Travelocity gnome is cited for exaggerating hassles of Priceline

By Todd Wasserman on Wed Oct 20 2010

Bidding on a hotel via a service like Priceline can be a bit stressful, I suppose. But can it be likened to being put on a spinning wheel as people hurl knives at you? Or being in a tank with piranhas? Those were the analogies Travelocity used in recent ads, and according to industry watchdog the National Advertising Division, they were a bit of a stretch. The NAD suggested the commercials, which feature the company's gnome mascot suffering such indignities, "be modified to avoid overstating the difficulty of and stress associated with using Name Your Own Price and discontinue the depictions (the piranha tank and the knife thrower's wheel) that help convey the unsupported message." The NAD also took issue with an image of the gnome roasting on a spit. In response, Travelocity said, basically, chill out. The company "does not dispute the NAD's holding that using 'Name Your Own Price' is not as excruciatingly awful as being eaten by piranhas, being the target of a knife thrower, or being burned alive on a spit." Neverthleless, Travelocity agreed to pull the ads.

Sherwin-Williams shows off its colors in vibrant paint-chip world

Posted on Thu May 13 2010

A major challenge in advertising paint is that you are limited by the medium in which the ad is presented. You can't crow about the brilliance of your colors, for instance, if a lot of people will watch the ad on crappy TVs. Back in March, Sharp Electronics got around this problem by having George Takei exclaim "Oh my!" when he saw the picture on the Aquos quad-pixel LED LCD TV. Lacking access to Takei or other former Star Trek cast members, Sherwin-Williams and agency McKinney imagine a world made up of paint chips. The animation is first rate and presents striking images like a paint-chip frog and a paint-chip cardinal frolicking in a paint-chip world. The gradients of color in the chips also convey the range that the company offers. Still, I'm not sure how effective any paint advertising is since I (like many DIYers, I suspect) rely more on the advice of my local paint salesperson than any ad I see on TV. Still, pretty nice work here. As Takei would say: Oh my!

—Posted by Todd Wasserman


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