These are the annoying interruptions that interfere with our enjoyment of whatever programme we happen to be watching. Most are the inane concoctions of people of questionable mental stability, hoping that we are malleable enough for them to convince us to rush out and buy whatever product they are trying to sell. They belong in the sixth level of hell with Lawyers and Carphone Warehouse sales representatives! Not that I have anything against Carphone Warehouse, per se, but they always managed to talk me into buying a really crap phone. That means that they are exceptional sales-people or I am a gullible fool. Ok, don’t even think about commenting on that!!
Back to these advertisements, then.
I will admit that there are a few that are subtle, intelligent and thought provoking, however, they are the few. The rest appear to be aimed at gerbils or people with the same IQ as gerbils! In fact, the gerbils are probably annoyed with them too! And the hamsters! And any other small, furry creatures that have the misfortune to be caged in front of the television! I digress. The fact is, if the advert treats us like idiots then those that produced it must think we are idiots. I, personally, don’t like the inference. I like to think that I am fairly well educated (I also like to think I am an astronaut, too, boldly going where no man has….) and as such, like to be treated like an educated man.
The adverts I am about to refer to are from the UK, so I apologise to any international readers.
One of the adverts that highlights this is the new one from Dettol. In this masterpiece of idiocy, they show you that the top of a soap dispenser could be full of harmful germs. Aren’t all germs harmful? Anyway, if you buy their new dispenser that detects your hands it automatically dispenses some soap without you having to touch the filthy top. Fantastic idea – NOT. Dettol protects – fact. Dettol ad is stupid – another fact! The main reason being, you tend to use soap when your hands are already dirty, so adding a few more germs just before you wash them all off isn’t really going to bother you. Or is it? Are there people out there that use rubber gloves to use the soap dispenser and then removed them to wash their hands? Hmm, that wouldn’t work, either. One hand would have to be gloveless. Maybe there are a load of single rubber gloves lying around somewhere?
Another perfect example of these simpletons assuming that we have the same limited intelligence as they obviously haven’t is the Credit Expert advert. This is one advert that makes my blood boil, not only because it assumes you’re a cretin, it makes matters worse by including half-baked information in it’s rhetoric! Now I have no problem with a little exaggeration, my hundreds of years of experience and my PhD in English will attest to that, but complete falsehoods are just ridiculous!
There they are, two obviously effeminate men, in an obvious sadomasochistic relationship; all they were missing were the gimp masks and the whips! One is touting complete tosh about a service no one needs (and, by the way, is totally untrue) and the other one is spouting complete bollocks about ice being brought from the moon! So, not only are they treating us as morons but they are also trying to make us dumber! Or maybe the script-writer actually thinks there is ice on the moon? The space shuttle must obviously be making detours via the lunar ice caps, the ones that don’t exist in this universe, so they must be warping off to a different dimension!
I did state at the start that not all advertisements treat us as if we just crawled out from the primordial ooze. Lloyds Bank, for instance, has a fetish for deformed children, albeit cute in their actions. I just find these adverts distressing, massively transmogrified humans and their freaky children walking around without a care in the world, although that makes a change, they are usually stuck on that train that seems to go everywhere! The new one with the little girl being a ballerina just makes me cringe. How on earth does she walk let alone pirouette is beyond me!
Then there are the really creepy ads. The new Birdseye ads are as disturbing as they come. I’m not sure about you, but if I opened my freezer and saw a talking, stuffed toy telling me that he’s ‘watching me’, I would probably have a cardiac! That aside, how the hell did they get in there? I mean, they are short little buggers and the freezer is on the top shelf! Ok, here I am assuming that stuffed toys have the ability to move and then fathom out how to enclose themselves in an airtight freezer, waiting for you to open it before they pounce! Scary! But animated cuddly toys? Maybe God has decided that the human race needs protectors and brought all those toys to life? To top off the scary category; what about those tough sounding toys that apparently make sure you get a good nights sleep? They way they sound, it would probably involve concrete boots and sleeping with the fishes! I don’t have children, but I would love to prop them up in front of the TV and watch their reactions when they see the ads! Ok, I’m sick and probably a good job I don’t have kids, but if anyone wants me to babysit for them……
Certain advertisements have been ongoing since the birth of TV ads. PG tips has always used chimpanzees. In recent years, probably because of some left wing, tree hugging animal rights activists (I would love for them to ‘animal rights’ in the large plains of India with some Bengal Tigers!) they have stopped using the Chimps that used to make us laugh. Those of us old enough to shave should remember them, always enjoying a nice brew of PG. Now, they no longer use the live chimps, but keep the brand alive by still using a monkey and a stuffed toy! (Sorry, Johnny, I think you’re great, honestly! (as if he is gonna read this!!)).
With all this ridiculing (like you would be reading it if I wasn’t!), I have to say, for the record, that there are a few advertisements that are thought provoking, intelligently thought out and filmed with perspective. These are rare and unfortunately, becoming rarer as the children, made dumb from the existing ads, grow up and work in the advertising industry thereby making the ads dumber. It’s a vicious circle and we are caught inside this maelstrom of ignorance heading to the oblivious depths of idiocy.
Mind you, the only other option is the BBC!