Crimes Against Advertising: Ian Wright

Seriously, how on Earth does Ian Wright keep getting television programmes? The man is one of the least appealing characters on British television, but he’s been inescapable for the last 20 years.

Wright began his television career in terrible adverts before graduating to terrible chat shows and the like. Why? Who knows? Why not Les Ferdinand, Chris Armstrong, Andy Cole, Teddie Sheringham or Chris Sutton? At least two of them have shown themselves to be much more engaging footie pundits than Wright, who eventually took himself off to Gladiators in search of more serious TV fare, having sulked or squealed his way through Match of the Day for a few years.

For whatever reason, Wright was earmarked as one of the chosen few who’d go on to make more money after his footballing career had finished than he did prior to it (see also Andy Gray, Jamie Redknapp, Chris Kamara).

Most of the adverts below seem to show Wright as a thoroughly irritating tit, acting like a berk in just about every single one. He does show the occasional spark of comic timing, but I’ve never found him to be anything other than charmless and tiresome.

Interestingly, Five seems to have made an entire advert for its risible Live From Studio Five programme to showcase Wright’s most awful traits. Chiefly witless, uninformed jabbering.

There are a couple of good ads here – the Nike battle against a footballing demon; the ad for Swedish betting outfit Stryktipset; and the tolerable Ladbrokes cafe effort, though that’s largely down to Ally McCoist (see also: Ladbrokes 2010 World Cup ad).

The most egregious – where Wright visited an Arsenal fan’s house to use his phone, only for said fan to stand around dribbling and repeating Wright’s name – doesn’t seem to have found its way onto the interweb.

That’s a shame, because it may have served as a warning from history against the following two decades of utterly appalling advertising from the gobby twat.

NB. In addition to all the spots below, Wright has also filmed adverts for Nescafe, Pizza Hut, Asda, Kellogg’s, One2One, Privilege, CarpetRight, Thomas Cook and Walkers. He must have a fucking phenomenal agent.

Ladbrokes World Cup Advert Doubles Up On Twattery

Oh, Lord. What on earth is this all about?

The ubiquitous and uniformly-awful Wright and the absurd Kamara, known to football fans everywhere as an idiot pundit, are dressed up as traditional English gentlemen and caked in mascara. Why? Here’s what Ladbrokes says of the M&C Saatchi ad:

The creative features a series of entertaining vignettes, some of which are 1960s themed, set to the tune of ‘Self Preservation Society’ from the film The Italian Job. Chris Kamara and Ian Wright give cameo performances extolling England’s chances at the World Cup. As the action comes to a conclusion, it becomes clear that we have been inside the mind of a football fan, watching his decision making process taking place. As we come out of his head we see him blurt out loudly that England are going to win the World Cup, however he has forgotten that he is at dinner with his girlfriend who looks very unimpressed with his inappropriate behaviour.

What a load of utter fucking bollocks. It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever: it’s incoherent; it fails as an attempt to raise Ladbrokes’ profile; it fails to communicate a message, and it’s not just surreal, it’s actually vaguely disturbing.

The crushingly banal observation of Ladbrokes is that the ad communicates the idea that ‘having a bet is a fun, contemporary thing to do’. My thoughts on Wright are well-detailed. As for Kamara, he is to change his name to Chris Cabanga by deed poll in an effort to aid England in their World Cup campaign. The fucking tit.

Ladbrokes describes the World Cup as ‘the biggest customer recruitment opportunity across a four year cycle’, which is probably the most honest assessment of every business’s attitude towards South Africa 2010 as you’re ever likely to find.