Following on from last week’s bad beauty ads, I now want to know what’s up with the weird and often creepy animal mascots that seem to have infiltrated our food advertising. Are they supposed to be adorable or are some of our best known brands actually attempting to terrify us into buying their products?
On the relatively cute end of the scale we have Vinnie, the Fox’s biscuits panda who is supposed to be some kind of baked goods eating Italian-American gangster. Why they didn’t go for a British fox, I’m not sure but overall Vinnie seems quite fun so no real harm done there.
Getting slightly more weird is the PG Tips “monkeh” who comes across as Johnny Vegas’ only companion… but then what’s weird about a grown man who spends all his time drinking tea with a knitted monkey… err… at least the monkey isn’t scary and it makes for a cute gimmick that they sometimes give away toy versions of it with the tea.
Starting to slide into the creepy end of “food animals” is the Bird’s Eye polar bear who appears to live in people’s kitchen appliances and put them into a kind of trance-like state while telling them about frozen food products. All of these people appear to be stressed out women in their 30’s who are unsure if they’re having a psychotropic experience or they’ve just had too much gin. Either way if Birds Eye prawns come with hallucinations, I won’t be buying them.
Even the Birds Eye polar bear has nothing on the Wall’s dog, who is apparently called Alan. I have tried to get my head around just what the hell is actually going on in this ad but it’s telling that rather than looking thrilled that her husband has produced not jewellery, but a talking dog, the “wife” in this advert looks petrified. Nevermind the very sexist premise behind the idea of the “husband” being only a bloke and unable to express his emotions. There is something about this ad that makes me think of some of the more surreal European cinema that I’ve watched, the kind that gives you disturbing flashbacks. If anyone has any idea what this ad is actually trying to convey please can you let me know. I’ll be behind the sofa hiding from the nightmares.
Why is it that the real impact of a big night out only kicks in a day down the line? I woke up this morning and had another one of those “why do I do this to myself” moments. It wasn’t that I felt ill or even particularly depressed… I just felt “nowhere”. Does anyone else get that? Where you feel like you’re floating around, not quite anchored to your body and you’re just substituting one drug for another. We medicate the boredom of everyday life with alcohol. Then we medicate the hangover by eating everything that’s not nailed down and then the next day we medicate the exhaustion with coffee (she says sucking back cup number three). Maybe if we got the chance to do more of the things we really loved, we wouldn’t need as much “medication”. But if you’re busy creating something because that’s your passion, the more you work, the more you end up with huge creative doubts… and that ends up becoming what you medicate.
Right… that’s enough fucking philosophy for one blog. I suppose one day we will grow up. Today is not that day. Today is a day for coffee… lots and lots of coffee. Quite potentially I will cheer up later as I am going shopping with Fabio this evening and when the two of us convene, even the most mundane activities become a bit of a carnival… no vodka required. And this time we’re buying things for ME!
I am also wondering if anyone else is creeped out by those new Xbox 360 ads that feature a kid with a hollowed out head. Basically the ad has this kid sitting next to his dad with a facial expression like he’s had a lobotomy and when they pan around to the back of his head, it’s been hollowed out and there is a game going on in his empty skull. It freaks the living shit out of me. I don’t want to buy and Xbox… I want to hide from the brain snatchers! I don’t think this goes any way to dispel the belief that computer games will steal your mind… check it out and give me your take…
Today’s obsession is Merlin. It’s funny how certain legends become so firmly rooted in our consciences that we revisit them over and over again. The story of King Arthur, Camelot and the Knights of the Round Table is one of those legends and so there has been interpretation after interpretation and this is the latest. Focused on Merlin (who was of course the Arthur’s court magician) as a young adult living in a Camelot where magic is illegal, this BBC drama is my new favourite guilty pleasure. It’s not surprising considering my fascination things like Harry Potter and Lord Of The Rings. I guess what makes all of these interpretations so interesting is that there is virtually nothing known of the actual Arthur and so you don’t know what to expect from any writer’s “vision” of the story. I am certainly interested to see how this one is going to pan out… or maybe it’s just because it has cool special effects and the boy who plays Merlin is really cute. It appears to be on BBC 1 at 6pm on a Saturday but there is always the option to catch up, sans ads, on iplayer.