I have a a real hatred for adverts that pander to volume lager drinkers as they're almost always without wit, humour or any sort of acknowledgement that people who actually choose to go to a pub a sup a pint of Carling, Carlsberg or Fosters are bell-ends.
It should come as no surprise that there's usually something deeply dumb about these ads, most of which have some sort of relationship to footy and, thus, hints of Eng-er-land-style racism. This is the response form the target demographic these ads are seeking:
"Quality mate! Fucking quality! Quality banter! Fucking banter! Quality!"
The approach of the European Championships means that we'll probably have a glut of such adverts coming up, showing a trio of gormless berks grinning, cross-eyed and slack-jawed at a plasma screen.
Carlsberg's Fan Camp ads led me to ponder a few ruled for these sort of ads and the thinking behind them. As it goes it's not a bad effort, with some amusing elements and a dash of self-awareness. That said it's clearly hideous, because it's bridging the idiot gap of cheap lager and football.
Anyway, here's my list of rules for making a volume lager ad when there's a footy tournament on:
Any group of lads is best kept to three. Two blokes together might be homosexuals; more than three whiffs of a gang of lager louts. One bloke drinking alone suggests there's something sad about drinking, not to mention the spectre of alcoholism.
They must not be especially good-looking, nor must they be ugly. One who's a bit fat and one who looks a bit of a dweeb is a good. Make sure there are some black fellas in there somewhere too. They must all look like they're called Dave if possible.
Round up a collection of former England stars. Ones that are likely to appeal to people who drink a lot of lager are good. Stuart Pearce, Gazza, Terry Butcher - people like that.
You will also need some bona fide England legends, whether footballing or not. The Charltons, Ian Botham, Redgrave - people like that. A smattering of other recognisable Brits like Steve Davis, Phil Taylor, Des Lynam, Kelly Holmes are also acceptable.
Give some thought to referencing someone who's actually dead in an effort to sell your shit lager. Bobby Robson and Bobby Moore have appeared in previous ads.
Try to get some England 1966 shirts involved somewhere.
Have some sort of identifiably English music. Jerusalem should do it. Or else some modern-day landfill indie rock. Kasabian, Hard Fi etc. Failing that something ironic: Dad's Army etc.
Imply that football is somehow akin to war, battle and glory.
Get Ian Wright gibbering like a twat.
Align your lager with England – even if it's not remotely English (ref. Carlsberg).
Plenty of St George's flags. You may or may not tie this in with a vague xenophobia - 'make them regret the day they took on England' - at this point.
Stick to those rules, chuck half a million quid at it and you should have an ad capable of being indistinguishable from everyone else's – and ensuring you sell eight per cent more pints of gassy, chemicaly idiot pop.
Drinks all round, I think!
PS. Here's one that only follows a few of the rules:
Here are the top ten AdTurds of 2010, by traffic. They don't really reveal how searched-for the ads were - the VanCompare advert is only so high because several outraged Sweet fan forums linked to the site, urging other Sweet fans to attack me - but as a good rule of thumb, these ads must have stood out from the crowd.
That may be because people loved them, hated them or just wanted the chance to see them again. Either way, with certain caveats, these ads made an impression. Make of that what you will.
2. Bing adverts
Any programme called something like 'advert of the year' is like a red rag to a bull/ Surely very few people actually like adverts? That's why a really good ad sticks in the mind – because normally they're few and far between.
This ITV 'programme' – the inverted commas are a reference to the fact that this barely qualifies as programming; think of it as an extended ad break with some of your most hated people popping up from time to time and you're about right – presumes to tell us what the 20 best ads of 2010 were, according to ITV viewers.
8,000 ITV viewers, so unlikely to include Brian Sewell, Peter Yorke, Adrian Serle and Melvyn Bragg - or many more people who would recognise a pile of nonsense if it slapped them in the face.
2010 was, we're told, an "incredible year for adverts" that we "couldn't wait to tell people about". Apparently they've been "funnier, more inspiring and posed more questions than ever before". If you're anything like me the questions were usually along the lines of "who do I have to talk to to ensure this never happens again?".
These ads "made us go 'aaah'" or "turned back time and made us all think". Oh, they certainly made me think.
Usually I thought bad things, as I've detailed below, along with my thoughts on the actual Ad of the Year programme.
20. Go Compare
By identifying themselves, I fear creators Chris Wilkins and Sian Vickers may have committed a fatal error, if the keyword queries on AdTurds' Google Analytics account are to be believed.
Funnily enough, for two people who have created such unremitting misery, the pair, along with the Welsh bloke who plays Gio Compario, seem like quite pleasant people. Then again, they say Hitler was quit a nice chap in person (Christ, Godwinned myself with the first one).
• See also: Go Compare on AdTurds
19. Virgin Holidays
I'd literally never seen this before, which begs the question as to how ITV viewers held it in such high regard. Were the ITV guinea pigs were given a list of 20 and told to pick them in order?
Only a genuinely annoying advert came below this one, which is about right, as this looks totally forgettable, featuring a band called the Danke Schons (what?) doing a load of tedious old rock cliches; ('with credibility') according to the ad creator.
As a bonus someone called Vicky Binns proves to be an annoying twat, although nowhere near as annoying as a complete bell-end called Joe Cardamone.
Never seen this one either. Something about a big Dorito.
"What sort of a mind would come up with a concept like that?" asks Lorraine Kelly, for whom life must be an absolute ever-day wonder. Someone who'd watched District 9 perhaps?
17. Yeo Valley
Never seen this one. Rapping farmers.
Carlsberg's advert for the World Cup, making jingoism cool again. Thing is, I actually liked this for a while. Until the bit where they rape Bobby Robson's memory. And the bit where it goes a bit racist. Created by a guy who looks like he loves shit lager.
"You almost see [Jeff Stelling] as this pyscho beer-drinking hooligan," says some young twonk of the ad.
• See also: Carlsberg on AdTurds
The fat blokes runs. Quite a pleasant little advert. The bloke shed two stone in a few weeks in the course of making this ad. In the programme he looks like he's piled it all back on quicksmart.
Something about a young girl who likes bread. Never seen it. A bit Grange Hill. Quite pleasant.
13. Stella Artois
The one with the runaway piano. Quite diverting. "All I remember is a hot guy playing a piano," says Suzanne Shaw, showing that it didn't really work on her, and that she's dense.
12. Cadbury's fingers
Chocolate fingers scale Everest; play in band; land on moon. Quite good.
• See also: Caadbury's on AdTurds
Turning Carlisle railway station into something a bit more middle-class is actually quite a nice idea. Sure it's selling MDF and plastic chairs, but things that put a genuine smile on people's faces are so few and far between these days I didn't mind.
"What would happen if we put 100 cats in an Ikea store," is the stunning thunderbolt that brought this ad into reality. Being a cat owner, I could provide a fairly short list, with the word 'piss' featuring quite highly.
Since I own a cat, however, I quite like this.
This ad for the Audi R8 Spyder, featuring a load of cars on an ice rink, is a bit of cracker, like many Audi ads.
Having said that, I doubt it was the best car ad of 2010, nevermind one of the best ads of the year. Still, lovely to see the old cars, lovely concept, great execution.
Walkers turn Sandwich into a UK version of Westworld, but with celebrities. About the same amount of plastic though. Quite a nice idea, but I couldn't give a fuck about this.
7. Peter Kay - John Smiths
Meh. Not bad, but Kay is so overexposed and carries with him a reputation for nastiness that the new John Smiths ads simply don't have the same charm these days.
Skater babies. Fucking horrible. Aimed at every lobotomised coo-ing woman that thinks anything to do with babies is brilliant.
The bit where the babies skate towards the fence and jump at it will have me waking up, screaming and sweating, for weeks to come.
Frankly the whole thing looks astonishingly twee, deeply wrong and overwhelmingly disturbing.
Obviously overexposed, but I find the meerkat adverts quite diverting. AdTurds fact: Aleksandr Orlov is voiced by the geordie bloke from Alan Partridge.
4. John Lewis
"It captured the nation's imagination and emotion," says some woman about this John Lewis advert, which made us all cry, apparently.
This is the sort of advert that only affects people who aren't really in touch with their own emotions; the sort of people who might not be able to relate to such complex emotions as 'sadness' or 'happiness' without being told what they mean by a fucking advert.
Lorraine Kelly and some other talking heads discuss this advert, which I didn't really like, as if it were Shakespeare, Voltaire and Chekhov all rolled into one. It's actually Dan Brown.
• See also: John Lewis on AdTurds
3. PG Tips
Johnny Vegas and Monkey. Genuinely amusing, likeable, comforting. Nothing bad to say about these.
A rollercoaster that goes wherever you want it to – to work and back, through the shops, and past the windows of naked fitties (especially one that enjoy being perved over) – is a lovely idea. But that's as far as this advert goes.
Because there's nothing especially winning about this advert, especially in relation to what it's selling. I just don't see how it fits together. It doesn't make me think of Barclays. It doesn't make me think of money. It just makes me think, a little bit, about rollercoasters. And then I do something else.
Lorraine Kelly wonders how they made the advert. Christ.
The dog does funny things. Quite diverting. No idea what the ad is saying or the product is.
Critical faculties left at the door. Some of the dumbest talking heads on bodies that are actually still alive. Mainly-charmless ad types discussing tedious details from adverts. Many poor ads.
The televisual equivalent of doping yourself up on tranquilizers and slowly drowning in a bath of Ovaltine while Lorraine Kelly and Ben Shephard coo comforting platitudes into your ears.
I enjoyed the first two thirds or so of this. Yes, it slots into every box-ticking FUCKING FOOTY IS FUCKING BRILLIANT AND MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANYTHING! category imaginable these days.
Yes there's the usual dodgy jingoism about it all, and, yes it's the usual footy+lager/MacDonalds/chocolate meme we get every world cup (see also: Venables, Redknapp and Wright disaster confluence).
I like Jackie Charlton's appearance - it's a link back to football was a nobler, less commodified pursuit - and I like some of the voiceover; it's almost as if it's a reminder to overpaid, spoilt Premiership stars to buck their bloody ideas up and remember they're not just playing for themselves.
The appearance of some of England's foremost sportspeople is an important reminder than we're a little country capable of great things, before it goes all foreigner-baiting with the quite astonishing "You'll make them regret the day they took on England!'.
Worse than that, though, is the use of the images of Bobby Moore and, especially Bobby Robson. Using Robson's image, particularly, to sell shit lager seems like the height of bad taste to me. Yes, as a Newcastle United fan, but also as a human being. The guy died less than a year ago. Jesus.
And then all hell breaks loose. Kasabian - a band I associate mainly with binge-drinking, Saturday night city-centre violence and shit gangster films - and eye-rolling ENGERLAND! bollocks and Botham twatting about in chainmail. And Aslan.
Promising start. Feeble, predictable, depressing end. Can you guess where I'm going with this?