Saturday, 2 July 2016

Honesty in advertising

Advertising is a dodgy business, isn't it?
Every company wants to sell their product - of course they do - but whether the product is good or bad, the ad men have the job of convincing the general public that their lives will remain incomplete if they don't run to the shops right this minute and beg the confused and slightly scared woman behind the counter to sell you one.

However, by now anyone with enough brain to not want to read Heat magazine knows exactly what the advertisers are playing at and are not fooled in the slightest.
So adverts have become increasingly devious - preying on people's insecurities and weaknesses in an attempt to sell the latest wossname.
In no corner of the marketplace is this more obvious than the shadowy one where the shelves are filled with sanitary towels, condoms, thrush cream, and things to shove up your bum because you haven't had a shit for three days since that triple helping of lasagne and you're worried you might explode like Mr Creosote in Monty Python's 'Meaning Of Life'.
It seems strange to me that advertisers feel the need to dress up these sort of products in all sorts of flowery packaging in an attempt to convince the teenager at the checkout that it's just a harmless box of tissues rather than something that (god forbid) might give away the shameful fact that you've got the painters in.
I'm sure that women across the globe breathed a sigh of relief when the ad men showed them that what they really ought to do during their period was to go roller-blading rather than eating chocolate and cuddling a hot water bottle.

Adverts are everywhere - billboards, TV, magazines, buses, pop-ups on your computer (use Ad-Block to defeat this shit, it's brilliant) and they're getting more and more cunning as we become harder to fool.
Sometimes they go too far and you get to the end of an advert on TV and still have no idea what was being advertised. Others deceive you into thinking it's an ad for a car but then it turns out to be for something to do with perfume.
In the world of advertising nothing is what it seems, but it hasn't always been this way.
Many years ago there was a good chance that an advert would be straightforward and unencumbered by the stylised garnish that we have to scrape away from the adverts of today.
Here's an example (click to enlarge) of what I'm talking about from the Wolseley car company:


I think this is great and I'd very much like to see a return to this sort of advertising.
It's honest. It tells you something positive you can relate to and has a simple picture of the product instead of replacing it with a skinny tart on a magic carpet or similar.
With this in mind, I've compiled a few adverts for modern products using this level of honesty in the hope that advertisers will cotton on to the fact that we're fed up with being lied to and we shouldn't have to resort to a slide rule and logarithm tables to work out what an advert on TV is trying to sell us.
Personally, if an advert annoys me I make a point of not buying the product, so what I want to see instead is something like these: