I know it may seem strange, but we can literally call advertisements “good” or “bad”. It seems simple, however it’s as simple as the tip of an iceberg. Underneath the lightly put evaluation is usually a critique involving a justification in terms of strategy, creativity and execution. For my final post,  I am going to discuss 2 main advertisements, one that I deem “good” and the other “bad”, with support to my blunt answer using the evaluation technique mentioned earlier. The 2 advertisements will be taken from my past posts so there’s nothing new to see here!

Before we get into the interesting stuff, I thought we could start with a few simple definitions to keep us all on the same page with regards to the evaluation.

Strategy = “The means by which an individual or business accomplishes objectives” (Wells et al. 2011. p.475.)

Creative strategy = “The determination of the right of message for a particular target audience, a message approach that delivers the advertising objectives” (Wells et al. 2011. p.462.)

Execution = “Refers to the various ways an advertising idea is presented as an advertisement” (Wells et al. 2011. p.463.)


.. For the last time

Oh and while I have you here, since this is my last post I wanted to thank you for your readership. I hope you enjoyed my IMC blog as much as I enjoyed creating it!:)


Advertising campaign: Nike “Just Do It.”

Yep, you had it right, of course I was going to choose Nike!


The incredible brand campaign (for this exercise I will just refer to this print media advertisement) came from a simple comment made at a meeting with the Advertising executives. As I wrote previously in my Advertisements by Category Post, The story goes like this, according to the Centre for Applied Research, “Dan Weiden, [spoke] admiringly of Nike’s can-do attitude, [and] reportedly said, “You Nike guys, you just do it.” The rest, as they say, is (advertising) history” (Nike’s “Just Do It” Advertising Campaign).


At the time of this particular advertising campaign in 1988, Nike were beginning to take the fall to competing sporting goods giant Reebok. It can be understood from this negative business viewpoint, Nike were looking to use their advertising campaign as a tool to take back their share of the market (and some more). This short and sharp copy “Just Do It” supported by the household image of the “swoosh” is the simple and clever advertising that led to the fulfillment of Nike’s business objectives, that being dominant market share and a strong brand awareness.   It allowed Nike to expand and dominate the sporting goods market. Having a strong brand image permitted Nike to command higher prices leading to a larger revenue and in turn the creation of a competitive advantage against the main rival and issue to Nike at the time, Reebok. For a bit of quick theory, this advertisement most definitely adopts a soft selling strategy approach (Wells et al. 2011).


The creativity in this campaign can only be described as timeless. The advertising agency Wieden & Kennedy spoke not only directly to the sporting goods consumer, but every other consumer that could possibly relate to having (or in this case wanting) a “Just Do It” attitude. The sharp and concise message, “Just Do It” cut through the clutter of the opposing sporting goods advertising campaigns due to its revolutionary nature in 1988.


The advertisement is presented in this image in the form of a print media ad, however the campaign is still alive and continues to run taking many media shapes. The following images are examples of the “Just Do It” advertising campaign creative executions that are still used today in various newer forms to keep the brand fresh, innovative and up-to-date.


Advertising campaign: Tourism Australia “Where the bloody hell are you?”


This was difficult because I feel like I’m pointing fingers at one of my own, seeing as I chose the advertisement previously, but I have to say, it has got to be Tourism Australia – “Where the bloody hell are you?” global advertising campaign of 2006, created by the Sydney office of the London advertising agency M&C Saatchi. All I can say is classic mistake. This $180 million global advertising campaign for Tourism Australia suffered a slight beating in the United Kingdom due to the offensive word “bloody” used in the copy (Heinrich 2006). Although it received extensive media and press coverage it was withdrawn and deemed a failure, hence my decision to choose this advertising campaign for my “Bad” evaluation. Nonetheless let’s get into the analysis.


The goals and objectives of Tourism Australia in setting out to create a global advertising campaign in 2006 was primarily to “increase tourism spending and the amount of time tourists spend here” writes The Age (Bingle ad rakes in extra $1.8 billion 2007). It can be understood that the campaign was not targeted at backpackers, but at consumers who share longer time in Australia. However the campaign both TVC and print media seemed to have missed that audience completely. Aside from the fact that the campaign caused controversy and offense in some countries, in particular the United Kingdom, it failed to meet its primary objectives which tarnishes the effectiveness of the advertisements. This advertisement most definitely adopts a soft selling strategy approach (Wells et al. 2011).


From a creative perspective, the advertisement in my opinion excelled. It was extremely original. The colour tones of the TVC were warm, earthy and inviting in scenes and in others fresh, vibrant and inspiring. It showcases Australians of all multicultural backgrounds, ages, genders and sizes. I believe it is a lighthearted, warming advertisement that is playful and inviting in nature.  It seemed very Australian, and if it were for domestic use and was perhaps campaigning something more along the lines of  “Aren’t you proud of our beautiful nation?” it may have been taken differently. The simple fact that the target audience – that being the rest of the world – interprets Australian culture differently to perhaps the way Australians may see and talk about Australia. became this campaigns downfall. The Age article continues to write “The Australian Tourism Council said while it appeared Tourism Australia’s aims in attracting higher spending, longer staying visitors were paying off, the lack of growth in market share was a concern” (Bingle ad rakes in extra $1.8 billion 2007).


The advertising campaign was released in various forms. A print media examples is shown above, however the main controversy surrounds the TVC. In its finished form, it was felt that the advertising campaign for Tourism Australia had met its objectives and spoke to the global market in an effective manner. We now know that this was sadly not the case, offending a large portion of the target audience. However irrespective of the controversy surrounding the advertising campaign, it was executed using a spokesperson/endorser format by creating characters and presenting advice on visiting Australia to build brand credibility (Wells et al. 2011).

Reference List:

Bingle ad rakes in extra $1.8 billion 2007,, The Age, 19 March, viewed 13 September 2012, <>

Heinrich, P 2006, ‘Brits bloody well accept tourism ad’,, The Age, 19 March, viewed 13 September 2012, <>

Nike’s Just Do It Advertising Campaign n.d., Centre for Applied Research, viewed 3 September 2012, <>

Wells, W, Spence-Stone, R, Crawford, R, Moriarty, S, Mitchell, N 2011, Advertising: Principles & Practices,  2nd edn, Pearson, Australia.


Advertisements by CATEGORY.

By “Category” I am referring to the main advertising categories in the realm of consumerism. To introduce each of the areas I have supplied a fab definition from my favourite textbook Advertising: Principles & Practices. The focus will be on the following advertising categories:







For each category (and to link this all back to the one and only, advertising) I have supplied a definition or two that assist in understanding what each category is all about! Because examples are the only way I learn (and I’m guessing you too) I have also provided a few advertising examples that fall under each category with one annotation per category. Just to add some academics to the mix, I have linked in a relevant peer reviewed journal article to each category.

Once again,



Brand = “is a mixture of tangible and intangible attributes captured and recognised in a trademark which, if managed properly, creates value” ( Wells et al. 2011 p. 458.)

Brand Advertising = “Advertising that creates and sustains the long-term value and influence of a brand’s special meaning properly, creates value”  ( Wells et al. 2011 p. 458.)


Example 1 – Nike “Just do it.”
Advertising Agency: Wieden & Kennedy

Nike is so well known for its incredible brand management. The story goes like this, according to the Centre for Applied Research, “Dan Weiden, [spoke] admiringly of Nike’s can-do attitude, [and] reportedly said, “You Nike guys, you just do it.” The rest, as they say, is (advertising) history” (Nike’s “Just Do It” Advertising Campaign). This particular advertising campaign in 1988 allowed Nike to expand and dominate the sporting goods market. Having a strong brand image permitted Nike to command higher prices leading to a larger revenue and in turn the creation of a competitive advantage against other main players (Reebok) in the sporting goods market (Nike’s “Just Do It” Advertising Campaign).

Example 2 – Myer “is my store” brand campaign
Advertising Agency: Ogilvy Australia, NSW

Example 3 – AAMI “Lucky you’re with AAMI” brand campaign 
The ‘Lucky you’re with AAMI’ jingle was written by Mike Brady, commissioned by Thomson White.

Example 4 – Big W “Live big for less” brand campaign
Advertising Agency: Ideaworks, Australian retail marketing specialist

Example 5 – Subway “Eat Fresh” Brand campaign 
Advertising Agency: McCann, London
Creative Directors: Matt Crabtree & Simon Hepton

Trade Press Article:

The above trade press article Broadcaster, Canada’s Communication Magazine describes the brand partnership campaign between Canadian brand CTV and American reality series X Factor (CTV and TD Bank Announce Brand Partnership 2012). This brand partnership allows for a stronger campaign as each brand brings a different offering that works hand-in-hand with the other. You could say the brand offerings are complimentary products, not allowing for a stronger campaign but a more effective overall offering concreting a unique selling proposition as opposed to perhaps other entertainment television reality series featured on opposing networks. 

Journal Article:

The journal article used for this category is titled Brand Advertising as creative publicity, and is taken from the Journal of Advertising Research. The article puts a heavy importance on brands needing to acquire “broad salience” in a competitive market (Eherenberg et al. 2002). In  order to obtain a competitive advantage as well as this “broad salience”, brands use ‘brand advertising’ to gain brand awareness, market share, positive brand associations and an overall strong “persuasive selling proposition” in a competitive market (Eherenberg et al. 2002).



Retail advertising = “A type of advertising used by local merchants who sell directly to consumers” ( Wells et al. 2011 p. 472.)


Example 1 – Coles catalogue advertisement

My understanding of the objectives of retail advertising is to merely communicate the brands offerings efficiently and effectively to local consumers to ensure monetary return. My looking at this Coles catalogue advertisement, upon viewing the front page, I am aware that it is an ad for the brand ‘Coles’, I am aware that the brand is holding sales promotions on items across a wide range of categories and if I look closely on the bottom I can read  the address of my closest Coles outlet. I would deem this ad effective because of its clear communication of what I would want from a piece of supermarket retail advertising as a consumer.

Example 2 – KFC Coupon

Example 3 – Target Toy Sale

Example 4: Fuel offer 

 Trade Press Article:

The above trade press article discusses the forecasted heightened spend on local retail advertising set to “exceed $26.8 billion” in the United States of America (BIA/Kelsey 2012). The internet age and online shopping epidemic has seen a “migration to digital media” for many retail businesses, for those that have stayed alive in the downfall of the current retail sector (BIA/Kelsey 2012). The article quotes Mark  Fratrik, vice president and chief economist of BIA/Kelsey who states  that “within the online segment, video display is seeing some of the greatest gains, with the top five business categories expected to account for an increase of $232 million in local spending [in the USA] in 2013 alone” (BIA/Kelsey 2012). Even though the online segment is gaining in terms of market share and revenue, there is still a need for retail advertising. 

Journal Article:

The journal article used for this category is titled Estimating the readership of retail newspaper advertising, and is taken from the Journal of Retailing. The article delves into newspaper display ad readership and the dependant advertising variables that effect that take effect (Soley & James). “Retail sales category, newspaper section placement and [the] size of advertising” are all prominent areas in retail advertising and according to this article have an effect in newspaper display ad readership, and so the article provides insight and assistance when making decisions and plans for retail advertising regarding the mentioned key areas (Soley & James).



Direct-response advertising = “A type of marketing communication that achieves an action-oriented objective as a result of the advertising message” ( Wells et al. 2011 p. 462.)


Example 1 – Foxtel subscription

Example 2 – Hilton Honours Rewards email sent to me on August 6 about discounted holiday options

To my understanding direct-response advertising is exactly that, advertising that induces a direct-response! Above is a screen shot of my email account where I receive hundreds (slight exaggeration, but you get the point, I get alot!) of direct-response advertising each day as a result of direct marketing. I am a sucker for giving my details (email address) to websites in order to become a member (with no benefits whatsoever) which leaves me with an inbox full of direct-response advertising. However, it is an exceptionally valuable advertising tool, and 9 times of 10 (after whinging about it to you for a solid amount of time) I click on the link and go straight to the page that the brand wants to direct me to (the action-oriented objective complete). Sucked in! The advertising examples used in this category illustrate advertisements with a direct link to the advertising objective, whether it’s a Danoz Direct pop up ad or an email it is there to initiate a response whist giving you the resources to action that response.

Example 3 – Danoz Direct advertisement

Trade Press Article:

The above trade press article discusses the once previous use of direct response marketing and advertising by retailers is set to dip (Friedman 2012). The category is used (currently) as an advertising technique for brands because of its interactive nature. The internet age has allowed easy use for direct response advertising, as I mention earlier in my above annotation on Example 2 (email received from Hilton Rewards). However such print media product categories like newspapers and local magazines are already seeing a dip in readership, so it is only understandable that a cut to the advertising budget =, in particular a cut to direct response advertising that is in order (Friedman 2012). 

Journal Article: 

The journal article used for this category is titled Direct response advertising as an element in the promotional mix, and is taken from the Journal of Direct Marketing. This article articulates the positioning of direct response advertising as a “separate promotional mix element” away from the usual generalisation, that being it is either classified as advertising or selling (Self et al. 1987). It delves further into the possible sub-classifications of direct response advertising “based in the major direct response advertising media” vehicles (Self et al. 1987). However it is important to keep in mind that although this journal article suggests direct response advertising is to be set a part from the generalised “advertising” and “selling”, it was written in 1987 and at that time was seen to be rather groundbreaking in terms classifying particular advertising categories (Self et al. 1987).



Business-to-business advertising = simply “advertising that targets other businesses” ( Wells et al. 2011 p. 489.)


Example 1 – Vancouver Convention Centre

Business to Business advertising is pretty straight forward, as it is literally advertising that specifically targets other businesses. With that in mind, it has a specific target audience and so keeps to that small market. Upon research for this category I found large amounts of print media advertisements that used similar conservative colours, bold but not offensive copy as well as simple but effective tagline’s and copy. I found this to be a common theme across B2B advertising simply because of the target audience and the product offering. The above advertisement depicts exactly that, a conservative business-like setting with bold but not shocking copy that is clear, clever and concise, keeping to cool conservative colour tones in a calm manner.

Example 2 – Epcor

Example 3 – Beechcraft King Air 350

Trade Press Article:

I found the above trade press article interesting and relevant to this category because of its description of opposing social media platforms Facebook and Twitter in a ‘which to choose’ battle for companies seeking online advertising space. Twitter is currently falling behind, when comparing the two based on customer database specifics (Edwards 2012). Edwards writes “Advertisers on Facebook can easily target people by location, gender or education. But Twitter advertisers must guess who users are or what they’re interested in” (Edwards 2012). With the new Twitter “Interest targeting ad product” roll out, the objective is aimed at rectifying current generalised customer profiles in the business’ database, whilst also improving advertising performance (Edwards 2012). The test will be the strong business to business advertising needed to convince advertisers looking for online media space on social media platforms, that Twitter has can illustrate defined customer profiles and make for a more worthy media space than Facebook. 

 Journal Article: 

The journal article used for this category is titled Evaluating Business-to-business advertising: a comparison of objectives and results, and is taken from the Journal of Advertising Research. The article explains the growing importance of B2B advertising in 1988, putting it down to the newly directed attention to this advertising category. Other factors to the expansion of B2B advertising in terms of both use and awareness include “a growing managerial sophistication, a broader understanding of the industrial buyer, an increasing number of media and programming options, extended product benefits and attention to differential advantages, and the development of worldwide markets” (Hartley & Patti 1988). At this stage of advertising development (in 1988) personal selling was particularly prominent as a chosen advertising method, however competition in the business environment was growing and impacting on the need for B2B advertising as explored further in the journal article.



Not-for-profit advertising = “Advertising produced for a not-for-profit organisation [that is] produced at lower or minimal fees for the advertiser by advertising agencies, their suppliers and the media players, who often donate the necessary space and time” ( Wells et al. 2011 p. 469.)


Example 1 – National Gallery of Victoria

Not-for-profit advertising is the social side of advertising that doesn’t necessarily have a profit focus, but has a focus on social awareness and the notion to support the cause. The NGV – Metcard collaboration was always something that I was a part of as I would buy a new train ticket every month in year 12 (when I saw a substantial amount of NGV advertising on Metcards) and see a new NGV campaign quite often. I actually took my Metcard into the Salvador Dali exhibition to receive a discount upon entry! Basically it is the “good” side to advertisers (that I think some people believe does not exist), the side that puts money to the back of the mind and social benefit to the forefront, as the definition explains, the work by the agency and the space/air provided by the media players is either donated or heavily discounted for this greater good.

Example 2 – Guide Dogs Australia

Example 3: Salvation Army 

Trade press article:

The above trade press article taken from The Independent illustrates the confusion between a not-for-profit organisation and a social enterprise also known as a “social purpose company” (Clarke 2012). Although they seem similar, a social enterprise is an enterprise with the objective to make a sustainable income to put back into the community continuously where a not-for-profit organisation does not generate profits. Advertising used as a communication tool for both of these business types is useful and effective however a social enterprise will have to pay full rates for advertising agencies and media time/space, where a not-for-profit organisation will receive a discounted or donated rate.

Journal Article:

The journal article used for this category is titled How do not-for-profit SMEs attempt to develop a strong brand in an increasingly saturated market?, and is taken from the Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development. The study delves into the role of branding “within small to medium-sized not-for-profit organisations that are not part of the charity or voluntary sector” (Khan & Ede 2009). The findings of the study strengthen the notion of not-for-profit advertising as it eludes partnerships and companies working together (in this case, advertising agency, media space and not-for-profit organisation) “were found to be exceptionally valuable in helping the organisations establish “a name” as well as raising awareness” (Khan & Ede 2009).



International Advertising “Advertising designed to promote the same product in a number of countries” ( Wells et al. 2011 p. 466.)


Example 1 – Brazil global advertising campaign 2012 

Example 2 – ‘Best job in the world’ 

Example 3 – Levi’s “Go Forth” Global Advertising Campaign August 2011

Advertising Agency: Wieden & Kennedy

Created by Executive Creative Directors: Mark Fitzloff and Susan Hoffman

Levi’s “Go Forth” Advertising Campaign 2011 – Image 1

Levi’s “Go Forth” Advertising Campaign 2011 – Image 2

The above images taken from the current Levi’s “Go Forth” global advertising series for 2011. The global campaign is comprised of a series of TVC’s, print advertising and information dedicated to the campaign on a website directed from the brand website, URL: (Duncan 2011). The series combines “glimpses of hopeful Berlin youth in an effort to inspire positive engagement with the future” in an effort to keep Levi’s in the global denim market (Duncan 2011). Global advertising is extremely effective because of the literal global roll out, the media reaches every customer on a global scale. Levi’s have had great success with this campaign in terms of a stronger brand awareness and brand recall. However the negative implications of global advertising did take effect, when the campaign could not be launched in the UK at the same time as the rest of the world due to the imagery used in the series which resembled the British riots taking place at the time (Duncan 2012). This misunderstanding of the way that particular groups of consumers (different religions/nationalities/lifestyles/norms) is what leads to the breakdown in the impact of such global advertising campaigns. An example of this is the Australian tourism global advertising campaign which saw Australian personality Lara Bingle asks the viewer “Where the bloody hell are ya?” shocking viewers all around the world. A simple global roll out is sometimes ineffective due to the interpretation different consumer groups may have. A print media advertisement of this campaign has been supplied in the example below.

Example 5 – Tourism Australia global advertising campaign “Where the bloody hell are you?”

Advertising agency: created by the Sydney office of the London advertising agency M&C Saatchi

Trade Press Article 1:

Trade Press Article 2: 

The above trade press article discusses the success of the newly launched Tourism Australia global advertising campaign. SImon Canning for The Australian writes “For the first time in several years Tourism Australia will target domestic and international audiences with the same campaign” (Canning 2012). Tourism Australia have understood the need in this day and age for a heavy focus on digital channels and so are therefore adopting such media means for the campaign roll out.

Journal Article:

The journal article used for this category is titled Signals of global advertising appeals in emerging markets, and is taken from the International Marketing Review Journal. The journal article investigates the differences in advertising appeals relative to the emerging consumer market that has been chosen as the target audience. The findings supply a suggestion that “the advertisements from [sub-Saharan African] are homogenous in terms of the use of the cultural values underlying the conservatism dimension and heterogeneous with respect to the use of the cultural values underlying the hierarchy dimension” (Oyedele et al. 2009). This hypothesis supports the notion that global advertising in some respects is ineffective as an advertising tactic due to different cultures interpreting messages perhaps differently to the advertisers’ intent.

Reference List

Canning, S 2012, ‘Aussies get global tourism ad’, Media, The Australian, 4 June, viewed 2 September 2012,


Clarke, J 2012, ‘Welfare-to-work firm is ordered to revise advert’,, The Independent, 22 August, viewed 2 September 2012, <>

CTV and TD Bank Announce Brand Partnership 2012, Broadcaster, Business Information Group, 13 September, viewed 13 September 2012, <>

Duncan, P 2011, Levi’s Go Forth with Legacy, The Inspiration Room, viewed 2 September 2012, <>

Edwards, J 2012, ‘Why Twitter’s Signup Process Is A Huge Drag On Its Ad Business’, Business Insider, 13 September, viewed 13 September 2012, <>

Ehrenberg, A, Barnard, N, Kennedy, R, Bloom, H 2002, ‘Brand Advertising as Creative Publicity’, Journal of Advertising Research, vol. 42, no. 4, pp. 7-18, Ebscohost, viewed 3 September 2012.

Friedman, W 2012, ‘TV, Radio Ad Spend In Local Markets On Rise’, Media Daily News, MediaPost Communications, 13 September, viewed 14 September 2012, <>

Hartley, SW, Patti, CH 1988, ‘Evaluating business-to-business advertising: a comparison of objectives and results’, Journal of Advertising Research, vol. 28, issue 2, pp. 21-7, Ebscohost, viewed 3 September 2012.

Khan, H, Ede, D 2009, ‘How do not-for-profit SMEs attempt to develop a strong brand in an increasingly saturated market?’, Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 16, issue 2, pp. 335-354, Emerald Group Publishing Limited, viewed 2 September 2012.

Kelsey, B 2012, ‘Retail Ad Spending in Local Markets to Exceed $26.8B Nationwide in 2013, According to BIA/Kelsey’s Media Ad View Reports’,, The Sacramento Bee, 12 September, viewed 2 September 2012,


Nike’s Just Do It Advertising Campaign n.d., Centre for Applied Research, viewed 3 September 2012, <>

Oyedele, A, Minor, MS, Ghanem, S 2009, ‘Signals of global advertising appeals in emerging markets’, International Marketing Review, vol. 26, issue4/5, pp. 521-541, Emerald Group Publishing Limited, viewed 3 September 2012.

Retail Ad Spending in Local Markets to Exceed $26.8B Nationwide in 2013 2012, BIA/Kelsey,, The Sacramento Bee, 12 September, viewed 12 September 2012, <>

Self, DR, Ingram, JJ, McCullin, RS, McKinney, R 1987, ‘Direct response advertising as an element in the promotional mix’, Journal of Direct Marketing’, vol. 1, issue 1, pp. 50-56, Elsevier, SciVerse, viewed 3 September 2012.

Soley, LC, James, WL n.d., ‘Estimating the Readership of Retail Newspaper Advertising’, Journal of Retailing, vol. 58, issue 3, pp. 59, Ebscohost, viewed 3 September 2012.

Wells, W, Spence-Stone, R, Crawford, R, Moriarty, S, Mitchell, N 2011, Advertising: Principles & Practices,  2nd edn, Pearson, Australia.

MY Controversial Advertising.

Main Focus: Fashion Industry


On the 8th day of each month (by the time the magazines actually get to my front door it’s already a week into the month) I run downstairs, grab my mail from the letterbox, rip off the protective plastic and flip through my stunning magazines, VOGUE Australia and VOGUE America. And yes, I have to hold myself back from drooling all over the pages. I am IN LOVE with the FASHION INDUSTRY.

After reading about this part of the assessment in the IMC Unit Outline, I dug up my old Vogue collections on the hunt to be shocked! I pretended to be a regular Vogue reader (without a hidden agenda) and page after page waited to be offended by shocking content. Here’s what I found! Now, because I don’t own a scanner and because ripping out a page in Vogue is as good as loosing a finger, I found the advertisements via online sources.

It was very apparent to me when collecting the following controversial advertisements from the fashion category that it is used so often by fashion brands to create a competitive advantage and catch the viewers attention. But why? In my opinion it is because the fashion industry likes to be at the forefront of  trend-setting. Using risque, shocking and subversive imagery (usually overly sexualised) in their advertising tactics, assists fashion brands in being seen in the consumers eye as a risk-taking, trend-setting, show-stopping, fashion forward brand. “A recent study in Advertising & Society Review found that 20 percent of all magazine and Web ads involve sexual images” writes David Wallias of Adweek – media news magazine (Wallias 2012).

For those who find fashion bleak (it’s ok, I don’t judge) I have included controversial advertising from other categories, so read on! There is something here for everyone!

One more thing, just so you leave this page a little wiser and educated-up on controversial advertising, I have supplied a small discussion illustrating the objectives of the ad, the nature of the controversy and of course, my opinion under each ad.




Brand: Dolce & Gabbana

Advertisement viewed in Vogue America 2008

The above controversial advertisement depicts a young woman (model) wearing a black corest-like bathing suit paired with strappy black stiletto heels pinned down by a man of similar age wearing nothing but sunglasses and denim jeans down around his lower hips. The overall appeal of this ad is very sexy and fashion-forward. The advertising agency that composed this print media for Dolce & Gabbana have attempted to elicit feelings of sexual fantasy for women due to the use of five attractive European male models used in the ad. However the nature of the controversy surrounds the “sex sells” notion that most high-end fashion brands employ in particular advertising campaigns. Some have said this advertisement shows a demeaning side to advertising on the woman’s part, whist promoting debate about violence against women (Dolce and Gabbana Advert). It seems to me like this interpretation can most certainly be taken, though I do not see the ad like that. I believe those that are interpreting the ad to be offensive and require the brand to be more gender sensitive in their integrated marketing communications are simply not the target audience.


Brand: Harvey Nichols

Advertisement viewed by Harvey Nichols database customers by receiving a flyer promoting the 2012 pre-summer sale (Arthurs 2012)


The above Harvey Nichols advertising campaign depicts a tall, very attractive, blonde model wearing the latest summer fashion wear who appears to have “wet her pants with excitement” from the department stores’ summer sale, as mentioned by Deborah Arthurs in an online news website – part of the United Kingdom’s Daily Mail (Arthurs 2012). The ad image has accompanied copy “The Harvey Nichols Sale – try to contain your excitement”. The objectives of the ad campaign as quoted in the article by Harvey Nichols spokesperson was to be “playful and inoffensive” whilst trying to take a more creative and light hearted direction in contrast to previous campaigns by the conservative brand. The nature of the controversy surrounds the taboo topic of someone – and excuse me whilst I say this – wetting themselves. It’s not necessarily spoken about, nor has it been seen linked to a high end fashion department store in an advertising campaign ever before. I believe it is most certainly shocking and distasteful. Having a very brief understanding of the Harvey Nichols customer (after visiting the store and walking out moments later because I felt like I had stepped onto a Chanel Haute Couture runway) would allow me to say that I do not think it would have been as well received in terms of being “playful” and “tongue-in-cheek” (Arthurs 2012).


Brand: Tom Ford 2007 print media campaign

Viewed in Times magazine May 2012 issue

The above Tom Ford print media advertisement illustrated the designer men’s cologne lodged in between a woman’s bare breast covered only by her hands (fingers nails painted a sultry red). Wallis of Adweek writes, the strategy was taken “to a disruptive yet effective extreme” by creative producer Mars (Wallis 2012). The article states the following said by creative producer: ““Because [Ford] is such an out gay man,” says Mars, he “had to go against the gay stereotype” to prove the scent wasn’t just for homosexuals” (Wallis 2012). I find this an interesting take on an extremely controversial ad campaign. The bareness of the model’s breasts is enough to shock and offend me! Taking into account that the creative director of the Tom Ford brand (Mr Tom Ford himself) is in fact a homosexual, does not change the nature of the controversy, as it is simply still overly sexualised and offensive. Understanding that the ad was placed in a male dominant magazine readership does change the goal orientation in my view. I find the ad extremely tongue-in-cheek, however effective in its creative execution based on its understanding of the target audience and ad placement.


TVC1 Title: ‘Walk of Shame’ Campaign

Brand: Harvey Nichols

TVC viewed during peak time hours on main television stations in the UK during the 2011 Christmas period.

Check this out! I was quite outraged after seeing the Print Advertisement from Harvey Nichols located above (mainly because the brand is so conservative along with its customers), and so I looked into any other recently offensive advertisements published recently and I found this TVC for Harvey Nichols. Not as bluntly shocking, though still, quite offensive in its acceptance of the urban ‘one night stand’ and ‘walk of shame’ as noticed in the ad’s copy (see images 4 and 7).

The following images are screen shots from the Harvey Nichols Television Advertising Campaign, 2011. If you have a chance, here is the URL to the Advertisement via YouTube:

Image 1

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Image 4

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Image 7


As seen in the above images (screen shots taken from the TVC) and mentioned in the above article, the advertisement shows young women in the early hours of the morning making their way home after a “one-night-stand” in “last night’s” not so fashion-forward and daytime-nightime adaptable clothing. A slogan saying “avoid the walk of shame this season” then appears and is followed by a shot of a well-dressed woman confidently returning home at dawn wearing a dress from Harvey Nichols, unlike the other women (Harvey Nichols criticised for sale advert showing models wetting themselves with excitement 2012).

The objectives of the ad prove to be in line with the brand’s previous print media ad campaign (see above – “try to contain your excitement” campaign) in terms of promoting light-hearted, playful tongue-in-cheek brand awareness. The nature of the controversy lies with idea that the campaign “reinforce[s] negative stereotypes of women [who] choose to have casual sex” writes Mark Sweeney of Guardian newspaper in the United Kingdom in article located above (Sweeney 2012). Some found it to take a mocking tone as it depicted those that were less fortunate looking and most probably who could not afford to wear clothing from Harvey Nichols, in a negative light. I thought the TVC was quite clever and enjoyed the wittiness of it in a light hearted way, though I can understand where some women are coming from in seeing a clear contrast in their depiction of those that wear Harvey Nichols and those that do not.



TVC1: ‘Cleans your balls’ Campaign

Brand: Lynx

Client: Unilever

Advertising Agency: Soap Digital Creative International Agency

Viewed after 8pm on Network Nine and Channel 10 in July/August 2012

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The Lynx (and Axe, the American version of the Unilever brand) TVC campaign titled “Cleans your balls” takes sexual innuendo’s to a new level. The images above (screen shots taken from the TVC on Youtube) along with the above trade press article found on the online HeraldSun website introduce the incredibly controversial and offensive campaign. The TVC shows Australian TV personality Sophie Monk act away as a tennis professional and an authority on cleanliness. She uses the Lynx body wash to illustrate the effectiveness of the product by using sporting balls belonging to members of the audience. It was very obvious the ads were used to humour the incredible results seen through the use of the body wash, and to preview a risque and humorous toned Lynx campaign. It isn’t unlike Lynx to release such a controversial campaign. The Lynx Jet campaign was banned in some countries because of its controversy despite its incredible success in brand awareness and in sales being the most effective Lynx campaign ever.

Although some believe that the campaign is “sending teenage boys the wrong message” writes Kate Jones whilst quoting a member of the lobby group ‘Collective Shout’ (Jones 2012), I find it clever and somewhat-not-unexpected from a brand like Lynx. If it was Dove for Men then I would be 100% with the lobbyists, however, knowing how well Lynx speak to their target market, how large their market share is, and how high their brand awareness already is, I believe using shocking content like controversial advertising as a technique in this TVC is in line with the usual brand objectives, clever and innovative.


TVC1: ‘The tongue quest’, 2003

Brand: Toohey’s Extra Dry

Client: Lion Nathan Australia

Advertising agency: BMF Sydney

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TVC1: ‘Ultimate Care Down There’ Integrated marketing campaign, 2008

Brand: U by Kotex

Client: Kimberly Clark

Advertising Agency: The Brand Shop, NSW

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Article URL:

Reference List: 

Arthurs, D 2012, ‘Harvey Nichols spark outrage with ‘disgusting’ advertising campaign showing women wetting themselves’, Mail Online, Associated Newspapers Limited, 8 June, viewed 1 September 2012, <>

Dolce and Gabbana Advert n.d., Gender Links for Equality and Justice, viewed 1 September 2012, <>

Harvey Nichols criticised for sale advert showing models wetting themselves with excitement 2012,, Telegraph Media Group Limited, 8 June, viewed 1 September 2012, <> 

Jones, K 2012, ‘Sophie Monk’s Clean Your Balls ad for Lynx doesn’t wash with lobby group’,, Herald Sun, 12 June, viewed 1 September 2012, <>

Sweeney, M 2012, ‘Harvey Nichols’ ‘Walk of Shame’ TV ad avoids ban’, theguardian, Guardian News and Media Limited, 21 March, viewed 1 September 2012, <>

Wallis, D 2012, ‘The Breast of Advertising From Hooters to the cover of ‘Time,’ does the strategy sell or repel?’, Adweek, 4 June, viewed 1 September 2012, <>

ABOUT Controversial Advertising.

Controversial Advertising is a tricky topic.

Creative v. Effectiveness
“Within the advertising industry, there seems to be a never-ending struggle between those who cre- ate the advertising (“creatives”) and those advertising managers who insist that it be “effective” as mentioned in the Journal of Advertising Research (Koyer et al. 1995). The research carried out in journal article Creativity vs. Effectiveness? An Integrating Classification for Advertising, discovers consumer reactions due to emotional advertising appeals to assist with defining “advertising perceived as both creative and effective” (Koyer et al. 1995). In trying to produce new, edgy and effective advertising, some advertisers find themselves appealing to the target audience using appeals based on shock value. Some feel it’s the only way for a brand to obtain a competitive advantage.

Why the use of Controversial Advertising?
B. Zafer Erdogan, Associate Professor of Marketing Bilecik University, Turkey, noted the rationale behind brand’s using controversial advertising in his Guest Editorial in the Journal of Marketing Communications —  “it cuts through clutter and brings about a ‘shock value’ for the brand” (Erdogan 2008). Erdogan also noted that controversial advertising (in 2008, when the journal article was published) was becoming an increasing major concern to both consumers and businesses (Erdogan 2008).

What are the ‘side effects’ to Controversial Advertising?
Erdogan also touches on the negative implications of employed controversial advertising tactics, that being “banning, wastage of advertising spend, interventions from regulatory bodies, and/or customer boycotts affecting the value of brand equity” (Erdogan 2008).

Does it work?
In trying to create effective advertising by adopting controversial/shock advertising techniques – do the advertisers succeed? The Journal of Advertising Research in an examination of the effectiveness of shock advertising found that “shocking content in an advertisement significantly increases attention, benefits memory, and positively influences behavior” when compared to the commonly used appeals of “fear and information” (Dahl et al. 2003). The examination was specific to University Students and HIV/AIDS advertising campaigns, however the results can be generalised to all controversial advertising categories after understanding the increased effect on consumers due to advertising employing shock value tactics (Dahl et al. 2003).

Reference List

Dahl, DW, Frankenberger, KD, Manchanda, RV 2003, ‘Does It Pay to Shock? Reactions to Shocking and Nonshocking Advertising Content among University Students’, Journal of Advertising Research, vol. 43, issue 3, pp. 268-280, Cambridge Journals, Cambridge University Press, viewed 15 August 2012.

Erdogan, BZ 2008, ‘Controversial Advertising’, Journal of Marketing Communications, vol. 14, issue 4, pp. 247-248, Taylor & Francis Online, Swinburne University of Technology, viewed 15 August, 2012.

Koyer, AJ, Goldberg, SM, James, WL 1995, ‘Creativity vs. Effectiveness? An Integrating Classification for Advertising’, Journal of Advertising Research, vol. 35, issue 6, pp. 29-40, Ebscohost, viewed 15 August 2012.


IMC and Me.

IMC. Integrated Marketing Communications. To be formal with you very briefly, one definition for IMC is: a process for planning, executing and monitoring the brand messages that create customer relationships (Duncan, principles of advertising & IMC, 2005). Another Advertising Authority deems it a ”seamless program”. I like that. I very much believe it is a program, and an incredible one at that. My first introduction