The random witterings of Jonathan Morris, writer.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Advertising Space


I’ve identified the real cause of the recession (curse you Alistair Darling!). It wasn’t anything to do with American banks lending money to the studio audience of The Ricki Lake Show. No. It was, in fact, caused by Bloody Stupid Adverts.

I’m not ranting about annoying adverts per se. I mean, any adverts which try to make choosing car insurance look like the armoury scene from The Matrix are in a world of their own stupidity. I’m talking about a certain type of advert:

Picture a futuristic city. Gleaming skyscrapers. Spotless streets. And sinister, smiley, computer-generated people, with oversized heads and spindly bodies, walking about, or driving futuristic bubble cars.

There’s some music. It’s a futuristic nursery rhyme sung in a light, folksy lilt.

The computer-generated people go about their lives. Maybe the buildings dissolve into bubbles. Maybe their cars fly them to faraway worlds.

And all the time the audience is sitting there thinking;

What the bloody hell is this supposed to be an advert for?

Because, let’s face it, it could be anything. Financial services. Or telephones or perfume. There were cars in it, it might be for cars. Or alcoholic spirits. Or yoghurt. Or the Post Office.

And then, at the end of the advert, you actually find out what it’s advertising. Which has absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the advert. It’s like in the cinema in the 70’s, where you’d have a film clip about a James Bond figure ski-ing down a mountain before it cut to a caption slide – Taunton Jewellery.

That’s why we’re in a recession. Too many ad executives who think there was something admirable about the ‘Silk Cut’ campaign, and too many boardroom fogies who are so old-fashioned they still think computer generated graphics are cool and impressive.

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