I have a strong dislike (boom! the killer opening) of telly adverts featuring groups of people, usually crowds of extras in fields or streets ‘interacting’ with hugely scaled-up representations of a brand.
Look: building with over-sized building blocks, following an en masse, jollified lugging of pieces of a bigger whole; slotting queer shapes together to make a giant picture, the logo!, or rolling something massive and branded up a hill, and at its nadir – the advertising genre’s, not the hill’s – the wheezy old gaspers blowing their gozz-chocked lungs into the seemingly shared wet teats of the colossal inflatable tower of Babybel that stands, and rolls, for Stoptober.
I’ve been at advertising pitches, at pre’s and shoots and posts and blah, and I’ve been jointly *lowers voice* responsible for some right old cobbly knackers of tortured and hubristic metaphor (fancy a circuit board?), but I’d race back to that long-tabled world in a heartbeat to be present when The Agency pulls out the ‘big reveal’ route entitled “Community”, or “Togetherness”, and the resulting pen-sucking silence is eventually busted by the boldest (or oldest) member of the brand team, who asks: ‘and what will the actual blocks actually be made of?’
Togetherness, of course. But I baulk at the notion – and it’s not my fault I’ve just had one – that anyone really wants to flail about outdoors, in a group, with a medicated wipe, or cavort across meadows, wild-eyed, teeth bared, for communal worship at helium-filled lower-case totems of recently diversified insurance; mothers settling baby at the hip and pointing, pointing at the logo.
The boss-eyed twit of me watches wondering where everyone has parked; whether they, the families, have made a day of it, or if this is merely a field backing on to the estate. And how do they feel afterwards? (Because these are the only dimensions of being a tit in a park.) Remembering, perhaps, together with photos in ten years’ time, the day when the big building blocks came and everyone built up a brand.
© Copyright, Steve Mitchell, Fisher Lane, 2013