xmlns:og='http://ogp.me/ns#' The Font of Noelage: December 2016

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Television commercials: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

Normally I do not watch a lot of commercial TV so I do not see a lot of television adverts. However, I do watch the cricket on Channel 9, so I have to take the commercials that come with the cricket coverage.

Generally, TV commercials are all so hoh-hum that I watch them uncomprehendingly and when they finish I do not really know what it was they wanted me to buy. However, three commercials received quite a bit of screen time during the cricket which struck me as good, bad and ugly.

The good one is of an elderly fellow at the resort swimming pool who sets his iPhone on a table near a beautiful young lady wearing only a bikini and a bemused smile. The elderly gent sets the music on his mobile phone to what I believe can only be the grand entry march of the matadors at a bull fight. As the strong trumpet tones blast the air, to the accompaniment of an up tempo mariarchi band, the elderly gentleman strides confidently to the 10 metre tower at the end of the pool.

The stirring trumpet music wells up as the old man arrives at the top of the tower, reaching a throbbing crescendo as the he dives off and e He plunges  plummets towards the pool. He looks as if he is heading towards the world’s greatest bellyflop when, as the trumpet hits a powerful A above C, at the very last moment he adopts a perfect swallow dive posture. As the trumpet blasts with a clarion call that would make the Angel Gabriel very proud, the elderly gentleman splits the water with the precision of a gold medal Olympic diver. The girl smiles in appreciation. The elderly man emerges from the water. His phone plays on in magnificent stereophonic sound. Indeed, the commercial is about stereophonic sound for mobile phones. I though it was classy.

The bad commercial is really a raft of betting commercials that pop onto our screens with monotonous regularity, telling us that we can make huge amounts of money by betting on sports events. Apart from being annoyingly intrusive, these betting commercials aim to make us feel stupid for not having the good sense to whack our weekly pay on a hayburner at Randwick or some team somewhere in the world playing football, soccer, rugby, cricket, baseball, tennis or whatever. 

You do not necessarily have to pick the wining team. You can bet on who will score the first goal, who will take the first wicket, who will take the most catches or who will eat the most hot dogs before half time. OK. I made that last one up, but do not be surprised if it does not become a betting option in 2017. 

Sports betting is all so simple. You just need a mobile app that connects your bank account to the bookmaker’s cash register and you are away. Away with the fairies, that is, if you think that over time you will make more money than the bookmaker. It never happens. I can only hope that betting commercials on TV will one day go the way of cigarette and alcohol commercials. Far, far  away from our TV screens. Sports betting commercials are annoying.

The Ugly commercial has to be the inane and highly offensive effort from Kentucky Fried Chicken. It is finger lickin’ awful. The scene is a boulevard in Paris. Along comes a yobbo Aussie tourist munching on a large hamburger of dubious pedigree. This ockker then takes himself and his hamburger through the doors of a very plush Parisian hotel. Naturally, the refined and genteel people inside the swanky French hotel are totally underwhelmed by the slightly overweight, sun bronzed ANZAC, as he munches his finger lickin’ way across the plushly furnished hotel foyer. En route, he drops the greasy paper that held his hamburger into the pristine hand of a startled chambermaid. Then he swipes a napkin off a bemused waiter and wipes his face and hands on it before casting it aside. As he leaves the hotel, a text appears telling us two things. One, the boorish Aussie was munching on a Double Hawaiian Hamburger.The second caption appears as our Yobbo turns on  to the boulevard. It says, “Sorry, not sorry.” 

Presumably, this is the motto of the far too many very ugly Australians tourists that I have seen in full Barry McKenzie mode in London, Paris, Tokyo, Rome, Bali and New York. They are proud of their loutish behaviour. Apparently, KFC is proud of it, too.

Who in their right mind would pay large amounts of money to produce such an ugly commercial about their product. It certainly did not make me want to race down the street to buy a KFC Double Hawaiian. Far from it. At first sighting it made me want to vomit. It was revolting.