The George Michael Video You May Not Remember

(Note:  This blog post underwent small revisions on January 11, March 22, and June 14, 2019.) I can’t believe it.  I spent a year researching George Michael’s work to write an essay, and missed this.  It isn’t his only advert, either, but it’s the one people respect as his better work. The commercial aired on the American Music Awards, broadcast in January 1989.  That was at about the time the popularity of the Faith album ran its course and GM was slowing the promotion of his music in the U.S., although he won two awards during the ceremony. This video promotes … Continue reading The George Michael Video You May Not Remember

Ethical Questions About Paid Links

A link to an article in The Guardian appears at the end of this post. Although the practice described in The Guardian article seems most common among online users with significant followings (which I don’t have), I would like to clarify the policy for hcwrites.com: All links on this blogsite are sourced “organically,” and they are shared because they have potential for entertaining or informing visitors.  The same policy applies to my personal and public social media accounts.  However, I’ll admit I don’t know whether any of the posts I’ve shared were brought to my attention through another site’s paid promotion. In a few … Continue reading Ethical Questions About Paid Links

Fine Advert, Fine Product

If you’ve traveled to the United Kingdom — or if you’ve just bought groceries in a well-stocked store — you probably know about the existence of PG Tips tea.  It’s considered one of the best, and many of the television commercials are great pieces of creative work. At the end of this post, there’s a link to one of the best commercials featuring the company’s sock monkey mascot, named Monkey. Judging by the packaging of the tea bags, I think this commercial may have been produced for the United States.  When Americans order PG Tips tea from retailers on the … Continue reading Fine Advert, Fine Product

Sugar-Coated Nostalgia

Even during the 1950s, at least one cereal manufacturer was adding sugar to raisins: Judging by the lack of graphic art on the box, a different commercial for the same brand (shown below) may have been produced earlier. It doesn’t mention sugar on the raisins. The U.S. English vernacular may have been different from the way it is now, too.  Seriously, someone who did creative work at an ad agency believed the American Public would buy cereal endorsed by Jake the Flake, and the agency’s client approved it.  If this commercial were produced now, we’d call the name of the … Continue reading Sugar-Coated Nostalgia

The Brutal, Dubious Glamour Of Bloomingdale’s

Rape is not funny, and it isn’t sophisticated social behavior.  We’re reminded of that all the time, thanks to caring, honest — and justifiably angry — people who want to avert tragedies. Still, some people don’t get it.  Now it’s evident that an entire group of individuals in a print advertisement’s chain of command let this basic wisdom slip past them, and Bloomingdale’s management is apologizing. Apologies aren’t worthless, but if the persons involved had actual respect for women — and men — there’d be no offensive ad requiring an apology in the first place. I’ve seen only a small … Continue reading The Brutal, Dubious Glamour Of Bloomingdale’s

When We Think We’re Reading A News Article, But Really It’s Advertising

Please click the link below to read the first item on the Columbia Journalism Review post.  It’s especially important if you’ve never heard the word “native” used to describe something on a news site. For the owners of media outlets, often the real issue is generating enough ad revenue to stay in business.  Newspapers and magazines are losing money, and even the more ethical publishers are getting desperate. It’s discouraging when people fail to question what they read, see or hear.  Most young people aren’t taught to engage their critical thinking skills, and that laziness can stay with them for … Continue reading When We Think We’re Reading A News Article, But Really It’s Advertising

The San Francisco Treat? Whatever.

I confess.  I believed this commercial jingle for years. You can’t imagine how much better I feel after admitting that.  The weight of the world has been lifted from my shoulders. Actually, during my entire childhood and adolescence, I heard adults claim Rice-A-Roni was no more popular in San Francisco than anyplace else.  I called bullshit on them.  Every one of them.  I had graphs, pie charts, statistics, gossip column clippings and cable car advertising to prove them wrong. I don’t recall when I was forced out of my denial state and considered the possibility that the San Francisco Municipal … Continue reading The San Francisco Treat? Whatever.