advertising and other stuff. no, really.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Placemat advertising–the last bastion of marketing greatness.

Schlocky. Tacky. Nasty. No, not diner food. I’m talking placemat ads, another American original. No wonder the French hate us. It’s not our cooking—it’s all the shit we have on our placemats. Where else can you find someone to fix your roof—or your back. Need bail? Need a keg? No problem. Placemat ads multitask. Okay, let’s talk design then. It’s a font orgy, right there in front of you as you scoff down that Western Omelette. (Least I think those were peppers.) Here’s to you, Mr. Black + One Color No Bleed.

I salute you.

+ enlarge


llcooljessie said...

I've always loved these. At least this one uses custom ads. Many placemats feature business card sized placements. That way lazy folks can just turn in a business card as their ad.

Irene Done said...

When I was 8 or 9, I went on vacation and ate at a diner where the cheap paper placemats pictured all the presidents. I thought that was the coolest thing ever and saved it for like 4 years, trying to memorize it all. I was and still am a big nerd.

Probably wouldn't have saved it if it had been covered with ads.

Anonymous said...

Those are the sort of games this country needs more of. Not Halo, but connect the dots. There’s that moment when you realize what the shape of the thing is.

Sure it can’t compete with taking out an entire platoon, but it’s a start.

Anonymous said...

When McCabe was at the top of his game, people who worked for him were badgered into doing better in-store announcements (he called someone the "hack of Bohack" I was told), match book covers ("Are you smoking too much because you're unhappy with your job" for a correspondence school), and copy for giblet wrappings inside an oven roaster Perdue Chicken.
Those days you could build a portfolio around that stuff.

Anonymous said...

I'll bet the owners of the Pursuit Realty aren't happy with the typo in their "Pursuit of Happness Realty" cartoon.

Anonymous said...

True story:
My husband was sitting in a Thai place for lunch with a bunch of work colleagues, looks down at his placemat, and my wedding portrait was staring back at him. Seems my portrait photog had used the image for his placemat (and yellow pages) ad without telling me. Frankly, I didn't know whether to be horrified or flattered. I still have the placemat in the back of our wedding album.