—The awkward use of a misunderstood Britishism made Craig Redmond go a little nuts this week—
On a call with my colleagues in New York last week, I described an ad concept with the following advertising proverb: “This is going to stand out like dog’s balls.”
Judging by the silence on the other end of the Zoom, I gathered the analogy wasn’t understood, was considered offensive, or both. Upon further introspection, I remembered that it was a very British expression, first revealed to me early in my career.
I had received a promotional piece from a U.K. photographer featuring a large Bullmastiff looking back at the camera. Its genitalia filled most of the frame, and each of those massive globes was painted a very bright purple. With no headline to explain itself, I turned to my Liverpudlian CD, who had to take his very naïve Canadian protégé aside to translate the visual idiom.
Anyway, my gaffe inspired a slightly different take on that age-old creative saying for this week’s column: Balls ads that themselves genuinely stand out. Balls, stones, cajones, nads, goolies, family jewels, nuts, junk, da boys… campaigns past and very present that descend to the spherical nether regions of men kind.
Ironically, one of the most memorable and brilliant broaches of the tickly topic was for Ovarian Cancer Canada. I will never forget when I heard the words “Lady Balls” coming from behind my strategic planner’s laptop, and literally launched myself to her side to find out what the hell she was watching.
Well ahead of the #MeToo inspired gender rebellion moment, the campaign grabbed the manly man cliché by the giggle berries and took total ownership. In a matter of seconds, it had us laughing and then celebrating women’s empowerment and only then, rendered us defenseless to absorbing the very sobering and serious message of Ovarian Cancer awareness and charitable support. This is what you call balls to the wall.
In a similarly disarming moment a couple of years later, I found myself falling out of my chair in hysterics watching two spandex-clad Aussies suspended in rattan hanging baskets and personifying some bloke’s naughty nuggets while conversing with his overbearing brain via headsets.
I had never heard of Bond’s Underwear, and quite honestly never really considered the importance of our testes’ temperament when choosing gonch. But watching these two befuddled ballers suddenly had me seriously pondering the value of the pebble pouch. Balls out, this one was.
I was reminded of those two great salutes to the tender tater tots this week, when I saw this wonderful, visual voyage on the part of hair removal product, Veet. You might be more familiar with the brand’s former name, Neet. Yup that bottle of thiolglycolic acid and potassium hydroxide that women turned to when they wanted to incinerate the hairs on their legs.
I’ll be honest, whether you’re the manscaping type or not, the thought of applying an Agent Orange, scorched-earth approach to those precious orbs feels a little terrifying. But watching this Homies’ Odyssey leaves one so overcome with a soothing sense of serenity, it might just seduce the odd gentleman into giving Veet a dip.
Caressed by the wisp of beach flora, coddled by a summer breeze, kissed by the wings of a butterfly, bathed beneath a mountain waterfall, and embraced by the warmth of sun-drenched white cotton sheets—all while being serenaded by a gently hypnotic whistling accompaniment? These little fellas have got it made.
In fact, so unique and memorable are all these efforts, perhaps I should share them with my friends to the south as examples of ads that do indeed stand out like dog’s balls. I just need to summon the testicular fortitude, or, as they say, “grow a pair of lady balls,” to do so.