Friday, December 01, 2017

The Season to be Mystified

Well, here we are, December at last.  It's now officially Winter and the year is drawing to a close.  The season of selling us stuff for Christmas in full swing: you know we're on the home straight because all those weird and arty perfume ads have started playing.  You know the sort of thing I mean - they're usually in black and white, with noise of people on a beach and waves crashing on the shore, while someone whispers 'Rotting Fish by Dior' or something similar over the top of it all.   Actually, there's one with Johnny Depp which continues to mystify me.  It's the one where he jumps into his classic Mopar muscle car, (I'm afraid that I'm not enough of a Chrysler fan to tell whether it is a Dodge Challenger or a Plymouth Barracuda - they are both based on the same body shell), drives into the desert, pulls a shovel out of the trunk and starts digging a hole.  What the fuck is that all about?   Why is he digging that hole?  Is it to bury another victim of his domestic violence (allegedly)?  I mean, is an (alleged) wife beater the sort of person you want advertising a scent?  (It clearly isn't a very effective commercial, as I can't actually remember the brand it is pushing).  Then again, it is Christmas, traditionally the season of domestic violence as people are forced to spend time together under highly stressful circumstances.

But, talking of mystifying TV ads, the VIPoo ad I wrote about some months ago has been creeping into earlier and earlier slots on various digital channels, albeit in a slightly edited version.  Which isn't to say it is any better in this form: it is still utterly repulsive, but, thankfully, doesn't last quite as long.  Lately, it has been joined by another dubious ad for a dubious product: one for Durex gel which, apparently, gives you and your partner explosive orgasms (so powerful you both shit the bed - not really, I hope, otherwise they'll have to be using VIPoo to get rid of the smell).  Now, I'm no prude and, although I doubt the efficacy of the product, unlike VIPoo I don't object to the ad's subject matter.  What I object to is the inappropriate placing of the ad, which I've now frequently seen, barely after the watershed, on Talking Pictures TV.  For God's sake, I really don't want to be exposed to an ad peddling better orgasms when I'm in the middle of watching some creaky old black and white movie (the usual fare on Talking Pictures TV) made in an era before the orgasm was invented, let alone talked about in public.  Damn it, back then men didn't have penises and women certainly didn't have vaginas and nobody even went to the toilet, let alone have sex.  The ad is just so jarring when seen in the context of the kind of stuff the channel shows, I really find it quite disconcerting. Moreover, bearing in mind the average age of viewer the channel is aimed at, I can't imagine that Durex has much hope of hitting its target demographic.

To be fair, though, Talking Picture TV does show a fair amount of classic seventies British smut, during which this commercial wouldn't be out of place (they've recently added Russ Meyer's Beyond the Valley of the Dolls to their rotation, a film which could easily be sponsored by Durex).  But, at least when the Durex gel ad is showing it means that the VIPoo one isn't.   That ad really is both tasteless and objectionable on so many levels.



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