Annoying sells

It says something about the British character that we seem to actively rejoice in the ridiculous and the tawdry. It’s like some sort of endemic need for self-flagellation, that means – as a nation – we’re happy to embrace what we know to be trash. 

Only in this country would a meerkat in a smoking jacket saying ‘simples’ continue to be a brilliant prospect six years on – even producing its own spin-off merchandise. (Yes, I’m talking about the Christmas cash-in book, that, disappointingly, no one bought me!)  So successfully did the star of the Compare the Market ads capture the public imagination, it seems he’s now outgrown the brand.

Living in the post-Crazy Frog UK, there is now a growing section of marketers that have worked out that annoying sells – and they’ve set about zealously exploiting this strange quirk of our national character.  

It’s not just the frog and the meerkat. There’s also Go Compare’s deeply irritating would-be Italian opera singer, shouty ‘Barry Scott’ from the Cillit Bang ads (recently muzzled after a string of complaints from the elderly), Juan Sheet from the Plenty kitchen towel commercials, ‘Churchy’ from the Churchill Insurance campaigns (Oh yes!), the wacky DJs in the Halifax ads – and the thousand or so advertisements incorporating talking babies…

Terrible as these are, daytime viewers are spoon-fed a diet of even cheaper advertising. If you’re unfortunate enough to be watching commercial television during working hours, you’ll unhappily enter a world where a succession of dull-eyed ‘normal people’ stare dimly into the camera, communicating their apparent surprise that ‘used gold’ is worth money. Or, alternatively, they’re cherishing the memories of how they serendipitously mounted a ladder on top of a roller-skate and have thus been enabled to sue their company for £500. You might even get to see an ex-cast member from The Bill attempt to bully viewers into calling the telesales team of a company which is apparently entirely populated by lawyers (even the guy that cleans the toilets – he’s a lawyer).         

What depths will lazy advertisers plunge to next? Considering the stuff that actually seems to strike a chord with the British population, it’s really anyone’s guess…

What about a couple of badly-dressed, heavily-overweight blokes mugging furiously to the camera, whilst simultaneously shouting and jumping up and down on the spot?

No, wait, that’s the Jacamo ads.

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~ by wordwrites on March 18, 2011.

5 Responses to “Annoying sells”

  1. ANIMAX HEALTHCARE PVT. LTD. – Supplier and manufacturer of veterinary pharmaceuticals products, veterinary pharmaceuticals
    product, veterinary products, animal healthcare products, animal
    healthcare product and animal products.More details:- http://www.animax.co.in March 2011,motiram, Posted Id-*****

  2. Hmm. Annoying also comments.

  3. Veterinary pharmaceuticals makes some interesting points…let’s hear him out

  4. Nifty nickname too!

  5. I wasn’t that inclined to buy veterinary pharmaceutical products before, but what with AMIMAX’s elegant prose style – and the fact that that message was clearly written with me in mind – I’m now feeling tempted…

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