Article copyWhen the Health Nazis mate with the Marketing & Advertising industry's inherent vulgarity in the cesspool of Old Europe's moral bankruptcy, they whelp things like that:
World No Tobacco Day: Non Smoking Area. Advertising Agency: TBWA\Athens, Greece. Creative Director: Vangelis Vrouvas. Art Director: Christos Kliafas. Copywriters: George Loukoumis, Vassilis Kleisouras.
There are so many things wrong with this ad that I wouldn't know where to begin—though I suppose that hanging the "creative" director to the first lamppost would be a good start.
Having said that, I'm quite happy to be vindicated once again. In my experience, European operatives of the marketing and advertising industry always struck me as a bunch of half-educated jerks coupling Champaign Socialism with breathtaking stupidity, dreadful arrogance and terminal stages of narcissism disorder; the perfect illustration of which is provided by this sorry excuse for an advert.
Everything is wrong, both from the conceptual and technical point of view. The "visual" is totally irrelevant to the "message", as this is definitely not your average cemetary: the human beings buried under these specific crosses did not die from nicotine poisoning. The morale superiority that's alleged to drive the event advertized here is nullified by this disgraceful use of a memorial to those who fought and fell on the battlefields — in large parts liberating Europe — even more so considering the casual issue it supposedly illustrates, and the paternalizing tone and politically correct nature of those who claim to "tackle" it.
To top it all, even the production is crap. The heavy-handed Photoshop job on this thing (click for the larger version, and sneer at the blurry grass patch in the center) is obviously from the Adnan Hajj / Iranian Revolution1 school of Unstrained Clone Tooling. Bottom line: the art doesn't save the concept, and the "art" director is not worth the "creative" one's skin.
Pathetic, but such as it is, a fine trademark of marketing and advertising.
This is on par with the latest trend of French couples shooting pornographic photos and videos in war memorials and cemetaries2 — the one and only difference being that we could argue that, symptomatic as they are of the depths at which France has sunk, these slobs are just a few sick individuals who can't think of anything better to do with their sorry selves.
Not established businesses in the advertising industry, and the Holier-than-thou organizations and causes to which they lend their services.
Comments thread (10)
3659 - Proof
Proof Stockton, Callifornia, USA
I agree with you, that the setting in a veteran's cemetary is truly tasteless! But, for the true health "Nazi", no hand is too heavy to be applied to their pet peeves!
(As if the people who don't smoke aren't going to die of other causes! )
3660 - mbrewer2045
mbrewer2045 Wisconsin USA
Truly distasteful to say the least.....
To desecrate the memory and honor of those who paid the ultimate price in Europe with a No Smoking ad is shameful, and should be illegal. Hey nobody is allowed to "fornicate" there, so stop "fornicating" with the marker stones of these noble servants to democracy.
Besides, like DF said...nobody there had lung cancer and suffered through a horribly slow death. It would seem to me that a better site could have been selected. Hey, I got it....they could have "altered" a photo of the Nazi concentration camps....no wait, that would have been insensitive..what was I thinking?! Sorry, I just had an "Advertising Executive" moment (and to all of those people that might think I was serious about that last line...I assure I am NOT).
3661 - unknown jane
Truly tasteless and poorly done on a lot of different levels; and it's obtuse as hell imho.
Sadder stil, I could see the same thing being done here in America using Arlington. Ditto the "hoochie" movie using some war memorial as a backdrop. There are many Americans who are of the same ilk as the Europeans who do such things, and together they make a mockery out of the rest of us, and worse yet turn us all into targets.
This lack of knowledge and regard concerning our history is helping to create a generation of people who have no ability (or desire) to remember what we're all about (other than oppressing the "poor innocents" and the joys of the socialist consumer state -- they know a lot about that) and have clung to all that is really vulgar and shallow (the actual oppressive parts) in western civilization while denying and ridiculing that which was noble and good.
Is it any wonder then, that there are people out there who take glee in our destruction, who see it as the proper thing?
3663 - Herkeng
I really don't get pissed about a lot of stuff but.. this one gets the blood pressure up. Those are headstones of American GI's who died fighting to liberate Europe. What the F*&K does it have to do with a EU smokeout? These guys died from every sort of heinous injury and trauma availbale, not from a lucky strike or a camel.
If the advertisers had any imagination they should have gone to Bitburg and photographed the German graves. If your going to F#$K this up, at least use your own continents dead, and using the starter/loser of the war makes for less outrage.
3664 - 2hotel9
2hotel9 Western Pennsylvania
Some one needs their ass kicked over this!
Any idea which cemetary it is that they are defiling in this pic?
3665 - Iwo Gina
Iwo Gina Maryland
Hotel: It looks like Normandy.
3666 - unknown jane
The ad shouldn't have used ANY military cemetary. Whether or not the soldiers of any country are on the "right" or "wrong" side, they personally should not be disparaged for serving their respective countries. In death they deserve some peace and respect, and some little regard that whatever to political machinations driving them to war, they gave the ultimate sacrifice.
In fact, I've got problems with cemetaries in general being used in ad campaigns -- leave the dead alone. Another sign, I think, that our culture has gotten derailed -- cemetaries and memorials to the dead are not treated with respect anymore, often targets of vandalism and other defaming acts. Disrespect of the dead is in a sense disrespect of where one comes from, disrect for oneself.
Plus I highly doubt any soldier, sailor, airmen, or marine was really worried about death from tarry lungs at the time of their passing. I suppose the creators of this were trying to ironically tie in the fact that most soldiers have a habit of smoking like chimmneys -- boo on them; soldiering is a high stress job, if imbibing cigs gets you through then better that than the alternatives (believe me, I know).
3667 - bonmotdot
bonmotdot Deep in the Heart of Texas
I can't help but notice the date of their smokeout... our Memorial Day. They use a picture of a cemetery with our war dead. Is there some backhanded slap at U.S. tobacco companies here and they are comparing those deaths to people are dying in some war on tobacco? If so, it's a muddled message and just plain bad advertising.
No one forces anyone to smoke. By now everyone knows cigarettes are dangerous.
Frogman, we're used to Eurotrash offending us by now. No fear that we will sit in a corner and cry over it. It's more "What will they come up with next?"
3670 - beachkatie
This has been a sad day for the world. Please pray for the country of Georgia...
3673 - Mike H.
Mike H. Spokane, Wa
Just another coffin nail in the response for the next time they need us.