It’s been a while since I talked about how shit adverts are, so let’s talk about how shit adverts are. Or, more accurately, how shit those annoying “bumpers” or whatever they’re called before and after every ad break on a particular channel are.
I’m thinking of two specific examples here, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a good one, even thinking years back. Remember the annoying girls frantically scrabbling around with a hammer and a bowl of popcorn before Friends came on? I don’t think I can ever remember what that was fo– wait, Wella Experience, so I guess it did its job to a certain extent. Or did it? Annoying girls frantically scrabbling around with a hammer and a bowl of popcorn before Friends came on didn’t make me want to purchase any of Wella’s Experience products, whatever the hell they were. No; it made me irritable, and it made me fast-forward the moment the screen faded for the ads whenever I watched the episodes on video, which is how I typically ended up watching Friends.
The two specific examples I’m thinking of from 2014 are both from the channel Dave, it of the perpetual Top Gear, QI and Mock the Week reruns. The first is for Admiral multi-car insurance, and the second is for Alpen.
They’re both shit, and not just because they’re repetitive — although by God they’re both repetitive as fuck when they’re repeated a considerable number of times every evening — and they’re both shit for the same reason: they don’t make any sense whatsoever.
Take the Admiral ones. Here’s one. (Actually, these are a little different from the ones that air on TV, but these are the ones that Admiral has inexplicably chosen to upload to their YouTube account.)
They appear to be attempting to make a catchphrase out of “ooh, that’s primetime!” because, you see, they accompany “primetime” shows on Dave. Trouble is, that doesn’t make any sense. “That’s primetime!” isn’t something people say, and it’s not something you can force people to say. Not to mention the fact that the ads don’t have anything whatsoever to do with what they’re supposedly advertising — multi-car insurance. And no, saying the words “multi-car insurance!” during the advert when something completely incongruous is going on is not advertising multi-car insurance. Like the annoying Wella girls, these ads make me less inclined to ever make use of Admiral’s services.
Then comes Alpen, who have much the same problem. Alpen, as the campaign goes, sponsors “characters on Dave”, or in other words, the shows that are on in the mid-to-late evening and typically involve recognisable, well-known comedians.
A month or so ago, Alpen’s campaign made a reasonable amount of sense. There was a dude tramping around his alpine apartment eating porridge. Geoffrey Palmer said “porridge full of character”, then there was a close-up of the porridge. Fair enough.
Now, however, there’s a bearded bloke who waffles on some idiotic nonsense about what he thinks characters “are” (“Characters have eyes in the back of their head! Hello, mountains!” — he’s standing in front of a window with a view over some mountains), then Geoffrey Palmer says “Alpen sponsors characters on Dave” with a rather worn-out voice, as if he knows what he’s being asked to do is utterly stupid. And no porridge, full of character or no. (Unfortunately there’s no videos of these sequences easily available. Sort it out, YouTube!)
I just don’t understand why or how someone signed off on these. Both the Admiral and the Alpen ads are clearly supposed to be funny, but they’re also obviously composed by people who have absolutely no idea how to write comedy and thus have absolutely no business whatever writing comedy. Or attempting to, anyway.
Anyway, yes. That’s what I’ve been thinking about this evening. What a happy and exciting life I lead, no?