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Dove’s New Campaign: #Choosebeautiful

posted by Nell Minow

Snickers Wins the Super Bowl!

posted by Nell Minow

The real competition at the Super Bowl is for the commercials, right? This Snickers ad is a hoot.

Super Bowl Commercials 2015: Highlights and Previews

posted by Nell Minow

Which one are you looking forward to?

Before They Were Stars: Television Commercials With Brad Pitt, Keanu Reeves, and More

posted by Nell Minow

Phil Hall has a delightful collection of “before they were stars” television ads featuring Brad Pitt, Keanu Reeves, James Dean, Morgan Freeman, Matt LeBlanc, Steve Carell, and more. Here’s one I love that he left out, with pre-“Laverne and Shirley” […]

This Girl Can

posted by Nell Minow

I love this ad! What an invigorating, empowering, life-affirming video.  Thank you Sports England.

Model With Down Syndrome in Target Ad

posted by Nell Minow

Bravo Target! An adorable 2-year-old from Minnesota named Izzy Bradley is featured in this ad for Target. She has Down Syndrome. Thanks very much to Target for understanding — and spreading the message — that all kinds of beauty are […]

Smile of the Week: A Boy and a Penguin

posted by Nell Minow

This reminds me a little of the depiction of a child’s world in The Complete Calvin and Hobbes and Barnaby. Many thanks to Slate for this and the others on its list of the year’s best ads.

Honey Maid Graham Crackers and Beta Brands Decide to Put Real People in Ads

posted by Nell Minow

Many thanks to Jezebel for highlighting these great new ads.  Honey Grahams emphasize their wholesomeness with an ad that pays tribute to a range of happy, loving families. And Betabrand has women with PhDs modeling its line of “smart fashions.”  This […]

Bud’s Aww-Inducing Super Bowl Commercial: Puppy Love

posted by Nell Minow

Jaguar Super Bowl Ad Explains Why the Best Bad Guys are British

posted by Nell Minow

Chipotle’s New Ad Has a Haunting Beauty

posted by Nell Minow

This beautiful animated film promoting Chipotle’s new game features Fiona Apple singing a haunting version of the “Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” song, “Pure Imagination.”  So, a song that once paid tribute to a candy factory is now being used […]

Dove Teaches Women an Important Lesson About Beauty

posted by Nell Minow

Offensive Reference to the Pope Added to “Last Exorcism” Movie Ads

posted by Nell Minow

“The Last Exorcism, Part 2″ looks pretty bad.  It’s a “cold open” (not shown to critics in time for reviews), which is always a bad sign.  But its recent amendment to add a reference to appear to tie the resignation […]

Interview: Jamie Bradshaw of “Branded”

posted by Nell Minow

Jamie Bradshaw and Alexander Doulerain are advertising executives and brand specialists who have written and directed “Branded,” set in a dystopian future where corporate brands have created a disillusioned population and one man’s effort to unlock the truth behind the […]

The FTC Helps Kids Understand Advertising

posted by Nell Minow

The Federal Trade Commission has an excellent website to help kids be smarter consumers.  It’s always a challenge to teach children to identify and challenge the bombardment of advertising messages they get every day.  You Are Here’s West Terrace explains targeted […]

FTC’s New Rules on Web Advertising to Kids

posted by Nell Minow

The Federal Trade Commission is proposing new rules to better protect kids online, closing loopholes that still permit companies to gather personal information about kids despite a 1998 law that was supposed to prevent it.  According to the Wall Street […]

Disney to Restrict Advertising of Junk Food

posted by Nell Minow

The New York Times reports that: The Walt Disney Company, in an effort to address concerns about entertainment’s role in childhood obesity, plans to announce on Tuesday that all products advertised on its child-focused television channels, radio stations and Web sites […]

Smile of the Week: A Tribute to Moms for Olympics 2012

posted by Nell Minow

Many thanks to my brother-in-law, Rob, a great dad, for sharing this tribute to moms.

GEICO’s New Mean Girls Ad

posted by Nell Minow

This really made me laugh.  

Marketing Legos to Boys and Girls

posted by Nell Minow

Thanks to my friends at the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood for pointing me to this look at the different way Legos are marketed to boys and girls.  I love the way the website lets you make your own mash-up. […]

Ferris Bueller Returns in a Super Bowl Ad

posted by Nell Minow

The most talked-about Super Bowl ad of the year has to be Matthew Broderick’s reprise of his most famous character, Ferris Bueller, in a Honda commercial.  How many references to the movie can you spot?

Avoid the ‘Nagging Nine’ and Over-Advertised Toys

posted by Nell Minow

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood has released their annual list of the toys that most outrageously over-advertise to children.  These are the products that clutter the channels most watched by children and the CCFC recommends parents not reward their […]

How Companies Get Kids Hooked on Brands

posted by Nell Minow

The headline is inflammatory but the facts are truly disturbing.  Business Insider’s slideshow on how companies get kids hooked on brands starts, believe it or not, prenatally, and continue through “alca-pop” candies and tobacco companies’ 18th birthday gifts to teens.

USA Today on New Techniques in Marketing to Kids

posted by Nell Minow

USA Today has an important article on new technologies for marketing to kids. With the use of new, kid-enchanting technologies, are savvy marketers gaining the upper hand on parents? Are toy marketers such as Ganz, food marketers such as McDonald’s […]

HIMYM Billboard Hijacked by New Ads

posted by Nell Minow

I really like “How I Met Your Mother,” and am delighted that older episodes are running in syndication.  But it is jarring to see that background shots have been updated to insert new advertising material.  NPR’s Monkey See blog reports […]

Darth Vader Loves Volkswagen

posted by Nell Minow

I love this commercial! Thanks to my friend Sammie Young for sharing this with me.

Worst Commercial of the Month

posted by Nell Minow

Does anyone think it makes sense to have a commercial with a child telling you which SUV is cool? The only thing the Toyota Highlander ad makes me want to do is call child protective services to kidnap that kid […]

Say No to Informercials Masquerading as Programs for Kids

posted by Nell Minow

The FCC has issued a call for public comment on the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood’s petition that the upcoming Nicktoons children’s television show Zevo-3 violates the public interest. It is the first children’s show to feature commercial spokescharacters; the […]

Don’t Trust the Toy Lady

posted by Nell Minow

The LA Times reports that back to school reports on a number of national and local newscasts have included commentary from “a young mother and ‘toy expert’ named Elizabeth Werner,” described as “perky and positive-plus” in her demonstration of seven […]

Target Spoils ‘Free to Be’

posted by Nell Minow

I’m glad to see I am not the only one who is sorry to see Target use the classic “Free to Be You and Me” song in its ads. The song from The New Seekers is a special memory for […]

The Joneses

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:R for language, some sexual content, and teen drinking and drug use
Movie Release Date:April 16, 2010
DVD Release Date:August 10, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: R for language, some sexual content, and teen drinking and drug use
Movie Release Date: April 16, 2010
DVD Release Date: August 10, 2010

Why do we want what we want? I don’t mean world peace or for our school’s team to win the NCAA championship, but why do we want a particular brand of shoe or phone or perfume? Is it because we […]

Marketing ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ and Missing the Point

posted by Nell Minow

Elizabeth Gilbert’s journey to Italy, India, and Indonesia became a wildly popular book, endorsed by Oprah and beloved by book clubs. This week, the movie starring Julia Roberts opens in theaters, and fans will be able to see the story […]

More Happy Meal Toys for Kids Promoting PG-13 Movies

posted by Nell Minow

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood is asking McDonald’s to stop giving children Marvel comics toys that promote violent PG-13 movies. The fast food giant’s latest giveaway for preschool boys features eight Marvel comic action figures, including The Human Torch, […]

How Did Old Spice Get So Cool?

posted by Nell Minow

How do you advertise a scent on television? And how do you make a product that was around in your grandfather’s era and has no connection to a celebrity or fashion label seem cool? You do it with charm, wit, […]

Shrek Sells Out

posted by Nell Minow

I loved the new Shrek Forever After movie. But I was very sorry to see that the lovable big green ogre is not just living happily ever after over in Far Far Away. He is all over the mall selling […]

Teach Kids About Advertising

posted by Nell Minow

The Federal Trade Commission has a terrific new online game for kids that will teach them to understand the difference between someone trying to tell them something and someone trying to sell them something. It’s called Admongo. The FTC’s message […]

The Battle Over Super Bowl Ads

posted by Nell Minow

On February 7, the Saints will take on the Colts in Super Bowl XLIV. And the ads are as high-profile as the game. Companies and groups must pay CBS more than $2 million in addition to the cost of producing […]

Teaching Kids Critical Thinking Skills — With Holiday Ads

posted by Nell Minow

Ellen Besen has written a worthwhile article about how to use the avalanche of holiday season advertising to give children some important lessons in media literacy and critical thinking. Many thanks to Ms. Besen for permission to reprint it here. […]

MPAA to Revise Rules

posted by Nell Minow

Following my phone meeting with Joan Graves and Marilyn Gordon of the MPAA and the FTC’s report (citing my article) criticizing the motion picture industry, the MPAA has informed me that it will be making some changes to its rules […]

Is Target the New Scrooge?

posted by Nell Minow

Is anyone as bothered by the Target Christmas commercials as I am? They have a series of commercials reflecting tighter economic times by emphasizing their low prices. Great, I’m on board with that. But these commercials would be sour and […]

‘Couples Retreat’ Poster Omits Black Stars

posted by Nell Minow

I thought there was nothing that the awful movie “Couples Retreat” could do to be more offensive. I was wrong. According to the Huffington Post, the blockbuster comedy has eliminated one of its four couples in its non-US posters. It […]

Paranormal Activity: Marketing or Art?

posted by Nell Minow

Jen Chaney has an astute article in the Washington Post about the latest movie phenomenon, “Paranormal Activity.” Like The Blair Witch Project, it is more concept than movie, taking advantage of what most would consider a disadvantage: no money. The […]

Stop Marketing of PG-13 Movies to Young Children

posted by Nell Minow

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood is circulating a petition to protest the marketing of GI Joe action figures promoting the new PG-13 movie “GI Joe.” Yes, GI Joe was a toy for decades before the movie. But these action […]

What does ‘Syfy’ mean?

posted by Nell Minow

Forrest J. Ackerman is credited with coining the term “sci-fi” at UCLA in 1954. It is the perfect way to describe the wide range of astonishing, imaginative, mind-expanding works of fiction that are grounded in some element of science, often […]

PTC Opposes Raunchy Ads from Burger King, Hardees, and Carls Jr.

posted by Nell Minow

From the Parents Television Council: The Parents Television Council condemned Burger King, Carl’s Jr., and Hardee’s for a rash of new advertisements that are taking sexual innuendo to the next level. PTC slammed the companies for their gross irresponsibility and […]

More Marketing of PG-13 Movies to Little Kids

posted by Nell Minow

My friend Liz Perle has a wonderful piece at Common Sense Media about the latest efforts to market PG-13 movies to young children. The first Transformers movie, which was rated PG-13 but lent its brand to Happy Meal toys aimed […]

Why is SpongeBob in a Sexy Commercial?

posted by Nell Minow

What were they thinking? The latest Burger King ad for a Kids Meal featuring a SpongeBob Squarepants toy is a booty-shaking adaptation of Sir Mix-a-Lot’s famous musical salute to ladies’ rear ends. This is what the Campaign for a Commercial-Free […]

Jessica Alba ‘Enhanced’ for Campari

posted by Nell Minow

What kind of lunatic would try to improve on Jessica Alba? Apparently the folks at Campari felt that the beautifully curvy star was just a little too curvy and they retouched her photo to make her look slimmer. It is […]

When Television Changed Politics: Stevenson/Eisenhower

posted by Nell Minow

NPR has a great series about political firsts, including the first woman candidate for President (Victoria Woodhull, who ran in 1872, 48 years before women got the vote) and the impact of television on political campaigns in 1952, when Adlai […]

Previous Posts

Men in Suits: Costume Designers Talk about "Scandal," "Mad Men," and More Suit-Wearing Characters on TV
The women's clothes get all the attention, but for a costume designer -- and for the actor -- a suit is just as important. Indiewire ...

posted 3:27:23pm Apr. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Interview: Matt Mamula of Celebrity Impersonator Documentary "Just About Famous"
Matt Mamula co-directed "Just About Famous," the very entertaining new documentary about celebrity impersonators. He generously took time to talk to me about the unexpected opportunities that open up when someone looks like someone who becomes ...

posted 3:59:51pm Apr. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Interview: Barak Goodman of "Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies"
Director Barak Goodman talked to me about his superb series for PBS, Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies, now available on DVD. The series is produced ...

posted 3:55:04pm Apr. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Creativity Conference 2015: Nancy Pelosi, Snoopy, and Drones with GoPros
I had so much fun at last year's Creativity Conference that I could not imagine how they could top it this year, but they succeeded. This is ...

posted 3:07:48pm Apr. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: The Little Prince
The beloved book The Little Prince has been gorgeously animated, with voices including Jeff Bridges, James Franco, and Rachel McAdams.  I love this trailer. [iframe frameborder="0" width="480" height="270" ...

posted 8:00:24am Apr. 26, 2015 | read full post »

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