There are two major, intensely awful ad campaigns coating Seattle in their slime.

I noticed the “New Busy” ad campaign a few months ago.

Take all of these slogans and put “The New Busy” in front of them.

There’s a couple more, one that I have seen and one that I haven’t run into yet.

There’s been a lot of commentary about the bad grammar, the incongruity of the slogans, etc. I mean, exotic animal shaped pancakes? Is that indicative of the New Busy’s vain attempt to win back the children they’ve been ignoring?

What I’m really interested in, is how Hotmail is supposed to help us with this. I mentioned once that the New Busy used Gmail on their Smartphones, and I would like to add that the New Busy probably find Hotmail useful as a spam collector — an email address they can ignore. I know people who still use Hotmail, of course, but for the most part I think everyone is over on Gmail or a personal domain by now.

What I find really irritating about this ad campaign is that Gmail has spent a lot of time making a better product, and while Google is arguably going down-hill in the product department, Gmail is a really useful tool for most of us, as is Google Voice, Google Apps, and the calendar application. Some people seem really into Google Wave. Google reader is a big tool for collecting RSS feeds. Where is all of this with Hotmail? Is Hotmail trying to become a multi-purpose tool the way Gmail is, or the way Facebook is? It just won’t be a competitive service until it does that. If it doesn’t interface with your Android and do 20,000 things all at the same time, it’s going to fail as a product. And the money Microsoft is sinking into this campaign — while I respect the graphic designers it is supporting — should probably be pumped into making Hotmail more effective.

The New Busy are busy, not stupid.

And speaking of stupid, this intensely offensive campaign has recently popped up:

That was the first one I remember seeing. I’ve glanced at all of them — which you can check out here — and while I agree with this argument about the campaign at large, there are some that I find less offensive, or just sort of … what?

This one is sort of cute, although I feel like it just killed my imagination
Right. And ends up with STDs like crazy.
What. the. hell. is going on in this picture?
Mmmmm, lady meat.

Advertising is a weird thing. These are things that catch my attention, certainly, but I am less likely now to consider Hotmail or Diesel Jeans, because I find the campaigns offensive. You know what this reminds me of, though? The new McDonald’s campaign that appeared some years ago.

Kind of clever, but doesn't get me any closer to actually consuming one of these

These ads, which continue to appear, are snarky, which is clearly aimed at the more lackadaisical “people my age,” who don’t care what they eat. While I’m not strictly on a diet myself, I haven’t eaten mega-chain fast food in 5 or 6 years.

Now, are theatres getting in on the game? Not quite to this extent, although I recall a Seattle Shakespeare poster from this past season that looked a lot like the “Legally Blonde: The Musical” poster:

Oh my god, thou gents.

And then there’s this nicely sexist one:

Check out how these three ladies are actually the same image

Oh! And one more that drives me craaaaaaaaaaaaazy:

She's got the crazy eyes! Run!

So yeah. Advertising is a tricky thing. I guess that was my point. You can alienate an audience reeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaally quickly, or pick up a one-shot audience, with the wrong kind of advertising. Not that I have a solution to this, at the moment.

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