tv ads; curate’s egg

It seems like ages since I’ve  commented on any ads. They continue to entertain, confuse and annoy  me in roughly equal measures so I thought I’d give a mention to some of the ones which have caught my attention recently. 

First off the ad from Barclaycard with the guy going down the water shute to a Bellamy Bros backing track (a catchy little song but one I’ve always disliked intensely). Now the ad seems to have attracted a lot of praise for it execution but I’m not sure I totally understand the product it’s meant to be promoting – some new type of contactless credit card. But what are its benefits to me ? I thought chip and pin was the answer, obviously not. And if there’s nothing for me to do other than swipe the card near a reader, how does that prevent somebody stealing or picking up my card and simply using it in my place? I know I’m a luddite and all will become clear at some point but if I’m this confused (and more than a little concerned about the security of the new technology) then surely the ad has failed in its key task. So just 2 out of 10 from me. Have a look below and by all means tell me where I’ve got it wrong:

Next up the new series of ads from O2. These are a bit bizarre; one has jumping frogs and teddy bears walking around in a surreal kind of setting whilst the second has plastic ducks swimming from S America over to the UK to deliver their surprise gifts to customers. The new strap-line is We’re Better Connected. Now to me this looks like an inscrutable Orange ad with a crappy BT  tag-line. I can’t bring myself to like them at all – it just looks like the  agency’s creative team have been having a laugh. Even the gloriously iconic bubbles have been messed with and are now being shown to fuse sideways which just looks completely unnatural.   3 out of 10. Have a look:

Now if you want an ad from the mobile sector which just works brilliantly I don’t think you have to look further than the T-Mobile ads showing a crowd of folk dancing away in sequence on Liverpool St station concourse, simply sharing the moment. I love it and feel like I want to be there joining in too; almost the perfect ad.  9 out of 10. Enjoy:

One ad that seems to be dividing opinion bitterly is Virgin Airline’s ‘still red hot’ ad celebrating their 25 years in the air. I think it’s great fun – I remember vividly those big Motorola phones, braces, big hair (not mine of course), Our Price record stores, space invader games and the dramatic miners’ strike of course. And that Relax backing track from FGTH is one of my favourite bits of  raunchy music. Is the ad sexist? Possibly but it sure as hell is sexy and great fun. The only bit I didn’t think worked was the captain of the crew gaze-flirting with the lady in sun glasses; way too unlikely – he’s surely gay and no more than 35 whilst she’s at least 50 and looks desperate. That bit of poor casting aside, I’d give it 7 out of 10 overall.  Don’t over-analyse just enjoy this one  too:

One ad that caught my eye technically was the one from Anchor butter promoting its free range credentials with a lovely spoof on the scene from the Great Escape where Steve McQueen jumps the wire frontier fence on his motorbike, except in this the escapee is an Anchor cow.  The thing I really like are the back-end slides of the wheels  and the facial  expressions which exactly match  the movements and moments from the actual film. It is brilliantly faithful. And did you know the guy who did the stunt leap in the film recently died?  Quite spooky. The message couldn’t be expressed more compellingly. Great in every sense.  7 out of 10:

Finally my favourite ad at the moment. It’s one of a series for a bunch of new flavours for  Muller yoghurt corners featuring some dance sequencies from old movies set to some more contemporary music tracks. I like this one because the single male dancer looks like Herr Goebbels and dances like Jack from Will & Grace. It’s utterly and totally camp . Half way through some waiter appears briefly on  the scene and almost joins in before  having second thoughts then disappearing stage right. I laugh every time I see it. 6 out of 10 for the fun of it all. If anyone knows the title of the backing track, please let me know….it’s driving me nuts trying to remember!

Any ads touch your buttons at the moment?



7 thoughts on “tv ads; curate’s egg

  1. excellent stuff russ. wonder if the characters were created by a single agency?

    surely the funniest event for comic relief was seeing mourinho’s face after losing at old trafford.


  2. i couldn’t agree more. i’m actually at old trafford tomorrow – looking forward to seeing a similar expression on Rafa ‘Spanish Waiter’ Benitez’s face!

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