This is a kind of perfect storm of an AdTurd. 'Funny' wacky characters like Beefeaters acting like twats, absurdly faded celeb, post-modern retro stylings, designed to drill into your head.
What's worse about this one is that Ray Parker Junior has had to accept this ad, as I assume Ghostbusters is pretty much his only revenue stream. It was probably this or an appearance on The Surreal Life.
RPJ strikes me as a nice guy, and I love Ghostbusters, so it's a bit like the 118 people have taken a huge steaming dump all over it by associating it with their stupid service.
Who phones these number anyway? Use the internet, you morons, it's free and easy. You have the sum of civilisation's knowledge at your fingertips.
I'm not sure how much this service costs as I'm not stupid enough to use it, but I reckon I can make out from the deliberately hard-to-read writing at the bottom of the screen that from a landline it costs a minimum of £1 to use the 118 service.
Presumably from a mobile it costs 'significantly more' as broadcasters have now been forced to say.
I always ask people who I think waste money whether they would stop behaving in a certain way if I paid them cash. For example, would they look up queries like, 'What's the phone number of a local takeaway?' if I gave them a quid to use the internet instead of calling an overpriced, totally unnecessary service?
The answer is obvious, though curiously I would pay a pound if this advert just went away forever.
Mobile phone adverts are generally the worst, which in a world of terrible advertising means they're pretty bloody debilitating.
This is another one that's a grower, in completely the wrong way. I challenge you to watch it more than five times without crying with impotent fury.
First off, this advert makes no sense whatsoever. "If you ruled the world nothing would be left unsaid," is Vodafone's gambit here. Bollocks.
If I ruled the world I'd exile Piers Morgan to a cave on an island, sleep with Jayne Middlemiss, insert myself into the England cricket team and award myself Prague. I wouldn't go and make a listless phone call. I can do that any time I like, see?
So the whole notion falls over at the slightest breeze. Let's look at the second problem: shit execution.
To say the man in this advert mimes would be to do a grave injustice to mime artists. Sitting almost statue still he just about manages to open his mouth at the right times, in time with what is obviously a huge belter of a James Brown vocal.
His look is all wrong too. He looks like he's called Danny, is a bit slow, eats Ginsters pasties and becomes slightly racist and violent when drunk.
Lastly, the music. Ad people think soul is bombproof. It's impossible, and probably illegal, to not like soul. When people want to look like they know about music they say they like Ben E King, or something.
Soul is usually the right choice for adverts, but this track's shit.
That's a judgement call, but when;
If I ruled the world, every man would be as free as a bird
If I ruled the world, I'd get a bundle of pay-as-you-go texts on the cheap
it's a sad day.
So, when it comes to this advert, if I ruled the world... Well, you probably know what I'd do.
'Hilarious!' says the blurb on Youtube that accompanies this advert. My verdict is somewhat shorter: 'Shit'.
The first time I saw this I thought it was OK, as it was a fairly competent parody of absurdly OTT hip-hop vids of the kind favoured by P Diddy Paff Poof and that little shit from the Neptunes.
But on a second viewing I realised that it was trying too hard to be funny – the speccy bloke wearing a skirt is especially crap – and wasn't remotely funny. The fact that it should have been makes it worse.
No-one can do a parody with a straight face any more – there's always some signifier to explain to the audience how wacky and meta they're being. This inevitably makes it shit.
And so it is here. The icing on the cake are the always-annoying soundbites between lines: 'Like what' 'Oh dear' 'Thanks' 'Whatcha got?' 'You kidding me?'
To add insult to injury it's a bad rip-off of Flight of the Conchords.
Oh look, it's some new ads for Apple, each of which manages to be smugger than the last and which only Apple fanboys think are funny.
Pick of the bunch has to be the one taking the piss out of PCs for needing loads of small print in their advertising in order to justify the claims made.
That's a lot of legal copy
says the smug Apple bloke at one point.
This has to be one of the most cravenly hypocritical ideas of all time. In case everyone has forgotten, Apple was forced to change one of its iPhone adverts last year after the Advertising Standards Authority said it misled customers over the twatty gadget's internet capability. Consequently, it now includes various small print in its TV spots such as
Steps removed and sequence shortened
Or, to put it another way: This advert is based on a lie.
I like Apple products. I'm using a Mac to type this. But I find Apple's TV advertising to be bumptious, patronising and almost wilfully annoying. And smug. Did I mention smug?
Every time I see this ad I assume it's another one of those frightening ads for the tell-tale signs of a stroke, such is the odd expression on the face of the girl watching.
The girl in question has such massive lips it's hard to believe the brief for casting wasn't simply: "Just find someone who looks really fucking weird." In the world of ads anything that is noticeable – for absolutely any reason – is pure gold; hence the amount of ads that contain absurdly-faded celebs, midgets and odd-faced girls.
This ad annoys several people I know, purely because of the stupid lop-sided look on the girl's face. It's a look of such astonished wonder that it's impossible to conceive of anything that could warrant such a reaction. A hippo giving birth to a reincarnated Elvis, perhaps. Boris Johnson vomiting rubies at the Queen. Or Piers Morgan simply being repeatedly punched in the face.
I find the fact that the film in question is The Dark Knight – a film unlikely to inspire any emotion other than depression – is absurd in several ways. Firstly girls don't like fantasy or comic books; secondly girls are generally unable to sustain the level of attention required not to talk through an entire sodding film.
Anyway, then you realise that the back of the girl's head is a sort of cinema. Or something. I suppose it's all meant to convey the impression that watching a film is an utterly astonishing experience.
Currently the most popular films on X-Box Live are Yes Man, Zack and Miri Make A Porno and Transporter 3.
If you looked in the back of my head when faced with these choices, you'd see me walking over to the TV and X-Box, turning them off and heading to the pub.
I was ambivalent about the G20 riots today, as I'm doubtful of the value of breaking a few windows and terrorising a few hapless clerks in a bank. But having said that, it reveals – along with the vandalism of Fred The Shred – the extent of the feeling against banks in the county, and probably around the world, at the moment.
I think I probably speak for everyone when I say 'Fuck you, banks. No really, just fuck right off.' All those years of being patronised by a clerk in a bank, being told off because you haven't told the bank you've moved, but if you want to change your address you'll have to go back home and get your passport.
Those sneaky charges, the time they cancelled your overdraft without telling you, the way they charge you simply to bank with them.
Yeah, fuck you banks. That's basically what the entire world is saying to banks right now.
How have the banks responded to this public outpouring of hatred, contempt and mistrust? With some touchy-feely ads trying to convince us that all they're doing is trying to help us – if only we'll let them.
Their footsoldiers are people who work in the banks. A lot of them are undoubtedly good, decent, honest people. The banks know this, which is why they're on the front line. They're powerless when you're railing against them for the hidden charge.
They're forced into this position by the people upstairs. It's not their fault – they're just there to take the bullet and soak up the flack.
The nice ads are telling us that they've changed, they're listening and they're there to help. But with the other hand they're still appealing over the reclaiming of extortionate bank charges, even after being told several times by the Office of Fair Trading that their charges are incredibly honestly-how-have-you-got-the-gall beyond-the-pale unfair. Still! Greeting you with one hand and inviting you to swivel on the other.
I've been going to write this entry for a while and was waiting for one of those horrible NatWest ads to crop up on Youtube, but clearly no-one has the stomach for them. A small incident recently has made me revisit the banks ads though.
I went in to query a charge the other day for £28. It turns out I was overdrawn for a day to the sum of six pound back in December. By my reckoning its the first time I've been overdrawn for about eight years, so I was fairly annoyed.
But what can you do? There was a nice young lady lined up as cannon fodder to tell me there was nothing she could do. Just like in the ads.
Meanwhile, the people who dream up these outrageous charges and wrecked our entire economy dream up more ways to make money. See Barclays entirely legal tax avoidance branch and the hair-raising details that go with if you don't believe me.
This is what banks are about. They're there to make money out of you at every turn. Don't ever forget it.
So don't even fucking try it on banks, we're on to you now. And fuck off with your wretched ads. Every single one of you.