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4Mar/104

Dale Winton Cash My Gold ad

The market for postal gold cash-in services like Cash My Gold and Cash 4 Gold is hotting up. So what better way to differentiate yourself from the pack than by hiring in mahogany wardrobe-faced Dale Winton to spice things up a bit?

Dale is still what might be considered a primetime celebrity thanks to his weekly appearances on BBC1's Saturday night Lottery based quiz, whose precise title I can't be bothered Googling. As such, his decision to become the (deep orange/brown) face of a popularly despised service that encourages the desperate to part with family heirlooms at prices massively under their market value could be considered a possible career faux pas. Not least because the BBC's The One Show has been among those pointing out the problems with postal gold services. The OFT has also launched an inquiry into whether or not these companies are ripping people off.

The ad itself is also, obviously, absolutely terrible. They've tried to make "Cash My Gold" into a stupid catch phrase ("Wow! Cash ma gold!") and present it as a sort of face-to-face valuation, a bit like David Dickinson's Real Deals, when clearly it isn't, it's actually all done by post. The similarities with Dickinson also extend to the colour of the protagonist's face. But if you're basing an advert on uninspiring daytime TV formats, you may have a problem.

There's also not much of an attempt to gloss over the fact that a lot of people using postal gold services are kind of desperate for quick cash. As one bloke says:

My son is desperate for a laptop so I'm really hoping for a hundred and fifty quid.

If he'd have said he wanted to pawn his wife's engagement ring to pay for a copy of Call of Duty: Modern Wafare 2, it would be only slightly more distasteful.

Overall then, a rather tawdry exercise in ruining a perfectly acceptable television career. Cash ma gold, Dale. Cash ma gold.

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