Posts Tagged ‘Flora’

Just a Thought: Adverts Featuring the Public

October 20, 2008

…you know the ones, where some half-famous celebrity or friendly unfamilar goes hunting along the high streets and cobbled lanes of England, looking for authentic verification that their product is in some way better than another.

It was bad enough in the heyday of Julian Clary and the Daz Doorstep Challenge (that was back when a slightly effeminate man turning on at your house and offering to rub white powder into your pyjama wasn’t banned under the Prevention of Terrorism Act) but now you’re forced to dodge them on the highstreet as they try to show you how to make a chicken curry, or disuade Jamie Oliver from crashing your houseparty or avoid some fucker with a giant sofa trying to make you cry.

The worst one at the moment is Gary Rhodes and his cutesie VW camper with a giant crumpet on top, stopping off at the Crystal Peak shopping centres of the land trying to make you guess – like you care, at all – which margarine is spread on which crumpet.

There he goes, tootling through the countryside talking to builders and mums, trying to convince anyone who’ll listen to his hyper-patronising childspeak that it’s really important that 5% more of the country prefer Flora to Lurpack.

Equally irritating is another TV chef, Phil Vickers, and his ultra-realist forays into cooking food on the street with a wide array of cast members who are all supposedly real people and in no way actors playing real people.

Adopting a vocal tone similar to that of a teenage care worker talking to a half deaf five-year old, he sizzles up a stir fry and brings Aldi into their hearts, whilst developing their self esteem and a community spirit. He is hateful person.

It’s bad enough that men are portrayed as imbecilic morons in adverts, and women as imperfect housewives, but now we as a nation – and as a society  and as a people – are being offered up as bargain-hungry fame addicts who’ll happily gather around the next insignificant detail if it means a chance of free food, being on TV or meeting a famous chef.

Oh… hang on. That’s what we’re are, isn’t it?

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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.