Ad Nauseam


Commercial Break 

It bothers me how much time I spend writing about adverts for this blog. I’d love to use it more wisely, perhaps writing about actual television programmes and works of art instead of the intermediate bursts of consumerist affirmation that punctuate them. However I can’t. Adverts fascinate, appall, offend, excite and pique the curiosity much more than most media these days. After all – culture is transient but commercials… well… I find them to be the true reflector of our society. We can go on about social change, about emerging trends and about legal precedents all we like, but until the most prevalent format begins to reflect them we may as well just keep quiet.

That said, I am trying to cut down on my own advert ramblings a tad this year and have decided to condense all my bile and pithy complaints into one easily digested post. No reams of material here, just a few biteback comments about the adverts which are really grinding my goat right now.

Pedigree Kennel Drive

Aaaaaw, look at the sad puppy with the voice of Bob the Builder…. aaaaaaw, animals are so cute… aaaaaaw, look, Pedigree are raising awareness by donating money from each pack sold to help homeless dogs… aaaaaaw… hang on, what do you mean 1p from each pack sold? For just three months? You tight bastards… that means if that EVERY person in the country who owns a dog buys 1 pack a month they’ll only receive 200 grand? That’s less than your poxy advert, celebrity appearance, PR company and airtime cost. Why not just not make a flat out donation and get the free publicity from your good naturedness?

Oil of Olay Definity Test

Classic example of ‘here’s the problem you didn’t know you had and now here’s what you need to solve it’. Money please. I’m reminded of that great Mitchell and Web sketch about toothbrushes.


Why pay more? Because you’re a corrupt, unethical, slave-labour using, minimum wage endorsing, union-busting, tax-evading corporation. That’s why.

Kinder Bueno, A Little BIt of What You Fancy

This is not the 1970s. Or were you just angling for a featurette on Tarrant on TV for being cheeky? Jesus Fucking Christ… switch the genders and you’d have a full scale controversy.

LV Life Insurance

Read the small print; amount paid back will be less than paid in, fail to make a payment and the money is ours to keep, no payment until a year after your death so we have a full 12 months to bury your cash into all manner of highly dubious financial risks and ensure that the money isn’t available to pay for funeral costs and other expenses. Cilla Black, for shame – and the trawl through the Sixties audio is cringe-worthy.

Stella Artois – Pass Something On

I. Just. Hate. This. Fucking. Advert. Give the man his hat, or shoot him. Just get to the end of this piece of shit before I explode… that music…just thinking about it makes me want to cry inside.

Skoda Cake Car

Another advert I just despise… informing the public of a product or service is one thing, but this incessant branding is beginning to wear down my lifeforce. Not content with just presenting themselves anymore, we now have to suffer through a thousand ego interpretations of how Nike, or Sony, or Skoda (for fuck’s sake) want us to think of them. It’s a car! It’s a fucking car! Tell me about the fucking car, don’t subject me to the tedious artistic vision of a bunch of ad men. Either sell me a product or fuck off, stop being whimsical and aloof because it’s not big, it’s not clever, and it’s certainly not making me warm to you as a conglomerate.

Halifax feat. Thomas from Leeds

I will never have an account with Halifax, and it is solely because of these adverts. Full stop. Never. Their branding has done the opposite of the intended effect and has driven me from their stores, never to return and filled with hatred for them. Want to know why bank charges are so high? It’s so they can pay for their staff to CGI surf on TV and not even have the decency to buy their dignity with money – just ‘an opportunity.’

Halifax are dead to me now, as are Lloyds for their ‘want it/buy it’ commercials. These aren’t people, they’re relentless pathological extortioners.


Ewan McGregor, why? Did you want a second home or something? Money is surely no object to you, so why did you feel compelled to sell yourself off to a fucking perfume-maker? And to think I used to have respect for you…


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43 Responses to “Ad Nauseam”

  1. Swineshead Says:

    Since that Skoda ad first came on it’s always made me shout at the TV. it;’s got fuck all to do with anything.

    Still, I probably couldn’t make an advert as good as that, so according to people like Glenn I should shut up.

  2. Clarys Says:

    You don’t like many adverts then?

    I like the skoda advert, if only for the fact a fair bit of work went into it. I’m all for that!

  3. Who Says:

    Lest we forget….


  4. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    The one that’s getting to me at the moment is the dog food one where the dog arrives on a gravy train to offer other dogs the two-in-one taste sensation of new Bakers Complete Two-In-One. Apparently you can give your dog one of two choices – dry with no gravy, or not dry with delicious gravy. As this involves pouring water on the food (to make the gravy), it beggars the question – why would you give the little blighter option one? It’s not like you have to go to great extremes to give your dog the gravy a dog so clearly craves. “I’m sorry, Rover, but tonight you can whistle if you think you’re getting more o’ that delicious gravy. It’s dry food for you, as I can’t be arsed to turn on the tap.”

    With gravy = dog Shangri-La
    Without gravy = dog Auschwitz

  5. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    And let’s not forget ‘Bifidus Digestivum’ to relieve ‘that bloated feeling’. Or the downright, bare-faced lie PC World are touting at the moment that its £539 laptop allows you to play the latest high definition games – a quick examination of the spec reveals a poxy 128 MB graphics card that you could just about run Call of Duty 2 on. Or what about DFS’s claims that they ‘only have two sales a year’? As their last one ended Sunday, that means they’ve only got one left. Right you are … my letter to the ASA is stored and ready. Bastards, the lot of ’em.

  6. Swineshead Says:

    Worst advert at the moment is surely the Tesco ad on Essex Road

  7. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    Essex Road? Bit London-specific, ain’t it? And you’re wrong, anyway. As a ‘home worker’ (layabout), I know the worst adverts are:

    “And what’s more, they’ve got rid of that plastic”
    “I don’t mind, but two weeks with … Snowdrop.”
    “What? About football?”


  8. Swineshead Says:

    I was talking about the Banksy one…


  9. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    I liked that one he did on that wall.

  10. piqued Says:

    I saw the Davidoff ad the other day and I honestly thought it was a joke until discovering it wasn’t. I had to wank to get over it.

  11. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    Why is everyone accusing McGregor of selling out by doing a perfume ad? Erm … Star Wars? The Island? Moulin fucking Rouge? That ad’s a return to his past form compared to Attack of the Clones, surely?

  12. John Q Wagonwheel Says:

    He is an appallingly cheesy actor, it must be said.

  13. piqued Says:

    …I’m still wanking by the way, it bleeds

  14. Swineshead Says:

    He’s crap, the scotsman. Seems like a nice chap but as an actor, crap. I watched Trainspotting for the first time in ages recently and the only thing its got going for it, ten years on, is the soundtrack.

  15. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    I’ve only seen that film the once. It confirmed my view that the Scotch are a bunch of depraved beasts.

  16. mitchellirons Says:

    if roland barthes could write about advertisements, then so can you.

  17. Gilbert Wham Says:

    I like the car one. It’s a fucking enormous cake, for god’s sake. What’s wrong with you people? Don’t you like cake? Perverts.

  18. Dave Medlo Says:

    It’s not that it’s not a well made advert (the Skoda cake one) because it is, I hate it because of the constant repetition and pointlessness of it. So they made a car from cake – well done – but why do I have to see it 12 fucking times a day? I get the point. Skoda makes cake cars. Now fuck off. It’s like having to watch the same whimsical short film over and over again…

    It’s not even selling a product – it’s selling a name. Advertising things that are actually for sale is not so bad, it’s this goddam branding that drives me mad. I’m paying through the nose for a television service, and yet I have to have my choices interrupted 4 times an hour to be reminded that Skoda still exist. How is that useful to anyone?

  19. Gilbert Wham Says:

    I’ve given up on it entirely. Find a program you like, then torrent it & watch at your leisure. When my telly dies, I’m gonna buy a bigger monitor instead.

  20. Dave Medlo Says:

    Amen to that. Free internet TV is the way forward.

  21. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    I quite like the cake one too. I was keeping that to m’self until there was a bit more anti-Medlo support. Viva the cake!

  22. smarkatch Says:

    Ewan McGregor, why?

    Funnily enough, that’s exactly what I howled at the TV the first time I saw that Davidoff ad. It was quickly followed by ‘Ewan McGregor, no!’ and ‘Ewan McGregor, you fuckwit!’.

    Seriously, why did he do it?

  23. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    Because he’s happy to appear in any old shit, that’s why. You seriously shouted out ‘Why?’ when you saw the star of The Phantom Menace in a perfume ad?


  24. Clarys Says:

    I’m a bit lost as to why McGregor doing Moulin Rouge is a sellout. It’s a damn sight fucking better than shitty Star Wars, that’s for sure.

    Plus, Davidoff have clearly offered him aLOT of money, which will usually turn a fair few people’s heads.

  25. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    I’d have to disagree. I thought those recent Star Wars movies were cinematic atrocities that should be erased from history for the good of future generations … yet I’d still watch ’em over Nicole Kidman failing to act her way out of a paper bag as Ewan McGregor sings Elton fucking John songs out of key in a ghastly shagbag of campness and noise. I’d say you sell out when you agree to lower yourself to star in one of the most vulgar, overblown, grotesque, badly-written, badly-acted pieces of SHIT that’s ever graced the Silver Screen.

  26. piqued Says:

    …so you’ve actually watched Moulin Rough have you NC?

    You wearing perfume you bloody GREAT POOF

    As for the new Star Wars trilogy, made it half way through the one with Ja Ja Binks and not touched it since.

    This means I win, of course

  27. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    Of course I’ve seen Moulin Rouge. If you had an other half (as opposed to an imaginary one), you’d have seen it too. It’s not always possible to stop ’em shoving a DVD on that you’ve not scrutinised beforehand – that’s why men with actual, living, breathing partners end up being subjected to films with the likes of Nicole Kidman and that wally McGregor in ’em. One day, when they’ve operated on that humped back o’ yours, you too might sample the delights of female company … and the woeful world of rom-coms and musicals that opens up for you.

    I’ve no excuse as to why I watched all three of them new Star Wars films. I think I might have been holding out for a shot of Natalie Portman’s knockers. Fat fucking chance.

    So you don’t win … one, because you’re wrong, and two, because you’re a cancer on this earth.

  28. John Q Wagonwheel Says:

    I’ve seen Bridget Jones 6 bloody times. The girl needs disciplining.

  29. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    See? SEE? This is what happens when you let ’em near the DVD player! I tell you, unless you can distract ’em with shoe catalogues, you’ll be up to your eyeballs in Julia Roberts movies before you can say, “I need to watch explosions, woman!” It’s a battle in my house to get control of the remote – a battle I’m hamstrung going into because she can always turn off the taps.

    What crime have I committed, I wonder, that warrants Dirty Dancing as my punishment?

  30. piqued Says:

    I’ve seen Bridgette Jones because of Myfwt (didn’t mind it either, there, I’ve said it) however, she’d no more watch Moulin Rouge (it’s a fucking musical) than you’d watch Fassbinder you hooligan (s)

    Now leave me in peace, I’m digesting game and cheese

  31. piqued Says:

    ..not seen Dirty Dancing either you bloody fairy

  32. John Q Wagonwheel Says:

    You didn’t mind it… but you have a cock? A cock that doesn’t spend a lot of its time pasted with man-shit?

  33. piqued Says:

    No, it’s never pasted in man-shit, I prefer to have my gentleman smothered in woman-shit being partial to coitus with someone of the opposite sex, but each to his own, I’m not Richard Littlejohn

  34. gooseannoyer Says:

    What torments me about the cake advert is wondering, did they make all the innards of the car – every single bit like fan belts – out of different sweeties and cake and jelly, or did they give up half way through and just say ‘Stuff it, it’ll just all be solid cake from now on?’

  35. piqued Says:

    who gives a shit

  36. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    You see ’em making the fan belt, but for the most part, the innards are just big hunks of cake. This makes sense as a car made from cake with cake seats and a cake dashboard wouldn’t be able to support a cake roof. I suppose you could make a cake convertible … though I have my doubts on how you’d keep the jelly windscreen in place.

    Ignore Piqued, by the way – he’s an ignorant shitbag.

  37. Swineshead Says:

    Cake cars are alright – they gateaux (get you) from a to b.

    *slits wrists*

  38. gooseannoyer Says:

    And I thought geese were annoying…

  39. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    BADUMM-TISSSH! Well done, Swineshead, that was marvellous.

  40. Dave Medlo Says:

    I just hope it the cake car was given to a kids hospital or something… it was probably nibbled at by the crew and then thrown away, mind.

  41. John Q Wagonwheel Says:

    Oh you guys…
    Also, I started a blog:

  42. Liam Liam Says:

    The new Churchill ones are pretty bad, set out like a game show with an oh-so-cheeky presenter who I want to hurt.

    Oh, all the answers are right! How cheeky of you, cheeky churchill!

    Could be worse though, let us not forget…


    If I had a hammer…

  43. John Q Wagonwheel Says:

    You’d hammer in the morning, you’d hammer in the evening, all over his face?

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