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This is a question Best and worst TV ads

"I'd like to give that dodo off the 5 Alive adverts a good kicking," says tom.joad. And luckily, there's tasty, tasty Cillit Bang to clean up the blood stains when you've finished. Tell us about TV adverts.

(, Thu 15 Apr 2010, 15:17)
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Metalfish <s>ate my hamster</s> stole my opening line.
EDIT: this is longer and rantier than I anticipated. Exercise caution...er I mean READ IT AND OPEN YOUR MINDS SHEEPLE.

I hate pretty much every advert ever too. Of course there are some adverts I like - witty, intelligent, or otherwise fascinating ones such as midnight text-n-flirt exchanges with REAL GIRLS the classic Guinness ads, Honda's output or even the irritatingly catchy '118, Magical Trevor'. Unfortunately, these are very much the exceptions that proof the rule. It's like being hounded by beggars, chavs and scroungers all down the street and discovering that one in every ninety is literate, friendly, and actually gives good chat, in which case you might actually be tempted to give him some money.

And make no mistake, adverts are fucking beggars. They will do or say anything to get you to give them your money, because, surprise surprise, that's what they're there for. The occasional gem doesn't change the fact that the intervals between television programmes are torrential cascades of bullshit that regularly leave me shouting at my television.
Bill Hicks had it right, yeah, we all know that - well, maybe not the bit about advocating mass suicide, but seriously, advertising is deeply, deeply insulting on every level. And his prediction about the Coke advert they really wished they could make has pretty much come true. See for example that toothpaste advert where they just pan up a naked woman to reveal she has a tooth missing. Ad Exec, this is my friend Subtlety. I don't believe you've met.

And it's getting worse. Another notable William, Mr Bryson. once commented on the difference between American and British advertising. Something along the lines of "In England, an advert for cold medicine shows the man after taking it, still in a dressing gown and a bit sniffly, but at least he's smiling. He feels a bit better. In America, the ad for the same medicine shows the man leaping out of bed with glowing lines round his body and running off to play squash." This was in the 90's. We no longer have that distinction.

In fact, as far as I can tell, every single ad fits into one of these categories, each of them insulting in different and exciting ways. Lots of exclamation marks to emphasise the breathlessly desperate nature of advertising.

1)"Look, ordinary person! Proles like you buy this product!"
We've even filmed them looking slightly off-camera in a casual seeming setting so you know they're an ordinary person like you! And the voice-over is in a regional accent - just like yours, you adorable little demographic!
Offenders - Iceland, Morrisons, Homebase/B&Q, the sodding Volvic cunting 'challenge'.

2)"Look, ordinary person! Faaamoous peeooplle buy this product!"
Don't you want to be like them? Don't you? You worship them, don't you? What better way to be like them than doing and buying what they do and buy?
Offenders - also Iceland ironically, when they had Katona anyway, makeup and beauty products, anything with a sleb in it.

3)"There is literally nothing this product won't cure!"
It's an instant fix that will have you up and about in no time! Look! Your friend even has some in her handbag!
Offenders - all medicines or vaguely medicinal products.

4)"There is literally nothing this product won't cure, including your sad little life!"
Buy this and you will be a better person! Look at how much implied sex/respect/attention/implied sex the actor is getting from other actors!
Offenders - makeup ads again, deodorants, even Lynx (don't tell me about irony. Advertisers don't know the meaning of the word.), car adverts, etc.

4a)"This product will get you LAID!"
It's everywhere. They really, really use sex for everything. Home loans, ambulance chasers, toothpaste, lawnmowers.
Offenders - any advert that shows a bit of tit or flirtatious smile.

5)"This product will FLATTEN YOUR BALLS*"
THIS PRODUCT WILL LITERALLY BLOW YOUR TINY LITTLE MIND AND COCK. MADE OF PURE WIN AND FORGED IN THE FIRES OF MOUNT AWESOME, IT WILL LEAVE YOU BREATHLESS AND GASPING FOR MORE!!!
Offenders - let's just say that that is not what chewing 5 gum feels like.

6)"Buy us! Buy us! Buy us! Buy us! Buy us!"
Simple yet effective - the equivalent of a toddler shouting for attention till you give in and do what they want. No clever punchline, no showing you the supposed benefits of their product, these ads just pound their product into your brain until you can't think of anything else.
Offenders - Go Compare, WePurchaseAutomobilesIndiscrimately, CompareTheMarket and so bloody forth.

You don't really need a scientific education to be aware of the constant waves of utter crap coming at you (although I have studied logic. And of course watched lots of Bill Hicks). You just need a fragment of common sense, especially when a lot of adverts are now required to openly (if not explicitly) state 'what we are showing you on screen is a lie' most of the time. One day I will be rich enough to buy a large handgun and a lot of bulk rate tellies. Maybe old cathode ray ones. And when that day comes, I will be able to cheerfully shoot the television whenever something insults my intelligence. I will probably shoot the television a lot.**



* Use of the term 'Flatten your balls' in reference to awesomeness is (C) Cracked.com 1952 - present.

** I already have a nerf gun for this purpose. It's just not the same though.
(, Sat 17 Apr 2010, 14:40, closed)
Don't forget the "look how happy your family could be" trick,
often used on car adverts. Look at the perfect middle-class family going on the perfect middle-class summer holiday. Too bad you only get to do that on bank holidays and spend the rest of the time stuck in traffic during your daily commute. But having this car improves your lifestyle. The advert mentions nothing about what makes this particular product better than any of its competitors. They just try to make their family look happier than the ones in all the other adverts.

Also the old McDonald's staple "you're a good parent if you treat your kids to this."
(, Sat 17 Apr 2010, 15:35, closed)
Pfffft. Way to make me look slightly elitist. ;-)
I was trying to say, perhaps rather clumsily, is it's like a disease or something; this constant nagging voice saying "well, how does that work then?" or "can they prove that?" every time you're presented with some information without references it. If newspapers and the like would just provide several additional pages stating where they got their facts from I'd be a happy man....
(, Sat 17 Apr 2010, 20:17, closed)
Now, that I can identify with.
Except in the case of Me vs Advertising, it's not so much a nagging voice as a scream of rage, or the words "Bullshit! Bullshit! Bullshit!" repeated over and over again.
(, Sat 17 Apr 2010, 22:06, closed)

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