Saturday, 5 March 2011

Adverts: Love Them or Hate Them?

Annoying Halifax advert #1
I tend to fall in the latter category, and this from someone who, as a child, learnt one of those annoying, repetitive Wotsits adverts off by heart.

Ah the futile and carefree days of youth!

Nowadays I am worldly wise (yes, the throngs beat a path to my door for advice - not). So I have a far more ambivalent stance towards adverts; but as the years pass by I do tend to detest adverts more.

Is it me? A growing number of adverts are just annoying. They are patently false. They are unrealistic? They promise much, yet the product usually delivers little. I loathe sofa adverts with grinning families (can a sofa cure the familial ills which seem to have exploded since the 60s?). I detest car adverts that tell you nothing about the car. I cringe at deodorant adverts that make the user a guaranteed 'babe magnet' or a razor manufacturer that intimates the user will have that chiseled look too. I wonder in disbelief at washing powders that continually promise they are better than before (what crud were they selling us back then?) and then show us brand new white shirts.

Annoying Halifax advert #2
I have often wondered how they get away with so much gibberish.

Adverts for toys on kids' TV (supposedly aimed at the parents) when advertising to children is strictly speaking banned.

Adverts for banks that broke the economy and repossess homes, telling us how helpful they are.

I could go on ("please, dear Lord, no!" I hear you cry), but I'm sure you get the gist of what I'm saying.

Hilaire Belloc said that advertising was rotten because it allowed the money men to promote their (shoddy, rotten or overpriced) wares, at the expense of well-made, healthy or excellent value items, and if he thought that in his day how much more might we say that is the case today?

The old Halifax adverts with Howard the teller in were bad enough, but their new ones (featuring "DJ" tellers) are even worse and really make me want to vomit. No-one gets that excited at the prospect of selling financial 'product' to customers.

Is there a case for banning adverts? Possibly. ITV, Channel 4 and Sky TV would collapse. Even better and that would be reason enough, some might say.

I think if I see another of the saccharine, smarmy Halifax ads I will start a one-man crusade to stop the adverts. After all, there are only so many times one can projectile vomit in a month without losing one's sanity.

1 comment:

  1. Trust me you DO have to be that "happy" or you get sacked!!


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