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25th March
written by Tony
Is this about Jesus in Australia? Or is this a message to Australia?

Is this about Jesus in Australia? Or is this a message to Australia?

Recently my company did some work for the Nashville Advertising Federation for their 2009 Addy Awards ceremony. Unfortunately for Nashville, there aren't that many agencies, let alone good agencies, doing ad work. Let's just put this in perspective by saying that Bohan Agency won around 50% of the 213 gold and silver Addys awarded. Literally. I designed the artwork placards, so I know. Also, every time the announcer said "Gold Addy Award" we all thought he said "Go Daddy Award" (who knew this was an internet/hepcat event?). Anyway, there were a couple of standouts that both won Gold Addys that I wanted to share (see above, left, for number one) and are the reason I am starting a new category for the blog: the Bad Design Award. I've got nothing against Jesus, he sounds like a nice guy, but why is he in Australia? Why do I need to follow him there? I hope he flew coach, those tickets are pricey. Bring a camera? Or is this supposed to be read as "It all comes back to Jesus: Follow Him Australia" where the message is directed at the country itself? There was a whole campaign of these advertising Jesus doing various things in various countries (and parts of Australia) and not one of them made sense. But the real highlight of the night was this little chestnut:
Really? REALLY? This is your ad campaign? Blatent mysoginy? That takes guts, sir.

Really? REALLY? This is your ad campaign? Blatant misogyny? That takes guts, sir.

Wait, is it 1950 again? What happened here? The ad feels so modern and clean, but when you read it you realize that, HOLY SHIT, they are saying change your body to meet the unrealistically high standards of beauty set by Hollywood or you will lose your husband. This is an advertising fail, no contest. It may be one of the most backwards, disgusting and also insulting and sexist ads I've ever seen. It won a Gold Addy, by the way. This ad makes me stabby. I realize that plastic surgeons have to eat, too, but come on. Do we really need another thing telling women about how they have to be insecure about their bodies? If women knew how men really felt about their bodies, really knew, plastic surgery and weight watchers would go out of business tomorrow, because ladies. Ladies (said like Demetri Martin in his These are Jokes routine). We love you the way you are. We say it every day, but we really do mean it. The few men out there who actually are brazen enough to express some sort of preference for plastic, ultra-bony model-types are asshats, and should be regarded as such.
Jesus. And not just in Australia.

Jesus. And not just in Australia.




  1. Ben

    that plastic surgery ad makes my head spin. Who looks at that in this day and age and says “Yes I believe that’s exactly what we’re trying to get across to our customers.” Sad.

  2. 03/25/2009

    I really, really hate that plastic surgery ad. It’s terrible and I agree, totally misogynistic. I can’t believe that dreck won anything except scorn.

  3. Simona

    Wow. Just… wow.

  4. taryn

    Oh man oh man, i sure do hope you write more “Bad Design” posts because this one is hilarious!
    I especially love the little reminder to tourists to “bring your camera”. No, i’m sure they’re going to travel thousands of miles to just commit everything they see to memory. Or is the “bring your camera” related to how they might see Jesus in Australia? And who was behind this campaign?! Please tell me it was not the local Australian consulate, because: oh my. This was an ad worthy of being up in Murray’s office…
    And the cosmetic surgery ad: why does it look like she has a shiner on her right cheek?! Did her husband hit her cuz she was ugly? And the photo on the right is really missing a Homer Simpson-like “D’oh!” caption to make it complete.

    More, more!!

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