Yesterday while struggling in the wicked cold weather to keep a bundled-up toddler from getting lost in the public transit crowd, I saw my first Obay ad.
A camera would have been nice to have around - not that I would have been able to use it while trying to keep Bumper from bolting out of her seat on the bus, hold my bag, and I dunno, perform the basics like breathing. I can only imitate the farce of multi-tasking so much.
With fear of losing my grip on Bumper, I decided the best thing to do was memorize the ad to research later.
This is the one I saw (a public photo from The Obay Marketing Pool flickr group) but it was a smaller format inside the bus:
While no one around me on the bus seemed impressed by the ad (trust me, I asked), I was in awe.
Has anyone else out in the big, bad blogosphere noticed these ads and the reactions around them? I want to know.
Did they make you think?
Did you think they were silly or a joke?
Did you try to understand what they were "about"? I thought it was an ad for multi-vitamins at first glance. A really bad ad for multi-vitamins.
According to the Torontoist: the "maker" behind the fake drug Obay is Colleges Ontario and these ads were created in order to encourage dialogue about post-secondary education in Ontario and how some parents might be forcing their ambitions on their offspring.
My need to find out more is driving me crazy.
If anyone out there with links to stories about this please leave me a comment and link.
Odds are that Bumper will attend a post-secondary institution in this province so this subject is of great interest to me (whoa - she hasn't started nursery school yet, and I already have her building beer bongs with her fellow undergrads. Not that I ever did that.).
IMO, traditional ads turned upside-down and working outside the norm are dead sexy, but in order for them to work, the end result needs to equal or surpass the ingenuity of the campaign.
UPDATE: I received an email from my biggest fan (Hi Dad!) who found this and sent it my way. Quoted from the post Obay Phase Two Revealed (Torontoist):
"the Obay ads will be plastered with faux-guerilla marketing. The new stickers deliver messages to parents, such as, "Your kids should be allowed to make their own decisions, especially when it comes to their post-secondary education."So this is what happens when you have a toddler to distract you from doing solid research: almost 40 years old and my Dad is still doing my homework.