Posts Tagged ‘Halifax’

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.


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…



February 9, 2007



Will somebody please tell the scumbag, drug-addicted filth that runs our advertising ‘industry’ that the Halifax advertisments are NOT FUCKING WANTED. Is there anyone, honestly, who’s sat up in their chair when a new one comes on and said ‘Oooh, it’s a new Halifax advert … I like these’ as some tuneless fuck-knuckle who works for a bank butchers yet another hit record to sell a fucking mortgage?

The latest one features a fat, unattractive woman tearing holes out of Aretha Franklin’s Think. I saw it for the first time last night and was left wondering why the fuck the people who write these tunes (and they’re usually quite precious about these things) allow their lyrics to be butchered in this fashion? Surely it can’t be for the fucking money can it? Don’t they get enough royalties coming in when their songs are played every day on every music station in the world? Are they living in ditches, eating out of bins?

And what of their song’s reputation? Does it enhance a song in any way to be torn apart and reassembled for the sake of selling financial products? Is Rhinestone Cowboy (a song I’m inexplicably fond of for some weird reason) helped in any way when I find myself singing ‘Be a High-Rate Saver’ in the bath, as opposed to the more traditional ‘I’m a Rhinestone Cowboy’? I’m amazed any songwriter would allow their songs to be misused in this way.

And they’re just so awful! In the tradition of the B&Q adverts, they celebrate the talents of the talentless. If, for reasons that escape me, I want to hear some boggle-eyed goon mangle his mediocre way through Sex Bomb, I’ll go to a karaoke bar, thank-you very much. If I want to see an overweight woman dancing badly to a soul classic, I’ll go to You-Wouldn’t-Would-You night at my local cattle-market. If we must have these invasively dreadful pieces of crap foisted on us, can we at least have actors do it please? Because that’s their job.

Why hasn’t a senior Halifax executive turned round and said ‘Hang on! These adverts are really annoying … let’s stop making them’? Haven’t any of ’em got televisions for fuck’s sake? Don’t they have wives or children to ask, ‘Dad? Why do you allow these things on the television? Is it because you’re powerless to stop it, only following orders … like the Nazis?’

Please Halifax, no more! I will never, ever consider your bank for anything – not mortgages, not insurance, not savings accounts nor ISAs – because you’ve spent what seems like an eternity flogging a horse that was dead to begin with. Your advertising has failed, swine-dogs that you are – please stop before you commit the ultimate crime and bastardise Bohemian Rhapsody.