Wednesday, 24 June 2015

all of a

Advertising is a laugh, working in Adland is the most fun you can have with your clothes on. I know because this quote has been claimed by everyone from Bill Cosby and Jerry Della Femina to Richard French and my barber, so it must be true.
It’s also true that it throws up more clichés than a, erm… now how do you finish that sentence without a cliché? Anyway Adland is full of new challenges on a daily basis and, if you keep up, you can be involved at the forefront of every new idea that emerges from the depths of media innovation.

Facebook for instance, though now a veritable dinosaur in the land of social networking, still throws up interesting moments every now and then. If you have a sad social life, for instance, you can join any number of the groups who advertise themselves carelessly on yours and your acquaintance’s pages. Just this morning I was invited to “Support vestas wind turbines on the Isle of Wight” by members of Green Britain Day. A feisty bunch who are always up for an eco-bun fight. Then, a large and gaudy ad attracted my attention, as they always do, for the “Sunday defensive preview in Clapham.” Some kind of jolly event in a “charming theatrical space above a big old pub.” Nearly worth daring an SAA in-flight meal for.

Another bunch of ads to hit my inbox lately have been offers to join the Twittering community. Now Twitter is a whole different kettle of poisson, well poison, mostly, and to tell the truth I get all the pointless celeb gossip I can handle down the Brazen Head on a Sunday lunchtime.
My endlessly amusing art director bombards my Facebook page with pokes super pokes and hyperlinks to the latest commercials that fascinate her seemingly boundless curiosity. The latest Standard Bank offering has caught her pretty green eye so, intrigued, I clicked through and took a look.

I see they have another new endline, again. “Moving Forward” it must have taken a few solid minutes of thinking by some bunch of brainstorming dullards. As far as I can figure out, and I’ve only seen the commercial a dozen times or so, so bear with me here, they are now a bank crammed with egalitarian do-gooders who are falling over their vast profit margins to give the stuff away to anyone who wants it. The ad itself is nice enough and has been crafted to give the least offence, but someone really should have a word with any bank who make such outrageous claims in the face of the worldwide crisis we’re currently embracing.

Then I always was naïve about such things. I used to believe that wearing Nike shoes would allow me to just do it, and, more recently that MacDonalds make real beef burgers and love doing it. Like many of my fellow adland inhabitants I remain terribly gullible when confronted by messages created by my colleagues. Rather than developing a thick skin that poo poos the more inflated ads I am often drawn to their more exotic offerings. My cupboards are crammed with such wonders as George Foreman’s grill-pans, cuddly toy shaped hand warmers and, of course, the old flip-over omelette pan.

One commercial that had me rushing to purchase was for the secret spring deluxe pillow from our friends at Verimark. Certified by international and local experts, and a bargain at several hundred hard earned rand, it now reshapes itself into the exact shape of my dog’s backside every night, after several failed attempts to get it help me enjoy “wonderful nights of uninterrupted sleep. Marvellous.

Ideas that come to a dark end have rather been on my mind of late as several of my friends have taken the strangely luddite step of declaring information overload. In most cases this has meant simply advertising the shutting down of their Facebook, twitter or MySpace pages. Others have committed cyber-hari kari complete with suicide notes posted online and blood thirsty declarations of revenge on all things technological. It’s all very odd and I’ll miss them, but I’m sure they’ll soon have their own online cemetery where I can post wreaths of remembrance.

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