Kind'er Funny

Hello again

And welcome to another blog about stuff and things.I saw this ad today, and I really like it.

However I think my fondness for this ad is almost purely attributable to the simple idea of a kid looking and acting like an adult. I’m a man of simple tastes you see and there’s something about a balding child sipping a thermos whilst driving an adult sized car, that is hilariously funny to me. And the look on the boy’s face after the boss has ripped up his picture is just priceless.

I don’t think it’ll win any awards to be honest, but it certainly works in my opinion. And while my opinion is almost worthless, I do hope at least some of you'll agree.

I’ve been trying to work out exactly what it is I like.

It could be that it’s a simple and timeless message, which is relevant and applicable to all comfort foods; “When you’ve had a shit day, Jell-O cheers you up.” Or perhaps it could be the nice touch at the end, where the son offers his Dad the rest of his Jell-O. That bit instantly reminded me of the John Lewis ad from a couple of years ago; the one where the kid can’t wait to give his Christmas presents.

However I think my fondness for this ad is almost purely attributable to the simple idea of a kid looking and acting like an adult. I’m a man of simple tastes you see and there’s something about a balding child sipping a thermos whilst driving an adult sized car, that is hilariously funny to me. And the look on the boy’s face after the boss has ripped up his picture is just priceless.

It’s sometimes really difficult to explain why something is inherently comical, and children acting like adults is just that. When Michael Palin dresses as Mr. Gumby in Monty Python I just have to laugh, same with kids dressed as grown ups. I mean does ‘it’s weird and silly’ count as an explanation?

‘Infantilise’ is rather a good word, and if you can crow-bar it into conversation - you look well clever in front of your friends and that. But I’m not sure what the antonym of infantise is. Whatever the term - it’s certainly popular. Channel 4 based an entire comedy sketch show on the concept of kids playing adults, and even though the writing was rather weak, it was still funny.

This ad for Jell-O is not a novelty either. Making kids into adults is a popular technique in advertising. I’m sure everyone can think of their own examples, but here’s one from me, and my commercial memory doesn’t span much further back than two issues of Campaign…

Furthermore it turns out the reverse is true, because this ad for Haribo certainly tickled me too.

Now if kids acting like adults is inherently funny, then kids swearing is inherently hilarious. A quick search of YouTube will throw up some absolute gems, and I think that’s exactly what Adam&EveDDB were channeling in this ad for VW, which is brilliant.

The fact they’ve gone for the word ‘bollocks’ is so great as well. Alongside ‘wanker’ it’s one of my favourite swears. Probably because it’s just on the cusp of the manageable level of offensiveness for a little girl to say. It’s on the second tier, well beneath the big-hitters like ‘C’ and ‘F’ and shit.

We at the Gasp office would be very interested to hear what your favourite swears are. In fact we’ll do a little poll. Please email your favourites to one of our designers; Mike (no need for an explanation in the email). If you have a few, then why not craft them into an offensive sentence. His email is mike@gasp4.com.

Have a good week.

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