Advertising Decoded: 10 Important Messages

Don’t tell me fashion magazines are all fluff.

You can learn a lot in the pages of Vogue, BazaarIn Style, and Elle (my favorite), and you know where you can find some of the most profound information? The advertising. Pay close enough attention, and you can pick up some life lessons here, people. If you’re not paging through these magazines and spending a little time on the ads, you’re missing some key observations about our world and insights into humanity itself. Allow me to get you all caught up.

After a non-scientific but extremely thorough study of the ads in this market, I’ve determined that the take-away messages have some common themes, ultimately revealing 10 essential truths. They are as follows:

1. People who own nice things, particularly Italian goods, are very well oiled. 

For a subtle glimmer, apply oil in a swirling motion with $100 bills.

2. Sexy people do things their own way.

For example, sexy French cowgirls dip their tampons in wine. Ooh la la!

3. You know you’ve found the right outfit/accessories/perfume/handbag when it makes you feel like wearing a ballgown in a field.

At first glance, this seems problematic. Obviously, you don’t want chiggers up inside your formalwear. Nor would you want a ring of mud around the hem. Also, shouldn’t you have a weapon? I mean, you’re alone in a field – there could be wild game. Think how excited everyone at the gala will be when you arrive with fresh dinner! You will have MORE FRIENDS because you look awesome and you caught some food. I think probably the crossbow just isn’t pictured in this shot.

4. It is perfectly safe to throw alcohol-based perfume directly onto the eyes and genitals of others. 

Don’t worry, it won’t sting. On the contrary, it will be great fun and get you clean.

5. Expensive makeup makes you angry, which makes you happy.

The pricier, the angrier. And the angrier, the more glamorous. And the more glamorous, the more you look better than people wearing drugstore makeup. And the more you look better than poor people, the happier you’ll be. So the key to being happy is being angry.

6. Always buy the whole outfit.

If you frolic into the ocean with nothing but a crotch scarf, the water will be too cold. Throw on a cardigan and Hollywood-tape it to your nipples. Add a necklace. Now everything’s just right.

7. High fashion and ergonomical correctness don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

– Don’t (left): Hang your bag around your neck while hiking one foot up so high your ass splits in half. That will cause both headaches and gluteal pain.

– Do (right): Hold your bag in one hand while properly supporting your arms on a sawhorse and equalizing your body weight in a half-split.

8. Anything pictured against a spotless white background will make your life better, and you must have it.

Is this one of those lovers’ things? Where you have the lock, and you give the key to your sweetheart, and it’s like, “You are the only one who can unlock my sunglasses from my face and see my real eyes.” Who cares if it makes sense? Look how clean the world is around these glasses. Look how they make all the clutter go away. Get the glasses, and everything else around you will disappear.

9. You will never be these people.

What, you can’t pull off a rugby shirt / bikini bottoms / waders outfit? Might as well turn the page — because you’re old and stupid, and you’re not invited on this preppy rafting trip.

10. Life is a tiny plastic pool of lukewarm water, urine, and pinkeye germs.

Hey, you. Little girl. Yeah, you. This is your life in 30 years.

You’ll put on your glam suit even though no one’s around to see it other than ALL THESE FREAKING CHILDREN lounging around begging for popsicles and using too many towels. Half of them aren’t even yours – they just showed up because they heard you got laid off from your law firm and have some time on your hands. They’re literally tearing down the fences to come in and mock you.

See this paddle? It’s for ping pong. But you won’t be having fun and playing games because there’s no ping pong table here, only a bunch of swim diapers you’ll have to deal with later. The front of your McMansion might be imprinted concrete designed to look like bricks, but the back is faded siding two shades lighter than your Astroturf “lawn.” Unlock your sunglasses and take a look at your life through yonder window, girlfriend. It’s a misty abyss of nothingness.

Tagline: JC Penney – where dreams come to die.

Ready for the next season? Don’t miss the fall ad campaigns of 2012


  1. I just want to thank you for reposting all of these amazing pics of me! As you can tell, I work really hard at looking so…well, is there really a need to define it? And no worries — next time, we will definitely invite you on our rafting trip…

    Ooops, time for me to wake up…and put on some reality…and some frumpy mom clothes 😉

    Thanks for the hilarious post!

  2. I really can’t stop staring at the girl in the waders. Or the high heels next to her. Such a funny post, I shared with all my Facebook friends. Love a good laugh in the morning!

  3. #4 takes the cake. Every time I see that ad, I marvel at its ridiculousness. Can you imagine the pitch for that ad? “See, EVERYONE knows how FUN it is to shower with your significant other! It’s just so…hot. So let’s play off that. Yeah, that’s it.” Clearly these two have no children, no place to be and don’t live in the city of Atlanta, because the water bill alone for that bubbly, playful spectacle would bankrupt them.

  4. I love the last pic. Like “No kids, mommy gets to be in the pool because you failed your pre-pre-k spelling test. Now you have to sit on the lawn while I have all the fun because you can’t spell.”

  5. Thank you thank you ML for giving me a reason to spend time online! Am peeing my pants at this and all your others that I have frittered away my morning reading! (I particularly liked the profanity piece and am determined to add some creativity to my well-placed expletives!) Keep ’em coming! Now to work on that angry face…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s