Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Bad ads

There are a few ads on TV that are driving us crazy, and among the very, very worst is the Knorr ‘shake shake’ one. It features a very white South African Mum doing an eye-poppingly embarrassing dance around the kitchen in front of her two gormless teenage sons while making dinner for them and their needlessly toothy Dad, and the only thing it stirs in those watching it is the deep wish that Ninja warriors would break in through the kitchen window, slice the Mum’s head off, toss it in the bag, and dance with that around the kitchen. (In fact, when that ad comes on – and it does, often – that’s exactly what we act out, in our family. But maybe that’s just us.) And, seriously, they play it seventy-eight fucking times a night, so the ‘Shake, shake, shake, shake it all the time’ song becomes a brain-worm, and you end up wanting to gouge your own grey matter out with a spoon. Why in god’s name would those people think that would sell a product??

(Interestingly, when I googled it, the British version of this ad came up - and, amazingly, it's frame for frame the same as the South African version. So someone, somewhere, thinks this concept works well enough to translate it exactly into another culture, and torture an entire other consumer market with it. In god's name, who pays that person's salary?!)

Then there’s the horrendous ‘you don’t stay the same, why should your insurance’ one, where some awful old geyser goes through the throes of puberty before our very eyes. When my early-20s kids watch it, they shriek with embarrassment, and I feel for them. If I had an insurance product sold by them, I’d be scrabbling hysterically for my phone to cancel it.

If you really want to be left cold, there's always King Price. Sure, I'll put my hard-earned bucks into a company that advertises people riding around on other people. Just as soon as hell freezes over.
And then there’s Reuben. Every time I hear him say ‘Cube your Rama’, my soul dies a little. Reuben, Reuben! Rama, really? Really?! It’s bad enough that you’ve sold out to the dried-herbs-and-spices overlords, but MARGARINE?!

I never thought I’d say this, but bring back the creepy Vodacom meerkat, by all means. At least he came with good music and his tongue was firmly in his cheek.

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