In the aftermath of the banking crisis it is interesting to see how banks are using advertising to make us believe that they are fluffy, caring and not greedy, grasping, ruthless businesses run for their shareholders.
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.
Oh no! It has just dawned on me that the Christmas adverts are starting. Only a few more days and every advert will be for a crappy compilation CD or Argos advert with bloody Noddy Holder shouting “It’s Chrrristmmassss!”
It is definitely the worst time of year for television advertising.
A few year’s ago I was fortunate enough to escape the commercial hell by going to Goa over the Christmas period.
Although they have meld of religious beliefs, there is a strong Catholic community and so they also follow Christmas but all was quite (except for the barking dogs) until the actual day.