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GSD&M Takes Bad Taste Several Levels Higher

GS&DM Takes Bad Taste To A New Level

This is what happens when there are no grown-ups around. The “creative” staff at GSD&M, an Austin, Texas-based ad agency took the occasion of Christmas to design and sell gift wrapping paper that pushes well past the boundaries of taste and good judgement and came up with these gems (see photos). While the proceeds go to a musical charity in their hometown, it does not excuse this low market publicity stunt.

Trees once stood where the gift wrapping paper from GSD&M was made.
Trees once stood where the gift wrapping paper from GSD&M was made.

Yes, it garnered them a lot of attention, like why I else would I or anyone pay any attention to these refugees from Neverland? But there is fame and infamy. What do clients think about this? Clients are notoriously conservative. Would any of them be caught dead wrapping a gift for a relative, colleague, customer or casual acquaintance with this nonsense? Doubtful.

Even more confounding is how enthusiastically Ad Week reviewed the new wrapping paper, “This particular wrapping paper replaces seasonal sayings such as “Joy to the World” and “Peace on Earth” with cocksure copy alerting those who are about to tear open their packages of the orgasmic awesomeness nestled within.” I doubt anyone will have any of those reactions to the paper or the gift. More likely they will reassess you and the future of your relationship.

Here is a look into the creative process at GSD&M: “When you give the perfect gift, it takes everything you have not to tell the person how amazing it is,” says Ryan Carroll who is the group creative director. “Now you can let your wrapping paper do the talking for you. Also, we really wanted to use a ‘Pee yourself’ joke.” I went to the GSD&M website and saw a photo of Mr. Caroll. He does not appear to be eleven years old, his quote to Ad Week notwithstanding. But I am sure he and his fellow creatives have the sophomoric market “wrapped up” so to speak.

Maybe it is not fair to judge these people based on a single article or one idea. But unfortunately, that is what people do. They make decisions based on what they see.  There are better ways to demonstrate creativity. One of my favorites is to write campaigns that sell more of what the client is offering than were sold before I was hired. Now that’s creative!