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21Jul/1514

McDonald’s Blind Date Advert

macdonald's advert lonely hearts

"Wait a minute... YOU like sugary, empty-calorie fast food, I like sugary empty-calories fast food! What better basis for a long-term relationship?".

Or, failing that and very much reflecting Emma and John's dietary tastes, a quick knee-trembler in a car-park followed by a blood-sugar crash and lengthy period of self-loathing.

It's very much in keeping with modern times that adverts suggest because we might like the same sort of food, we're romantically compatible. Fast food, fast fucks. In that respect there's not much between a Maccies and, for example, Tinder. If you're not that bothered about what rubbish you shovel down your neck, chances are you're not too bothered whose bodily fluids you share. Craved, consumed, discarded.

There's something more to this, though. I am genuinely perplexed by people eating MacDonald's food beyond the age of about 12. This was roughly the point at which I stopped eating jelly and ice-cream, playing pass-the-parcel and buying the Beano. It was also about the age I manned the fuck up and stopped being a snivelling brat about vegetables, curries and moved beyond the basic bread-chips-meat food groups that we tend to inhabit as youngsters.

It may make me an enormous food snob, but I'm vaguely appalled that grown men and women eat things called Happy Meals. I can't help but notice I've grown up as one of the first generation of people who might claim that their favourite food is a Big Mac, favourite film is Star Wars and favourite book is any one of the Harry Potters.

There's nothing intrinsically wrong with any of these things, but there's a time and a place. The modern curse of our age is, because we've told we can have anything we want and because we've been told that being ourselves is the most important thing in the world, we've regressed into kidulthood - a Peter Pan generation of emotional cripples who have decided that being grown-up means never having to eat our greens.

Imagine seeing pensioners Instagramming pictures of their food, wearing those hideous flesh tunnels or completing a horrible sleeve full of tit-wielding Winehouses and inspirational quotes. Jesus H Christ.

Imagine your Dad logging onto a massive online Halo battle or a nursing home showing True Blood. Imagine a load of gak from MacDonald's instead of a Sunday roast, because no-one knows - or cares - how to cook.

We've demanded from the people who sell us things, the people who cater to our needs, that we continue to be treated as children. So they treat us as children. Our television patronises us, our films bore us, our food fattens us - our social media platforms regurgitate it all back to us. What the fuck are we thinking?

My prescription for this worrying state of affairs is this: Eat some fucking kale, go and read a book that doesn't involve wizards, vampires or people in animal skins slitting each others' throats and burn your stupid Star Wars bed linen. You might not immediately like the taste of kale or the fact that it takes you 50 pages to get into a Dickens novel. But you'll feel much better in the long run. And, frankly, you'll have improved the human race, just a little bit.

It's time to put away childish things - and that includes MacDonald's.

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15Jul/150

Facebook Advert: Five Seconds To Hatred

It took me about five seconds. Five seconds of this hateful American voiceover, the by-now-requisite twinkling instrumental version of a familiar pop song, to hate this Facebook advert. Five seconds to hatred.

I have nothing against Americans. I've even met some and very nice people they are too. But it strikes me as an enormous own-goal to have a voiceover in an American accent, which never fail to sound saccharine, insincere, smug, trite or all four when used in adverts.

facebook advert

What I find disheartening about this stuff is the idea that nothing in our life is meaningful unless it's shared on Facebook. Unless it's shared on this peer-review website where things are assessed, approved, validated and forgotten about within seconds. It's like we're all playing a global, ongoing game of one-upmanship - a constant state of virtual passive aggression waged against our friends. I'm not sure Facebook does connect us with our friends; I think, in a funny way, it makes us all enemies of one another.

And it makes enemies of ourselves. It's like Marx's theory of cultural alienation made into a kind of leisure pursuit. Are we really in control of our own lives, our own destinies if they have to be lived out in this digital goldfish bowl, conforming to the group mind's expectations and approvals?

It is, perhaps, Instagram where the truest expression of man's alienation from his fellow human beings is most evident - the pursuit of stuff, experiences, things and consumption overriding - but Facebook is where it took root.

The inevitable result of all this stuff is false consciousness - the way that we are controlled by the ruling classes through our culture. Or, if you prefer an example, the 2015 election of the Conservative Party. We idealised the internet and social media as a great expansion of our consciousness and inter-connectedness. Instead it's driven us to individualism, self-gratification, pride, envy, covetousness, greed and vacuity. It's made cunts of us.

Imagine our lives, loves, friendships, achievements and tragedies being mediated by Facebook - being constantly judged in relation to others; viewing our self-worth through the listless interactions of people from whom we're increasingly estranged. If Hell is other people, Facebook is Lucifer's very own portal.

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