PR: What Not to Do: Crappy Ads

I can understand the Wizard-owned InQuest running this ad (from last month’s issue), clearly targeted only at boys (or lesbians, I suppose, but I suspect the only time Wizard staffers think about lesbians is while watching two girls get it on in porn).

Vs ad

Geek question: Why is Cassie being used to promote the Legion of Super-Heroes set when she’s not a member?

Feminist question: Why doesn’t Cassie get referred to by her title, Wonder Girl? Is it suggestive of too much power for the boys to be comfy fantasizing about her? And why does she look like she’s tying herself up, with all those lasso coils?

Geek giggle: Filename pun. VS ad is v. sad.

As I said, that didn’t particularly surprise me, given the venue and audience. What did was the Pulse running this Flash ad (which I’ve broken into a sequence of screen-captured gifs; there was another girl picture I didn’t bother to capture included). They must be pretty hard up.

Pulse ad 1Pulse ad 2Pulse ad 3

Does implying your target audience member is a loser with supposedly attractive women sell a lot of mobile phone services?

Similar Posts: PR: What Not to Do: Exploiting Models § Monday Morning LinkBlogging § PR: What Not to Do: Share Too Much of Your Business § PR: What Not to Do: Raising Price Dramatically After Order § Why Are Android Users Mostly Male?

25 Responses to “PR: What Not to Do: Crappy Ads”

  1. Kevin Church Says:

    RE: The latter. My god.

  2. Michael Grabois Says:

    I can’t explain why the ad features Cassie instead of a Legionnaire, but Cassie is there because while the new deck primarily features the Legion (roughly half the deck, therefore they get top billing), the Teen Titans comprise about 1/4 of the deck, with the remainder made up of Darkseid, the events of Infinite Crisis, and the current DCU (like the 52-featured characters).

    Also, her card is technically called “Cassie Sandsmark Wonder Girl”, maybe that’s why the ad refers to her as Cassie.

    I know you said you were looking forward to this set. There’s a checklist with pictures of each card over here, let me know if there are any cards you want if it’s just a few. I have duplicates of most of the Commons and some of the Uncommons, but none of the Rares (and I only have 1/3 of the Rare set).

  3. Johanna Says:

    Cool, thanks for the offer! I’ll have to do some research.

  4. Guy LeCharles Gonzalez Says:

    I’m glad someone else noticed the Platinum ad. I wasn’t really surprised by the ad itself as much as I was by the Pulse running it.

    As for Cassie, the way Vs. works with characters whose mantles have been held by different people is they’re identified by their names first. That way you can play more than one Wonder Girl or Hawkman, but only one Superman or Batman.

  5. Dan Says:

    Does implying your target audience member is a loser with supposedly attractive women sell a lot of mobile phone services?

    -snarky elitist geek response-

    Yes, to the same people who bought Angelina and who think Rob Liefeld is a decent artist. Plus, most of them still live in their parents’ basements, so they have lots of disposable income. Though who they might talk to is anybody’s guess.

  6. Loren Says:

    I think the Platinum Ad is trying to target the moron I happened to overhear at the store this evening. He was talking to somebody on his cell phone and said, “Yeah, I’m married now. Can you believe it? To fuckin’ Heidi. Yeah, the one with the big tits. Yeah, that’s her.” He actually said that. I had to write it down.

    I just kept saying to myself, “No, I can’t believe you’re married.”

    Anyway, I imagine him being the target audience.


  7. David Oakes Says:

    Fanboy Question:

    Why are Cassie’s breasts smaller than her head? Is that allowed?

    (And what is up with her head in the ad? It looks normal in the card, as far as I can tell.)

    As for the Platinum ad, when Quesada (Jemas?) took the reins at Marvel he explicitly said they were targeting the “still lives in mother’s basement” demographic. And look where they are today. No one ever went broke underestimating the sex drive or self-loathing of a comic fan.

  8. Johanna Says:

    Guy, I’m suddenly motivated to find cards and have all the Green Lanterns duke it out. Thanks for the explanation.

    Loren, I’m speechless.

  9. Ed Sizemore Says:

    Another question, why is Cassie drawn to look exactly like the cheerleader in Heroes?

  10. Ed Sizemore Says:

    {Read the following with extreme sarcasm} When did Platinum Comics become a subdivision of Avatar? I thought they were suppose to be a distributed by Image? So when is the Lady Death crossover going to happen?

  11. Johanna Says:

    I think that question answers itself. :)

  12. Paul Sizer Says:

    I kept seeing that idiotic ad with that woman’s ass flashing me everytime I went to read stuff on THE PULSE and thought “Can we please find ANYTHING ELSE to put there?” I felt like I was at a porno site (of which I’ve only read about…)

    And of course, if I ever got into the pants of any woman drawn by Liefeld, the only thing I’d do for her is crack her back for her so she could stand up straight!

  13. david brothers Says:

    As for the Platinum ad, when Quesada (Jemas?) took the reins at Marvel he explicitly said they were targeting the “still lives in mother’s basement” demographic. And look where they are today. No one ever went broke underestimating the sex drive or self-loathing of a comic fan.

    That was Jemas, and I still can’t tell how serious he was about it. Source here.

    Bad Girls for fan boys, sometimes I call them date books. We have quite a few male readers who live in the basement of their parent’s house in Queens. For them, an evening with Elektra is as good as it gets. Tell you what though, the Marvel Universe has always had female characters front and center, and we have always had a big female following for the comics, for the X-Men TV show, and now for the movie.

    I mean, that kind of mocking is usually reserved for, uh, brutal mocking, not sales pitching. Plus, considering some of the other shenanigans that Jemas got down to during his tenure, I’m almost sure that this was 10% hype, 90% dis. Maybe 30-70. I wish I could hear his tone when he said that, though.

    More on topic- those ads are ridiculous. I’d like to not think that the average comics fan is into that, but I may be being a bit too optimistic. I wonder if any other industries use self-loathing to sell their goods?

  14. bnjammin Says:

    I agree with David Oaks. Why aren’t Cassie’s boobs bigger? DON’T THE FOLKS UNDERSTAND ANYTHING ABOUT MARKETING!??! :-)

  15. one diverse comic book nation » THE SHORT STACK: Diversity On The ‘Net - December 29, 2006 Says:

    [...] Crappy Ads – Johanna from Comics Worth Reading points out some not-so-feminist comic related ads (from Comics Worth Reading [...]

  16. Karen Says:

    I wonder if any other industries use self-loathing to sell their goods?

    The “self improvement” industry (dieting, plastic surgery, bigger boobs inna pill, etc) is always a safe answer.

  17. Lyle Says:

    Karen, good point, I recall a few friends’ stories about 24 Hour Fitness sales persons…

  18. David Oakes Says:

    As I read the sidebar for the other blogs, the picture of the redhead gets cut off right at fist level. Question their Marketing, but their Graphic Designer knows his layouts.

    (Which would be a pun, if I thought he was.)

  19. david brothers Says:

    One more thing–

    What kind of smelly, friendless nerd even has a mobile phone, anyway? Who are they gonna talk to? They don’t have any friends!

    The question of the day is, Who are they selling this to?

    Can you imagine a guy (or girl) being so hard-up that he has to buy a cell phone to ogle some poorly drawn comics girls? I mean, it’s not even Frank Cho, Amanda Connor, or Adam Hughes. It’s J. Random Liefeldson, copier of the ’90s “Big Hair, Bent Spine” style.

    The more I think about it, the more depressing that ad becomes!

  20. Mithel Says:

    Ye Gods, the spine contortions have reached Liefieldian proportions, to the escape pods!

    Also, it makes me a little bit sick that these ads could even be conceived in the first place, much less be published, and frankly, I’m insulted that they would think such a thing would appeal to me as a consumer.

    Also, RE: Losers and their phones, losers often have loser friends who they call and discuss how better to abase themselves before the idol of unrealistic sex objects in a vain hope of finding human companionship before the age of 78.

  21. notintheface Says:

    I’ve got a great idea for Rob Liefeld and his various imitators: Use these drawings to advertise for a chiropractor or a scoliosis foundation. Kind of a “Don’t let this happen to you” type of thing.

  22. Otaku-Lad Says:

    Of course you can’t get into her pants.

    Have you ever tried to get into the pants of someone 2 dimensional? Very, very difficult…

  23. Lea Says:

    Ah, that Platinum ad…it demonstrats so well why Platinum is the respected industry leader.

    And it sure makes me feel extra good about their involvement with the organization that aids missing (exploited?) children.

    Godalmighty, comics are stupid.

  24. Crocodile Caucus » Friday Tidbits Says:

    [...] of dysfunctional comic fanboys what’s up with these ads Johanna found. Hoo-boy, that’s why I only visit major comics sites when a comics blogger says there’s [...]

  25. american otaku Says:

    I agree. why do they always think that fans of comics or manga or completely dip snits. I mean, we do have a life. but I guess they wouldn’t know that because they are too busy staring at their own computer, fantasizing up these dumb ads that they thing WE would be fantasizing over. they are making what they want to see, not the other way around




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