This is in many ways a good advert. It’s funny – on the face of it – slick and has a good concept behind it. And it’s advertising something I like – cricket. But for various reasons I’m not feeling positive about the 20/20 World Cup and this advert features a man who, increasingly, makes me want to give people Chinese burns.
There’s probably a lot of good things to say about Lloyd: a fine cricketer; useful coach; insightful broadcaster; and probably a nice guy. However, Lloyd seems to have made some kind of Faustian pact with the Sky money men and now plays the part of some kind of village idiot in the Sky commentary box. This is bad enough in test cricket. In 20/20 Lloyd goes up to 11.
This advert is Sky’s coverage in a nutshell. Trying to make cricket sexy by making it loud, colourful, brash and full off that fast edit stuff that everyone does these days. I’m all for trying to make cricket more entertaining, but really Sky’s efforts just irritate the hell out of me. They’re a bit like an embarrassing relative getting drunk at a party and dancing to Madness to prove they’re still hip.
Lloyd has clearly been appointed Idiot-in-Chief for the 20/20, for which he breaks out an array of stupid catchphrases and adopts a laddish aspect that extends to making lascivious comments about breasts at any given opportunity. But mainly he just shouts. “Six!” “Out!” “Crikey!”
I’m also perturbed by the sight of Lloyd in this advert wearing the device that opticians use to test lenses. Coupled with his grinning lunatic face and slightly unhinged appearance, it could well be the face of a particularly deranged mass murderer in a slasher film. Perhaps various cricket puns could be used by the insane Lloyd when he dispatches victims. “How’s that for a cut?!” “I’m going to remove your googlies!” “Now you’ve got two short legs!” That sort of thing. But I digress.
The ad sums up everything you need to know about Sky’s coverage. You may not see a problem. Fair enough. But the whole darn shooting match simply makes me want to turn off the TV and bury my head in an old Wisden.