A Daft Ad + A Good’un

(and even Tighter Briefs!)

If you thought the boasting about the Tight Briefs win last week was a little self indulgent, the equivalent of catching someone looking in the mirror during a bout of onanism, imagine how embarrassed I must feel to have to tell you that we did it again this week. I say 'we' here in the broadest sense of the word. I suppose the rest of us in the office can take some credit.

‘Get your broadband from ume.net, and then you won’t look like a tit playing ping-pong whilst wearing giant electric binoculars on your face.’

Afterall we were also in the room when Creative Director Giles came up with an ad for the Man United season ticket.

Cue ‘The Theatre of D:Ream… Things Can Only Get Better’ and Tight Briefs win number 3 out of eight, which is about 37.5% off the top of my head (not really).

Gasp blog daft ad man united

Since the last blog was written in esteemed terms of the blessed HBO, peace be upon them, I thought I'd share an ad that was memorable to me for the wrong reasons. It won't be my most spectacular rhetorical flourish, but I reckon this ad from broadband provider ume.net is 'just bloody silly.'

I suppose I roughly get where they're coming from, in that their product proposition is faster internet, but they’ve used such a tenuous way to communicate it!

My first thought was - the fact they can't hit a ping pong ball like Forest Gump or cook a lovely omelette probably has more to do with the fact they've got goggles the size of a Victorian camera strapped to their face. Restricting their peripherals. Rather than the fact that what they're seeing is a third of a second behind real life.

Also, I don't claim to be the most tech savvy chap in Wokingham, but if your internet is a third of a second behind...is that really such a huge problem for the world? It sort of reminded me of this rant by the great comedian Louis C.K, on how everything is amazing and nobodies happy...

Wise words. It's often easy to forget how unbelievably good life is in the developed world. For example I got stuck in traffic last night, and acted like a complete child about it. In fact all that happened was I sat in a comfy chair, in an air conditioned cabin, listening to my choice of thousands of songs, podcasts and audiobooks, and ate a bag of crisps...for longer than I expected to. And then I implored everyone for sympathy. And mostly got it, which just makes me feel even more pathetic on reflection.

It's an interesting question; to what extent does digital technology really make us happier? I mean if we get so frustrated with a third of a second time lag on our internet that we make a daft ad, premised on how difficult life is, doesn't that make us - in the words of Louis CK - 'assholes'.

Oddly enough the woman at the exercise class made me laugh, but not because she was wearing her silly dyspraxia binoculars, it was just a laugh of recognition, as it reminded me of going to a gym class with my sister. I was that person you see, out of time and sweating profusely, of course.

I think the only ‘take home message’ from this ad can be;

‘Get your broadband from ume.net, and then you won’t look like a tit playing ping-pong whilst wearing giant electric binoculars on your face.’

Which would be a helpful thing to know, if wasn’t irrelevant to almost everyone and everything.

Well now, after that I don’t want to sound like a kvetching nitpicker for the whole blog. So I thought I'd share this concept from Kolle Rebe (Hamburg), for Misereor. I think it’s really excellent.

Rory Sutherland has argued that the best way to get people to donate to charity is to appeal to their self-interest. And I think that’s exactly what they’ve done here, whilst of course making it incredibly easy. Swiping your card to cut some bread or break some shackles gives immediate context to charitable giving which I'm not sure I've seen before.

I mean, if you sponsor a donkey, the donkey in question will send you a pack of goodies, [though I'm really skeptical that they’re even aware of it] but you still have to wait a week or two. Therefore you have to delay gratification. The best thing about this is that it's immediate; the rewards are there in front of you in a second or two in the form of an animation. And it's out in public, which means everyone else can see you being so jolly generous, which I might cynically point out is a chief reason many people give to charity in the first place.

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