I can’t be the only person who thinks that some television adverts are decidedly odd. Very often they have, for me, the opposite effect to that presumably intended. Knowing how these things get put together makes me even more perplexed.
Nothing makes it to the screen without a whole bunch of people thinking that it should. In times long gone, an established and respected director could make programmes or films purely on the strength of his own reputation, without any editorial interference, but nowadays everything that makes the screen in any form has been presented repeatedly before the forensic gaze of countless layers of producers, departmental heads and controllers. When none of them object strenuously the programme or film is made.
This process is no different for advertisements. In fact, you have to add into the mix what is referred to rather ominously as ‘the client’. This means the company for whom the advert is being made has a phalanx of suits sitting in at every stage in the process. They’re spending the money so they rightly and understandably want to have input. And measured by the second, many advertisements cost much more than the average movie.
That being the case, I cannot help but wonder why so many people clearly thought that a CGI generated Audrey Hepburn getting off a bus, stealing the driver’s hat and climbing into a young man’s drop-head coupe was the best way to encourage sales of the chocolate bar she then eats in the back of the car. And why does every car advert show pretty ordinary cars leaping over helicopters or outrunning collapsing buildings. Neither of those qualities are ones that most of us are looking for in the cars we are obliged to drive on our congested, potholed and speed-restricted roads.
I marvel too that a whole bunch of people clearly got enthusiastic about the idea of a man in high heels and denim hot pants strutting his disturbing stuff to advertise yet another insurance comparison site. This despite the demented tenor whose irritation value was so high that the advertiser had to resort to blowing him up on screen to restore credibility.
And then there’s the bearded man in drag on the online betting advert, the ghastly Wonga wrinkly puppets and making living and vulnerable characters out of cheese straws or chocolates. Who thought that was a good idea?