Opinions

Creating responsible ads

Editor, the Gauntlet,

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In school we're taught to learn both sides of a story before compiling our data, and that conjecture is the curse of the C+ student. Well, rigour was obviously not a mandate in this issue, as both articles (CBC and the Gauntlet) were published without the input of the Whisk

ey or Toqueboy Studios.

It's my contention that the people bringing forth the negative comments about the advert have made huge leaps when saying that the Whisk

ey promotes date rape. It is obviously in the best interest of the Whisk

ey to be on good standing with students, and the Whisk

ey has tried to establish a good rapport with students by offering free limo rides, a chocolate buffet and live entertainment on the night in question.

Regardless of how a person interprets the saying on the button, staff from the Whisk

ey or from my studio should have been contacted to help shed some light on the situation before the media was allowed to make a mockery of this situation.

Toqueboy Studios has been doing the design and marketing work for the Whisk

ey since it's inception in 2001. Our work has been very female-friendly and unlike other 'superclubs' we've used marketing techniques that don't rely on sex. An honest assessment of the situation is that we've probably under-sexualized the Whisk

ey to their detriment in order to forward our belief that sex isn't required to sell products.

In the past, Toqueboy Studios and the Whisk

ey have been complemented by CJSW, the TSE and ASA, as well as the Nursing Association for creating material that emphasizes humour as opposed to sex in order to promote highly successful parties such as The Frosh Slosh, The Student Nurses Cabaret, and BSD Blowout 1 and 2, not to mention the CJSW Tower Launch Party.

We do work for 11 different bar/lounge/restaurants in town, and you'll find that across the board these bars have absolutely no sexual agenda and, to a fault, allow my studio to create more conscious and design oriented work than many/most of their competitors.

In the last year Toqueboy Studios has provided significant charitable contributions to FairyTales International Film Festival & Calgary Pride Group, and I've personally provided monetary donations in kind to Herland Film Festival. At Toqueboy Studios we feel strongly about impacting society in a positive fashion and our charitable and corporate work speaks to these convictions.

There have been no media stories on how Toqueboy Studios has provided free branding, print, and web campaigns for charitable groups that represent many of the same interests as Emily Elder, but, sure enough, the media will exaggerate the connotation of a button on a lapel.

As a recent graduate from U of C's Faculty of Graduate Studies with a Master's Degree, I find it offensive that both students and reporters failed in their rigor when presenting this issue. This, more than sex in advertising (which is a cliched story already), is a larger issue for our society. I believe that the furor over this ad displays a naive assessment of the situation and that it illustrates how defunct news media and many academics have become in creating content of import or credibility.

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Comments

In response to the many comments I've read posted on this site regarding the Whiskey ad depicting a woman with a button on that says "Get me drunk and see what happens". I've read all the arguements set forth and I'm afraid I cannot imagine any side of a hexigon shedding light on the story of the button.

It is natural to defend one's creation, especially if you are of a character who is supportive of women's iniatives and organisations. But many a feminist is simply human and living in a world that relentlessly objectifies and sexes-up women for the sake of selling shoe laces, has a way of colour tinting a womans' sun-shades. There is no way around the poor taste exhibited in the ad, if looking out over the rim of those shades and forgetting everything that the business of advertising has taught you.

Women who have said the ad was pleasing or even acceptable, may be accomstomed to hearing the joke from an individual at a bbq or dinner party,as I have many times. But depicting it on a button on behalf of someone else (aka: the women who go dancing at the Whiskey) and circulating it as promotion material - doesn't fly no matter what sense of humour your accomstommed to.

To be honest, it's not an insulted designer who need defend the intensions of the advertisement all alone. I'm actually (sorry gals) more interested in who and what the Whiskey thinks the ad brings to their establishment.

What does this ad reflect about what new patrons can expect to experience by choosing to attend your night club? The marketing manager clearly had an understanding of where the ad would be placed and thus who the target market was... I'm just curious as to how the ad reflects and attracts your desired demographic and the edge you have over your competators?

Anyone from Whiskey around who can answer to those questions? Or is it the unintending designer who is also the visionary behind their marketing strategies?

The thing about marketing is that, unique, self defining, conceptually expansive and inviting schemes are possible. And, is even progressive in concept. Really good marketing schemes thoroughly consider what and who they expect to provide for at their establishment - and this is reflected in their advertisements.

Sorry to side with the feminists dear designer, but as a feminist, there just isn't anyway around the tackiness and sexism of the ad.

In Good Spirit xoxpatricia