“It’s Not a Good Look”

Photo of a bus shelter ad in Belfast showing a comic illustration of a young woman looking forlornly into a mirror: "I was high on acid and started throwing my poo at people. Now my friends won't talk to me."

Either the advertisers in Northern Ireland have strange imaginations or the acid there is really, really good.


The Best TV Ad Ever?

How’d I miss this gem — a TV ad for Cullman Liquidation, who sell mobile housing?

This line from the ad is pure bad-ass:

A bouncer in Birmingham hit me in the face with a crescent wrench five times and my wife’s boyfriend broke my jaw with a fence post. So if you don’t buy a trailer from me, it ain’t gonna hurt my feelings. So come on down to Cullman Liquidation and get yourself a home. Or don’t. I don’t care.

Celebrated film director Errol Morris calls this – and apparently without irony — “the best commercial ever made” and says “I should be so lucky as to achieve this level of excellence.”

The ad became a big YouTube hit, requiring Cullman’s saleswoman to make this video:


Cream of Wheat and Ice Cream. They’re Both Creams, So They Go Together, Right?

1956 advertisement for Cream of Wheat hot cereal suggesting that you serve it with a scoop of ice cream.Click the photo to see it at full size.


Talking to the Kids in Their Language


When I was young, I used to cringe when adults made clumsy, if well-intentioned, attempts to speak in what they thought was “youthful slang” in order to make a connection with us.

Now that I’m one of those adults, I can’t tell for sure whether the message in this poster (which I saw in the Toronto subway yesterday) comes across to today’s net/text-speaking youth as clever or clumsy. I’m torn – should my reaction be LOL or WTF?

(And is it me, or does the expression on the guy’s face say BRB?)

This article also appears in Global Nerdy.

It Happened to Me Toronto (a.k.a. Accordion City)

That’s a Little TOO Neighbourly for Me!

While biking down to the Hacklab (which I use as a day-to-day workspace) on Dundas Street West this morning, I noticed this ad at the Landsdowne bus stop’s shelter:

Bus shelter featuring the ad "My Neighbour Jerks My Chicken"

“My Neighbour Jerks My Chicken” might sound like the sort of situation that would make for a pleasant freshman year in a dorm, but in this case it refers to the Jamaican style of cooking in which you dry-rub meat with jerk spice. It’s pretty tasty, and I recommend trying it if you’ve got a Jamaican restaurant in your neighbourhood.

Speaking of restaurants in your neighbourhood, that’s what these posters are all about: encouraging you to support your local businesses. There are plenty of great ones around my place – Sweet Flour, My Place, Bloor Meat Market and Crema Coffee come to mind – and I’m sure that there are plenty of businesses in your ‘hood that deserve your business.

If you look closely at the bottom of the poster, you’ll notice that they were sponsored in part by Tabia, the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas:

Closeup of the "My Neighbour Jerks My Chicken" poster

A little farther east on Dundas, I stopped to take a picture of a less racy poster in the series:

Another poster: "My Neighbour Saved My Marriage"


Algoma University’s Unusual Ads

I saw these posters for Algoma University yesterday:

algoma posters

There’s always been an implicit promise of freedom in going away to university, but this is the first time I can recall where it’s been used as an actual selling point.

I don’t think that this campaign is a good idea. Algoma’s got some things going for it – as a techie, I’m aware of their $6 million technology wing and game development courses. I think that any good qualities that Algoma may have are tarnished by these ads’ “Live the dream — No curfews! Dress like a skank!” message. In trying to hit 18 or 19 year-olds yearning to break free from their parents where they live, they’re cheapening the school’s image and the value of an Algoma degree.

What do you think?

Geek Life

Burger King’s Windows 7 Whopper

To celebrate the release of Windows 7, Japanese Burger King franchises are offering a Windows 7 Whopper with 7 patties, selling for 777 Yen (CAD$8.92 as of this writing), available only for the next 7 days. I have no idea why they’re not doing this on this side of the Pacific; I’m sure it would be a big hit:


According to Julie from ObjectSharp, the Japanese text after “13cm” says “American-size buns”.

[Thanks to Ian Irving for pointing this to me!]

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection and Global Nerdy.