabulous. Looking around, finding themselves surrounded with nothing but Tight and Perky, the illusion grows until fabulous is reality. Young, hip, connected, trending – Tight and Perky live in a bubble mistakenly taken for the future.

Eventually Tight falls and Perky sags. fortunately most have long since realized other merits. Education, career,family, and life experience equal contributors towards capable, intelligent and insightful people. People able to prioritize, rationalize, conceptualize, sympathize, and any other “ize” you can think of. Confident, well rounded individuals whose longing for tight and perky evaporates if it means losing all they have learned. People of depth; unwilling to play the charades of tight and perky youth.

The trouble is – Tight and Perky are trending. Monopolizing just as they always have. For every one that withers another stands to take its place, society demands perfection. Image sells, substance without youthful packaging is a liability. Ours is a tight and perky world.

I wish I could witness the moment each and every one of the image driven nincompoops responsible for Tight and Perky over merit, felt the first sting of rejection. That holy crap moment, complete with sickening churns of the stomach when they fully understood their image was frowned upon. I want to be in their heads when protests of  “I can do this better than anyone else” or “I’ve earned this” erupt, having to listen as carefully worded kiss offs sweep them under the rug. I want to hear them scream “ours is not a tight and perky world”.




Poverty, Disease, and Pollution

If society could adapt to change as readily as marketing firms, the world would likely be a different place. Not for the faint of heart; advertising requires cunning and the ability to disregard conscience and morality. Success granted to those able to put their finger on the prevailing social winds.

Social media is the ad man’s wet dream. Hit “Like” on Facebook, print coupons, sign up for free offers; not only are we doing half the work for them – our actions are tracked and analyzed. It gives the expression “finger on the pulse of the nation” a whole new meaning.

These days poverty, disease, and pollution satisfy the corporate bottom line. Buzz words like ethical, organic, environmentally friendly, and fair trade line the coffers. Philanthropy for profit, a resounding success. Anyone who thinks otherwise is sadly mistaken.

Known as “strategic marketing” or “cause marketing”, companies attaching themselves to social issues put smiles on shareholder faces. In 2006 the “Red” campaign was launched to raise money for Aids in Africa. Championing the cause were Bono and Oprah. Virgin, Converse, Dell, Armani, Motorola, Apple, and the Gap all sold “red” products with a portion of sales going to Aids relief. That year a reported 18 million dollars was donated; over 100 million was spent on the ad campaign, and profits for companies involved skyrocketed. Granted, they raised some money. Call me cynical but ponder what the 100 million they spent on advertising could have done. If conscious of anything other than profits, a true act of charity would tell the story.

Corporate branding with tragedy has become a slick, calculated marketing strategy. I fail to find anything ethical about this illusion. All I ask is that before going out of your way to purchase these socially branded products; you stop and think. If you believe in a cause; find a reputable charity and donate directly. Send the ad men back to the drawing board; profiting from tragedy is despicable.