Ads are great. They stir up so many emotions in us. Aside from the obvious subliminal message they have where they make us want to buy things, they do give us opinions on things; they give us stuff to talk about; stuff to smile about; stuff to complain about. They take up a lot of our conversation, whether we like to admit it or not. So many ads come to mind as I write this (several I have favourited on Youtube, others I change the channel for) but obviously I can’t fit them all in one post so here are a few that spring to mind.
I know I’m out of season but these are probably timeless ads that will always be my favourite: the best Christmas ads. The four ads I have to see before it’s officially Christmas are the Cornflakes ad where the little girl says “Shh…Ho, ho, ho”, the Guinness ad where they say “Even at the home of the black stuff, we dream of a white one”, the Coca-Cola ad with the trucks and THE song, and finally the An Post ad. No Christmas is complete without those ads in my opinion. See, these ads make me see how powerful advertising can be. Americans consume an average of 3,000 advertisements daily, which is phenomenal. I couldn’t find an average figure for Ireland but it’s probably not much less than that, and they do seem to occupy our brains and sell their product successfully. Even when the ads are annoying, we remember what they’re for, which is all the company cares about. How many people hate “BARRY SCOTT WITH CILLIT BANG?” Ah, but how many people knew the ad was for Cillit Bang? It’s the same with those stupid Febreeze ads, we all hate them but everyone knows that “Mmmm…fresh!” Means they’ve “washed it with Febreeze.” It’s an interesting tactic.
Another ad I hate but loads of people disagree with me so maybe I’m just crazy is the Birdseye ads with the polar bear in the freezer. He’s so creepy. Why is he there? Look at his face, if he was a human he’d be real deadpan…but he’s a stuffed polar bear talking to a man named Clive about dippers. Again I realise I know the ad is Birdseye and even though I hate it, I know they always say they’re made with 100% real chicken breast (I also picked up on the fact that they’re MADE with 100% chicken breast, that does not mean they ARE 100% chicken breast).
My last ad that I simply have to mention now is the whole reason I decided to post about advertisements (If enough people like this post, I might mention more ads in posts to come.) Has everyone seen the new Bulmers ad? If not, here it is:
So yes, that is David McWilliams, economist, journalist, whatever you want to call him, selling out, for Bulmers. I’m sure people disagree, I’m sure many think he’s well within his right to be on advertisements but I think he shouldn’t have done it. He’s selling out and he’s compromising his integrity. It doesn’t matter if the product or the company don’t directly influence the economy when he writes about the economy. It also doesn’t matter if he calls himself a journalist of an economist who writes, at the end of the day, he has a certain independent integrity to uphold (you don’t have to be a member of the NUJ, David) and that is compromised when you start representing one brand or company over another. I think journalists should be distant and independent from corporate bodies and political parties to maintain fully unbiased writing. Feel free to disagree, I love a bit of debate. By the way, I did make all of my points about him based on his poor defence on Friday Late with Vincent Browne, well worth a watch for anyone interested in seeing him under pressure from good old Vincent. If you only want to see that bit, start watching around 4:15 and click here.
PS Here’s my latest blackout writing story:
After the firm chair, the programme failed. Dan filmed the dispute.