We are complicit in an infantile group delusion that allows the likes of Vodaphone and George Lucas to patronise us with shit Star Wars-related tripe at every turn
It's vaguely pathetic how Star Wars keeps getting trotted out as something that everyone of my generation is supposed to think is the most amazing thing ever like it's a combination of oral sex, beach holidays to the Bahamas and pure unadulterated cocaine all rolled into one.
It was vaguely tolerable when everyone was 18 – everyone's entitled to like stuff from their childhood, even if Star Wars is a massive pile of cack – but when Star Wars is the default meme of choice for a generation of people nearing their 40s... well, it's just a bit sad to be honest.
Vodaphone is the latest company to shrug, stump up ten billion pounds and have a shit Star Wars theme in its advert, apparently in the belief that this deeply tiresome and childish franchise is a keycard to people's wallets.
In its latest advert Yoda is surprised by Vodaphone's ability to transfer numbers from one phone to another. Because of this, Yoda surmises that Vodaphone must have the force. It's utter shit.
Shit springs to mind in a different way upon watching this ad. It's what I imagine George Lucas was depositing into a golden toilet, dressed Dude-style in an old dressing gown, when he lazily texted his permission for the latest ka-chinging knock-off of something he - presumably - once treasured so very fondly.
Fiat is off to the States as we speak, trying to sell small cars to people who aren't happy unless their SUV comes with a dead penguin strapped to the bull bars. Small cars don't have a good track record in the US as all the roads are about 8,000 miles long and about as wide, meaning our little European hatches, taut of handling and tiny of interior, are a tad out of their comfort zones.
Clearly Fiat thought it needed a boost trying to overcome decades of superchargers, Hemis and literally drinking petrol, so it's enlisted Jennifer Lopez (youngsters may know her as J-Lo) to drive the Fiat 500C and sing about her Papi, whatever that means.
What follows is a baffling collision of a song that seems entirely unsuitable for the sitation; namely a load of zombies trying to eat La Lopez, flinging themselves on her bonnet and chasing her car through a deserted city's streets. But, in the end, she gives up and joins them for a dance.
It's straight out of the 'throw enough money' school of advertising - and it seems to have gone down really badly on this side of the pond, as adverts clearly catering for an American audiences tend to. That's a bit of a shame, as Fiat's small cars are excellent, particularly the 500 and 500C.
Of course, this isn't the first time Fiat has
inflicted launched a duff celebrity tie-in. Over the past couple of years Fiat UK has enlisted the help of Angela Griffin and James Morrison to aid their car launches.
Here's Fiat UK MD looking extremely cool with the also-extremely-cool Morrison:
“...an intimate concert from a big star like James Morrison demonstrated how determined we are to promote our products like we have never done before.”
Indeed. Perhaps there's a reason for that. And, with any luck, he'd add "and never will again".
What an utterly sickening misappropriation of brilliant music. Hasn't music suffered enough with Volkswagen's assault on the Beach Boys' canon of late?
And wasn't one breathlessly acoustic destruction of an alt-rock classic bad enough recently, with John Lewis (you know, the adverts we're legally obliged to cry at) trampling all over Morrissey's daffodils with its utterly underwhelming Christmas advert?
Apparently not, because now we've got Thomson assramming the Pixies' Where Is My Mind? with the intent of selling a cheap fortnight to Marbella. Assramming it while looking at itself in the mirror and winking. Depressing.
This should be a useful reminder of what advertising is: something that uses whatever it can to make you part with your cash. That's all. That's literally all it is. Sometimes an advert is funny and sometimes touching. But the final analysis is that they want your money. And if they can annoy you, coerce you, guilt trip you, play on your fundamental alienation from your fellow human or use the things that you love against you, they will.
Twas ever thus of course. Think of all the beautiful classical music you now associate with furniture outlets. Or the brilliant Peter, Bjorn and John song, Young Folks, destroyed forever by its constant rotation on telly and radio. Advertising destroyed it for you, because it wanted your money. Like it's destroying the Beach Boys' back catalogue. Like it's destroying The Pixies.
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A coincidence? I think not.
Aldi have been going up and up in my estimation recently, ad-wise. I might even pop in there from time to time if they deigned to give you basket to put your stuff in.
Still, almost as if to remind you that even the funny adverts are evil, here's the puzzling small print. See if you can make out what it means. They've not exactly made it easy.
via Dirty Feed/Nick B
I think this is a brilliant advert. Wonderful idea and execution and conveys an important message in a way that's accessible and memorable.
Funny thing coincidence, eh? On the day when the following search query directed someone to AdTurds:
when are they going to get rid of that annoying go compare advert. it has been driving my wife mad for the last 2 years?
...it was announced that Go Compare is to review its advertising account, quite possibly spelling the end for the fat opera bell-end.
Go Compare has, for me, just become a kind of buzzing noise that is faintly irritating but I've managed to push into my subconscious. Not so AdTurds readers, who are still driven to spitting fury by the seemingly never-ending production line of utterly terrible adverts.
In the face of the seemingly unconquerable meerkat, Confused.com's determination to push the bounds of gynaecology and MoneySupermarket virtually throwing money at people to use its services, time may be called on Gio Compario and his rather boring antics.
Here's what The Drum has to say on the subject:
It is believed that a pitch process is being planned for next month at which three agencies will compete for the work, alongside Go Compare’s own in-house marketing team – which produces the notorious TV ads.
It also suggests that Gio – or, more likely, singer Wynne Evans – is contracted to Go Compare for another year.
So, the question is, can we stomach it for another year? AdTurds readers voted it their least favourite in my wholly scientific price-comparison advert poll last year.
I'd say we were at the end of our collective wicks a long time ago, but I don't think that will affect Go Compare's decision. Go Compare, perhaps more than any other ad, has shown agencies that annoyance is a powerful weapon when it comes to financial services ads. Ads that have nothing more interesting to offer than the unmitigated thrill of typing our personal details into web-page fields that may offer us slightly cheaper home insurance.
What I'm saying here, what I'm getting at is this: Go Compare may not be the end, it may be the beginning.
I can't work out if this is deliberate or not. If so I'd guess it's a kind of 'a-ha! got your attention' or it's one of those deals where the sofa has actually gone back up in price since a recent sale and the advertiser is obliged to reference this (by the way that's exactly what supermarkets do all the frigging time - hit them where it hurts steal a flat-screen telly, it's the only language they understand).
Either way, this is very very odd. It's only by chance that I noticed it. What do we think? Deliberate macguffin, small-print obnoxiousness or silly mistake?
Weird supermarket Colgate guy: Excuse me, is your toothpaste working?
Weird shopping centre lady: GET AWAY FROM ME YOU FREAK!
Weird supermarket Colgate guy: No, no. Don't worry. I just want to prod about in your mouth with my tool.
Weird shopping centre lady: Well, in that case of course. I can't think of any reason why that would be weird in public with a total stranger.
Weird supermarket Colgate guy: A-ha, as I thought. Your mouth is coated in...
Weird shopping centre lady: Oh my... Oh my God, how embarrassing. I don't normally let him do that in my mouth...
Weird supermarket Colgate guy: Don't worry - look at this screen. It's bacteria!
Weird shopping centre lady: Oh, oh. Right. Bacteria. Yup.
Weird supermarket Colgate guy: You see, the toothpaste you normally use is shit. Colgate is best. Here, take this tube home tonight and put it in your bathroom. Make sure the tube is facing towards the shower. Oh, and do the toothpaste thing, obviously.
The next day...
Weird shopping centre lady: Hi. I was here yesterday. The lady with the teeth.
Weird supermarket Colgate guy: Oh yeah, it's you, the lady with the sperm in her mouth. Bacteria. I meant bacteria. Obviously. Sorry. Jesus, you actually came back?! How path... Um. Nice ass by the way.
Weird shopping centre lady: So. How does my mouth look now? I brushed with the Colgate.
Weird supermarket Colgate guy: Yeah, I know. Err, so as we can see on this screen there's some blue stuff here and some, umm... green stuff here. Less bacteria. Whoops!
Weird shopping centre lady: Wait a minute. Was that my bathroom? Have you got a camera in my bathroom?
Weird supermarket Colgate guy: No! No, of course not. Don't panic. Here, sit down in this small tent over here. You're feeling calm. Very calm. Sleepy, almost...
Weird shopping centre lady: I am feeling sleepy, kind of woozy. I need a lie down.
Weird supermarket Colgate guy: Yes, lie down. Relax. Lie down and open your mouth for me. Show me your teeth...