The UK’s television advertising used to be the envy of the world. Funny, memorable, and very brand focussed. You remembered what was being advertised. There was, of course, also a good deal of TTIAK advertising, a genre that continues to this day, but there were some real belters around as well.
Nowadays? Not so good. And there are three ads that have me shouting at the screen and reaching hastily for the channel selector.
First up, let’s consider an advert from a cosmetics company. It’s L’Oreal as it happens, but I know this only because I was forced to write it down in order to skewer it here on my blog.
Here’s the deal. They have just released a new range of foundation products, which I have to say I’m not sure the world needs; there’s already a plethora. But here’s the best bit. The usual blather about your skin is ended with the line ‘Be selfie ready.’
That’s it. This range is aimed at the preening narcissists who clog up the internet saying how lovely they are. Bloody hell, I’m surprised they didn’t get Lardarse to endorse this heap of horseshit.
Next up, a nicotine replacement product. I’m not sure which one, but it’s an oral spray, not a patch or chewing gum. It’s also, TFFT, not a vaping product. But the copywriters don’t understand statistics, which is always annoying. Here’s the claim.
Use product X and you’re ‘150% more likely to give up smoking.’ That’s odd. The most you can be is 100% likely to give up smoking. I assume what’s meant is that this is a comparative figure with other treatments, or with going cold turkey, but there’s no rider to explain this. I also suspect that this is a spurious claim based on population studies, which as I keep on saying do not reflect the response in any given individual. Rates of success overall may be 150% higher overall, but that doesn’t mean you personally have a 150% better chance of quitting.
Lastly, the most bloody irritating ad I’ve seen in a good long while, and so annoying I genuinely cannot watch it without yelling. The channel change button is wearing out because of this steaming pile of nonsense.
It’s for an SUV, and given my fondness for all things automotive I might be expected to know what it is, but I don’t. Usual car ad footage of said SUV on a perfectly clear open road, sun shining, all’s well with the world. Pan into the interior, and add the V/O… I may paraphrase a bit here. Oh, and it’s a woman’s voice with some unidentifiable Euro accent.
‘In the details, often… (significant pause)… is the beauty.’
Make of that what you will. I think it’s just pretentious bollocks, and especially so when it’s being used to describe what is at best a soft-roader.