By their very nature adverts for Tena Lady are going to be pretty bizarre, but who could possibly foresee the answer to 'What's the first thing you notice about me?' being 'That I don't smell of piss'?
Receiving this brief must be the original Kobayashi-Maru of advertising, the definitive no-win scenario.
My sympathies to anyone involved in having to make ads like this don't quite extend to my sympathies for anyone who finds themself in the position of having to consider buying this product though.
Print ads, to my mind, are generally much more witty, well-observed, subtle and simply well put-together. There's no captive audience, as there is in multimedia advertising. If your target is going to see and engage with your ad, they need to want to.
So, many standard TV ad techniques – loud noises, bad music, twats, annoyance – simply aren't available to the print ad creative.
First they need to stand out, visually. Then they need to have something relevant to say. Thirdly that message needs to be memorable. That's quite a lot to think about when you've got three columns on page 14 of the Express to conjure with.
Anyway, the full article is over at spyrestudios in an article that says much the same thing that I just did, only in a rather less curmudgeonly fashion.
I wouldn't describe all of them as hilarious, but they're all pretty good by my reckoning. Except the Pringles one - that's shit. A couple of my favourites are below.
A sad day, no doubt for British industry. Cadbury's is off to get decimated and absorbed by Kraft; who will rationalise the Cadbury's bunny, downsize the British Curly Wurley and smash the face of the Phil Collins Gorilla in.
While few are likely to be aware of the economic and social history of the company, most will make an emotional connection with company through its advertising and products. It's often difficult to separate the two.
And while I've compiled a list of some of those most famous adverts below, I've included a paragraph by a friend on the passing of the company as we know it.
And that's it. The last of the great philanthropic British companies - such as Rowntree's, Terry's, Dorman Long, Lever Brothers and the Great Western Railway - which helped to ameliorate the worst excesses of capitalism in this country and raised the living standards of the working and lower middle classes, has gone.
This is a genuinely sad day, and not just for those who like chocolate which tastes like chocolate.
So, there you go. Another British institution off to the great chocolate factory in the sky, not via a glass elevator but the rough and tumble of globalised industrial markets.
At least we'll always have that fit bird in the Flake ad.
Cadbury's flake advert
Cadbury's Wispa advert
Featuring the wonderful Ruth Madoc and Simon Cadell.
Cadbury's Fudge advert
Inspiring rude take-offs in playgrounds since the 80s
Wordle is a tool that lets you see what words you're regularly using on your blog. Here's one for AdTurds. Frankly I expected a lot more fucks, shits and twats.
I'm not much of a food snob. In fact I was brought up on working class foods including things like offal, reconstituted meat and suet, and delicious they were too.
While foodstuffs like these may not be the most healthy choices, I'm sure they're a lot better for a growing lad than the diet of burgers, crisps, chocolate, energy drinks and weed kids these days seem to subsist on.
However, in these sniffy times old-fashioned food has gone off the menu somewhat. This can't be because of price, nutrition or taste - instead it seems to be due to a kind of muddled food snobbery that okays £1 ready-made chicken kormas from Iceland but turns its nose up at deviled kidneys.
So there's not much of that kind of food that's off the menu for me, including spam – which is fairly tasty.
However, spam has a problem. It's so deeply out-of-fashion that it's virtually taboo, like smoking on television, glue-sniffing or masturbation.
This effort to raise spam's profile seems to be have been made 25 years ago, which is oddly appropriate, but seems hopelessly doomed to failure.
The idea that spam could serve as 'a special tea' is just about acceptable, if it's a kids' meal. But to suggest that serving up a plate of spam to your loving wife on your anniversary is going to end with anything other than a slap in the face and night on the sofa is wishful thinking indeed. Even if your wife is Pamela Spam from Spamtown, Spamania. And even then it's pretty lazy.
I feel sorry for the people given this brief, I really do. Because in this day and age trying to convince people that spam is cool is like trying to convince them that a ball and cup is Christmas 2010's big toy craze.
Apparently these are the top ten most-watched UK TV ads of 2009 according to a site called tellyads.com.
1. Cadbury: Eyebrows
2. Comparethemarket.com: Comparethemeerkat.com
3. PG Tips: It's The Taste
4. Churchill: Rolf Harris
5. Change4Life: Eat Well, Move More, Live Longer
6. Maltesers: Tiny Jeans
7. GoCompare.com: Only A Tenor
8. Vodafone: If I Ruled The World
9. Aviva: Green Army
10. EDF Energy: Eco20:20
In an article that seems to have been barely altered from the original press release, the Grauniad breathlessly describes just how many hits the various shit ads on the site have received over the course of the last year.
Public interest in TV adverts seems to be greater than ever, the poll reveals. Visitors to tellyAds have watched 6.3m clips this year, 50% more than last year.
Fucking fascinating, I'm sure. After some more PR puff for the site, we get the following amazing revelation:
The Cadbury's "Eyebrows" advert features two children posing for a photograph. When the photographer is called away by a ringing phone, the children begin a synchronised eyebrow dance – without a blink – to the 1980s track Don't Stop The Rock by Freestyle. The ad was created by ad agency Fallon and directed by Tom Kuntz, who was also responsible for last year's Lynx "Chocolate Man" advert.
The article is written by Rebecca Smithers, consumer affairs correspondent, who presumably drew some sort of short straw in the office in the run-up to Christmas.
If you can bear to make it to the end of the article you finally get to the list of adverts, some of which I've genuinely never seen.
What should be apparent by now is that someone at The Guardian doesn't get the 'optimised content doesn't have to be shit, obviously-optimised content' thing, as the whole thing has LINK BAIT written through it like a stick of rock.
Even if you can bear to make it to the list of adverts at the end another, related, problem becomes apparent.
This is no measure of popularity, penetration or quality, it's simply a measure of how well optimised various parts of tellyads.com are.
How else would the Change4Life advert be the fourth-most watched advert of the year? Or an advert for Maltesers fifth? or one for EDF Energy be tenth? Why, specifically, would anyone seek any of those adverts out?
So, an utterly pointless article made from a barely repurposed press release, and some empty and misleading rundown of some shite ads from last year. Cheers for that Guardian.
Do you even remember ever seeing this ad?
Any advert or trail that features someone singing along to music is guaranteed to be awful enough to inspire genuine anger.
Since the subject of these trails in Chris Evans, who has had the sheer gall to step into the shoes of Lord Terrance Wogan, this is a given anyway.
What's worse about this is that the Beeb's idea of what real people might look like while singing along to the radio is about a billion light years away from reality, and so patronising as to be almost offensive.
Look at these adverts and ask yourself whether you've ever seen anyone behave like the everyday Joes in this advert. And if you did, would you want to have anything to do with them.
It's all the proof you ever need that BBC upper echelons just have absolutely idea about the real world. Then again, on Radio 2 that's probably not a problem.
Clearly this advert is absolutely fucking appalling (slappable faces, ironic dancing and miming to music, awful concept), but what's most egregious about Halifax's 'we give you a fiver from time to time' boast is that this will be clawed back by Halifax's recently introduced overdraft charges that amount to £1 or £2 per day for using an overdraft facility.
That's quite a lot of cash for anyone who uses their overdraft facility. In fact it's either £365 a year or £730 a year depending on how big your facility is. If you have the misfortune of being overdrawn without an arranged overdraft it's nearly two grand over a year. That fiver doesn't look quite so enticing now does it?
Of course, as we all know, all banks are absolute bastards who will screw you every which way, so HBOS is no different from any other bank in that regard.
What I would like to see, though, is the government forcing banks they have a significant stake in (a 43 per cent stake in Lloyds, which owns HBOS, which is essentially Halifax) to make a series of adverts in their current style where they cheerfully pronounce the various ways they're trying to beast their customers.
It could go like this:
DJ: We've got a caller on Line One!
CALLER: Why are you trying to bum me over overdraft fees?
DJ: Haha! Because we've got a carte blanche to brutally hammer every single one of you! Can I just ask if you were conned into banking with us through this risible 'fiver a month' deal?
CALLER: Yeah, but with all these overdraft charges it's a drop in the ocean!
DJ: Of course, that's the whole point! And how else are we supposed to pay off all those toxic debts we accrued by backing these never-never sub-prime mortgages? By the way, thanks for the 17 billion!
And on that note, here's The O'Jays, with For the Love of Money! Fuck you all!
Vauxhall's new Astra may well be the best of the hatch pack, if first drives are to be believed, with Ellesmere Port's most famous export finally getting one over on long-time Moriarty the Ford Focus.
And this couldn't have come at a better time for Vauxhall, or parent company GM. Both have been stricken by the recession but look to be making good on their escape from the jaws of death.
Strong products have helped Opel / Vauxhall and this latest iteration of the C-segment model is at the forefront of Vauxhall's rebirth, along with the Insignia saloon.
However, the Insignia was saddled with a terrible marketing campaign, which saw an American secret agent trying to break into Vauxhall HQ (location: Luton) to discover just what it was that made the Insignia so damn good.
We can only assume that GM goons hauled him off and double-tapped him in the head, as he never seemed to find out.
Anyway, there's a lot riding on the new Astra, so they're going to have a knockout ad lined up right? Wrong. Dead wrong.
This series of ads will focus on some sort of Ocean's 11 casino heist that somehow involves the £16K car. Don't ask how - I can't make head nor tail of this muddled ad.
And do you hear the music? Yes, that is a vocoder-ed voice rapping "Fun- fun- funky drivin'!" over a slap bass jazz-funk wigout. Funky driving?
And are those people - the news vendor and news reader - actually actors, or just people asked to recite lines, badly? Take a look at the guy and ask yourself, does this guy even speak English as a first language?
To cap it all off, this advert is supposedly aimed at young blokes. What? How?
Everything about this advert is wrong. I shudder to think what Bob Lutz would make of it.
Getting a celebrity couple to front your advert can't be an especially easy task if you're a package holiday company more closely associated with Majorca than the Maldives.
So hats off to Thomas Cook, which appears to have paid Jamie and Louise Redknapp lots of cash to sacrifice their remaining credibility by appearing in an unconvincing advert suggesting that just like the ordinary poor person, they spend lots of time preparing for, and fantasising about, their accursed once-a-year fortnight in Fuertaventura or Bodrum or Crete or wherever it is ordinary poor people take package holidays to.
The Redknapps are unconvincing in the sense that they are far too tanned, rich and good looking to be going on a Thomas Cook package holiday. On the plus side, they are both thick and speak in whiny Croydon-ish accents. In this sense, they are just like the sort of people you befriend over sun-parched bacon and eggs at Frank's Beachside Taverna before regretting it for the remaining thirteen nights.
There's a diabolical scene with Jamie doing keepie-uppies, barefoot except for a Burton's suit, on a beach. And a bit where Louise nuzzles up to a horse. But the dialogue is the shittest part.
Jamie and Louise dribble on about how they dream abaaaad "it", how they can't wait for "it" and how they fawwwl in lav on "it". But it's not until the end of the advert that you find out what "it" actually is.
Obviously it's a dreary package holiday. But I invite you to watch while imagining that "it" is:
(a) A night with a 20-stone German prostitute