Hello. I'd like to start by saying I'm not selling anythi- hello?

Our lives are defined by many things. Some just happen, others we choose. The new Ford Jeep”. What!? I’m sorry what? No, fuck off. Right off, way over there until I can’t see you anymore. I hate you. I loathe you. You are the reason children die and kittens are drowned. As an act of advertising this is pointless, verging on you being a cunt. Our lives are defined by many things, yes. One of those things is not your bastard Jeep. You can argue many things in the world of television, particularly in advertising, but one you cannot is that car adverts are not painfully awful.

Some of you may think that, as a thing, advertising is void of any use or substance. We probably aren’t going to agree, so just shush now and I’ll pretend you aren’t here. It’s not that I don’t understand some of your points, I do, I really do. There’s always a product being pushed, there’s always a man poking you going “buy that, go on, buy it”. Most of the time it’s a wasted effort on the part of the man, you simply don’t want whatever it is. No matter how pokey the poke. I also understand that often, the unsubtle message is packaged poorly, in a gaudy, un refined manner so unsubtle, gaudy and unrefined that you begin beating yourself to death with your wallet in order to ensure you never purchase anything, ever again. It’s a totally normal reaction. However, I would suggest that in seeing these messages-from-their-sponsors as only an empty, shallow sell, you are missing out on a fantastic creative treasure trove. Yes, they’re pushing their stuff. Yes, conditioning is taking place. Yes. Some people are distorted and led by these five minute chunks of slogans. Some people also phone in to vote for the X Factor and believe in a god who allows Robbie Williams and Chris Moyles. Fuck them. You’re not them. Choose not to buy it and enjoy the ad if it’s entertaining. I’ve seen you laughing at Blackadder and you never bought the box set. It’s ok. Unless you weren’t laughing, and then we also probably won’t get on.

As a recent (UK) example I give you Old Spice. That man, no matter how vehemently you argue, was on a horse. Look up. I’m selling Old Spice. Look down. Look up again. I’m just as entertaining, well thought out, brilliantly acted, self aware and harmless as the best comedy sketch show. It’s Fast Show good. It is, and if you don’t like that either you should probably just go. Now.

Adverts can do everything. Hard hitting, emotional pieces – usually for a charity or some such – all the way up to the vapid, lifestyle peddling farts of nothing that currently strongly suggest you buy a car. The whole spectrum. The problem is that Tarquin Snort-Laughington and his advertising chum(p)s tend to go for the obvious, bland, easy option. Instead of making an entertaining little skit with the new shiny vehicle in the background – or building a micro-narrative over the course of several thirty second shorts in which a young attractive couple go through some stuff in a Jeep – they just show you the car, play some emotive, string based music, usually drive around some spectacular landscape and basically tell you the new Nissan Snarf will make the ladies wet. Which may be true, and if so, more fool them.

As long as you are sentient enough to wilfully ignore the product it’s fine. In fact it’s the test. If, when you take away the wares being plied, the whole containing medium collapses, then yes, it’s shit. It’s a shit advert, a fart of a cloud made of nothing. But that’s no different to a dreadful television programme. Like, say, Sex In The City. Which is actually a fart-of-nothing, life style peddling advert for tight faced, manipulative cows on heat. And clothes and shoes. Suddenly adverts look quite appealing, huh? So next time they come on, don’t really pay attention, but keep an eye open and give them a chance. At some point you’ve probably caught five minutes of Hollyoaks, and you don’t want to be defined by that. You want a Jeep.

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