Tag Archives: Advertising

Adverts Again

Love Christmas, hate Christmas adverts and you’ll get far in life. At least that’s what I’m told…

My position on this matter should not come as a surprise to you, even those of you drifting off at the very back, seeing as I loathe almost all adverts of any kind and have publicised this fact in three posts to date (see related articles for more information). Today I decided that Christmas adverts merit a post all to themselves. This is because if your average advert is irritating, then there is a sense that your Christmas advert is on a level unto itself.

There are so many awful examples to chose from – the Boots adverts are a particular bone of contention for me, as I struggle to unearth the supposedly apparent comedy from behind the startlingly unfunny ‘here come the girls’ campaign – but I do think the Toys-R-Us adverts compel particular notice.

So here we go:

First things first – the tune is not catchy, so don’t you dare say it is.

Moving on, if you weren’t content with the windowed version and pursued the video to Youtube itself for the ‘real experience’ the first thing you might have noticed (other than how crap the advert is) is that comments have been disabled. This is a worrying sign. As I noted in earlier posts it at once displays an awareness on the part of the uploader – this time Mr. Toys-R-Us himself – with regard to how the video could be received and an astonishing willingness to upload in any case. One might go as far as to say that, as Mr. T sees it, Toys-R-Us will get noticed, by Hook or by Crook (for origin see here).

Shameful acts of self-publising aside there is an important point here. Or at least there was… I’ve lost it now, so I’ll settle for this – wasn’t it a bit unnerving that the song was sung by a grown woman, or at least what sounded like a grown woman? I mean, if the ambition  is to appeal to a new generation of Toys-R-Us kids (the old generation, of which I was once an avid member, now being all but halfway to middle-age) why on earth wasn’t it sung by a child, if it had to be sung at all? You don’t get adults modelling children clothing, or singing about them for that matter.

You might say that the above is a clumsy analogy (and you’d be quite right) but I think that it works on a deeper level, by virtue of the fact that its very incompetence is itself analogous to how dreadful the Toys-R-Us campaign really is.

Perhaps, after all, it is supposed to be a child singing the song. That would make sense, given the content of the lyrics, because who else would sing a song about not wanting to grow up other than a child who doesn’t want to grow up? However the water is muddied at this point by the fact that the song contains the lyric ‘ooh baby’.

What we have ourselves here is a diachotomy. If, on the one hand, the singer is a child, then who on earth could they be identifying as a ‘baby’. Have things really progressed that much since I was a lad? Do the more adventurous four year olds now meet by the sand box to exchange a shy glance or two and  drool on each others’ clothing (a much more satisfactory ending to a date than many I have attended, it must be said)?

On the other hand, if the singer is not a child one wonders why they are singing the song in the first place, and, more pertinently, why they are singing it to their girlfriend/boyfriend. Quite frankly they should be ashamed of themselves. Some things aren’t meant for sharing; that you want to remain a Toys-R-Us kid is one of them. We can’t play with our lego forever friend, however much we want to. 😦

Either way you look at things – whichever path you take – the advert does not make any sense at all. I was once a Toys-R-Us kid; I am a Toys-R-Us kid no more. And this has as much to do with this advert as it does with long decaying passage of time.

Related Articles:

The Halifax Adverts

Am I The Only One Who Finds It Embarrassing When Adverts For My Bank Come On The Television

Are You Listening Halifax? This Is How You Make An Advert


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Are you listening Halifax? This is how you make an advert

I am not a salesman; this post is not concerned with how the advert functions as a sales tool, but rather how it stands as a piece of art. I suspect that the two are closely related.

To my mind, there are several ways to make an advert count ascetically. Here are just a few of them.

1. Make it epic.

Epic adverts – to my mind – are the best. I just love to get all involved, and frequently can’t stop myself getting worked up about things for which I normally wouldn’t give a fig.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVM0OCPZEyA (All Blacks vs. British & Irish Lions promo – made ahead of the much anticipated tour to NZ, 2005. What a pity the tour didn’t add up to all the hype).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rF09DTclzc (RBS Six Nations 2010 Promo).

http://www.youtube.com/user/FlyBritishAirways?v=a4JdQi60an0&feature=pyv&ad=7178323097&kw=british%20airways%20to%20fly%20to%20serve (British Airways – To Fly, To Serve).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epruuLVqhPg (Guinness – Some Are Made of More, made for the Rugby World Cup, NZ, 2011).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_suyZb5mDk (Hovis – Go On Lad).

2. Make it humorous.

So often the Achilles’ Heel of the enthusiastic advert. You can never go wrong with a bit of banter, and usually it can be achieved simply and even without singing (!), which is what Halifax fail so abysmally to realise.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMj5smdaHeA&feature=relmfu (Phones 4U – Samsung Wave).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHcT7hoYj8U (Tango – Diver’s Helmet, just one part of a hilarious campaign).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fojrw_vU0k8 (Skittles – Touch The Rainbow).

3. Make it beautiful.

It could be a lovely piece of music, good camera work or just a novel concept; beautiful adverts, along with epic adverts, are the one’s I watch repeatedly through crimson eyes when drunk.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZ-MdCIy94M (Sony Bravia – Superstar Dreams).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQ3D4CqHbJM (Philips – Carousel).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=id-biRhgiVw&feature=related (ITV – Rugby World Cup 2011).

4. Make it moving.

A technique less used than the others, but it can be employed to fantastic effect.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opOQlA0LVqo (Pantene – Chrysalis).

5. Make it memorable.

There are some adverts that are worthy of distinctive especial mention. They do what all the good ones do… Only for some reason they are better.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcdDg30VBgo (Guinness – Horse Surfer).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhsWzJo2sN4 (Apple – ‘1984’ advert, made for the Superbowl 1984).

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Am I the only one who finds it embarrassing when adverts for my bank come on the television?

I can’t be. It is a simple as that, but I am going to embroil you in a rant anyway. And I am afraid I have decided just at this moment to hijack this post. Unfortunately for all involved, I will be leading it away from the topic suggested by its title and towards a subject that is an old favourite of mine.

Anybody who has read my blog should know all about my fierce hatred of the Halifax adverts (https://theedexperience.wordpress.com/2011/05/13/the-halifax-adverts/). Although my keenest disgust is reserved for those furiously unfunny radio sketches, it seems to me that each and every one of their advertisements has been designed in some way with my irritation chief in mind.

Let’s have a quick gander at one shall we? Go on, don’t be like that, it’ll be fun! And a real eye opener. Trust me, you’ll see.

We will be taking the following as our example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aX_XaLmCIS0

My Lord how awful it is. Who is this guy? Something tells me he’s a prick. Oh wait, my mistake, I see he’s Thomas from Leeds. Well that really clears things up.

I think that Thomas lets himself down from the word go. Within five seconds he has inexplicably started singing, smiled at me with a pervert’s eyes, and gestured randomly towards me as if to involve me in some sort of banter like an out of touch Vicar whose opinion it is that the teenaged members of his congregation are still ten years old. What does he want from me anyway? The chances are that I have given him all of my money, it is not my fault that he has already spent it on hair gel. Or was it on that suit? It’s lovely by the way. Maybe I should tell him that.

What I really don’t understand is why he is singing. Now this question cannot be asked enough. I  don’t think anybody knows the answer. Thomas certainly doesn’t – look at that gormless smile; he doesn’t know what day of the week it is.

Which leads me to ask what, exactly, is Thomas so happy about? I know he’s on a beach dancing with singing crabs and so on, and I’m sure that’s all a tremendous lark, but seriously look at the state of him! He is acting as if this advert represents the culmination of all of his hopes and dreams; of all that hard work and endeavour. Is this what his parents had in mind when they cradled him oh so softy in their arms? I doubt it. He needs to take a long, hard look in the mirror, because quite frankly he should be ashamed of himself.

Thomas, wipe that cheeky grin off your face and remove yourself from my television screen. You are a disgrace. I’m sorry son, but thems the facts.

I need to leave the toothy fool alone now, otherwise I will not be able to contain myself. I would like therefore to take a brief detour in order to thank the user who keeps putting these adverts on youtube. Quite worryingly, I do not think that he has uploaded the videos to extract the Michael. Rather, it seems that he is a genuine appreciator of the banking advert as a work of art. He has even disabled the commenting facility on some of them. It’s entirely as if he knows full well what will happen if he allows his viewers freedom of speech. Bless him.

Anyway, let’s turn at last to the topic of the post. I bank with Natwest. Now none of their adverts are nearly as bad as Halifax’s, but, as a valued customer, I am inclined to take them rather more personally. We’ve had some good times – there was the memorable ‘gansta bank’ advert, for instance – but whenever I hear that whistling moan of a theme tune my toes curl in embarrassment. Because it’s just a bit cringy, really; there’s no getting around it. Knowing nothing about money, my banking with them was an Aesthetic choice (I like purple). I worry that people may realise this and judge my taste against Natwest’s public image.

At the end of the day, there’s nothing I can do about it. I need someone to borrow from. That’s why when the nightmare begins, I draw the covers over my head and, rocking back and forth with my knees clutched tightly to my chest, repeat my mantra until the sun shines again: ‘at least I’m not with Halifax’.


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The Halifax Adverts

Not content with the remorseless havoc wrought upon the unsuspecting viewer by their earlier ad campaign, which featured a variety of unnecessarily jovial ’employees’ inexplicably singing, Halifax have been at it again, and, unfortunately for everybody, this time they have stepped up their game. Where previously they had sought the mere irritation of their victim, the fine minds at the Halifax advertising department are now looking to enrage him or her with a variety of mesmerisingly aggravating and non-sensical radio station sketches, presumably under the mistaken impression that any press is good press. I am sorry Halifax, but it did not work for the Frosties kid (we hear that he is still alive, but in hiding… somewhere. I think I speak for us all when I say: I hope he gets caught soon, so that he might be brought to justice) and it sure as hell hasn’t worked for you. I would like it to be known that I will never bank with Halifax, solely because of these adverts, and I encourage everybody who reads my blog to do the same. Pathetic? Maybe. Justified? Definitely. 
What were they thinking? Honestly. More importantly why didn’t somebody stop them? And then kill them? Presumably this Godless mess had to be okayed by someone with real authority. Where are they now if not hanging from the rafters, suspended ungracefully with their shoelaces around their necks and a bloody apology in their front pocket. What a disgraceful affront to humanity. Truly there is no dignity left in a world that is home to such utter rubbish. Please God never let me catch anybody laughing with genuine mirth to one of these. I do not know what I would do. Linked beneath are the offending articles. Be advised: their capacity to induce reckless fury entirely beggars belief.

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