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Archive for the ‘Bullshit’ Category

Three things:

1) THIS ADVERT IS BRILLIANT

Ok. Obviously it’s not. Obviously it’s rubbish. But it is equally amazing for representing Iceland so perfectly. Think about it; tedious, cheap, unoriginal, unappealing, patronising and makes you feel sick – that’s Iceland food to a T. So next time you see this advert and you want to hurl a brick through the screen please spare a thought for the creative team who have delivered us possibly the most honest advert of the year.

2) DO MUM’S REALLY GO TO ICELAND?

Seriously. Are we not beyond these ridiculous out-of-date gender roles by now? It’s 20fucking10 for Christs sake. I know it’s a tagline which is memorable but some things really should be confined to the dustbin of history.

What’s interesting is that every woman I know – EVERY WOMAN – refuses to shop at Iceland because of that tagline. Either I know a lot of hippy-dippy-feminist-cliches or the world has moved on from the rule that women are domesticated obediants…

3) IT’S TIME TO ISSUE STRICTER RULES ABOUT MUSIC LICENSING

Look, I understand how the world of commercial music works – those who write the songs rarely own the songs and that’s how they end up adverts. But – BUT – there need to be limits.

The sight of Jason Donovan strumming along to T-Rex whilst he tries to sell us frozen bargain basement nibbles should never have happened. Have some goddam respect. I would have thought that of all the people in the world Marc Bolan and T-Rex are important enough to not have to suffer such embarrassment anymore…

Just how much do you have to achieve in life not to afforded such disrespect? Such low-level, discounted disrespect at that? Can we not introduce some kind of licensing embargo on music of societal importance, or instigate a intervention whenever a faceless corporate owner wants to give away Imagine to help sell tampons.

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You’re kidding me. This is the best you could do? No explanation of services, of offers, of reasons to bank with you – your only argument is that the people who answer your phones are of the “I’m mad me” variety.

Fucking hell. Sack your advertisers. I don’t want a fucking conversation with some gossipy prick on the end of my phone line, I want them to do their fucking job. If all your staff are “like that round here” then you can be absolutely sure that I’ll never ever bank with you.

This is possibly the lamest advert I’ve ever written about. I’m seen worse, for sure, and far more offensive, and more incorrect, but none quite as lame as this. They didn’t think about it, and they didn’t even try…

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Right. Ok. Listen up. It’s not about luck. It’s about probability. The whole infinite monkey theorem derives from the idea of discussing the idea of infinity from statistical point of view.

The odds of a monkey successfully typing the entire works of Shakespeare are minute, however they’re not impossible. Equally the odds of a monkey making the “perfect” cup of coffee are not impossible either…

Two other points:

  • When you’re launching a new campaign it’s probably best to avoid saying that your USP is that a monkey couldn’t do your job.
  • I’ve drunk coffee in Costa many times. I’m not so sure that monkeys aren’t making it already.

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What I like about this advert is the unbridled optimism of it; if Martine McCutcheon was so damned busy, popular and glamorous that she had an army of stylists and lackeys behind her she wouldn’t need to do adverts for yogurt, would she?

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These kind of anti-aging cream “inspired by the science of genes” adverts are so chockofull of bullshit it’s almost too easy to pick them apart, after all – does anyone really believe the crap they peddle anymore?

There was one small element of this that I wanted to write briefly about, though – and that’s how they reached their conclusions…

67% agree – consumer test – 122 women

That’s 82 women who agreed with their statements.

Something so seemingly routed in scientific theory could only find 82 people to agree that it worked – and only 82 people are required to launch an advertising campaign that will have cost hundreds of thousands of pounds to produce.

I think that’s a bit patronising.

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Could. It’s an interesting word is ‘could‘ – it lends potential to any statement. It doesn’t require confirmation or guarantees, it simply suggests that something has the possibility to happen. It’s a wonderfully loaded word – it expands any idea to infinity without having to provide proof… no wonder advertisers love it.

Could is also a brilliant word because it’s entirely non-committal. Take, for example, this self congratulatory slice of bullshit from Vauxhall. Yes, the warranty could last for a lifetime but the restrictions added to it make it highly unlikely. Equally it could never need a service, or it could run forever on one tank of petrol, or could increase in value by 1000% – but all of those are just as unlikely.

The average annual mileage for drivers in the UK is 10,000 miles – and this warranty runs out at 100,000 miles – thus the average driver can run the car for roughly 10 years before the warranty becomes invalid. That’s actually quite a good deal – why they chose to hide that behind an abstract concept such as could is beyond me.

In order for the warranty to be valid you have to buy the car new, so the ‘lifetime’ it mentions is your lifetime, and not the lifetime of the car. How long is a lifetime? Or rather how long is a driving lifetime?

Even if you owned the car for only 30 years you could only drive roughly 3000 miles per year so as not to invalidate the warranty, and the sort of people who only drive 3000 miles a year are rarely the sort of people who spend thousands and thousands of pounds on a new car.

So point is this; Vauxhall have a good deal going but they’ve chosen to obscure it behind a patently ridiculous concept which doesn’t stand up to the slightest bit of scrutiny. Why would they do that? A campaign based around a 100,000 mile warranty is would be very appealing – much more so than this proffering idea of something maybe lasting longer if you adhere to a certain set of rules that wouldn’t really work properly in the real world unless you were a certain type of person.

BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!

The Vauxhall website details the exact nature of the deal. I quote…

Year 1
All new Vauxhall passenger cars are covered by a one-year unlimited mileage manufacturer’s warranty with qualifying repairs at no cost to you.

Years 2 & 3
The manufacturer’s warranty is extended for two more years up to a maximum of 60,000 miles.

Lifetime!
After that, Vauxhall provides a unique Lifetime Warranty, available to the first owner for an unlimited time period and a maximum of 100.000 miles.

I’m lost. I genuinely am. I’ve spent 20 minutes starring at this screen, trying to accurately articulate my interpretation of this deal and I am no closer. I think it means you can drive further than 100,00 miles but I’m not entirely sure.

I’ve given up. Buy the car if you want. I don’t care.

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This one is very easy; buying a car is not expressing yourself. Furthermore, it’s fucking insulting to suggest that it is.

If I have to explain to you why this is the case, you’re an idiot – or you work in advertising – or both.

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