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Adverts that irritate and entertain

Posted: Wed 13 Aug, 2008 10.32
by marksi
I am currently hating with a passion the Gillette ads for their latest incarnation of expensive razor blades which feature hugely famous and smug sports stars. They're so famous that they have to stick up captions with their names on. It's a shitty lazy old fashioned form of advertising that most other companies stopped using in the 1970s. The ad is also an admission that people aren't buying the new, more expensive blades and still using the Mach 3 ones. There's something about it that makes me very, very cross [shakes fist, Gav style]. Mind you if you think Gillette's advertising ideas for men are stereotypical (Sportsmen Use Them And You Want To Be A Sportsman Don't You?) then pay some attention to the ones aimed at women (Ladies! You Like Pink Things So You'll Like These).

On the other hand...

BRING ON THE TRUMPETS!

I DON'T SPEAK PINEAPPLE!

Fantastic. And I'll buy those natual fruity juicy chews.

Re: Adverts which irritate and entertain

Posted: Wed 13 Aug, 2008 10.43
by Gavin Scott
How many blades do they use now? Screw em, I still use a two-blade dealy, and my face is smoooooth. When I can be arsed shaving that is.

I am equally cross about the use of that odd-looking racing driver in the Abbey/Santander ads.

I think I am supposed to want to bank with them because this boy drives fast cars and is surrounded by damp-knickered wags.

I'll be damned if I'm helping to pay for his commercial fees when he's already earning millions. How greedy can one man be?

*shakes fist*

Re: Adverts which irritate and entertain

Posted: Wed 13 Aug, 2008 11.10
by Sput
Pretentious phone adverts. That Samsung touch screen one with the music being played by different people in different places so it all comes together in an over-elaborate artsy bullshit way does nothing to actually tell you what's special about the phone, other than the fact it's jumped on the touch screen bandwagon and AMAZINGLY it lets you communicate over large distances.

Re: Adverts which irritate and entertain

Posted: Wed 13 Aug, 2008 11.38
by Gavin Scott
Sput wrote:Pretentious phone adverts. That Samsung touch screen one with the music being played by different people in different places so it all comes together in an over-elaborate artsy bullshit way does nothing to actually tell you what's special about the phone, other than the fact it's jumped on the touch screen bandwagon and AMAZINGLY it lets you communicate over large distances.
The best part of that ad is the discrete caption which indicates, "Sounds and screen images are simulated".

Worra lorra shit.

Re: Adverts which irritate and entertain

Posted: Wed 13 Aug, 2008 11.42
by Pete
Whereas I can partly forgive the original advert for Gillette Fusion with its particle accelerator as a play on its name, the concept of "the dentists at oral b" seemingly using the astrometrics lab of the uss enterprise to look at their electric toothbrushes infuriates me.

I use said razor and find it lovely btw. Sainsburys have an offer where you get the razor, with two blades, and an extra pack of four blades for £7. Bargain

Re: Adverts which irritate and entertain

Posted: Wed 13 Aug, 2008 11.44
by Sput
In the same vein, this annoys me during breaks in streamed Colbert Report episodes - well, it did a while back.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUr7byYaql4

Again, pretentious bullshit and fake screen stuff.

Re: Adverts which irritate and entertain

Posted: Wed 13 Aug, 2008 11.48
by Ebeneezer Scrooge
I too use a fusion razor since they were kind enough to send me one for free. I was just glad that they don't even attempt to sell it because it shaves closer, but rather that it is much more comfortable - which it is! I'm not hating shaving quite so much now that I'm using that with the tough beard shave gel.

Re: Adverts which irritate and entertain

Posted: Wed 13 Aug, 2008 11.57
by timgraham
The 'scientician' aspect of personal grooming stuff quite interests me..this is from a show called the Gruen Transfer which is all about advertising:
Head and Shoulders
Click to view the ad - Head and Shoulders - you need to scroll down a bit

Well, they don't come much more interesting than this one to talk about. It's an ad that intrigued us on a number of levels, firstly for its reliance on the clichés of science. Let's list them:

The Miracle Ingredient: The ad promises "2 X ZPT". Written in a way that suggests scientific formula. Serious. Powerfully researched. Important. Panellist Russel Howcroft suggested that anyone interested in dandruff would know what ZPT was, but we think that's only partly true. We reckon it's deployed in the ad to sound impressive, as most "miracle ingredients" are meant to.

Ads rarely explain those ingredients nowadays. Indeed, we suspect a bit of reverse psychology going on here. The audience is meant to feel a bit dumb, meant to feel that the people behind the ad obviously know more, that they're smarter, and the product is smarter. It's Zinc pyrithione, by the way.

The White Room: There's a toothpaste ad kicking around this year which features a woman sitting in a completely white room - every fitting, fixture and decoration behind her is white. The use of colour in ads is powerfully suggestive. As panellist Todd Sampson says, there's big science in the area of semiotics, the visual cues in ads that have an effect on us. White suggests purity, sterility and disciplined, high-level scientific thought. It suggests the kind of scientific establishment, in this instance, that is cutting edge and well-funded.

The Scientist: What's the value of the sexy scientist to an ad campaign? It's the immediate association with gravitas, even when you're waiting for the Miss Peabody moment that will surely arrive: "Why Miss Peabody, with your hair down and your glasses off, you're ... beautiful!"

The Blue Liquid: The sexy scientist (or "scientician", as The Simpsons once memorably dubbed the ad cliché) needs her vial of blue liquid. It's always blue liquid, a colour we regard as non-threatening. Red would suggest blood, yellow urine. Brown would be ugly. But clear blue is perfect. Tampon ads love it too. Are they using the comb-cleaning fluid from barber shops?

For all of this, what most grabbed us about the ad was the certification by the Australian Hair & Scalp Foundation. When the ad ran over the summer, we decided to have a look for the Foundation. No number in the phonebook in any of the state capitals. No website that could be found with search engines. Hmm, curious.

We did a company search and found out that there is an AHSF. It had two addresses on the documents, one for an accountant and one for St Vincent's Hospital. When St Vincent's was contacted, they claimed to know nothing of the Foundation. The name on the company was Rodney Sinclair, a professor of dermatology at the hospital. He told us that the Foundation definitely exists and is engaged in serious research. It was funded by Procter & Gamble, the company which owns Head & Shoulders. Its website lists a number of certifications it has done so far, all for Head & Shoulders.

Those are not its premises in the ad though. So is it okay to dramatise or is the ad misleading? We think the latter, but Russel Howcroft argued the former position very strongly.

Either way, there are so many clichés collected in one place that it's a pretty terrible ad anyway.
Some ads even go so far with the semiotics as to have it built into the actual set of the ad - an 'X' or certain colour which is meant to evoke emotions or feelings.

Re: Adverts which irritate and entertain

Posted: Wed 13 Aug, 2008 13.04
by Gavin Scott
One of the toothpaste companies used a dentist in their commercials. Said dentist's actual words were chopped together in the edit so obviously as to make the whole thing look laughable.

That dentist has been replaced by an actor who begins by saying, "I asked my dentist about healthy gums and he said...." before re-using the chopped up quotes from the previous campaign.

Nonsense.

Re: Adverts which irritate and entertain

Posted: Wed 13 Aug, 2008 14.25
by rts
Nobody's mentioned the "they're gonna taste great" Frosties advert with that annoying South African tit (who hasn't committed suicide despite internet reports).

Re: Adverts which irritate and entertain

Posted: Wed 13 Aug, 2008 15.03
by nidave
I hate the Fusion - keep cutting my ear - what a stupid place to put a razor blade.

http://www.theonion.com/content/node/33930