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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.

I’ll come back to Little Britain and this horrible character whoring out at a later date but for now I just wanted to point out that what their characters are doing is fraud, and the customer assistant is helping them out with their deception.

Activia – Snackpot

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?

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.

Lancome – Genifique

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.

BT – The Reveal

1.6 million people voted in a poll to determine the outcome of fictional sex between two fictional characters created exclusively to sell a company which, by all accounts, the vast majority of the public have had a bad experience with. *

I was all ready to write something derogatory about what this says about the state of the country but – you know what – fuck it. We get what we deserve. I hope everyone cuddles close on the sofa when they catch this latest installment, looks lovingly at their partner and smiles wistfully.

I just wish the whole affair wasn’t so fucking mediocre. All this interest; you’d have thought they could have made it with actors who have chemistry, or use a production team capable of churning out something which doesn’t have the emotional wallop of a deleted scene from a Hollyoaks direct to DVD storyline.

Maybe next time.

* That assumption was made by taking a brief straw poll of the people in the immediate vicinity, all of whom have had bad dealings with BT.

Vauxhall – Warranty

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.