Saturday, November 8, 2008

Ads Rule Everything Around Me.

*We'll be right back after these messages*

You can't turn on the TV over here without someone trying to get into your wallet. "What you need? What you need? I got Rolex! I give you good price..." They will try and sell you anything. I can't knock that. Bills don't pay themselves. The ad revenue CNN must generate in an hour has to be in the millions. They have breaks literally every 5 minutes and it really grinds you down. Now that there are no more election campaign ads to compete with, Wendy's are aiming to shock and awe with their latest TV spots, hawking buffalo sauce chicken burgers.

Question: What is buffalo sauce made from? Obviously it's not buffalo. Or is it?

I haven't got a favourite single advert out here yet. There is nothing as groundbreaking as the Cadbury's ad with the gorilla playing the drums to 'I Can Feel It Calling In The Air Tonight' (I know of 2 people who thought that was a real gorilla, by the way), but there are a couple of good ones. There are a lot for fast cars . And quite a few for cereal bars. The before and after weight loss ones are also a winner, although I am far from convinced that the person who stars in each advert ever had that much weight and the director had them digitally enlarded to increase the commercials impact.

It was while I was watching TV that I had an epiphany. I have come to the conclusion we are suckers in the UK. I have just seen an advert for the version of Deal Or No Deal they have in The States. We've got Noel Edmonds hosting and minding the boxes, you might get the likes of good old brown toothed Jeremy from Swnasea. (For any readers west of the Greenwich Meantime, the best description I can offer of Noel Edmonds is asking you to imagine a guinea pig bombarded with some sort of mutagenic ray and made human) And we're happy with that because we know no better. We just accepted it, because that's what we are offered and that's cool. I know someone who won £17,000 off Noel earlier this year. Personally, I don't watch it, because I have a job and Edmonds creeps me out in the same way that Beadle (R.I.P) used to. It's just something about building a throne of fleeting fame out of the skeletons of the general public's embarassment. Here at HGN we are not hidden camera show fans. To me, Ashton Kutcher is nothing more than a reincarnation of Beadle who just happens to be shagging Demi Moore.

At any rate, I was OK with the whole thing until I saw the advert for the American version of the show. They've got some dynamic young host for it, with a shaved head who probably parties with Paris Hilton at the weekend and 25 models holding the cases with mouths full of shining white choppers. We're not talking OK looking girls either. They're all about an '8' or better. I bet they probably have a celebrity banker every week too.

What the fuck??

That is one classy set up. I wouldn't even be that mad I left with $1. "Can I get Case 14's phone number before I go?"

Don't get me wrong, the Yanks can fuck up a good British programme format with the best of them (The Office [US] anyone? No. Thought not.), but their Deal Or No Deal has taken something that was a bit seedy and grubby and elevated it as a shining beacon of The American Dream, much like Las Vegas or Bill O' Reilly.

I don't even think they have a target demographic anymore either. Like someone upstairs just said, "Fuck it. We'll take any money we can get." Ads seem to fall at random. Orthapedic bed commercials follow straight on from Fisher Price 'My First Crack Pipe' ads in the hope that someone, somewhere might see something, anything and decide to buy. The Best Of Times, The Worst Of Times

I would like to go on record as saying that I looooove the medicine commercials out here. Having trouble holding your pee in? Well try this brand new medicine. Side effects may include diarreah, sleepiness, dry mouth, irritability, cramps. So, once you've fixed it that you might no longer wet yourself between the hors d'ouevres and the main course, you might have to contend with unpredictable bowel movements accompanied by shooting muscle pain. And guess what? They've got medicine for them, too. Just hope the side effects you get from them don't include incontinence. Is it me, or is it not fucked up that medicine can give you illnesses you never had before?

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