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Wednesday, 14 July 2010


I hate adverts that make no sense whatsoever. A model walks through a luxurious apartment shot in monochrome and slow motion - basically it's like a shitty pop video from the 80s, and you're expecting Kate Bush to jump out at any minute. Anyway there are all these curtains billowing out and brushing against her skin, she gives an elegant twirl and it says, "GODIVA CHOCOLATES". And you're like, what the fuck has that got to do with chocolate? The only way it would make sense is if it was advertising curtains. Even then it would hardly be a good sell because apparently if you leave a window open the room turns into a gauze obstacle course. She may be pretty, but she certainly can't install curtains. The fact that I have seen the same premise advertising cars and perfumes over the years makes me suspicious that they have the idea first and then sell it to the highest bidding company.

Here is a random perfume advert to show you what I mean:

OK, so Kate Moss is standing naked in a field when it is clearly no weather for that sort of thing. Ignoring the risk of lightning, she starts brushing various plants against her skin. For no obvious reason she pricks herself on a rose. Finally we learn that the explanation for her insane behaviour is that she wants us to buy her new perfume. For those of you who say I'm taking this too literally, where's the metaphor? This perfume can make an average piece of wheat turn into a rose like Kate? The truth is even more insulting. In advertising-think the nakedness is PROVOCATIVE, the clouds say DANGEROUS, the rose is STYLISH, the setting is NATURAL and the sucking blood off finger is SEXY. The meta-meanings are layered according to market appeal in a surreal manner we are sadly accustomed to: the next time you see a billboard with a naked woman on a horse and writing essentially saying "BUY OUR SHOES" just remember how fucking absurd it all is.


  1. I dislike most advertising. Even the funny ads get over-played until they nauseate. I just think of all these creepy execs trying to work out how they're going to get into my head and 'plant' messages there. Its almost frightening that I can remember ad slogans from my childhood! I do not want this pollution in my head! Then I think about what all this is costing and whose actually paying for it... These 'arty' incomprehensible things are only one step less annoying than the ones that give one weird ideas - like spending money in order to 'save'.

  2. Pollution is absolutely the best term for it. It is especially creepy when you realise that model is really a company executive in a body suit. What I hate adverts most for is their rudeness. They turn the volume up on several channels to psychologically involve you, so you feel like some greedy person is shouting at you. But the worst is that they command you, "Shop at M & S". Not, "please, lovely customer, we'd love you to choose us" but a directive that works on a bastardly unconscious level. There's a food chain called "EAT." and everyone who sees that sign will feel a tiny compulsion to eat. What's Nike's tag line? "DO IT!" I mean, how evil is that?

  3. The really crazy thing is- it must work. Insulting!