i'm fairly certain i'd have an easier time discussing what's NOT wrong with adverts. they're EVERYWHERE, wasting time, money, and space, and yet for any THINKING person, they're totally pointless. we do not need an advert to tell us what we want. if we require a product or a service, we will seek it out and eventually find it, with or without the "help" of incessant commercials. in fact, if the world was populated ONLY by thinking individuals, a whole hell of a lot of companies would have long since gone out of business for their annual waste of billions of dollars trying to shove their products down consumers' throats. and why? cos thinking people wouldn't buy it...literally OR figuratively, because quite frankly most of these moronic ads insult consumers' intelligence so the only purpose they'd serve is to drive potential customers away.
thank god people are stupid, eh?
since advertising itself gives SUCH endless rant fodder to work with, for this diatribe, i'm just going to concentrate on stupid fucking adverts seen daily on american tv that really, really insult our intelligence. that in itself should fill up a few pages.
now, if you haven't noticed how completely asinine these things are, you either a) (understandably) haven't been paying attention or b) don't know any better. at any rate, i am about to enlighten you. here goes...
STUPID ADVERT no1...THE SOUP GIRLS
progresso soup (and no, the names are not going to be changed to protect the innocent...i see no innocent parties here) strikes out against campbells by airing a tv commercial featuring two vapid, twentysomething girls, one of whom has the UNMITIGATED GALL to be eating campbells soup in the presence of her oh-so-worldly flatmate. so the other harpy promptly comes along and starts mocking her, saying, "i used to eat that stuff too...WHEN I WAS 5!"jesus h christ, lady. anyone listening to you going at it now would think you still WERE 5...either that or very, very dumb. but, dumber still is the soup-eater, who upon hearing these words of wisdom from her friend is so overcome by peer pressure, she sees the light and tosses away the red can forever.
what a pair of bleedin' dimwits. i've seen that commercial innumerable times and STILL can't decide which one should be drownded in her soup bowl first. i don't know about anyone else, but all this ridiculous advert taught me about progresso soup is that it makes painfully stupid people even stupider than they already were, and it nearly prompted me to beat myself about the head with a ladle for having bought a load of cans of the stuff on special the previous week. it's obvious the ad execs who thought this gem up believe the average adult comsumer is so immature and insecure they'd actually be swayed by the idea someone might think they're a baby if they eat campbells soup. that's pathetic. but what's even MORE pathetic is that they're 100% RIGHT.
whoopi goldberg eats entenmanns cakes. therefore so should you. heh. either that or you should avoid them like the plague...i mean LOOK AT HER for pity's sake. do you really want to risk YOUR eyebrows falling out for one slice of overpriced cheese danish? and how about sarah jessica parker and that series of commercials she did for l'oreal haircolour? this is a BEAUTY product, folks. sure she's famous, but why the hell do you want to risk misconstruing your message as "use this shit on your head long enough and YOU TOO can look like mr ed" just for a celeb endorsement? there ARE other people on "sex and the city", y'know. and THEN you got yer kirstie alley, trouncing about in a dress that makes her look like she's wrapped her fat ass in your grandmother's duvet, advertising pier 1 imports. now, as far as housewares-shopping goes, i actually LIKE the stuff pier 1 sells. but if i'd only the tv ad to go by...well, would YOU take home-decorating tips from a hyperactive junkie who routinely mistakes bed linens for clothes?
these are just a few of the more obvious examples of celeb endorsements from celebs who shouldn't even be allowed to endorse a cheque. but even the LEAST offensive celebrity pushing a product insults us when you think of it. it assumes we so idolise stars we'd do ANYTHING to be like them, so if they use a product, we will by default use it too. no other factors considered. i will drink pepsi because halle berry and barry bostwick do? shop at kmart because rosie o'donnell and penny marshall do? drink whatever sport beverage michael jordan's endorsing this week because he does? come now. there must be SOME better reason than that. and if there's not, i still ain't wasting my money. too bad the advertisers are.
ADVERTS THAT ARE JUST PLAIN ANNOYING
now, these here don't offend me cos i'm insulted by them. they just offend me because the people featured on them are...well...OFFENSIVE. what do i mean? well, take for instance a stouffers commercial that aired over the summer. a suburban soccer mom declares perkily..."my kid's friend comes over every day and eats everything in the house! i'm very busy and i don't always have time to cook for them AND the rest of my family. so what should i do?" the answer, of course, comes in the form of a pile of stouffers frozen dinners. mom sees them and begins grinning like an eejit. the next scene shows her stupid, androgynous sprog and its spotty, parasitic mate sitting in the livingroom stuffing frozen pizza into their faces at a rate that would make you want to vomit. behind them, mom stands and continues her grinning, no doubt just waiting for them to finish so she can replenish their plates.
i try to visualise my own mother doing this, but i cannot. she always had TOO MUCH ELSE TO DO to be bothered waiting on my friends, and honestly had they EXPECTED her to, i would've had some words for them. as it was, whenever she did see them, which was fairly often, she'd inquire, "don't you lads have homes?" or else she'd as ME, "why can't YOU go to THEIR houses for a change?" but sure she'd sometimes invite them to stay for supper, though it was NEVER so she could plonk a plastic tray of thawed processed food in front of us. rather, she'd bring the lot of us into the kitchen, hand us each a potato to peel, and say something to the effect of, "i'm cooking for the orphanage this evening ; here, make yourselves useful." and we always did. (now that i think of it, i don't even think i ingested a tv dinner till i was about 17, and in my opinion, that's how it should be. just to look at the tv you can surmise the average american kid of 17 never HAD a home-cooked meal that wasn't a christmas or thanksgiving dinner...and even THOSE are debateable. heh. and then they wonder why they're all in such bad shape?)
keeping to the topic of ungrateful sprog begging junk food off their families, let's wrap it all up by examining this holiday season's most popular car commercial. i'm not even sure which car it is they're advertising, honestly, but it involves a grown woman driving an oversized suv to her grandmother's cosy little cottage in the hills for the holidays. pretty fuckin' wholesome scene, eh? i'd say so, right down to the kitchen set with the grandmother, a lady with grey plaits hanging from head like some 90-year-old heidi, preparing a spread for her grandchild that would feed several third-world nations. as they bounce back and forth between the old lady cooking and the young lady driving up the hill, they play this bastardised version of "over the river and thru the woods", which employs the phrases, "is the pudding done?" and "where is the pumpkin pie?" nothing about being happy to see nana, just FEED ME!...who the fuck wrote this anyway? audrey II? and the commercial itself is basically saying what then? this vehicle is ideal for driving yourself up into remote mountainous regions in the snow to take advantage of a lonely old lady whose last contact with another human being was when her husband died in 1956? well, it definitely reflects well on the driving ability of the automobile, but still...the old holiday message is kinda...well...for lack of a better word...EW.
hmm...i think this is sufficient for now. stay tuned for the next installment, which will involve internet pop-up ads, magazine and newspaper advertising, or billboards, whichever i decide to tackle first. but don't worry...i'll get to them ALL eventually...if they don't get me first.