I’ve always been an admirer of really good adverts, with classics such as ‘belly’s gonna get ya!’ and ‘BN,BN’ among my favourites, but things seem to have gone down hill since the creative advertisements of the ‘naughties’ died out. Over the last few years our TV ads have been overtaken by warning and awareness ads, some of which are duly appreciated, such as driving speed warnings and STI awareness ads, but with the increase of television channels comes the increase in terrible, annoying and frustrating advertisements, and it begins with the latest TV demon: PPI.
What seems to be an urban myth or some kind of non-existent financial demon, PPI has now gotten hold of our telephone numbers and emails. These adverts may have at first worried a few, but when the realisation kicked in that no one in recorded history has ever ‘taken out a loan when they didn’t want or need to’, we as a nation got severely annoyed. PPI is not an issue that should be broadcast as though it is a public service announcement, and should certainly not be clogging up our television channels.
However, as annoying as PPI ads are, they’re nothing compared with genuinely poor adverts, adverts that think they’re good, adverts which could be bettered by a group of Apprentice candidates. The first culprit: Heroes chocolates. Their latest (and I believe their only) advert can only be described as an abomination.
It’s the kind of text-book humour the nation would have found funny back in 2005 – a stereotype clueless husband and stereotype wife in control, struggling to decide what they should take to their friends party as a sign of courtesy, despite the host explaining to them that they need not ‘bring a thing’. Sure, it’s a situation British people find themselves in regularly, but it’s no issue. So we have a poor advert ‘plot’ to start.
After a series of cut-aways to ridiculous scenarios in which they arrive at the party with elaborate solutions such as a nacho dip hat on their child, the wife then decides that Heroes chocolates are the best thing to take to the party.She makes this decision with a sort of ‘these will do’ attitude, already displaying a blatant disregard for the quality of the product. And then comes the worst part of all, the tagline. A tag-line so unnecessarily simple, elongated and bland it’s as though it was almost written ironically. ‘Heroes, what to bring, when you’re told not to bring a thing’. That’s eleven syllables. That’s one less syllable than the longest non-technical or coined word in the English language (antidisestablishmentarianism).
All of these elements combined act as possibly the worst produced advert I’ve ever seen – even the Safestyle UK guy offering ‘buy one get one free’ windows is more appealing than this disgrace. The only feasible conclusion to come to with this advert is that the marketing guys left it late, went out the night before it needed to be finished and produced the advert last-minute to appease their superiors.
So the question remains, is the art of advertising dead? For now it is unclear, we’ll have to hope that somewhere out there, there are some real advertising heroes who know what to bring to our Televisions, when they have been told to bring something. Anything. Just not crap or PPI.
Witness the disgrace here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmGX1wKHdP8