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 Post subject: Re: SF Ballet's New, Sexy Ad Campaign
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2001 11:37 am 
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Actually I did see some of photos - in a magazine - and I did find it offensive. <P>Why do we have to use words like "parrot" when speaking of the people on the right? I would never consider saying to that of others who thought differently than I do. And I would like the same respect.<P>I am on the right - and I am not a parrot - thank you very much.........<P>I know of many people who are quite, quite liberal - who were offended by those photos, thank you very much...and some who were completely non-political too, who were offended....thank you very much.


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 Post subject: Re: SF Ballet's New, Sexy Ad Campaign
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2001 12:09 pm 
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Location: The Bronx is up; the Battery's down
What was it that offended you about the photos? The ones I saw were quite lovely. There was nothing erotic about them in the slightest, except for the assumptions made by some viewers. What did you see that offended you so?<P>As for the word "parrot", I know no better term for those who mindlessly repeat that which they're sure must be true -- because they desperately <I>want</I> it to be true.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><I>I know of many people who are quite, quite liberal - who were offended by those photos, thank you very much...and some who were completely non-political too, who were offended....</I><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Yes, you said that before, and I replied that everyone <I>I've</I> talked to who objected to the exhibit was conservative. Do you have anything new to add?<p>[This message has been edited by salzberg (edited February 12, 2001).]

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 Post subject: Re: SF Ballet's New, Sexy Ad Campaign
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2001 12:10 pm 
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Since you assume I am mindless - I have no reply.........


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 Post subject: Re: SF Ballet's New, Sexy Ad Campaign
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2001 1:07 pm 
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Location: Seattle, WA USA
Sorry, sorry sorry to open the whole NEA "can of worms" folks.....maybe that acronym should be forever striken from discusion board.....what can I do to atone!!!!!!!!!! Lets get back to the advertising topic........pleeeze! (weak and trembling smile)<p>[This message has been edited by trina (edited February 12, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: SF Ballet's New, Sexy Ad Campaign
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2001 1:16 pm 
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LOL, y'all!! I am sometimes liberal, sometimes conservative, sometimes undecided. I've seen many of Mapplethorpe's photos. Some I found quite beautiful, some I found quite offensive. My own opinion, only. Opinions are allowed, but shouldn't be confused with truth or fact, though sometimes they have been known to intersect.<P>We *do* share some of the things we find beautiful, thought provoking and artistic. Maybe not let right, left, or center become the topic here. It's going to look like a tennis match or a "pong" game.<P>


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 Post subject: Re: SF Ballet's New, Sexy Ad Campaign
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2001 1:47 pm 
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Yes, the ODC campaign makes it look like you're buying a ticket to a lap dance--but no one seriously seeking that kind of entertainment would be lured by the ads. I think it just tips people who are already curious about dance over the top.<P>Recently I saw some shots taken by the ODC photographer, RJ Muna, for Company Chaddick, and the strategy was exactly the same, no relation to the choreography.<P>Interestingly, the new SF Ballet ads, at least the ones out so far, don't pose their dancers nearly as seductively. Yes, a bit of Lacarra's thigh is showing, but--I think it is the wit of the campaign that entices.<P>I agree with wordfox that much of dance is sexy and we should not be afraid to capitalize on that. Julia Roberts can lure the masses to a movie--why not let Lacarra draw them to the opera house?<P>Most important, I think, is shaking the aura of "stuffiness" around ballet--and the SFB ads do just that.


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 Post subject: Re: SF Ballet's New, Sexy Ad Campaign
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2001 2:02 pm 
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Maggie---thankyouthankyouthankyou!! smillllle!


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 Post subject: Re: SF Ballet's New, Sexy Ad Campaign
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2001 2:21 pm 
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Hmmm, very interesting responses. I'll pass on the left/right issue and just say that the reactions to this ad campaign seem very American to me, no disrespect intended.<P>That ODC pic looks like an underwear or detergent ad, not a dance ad, lol. <I>"I'm so happy to be in clean underwear!"</I> And don't girls who do lap dances usually show a bit more (and have a bit more) on top? I don't know, I read some negative comments about this on another website today but after looking at the ads, I have to say I like their modernity (but I am a sucker for polished graphics) and also the fact that they make dancers seem like real people instead of strange lifeless creatures cinched into their tutus. But I don't get too upset about sexualized images unless women are blatently objectified--and I think I'm very sensitive to that--which doesn't appear to be the case here. Mapplethorpe's work was very explicit in it's sexual content, these ads are tamer than most magazine covers, i.e., Cosmopolitan, Maxim, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: SF Ballet's New, Sexy Ad Campaign
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2001 2:25 pm 
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Location: The Bronx is up; the Battery's down
Here's what Robert Townsend, in <I>Up the Organization</I>, has to say about advertising:<P>=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=<BR>Fire the whole advertising department and your old agency. Then go get the best new agency you can. And concentrate your efforts on making it fun for them to create candid, effective advertising for you. Unless you've just done this, the odds favor that you have a bunch of bright people working at cross purposes to produce--at best--mediocre ads. We started at Avis by asking a few people for a list of the hottest agencies. Then we called on the creative heads of those agencies and tried to interest them in the rent a car business. Ultimately we stumbled on the right question: "How do we get five million dollars of advertising for one million dollars?" (our competition has five dollars for each dollar we have, and yet we have to pay the same price for cars, insurance, rent, gas, oil, and people).<P>Finally, Bill Bernbach heard the question and answered: "If you want five times the impact, give us ninety days to learn enough about your business to apply our skills, and then run every ad we write where we tell you to run it. Our people work to see how effective their ideas are. But most clients put our ads through a succession of Assistant V.P.'s and V.P.'s of advertising, marketing, and legal until we hardly recognize the remnants. If you promise to run them just as we write them, you'll have every art director and copywriter in my shop moonlighting on your account.".<P>We shook hands on it.*.<P>Ninety days later, Bill Bernbach came out to show Avis his recommended ads. He said he was sorry but the only honest things they could say were that the company was second largest and that the people were trying harder. Bernbach said his own research department had advised against the ads, that he didn't like them very much himself--but it was all they had so he was recommending them. We didn't like them much at Avis either, but we had agreed to run whatever Bill recommended.<P>The rest is history. Our internal sales growth rate increased from 10 per cent to 35 per cent in the next couple of years.<P>Moral: Don't hire a master to paint you a masterpiece and then assign a roomful of schoolboy-artists to look over his shoulder and suggest improvements.<BR>=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=<P>The important thing to remember is that both Avis and DDB believed that what they were saying was honest; there was no attempt to misrepresent the company or its services.<P>I was old enough to be aware of the campaign when it started and I remember the way it captured the entire country's attention -- much more so than any subsequent ad campaign I can think of.<BR>.<P>------------------<BR>Jeffrey E. Salzberg, Lighting Designer<BR>This Day in Arts History: <A HREF="http://www.suncoast.quik.com/salzberg/arthist.htm" TARGET=_blank>http://www.suncoast.quik.com/salzberg/arthist.htm</A><BR>Online portfolio: <A HREF="http://www.suncoast.quik.com/salzberg" TARGET=_blank>http://www.suncoast.quik.com/salzberg</A> <P><BR>

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 Post subject: Re: SF Ballet's New, Sexy Ad Campaign
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2001 2:34 pm 
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A commercial I really remember was the one with Joe Namath in pantyhose - I remember laughing for quite a while at that one and it still brings on a smile all these years later.<P>I think humorous ads do well. Some studies have been done that show that while people often remember the catchy phrases they often don't actually remember the name of the product. <P>I think this ad campaign for SFB will do well, because it is so different for a ballet company - it will be an attention getter. Which is what an ad is all about, isn't it?


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 Post subject: Re: SF Ballet's New, Sexy Ad Campaign
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2001 3:48 pm 
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Nice article, Salzberg. You really find some good ones! I bet you like Jim Hightower, too!<P>Basheva, I remember those pantyhose ads. They made me laugh, too.<P>I agree with Marie about the ads helping to remove ballet's stuffy image. I think it's necessary to grow/cultivate an audience. We already have the audience that likes "Swan Lake, "Giselle" et al. The uninitiated public for the most part believes all ballet resembles the classics, and very often have been led to believe that. I like the ads, so far.


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 Post subject: Re: SF Ballet's New, Sexy Ad Campaign
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2001 8:09 pm 
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Location: SF Bay Area
Alright, I'm glad we're back on topic...<P>I believe ballet is sexy. I believe interesting ads are needed to sell ballet to new audiences (I am such a proponent of audience development that I have volunteered $$$ and hours to help Kim Shipp organize the upcoming Retail Dance Festival). An ad executive once said of HP before they revamped their marketing campaign that if this electronics company were in the business of selling sushi, they would market it as "cold dead fish." Similarly, ballet companies need to move away from their stuffy image by employing sassy and vibrant ads that make ballet exciting for the masses.<P>HOWEVER, there is always the danger of raising expectations when you overdo it. This scheme has the potential to backfire when unsuspecting audiences get something less titillating than they expect.<P>AND, there is the potential of dumbing down the art. In a way, SFB's ad for "Cake," inspite of its tacky caption, is more sophisticated than the "Vert" ad because it implies something decadent without actually spelling it out (I just wish though Stephen Legate's expression matched that of Lacarra's in intensity). Let's hope that their ads will continue in this vein and not drop a notch lower.<p>[This message has been edited by Azlan (edited March 04, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: SF Ballet's New, Sexy Ad Campaign
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2001 8:59 pm 
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Oh, yes, I see your point, Belinda, about the ODC ads. I suppose it does enough to entice those who are already curious. That's a good way to look at it but I have a problem with advertising something that is not being performed.


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 Post subject: Re: SF Ballet's New, Sexy Ad Campaign
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2001 9:49 pm 
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Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
It's too bad more companies don't have the moolah to advertise nothing but the fact that they exist. By that I mean having billboards and print ads that create brand-name recognition. Like when Coca-Cola was 'teaching the world to sing' (as if) and so on. I do agree with you though Azlan; if you're announcing a particular show it's misleading to use images that have nothing to do with the production.<P>The idea of the body and it's inherent sexuality is something I've been thinking about since I was talking to a dancer/choreographer friend of mine who didn't think that having nudity in one of her pieces conveyed any overt sexual message. As she said, "We're dancers, people should get over it." I know, this is a bit off topic, and these ads feature clothed dancers, but one thing I think the dance community has been reticent to address is the idea that while "we" may see dancers as artists, muses, even (gasp!) people, the general public sees "sex" in toned bodies. Definitely food for thought when you're creating dances, ad campaigns etc.<P><BR><p>[This message has been edited by Marie (edited February 12, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: SF Ballet's New, Sexy Ad Campaign
PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2001 11:12 am 
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Marie: Good point.<P> Inherent sexuality is quite different from the presentation of nudity as part of a choreographic and artistic process. The questions need to be asked: what is the ultimate goal/message of the choreography? does the nudity serve a purpose in achieving that goal, or is it simply a tool used to shift the focus away from the fact that the choreographer failed to get the message across. <P> Best example (and only)effective use of nudity I consider I ever saw was John Neumeier's "Sacre du Printemp" (Hamburg Ballet). The final solo is done on a bare stage, female unclothed, with only ungel-ed spots. Nothing could be starker, more barren, more angular, less sexual. The tension was all in the angles and movement, and it left you gasping for air - for reasons other than sex. <P> On the other hand, there are a multitude of works that I would classify as "sexy" even though they have nothing to do with the topic of sex. <P> We are, perhaps, all still prisoners of the Puritan ethic - from both sides - in one way or the other: audiences still titilated and/or outraged by things as natural as the human body; and artists feeling the need to prove they are not bound by that ethic, through shock value in the name of artistic freedom, even if it has no relationship to the ultimate artistic goal. <P>


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