Saturday, March 24, 2012

‘Show Her it’s a Man’s World’

Political correctness was a long way off for the advertising salesmen of Madison Avenue when they successfully pitched these brand campaigns.

These genuine adverts from the 1960s were breathtakingly unconcerned with sexism as they appealed to men's macho side, using images of subservient women as a way to flog everything from crinkle-free trousers to questionably-patterned ties. The popularity of hit series Mad Men, due to return for its fifth season, has kept many hooked on an era when drinks were strong, suits sharp...and women kept firmly in their place.

Trampled: This advert for Mr Leggs trousers reads, 'Though she was a tiger lady, our hero didn't have to fire a shot to floor her. After one look at his Mr Leggs slacks, she was ready to have him walk all over her. That noble styling sure soothes the savage heart! If you'd like your own doll-to-doll carpeting, hunt up a pair of these he-man Mr Leggs slacks such as our new automatic wash-wear blend of 65 per cent Dacron® and 35 per cent rayon incomparably wrinkle-resistant. About $12.95 at plush-carpeted stores'

Spirit of the times: Classic adverts for Fleischmanns' Whiskey 
Getting into knots over gender inequality with this ad for Van Heusen ties

Domestic blitz: This advert was genuinely aimed at housewives to entice them to buy tins of Chase & Sanborn coffee

Downtrodden: The advertising profession, centred on Madison Avenue, New York in the 1960s was a male-dominated profession which produced adverts like this for female consumers

Igniting the issue: A woman acts as a human ashtray as the advert claims that single girls are switching to cigar smokers because he'll treat her like a cigar - 'tenderly and appreciatively'

Back with a bang: Viewers have been enthralled with the advertising profession of the 1960s thanks to the success of Mad Men which is entering its fifth series

(^) Turtle Tree Creations - Where Alchemy Happens... Naturally ;)

Branding Wisdom

Two minutes ago I wrote the following. Now its already gone and writ. I used to wonder why writers write and painters paint and cooks cook. Ask a stupid question and you get a stupid answer. Look for the obvious and its right there; like the nose on your face.  But it takes to see even if you've had the good karma of being blessed with a 20/20 vision. Or time even if your ears can hear the Dog Whistle. And some bad odor to realize you the proud owner of a pretty sensitive nose!

I open Facebook and it greets me with "Update Status?" as if prompting and prodding me to do something I should not do with an invisible question mark. So I gamely take the bait and dive right in! It went something like this: 

If this is on a personal note of a status that needs to be updated than it becomes an impersonal take. But what is there to hide anyways? We all bleed red beneath the colored skins we wear. 
This borrowed skin shrinks in time, as all good things are want to; and should that be the case of the basket, we might as well take a good look at ourselves and then refocus the filtering button through which we view the world. If all things are constantly changing and that change is just natural phenomena at work, why get all worked up over that trillionth useless invention? 

There is a good reason why man-made things tend to bother and cause suffering to man himself first, and then through bad networks, whosoever comes in his way. We are already here; already born and already dying- 
if such be the truth of things, then every moment you are alive is a miracle. 
Its life itself living, breathing and expressing. 
Now what more is there to calculate? Life is suffering is the First Noble Truth. It is not a lie. And there is good reason behind the pain: for we are most alive when we are most vulnerable, weak and destitute. Just remember that and you'll grow strong. And then remember the irony of it all. Have a laugh at yourself; and then remember to let go and let go of the remembrances too. 
Now have a fvckin jolly good weekend! This was then and in the moments that also went bust, I managed to break a tea saucer and smoked up a fag. There was this line, attributed to the Talmud, that gobsmacks me. It says "Wherever you look, there is something to be seen." Now it comes like a flash flood. Every ad you've ever seen, and I'm talking man-makes-things here, is filled with coming back and coming back to life. The scriptures say everything is Dharma. The ad emphasizes that point by declaring catch-phrases such as "Just Do It"- "Impossible Is Noting" "It Gives You Wings" "Because You Are Worth It" 
"Bring It On" and Coke's latest hit- "Open Happiness."
Its a veritable list of unabashed consumerism telling you what you should buy and that you are missing out on the fun and the party. Well here's a trick- it also teaches you everything that is in excess and all of the things you Do Not Need. It tells you to comeback and be here and that you are really whole and then some. There is an underlying tone of true grit that is constantly telling you of all the non-important factors that complicate your life. What you get is really up to how you interpret the message.
This is perhaps the one thing we are good at: preaching what we don't practice and not-practicing what we love to preach, and that timeless vice that keeps adding as advice. As a kid, its a bitch, and as you have experiences that brings you down several notches or a rank or two down, you revisit those ad-vice and realize the ad in it without any malice.
"Rigpa Dim" used to be a frequenter when I was growing up. I always thought my parents meant it to show they care- and now it proves they were caring indeed and that simple counsel now takes on a conjecture of universal proportions!

It meant "Take Care" when I was young. Since then, its taken many forms. The first one has been "Be Mindful"; the second "Be Aware" and the third to remember the first two and to try and put things in perspective with the Right View. All in all, I guess it basically boiled down to being the best that you can aspire to be in any given context. So when you see an ad featuring JA endorsing a Garnier product and it ends with the message "Take Care"- its really Rigpa Dim!
Or the bubble gum ads that go "Dimak Ka Batti Jalao"- literally brighten up your consciousness is what I read into. There's the other classic that goes "Sirf Zaban Ko Lagam Lagata Hai, Hath Ko Nahin"- (it keeps your mouth shut and your hands free). If everything is interconnect with a mysterious pipe made out of a spiritual fiber; then poetry flows in those commercial taglines and catchphrases... Its not what they wanna sell, although that's what they'd love, its up to you to say good buys to the non-essential bad-wants and take what is given, and displayed everywhere for free. Just as Nature does.
Now do the following: Go through the Hidden and Subtle, and the Obvious alternative take on these seemingly-dollar-oriented ads teasing the shit outta you. And see what you can take, use or be inspired by, after all, You Are Worth It!

Pithy slogans and rhyming jingles are the centerpieces of advertising language, and they are made with the essential elements of poetry—compression and memorable patterns of repetition. Most poets would say, however, that advertising uses poetic language to serve the practical goals of commerce, while “real poetry” is made in search of a kind of truth that is nothing like a sale. Poetry and advertising have had a long and somewhat prickly relationship in this modern age—a fact I’ve been reminded of this week, by this recounting of the old story about Marianne Moore and the naming of the Edsel:
From The New York Times:
Poetry in Motion,” by Danny Heitman
“It seems that we’ve done just about everything to get the American auto industry out of the doldrums. We’ve forced bankruptcies. We’ve exchanged cash for clunkers. But have we tried poetry?... The question is brought to mind by the story of Marianne Moore, the famous American writer, who served for a brief season as the Ford Motor Company’s unofficial poet laureate.”
Quoting Heitman’s line that “These days, poetry and commerce are rarely on such good speaking terms,” The New Yorker offered a contemporary counterpoint in ad-woman/poet Ada Limon:
from The New Yorker:
The Book Bench, Driving Force,” by Jenna Krajeski
“I’m always surprised that there aren’t more poets working in advertising, marketing, or copywriting....”
And looking back a little further, there’s another point of view in Martin Espada’s response to the Nike Poetry Slam:
from LiP magazine: (1998)The Poetics of Commerce, Martin Espada on the Nike Poetry Slam,” by Martin Espada
“I confess that I am a poet of situations. I have written poems for weddings, birthdays, and holidays. I wrote a New Year’s poem for the radio. I wrote a poem for the 25th anniversary of a magazine, and so the number 25 had to be featured in the poem. I even wrote a poem called ‘Pitching the Potatoes’ for an anthology of poems about potatoes. Then I was asked to write a poem for a Nike commercial. This was the Nike Poetry Slam....”

Poems pop up in advertisingin public art pieceson busses and trains—and now UK supermarket chain Morrisons has brought poems into the grocery store. To help you “rhyme your way to cooking confidence,” Morrisons has hired British poets John Mole, Ian MacMillan and Peter Sanson as Food Laureates and asked them to create mnemonic poems, rhyming recipes for their favorite dishes. There’s also a poetry competition offering a month’s free shopping worth £500 for the best rhyming recipe submitted by a reader—so get to work, poets! It’s not every day that you get the opportunity to turn your poetic skills into food on the table.

The great poets capture human experience in memorable lines, so it is only natural that people turn to the words of the poets in times of crisis and change, to illustrate the summing-up of a life that has ended, to encapsulate the memories of the person who has died in the hearts of those who remain behind.

The passing of Senator Ted Kennedy has been marked with poems by William Wordsworth and Robert Frost. President Barack Obama described Ted Kennedy as “the Happy Warrior,” quoting Wordsworth’s poem of the same name, in his public eulogy at the funeral services last weekend. And when the U.S. Senate paid tribute to Kennedy this week with somber speeches and a long moment of silence, his desk was occupied by a copy of Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken.”\ScrollDownForMoreAdsThatGoSkinDeep

PS: YourLustForLifeStartsRightNow!

(^) Turtle Tree Creations - Where Alchemy Happens... Naturally ;)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tuesday, March 6, 2012