Have you noticed how many annoying dogs there are in television adverts there are these days? Not only that, they’re some of the most annoying creatures on television – and the only reason they’re not more annoying that Katie Hopkins is that these dogs haven’t learned to tweet vile hatred all over social media yet. So yeah. Dogs. In adverts. Say these Clearscore adverts, for example.
The Clearscore adverts started appearing in 2016 where a man with a talking dog – it says ‘What doing?’ all the time and is called Moose – checks his credit rating and nods in appreciation. His wife seems to openly despise him and appears unaware that her husband is having clandestine conversations with the family mutt.
There are lots of very strange things in these adverts. They’re shot like miniature horror films, as if there’s something unsettling under the skin of this scene of domestic mundanity. Why is it just the bloke who can hear the dog? Is he insane?
And why does the man obsessively check his credit score, as if he’s going to clear out the bank account when the time is right and stage his own death? Why is the wife monotone, listless and usually lethargic, almost as if she’s being slowly poisoned with antifreeze?
And where has the wife gone by the final Clearcore advert, which amounts to a sort of deliberately-embarrassing piece of EDM? Is the epilogue to this a spot where Moose asks his owner, busying himself with a spade and suspicious looking tarpaulin-covered shape under the cover of darkness, one last time: “What doing?”
We don’t know, but probably.
With all the initial family variously in a shallow grave, bottom of canal and nuts deep in teen prostitutes on Khaosan Road (I’ll leave you figure out which is which), there’s a whole new family in 2017’s Clearscore adverts – like when there’s a new series of American Horror Story but it’s basically the same old gory trash but with a set of slightly different characters.
This time there’s another couple who haven’t fucked each other for half a decade and a weird-voiced, annoying animal that again seems to vaguely creep out its owners. Whereas Moose the Dog displayed a weird co-dependendency, this one’s openly psychopathic: a ginger car called Flearoy that wants to own everything.
The important question in all of this is impossible hard to ignore: why? The annoying wannabe-meme approach makes a horrible kind of sense for price-comparison sites and betting companies – stuff that can be readily associated with LOL! and Banter!
But the intricacies of personal finance? Is the aim to associate the brainless wittering of people who repeat advertising catchphrases with actually going online to check your credit score (one of the most pointless and weep-inducingly boring things you can possible do)? I’m not convinced.
Something totally random? Sure, why not. Here’s a kid boggling at a pineapple and demanding answers of his stupid Dad.
I have no answers, merely verbiage. Maybe advertising has got to that point where the content of a 30-second spot simply don’t matter as long as you say the brand name and your keyword phrase of choice a few times in a stupid (and, dare I say it, foreign) voice.
Perhaps we’ll see a new series of Blake’s 7 played out in the next set of adverts for Barclays or Warburton’s will simply feature that wanker who runs the business actually inserting his doughy penis into a thick white Toastie loaf for the sheer hell of it.
I don’t know any more, I just don’t know.