Wednesday, 24 June 2015

91 years of fame

With supreme aplomb and hardly a tongue planted in cheek Eamonn Holmes the brekkie guy on Sky news announced that the cricket was “exploding into action.” Now I like the long version of cricket more than any other and can think of no way better to waste a few afternoons than sticking on the telly and drifting in and out of consciousness. But even at its bollock-bashing, sledge muttering best it can’t really be said to be exploding into anything.
Hyperbole, the art of exaggeration and huge overstatement, are not only the backbone of Sky news reports but the heart of many a great ad campaign.
Coca Cola are amongst the greatest exponents of the over-promise, a fizzing drink derived from forcing bubbles through a treacle-like substance and then sent to every corner of the world, wrapped in a huge logo. Spot the relevance in the ad:

Take a pair of gym shoes, stick some studs on the bottom a big tick on the ankle and flog them to football teams everywhere. But how to make your boots irresistible? Easy, make it a contest between good and evil, or actually, Good and Evil. The commercial featured an all-star bunch of European players against a bunch of extras from 300 tearing chunks out of each other in a Romanesque arena. Hardly exaggerating at all, tune in to it at:

When I fly I like to relax in the biggest seat I can afford with the deepest glass of Mr. Smirnoff’s best clinking happily in a glass of ice. It’s a personal preference and I don’t recommend it to everyone. However, I don’t believe that being told that bazillions of others fly with the same airline would affect my choice of carrier, why not tell me how many of your planes have crashed, or more to the point, how many haven’t? In Adland of course the consumer’s needs are often trampled under the arty needs of a creative idea. The British Airways ad that showed parts of a head coming together from across the world won many accolades and still looks pretty and is a touch stone of extravagance and style, but are exploded heads the way to reassure your passengers? Cast your eye loving over the very epic nature of this classic and ask yourself one very important question, where did the ear go to?

In fact there are few things in the modern world that can’t be spun by spin or inflated by the over-heated air of hyperbole. Today, however, is the 91st birthday of Nelson Mandela one of the few who can wear the mantle of hero comfortably. Adland across the planet has produced many tributes to celebrate the anniversary of his birth ranging from the heavy-handed to the throwaway. In New York they have successfully launched Madiba Day, something that must rather stick in the overactive oesophaguses of our own politicians who can’t seem to get their act together, as usual, even to commemorate our country’s Father.
Anyway, perhaps it’s better this way, after all no one celebrates like our American cousins and no one deserves a really big annual birthday bash like Madiba. New York being packed to hilt with stars they all seem to have queued up to hold up their hands and sing his praise. Join the party at:

My only problem is the underlying theme of 67 minutes, one for every year he spent fighting against injustice, they say. I know I’m being dumb but I can’t for the life of me work out the maths here. Are they counting his years of freedom? His years of incarceration? I searched the site: But I still can’t unravel it.

ESPN are hosting a night to award him the “Arthur Ash Courage Award” a gong that will look good on his sideboard beside the Nobel Prize and one he’s no doubt been sorely missing.
Locally adland’s celebrations tend to be rather more ponderous, as if the great man spent every hour of his life sitting and thinking, rather than dancing to his inner spirit dressed in shirts that would have shocked Liberace. My art director is wearing a particularly florid affair to show her support for Elvis' birthday, “Til hamingju með afmælið“ she yells, sugar rushing her way to her whimsical Icelandic roots. I couldn’t have put it better myself.

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