Fug the Ad: Project Runway

So, coincidentally, I’d been meaning to fug this ad even before Jessica linked to it yesterday, because it’s on a bus stop near my house and it makes me INSANE, which is not a good thing when you are driving a car. Caveat: I do not blame Tim Gunn for this. I’m sure he just did what they told him to do.

Let’s examine the pros and cons what this ad could possibly convey to a casual passer-by:

1) “Hi, I’m Tim Gunn, and I’m still employed.” Pro. He was the only sane one of all the show’s elders last year.

2) “Hi, I’m Tim Gunn. Can you believe Gretchen won last season? I KNOW.” Pro. See above.

3) “Hi, I’m Tim Gunn, and I have SUCH a migraine. My doctor says I’m clenching at night.” Con. We don’t want Tim to be in pain.

4) “Hi, I’m Tin Gunn, and this isn’t a job. It’s WORK. Oy.” Con. Next time, put the “it” somewhere less stupid so people can see it, rather than assume Tim’s complaining.

5) “Hi, I’m Tim Gunn, and these cast members are all so terrible that you will watch the show with this expression on your face every single time.” Con. I have enough wrinkles.

6) “Hi, I’m Tim Gunn, and this is what 90 minutes feels like this time around.” Con. The show shouldn’t look like a slog before it even starts. Let us get five minutes in before we feel that way.

7) “Hi, I’m Tim Gunn. Seriously, no, you didn’t dream last season.” Pro — we are glad Mondo really happened — and also Con, because SERIOUSLY, in the span of one episode, Nina went from deriding Gretchen’s collection as mere clothes, then loving it and branding it a winner, with naught but a styling tweak? No.

8 ) “Hi, I’m Tim Gunn, and I really should have gotten a raise.” Con. Tim always deserves more.

9) “Hi, I’m Tim Gunn, and WHAT IS HEIDI WEARING?” Pro. Admit it.

10) “Hi, I’m Tim Gunn. Just… don’t even bother.” Con. Or is it a secret pro?

TOTAL: Four pros, six cons. Or 4.5/5.5, depending on how you voted on that last one. But frankly, if you are an ad, and there are ANY cons to your message, then you have problems. And after the protested end to last season, Project Runway can’t really afford to make itself seem like, well, work.

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Comments (41):

  1. Willow

    I genuinely spent 2 minutes looks for the “it”.

    I’m still certain Gretchen paid Nina Garcia, with youth, to love her collection, the best thing about the runway show was the music.

  2. jessicookie

    (I am sincerely enjoying the fact that your #8 showed up as a sunglasses-wearing smiley face.)

    Also, yes: TERRIBLE ad idea.

  3. Jody

    Project Runway, now sponsored by Head-On! Apply directly to the forehead!

  4. Dyanna

    I’m just geeked that your numbering system ended up showing a sunglassed smiley for number 8! When I send my boyfriend an email, it shows up on his phone as “From:Dyanna” and the combination colonD makes a grin face, every time.

  5. Sajorina

    I feel sorry for Tim! He DESERVES better! This is not a good ad, to me it says: “Hi, I’m Tim Gunn. I dare you to watch while I take a nap!”

    YES, he looks fashionable, knowledgeable and like a mentor! BUT, he also looks tired, bored and fed up! He looks like he needs a vacation and a substantial raise! After last season’s fiasco, my feeling is that if they don’t get it right this season, there won’t be another season after this one! WORD!

  6. rachael

    There is no way he wasn’t raised by a miserable Jewish woman! He screams “oy gevalt”!

  7. Erika

    WTF? They didn’t run this by any focus groups to make sure it made sense? I kept wondering whether “Make work” was some tagline I’d never heard of before. Like Willow, it took me at least 2 minutes to find the “it.”

  8. Bob Stanley

    This year’s cast members can’t be as bad as last season . . . can they?

  9. Libby

    “Hi I’m Tim Gunn and we’ve really scraped the bottom of the barrel to find some designers this year. You may want to avert your eyes, too.”

  10. JF

    this has been bugging me too! sheesh, for a handsome, exceptionally well-groomed man (you just KNOW TG smells good, allllll the time), they certainly made him look run down and weary. . .

    however, he is rockin’ the purple/navy ensemble! way to mix patterns, Tim, I sense a Mondo influence!

  11. berryberrykix

    This concerns me.

  12. Mad

    First naked Heidi, now migrained Tim? This ad campaign does NOT MAKEitWORK

  13. megs283

    I’ve never really watched Project Runway…. but this makes me REALLY NOT want to watch it. Why would I, when the star looks just as annoyed as I usually feel?

  14. KSCnCA

    Where’s André?

    But seriously, this ad says “I need medication!”

  15. vandalfan

    Never seen the program, and this ad will not help. “Make Work” is chores you think up to keep your crew of teen yardworkers busy, like washing the truck and emptying trash cans.

  16. eee

    (I miss Andre. More accurately, I miss the shenanigans of season 2.)

    And yeah, Tim looks weary and run-down, and that’s just …not Tim.

  17. Alice

    “where the hell is my chiffon”

    Season 2 was by far the best series, I actually cried when Andre was eliminated.

  18. Alix

    Who the hell is designing these ads???

  19. Alix

    I’m starting to think the headline should read, “Calgon, take me away!”

  20. marcia

    Now, I am a girl who LOVES a spoiler, I read the back of every book. AND I watch PR religiously. But after I found out that Gretchen won, I did not bother to ever go back and watch the final episode.

  21. Lisa

    I kind of love Tim’s ad. It’s so much better than the ones from past years where he wears the overly bright smile. I wish the “it” was bigger, but I didn’t even notice that before today.
    Heidi’s ad is horrifying though. What does nakedness have to do with the show? But of course, it’s Heidi, she can do what she wants… but she’s also appropriated TIM’s line (“make it work” on her arm). Sheesh.

  22. RosieB

    I still think Andy should won last season. He had the most cohesive and well made collection. I know I’m in the minority, but I found Mondo’s work to be tacky and garish.

    Has anyone else seen the ad Tim did for one of those travel sites (for the life of me I can’t remember if it’s Expedia or Travelocity…they blend together in my mind)? Made me cringe. He’s a wonderful, classy guy and deserves so much more dignity than advertisements allow!

  23. Princess Leah

    Oh, how I wish this had been changed up with a nekkid Tim and distressed Heidi.

  24. Megan

    These ads are the worst.

    Rosie – that commercial makes me cringe too! You’re better than that, Tim!

  25. Danielle

    YES. I have been walking past this Tim Gunn ad every day on my way to work and every time I cringe. Poor Tim, he’s such a handsome man but this ad is giving him a drunk, lazy-eye look!

  26. Jessica

    I have seen this posted to the right of one of the Heidi ads, and then Tim’s expression makes complete sense.

  27. Shannon

    Am I the only one that thinks his arm and hand look like they’re not even part of his body? And he just looks so tired of it getting all up in his face. Like this is an ad for a wacky mismatched-roommate comedy starring Tim Gunn’s detached arm (as the wacky one with no sense of personal boundaries) and Tim Gunn (as the exasperated stick-in-the-mud). Just me?

  28. TonyG

    If Tim can say no to all those aspiring designers, he should be able to say no to the photographer who asked him to make this face. I got a headache just looking at the ad. Con. 8 (

  29. KAB

    @Jessica: I completely agree – the ads only work when they are next to one another. Then Tim looks less “Do you have an Excedrin” and more “Lord, she is naked. AGAIN.” And Heidi’s ad only makes sense if you’ve heard any of the radio ads for the show, which is something about how, without fashion, we might as well be naked.

  30. Carol

    This is a terrible ad!!! And put it next to the Heidi ad?! It’s just stupid! Why, Lifetime, why??? Unless of course it’s an ironic ‘oy vey” to Heidi’s “Hello! I am naked but for this ribbon!”

    Whatever it is, I just can’t.

  31. Erica

    Yeah, my design degree cringes at the “it” placement.

  32. Another Molly

    The type. It’s so bad. Omg. Not just the miniscule “it,” M-A-K-E-W-O-R-K is horrendous. My head is about to explode.

  33. yeahandalso

    even though it is REALLY spring 2010, I absolutely love his outfit though

  34. jenny

    I swear, the person who art directed this has NEVER seen the show. My problem is, that’s not the face he makes when he says “make it work”, am I right? That’s the face he makes when someone has done something totally ridiculous. The “make it work” face is much more energetic and fun. I want that face.

  35. Cecily

    That is a terrible ad. It does not entice, nor even attempt to highlight the elegant genius that is Tim Gunn. FAIL

  36. Edith

    I know, Tim, I know – all those competing fonts are giving ME a headache, too.

  37. hippetyhop

    @Shannon – that was my first thought too! It’s a much younger man’s hand. I imagined some poor intern crouched down with his arm poking up, while Tim tries to look *natural*, his own wrinkled, hairy, liver-spotted hand tucked away out of sight.

  38. Aoife

    I love the 4) says I’m TIN Gunn – I’m sure it was a mistake, but it says everything about the expression on his face

  39. Jaclyn

    I absolutely LOVE Heidi Klum, especially when it comes to her latest ventures and fashion! Check out this awesome feature on her and see what makes her tick– http://bit­.ly/qcmXud

  40. Jenny

    “Hi, I’m Tim Gunn and I… Sigh. I’m so over this. Can I go home now?”

  41. Anastasia Crouse

    Seriously couldn’t find ‘it’ until you said ‘it’ was, apparently, there. And now I do see it.
    Did anyone else just loathe the way Gretchen’s face moved? She always looked like a fibbing doll baby to me. Ew.