The television advertising in the UK is currently plagued with ex-A listers from Hollywood endorsing products and services in which I have no interest. I find it hard to believe that any single one of the culprits is so strapped for cash they have to lower themselves in this way, but what do I know eh? Anyway, here we go, in no particular order.
Harvey Keitel has cropped up advertising some insurance company. I really don’t know which one, so it’s been a big fail there for me. Strangely, the character he portrays is Winston Wolf, the fixer from the film Pulp Fiction. This was released in 1995. But it’s clear from the ads that the target demographic is twentysomethings. Who would have been about four years old when the film came out, and may indeed never have seen this particular meisterwerk. But by a clever piece of product placement, and I raise my hat to Toyota and their GT86 here, I do know the car he apparently drives. I recognise the product placement, not the insurance company. Not working is it?
Arnold Schwarzenegger turns up to endorse a company I do not know, because their advertising features some really bloody irritating animatronic meerkats that force me to change channels immediately. Arnie and meerkats? The ex-Governor of California, and some fake meerkats? Explain this to me in small words, because it’s completely beyond me.
Still on the he-man thing. Sylvester Stallone is advertising bread baked by a company in the north of England. The bread is not bad as it happens, but how Demolition Man fits into the equation is a mystery. Answers on a postcard, please. Hard to believe that the company can afford his fees, but clearly they can. I imagine it’s paying off too. Why? Search me.
Then we have the muscles from Brussels, Jean-Claude van Damme. I genuinely did not recognise him, but when I saw the ads I assumed he was somebody reasonably famous. Again I’m unclear why a late middle-aged bloke with unfashionably long hair and a sleeveless denim jacket is a good person to front up a campaign for beer (no, I don’t know which one), but some marketing guru thought this would be a good idea.
Kevin Bacon raises his rather bland head on an advert for a mobile phone company. Again I do not know which one, but I think the idea is to emphasise connectivity. This then plays to the concept of the drearily popular dinner party game of ‘Six degrees of Kevin Bacon’ and that’s quite a clever idea. Or it would be if I knew the name of the phone company.