Trololo Featured in Israeli Bank Ad

Cashing in (literally) on the Trololo meme and on the fact that ‘lo‘ means ‘no’ in Hebrew, Israeli Union Bank recently released a TV spot that encourages you to leave your refusal-happy no-saying laugh-in-your-face bank, and join a bank that says yes (or ‘ken’):

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dge-cE_wLds

Bank Igud TV spot – Geller-Nessis

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.

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.

Israeli Domino’s Pizza Enlarges Your Pizza and Much More

The Israeli Domino’s Pizza franchise has released its D-Crust Heroes advertisement campaign, a spin off the ol’ Little Red Riding Hood tale: in the TV commercial we meet some superheros, each of them had one of its organs enlarged: one got a big nose for smelling the garlic on the pizza, another got a big mouth to taste the pizza crust, a third has big eyes to look at the cheese – and wait for it… a fourth hero with big ears that delivers a punch line that will knock you over by saying: ‘Sounds good!’ at the end of the ad.

The campaign includes a take-out menu that was delivered with today’s newspaper, drawn like other superhero comics, only with the extra benefit of pizza ordering information. When I first laid my hands on the menu, I felt a little bit funny. Check out the image and tell me if you feel it too:

Domino's D-Crust Heroes

Now, I know superman wears his underwear on top of his clothes, and on the other hand I know that Barbie’s Ken does not have a penis – okay, I get it: fictional characters have genitalia issues – but this is getting ridiculous:
Giving the D-Crust Heroes protruding male members is going way too far, and while it may be appetizing for a portion of the population, I am not sure Domino’s executives wanted to court that specific audience.

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.

Aroma Espresso Bar Wishes Some of You A Happy New Year

Aroma Espresso Bar Wishes Some of You A Happy New Year | MaarivAs the Jewish new-year draws near, Israeli coffee shop chain Aroma Espresso Bar placed this full page ad in today’s papers, wishing us all a Happy New Year. Now, Israel’s official languages are Hebrew and Arabic, but the greeting appears in four languages: Hebrew, English, Arabic and Russian, so it seems the company went out of its way to make everyone feel welcome in the coming holiday.

Everyone?

Amharic, the mother tongue of Israeli Jews of Ethiopian descent, most of which are very observant, is missing from the ad. I would not have mentioned it, but after last year’s incident, in which Aroma’s CEO called a woman a ‘stupid, inferior black stain’ and made sure she noticed his white skin as opposed to her ‘black skin’, I’m not so sure anymore.

Israeli Advertising Agencies’ Most Annoying Habits: Inventing New Words

One of my biggest pet peeves is the Israeli advertising agencies’ never-ending attempt to make us use words they just invented. It seems that all agencies use this beaten old trick, which usually comes in the form of combining two Hebrew words into one (a portmanteau) and pummeling it over and over into the brains of unsuspecting TV viewers. Some advertisers go to the extent of inventing whole new words from scratch, a trick that does not work with anyone above the age of twelve. In most cases this pretentious trick is used while trying to sell something no one needs, or when the advertising client have no earthly idea why anyone would use his services over his competitors.

Does it count as delusions of grandeur when you invent meaningless, useless words and expect people to use them? Here are some examples of this nasty habit, published here in the hope of using shame as an incentive to be more creative:

2004 – Dan Design Center TV Ad – Stakalala

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQ9YjDFAtV4

Phrases: tormofau, bravole, stakalala, darmushe, shasto
SEO: טורמופרב, טורמופאו, ברוולה , סתקללה, סתקללה לאללה, סטקללה, דרמושה, שסטו, שאסטו

2005 – Schoko Shock – Boker Shock

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgqMCe3YHRg

Phrase: boker shock (instead of boker tov / Good Morning)
SEO: בוקר שוק, בוקר טוב, שוקו שוק, שוקושוק

2007 – Yamit 2000 – Spark

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

Phrase: spark (a portmanteau of spa and park)
SEO: ימית 2000, ספארק המים, ספרק, ספא, פארק, פרק

2006 – Ruppin Academic Center – Mehandel

2006 - Ruppin - Mehandel

Phrase: mehandel (a portmanteau of mehandes / engineer and menahel / manager)
SEO: רופין, מכללה, מכללת, מהנדס, מנהל, מהנדל

2002 – Lapam – Pasim Lev

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tmSvg2ML8E

Phrase: pasim lev (instead of tasim lev / Pay Attention)
SEO: פסים לב, תשים לב

2005 – Avis – Tsidrug

2005 - Avis - Tsidrug

Phrase: tsidrug (a portmanteau of tsi / fleet and shidrug / upgrade)
SEO: אויס, אוויס, צידרוג, צדרוג, צי, שדרוג, שידרוג

2002 – Bagel Bagel – MemaCracker

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

Phrase: MemaCracker (a portmanteau of memaker / addictive and cracker)
SEO: ממכר, מקרקר, קרקר, ביגל, בייגל, בייגלבייגל, ביגלביגל

End of Part 1