August, 2010 | Bad TV Adverts, Bad Ads Advert

Filed under: What are the chances? — Carl Hepburn @ 10:48 pm August 30, 2010

Set in a shoe shop, a man and women sitting on the same bench are trying shoes. Somehow, their shoelaces become tied together, a metaphor for them being tied together in a relationship.

Although it is not a particularly offensive advert. I just wonder what are the chances of two people in a shoe shop tying their shoelaces together? I just don’t buy it. Has this ever happened to you? If you work in a shoe shop how often does it happen? I mean, let’s consider what is required. Two people with their shoes untied. Okay, it is a shoe shop so there shouldn’t be much problem with that but strangers in a shop probably wouldn’t sit that close together so the laces would be short to tie them. Another reason why I don’t believe it could happen is if you think about tying a shoe. The first stage is to make a simple knot and pull the ends so that shoe fits tightly around the foot. If the girl tying the lace pulled it, it would pull on the man’s shoelace and then he or she would realise something was wrong. What does this advert say about the service? That you are a likely to meet someone through the service as effectively as an act of chance?

BT Adam and Jane Advert Vote

Filed under: Advertising Idiots — Carl Hepburn @ 11:00 pm August 26, 2010

I reserve a special form of hatred for advertisers that try and get you involved in their products. Not content with replaying the same crappy adverts they ask us to do their job for them so that we, the audience, become involved in the product. In this case, making the mundane service of supplying a conduit for porn and torrents a Zen life-changing experience.
In the BT ads, we have this mini soap opera between Jane and Adam, which has been going on for far too long in my opinion. I would like to enlighten you and bring you up to date as to the story so far but I can scarcely give a damn about characters whose life problems can be solved by a wifi connection. Broadly speaking, I think they had a bit of a bust-up and now she is pregnant so he is going to be the first wireless father, whereby he visits his child entirely online saving money on their BT Home Hub and saving money on child maintenance.

Anyway, I digress. In the last completely forgettable ad, we were invited to vote on what should happen in the story. Viewers with less restraint obviously opted for them to get back together again. Unfortunately they didn’t include in the voting options my suggestion that the entire cast be incinerated by a MOAB that accidently fell out of a passing C-130 aircraft because their router was working on the same frequency. Oh and stop charging line-rental for a copper wire that was installed years ago.

Citroen C3 Swinging Car Advert

Filed under: Economical with the Truth — Carl Hepburn @ 10:14 pm August 22, 2010

This stupid advert has a couple in a Citroen C3 driving in a dockyard and for mischievous fun they decide to swing their car from the cables of a gantry crane using an adapter that just so happens to exactly fit the wheels of their car. The car accelerates, goes up into the air and they swing happily enjoying their shiny new car like it is fairground ride.

I am calling bollocks on this advert and a quick back of the envelope calculation can show why. The relevant physics is that of the pendulum and the conservation of energy. The conservation of energy is very useful in problems like this as it says that the sum of the kinetic energy and the potential energy is a constant.
When the car reaches its maximum height we can say that all its energy is potential energy. Similarly when the car is moving and just about lift off the ground it has it maximum kinetic energy. Anywhere in between there is a mixture of kinetic and potential energy.
At the top of the swing, the potential energy PE = m g h, where m is the mass of the car, g is the acceleration due to gravity and h is the maximum height. Looking at the specifications of the car, the mass is 1360 kg. The height of a gantry crane I would estimate to be about 30 m. In the advert the car seems to go higher than this but let’s be generous and say 30 metres. g is taken as 9.81 m/s^2.
Therefore the potential energy is 400,248 J. The car must have this amount of energy when it takes off also.
The equation for kinetic energy is KE = 0.5 m v^2, where v is the take off velocity. So we can calculate how fast it need to go before it takes off. It turns out that it is around 24.26 m/s or (56 mph).
Looking at the specification of the car it turns out that the 0-100 km take 14.2 sec or an average acceleration of 1.9 m/s^2 so I think that it would need quite a run up to reach this speed.
Remembering my high-school physics of linear motion, the distance required is s = v^2/ 2a, where v is the take off velocity and a is the average acceleration. Plugging in the numbers once again gives a distance of 154 m. Which is substantially longer than the height of the crane. In the advert we only see the car pull back a short distance. Which I think proves the case not to mention that the cable would need to be slackened and then pulled in as the car reaches the take off point which is not going to happen.

Of course with a pendulum or a swing repeated application of energy at just right moment can hit the natural frequency of the pendulum and make the amplitude increase dramatically. However for a car on a crane to do this it would have to go change gear to go into forward and then reverse on the return journey and I don’t think that the car would be able to go that fast in reverse.
I know the advert is made with computer graphics and it is supposed to be describing its big windscreen but it still doesn’t stand up to scruitiny. You might as well say that the car is rocket powered and it can drive in space.

Apple’s Influence on Advertising

Filed under: Advertising Idiots — Carl Hepburn @ 9:37 pm August 13, 2010

If you have an iphone or have ever used one, you will know about the way in which you use gestures to push and drag screens around and they move and react in an intuitive way. Screens scroll across at the same speed at which your finger move and they have a ‘weight’ so they rebound when they reach their limits of travel. Things react in the same way you expect them to in the real world. This not only looks cool but it is somehow more pleasurable and pleasing to use. All pretty great on a phone but tacky, shit and lazy in advertising.
You only have to look at the influence that the iphone interface has had on car adverts for instance. The new Range Rover advert has the pull and drag gesture to change scenery. A Toyota ad has also copied the idea to move the car around and see inside it. It is just laziness on the part of the advertisers. I can picture the scene, ‘Oh the way the iphone works looks cool, lets use that idea and then people will buy it because it associates any crap product vicariously with the iphone which is the current flavour of the month.’