Pretentious? Moi

Adverts from Art

Filed under: Advertising Idiots,I don't understand,Pretentious? Moi — Carl Hepburn @ 2:34 am May 25, 2011

Art can be a wonderful thing. It is genuinely one of the fast diminishing list of things that separate us from the animals. It can make you think or it can just be a joy. So when advertisers see something that was particularly clever or just plain cool what do they do? That’s right, they exploit the hell out of it and in doing so they ruin it forever, turning it into a big turd to hawk their wares. No longer can you just appreciate the original work on its own terms because it is tainted with the base cynicism of flogging some piece of old crap or shit service that you didn’t want to hear about in the first place.

The most common way of doing this is to take a song that you really love and associate it with a product. Almost every well known piece of classical music has its advert counterpart but it doesn’t stop there. Popular music is also fair game. Confused with their epic “Can any body help me?” advert with its increasingly annoying lot of cartoon figures. As an aside, notice how, the original confused character was really badly drawn, probably designed by child from nursery school and so it looks like someone having an epileptic fit. It now looks completely out of place with the more polished rendered cartoon figures in the crowd.

The art world is not safe either. There have been various Rube Goldburg Heath Robinson machines in which a simple task is eventually triggered by a chain of unfeasible mechanical, thermodynamic, kinetic and magnetic processes. I remember that Honda did this in an advert using parts of the car. To be fair, the advert was mesmeric and intriguing but such good adverts are few and far between. The Ford advert where an orchestra had instruments made from parts of the car is closer to the norm.

There is an art film, although I cannot remember who it is by, in which the action seemingly repeats and each time some new repeating event or action is added and it gradually builds up into a scene in which their is an impossible amount of stuff happening. That was cool. Matalan are using a similar sort of idea in their latest spinning panoramic adverts. One is set in a park. People are enjoying themselves in their spiffy Matalan clothes. The scene is turning around with people coming in and out of shot; having a picnic, throwing Frisbees, cycling near the camera, dogs walking, etc. If I was the cameraman, you would see a panoramic shot of my projectile vomit because all that spinning around just makes me feel dizzy when I watch it.

Some adverts try to make out that they are art. This is usually where advert isn’t connected with the product in any way that you would ever figure out unless you were a contestant on the never-popular game show 3,2,1. It is supposed to be a little island of pleasure in the sea of stress and torment, a break, something to watch with a warm fuzzy feeling in your heart but most likely it left you thinking WTF was that about? I am of course referring to the Cadbury’s Dairy Milk chocolate adverts. So far we have had a Gorilla drumming to Phil Collins, children with body-popping eyebrows, airport trucks racing and now the dancing charity shop clothes. The ad department at Cadbury’s are obviously eating too much cheese before bedtime. I just hope they don’t start messing about with Oskar Fischinger’s work.

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.

Pretentious Advert King

Filed under: Pretentious? Moi — Carl Hepburn @ 12:23 am November 12, 2009

A lot of advertising is about creating a brand. I just saw a really pretentious advert. Can you guess what it is for? Men were moving the landscape, pulling the grass like a rug, pinging back fir trees, etc. It was about strength. Whenever you see an advert with remote, monumental epic landscapes, untouched by the modern world, austere with extremely expensive award winning photography and cinematic production values you know it has to be for that gloopy black alcoholic drink beloved by the Irish. That’s right Guinness. I didn’t know, but I just thought, this advert is a load of pseudo, arty wank. It must be for Guinness and I was right. Gustave Flaubert wrote, ‘Language is a cracked kettle on which we bang our tunes to make bears dance, when what we long for is to move the stars to pity. The advertisers at Guinness will the stars to pity when they have a cracked kettle. It is another triumph of style over substance. I guess advertising works.