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I don't understand how it got made. they should've just had all the bastard relatives stand there, looking at the poor, distressed mother with their hands out, shouting, "ME WANTEE".
but there's a lot of creative work that's put into advertisements. you're shitting on people's creative pursuits/efforts when you dismiss ads and so on, regardless of your feelings on capitalism and commercialism. i'm not a big fan of ads myself, i barely even watch tv, but i'm not going to launch into some grand polemic against them.
have i picked this up right?
Maybe we should stop criticising films and music and TV shows then
Aside from the fact that I don't think all forms of "creativity" are automatically worthy of at least some form of respect, I think he's spot on here for two reasons:
(a) These ads are ghastly. Absolutely.
(b) That absolutely everything tries to put some kind of aspirational value on itself these days.
There are ways to tastefully advertise things, for sure, and these do not represent that. Watch that Littlewoods ad. Watch it. Seriously.
Yeah, that Littlewoods ad is up there with the best of Bergman or Orson Welles.
from a very very great height.
how being some kind of creative type in advertising is seen as a valid/respectable/desirable career path these days.
anything purportedly artistic that exists as means to a commercial end is bankrupt of meaning.
even if it's kind of nice, like that Avios advert with the flying washing machine and the synthy droney music.
the majority of 'art' has some commercial end, even if it's just the possibility of getting paid a few quid. you can't summarily dismiss a whole (genre? for want of a better word) just because it's used as a means to an end. plenty of bands release music that's intended to resonate on a certain level, which is maybe more subtle but is still a form of manipulation.
besides all that, some ads are very well done. and how do you feel about bands selling their music to ads?
but it's a lesser evil. bands often make music that is created to appeal to as many people as possible. as shitty as that is, the people involved in creating the music still have a shred of nobility. most of the time, anyway.
re: bands selling their music to ads...well I understand that people can't all be dignified paupers (same goes for making money as a creative ad-type), but if a band lends out their song to an ad, it almost always kills the song.
some exceptions...off the top of my head, Sigur Ros used in the NSPCC campaign (charity is another thing altogether), Battles in the Honda ads (well thought out, avoids overkill like 'Young Folks' and B&Q ads). generally a bad thing though, and it's a shame that bands ever have to resort to being shills.
ACTUALLY FUCK IT, what gives you the right to tell people what they can and can't do with their lives. As long as it doesn't directly hurt anyone then shut the fuck up
in days gone by, these people's creative talents would have gone towards something worthwhile, not just trying to manipulate people into buying shit.
although I guess a decade or more back, the 'shit' in question would have been a manipulative piece of music or a manipulative film. still better than wasting it on adverts.
and a lot of the time, the creativity involved is pretty dubious. you hear the same song, or some derivation of some meme used in multiple adverts.
I can appreciate on some level genuinely thoughtful adverts (the Honda Rube-Goldberg ad, that Avios ad I mentioned), but ultimately, if the goal is to sell a product, then the more striking adverts are just as vapid as the rest.
but the romantic idea that the great works of art are examples of the self-expression of the independent artist is a pretty 20th century invention
are expressing themselves all the same.
anyway. this goes down to the very definition of art. if art is being used to expediate the sales of some product, it ceases to be art. maybe people don't tend to share this 'romantic' notion so much these days, but it doesn't make it any less true.
it's far more complex than that.
I'm not making a case for Christmas adverts being works of art, although I would argue that the john Lewis advert is a pretty fine piece of film making, but art and commerce are intrinsically linked.
In that statement you are dismissing the work of Toulouse-Lautrec, Warhol, Dali, Takashi Murakami etc etc
and medieval European idolatry
though you could argue the functions of said artists' work were artistic statements in themselves. whereas ad art comes from a brief, the aim of which is to sell something, create product awareness and whatnot.
okay. art can have a function, but it has to be an extention of the artistic statement. same goes for buildings, really. if the artistic statement came first, and function second, it's art. but this isn't the case, then it isn't art.
unless it is created and destroyed by the artist without ever leaving the studio
which part of that is 'expediating the consumption of something'?
Did you have toast for breakfast? Are you expediting the consumption of wheat? What a ridiculous argument, have a day off.
it's nigh on impossible to be
that capitalism engulfs all of us and defines our relationships with the environment and what we value and even the way in which we exchange ideas
You're not willing to start a farm and become self sufficient, living like you're Amish, but my grandad has to stop painting watercolours in his back bedroom unless he makes his own paints and then burns the painting after making it? Is that what you want? IS IT?!
but rather that capitalism in the form of the very lucrative art/hobby market has parasited his human enjoyment of a worthwhile pastime
That is to say, his back bedroom :)
then here's plan B: giving out about ads has to be the most redundant thing in the world, right? it's like giving out about taxes.
That's BANG out of order: giving out about Charlie Brooker is pretty redundant ;)
you're being really weird
An advert for a shop. That's all the John Lewis thing is, and as such it's no more moving than the "So Near, So Spar" campaign of the mid-1980s. Anyone who cries at this creepy bullshit is literally sobbing IQ points out of their body. Is this really what we've become – a species that weeps at adverts for shops? A commercial has only made me feel genuinely sad on one occasion – 25 January 1990, when a falling billboard nearly killed 'Allo 'Allo star Gorden Kaye.
It's a short film with accompanying music whose sentiment provokes an emotional reaction in some viewers, that is being used as a vehicle for promoting a department store
he's got the relationship between art and commerce back to front
what he's saying is akin to saying
the ecstasy of St Theresa? It's just an advert for a church. Anyone in awe of this lump of marble is literally exhaling IQ points out of their body. Is this really what we've become?
It's just reductionist sneering really. Not much of an insight into the human condition at all and certainly not amusing or poignant or profound
and saying that there is no real qualitative difference between baroque classical sculpture and a cheaply manipulative TV ad? POSTMODERNISM GONE MAD.
What Brooker is complaining about is that individual human emotional responses aren't governed by awareness of the purpose of commission ... at least not to a degree that satisfies his own chosen watermark of arch sophistication
as he is people's response to them. It's precisely the fact that the advertisers are banking on a lack of awareness on behalf of viewers of the commercials' actual purpose which makes them so pernicious.
I wrote a whole monotribe last night about how capitalism is war and that a TV critic like Brooker is as complicit as any ad agency creative in trivialising and commodifying the nature of human relationships with each other and our environment
but it would seem DiS ate it
so it goes
is this the problem? who are these people that don't understand what a commercial's true purpose is?
i have never ever met these people - i refuse to belive they exist.
the true nature of adverts. doesn't stop them from cynically being suckered in to haemorrhaging money they don't have.
the people who make these adverts are tapping into people's emotions, into feelings that generally override any sense of reason. because of ads like this, people are buying out of guilt. capitalism has made itself synonymous with deeply held feelings like 'love', 'family', 'giving'.
a soft-lit movie that's sole purpose is to make you focus entirely on materialism anything close to moving.
Hardly 'arch sophistication'.
The church isn't trying to sell you anything
i'm certainly no expert on this, so excuse the cut and past job, but here is some info on the catholic church from the OLD DAYS
This relationship between people and church was essentially based on money - hence the huge wealth of the Catholic Church. Rich families could buy high positions for their sons in the Catholic Church and this satisfied their belief that they would go to heaven and attain salvation. However, a peasant had to pay for a child to be christened (this had to be done as a first step to getting to heaven as the people were told that a non-baptised child could not go to heaven); you had to pay to get married and you had to pay to bury someone from your family in holy ground.
To go with this, you would be expected to give to the church via the collection at the end of each service (as God was omnipresent he would see if anyone cheated on him), you had to pay tithes (a tenth of your annual income had to be paid to the church which could be either in money or in kind such as seed, animals etc.) and you were expected to work on church land for free for a specified number of days per week. The days required varied from region to region but if you were working on church land you could not be working on your own land growing food etc. and this could be more than just an irritant to a peasant as he would not be producing for his family or preparing for the next year.
The church is the ORIGINAL multinational corporation
Still you can't argue that as much passion and craftsmanship has gone into The Ecstasy Of St Theresa as a bloody Littlewoods advert.
Setting aside that for a moment though, it's a different kettle of fish comparing creating something to celebrate the belief system that your life is based around and a 30 second film that says BUY A D&G WATCH IT'S GOT SHINY BITS ON. And that's not what he's saying anyway.
Way to go Littlewood advertisers, you've literally chosen the worst things to advertise, in the worst way, with the worst backdrop, the worst music, with the worst taste. You have literally sunk to the bottom of the lowest form of trough. Well done. That is horrible.
Scene then cuts to a smug cunt pointing at his new watch.
every line he utters is dead before it passes his lips, what a twatty sell-out. Then just when it couldnt get any worse Bruce 'the nations favourite entertainer' Forsythe pops up at the end. All it needed was an appearance by Vernon Kaye and the nightmare would be complete.
The wider point about all these ads is Littlewoods, M&S, John Lewis etc are no mugs - these are well researched aderts with a targeted demographic and lots of money thrown at them.
The salient points made by Brooker are completely lost on the majority.
however much we hope it bankrupts the company. The problem is, how could you stoop to such crass levels and still look at yourself in the mirror every night? Im not a bedwetter, moneys fine, but there HAS to be limits to how far you will go to get a few quid, surely?
WOW. Seriously, you know when someone hears a song and says "that's the worst song ever"? Or indeed they say anything is the worst something-or-other ever? Obviously this is something people say every day, and 99.9999% of the time it isn't strictly true. But that Littlewoods ad genuinely IS the worst advert I've ever seen. It's not the most evil - that would probably be anything wonga.com do - but I really don't think I'll ever see a worse advert than that. Just... wow.
everyone stop pointing out the obvious
but it surely can't be worse than the current Clover advert*. Without doubt the most sickening advert at the moment.
*yes, I know it's not Christmas-related.
where the Dad in a family is crying with happiness over eating bread with Clover on it or something
People have lots of little, unfathomable emotional buttons which advertising seeks out and jabs at. It doesn't create those emotional buttons in the first place.
but as it got a laugh at of Theo, I'm comfortable with that.
The main character from Mad Men.
how does everyone know that?
That John Lewis one now has 2,434,993 views on youtube and people reading Brookers column contributed to that.
I reckon he's been paid by these companies to slag them off but still drawing attention to them.
A series of adverts so bad, they prompted me to change bank. Good one advertisers.
My bank messed a standing order of mine up so badly that it ended up taking 3 lots of rent out at one go, causing me to go overdrawn and not have any money. On a bank holiday weekend. And they even charged me for going into my overdraft in spite of the fact it was THEIR fault.
I couldn't be bothered to change banks even after that. You, sir, are a shining example to us all.
are there some brands that just don't need to advertise?
if there will ever come a time where Coca Cola will go "that's it - we've done enough advertising now" and just stop.
they need something to avert everyone's eyes away from their awful environmental record and Nazi-collaborating past. And it just wouldn't be Christmas without Santa necking a coke!!
why i already had this thought in my head and then i remembered
I mean, laying aside it's horrific gash nature as a piece of 'art', it's also selling the concept that you SHOULD give you kids/family the coolest, most expensive presents because with Littlewoods you can spend the next 12 months paying off the massive bill with interest. Fucking despicable, no?
It may be how capitalism works but actually we've seen advertising in the past banned or altered as a result of public feeling on matters like this.
pure and simple
Littlewoods and that advert are merely the brash, unadulterated, un-airbrushed aspect of all our commodified relationships
in a way it's a much more honest reflection of the society we live in than most things you see or read about
fucking despicable is capitalism's spectral disorder rather than a tag that can be singled out for one tiny, tiny part
why not accept capitalism is never going to go away so the only option is to hope that by objection we can control/destroy its worst aspects.
(You should accept it's never going to go away because it fundamentally represents human's going business and even in a world where everyone had everything they needed it's unlikely they could have everything they wanted.)
at least with the resources that are availible on this one and only planet we have
Sitting next to the dorks who did as-level sociology. Can you please stop sounding like a dweeb whos read an article about engels online and get an opinion of your own that doesnt make you sound like a 'right on' 16 year old?
And through it AAAALLLLLLLLL he offers exploitation
A workers revolution
Whether he's right or wrong
and what we might have. Again, I don't think you can say we will never have capitalism in our society.
shows that you have blurred the lines between trade and capitalism
the two are obviously not the same
it seems that your notion that it's impossible to never have capitalim in our society springs from this root
or have I misunderstood something?
But I also think Capitalism isn't a well defined thing so this is a bit of a dead end argument, which also means I don't think it's good enough to say anybody finding these adverts horrific should just ignore it because one day we'll have world Communism and it won't matter.
it's not particularly misleading as far as i can tell, and of course its selling the concept that you SHOULD give yr family the most expensive items because Littlewoods is a SHOP that sells things.
in the past based on people just not liking them?
And if you go through this list I'd say there are more:
But no, you're probably right. I doubt any advertiser ever gives a shit what people think about their adverts designed to make sure people give them their money. JFC.
i think all those ads will be banned or whatever as they have broken some advertising rules about misleading consumers or showing tits before 9pm or something
I can't be bothered to go through. I'm sure adverts have come down based on public opinion. You're right that it's usually because they ride some kind of fine line with acceptable content. However, I think if there were enough complaints against that Littlewoods advert on the basis that it encourages debt it would cause a furore that would get it altered in some way.
I think it's weird of you to assume that advertisers don't care about the reception of their adverts. You've surely seen advertising campaigns that arrive and then vanish quickly as it's found it either didn't work or got a negative rating from viewers? Maybe I'm alone in noticing this. If I were paying an agency to advertise my product I'd damn well want to see proof their concept wasn't damaging my company's image.
that I assume that advertisers don't care about the reception of their adverts when i never said that
what i said was that there was no way public opinion can get an advert banned
I agree fully that ads get pulled because of public opinion - i could imagine this getting pulled because of the NO SANTA stuff, not because of the SPENDING MONEY GETS YOU IN DEBT STUFF
we wouldn't have that many ads left
is that a threadsmash?
good one dis
nah, it's just that these christmas 'event' ad concepts are monumentally shite and exscruciatingly cynical. something's up when Boots' 'here come the girls' ad can be viewed as relatively fun and benign.
pls exscruse the spellyng
of the ad companies?
whether in a good or annoying way. Brooker is talking about these adverts and therefore getting people to watch them more and talk about them more....I don't think they're going to stop anyone from getting presents in these places.
Although the iceland advert has a man singing 'I'm readddyy to gooooooo. I'm ready to go, if you say so' which I think it means he's ready to do a poo, whenever the party host allows it, after eating some cheap prawn spoons.
Its not like you're going to stop John Lewis from ever making an advert ever again. Why don't you just turn off the tv? Or get sky + and fast foward
just involved clicking a link. I didn't want to miss out on the zeitgeist. I don't regret it. I'm not weird.
if you don't like it - you don't identify with the brand - you don't shop there
that's the whole concept!
RIDDIM REALLY FITS LIKE A SNOG GLOV.
I wonder what the brief was for the littlewoods ad- I'm sure it wasn NOt to deliver a worthy piece of television viewing. certainly not art. Perhaps to get everybody talking about Littlewoods- advertising win.
Doesn't stop the whole thing from being a dpressingly rank steaming pile of faeces, of course.
or half the sniffy, sneery comments in this thread
but I do think this is deserving of a bit of social commentary because I do despair a bit about how many *lovely lovely muvvas* will be sobbing into their breakfasts come April when their interest-free-credit period expires and the exorbitant bank bill hits the doormat for Pops's new laptop that he doesn't know how to switch on, etc. I'm not sure it's that modern a phenomena though, people spending more than they can afford, and often on tat, for christmas. I guess the difference is that when I was a greedy little brat (yes, I know, WAAAAY back) we were going through a period of boom (albeit an uinsustainable bubble, as we now know) whereas now we're in a terrible recession and perhaps shouldn't be shoving such blatant consumerism down people's throats. I wonder what kids think of the advert- I find it cringeworthy, but I wonder if it will actually have the effct of kids putting pressure on parents (or parents putting pressure on themselves) to buy lots of stuff from them.
so that littlewoods add in particular, if i remember corrected, there isn't a massive amount of products aimed towards the kids is there? ( i might be mistaken about this), so i'm not sure too much pressure will be coming form kids to get their parent's to shop at littlewoods. also i think you are seriously overestimating a single ads power if you think that someone is going to go from buying socks for their dad to splashing out for a laptop for them.
The whole add is set up to remind [arents (mothers especially) how much is riding on them getting lots of presents for the family. And guess what, you don;t even need to pay for it now. I just thouight it was a bit unthinking really, but I'm sure that as with everything in life, I am totaly overthinking it¬!
Totally agree re. Santa though. Cunts. Don't worry though- I am assured he is still around and I'm going to sit on his knee in Selfridges this weekend and play with his reindeer :D
i'm going to get a game pie from morrisons
Body_in_the_Thames is correct when he says these are merely the brash, unadulterated, un-airbrushed aspect of all our commodified relationships
but if you can't complain about a close reflection of how completely bankrupt your society is then you might as through yourself off a fucking bridge
just saying that these ads are hardly a massive leap forward into some cultural abyss. they are no worse than the millions of other adverts that beam into yr living room.
with regard to some of the comments above, as much as sane people may despise these ads, there are plenty of people who swallow that kind of nonsense. i know, i've lived with some. also, the more attention these ads get the more successful they're regarded as, so good work everyone
ere are people who watch television who are a lot more impressionable than the DiS demographic, and times are hard, and this kind of shite getting peddled is rather depressing.
As for the attention-fest, in this thread at least that is largely down to many of your statements upthread which provoked a *reaction*, as you very well know, you imp.
but i think you're overstating my input. the thread would still have got 100 replies without me. while as someone up there said, brooker has vastly increased the amount of times the ad has been viewed by linking to it.
every time a feminist debate starts about those ads, you can be guaranteed the advertising execs are rubbing their hands with glee. no such thing as bad publicity, brand awareness, blah blah. it's pretty shit overall but it's the way the system works
probably the most spot-on in the thread.
"The thing about barry you see is that he loves ads, he must buy everything he sees displayed to him"
Do you really think that ads have a cultural significance? they don't, the only ads that people seem to enjoy are the ones that seem to disregard the products information, the ones that briefly mention the product at the end(jose gonzalez sony bravia ad etc). People consciously don't decide to buy anything. The role of advertising is brand recognition, it's nothing to do with telling anyone to buy anything. It seems silly that you know people who enjoy ads for the reason alone that it allows them to make a "accurate decision" when buying something, people are not as thick as you make them out to be.
i don't really know what i'm even supposed to be arguing anymore :) i was just really bored. you're probably right. definitely about brand recognition.
need to stop doing this when i'm bored. sean, can you ban me?
But if there's even the slightest chance that Brooker's comments will linger in the back some vacuous ad exec's mind like a cancer while he's getting his back repeatedly slapped at the John Lewis Christmas party, I'm all for it.
Some people just need telling how horribly shit they are even when they've somehow managed to convince the majority they're not. Sure, they might've made a few people cry, but they're the sort of people who cry at every X Factor sob-story or whose voice goes wobbly every time they mention the name of a relative or friend. Is it such a big achievement to manipulate easily-manipulated people?