Hello and welcome to the first edition of my new feature, the Into Geek alphabet in which I find a subject to ramble on about which starts with the days letter. A is for adverts.
Adverts. Some are funny, some are entertaining and some are just dam right irritating. And some might be called commercials in other countries but over here they’re ads. But occasionally they tell us something really useful! (The adverts aren’t essential to watch, you can still enjoy the post just the same)
A few years ago NTL had a series of adverts which had the motto “If you can you should” attached to them. And I reckon that is pretty sound advice. For example if you could chat up someone you really fancy then you should as you don’t really have anything to lose and it could end really well. If you’re thinking should I do this or should I do that you think “I can so I should” so you do it. Everybody wins. Except those who don’t.
Guinness used “good things come to those who wait” as a tagline for some of their adverts:
That seems good advice to me. Let me give you an example. If you are desperate for a partner but have no idea where to find one, follow good things come to those who wait and eventually you will probably be happy. If you genuinely believe in this theory then when you do wait eventually good things will happen to you just because you believe in this theory. It’s almost a religion of its own.
Now I find that if you try and follow both the above rules then you end up very confused. Let’s say there’s this really cool pair of shoes you want, but they’re really expensive. Do you follow “if you can you should” and buy the shoes on the first chance you have? Or do you follow “good things come to those who wait” and wait for a while and end up with good things happening to you and getting the shoes for much cheaper than the RRP? If you do an NTL you might end up wasting your money but then again if you do a Guinness you might not be able to get the shoes at all. My answer to this would be to toss a coin. (Actually my answer to any difficult situation is to toss a coin).But it just goes to show that even the best advice can be awkward.
Ah, the genius of Tesco, with their multi-million pound empire of cheap prices and horrible fruit (Have you ever been down the Tesco’s fruit aisle. They really do have the worst fruit of all the supermarkets. How do they manage to get it to be so bad?) Anyway, back to the adverts. “Every little helps”. That’s what Tesco like to tell us. And once again it is absolutely correct. If you pick up every penny you see on the street imagine how much money you’d make. Say you pick up 15p of dropped change every year. If you live for 35 years that’s £5.25 extra you’ve collected. And most people expect to live much longer than that. If you live for 80 years then you’d make £120. That’s a pretty good profit from money found on the streets. And you could easily collect much more than 15p a year if you tried hard enough. So our good friend Mr. Tesco is right. Every little helps.
Right let’s get thing straight here. I am NOT telling you to live your life by adverts. If you did that you’d end up buying loads of rubbish you don’t need and you’d run out of money pretty quickly and end up living on a council estate with a load of chavs. (Apologies to chavs everywhere- by the way, where did you learn to read?) What I AM telling you to do is this: next time to see an advert break, don’t disappear into the kitchen for a drink (Although maybe if you were dying of thirst I’d let you off). Watch the adverts and listen out for great advice, and you life may change forever (Well, maybe that’s a little extreme but hey, you never know).
Of course, many adverts do not give amazing advice and just talk complete drivel. Take the infamous Frosties advert with that annoying song “They’re gonna taste great”:
There are three main reasons why this is a bad advert and a thousand others, so I’ll just go through the main ones.
1) It’s really annoying and the guy can’t sing.
2) It’s really annoying and has the lamest rhymes I’ve ever heard.
3) It’s really annoying.
If you ever go into advertising think of the Frosties advert and don’t make one like it. I’m being serious here, really don’t.
There are many annoying adverts and I could go on all day mentioning them to you, but I won’t as you’ll probably get bored and go home. Unless you are already at home and choose to go somewhere else. So I’ll just tell you about one last type of advert that annoys me. You know adverts are sometimes used in several countries? Well, if you don’t know they are and that’s all you need to know. Often when the advert is shown in a second country it has voiceovers instead of the original voices. In mainland Europe this seems to work really well, but not over here in jolly old Britain. The adverts are clearly dubbed and after only a few seconds you can’t bear it anymore and ignore the rest of the advert. Don’t make an advert like that either.
Now many adverts use the fact that they’ve won an award to plug their product. There are great awards such as “car of the year”, “hair product of the year” and “toothpaste of the year”. This is all well and good, but who the hell votes on these things. I mean, are there toothpaste magazines which ask you to vote for the toothpaste of the year? I highly doubt it, but someone has to decide. Perhaps a group of judges go round trying all the different toothpastes on the market deciding which one is the best and enjoying the benefits of having amazingly clean teeth. Talking of teeth…
Listerine. That amazing substance that does just about everything to make your mouth a much nicer place to be in. (Stop laughing at the back there, it is not funny.)I’ve never used it and I’ve always wondered: does it really make a mini explosion in your mouth and cause your cheeks to blow outwards? Surely it can’t. Can it?
I feel like I’ve shown myself as far too much of a TV addict here. I’ll make one final point and the end. In some adverts a company representative will pop out of nowhere to sort out a stain. What concerns me is the people looking worriedly at the stain never seem to worry that a women dressed in pink has popped into their house and actually seem quite pleased to have been given the advice!
There we go, the first part of my alphabet done. In the coming weeks I’ll be looking at everything from books to the end of the world to the colour yellow. I hope you enjoy it!