I wasn’t best pleased when I saw this:

I mean, that was a little mean. When you go get a hot dog from the hot dog cart, it’s piled with peppers, onions, relish, mustard, jalapenos, lettuce, nacho cheese, celery salt, tomatoes, sauerkraut, cheddar and the vendor’s pubes. That first bite isn’t exactly going to get you a chunk of sausage (shut up).  And even when you finally do, it’s not exactly brilliant, but it’d be so much more disgusting without 3 inches (shut up) of flavouring on that dog.

I can take a joke, but I’ve noticed that if the ads aren’t downright goofy, they’re mean-spirited. It’s either one or the other. It’s like the two sides of Eminem. Can’t you just be fucking normal? In fact, the only ones that are normal are the ubiquitous, airwave-gobbling prescription ads that tell you to “ask your doctor” about them. Most of them are 2-minutes long, with 1.5 minutes taken up by the disclaimer (“[name of antidepressant] can actually increase thoughts of suicide in children, teens and young adults” – leaving WHO to pester their doctors for your medicine, exactly?).

Sometimes they don’t even get it the right way round. Their PSAs, especially the drink-driving ones, are so humorous they actually make me want to inhale a few flaming sambucas and get behind the wheel of a fucking tank:

Since when did the cactus-head who failed the audition for Mars Attacks prevent the walking carpet from Monsters Inc driving? For all we knew, that angry grunting was “I’m done, let me drive you home, but first let’s do space doughnuts on Vader’s lawn”.  Cactus head was just stopping him from ordering another drink because they wanted to save money for some Slave Leia lookalike escorts.

Compare with one of ours:


Not pretty. Disturbing, but effective. That’s our tactic. And they get worse, too. This one below is probably the worst one I’ve ever seen, yet I see people texting and driving here all the time. I don’t even think that using a mobile while driving here is even illegal.


Speaking of mobiles, I’ve noticed a trend in their advertising – a while back, mobile carriers Verizon and AT&T were deploying so many bitchy, back-and-forth ads, like Verizon mocking AT&T’s 3G coverage map (while implying it was phone coverage), and their anti-iPhone ads (iCan’t multitask…etc).  I’m surprised that they were able to get away with namechecking the company at all. I grew up with supermarket ads etc. subtly hinting that they were better than “clearly our rival company that sounds like this” but thought they were legally unable to use their name or likeness in their own ads.

Some ads are so horribly cheesy, you feel compelled to remind yourself that you are watching an ad and it simply should not be taken seriously. They can give Japan a run for their money, because, unlike their noisy ads, American noisy ads aren’t cute and bouncy and filled with neon. They’re smug, brightly-shot (like a sitcom) and topped off with a smuggy smuggerson voiceover that brings to mind every single movie trailer ever produced. They just get smugger and more abrasive with each holiday – whether it’s “doorbuster” sale announcements on Black Friday or a brand new TV series that is so shit it makes you wonder who’s fucking whom.

Take this horribly obnoxious spot for The Big Bang Theory, one of my favourite shows (and not because people keep insisting that I’m the female version of Sheldon):


I don’t get it. Why are they dancing? Where are they? Why is Sheldon SMILING AND DANCING? What does any of this have to do with the show?

Then look at ours:


We actually show CLIPS from the show. Why can’t you guys do that? Why take the actors and force them to pretend smile and dance for hours so you can capture the right “candid” moments to make us feel happy about watching the show, but not actually show any of the show? Why take characters out of character and make them do awkward family photo posing instead of showing us something funny? If I had never seen the show before, just watching the American promo would have made me hated it. Especially one of the other ones that said “From the creator of ‘Two and a Half Men’ “- ugh)

Our promos also mock the show itself a little. E4’s promos are probably the best example of that. Using a nerdy, Tom-Baker-on-steroids type voice, it’s also somewhat mocking the smugness of other American ads. Maybe that wasn’t intentional. *cough*

I guess I am used to deadpan humour (yes, even though I watch TBBT) with maybe a little bit of pratfalls for good measure. Shows like The Thick of It or Outnumbered. So I was pleasantly surprised to find the same type of skittishly-delivered humour a few Christmases ago:


I love Christmas, but I also love this ad. It’s just all kinds of awkward, which gives me as Ricky Gervais, Nighty-Night, squirmy-humour-type feeling inside. Yes, Target are a large company (knee-jerk reaction: they’re evil!), but they were also surprisingly adept at creating ads that aired during the finale of Lost (the only good thing about those wasted two hours):


Brings back that mocking mentality, but an example of one that isn’t mean-spirited or competitive. Even though I am a mean bitch, I would respond to advertising like this, but I would be turned off by anti-iPhone ads (even though I loathe Apple and all of their marketing-infested, lifestyle-selling rip-off products). On the whole, I find our ads are funnier, quirkier, more inventive, and full of obscure music. I’m often Googling song lyrics after a random car or beer advert is on (most likely how most of my playlist was generated).

Where else would you find a freaky ad like this for…chocolate?


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