Hidden meanings

Cesar Dog Food Advert

Filed under: Advertising Idiots,Hidden meanings,Pretentious? Moi,So Bad It's funny — Carl Hepburn @ 5:02 pm April 9, 2011

People love their pets, especially in the UK. We are a nation of animal lovers but this advert is just taking the piss. It shows an attractive, unexplainably single woman, that devotes what seems to be her entire waking life pandering to the perceived whims of a White West Highland Terrier, all with a loving smile on her face like the dog is her baby.
question one – why hasn’t this apparently successful woman got anything better to do with her life than spend all her time looking after a little white yappy dog?
question two – in what kind of psychiatric institution would you have to be in to serve your dog a plate of meat that wouldn’t even make it into hot-dog sausages in a style that would make the critics on MasterChef effervesce with adjectives on the presentation. It is not Novelle cuisine. It is dog food. Let us not forget, the consumer of this food is a dog. They lick their own arse and eat their own, and other dog’s, shit. The reality is that the dog doesn’t care what it is given as long as it is fed and this is the nub of what I find so annoying about the advert. The ad is not about the dog food it is marketing bullshit. It is a mirage of codswallop designed to make a mundane product seem more important than it actually is and therefore attract a premium price. You can feel superior to your neighbours that buy that crappy normal dog food. It means you love your dog more because you spend more money on it. Even the name gives it away. Cesar. Although the spelling is different, it makes you think of ancient Rome, of emperors, of excess.
In the past dogs were animals, not anthropomorphised members of the family and dog food was dog meat. Pedigree Chum, I seem to recall, had Barbara Woodhouse, the strict disciplinarian dog trainer, barking her copy in her headmistress like tones. There was always a shot of a big brown, wobbling tower of dog meat cut with a knife. Still disgusting, but at least it was more honest.

Life Assurance From Aviva

Filed under: Advertising Idiots,Hidden meanings — Carl Hepburn @ 12:27 am February 3, 2011

I admire Paul Whitehouse immensely as a comedian. He is great when working with Harry Enfield and a master of comedy characters. Even the previous Aviva adverts haven’t been the most annoying out there but there is something wrong with the new life assurance advert which I find depressing and mawkish every time I see it.

If you haven’t seen it, a typical advertising family are packing to go on holiday. There is the usual chaos as the family decide what to pack and make sure they have packed everything they will need. It could be a scene of normal domestic life and then the daughter says to her mother, “It won’t be the same without dad.” and then you realise that the father is there only in spirit.
Some of the commentators on YouTube say it made them cry but I just thought how it made me think about my own mortality and how transient is the strip of light between two infinite slabs of darkness is. But this just put a downer on my day. The other interpretation is of course: dad’s dead but at least we get a massive pay out so we can go on holiday.


Filed under: Hidden meanings — Carl Hepburn @ 9:17 pm August 9, 2009

Do you have so much gold jewellery that you have unwanted gold jewellery? Unless you are a chav the answer is probably not. The spectacularly amateurish advertisement for Money4Gold explains the process to selling all your unwanted jewellery items. There is something very unpleasant about this advert. They will buy items of jewellery at a presumably very low price since they will go for scrap and people will sell them because in these cash-strapped times money can be hard to come by.
Pawnbrokers have been around for ages but the prospect of sending items of jewellery to be melted down as scrap is rather sad and depressing prospect.
If you need the help of a company like Money4Gold, then the chances are that you will not have an overflowing jewellery box full of gold. A much more likely scenario is their customers cannot afford to pay bills and as a last resort is selling a wedding ring. Another scenario that I can think of for having unwanted gold items for scrap would be if they were stolen.
Trying to market the process in as a way to getting rid of unwanted jeweller makes this a terrible advert. There are other companies advertising the same sort of service on television and they all have the same faults.

HSBC Fishing Advert

Filed under: Hidden meanings — Tags: , , , , — Carl Hepburn @ 7:01 pm July 7, 2009

Picture the scene: a placid, misty lake in the early morning. A tourist is in a boat watching a Chinese man catching fish using a Cormorant. The birds dives in and catches a fish and brings it to the surface. The man then adds it to an increasing pile of fish that the bird has already caught. The Chinese man looks at the tourist and nods an acknowledgement which conveys, “Yes, I am a smart man. I am doing nothing except standing here and the bird is catching the fish for me.”

To me this advert perfectly captures the relationship between the employers and employees or rather capitalists exploiters and the downtrodden workers.

The Cormorant is an expert at catching fish. On its own it can survive by catching fish. There are plenty of fish. The Chinese man catches the bird, puts a ring around its neck so it can’t eat the food then makes it catch fish for him. He has a surplus of fish and feeds the bird.

It strikes me that the bird is not getting anything out of this relationship. It gets a fish once in a while but it would anyway. In fact, it has to work even harder to catch fish for the man.

What is the subtext of this advert? Is the kind of relationship we have with our banks? We earn the money put it in their bank and they make much more money occasionally feeding use with interest.
This advert is basically saying that banks like to fuck us up the arse with our own money.