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Robinson’s Refresh’d Advert: Straw Donkeys

robinsons refresh'd straw advert

Have you heard about this thing called plastic? Well apparently there's more of the stuff choking up rivers, seabeds and the digestive tracts of birds that there is shit spewing from the mouth of Jacob Rees-Mogg. And that's a lot. Seriously. Have you heard the twat? He look like a Staedtler 2B pencil in a suit and sounds like he should be instructing a class of Fauntleroys on their Catullus prep.

But I digress. Plastic. In one of those crashing moments of awareness the human race very occasionally enjoys - like when you cringe at the memory of an ill-advised Snapchat - we've realised that covering the world in tiny fibres of indestructible, toxin-attracting baked oil might have been A Bad Thing after all. Turns out there's not a lot of demand for eating microbeads, given our position at the top of the foodchain, after all. Who'd've thunk.

robinsons refresh'd straw advert

Plastic is toxic in more ways that one and it's agreed that, for the last 50 years or so, we pretty much got that one wrong. See also: when we thought we'd seen the last of racism, the class system and voting for politicians who actively want to kill - or fuck (or kill and fuck) - everyone.

Now, plastics have their uses and we've built our world around them, to the potential benefit of the odd tree. But take a look around you and, if you're one of the unlucky few to be blessed with things such as brains and empathy, you'll realise that we've seriously fucked up.

How else to explain the concept of single-use, well, anything? Single-use coffee cups, plastic bags, Tindr dates? And then perhaps the most egregious thing the human race ever invented - far worse than nuclear weapons, Nando's or even Philip Schofield - the straw.

robinsons refresh'd straw advert

The straw, ladies and gentlemen, is the single-most, stupid and evil thing ever invented. If you drink through a straw you inflate your guts like Violet Beauregard. You also look about seven years old. And then you throw them away, at which point they find themselves on landfills, in canals - then out into our oceans and to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which contains more hazardous shit that MailOnline.

Some say there'll be more plastic than fish in the seas within a couple of decades; others that plastic is already part of our food chain and is probably resting in our stomachs, alongside other poisonous shit from McDonalds, Haribo and Subway. And all because you wanted a stupid bloody straw in your Screaming Orgasm.

It's odd then, given the catastrophic situation, that the new advert for Robinsons Refresh'd - you can tell it's for cool kids because it has an apostrophe, the coolest of all punctuation marks - features a straw zooming around the biosphere destroying organic matter, as if Britvic wanted to create a visual metaphor for what plastic is doing to our environment.

Said straw flies out of a young lady's drink and vanishes off into the countryside, where it wraps itself around a tree as if strangling it, then pulverises a bunch of harmless fruit before ending up in a stream. If only Robinsons had thought to show the plucky straw's journey ending in the nose of sea turtle it would have amounted to a pretty good exploration of the insanity of things you couldn't possible need, use once and throw away.

Some would say the Robinsons Refresh'd advert is apt for our singularly idiotic times. I suspect it's more evidence that the grinding wheels of business simply do not care unless their bottom line is damaged. Sometimes advertising is more truthful than you might think.

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Halifax Wizard Of Oz Advert

Halifax Wizard Of Oz advert

I've been hearing from you in your droves. The AdTurds postbag is positively throbbing with anger at the new Halifax Wizard Of Oz advert, CGIing a camp Halifax mortgage chap into The Wizard Of Fucking Oz and abusing its 'There's No Place Like Home' catchphrase like a racist brandishing a Union Flag.

The new Halifax advert seems to have caught people genuinely off-guard. Sure the Top Cat and Flintstones adverts were annoying but I'm not sure there's quite the emotional connection or sense of desecration. Hacking up The Wizard Of Oz to flog mortgages for the banking equivalent of Home Bargains seems a bit like getting Mary Berry to strut around as a ring girl at Connor McGregor's next fight.

It's not news that Halifax adverts are among the worst on television - their record over the last 20 years has been worse than Val Kilmer's film career. Remember the ones where they ran a radio station (Isa Isa baby)? What about the Halifax choir?

top cat halifax advert

This latest set of children's entertainment rip-offs seemed to confirm Halifax's view of itself as the Crazy Gang of the banking sector, but why would anyone want to entrust their money to a zany bank?

Fred Flintstone wants to switch bank accounts. Top Cat can't get a mortgage anywhere else on the high street. Why? I dunno. Why Harambe? Because we can, seems to be Halifax's response.

And now we have a Halifax Wizard Of Oz advert, where Dorothy and her unlikely back-up squad. Halifax approves mortgages for tinmen, scarecrows and even lions, apparently, in what appears to be a grossly irresponsible lending policy. No wonder Britain is mortgaged up to the hilt: Halifax has been giving out money hand over fist to fictional characters.

Theis new Halifax Wizard Of Oz Advert doesn't even make any sense. The Welsh chap representing the bank can't even approve a mortgage for Dorothy. Oh, I guess there's a 'no place like home' pay-off that just about makes sense of the MGM trappings but fundamentally it's just another example of nostalgia appropriation by the dead hand of advertisers.

Halifax Wizard Of Oz advert

But as yet another childhood-mining advert eviscerates your feel glands I've realised something. I don't much care. Because this is advertising in a nutshell. If you like something and it's popular and it can be used to encourage you to do something that earns someone else some money, you can bet your bottom dollar - or your bottom for that matter - someone is going to weaponise it and use it against you.

Our key details - age, wage, families - are already known by any business who has a few quid to spare. Business is only going to know more and more about us. Every page you visit on the internet? Logged. Your physical location at any time of the day? Tracked. Your likely voting intentions, biases and fears? Predicted. What you buy at the supermarket? Shared. Sexual orientation, peccadilloes, porn habits? Old news. All of them are up for grabs.

And where might this lead us? Targeted adverts addressing us by name? Talking about our families? Zeroing in on our every insecurity and foible? Think I'm exaggerating? It's nearly ten years since Nike used an audio recording of Tiger Woods' dead father whenthe golfer was on the comeback trail, after all.

People are very worried about what information governments hold on them. And that's not something I take lightly. But have you any idea what Tesco, Amazon or Facebook knows about you? Why don't we worry about what business knows about us too? And what it might do with that knowledge.

If you thought the Halifax Wizard Of Oz advert was depressing, disrespectful - invasive even - it's nothing compared to what advertising is going to do with its file on you in years to come.

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