Megan Thompson-endorsed, is it?

In the latest batch of Sainsbury’s adverts, foul-mouthed chef Jamie Oliver has been replaced by an ordinary family, albeit one where the mother used to be an annoying Yorkshire prostitute in EastEnders. It’s part of a deliberate attempt to reposition the supermarket, ramming home the idea that you can “feed your family for a fiver”. Rich toffs who like vine ripened tomatoes and swordfish fillets are dead. Long live commoners who eat things like “pork chilli”.

Using an apparently “real” family to get across the authenticity of your product is, of course, an entirely original idea, provided you discount the long running Oxo family commercials from the 1980s. And the recent Quorn adverts with the nagging teenage girl. And the dysfunctional BT Broadband family.

In the most recent Sainsbury’s advert, called “Chilli Endorsed by Child”, we are introduced to the father of the house; a slightly overweight stripy polo shirt-wearing dummy whose one saving grace is his ability to knock up peasant food for his ravenous Neanderthal clan. (His backstory, presumably, is that he is a tradesman of some sort, perhaps a heating engineer or plumber. He likes his football and the occasional pint with his mates but he never gets drunk and “would do anything for his kids”. He drives a Vaxhaull Meriva.)

Here we see the pestering child motif run riot. The girl of the house starts banging on about composting and recycling, you know, like they do. One can almost sense the smug nods of recognition among the parents who make up Sainsbury’s target demographic as the dialogue unfurls. In reality, of course, their kids are on MySpace threatening to stab each other.

The child whines:

What kind of pork is it?

To which the father replies:

Pork from a pig pork.

Thus his familial role as well-meaning but ultimately clueless is cemented. Still, the old bastard gets his own back. Mercifully, he refrains from tossing the pan of boiling acid gristle all over his daughter’s homework and instead seizes his moment at the dinner table to give the little cow a masterclass in sarcasm.

After getting the reluctant child to admit the shit on the plate actually tastes alright he delivers the killer line.

Megan Thompson-endorsed, is it?

You sense this may culminate in violence as Megan hits puberty. Luckily the scene terminates before blood – or chilli – is spilled.

More Th>n’s Julian Barratt adverts

There’s loads of adverts I think are fantastic, car adverts mainly, though there are many more adverts that I loathe. Admittedly there are lots of things I loathe, but badverts have a special place in my heart. They not only anger me, they move me to spleen-venting fury on a regular basis, regardless of whoever happens to be on the receiving end.

Attracting my ire at the moment are a series of ads for More Th>n, one of those companies that seems to do something connected with money; insurance and so on. Adverts for companies like this are always truly awful as they have to stand out from the crowd and bore their way into your head in a precious 30-second window. 

Think of the series of twats Halifax farted into our faces over the last ten years or the cubist nightmares of Confused.com’s adverts. (Actually Confused.com’s adverts have actually got even worse, as they attempt to move upmarket with adverts that are simperingly twee and obviously utilising actors, as opposed to producing adverts that simply annoy the fuck out of you.)

These new efforts from More Th>n are possibly the most egregious of the lot, featuring the previously-funny Julian Barratt from the Might Boosh reciting an oddly cod-sexy voiceover that doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. After some blather about money, credit, insurance, or whatever the hell it is they’re shilling, one concludes with the words ‘Easy Peasy Lionel Squeez-eh’ and another ‘Sock it to me’ for no apparent reason, while Easy by The Commodores and Can’t Get Enough of Your Love play it the background. Why? I don’t know, but here’s what More Th>n says:

The TV executions are dark and stylish, with simple messaging displayed in MORE TH>N’s signature green font, and each one is set to a classic soundtrack. Meanwhile, Barratt delivers a tongue in cheek voice-over that focuses on the consumer offers which MORE TH>N hopes will increase the viewer response rate.

The ad has certainly increased my response rate, it drives me a state of violent rage every time it comes on the telly. Barratt, a man who played the lead role in a series that decried exactly this sort of unfunny self-aware shtick, must need a caravan for his Mum. The ads aren’t available from any of the usual outlets – probably at Barrett’s contractual insistence – so some fans have cobbled together some images with the audio from the commercial played over the top.