Majorska’s Silent (Sales)Woman

Majorska Premium Vodka bus ad

This piece starts off as a conventional alcoholic beverage ad in that a shapely — and for all practical purposes unclad — woman is displayed in close proximity to a liquor bottle. The similarity of the auburn hair of the model to the scarlet curtains framing the label further associates her with the product.

The red border of the entire poster suggests that this is a traditional Russian brand. The background includes orange and yellow and the letters give the appearance of black and white stripes. These are nature’s colors and patterns for demanding attention, often to warn that the bearer is poisonous as with the coral snake or the lion fish.

What’s particularly unnerving about the image is that the young lady’s head and legs are cut off, excising personality from sexuality. Is this just to focus attention on the charms barely contained by a bikini? In English pub signs similar “silent woman” images are not uncommon. At the very least, some simmering hatred of women is required to appreciate this motif.

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Hoboken PATH 2005 Michelob faceless woman ad

In 2005, Anheuser-Busch installed a similar “silent woman” image on the floor of the Hoboken NJ PATH subway station. Because of the nature of the graphic and that commuters were compelled to walk on the picture of the woman’s body, activists demanded the ad’s removal.

People walking on Hoboken PATH 2005 faceless woman ad

Remy Martin Things Are Getting Interesting billboard

Remy Martin Things Are Getting Interesting billboard

Liquor marketing often targets non-Caucasians. After all, starting as it did with the Indians, sales of alcoholic beverages to people of color is as American as apple pie. Certainly the makers of Remy Martin will not mind if this billboard attracts African-Americans to the brand. Be that as it may, this smart ad actually seeks a much wider, general audience. Here an African-American stereotype is what’s being promoted — specifically the idea of sexual superiority. Those struck down by feelings of inferiority along the lines of Robin William’s quip concerning condoms in the film Good Morning, Vietnam (available in three sizes: large, medium, Caucasian) now have hope: You can buy it in a bottle!

The African-American man in the image is obviously irresistible to women, who — quite literally — can’t keep their hands off of him. The Hispanic and Asiatic women are types that the average man will often see and perhaps work with, but not really know. These women are likely to be characters in fantasies, perhaps unconscious. The man is brown-skinned. This color actually seems to be reflected by the amber-toned women. In the background there also appears to be brown paneling, as might be expected in a tavern.

The Remy Martin Centaur logo is on the right. Quite clearly the ad’s crafters had no uncertainty about the existence of symbols operating subconsciously. The icon from the unconscious serves as an unconditioned stimulus. This representation of the mythic creature combines a number of phallic symbols. The centaur is a man who is a powerful beast below the waist. The position of the arms forms a straight line pointing up that is parallel to the about-to-be-thrown spear.

This Remy Martin billboard attempts to invoke an Imitative Magic spell as described by Frazer in the Golden Bough. The ancient mode of thought works this way: African-Americans possess sexual power. African-Americans have brown skin. Remy Martin cognac is brown, so drinking Remy Martin will transfer / confer sexual power to the imbiber.

SEO and Flash

By
Anthony Olszewski

For a Site to impress people, Flash is required. At the same time, Google needs text “sub-titles” to make sense of what’s on the screen. The Site must use search engine optimization to entertain two audiences.

The Landing Page method of listing the Flash’s text content is one way to provide guidance for search engines. The auxiliary search term text-enriched Landing Page Links to the Flash Page or Pages.

Having the .swf jewel in a standard HTML setting is something that can be used, too. In addition to the <title>, keyword and description meta tags, and an unobtrusive text navigation footer, static images with ALT tags can often be deployed.

Google does index Flash Pages. The current state of the technology is if you do an advanced search limiting the file type to .swf, you get lots of entries, but without any sort of consistent value. My quick impression is that most of these “Flash” Pages are really defective uses of the technology. Also, Flash is often delivered through a javascript. Search engines can’t be relied on to be aware of javascript. The belief is that If the search engine is blind to javascript, the best SEO-tuned Flash will have no effect.

Google continues to recommend viewing a Page in Lynx to “see” a Page like a bot — only the text that’s fit to print:
http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=35769

Doing a regular Google search, how often are Flash Pages high (or at all) in the results? Is it possible for Flash Pages without any SEO in the code to get a high ranking? Do a search using chocolateas the term. Some people point to hersheys.com as a top-ranking Flash Site. But, even though the Main Page is basically exclusively Flash, the rest of the Site has plenty of text and lots of conventional elements. (See below.)

And, in terms of chocolate, Hersheys can bend the rules.

All of the above ignores Backlinks. Without a way of deploying Links, the most SEO-fecund Site will be like an egg without a hen to attend the hatching process. Patience is not necessarily a virtue.


<meta content=”Shop unique, personalized chocolate gifts from HERSHEY’S brands you love. HERSHEY’S Gifts specializes in personalized candy for birthday gifts, thank you gifts, holiday gifts, wedding gifts and more. HERSHEY’S Gifts also offers MAUNA LOA Macadamia Nuts, Special Message KISSES Chocolates and Fresh from the Factory. ” name=”description” />

<meta content=”chocolate gift, chocolate gifts, chocolate, candy gift, candy gifts, gift basket, gift baskets, chocolate gift baskets, food gifts, chocolate personalized gifts, personalized candy, personalized chocolate gifts, birthday gift, birthday gifts, hershey, hersey, Hershey candy, Hershey chocolate, hershey gifts, hershey’s, hershey’s gifts, macadamia nut, macadamia nuts, mauna loa ” name=”keywords” />

<title>HERSHEY’S GIFTS – Unique, Personalized Chocolate Gifts Everyone Loves</title>

Bacardi work late on your friendships billboard

Bacardi work late on your friendships billboard

An interesting image for it promotes the use of alcoholic beverages in general as much as it does the Bacardi brand in particular. This shows that competition is not necessarily between products. The adversary here is not primarily other liquors, but, rather, habits not conducive to consumption.

The distribution of the suggestion “WORK LATE ON YOUR FRIENDSHIPS” provides a rationalization for not spending extra time at the job. The mental gymnastics are equating time spent drinking in the company of others with “work” and “friendship.” Who would argue that these are not both good things?

The bat in the circle graphic very much resembles a balloon, thus associating the product with festive occasions. After seeing these pictures of floating bats, a balloon might act as an unconscious reminder of the logo and so serve as a trigger for buying Bacardi.

Absolut’s version of femme sole?

Absolut Twist billboard

Here we have an Absolut billboard that at first seems to be very similar to their Lemon Drop Citron ad. Both feature a blond model and a bottle of Absolut on a table. Actually, the communications could not be more different.

In this Twist ad, the table is quite prominently set just for one. The room is characterized by a series of circles — large letter “Os” — that make up targets with the focus as dots at the center. The model is about to make music by herself with a phonograph — a machine that works by an arm acting on a round record. This particular record player arm is of a rather unusual tool-like appearance. The model’s skin-tight clothing is the same color as the circles and the target.

Unusually for a liquor ad, the model is not gazing longingly out of the picture at the viewer or above (or eyes closed) in rapture. Instead, home alone, the green-clad blond casts a worried glance to the right as if to make sure that she won’t be disturbed. What’s there to hide?

The Absolut Twist ad — unlike most other liquor pieces — is aimed at women. Beyond the brand, drinking alone is what’s being promoted. The message is that solitary imbibing is just another acceptable way for adults to entertain themselves.

Complete Absolut Twist billboard

The billboard in all its two-story glory