Depressed Copywriter Alters Ads for Maximum Self-Loathing and Despair

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26 Responses to Depressed Copywriter Alters Ads for Maximum Self-Loathing and Despair

  1. Eleni Pappelis says:

    When reading other comments on this article, I understand why many audiences would not find these alterations to advertisements funny or smart. Like the article said, it is difficult to make sense of whether this is genius or simply stupid. Personally I found these modifications to work. I think these new messages are witty and hit the audience with a punch of humor. My favorite altered advertisement within the article was the Jergens ad which was changed to say “The only difference between you and her is you.” I think this makes fun of the company for trying to sell their product by making women want to look like the model in the ad as well as all the women who think lotion is going to make the America’s next top model or something. These small ad alterations are funny, powerful, and work.

  2. Casey Winkler says:

    I understand the message(s) these advertisements are saying, sure, but is this a form of copy writing? I view this as a cheap, yet tasteful form of self-expression. If this was featured in an art gallery, these pieces would be viewed as thought-provoking and intelligent, but in the ad world, these images are nothing more than tasteful edits of cheap modifications. If creating these backhanded ads for their blog is the only intention of these four newly graduates, I have much respect and admiration for their efforts. However, if they believe this approach will get them a foot in the ad world, I think their approach is misguided and hopeless. Then again, I’m writing a blog response for my advertising class, so maybe they’ve already got a foot in the ad world and they will have the last laugh.

  3. Rob Jewett says:

    I really didn’t think these were very clever or funny at all. They reminded me of graffiti on a billboard you would see in a bad part of town. I’m pretty sure theres a lot of depressed people out there who have the same grim outlook on life and could have come up with something more clever. As much as I don’t really enjoy these kinds of ads, I do respect them for trying to make a profit off of the fool who is paying for it.

  4. Andrew Gust says:

    I think it is pretty funny. Just taking the lies that advertisers are trying to sell and giving a harsh truth. They have a good point, if you think direct TV will make your GF happy maybe she will be happier with someone else. This shows creativity and the ability to think outside of the box. They understand the advertisement rules and realize that some of them are out of date and ineffective.
    It bothers me when I see advertisers trying to convince me to buy something with an unrealistic statement. When I read these it made me laugh. I don’t see how these actual products could advertise anything but taking something old and putting a new twist on it can be a very effective way to reach you audience. This an NBA commercial I like, all they did is crudely paste the heads of their stars on a music video. I don’t really see much difference between this and the ads these bloggers are doing other than the overall outlook comparing depression and despair to “happy together”
    http://www.businessinsider.com/nba-commercial-happy-together-2011-12

  5. Emilie Osterkamp says:

    I think it’s safe to say this is one of the more pointless articles that I’ve read, or maybe just one of the more pointless acts of stupidity. I am generally not a cynical person, nor is it hard to make me laugh, but these comments didn’t cause even the slightest grin. I get their trying to get attention and clearly they did, however if anything I think the message they’re sending is a lack of maturity. Then again, often the most “out there” pieces of advertising get the most attention.

  6. Brian Allen says:

    I personally loved the alterations to the adds. In a sense it brings to light, the fallacies that advertising hides a lot of times. I am a fan of dark humor, and satire, these ads work on me in a way that other ads do not. If advertisers want to “break through the clutter” this is one sure way to do it. These make me think of demotivational posters and how popular they have been. I like this idea and I think these guys are on to something.

  7. Rajan Singhal says:

    I think if a brand was smart, they would use this style of ad mocking to target male audiences from 16-25. That is an enormously sought after segment of the market and they can use this sense of humor and “anti-establishment” style to attract that age group. I myself find these ads hilarious and would love to see a company take a risk by mocking the traditional advertising style that has been around forever. While many older audiences would be turned off by something like this, I think this is a better way to get to young male adults than the usual ad techniques of slapstick comedy and sex. With the popularity of television shows like Tosh.O, The Daily Report, South Park, Family Guy and many others at an all time high using this style of comedy, I think they have proven that millions of people respond to this type of humor. I hope a company uses the style and takes a risk.

  8. Allie Lord says:

    I can see how many look down on these alterations of ads, and think these 4 writers are insane for trying to turn such a cynical view on life into multi-million dollar campaigns. However, I think this is actually a decent and worthwhile campaign. Often advertisers try to sell this perfectly happy lifestyle with the use of their product, which is never the case in real life. In current times, many people are cynical, negative and fed up with annoyingly false advertising. Personally, I think these one-liners are funny, unique and most importantly, they get my attention, which is something the typical “buy product X and get this perfect body, boyfriend and life” ads no longer do. While they can’t be overdone, as they will lose this aspect, right now they are a fresh breath of humorous reality in the overly upbeat world of advertising.

  9. Brittany Neptune says:

    I agree with Casey’s comment about envisioning these altered ads being featured in art galleries. I think these ads are representative of propaganda to make consumers realize how silly or absurd advertisers’ messages are and lighten up the realm of advertising. It would be interesting to see if the “Depressed Copywriters” actually adversely affect brands or if their copy has any effect on consumption of a company’s brand at all. As Rajan mentioned in the comment above these tactics may be effective with male audiences ages 16-25, however, effective humor among audiences is extremely hard to predict. If companies start to utilize the Depressed Copywriters idea of mockery they run a huge risk of either resonating well with the audience and flourishing or it could flop and possibly create a public relations nightmare for a company. Although this ad mockery is a form of creativity that advances the traditional cheesy advertisement messages and slogans, I think it would only be effective with a few companies in which the nature of the business is lighthearted and comical.

  10. Ryan Hagen says:

    I found some of the alterations to the ads funny and clever while others I saw as stupid and pointless. One ad that I found to be amusing was on the link of the document saying “Living in America, It’s Slowly Killing Me”. However the more depressing ads were pointless too me and seemed to out of place to me. It reminded me of graffiti to ads that a certain company had spent a lot of time and money on putting together. I don’t understand the method behind the madness to these “Depressed Copywrites” and think that it is wrong to advertise on somebody’s ad.

  11. Ben Butterfield says:

    I think that the Depressed CopyWriters blog was quite entertaining. They are making fun of the industry that they are trained to contribute to. It also seems to be a critique on American culture and values and maybe the extent to which advertisements and products can truly effect peoples emotions. Deconstructing these ads takes many of the same skills that are used to create effective advertisements.

  12. This article was especially entertaining to me because of the fact that the people behind the Depressed Copywriter alterations are all graduating (or graduated by now) from ad school. The fact that they can poke fun at their own fields of employment shows that they understand how ridiculous advertising can be sometimes. My favorite alteration was “Your best body will never be good enough.” Women’s magazines are always trying to sell issues by promising their readers “the perfect body”, even though that is an unattainable goal. This is something that many advertisers use to try to sell products.

  13. Dustin Haines says:

    That is hilarious. The best part is that they are not even getting paid for what they are doing. I really wonder how the real advertisers of the companies that are being poked fun at feel about this. Does it help their ads or ruin their cause? All in all this is a great stepping stone for this young advertisers who will probably be finding success somewhere in the near future.

  14. Johnny Escobar says:

    Obviously these recent graduates have a sense of humor as well as a creative touch. Perhaps they find it easier to add on to someone else’s creation rather then making one of their own. When and if they become members of an advertising campaign for a company, it will be interesting to see if they fall in line with the “corporate model” of advertising or venture off into a more dry and depressing mode from which these modified ads have come from. I believe they are merely having fun with the field that they are about to enter and may have discovered a new and interesting strategy for advertising.

  15. Maggy Failing says:

    I really didn’t find these altered advertisements to be very clever or humorous at all. I thought they looked like street art you could find in any city, but with pointless messages and poor execution. If I were to do an ad campaign playing off the same theme, I would say word choice is the most important part of telling the advertising story. Without an interesting and insightful message the ad modifications just look like child’s play.

  16. Ryan Putman says:

    These type of modifications are thought provoking and provide a satiracal view on just how over saturated our minds have become in loaded statements and promises. Humorous as they are I find the interest more from the polar opposite meanings a few simple words can make. We listen to ads without thinking sometimes all these people that think they have the answers to everything. The title “what your girlfriend really wants?” right there confused me who is this guru that know exactly what your girlfriend wants? All relationships are unique and even trying to know the answer to that question is ludicrous. This reminds me of a few months ago when Dan Savage was coming to town and a friend of mine was overjoyed. Why I asked does this one human being have everything out? Is he a genius or just someone that knows how to manipulate peoples minds into believing him? This group of individuals in charge of this form of advertisement ridicule is fun, interesting and unique. I enjoy challenging the norm.

  17. I think the greatest thing about this article is that it shows how versatile advertising is. Obviously the goal of this “depressed copywriter” wasn’t to make a successful ad, but it does show how important and vital copy is to the overall message of an ad. When reading this article and looking at the ads given, I honestly didn’t look at any of the design elements – maybe this proves that copy is actually the backbone of print advertising.

  18. Haley Klatt says:

    I originally though the examples of these four writer’s satirical view on advertisements were entertaining and comical. However, the more I saw and the more of the article I read, the more annoying it got. It honestly feels like these are things that would be gratified onto buses, or done as a senior prank at some middle of nowhere high school. Whether this is true or not, the guys doing this just seem bored and let down from their own lives. As if they didn’t get into the grad school they wanted or are just looking for ways to piss a certain group of people off. On the other hand, if the altered messages spread motivation, joy or happiness to is viewers, they would probably seem more appealing to me. Those “life changing” ads about quitting smoking or saving a life by not drunk driving, for example. These ones just seem like a waste of time and energy in my book.

  19. Angela says:

    I think what these young “depressed copywriters” are doing is creative, but I don’t necessarily think it’s the best decision for them to make if they are trying to establish a good relationships with ad agencies. But on the other hand, by sharing their sly, witty recreations, they are making sure their voices and work are heard. They are getting foot in the door in a way. Maybe some ad agencies, or clients will appreciate this sort of anti-ad way of advertising. Some potential brands I could see reaching out to this might be Dove?

  20. Gabe Herring says:

    I actually really liked these ads and thought they were quite creative because while reading the original ad, you would not think to put the replacement words in. It is extremely simply, yet quite creative because of its simplicity. There is only a few words that are changed, but the entire meaning of the ad is changed. By changing some of the words in the ad these people have developed an ad style that agencies may be interested in and use in future advertisements. Personally I enjoyed the altercations and hope to see more creative ads generated from these.

  21. Cody Chambers says:

    I think this is a pretty clever idea from these college grads. In the article the author wrote that they may be killing their careers by operating this sight but to me they are only showing their creatve side which is pretty important to the ad world. I noticed a lot of people were either offended or put off by some of their ads but it that is there intention so they’re doing a pretty good job. Some are immature and they don’t look they put a lot of thought into it but then again they might not have considering they cross out parts of the ad and hand write their form on a piece of paper. It looks like they are just having fun with it.

  22. I did not think these advertisements were funny. I don’t think the message came across right. I found them too be a bad form of self expression and many would not view this as an effective advertisement. I think they put in a great effort and I think many appreciate their perspectives however, the message they were trying to reach was not perceived well.

  23. Ryan S says:

    I felt that these advertisements were just one of those culture mash-up kind of projects, just like where people alter business logos to express a criticism point of view. I don’t think we can call these advertisements, because it’s just four guys changing words to provoke a different meaning in the existing ad. To be honest, they were clever and stirred up some interest, but it wasn’t something powerful like a real ad usually affects me. I think that they are four guys who are just poking fun and finding ways to make these ads something to not take seriously.

  24. Sam Poloway says:

    I think these advertisements were very funny because of the satirical value it puts out and how the advertisements are ultimately criticizing how these ads are directed at the viewer. When looking at the real advertisements people can draw the assumptions that they are not good enough by looking at models or pictures that are an altered reality that is impossible to live up to. By putting the real meaning of what the advertisers want you to feel, which is self-loathing, I think they make people who read the advertisements question how advertisers are trying to get them to buy things. I love how they did this.

  25. Nate Spere says:

    I thought there were ok. The “you know what would make your girlfriend happy” one got a laugh out of me. I think that they are telling you what the normal ads are not, much like the dove commercial we watched in class about the alterations to the model. This though was less creative and are just a series of punch lines that any group of teenagers could come up with.

  26. Keloni Kamalani says:

    To be completely honest I believe that these advertisements are a great way to advertise and to get peoples attention. Yes, the ads are very harsh, immature, and arrogant but it catches peoples attention which is what you want to do in advertising. It is a fast and easy way to make ads and also a great way to make money as well. People don’t like things that are boring. Thats why these things catch peoples eye.

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