A sliver of a brain

I just saw a bus wrapped in ads for the rebranded Slice Network, formerly Life (“My vice is Slice”). One read something like: “If I wanted to be smarter, I’d watch a book.”

So … TV for stupid women. This is the direction the marketers want to go? Interesting.

The website has an ad that leads to the advice section saying “Don’t break into his e-mail. Stalk him the old fashioned way.” It seems to have nothing to do with the actual advice on that page, but hey, it’s kind of offensive and creepy to women AND men. Bonus!

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13 Responses to A sliver of a brain

  1. CAROLINE says:

    Glad you said something! I was told recently by a man that I was “too sensitive and politically correct” when I saw a bunch of their billboards all in a row and hated them all.

    So, we’re supposed to revel in being stupid and shallow apparently.

    And I don’t see how they’re living up to “My vice is slice” … I don’t find the shows that edgy or appealing. I’ve been watching all the new stuff they launched last week and may post my take on their re-brand later on, specifically how it relates to the content. They’ve even sauced up the disclaimers at the beginnings of their new series and made them offensive.

  2. Diane Kristine says:

    I guess the fact that the shows don’t even slightly appeal to me means it’s not unreasonable that the marketing wouldn’t appeal to me either. I mean, maybe people who like the shows would find the ads funny?

  3. Teresa says:

    “They’ve even sauced up the disclaimers at the beginnings..”

    YA I noticed that too. I watched an episode of Extreme Makeover the other night:

    “this program contains mature subject matter” it just seems immature

    How daft is that? Are we supposed to think it’s funny?

  4. Mef says:

    sometimes it’s nice to live in Halifax where we don’t have a big enough population to warrant billboards or bus ads.


  5. wcdixon says:

    “spit take”

    Know what you mean, Mark…know what you mean.

  6. DMc says:

    They fucked up this launch something fierce.

    I for one think the rebranding could have totally worked. Look, the fact of the matter is that I may read, I may be literate or smart but sometimes when I’m tired I want to watch something stupid and male.

    I have watched Spike more often than you think. And never for a second have I thought less of myself for doing so.

    But the psychology for women is different. I have absolutely no problem embracing my “dumb male side” when I want to watch SPIKE.

    The research for Slice indicated that there was a niche for women in their 20s and 30s who wanted comfort food programming. Stupid, inconsequential, and escapist.

    But you know what you don’t do?

    You don’t try to sell that to women by saying, “don’t worry your pretty little head with all that thinking.”

    For all the talk about post-feminism and the like, women out there every day are one comment away from a bad mood, of being dismissed or marginalized because that’s still how the world works, even in our enlightened western democracies.

    This is a marketing fuck up, not a programming fuck up. All that would have been fine if the ads had emphasized smart, professional women in positions of responsibility who like to come home and slip into a warm, comforting bath of silly escapist programming. For Jesus sake, what the hell is Grey’s Anatomy if not that? That show is double plus retarded.

    Equate the programs to visiting a spa. Slipping into something deserved and ridiculous cause you work hard…

    The “My Vice is Slice” tag would have worked fine if they’d framed it that way. Instead, if you buy into that channel now, you’re actually feeding into pernicious stereotypes.

    I feel hard-pressed to come up with a more spectacular case of a marketing misfire. This is New Coke territory.

  7. CAROLINE says:

    Once again, D, quite correct on the analysis … we do watch crap tv too, we just don’t want to be told we’re dumb (especially us blondes). I’m not saying I don’t watch junk, hell, I watched the entire Dudesons marathon on Spike. So I was with you … til you slagged off my Grey’s Anatomy. I know it’s tv junk food, but I love it, and it lives in that special place in my heart that Vachon snack cakes do. As an aside, check out the Grey’s Anatomy podcasts if you watch the show. Aside from the fact that Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers are crazy, they actually give you some great insight into how they arc the stories and why certain lines and events are pivotal to character development.

  8. Diane Kristine says:

    Yeah, I think calling Grey’s Anatomy “retarded” might be playing the Slice game, but otherwise – exactly. I was never going to be a Slice fan if they’re going to fill it with reality shows, but I love my own kind of escapism. I just don’t go around saying “hey, leave me alone, I’m stupid – I love silly romantic comedies.” I might enjoy the stupid and the shallow, but I wouldn’t put up with the implication that I’m stupid and shallow for it. So far, Slice is distinguished in my mind from the W Network as being the one I’d take pains to avoid.

  9. DMc says:

    See what I just did there?
    I totally proved my point.

    I love the word “retarded.” It’s one of my favorite words. I, of course, deploy it whereever I can except when it comes to referring to the developmentally disabled.

    I understand the appeal of Greys and exactly why women like it. At one point I found it diverting enough to watch, then it left me.

    And then promptly became a monster hit.

    It matters not a whit what I think about it — or what any man thinks of it.

    Until I say something like, “it’s retarded,” and that bugs both of you enough that you can’t let it go.

    Believe me, if you called something on Spike retarded that I watched? I wouldn’t even blink.

    It’s just different. Smart people should know this. And they should know why. The Slice marketers didn’t know it. So they didn’t know their audience. Bad move.

    Talk about retarded.

  10. Diane Kristine says:

    Well sure, but since I also abandoned Grey’s Anatomy post-Superbowl, it’s more an aversion to the word “retarded.” Which I totally get is part of the attraction of using the word, but then you must expect to get called on it every now and then. Kind of like networks who call women stupid and shallow.

    If you’d called Grey’s Anatomy vapid I wouldn’t have blinked. In fact, I will call it vapid right now. But that doesn’t mean people who watch it are. And one thing I think that’s contributed to the show’s success (but turned me off in the process) is that it’s packaged as being more profound than it actually is. I think that’s the entire reason Meredith’s voiceovers exist. ABC smart. Slice dumb.

  11. DMc says:

    Oh yeah?
    You’re a towel!

  12. CAROLINE says:


  13. Diane Kristine says:

    I bet he really wanted to call me retarded.

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