Davina red rubber ball Garnier ad

There are numerous things I detest about this stupid advert for Garnier UltraLift PRO-X anti-wrinkle cream, which has recently been revived after a welcome hiatus of several months.

Firstly, the name. Cosmetics companies (especially those aimed at women) seem to have a bottomless pit of daft-sounding patented ingredients for their products, which unconvincingly attempt to convey futurism, science and complex research by men in white coats at the same time as nature, health and the live-giving properties of the earth.

The use of the letter X and the prefix “Pro” is highly prevalent in these sorts of adverts. This particular one contains one of the most offensive affronts to the English language of recent times, with its random partial capitalisation of various letters in the product name and voiceover talk of “Pro-Xylene, derived from beech wood extract”.

The concept of a squeezy rubber ball to illustrate saggy middle-aged skin is the next irritation. It’s not that I don’t get the idea they’re trying to get across, it’s just that it’s done in such a patronising way that it should really be illustrated with tinkling lullaby music and a chimp shaking a rattle.

Then there’s Davina McCall, fresh from hideously over-acting with her imaginary off-screen mother in an advert for hair dye. She’s delivers the crackpot script with an superb lack of conviction. Her artful monologue complements the red ball motif in its ability to appeal to the nation’s most dimwitted housewives, while simultaneously hinting at a behind-the-scenes legal minefield related to the veracity of the various claims made.

It’s all about bounce

announces Davina, as she squeezes the stupid red ball. Then she says:

For me, it’s the best anti-wrinkle cream.

I find this strange. Why only “for her”? It immediately suggests that other people wouldn’t necessarily agree. It makes me nervous. Then there’s repeated use of the word “plump”. As in: It’s about the plump, innit. Then the ball is unleashed.

As it unfurls, as if to show the skin being “plumped”, the word “Dramatisation” appears at the bottom of the screen. It’s not clear why. Would anyone looking at this red rubber ball seriously think this is footage of human skin, thus making the “Dramatisation” disclaimer necessary? Or is it to cover Garnier in case someone thinks the reason the ball is unsqueezing itself is because it’s had anti-wrinkle cream rubbed into it? Either way, it’s completely shit.