My Candidates for WIZO’s Sexist Israeli Ads for 2010

After covering WIZO’s newest annual tradition of giving out a most-chauvinistic-ad award (2008, 2009), I thought I’d one-up myself and actually suggest a couple of ads for next year’s shaming ceremony. Following are two TV spots that caught my eye, one is gratuitously sexual in a let’s-find-an-excuse-for-leering kinda way:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3f65xVB9cPs

Israeli Lottery – Gitam BBDO

The other is much less overt, much more complex, filled with misogynistic messages about work, kids, shoes and dieting:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Q2hQ41iqsU

Osem’s Lachmit whole wheat cracker – Gitam BBDO

I should probably mention that I have discussed these ads with a couple of female friends who did not see anything particularly shocking with these ads. They did note the ads’ sexist nature, they just didn’t think it was any different from most other Israeli ads.
Obviously, I disagree.

At Times It Took Real Balls

Israeli advertisers are certain that their audience loves the look and feel of the West and believe that American and European brands are perceived as better. That’s why many Israeli ads are filmed abroad and speak English, so that they will posses the illusive je ne sais quoi. It is often the case, nonetheless, that ad agencies blow their budgets on make-up and expensive suits – and still fail at hiding the Israeli qualities they deem so inappropriate.

Take a look at this Subaru TV spot that ran in Israel and try to determine if it is, in fact, Israeli-made:
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRtkI6hU-x4
YouTube

Visit Israel in Spite of Our ‘Visit Israel’ Ads

There is a long history of ‘Visit Israel’ ads that seem to miss the mark. Various organizations want the world to visit our tiny country, but apparently good intentions are just not enough, and these often result in offensive adverts. The latest spot, by the Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy (CIJA), should get some kind of an award for bad taste:

Size Doesn’t Matter – CIJA – 2010
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmdHvRxsty0

Following are a few more ‘Visit Israel’ ads you might find offensive. One thing I find common to all these ads is that they all probably started as funny jokes during a brainstorming session, but there were probably no adults in the room to say “Ha, ha… very funny, now let’s think harder”. Some of these were specifically aimed at quote-unquote going viral, hoping for a lot of FW: FW: FW: THIS IS FUNNY emails.

Un-holy Israel – Keta Keta – 2007
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjmkuIqvl8w

Indeed – Israel at Heart – 2005
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4-l8XfpkC0

WIZO Announces Most Sexist Israeli Ads for 2009

The Israeli branch of WIZO, the Women’s International Zionist Organization established in 1920, continues its annual tradition of announcing the most chauvinistic Israeli advertisements created during the past year. The worst ad will be announced during International Women’s Day, but the top ten finalists were revealed last week. Following are the most sexist TV spots of 2009 and while they are in Hebrew, sexism transcends language barriers:

Tempo’s Goldstar beer – McCann-Erickson Israel
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8goTtVdOblM

Israel Post – Glickman-Nettler-Samsonov
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_SLFzdafd7A

Trima’s Postinor morning-after pill – Armoni BATES
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CYKG7tMNuI

Procter & Gamble’s Fairy liquid – Adler, Chomsky & Warshavsky
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enmsH6dVSXw

New Hamashbir Lazarchan – McCann-Erickson Israel
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYU3FnJRwVU

First Smart Israeli TV Ad of 2009

Israeli cable TV provider HOT has recently launched an ad campaign about its video on demand service. There are a dozen or so TV ads, but only one of them is the real McCoy: a short, smart and funny commercial that flatters the viewer’s intelligence while genuinely relating to the advertised product. Check it out:
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9o07Kgbv2E
The Hebrew caption reads: Watched an entire season of CSI

Since I usually only blog about offensive ads, I thought I would change the bitch-to-praise ratio by pointing to this rare catch. If you need your dosage of venom, go and check out one of the related posts linked below.

And The 2008 Award For Best Chauvinistic Israeli Ad Goes To…

After years of raving like a lunatic, my prayers have finally been answered: I just read in the newspaper today that the Israeli branch of WIZO, the Women’s International Zionist Organization established in 1920, will start an annual tradition of announcing the most chauvinistic Israeli advertisements created during the past year. The worst ad will be announced during International Women’s Day, but for now here are three of the top five candidates:

2008 – Mey Eden TV Ad – Bauman-Ber-Rivnay Advertising
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvKijJ7wC3c
Yes, we get it. It’s a Hebrew pun: an ad for a water dispenser which in Hebrew is called a water bar – so let’s book Bar Refaeli. We get it! Now, how do we get from here to the model’s crawling on the counter? Oh, yes, and let’s name it Easy, just to make sure everyone gets it.

 

2008 – ‘Free’ TV Ad – Lin & Lin Advertising
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWpL0oSKo4U
An ample bosom lady in the form of a snack bar tells a male snack that it is all natural so he can nosh freely. Also the Hebrew verb for nosh, Tenashnesh, is phonetically close to the Hebrew verb for fondling, Temashmesh.

 

2007 – Maxim Magazine Article – Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Maxim's Women of the IDF, July 2007In its July 2007 issue, men’s magazine Maxim featured a section called The Women of the Israeli Defense Forces. Believe it or not, this was paid for by the Israeli government as a way of introducing the country to young males who may only know it from the news. While the general idea is not without merit, the very notion that the State of Israel is in the business of pimping women, well that is pretty hard to stomach.

 

The other top two candidates announced by WIZO were a TV ad for Axe deodorant and a print ad for R3 condoms. The Axe ad, in my opinion, should not have made it to the list as the ad was not created in Israel, and the R3 ad must not have made much of an impact as I couldn’t find any trace of it.

Happy Women’s Day!

P.S.
My talented sister muses in Hebrew about misogynistic Israeli ads on her Motek2 blog.

Top Ten Most Offensive Israeli Ads – Part 2

Over the years, the Israeli ad agencies seem less and less connected to the human experience and more and more willing to use anything to sell everything. In this list I attempt to countdown the most offensive advertisements created in Israel in recent years, in the hope of using shame as an incentive to be more creative.

While part 1 of this list focused on ads that were particularly insensitive towards historical tragedies of other nations, part 2 focuses on ads that use sexual harassments and hints of pedophilia as their storyline. Every time each of the following ads was criticized by the media and by consumers, the admen had the same exact response, claiming it was all done with a tongue-in-cheek approach, accusing the critics of being humorless sticks-in-the-mud.

2006 – Chipsi Free TV Ad – McCann Erickson

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71sT12KwS84

A young boy in a Hugh Heffner bathrobe tells his mom to relax as he gets a visit from two teenage blondes. Had it been a young girl getting a visit from two high school guys, there is no doubt in my mind there would have been cries of pedophilia.

2008 – Nescafé Taster’s Choice TV Ad – McCann Erickson

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIPk2aad874

The new Mrs. Robinson apparently now has a craving for instant coffee and a different bachelor, dispensing sexual innuendos that would have been considered too shallow and obvious by 1980s porn directors. Nothing new, just your run-of-the-mill insult to intelligence.

2008 – Kotex Dry & Soft Night TV Ad – McCann Erickson

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAX0rDqLCdo

This is another example of a brainstorming joke that should have never left the ad agency’s conference room. Parents watching this ad with their kids are not only forced to answer questions about doggy style and the meaning of 69, but are also forced to try and explain how sexual positions correlate to female hygiene products. Totally inappropriate.

2007 – Lighting Warehouse TV Ad – Inbar-Merhav-Shaked

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JS1muFSM8ZU

Miki Buganim, an Israeli hairstylist and a D-List celebrity, harasses salesmen with lighting-related sexual innuendos, looking for something for his bedroom, appreciating the fact that it bends – the light fixture, that is – and upon hearing about the 70% discount, stating he would have also agreed to 69.
Since I find a good portion of all Israeli ads to be superficial and insulting to the intelligence, I actually consider this ad to be refreshing, believe it or not. Buganim, an effeminate gay guy, sexually harassing other people in a commercial, is actually progress in a twisted kinda way. Just like gay couples who want to hop on the marriage wagon, clearly seeing that half of the straights experience buyer’s remorse – when a gay guy sells, you know Israeli society had made some progress.

Walking Without Excessories Is Like Walking Around Naked

In the last couple of years it became common practice for Israeli newspapers to stuff themselves with supplements which look at first like genuine newspaper addition, but are actually just advertisements posing as articles. This is an effort, I assume, to give the inherit deceitful nature of advertising an air of objective news coverage.

[singlepic id=9 w=150 h=230 float=right]There is one such monthly supplement about cell phone models, one about office equipment, and a few that feature an array of products, linking fashion trends with things you can purchase. A new supplement which fits the latter is titled: URBAN – GET A LIFE STYLE [sic].
When I first laid my hands on it I thought I was reading it wrong, as I myself often feel the uncontrollable urge to tell people searching for style to get a life – and so having the very source of evil inadvertently tell the same to its readers, thinking it is a clever play on words – well, that just brightened up my day.

I started flipping through the magazine and had to really fight my gag reflex. The pages were filled with pseudo-new-age mantras, one nauseating mantra before each of the magazine sections [emphasis and capitals theirs]: It’s not who you’re sleeping with BUT where in the lodging section, Food is like desire. It’s much better in a PRETTY package! in the dining section, It’s not who you’re talking to BUT what you’re talking with in the cell phones section, There are two ways to achieve HAPPINESS: Be in love or drink fine wine in the wine section, There’s electricity in the air GET IT! – yes, you guessed it – in the electrical appliances section.

And then I hit the mother lode in the accessories section:
[singlepic id=10 w=450 h=662 float=center]
You see, it is quite rare to be able to summarize a critique into a single sentence, much rarer to be able to summarize it to a single word – but to find one such word published by the very people the critique speaks against, well that is as close to force majeure as you can find.

Yes, excessories is exactly how I would spell the unnecessary daily purchases done by people trying to fill the void in their soul, and here it comes from the advertiser’s mouth. Oh! The humanity…

Epilogue:
When I first stumbled upon the website Engrish.com which meticulously documents the Japanese’s futile attempt at mastering the English language, I laughed so hard at ‘those stupid Japanese’. I assume this is exactly what non-Israelis do when they look at us, as we also show the same negative correlation between how cool the natives revere the English language and how poor their actual English-language skills are.

Heap of Garbage – Israeli YouTube-Wannabe and Its Pathetic Promotional Campaign

Heap of Garbage: heep ad on MySpaceHeap of Garbage: heep ad on YouTubeI have noticed a recent trend with the ads I am being shown while surfing. Whether I am on Gmail, YouTube or MySpace, I often see ads for heep.co.il, a lame Israeli YouTube-wannabe, and those ads always leave a bitter after-taste. While each ad might be different, they have something in common: all of them insinuate that at the other end of a single mouse-click there are plenty of videos waiting to cater to your every voyeuristic need. Now I am no prude. I can handle porn ads as much as the next guy, but I don’t like them served to me on regular mainstream websites (via Google). I think this sly way of trying to lure you into their website is pathetic.
Heap of Garbage: heep ad on Gmail
YouTube got to where it is today by hard work which created positive word of mouth – but I guess the heep guys over at heep think the Israeli weather is just too hot for actual honest work.