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CIL Paint’s newest gambit? Colour me manly

1. Hey ladies, do you have trouble convincing your man to help out around the house? Perhaps you should consider renaming all the chores "drinking beer." Because advertising apparently doesn't play the hoary gender card enough, CIL Paints has come up with a way for women to involve their resistant partners in picking paint colours, by using more male-friendly names. He doesn't like "Shy Blossom"? Try calling that green colour, "British Teeth." He's not partial to "Romance"? Rename it "Duct Tape Light" and he'll be sold. Until Sept. 30, men and women can offer their own suggestions for new names, on the company's Facebook page; the most popular alternative names will be published in a special brochure, to hang alongside the paint chip displays in stores. We can't wait to see the colours "Burp" and "Fart."

2. Which – okay, we admit it – is what usually happens whenever we visit a fast-food joint. But that's our choice to make as adults, right? Kids don't have the same ability to know what's good for them, which is why marketers face restrictions when it comes to advertising to the young 'uns. At least in theory. But a new study from Yale's Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity indicates that marketers are skirting regulations through product placement in shows that are ostensibly targeted to adults but popular with kids. Coca-Cola comes in for particular criticism, with the academics saying the that of all brand messages kids were exposed to over a year, Coke products accounted for 70 per cent of them. Which means that, no matter who gets the American Idol crown, Coke is always the real winner.

3. Old Spice is a winner too, right? At least you'd think so if all you cared about was the number of people who've watched its videos. But sometimes marketers forget that they're trying to, um, actually sell things. Last week, the body wash brand staged a video face-off between Isaiah Mustafa and the romance novel cover-boy/straw man Fabio. (No surprise: Mustafa won.) So far, according to Advertising Age, the dozens of videos have been seen more than 17 million times and accounted for over 50,000 comments. Sales of the P&G-owned brand are down 24 per cent in the four-week period ended July 10 versus the same period last year. Will the new campaign turn the tide? Heck, if it means never seeing Fabio again, we'll buy a bottle of the goo.

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4. We would have loved to have been a fly on the wall in the meeting where Old Spice pitched Fabio. If some TV producers have their way, that could happen: executives from Studio Lambert, the company behind Undercover Boss, have been trying to woo ad agencies to participate in The Pitch, a reality show about the industry slated to air on AMC, the Mad Men network. At least, it would air on AMC if it gets made, but so far it looks as if the studio hasn't signed any agency. So, okay, if their American counterparts are cowards, this could be a great opportunity for Canadian agencies to step up to the plate. Because they've definitely got nothing to hide, right? As long as they keep the burping and farting to a minimum.



Simon Houpt

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About the Author
Senior Media Writer

Simon Houpt is the Globe and Mail's senior media writer, charged with covering the industry's transformation. He began his career with The Globe in 1999 as the paper's New York arts correspondent, covering the cultural life of that city through Canadian eyes. More

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