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Dumbed down advertisements

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#16 Cliff


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Posted 24 February 2001 - 01:53 AM

Not to defend any particular advertising, but different types of ads will appeal to different people. The target isn't, or shouldn't, be the balletomanes. Ads should entice new people into the door.


#17 dirac


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Posted 24 February 2001 - 04:34 AM

I am inclined to agree with Cliff. It would be nice if the most effective advertising were invariably the most intelligent advertising, but such is not the case. Those of us of a certain age will recall the "Please don't squeeze the Charmin" TV campaign, which involved someone named Mr. Whipple trying to prevent shoppers from lustfully massaging the toilet paper, and drove a sizable number of TV viewers half insane with irritation. Everyone jeered at those ads, and Charmin's sales skyrocketed.

In defense of SFB, it must be allowed that parts of the Bible are chock full of good old fashioned sex and violence....

[This message has been edited by dirac (edited February 24, 2001).]

#18 Alexandra


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Posted 24 February 2001 - 09:48 AM

To the points raised by Cliff and dirac, yes, ads should appeal to a wider audience than balletomanes, but then we get into the argument of what you're selling, and what, if anything, it has to do with ballet. Make a poster with two naked women wrestling in mud or jello, and you could undoubtedly attract thousands, but it wouldn't be for ballet. Advertise a human sacrifice at 9:00, and you would attract even more.

It's not a question of the ads being unseemly or that there's sex and violence have no place in art. And the much larger question is, as was posted, the dumbing down. Nah. I hope Ed's opera ads are a trend.

#19 Guest_dancedarling5_*

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Posted 27 February 2001 - 06:10 PM

I have noticed this in ad phenomenon - and all I can say is if people need this kind of ad, then it is a sad state of society. For example, the opera advertisements in Dallas have been abominable, to the point of unmentionable. I hesitate to say that everything in this world has been won over to media sensationalism, but it seems that even ballet is not exempt from playing on people's fascination and desensitization to violence etc. This is a sad state indeed.
Posted Image Posted ImageLauren

#20 felursus


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Posted 02 March 2001 - 02:51 AM

I haven't noticed the phenomenon so much with ballet - but the NYC Opera does it all the time. No naked ladies (or gents), however! Perhaps we could start a thread with "dramatic ads". If it weren't nearly 3 a.m. I think I could come up with some rather amusing ones. I don't think one need go as far as "Hot sex and slaughter in the insect world" (The Cage)

#21 ~A.C~



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Posted 02 March 2001 - 05:13 PM

When people think of ballet, they think of a woman in a white tutu - not sex, or violence, and certainly not mud-wrestling. How these people come to associate these things in their ads, I don't know. However, there is no one to say that these things have no right to be in ballet.

It's like Alexandra said, it's the dumbing down - not the bad ideas - that needs to be dismissed. These ads talk to people as if they had no sense of anything at all. No one likes to be talked to like that, especialy if you have a very good sense of everything! Posted Image Ballet-goers tend to have good sense. We know what is wrong and what is right. We know that sex can be vulgar, or it can be fun. We know what we expect to see in ads for ballet, and it isn't what has been discussed here, to be sure. Why would a person who would like to see 'two ballet dancers die' go to the ballet, at all? The group of people these ads apeal to will probably not enjoy what they find on-stage.

Also, bringing back BalletNut's young = ignorant question. Young does not equal ignorant. It's just that the vast majority of young people don't know what they make themselves out to be. Television and music have played a real part in this. You must admit that most of the young people who watch TV aren't going to turn to PBS for ABT at the Met. Most of them go to things that relate directly to violence and sex. The advertising groups see this and they think, "If we can make it seem like ballet is what's on TV, then we'll attract twice as much young people." I, personaly, don't think this advertising idea is realistic, but that's the case for many people. It is, anyway, a matter of preference. No one can help it if they prefer something over something else. All of us chose to like ballet, and is it our 'fault?'

~ Auvi
I want a name, not initials. So, that's my first name. I felt left out and awkward with everyone here have a name, or a word to be called by, and me with only two letters.

[This message has been edited by ~A.C~ (edited March 02, 2001).]

#22 Guest_MichaelB_*

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Posted 04 March 2001 - 12:24 PM

It could be worse... instead of the adverts, the performances could become softporn. And perhaps include gory violence.

Many performance artists (one-person theater) in New York make nudity a staple of their shows. It has shock value and probably helps make sales, but doesn't necessarily fit in with their work. Even some talented performers find an excuse to take their clothes off. I found postcard ads featuring a naked person especially irritating.
(Things may have changed since the mid 90s when I went to these shows.)

I've seen several small modern dance companies use nudity in performance, seemingly with little or no artistic reason. Very distracting sometimes, taking away from the performance. But perhaps good marketing.

#23 Alexandra


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Posted 04 March 2001 - 12:48 PM

What's appropriate for performance art may not always be appropriate to ballet. MichaelB, we keep this section of the board for classical ballet performances and issues related thereto.

#24 BalletNut


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Posted 04 March 2001 - 08:53 PM

If young people--or any people, really-- don't like ballet, no hip-talking ad will change their opinion of it. Using a terrible analogy: you can call brussels sprouts M&Ms if you think it'll make people like them more, but it won't fool anybody into actually eating more brussels sprouts.

[This message has been edited by BalletNut (edited March 04, 2001).]

#25 Ed Waffle

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Posted 06 March 2001 - 09:22 AM

One of the worst ad taglines is reported from Dallas in an opera list. It is for Donizetti's "Lucia di Lammermoor"--for those not familiar with this work, it begins with Lucia weeping at the grave of her mother and gets more fraught from there. The climax is a great mad scene which takes place immediately after the title character has stabbed her new groom to death on their wedding night. She falls dead at the end of the mad scene.

Great opera. It has wonderful music and great roles for several singers.

The tagline reported from Dallas is "There's no doubt about it: Life Before Prozac was harsh"

Which is one of the first I have encountered that has EVERYTHING wrong with it.

At least the one reported initially in this thread by BalletNut shows an attempt, however misguided to get people interested in going to the ballet. This one seems want to turn tragedy into a panic attack--not a good reason to go to the theater.

"Happy are the fiery natures which burn themselves out,
and glory in the sword which wears away the scabbard:

Writing of Pauline Viardot

[This message has been edited by Ed Waffle (edited March 06, 2001).]

#26 Alexandra


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Posted 06 March 2001 - 10:25 AM

Ed, that is appalling. I hope you picketed!

BalletNut, your broccoli and M&Ms is absolutely brilliant -- I've been searching for a good analogy, and that's the best I've seen. I will steal it, and use it shamelessly Posted Image

#27 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 06 March 2001 - 10:52 AM

I think part of the trend in advertising is that we live in a very ironic period (it could just be how old I am, but to me it turned in the mid-70's with Watergate and then Saigon. Suddenly, there was no point in believeing anything anyone told you. . .)

By the late 80's advertising had realized that sincerity didn't sell, but irony did. Everything's done with a smirk, now. I think the ads Ed cited reflect the national character as it stands at this point in the cycle.

Leigh Witchel - dae@panix.com
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#28 ~A.C~



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Posted 06 March 2001 - 04:46 PM

The trouble with these ads is that they sound so sarcastic! No one - not even the true ballet fans - can take them seriously. It seems like nobody cares about it all anymore.

You're absolutely right. Everything IS done with a smirk!

Alexandra and BalletNut,
I actualy like brocolli, but haven't had brussels sprouts before. I don't really like M&M's that much either. But it's a good analogy nonetheless. Posted Image

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