Advertising: what is it? why is it? what is it? why?
Pity the advertiser, as you might pity a blind man trying to paint the Sistine Chapel with a sack of pasta and a fish finger.
Gone are the days when an advert for a soft drink involved a soft drink. Say goodbye to the idea that an advert for a car need feature a car. Nowadays an advert is only an advert if it sells you an extravagant lifestyle - you're not buying insurance, you're buying urban thirty-something lesbianism!
I get very confused by adverts. They keep on promising to improve my life, but they never do.
And sex! Why do they keep bombarding me with sex?!? I have become so accosted to seeing semi-naked women in adverts for shower gel, that when I'm actually having sex (Christmas and Bank holidays only) I suffer a Pavlovian response and end up thinking about shower gel (with 33% moisturiser). It is ruining my life.
The only thing worse than sex/sex/sex adverts are art/art/art adverts. These are often made by people who hate the fact that they are in advertising and therefore try to convince themselves that they are artists. The public therefore ends up with pretentious black and white adverts that talk about freedom and expression, when they are in fact trying to sell you a mobile phone. These adverts often feature angular young men walking into the sea. Avoid these adverts if you want to live to be 50.
Bizarrely, the most expensive adverts on television are the ones you see on channel 5 in the mid-afternoon, selling you life-insurance or asking you if you recently suffered an accident at work:
These ads may look like they had a budget of £6.50, but they are actually very expensive to produce. The 'real-life' characters who explain how the Corporal Crime Insurance helped them ("No forms to fill in! Hooray! I can't read! Herons plucked out my eyes!") are in fact the veterans of top Hollywood studios. Each of the actors featured in the adverts must pass at least five screen tests before he can read for the part, and many of the actors are filmed against a blue screen, so the backgrounds (a front-room in Nuneaton, a playground in Dunstable, an A-road in Crewe) can be digitally inserted after filming.
Anyway, I digress.... but perhaps the most popular advertising method is the "this is bad/this is good" technique. The "TIBTIG" method is recognisable to even the least-media-savvy-idiots (including many people who work in advertising). The technique involves showing something bad, and declaring it bad, and then showing the featured product/service and declaring it good! It literally could not be any simpler.
Here are some examples:
"Rancid chicken fat is bad! New Diet Cola is good!"
"Mother-in-law (Uh-oh!) Zingy Tasty Crunch-o-riffic Apple Bites (Yay!)"
It's as easy as that. With the "TIBTIG" technique almost anyone can become a high-powered media executive. Then you can have a nervous breakdown and divorce your wife... and you try to be a good dad to Jake, but it's so hard nowadays... and people are so cold...