Sunday, 13 May 2012

I shout at the TV.

I do. I know, I know, it's futile and silly and it doesn't make a damn bit of difference and I probably should get some perspective but I do. Big is quite accustomed to me going from barely paying attention to the actual programme we're watching to suddenly launching verbal attack of some proportions during an ad break.

I mostly shout at adverts, although the news (mainly when Tory politicians are talking) and shows like The Big Questions are known to get good rise out of me too. Actually, I don't watch Big Questions much any more. Partly because it's awful and repetitive and just an hour of various people always including Nicky Campbell desperately begging to be punched in the face but mostly because Small prefers Cbeebies.

Just tonight I was getting well cross at the new BT ads. I'm not sure why Kris Marshall got dumped, perhaps he was tired of doing it, perhaps not enough people gave enough of a damn about the wedding/baby but whatever it was, now we've just got Adam's stepson and his two University flatmates. The stepson, I forget his name (I'm not that invested, sheesh) is hardly in them anyway, so far they revolve around the horrible bloke trying to gain the upper hand in a contest for the female flatmate's affections that may be entirely in his head. They only last 20-30 seconds but it's enough. Why is this girl's sole function to be the object of clumsy, unsolicited advances and to be clueless about technology? Seriously, she has no other purpose and it's infuriating.
For balance, a source of ad break blood pressure ascent for many years was a recurring Co-Op ad where a smug middle aged woman sends her middle aged husband off to fetch something then scolds him for what he's brought, condescendingly turning to the cashier to roll her eyes and enquire 'what're they like?' You know what love, go get it yourself!
There are many ads I like, Compare the Meerkat for one. But there seems to be a default setting in advertising these days that you must include the viewer in a superior social group and then invite them to look down on another group. No, not seems, there is. There always has been, that's how advertising works of course. It just depresses me. It makes misogyny and discrimination acceptable by drip feeding it into homes in a playful little ways, after all it's only an advert. You sometimes hear of someone complaining against the huge raft of 'Men are useless aren't they girls' nod and a wink adverts and they'll say that you wouldn't get away with that if the gender roles were reversed. Five minutes research will show that the gender roles only just quite recently switched to where they are now but at the same time, ads like the BT one would suggest that while you can't advertise a product by showing a male actor patronising a female actor you absolutely can achieve much the same effect by more subtle means.
I used to complete the odd marketing survey and one time it was testing a new ad campaign for men's toiletries where they had research to show that most men's toiletries were bought for them by women so they were going to target the ads to women.
They covered the ads in pictures of shoes.
I was not complimentary.

Oh but it's not that sort of ad that gets to me. How I howled fury at the stupid Dettol handwash ad for the automatic dispenser! "You'll never touch a germy handwash pump again"

But there is hope. This year saw the wonderful advert for The Guardian, a full two minute short film really. It brilliantly conveyed the modern media age by presenting the nursery tale of The Little Pigs as it would be covered today. Look it up.


  1. "Oh but it's not that sort of ad that gets to me. How I howled fury at the stupid Dettol handwash ad for the automatic dispenser! "You'll never touch a germy handwash pump again"
    Ahem." hahahah this is an age old slanging match with us versus the tv too. Not to mention that we need 'some' germs for a healthy immune system!

  2. Yes, that! I actually worry a lot when I see the Dettol ad where they talk about going into schools and teaching about hygiene. The world does not need a bunch of primary school aged kids paranoid about a sterile environment.

    1. Plus...germa are essentially everywhere so even after you've washed your hands as soon as you touch something.... even the air has germs. I hate this whole germ paranoia. Kids are supposed to be dirty and adventurous not coating themselves in sanitiser ever time they exhale. Taht's the whole point of chucking the mucky buggers in the bath at the end of the day. So long as they wash hands before meals and after the loo, i couldn't give a hoot. Is it a wonder that common colds et seem to last so long these days, we're not killing the germs, we're just killing immunity. Glad it's not just The Husband and I that argue with the tv