Archive for the ‘Ill-Conceived’ Category

Three things:


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.


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 Are we not beyond these ridiculous out-of-date gender roles by now?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…


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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So it’s come to this:

  • You go to a giant multinational superstore.
  • You call your sister to ask what she wants for Christmas.
  • She tells you what to buy her family, with all items coming from huge multinational suppliers.
  • You buy those multinational items from a catalogue.
  • Those items are delivered unwrapped to your sister by the multinational corporation ahead of time.

Christmas. Tesco style.

For years advertising has been gently pissing on the spirit of Christmas but with this advert they’ve finally slipped into rampant corporate wish fulfillment; no personality, no individualism, no charm, no special consideration – just the purchasing and exchanging on items at a specific time of the year.

If an advert could have eyes this Tesco commercial would be dead behind them.

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So that’s what “Argosed it” means is it?

Interesting. I always thought that “Argosed it” meant paying twice as as much as necessary, waiting 20 minutes to discover it’s not what you asked for, dealing with a member of staff for whom the word “incompetent” would be a compliment and then discovering that you’re not allowed to return the item because of the Faustian pact you apparently signed when paying for it.

All this time I didn’t realise that “Argosed it” actually meant… um… hang on… what does it actually mean? Remix something? Improve something?  Update a classic? I don’t understand. From their normal selling point of ‘having a catalogue to make things easier’ this makes no sense whatsoever.

I see what they’re trying to do. They’re trying to make “Argosed it” a phrase that catches on across the playgrounds of water coolers of Britain. Every time someone does something unexpected, or wacky, or off the wall they want friends to gather together and nod sagely that Darren has indeed “Argosed it.”

Yeah. That’s probably not going to happen.

It is sad, though, isn’t it? I remember when bootlegging was a genuinely art-form – pre YouTube – when video mixing and recontextualising was in the realm of DJ’s, VJ’s, artists and cultural commentators. Now it’s an advert for a shitty highstreet store.

Wait! Now I get it. When something has been “Argosed” it means it’s been done before; better and with more style – it means that it’s a pale imitation done entirely for money. And you can’t get a refund. Makes total sense now.

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I love this advert. I love it because despite a really simple brief and casting call they still managed to fuck it up.

You’d have thought that with all the actors available for these parts they’d have cast someone who can speak properly and pronounce the name of the company, but they bravely bucked the trend and went for someone who talks as if their mouth is full of toffee.

0.15 if you want to check.

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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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Sometimes it’s not the fault of advertisers that their commercials suck; sometimes it’s the fault of the product. Take, for example, this Heineken ad. It’s a pretty good idea and the execution perfectly fine, but unfortunately the inherent lameness of Heineken lets the whole side down.

Put it this way; filling a fridge that beautiful full of Heineken is like filling a wardrobe that beautiful full of clothes from Primark.

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