Advertising aims to make impression

Sometimes I like to think I’m too smart for the forces of the advertising industry. I flip through the pages of a magazine and think I’m above the tricks various companies use to sell their wares.

Take the March issue of Maxim Magazine.

I’m currently staring at an advertisement for a cologne named Diesel. It sports a shirtless, muscular guy holding a bottle of the fragrance and sporting a cocky look on his face that screams, “I just had sex with your girlfriend.”

What is this ad supposed to make me think? If I use Diesel, will I become some sort of pompous jerk who makes bad fashion choices, such as wearing suspenders without a shirt? C’mon.

Diesel also smells terrible. Think Tag Body Spray mixed with rancid tacos. An info box in the top right-hand corner of the ad says the scent was originally invented by the Germans during World War I. They intended to use it against the Allied powers as a secret weapon, but deciding the stench was far too foul and inhumane, they settled for mustard gas instead. That’s why Germany lost.

Wait, maybe the info box says that Diesel is available at Macy’s, I can’t really remember, but I’ve already turned the page and it’s too late to go back now.

The next ad I’ve come across is one for the Schick Quattro disposable razor. It shows some shirtless guy, who has presumably just received a god-like level of smoothness from his Quattro, getting two naked babies rubbed across his face by two creepy scientists. Yes, you heard correctly.

The best part is the shirtless guy is just sitting there like he overdosed on muscle relaxers and is watching a NOVA special on jet propulsion. He doesn’t seem at all phased that scientists are committing indecent acts with children’s butts on the side of his face. Apparently, if you shave with the Quattro, you’ll achieve nirvana. Yeah, right.

A few pages further yields what is known as an “advertorial,” which is an advertisement designed to look like genuine magazine content. It’s all about Irish Spring Body Wash.

It contains all sorts of nonsense, such as tips on how to pick up women and five steps to a “greener you.” No, not green like eco-friendly. Green like Irish. The last tip is to use Irish Spring Body Wash.

If anyone you know follows all five of these useless tips, which include dyeing your beer green and dressing your dog up like a leprechaun, call an exorcist immediately. However, Irish Spring does score some points for being the first ad with women instead of shirtless males I’ve come across in this “men’s magazine.”

The last advertisement I come across is an ad for 5 gum. A caption above the green and black pack of 5 asks, “Ever tried lying on a thousand vibrating cell phones?”

Apparently, the ad people for 5 wanted to be edgy and cool by incorporating cell phones into the equation. Bad choice. If I ate a piece of gum that caused my body to vibrate violently, I would call poison control and have my body tested for arsenic. I would take 5 to court and sue for millions of dollars. Then I would donate some money to TCU and have them name a bookshelf in the library after me.

I, personally, found all of these ads to be terrible, but that proves in an ironic way that the advertising industry is still doing its job. Sure, we all love to hate stupid ads we see in print. But we stopped and talked about them, right? It’s all about awareness.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have an insatiable desire to buy cologne, razors, body wash and gum. Anyone want to go to the drugstore?

David Hall is a sophomore news-editorial journalism major from Kingwood.