Posts Tagged ‘ads’

Cadbury’s Eyebrow Ad

March 3, 2009

With the public going batty for healthy comestibles, now is a bad time to work in the snack food industry. Vilified on television, snack foods are shown as the reason for poor, twenty-four-stone Janine from Slough being barely able to lift her bottom off the sofa, and also why the nation’s children are wobbling balls of fat in Jamie Oliver’s School Dinners. Give it ten weeks and your humble packet of salt and vinegar crisps will be held responsible for the recession, knife crime and the breakdown in relations between the UK and Russia.

So, you’d imagine it would be quite hard working in the marketing department at Cadbury’s. I remember chocolate adverts from my youth, usually featuring a cartoon frog in a baseball cap screaming its lungs off, designed to get us kids worked up into a pestering frenzy. The money-shot would always feature an enlarged shot of the chocolate bar, with all the different layers of chocolate, sugar and marshmallow labelled. Like porn for chocaholics.

To do that now would not only be impractical with all the anti junk-food advertising laws around, it would also make your ad’s guilty claims of being ‘more chocolatey then ever’ seem unappealing, almost perverse when displayed next to promotions for organic celery sticks and drum-wheat cracker bars.

So, the new trick is to resort to novelty promotions that do everything to distract the public from what they’re promoting. Poor old Walkers had to drum up some novelty flavours, from Chilli & Chocolate to Menstruating Goat ‘n’ Cress.

Cadburys have taken a different route, and the result is 30 seconds of very surreal television that makes about as much sense to me as the time I hit my head and tried to listen to BBC Cymru.

The advert stars two kids, both abducted from a special needs school in the 80s, who wiggle their eyebrows in time to some funky electro pop. The boy on the left is common or garden funny-looking, but the girl on the right is something else; a cross between those spooky little girls you get in Japanese horror films and the child of Frau Farbissina from Austin Powers.

By the time she starts to squeak a balloon in time to the music, you’re not only left confused as to what’s been advertised, you’ve also forgotten who you are. Your jaw hangs open as you stare agog at this new watershed in pointless advertising. It might work to the extent that it has distracted you from the unhealthy nature of the food whilst subtly reminding you that chocolate is fun, but it’s messed me up so much that I can’t decide if I hate it in all it’s fake internet meme glory or not.

I spent half an hour last night watching it on Youtube, oscillating between abject hatred and childlike affection, while jamming milk chocolate bars into my face at a rate of six a minute. At least it’s temporarily stopped me from thinking about eating healthily.

That might have been the point in the first place, come to think of it.

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Newsgush – Total Recall

October 21, 2008

In our irregular, slightly unpopular news item we take a little look at Marketing magazine’s Adwatch feature, this time dated 15th October. And what a cracker it is this time around.

So – if you’ll do us the honour of casting your mind back – you’ll remember Adwatch gathers information from those rotten swines, the general public. Then –using computers – it figures out which ads are more easily recalled in the empty, addled and simple minds of the unwashed masses (that’s us).

Let’s have a look at the Top 5. At this point, please imagine ‘The Wizard’ by Paul Hardcastle playing in the background. Or click here if your imagination is feeble. 

5.) Greggs
I don’t actually remember ever seeing an ad for Greggs appear on my TV. I’m finding it difficult to believe they actually advertise, as the Greggs near my manor is essentially a doss-house for crackheads and ageing ladies of the night. Every time I walk past, it’s scattered with the flaking imagery of the Hackney undead. Perhaps they’re attracted by the delicious cream horns.

4.) Subway
Balls to Subway and their revolting food. Have you ever been in one?
It’s ridiculous. You stand in a queue and go along on a meet-and-greet with the chain-gang employees (no doubt being paid tiny peanuts) trying not to be pernickety about how many kernels of corn you want in your ridiculously elongated bap. If you ask for steak and cheese, they put a small tray containing a mass of what genuinely resembles bum-pickings into a microwave. It’s deeply unappetising. I can’t recall the advert.

3.) Hovis
Again – this one’s gone straight over my head – if I’ve ever seen it. Do people really buy bread based on an advert? I can’t say I’ve ever seen a loaf on TV and made a mental note to purchase one the next day at dawn. There are too many other thoughts banging around my brain like ‘if I don’t do some work in the office tomorrow I will get fired‘, ‘they should, one day, make a gameshow with a skyscraper made out of jenga blocks‘ and of course, the perpetual repeat-playing of the question ‘have I got a terminal disease?‘.

2.) Marks & Spencer
That’s more like it! Of course I remember this. M&S have pulled off the trick of putting a piece of crumpet in their advert, running around in her underwear again. The fact they do this every single time means this is a successful campaign. I like the fact that, in the new one, she’s running around a fairground in her smalls. If she’d tried that in any of the travelling fairs I attended as a child she’d have promptly been dragged off to a dark area behind a lorry by the feral-looking monster who ran the waltzers. Someone should have a word with that naughty French siren – and I’m volunteering.

1.) Confused.com

ARGH. AAAAARGH. AAAAAAAAARGH!
This advert makes me want to kill, maim and die. dot com. Lobotomised spectres walk around a white nothingness.com, containing only badly rendered cardboard-cutouts.com painted by children.com. It makes me confused.com and I can’t bear it. (dot com)

So there we have it. Once again, we see that the adverts we remember are, on the whole, the ones that…

a.) make us want to kill, or
b.) show us perfect-looking ladies running around in their pants.

NewsGush – Total Recall

August 28, 2008

Thanks to brain-melting industry publication, Marketing Magazine, you can easily obtain figures detailing how companies compare when it comes to a thing called ‘brand recall’ – which essentially means ‘remembering adverts’. After all – it’s no good making a brain-rotting telenudge unless it’s guaranteed to burn itself into the collective synapse of the proletariat consumer, eh?

Here’re the top 10 performers – and my attempt at total recall.

Sainsburys (69%)
Easy – this is Jamie Oliver patronising people and then cooking them a third rate dinner in some suburban vision of hell on earthly terrain.

Asda (61%)
No idea. Three crates of booze for a tenner? Some arsehole in a green hat patting his arse? Ian Wright pretending to be enthusiastic about baking a loaf? Or is that Somerfield?

Dolmio (60%)
Fucking annoying puppets blabbering incomprehensibly about sauce.

Littlewoods Direct (53%)
No idea. Scrabbling for a memory, I can picture some tall girl mucking about in slow motion on a beach in a peach-coloured dress – but I think that’s just a generic mental image I’ve invented when I think of the catalogues middle aged women get through the post. I also recall many happy moments spent with the lingerie section of the Kays catalogue. Thanks again, catalogue-model girls.

L’Oreal Elvive Re-Nutrition (51%)
Is this Andie MacDowell? Or Eva Longoria? Either way, it’s a shit actress talking crap. Or it may just be a model with the speech dubbed over. In any case, hair doesn’t need nutrition. It just needs an occasional wash.

Marks & Spencer (49%)
Undoubtedly this’ll be Myleene and Claude Makelele’s wife playing silly buggers in swimsuits, in a lighthouse while an old woman and a giantess look on. Getting a bit tiresome, this campaign (if looking at this sort of thing could ever be considered tiresome).

Burger King (49%)
The Dark Knight burger. When I can’t decide what brand of coloured, flavoured offal and dung pattie  I want to stick into my gut, I let a fictional character – usually a superhero – decide for me.

Morrisons (48%)
More reasons to shop at more-reasons? Is that still going? Or is it Alan ‘Arsehole’ Hansen clutching a trolley like a zimmer-frame? I’m guessing rather than trying to remember these ads now, if you hadn’t noticed.

Vauxhall Corsa (47%)
I can’t remember car ads, ever. Has it got a car in it?
Going very fast?
It has?
Then I won’t remember it.

Flora pro.activ (46%)
I don’t even know what this is. It’s got ‘Flora’ attached so I assume it’s margarine – but the weirdly punctuated and abbreviated bit at the end leads me to assume it’s a futuristic margarine that makes your bones robotic or something. This sort of branding makes me hit spread-autopilot and reach for the Utterly Butterly out of brain-freeze confusion.

The end

Scientific Conclusion:

We only remember adverts if they’re hugely patronising, if they feature women in bikinis or if they’ve got puppets talking with very strong, affected italian accents in them.

I think we’ve all learned something today.

Garnier / Topps Tiles

July 30, 2008

For the last few years the bastards at Garnier have been hissing ‘Take Care’ at me. Anyone else find this particular version worrying?

I used to be lithe and slim, I’d never smoked a cigarette in my life and only had a glass of wine at Christmas with the family. On the basis that I refuse to be told what to do by anyone, especially a faceless corporate suit, I’m now so fat I can’t see my own feet (or penis). On most days I’m pissed before 10am and have recently taken up the crack in order to sate my desire to smoke and take class A’s in one convenient package.

I’ll not have the bastards tell me what to do.

So imagine my surprise when, following a night of unprotected sex with a visibly ill 50-year-old European prostitute, another organisation – via the now-pawned TV – hissed ‘take care’ at me.

I thought I must be dreaming (or still whacked, I’d had two and half bottles of cheap Port the night before and had polished off three grammes of really bad speed as Dominika lowered herself for the umpteenth time on my weeping member…) when I turned my swollen head and fleetingingly saw a logo for Topps Tiles fade into the ether.

Of course I was still whacked (or dreaming, not that I have dreams anymore, I hate myself, I’ve nothing to give save sewage) but why the fuck would a company selling tiles want me to ‘take care’?

Take care of what? The tiles? Why the fucking Christ would anyone want to take fucking care of Tiles?

I mean, don’t get me wrong here, I’m not a monster – I’m happy to wipe away the accidental shard of diorrhea or splash of coagulated blood when little accidents occur on what’s left of the tiles in the room with a broken sink and chod bin – but ‘take care’ like that Garnier bird does with her skin? Fuck that.

I can see why someone would want to take care of their hair, or skin, or whatever (penis?). I used to be like that until I waged my one man campaign to prove that I could stick it back to the man as much as his sticks it to me.

But tiles? I don’t understand. Tiles are inanimate. They don’t care, or feel. They’re like my sister since I kidnapped her husband and held him up for ransom for an eighth of skunk and a drink – just a fucking eighth… And a drink.

Tiles don’t give a shit, okay? They don’t fucking care. No one does.

No one

does.

Ad Nauseam

March 7, 2008

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.

ASDA

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.

Davidoff

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…

THE END