Ad critique 4 “I GOT SWAG BABY”

Tiffany Carey
Ad Critique 4
September 28, 2013

                The ad I chose is a Sketchers commercial aimed at teens and pre-teens. It is for their brand called Daddy’s money – oh excuse me, “Daddy’s $”. This commercial came on in the evening on the Cartoon Network. I already knew this was the ad I was going to choose when I first read the syllabus for this class. I don’t think I have ever been legitimately offended from a commercial, until the day I saw this. From start to finish this ad had my jaw to the ground. It features snapshots young girls who are having fun, in a seemingly photo-shoot kind of way. Obviously it shows these shoes- which look like sneakers that have ‘secret’ wedges inside that make you taller. It flips between the shoes and the girls having fun for about 30 seconds with some girls singing a song where they say, “I got swag baby, daddy’s girl”.
                First let’s talk about the shoe itself. So these sneakers with ‘cool’ prints have this two inch wedge built inside. A wedge (also known as pumps) is a type of shoe that resembles a type of high heel. The only difference is that the bottom of these are all one flat surface, the heel isn’t separated with a gap like normal high heels. So they are trying to imply height as a desirable trait. There is a caption on the side of the shoe that reads “be two inches taller!” like that’s what you are supposed to be, taller. Obviously being preteens they will get taller, but this way they can feel older sooner just as the film Consuming Kids described. So that is the first strategy plays on teens urge to transition into adulthood.
                The girls in this commercial seem like they are genuinely having normal teenage fun while wearing these shoes however when you combine that with the lyrics of the song while looking at all these bright images of dollar sign is very suggestive. According to Klass’s article, “Up to the age of 7 or 8, children are thought to be unable to understand the nature of advertising — developmentally, they can’t identify the underlying persuasive intent. Older children may have a better understanding of commercials, but they are vulnerable in other ways.” This is why I find it offensive. It is teaching these girls to use their feminine ways by being daddy’s girl to get daddy’s money for Daddy’s $. Not only that this just seems so obnoxious and this ad makes it seems like it’s okay. For example towards the end there is a girl holding up a bunch of cash, like she is flaunting it. Basically, it looks like a modernized version of a Veruca Salt commercial if she had ever made one.
                There is morally wrong I feel and has several negative connotations. It is sending several messages and they are doing it in a way where the teen probably doesn’t notice. Using flashy pink and yellow colors with quick shots of images versus a flowing commercial that way you have to keep watching it so you don’t miss anything. They use improper language composition to grab the attention of the girls who fit that image (or at least the girl they want to fit that image) by using lyrics like, “I got swag” versus “I have swag”. The very fact that the name of this shoe is called Daddy’s money is offensive – for two reasons. One: daddy is a word that is sometimes used in a sexual manner by women. The first thing I thought of when I heard the name of the shoe was, “a prostitute who needs her pimps money”. Second: it is sexist. There is a reason there is a show called Teen Mom and not Teen Dad or Teen Parents. The brand name is assuming that there is even a father present to get money from in the first place. ABC even reported angry moms were in protesting this marketing campaign. Sketchers didn’t budge, only apologized if the name of the shoe offended anyone. The best way to sum up the way I feel about this entire issue was best stated by a top rated comment on the commercial featuring older teens (which is on the official Daddy’s Money Youtube channel), “How to be a teenage slut with daddy’s money. Great campaign, Sketchers” – FromCrownToKingdom (Youtuber).

The ad

ad featuring older teens


Ad Critique 3 Politics

Tiffany Carey
Ad Critique 3
September 21, 2013


                The ad I chose for this week was on Bill de Blasio who is running for mayor of New York. The commercial begins with his 15 year old son, Dante speaking. He begins speaking about how Bill is the only candidate who will tax the wealthy and fund school programs.  He also mentions that Bill has a plan to build affordable housing. His son continues to explain that Bill is the only candidate striving to end the ‘stop-and-frisk’ initiative which is primarily focused on minorities.  He ends with how Bill will be a mayor for every New Yorker, regardless where they live or what their appearance is. Dante adds that he would have said that even if Bill wasn’t his dad.

                Ok so first thing that pop’s into my mind when I first saw this ad was, “I assume he is targeting the minority group”. Most candidates speak for themselves. However in this ad, Bill has his son (which we find out later) speak on his behalf and who also happens to be, half African American.  As Dante is speaking, the commercial pans to different scenes of Bill and showing text snippets from his website. The first scene shows Bill partially (mostly his arm/hand gesture) as he is speaking to a small room of diverse people. The people listening range from middle aged white women, to elderly Hispanic and African Americans, to white males in what looks like their mid-30’s. Which is pretty smart seeing as the people who are viewing the ad would more than likely see themselves just as the audience in the ad. So having a group of listeners that vary in age and race, doesn’t make it seem exclusive to one particular group of people. However, from what I could see, it appeared to be mostly minorities – thus still aiming for that minority group.  As Bill is speaking to the audience you can see that the sleeves of his nice business shirt are rolled up, and he is not wearing a formal jacket. His appearance says to the average Joe, “hey, I’m not better than you, and I am not judging you”. His appearance is relaxed just as the expressions of the audience. If consumers are comfortable with the candidate, they will feel less intimidation.
                As Dante speaks, the next scene that is panned is a side street view of children being walked to school in a lower income area of New York.  During this scene Dante is talking about the affordable housing plan. This correlates to low income housing areas and is targeting people who live in similar situations (who are also probably minorities). Showing that street image gives the consumer a feeling of relevance. Sort of like saying he is on the side of the underdog.
                Next it pans to Bill in a kitchen with who appears to be his wife who is obviously African American.  This scene plays on the interracial couple angle which is much more common these days regardless which ethnic groups are involved. Last scene ends with Dante and Bill walking  to what I assume is school since Dante has a backpack on. They are laughing and talking. This represents the classic family man; this is something most average people with children can relate to. The upper hand Bill has is that this works on two levels: family and mixed race households.
                Overall I would say this ad has positive connotations/morals. Cenk Uygur from The Young Turks talks about Bill’s ad and he also believes that this ad directly reaches out to the Black and Latino communities for their votes but he favors the motion and doesn’t see anything wrong with it. Cenk also explains that New York is liberal state, and Bill is one of the most progressive liberals in politics. That being said, I feel that Bill’s campaign reflects his means in a positive light. He does not use ‘dirty’ tactics to get his point across. If anything he is a more trustworthy candidate. For example my dad is half African American and half Korean, and my mom is half German and half Spanish.  I am a product of a mixed race household and it was difficult back in the days when we had to fill out scan-tron sheets in school about our nationality that always said “choose ONE”.  Seeing Bill with his wife and son tells me that he is a crusader of equality and diversity. Thus, Bill would have my vote since for me, I identify strongly with racial issues.
The ad:

The Young Turks reference:

Ad critique 2 – Music

The Ad I chose for this critique was a Coke commercial featuring Taylor Swift. Oh excuse me, DIET Coke. It starts out with her writing in her notebook which also happens to be lyrics for one of her songs which she is saying out loud, but not singing. The commercial then shifts to different people who are singing the song. As they these scenes go back and forth, she is taking gradual sips of the soda while she is writing. As the song gets towards the chorus you can see and hear her fans singing and cheering for her at a concert as she runs out to finish the song.

                Now I feel like soda companies are at a slight disadvantage when it comes to marketing via commercials because you can only make so many commercials that are 100% relevant to what you are selling before it becomes stale. That being said, they do things like this – feature a star using their product. Because celebrities have fans, and a lot of the fans are borderline crazy regardless of their age. Someone like Taylor Swift is probably seen as an idol by some. So when fans see her drink it, they think, “oh Taylor drinks it?! Well I should too!” That is not always the case obviously, but that is one example. Early in chapter five of our text mentions how Will Smith participated in product placement of Converse shoes in a movie. I am sure a lot of people- or fans- unconsciously (or consciously) tried a pair of converse the next time they needed shoes.

                Another good point the text brings up is that, “generations are defined by their music” (page 112). I find this to be true for especially in the younger crowd. She is young, pretty and famous (and not for the same reasons Kim Kardashian is famous). Yet she sings about things that most girls in their younger years could probably relate to, young love and what not. I would imagine they purposely had Taylor Swift advertise diet coke versus regular coke because she is a female and you are more likely to see a female drinking a diet coke and I would imagine the majority of her fans are female. Although when they pan through the different people singing her song in the commercial, the first two people are male. I feel that they are trying to show that her music is catchy and not just for girls (but as I said, most of her fans are probably female seeing as I have never met a guy who is down for the next Taylor Swift concert). So really, in a way, I feel as though this is double marketing. She gets to promote herself and Coke gets their product advertised. I don’t think this is a negative thing so much, other than the fact that it could be seen as ‘hinting’ that you as a female should be drinking diet coke.