Advertising is to language what accountancy is to mathematics

How can an advert be classified as satire when it is pretending to satirise the very thing it is doing? Well that’s what mainstream media consider recent seemingly self-deprecating adverts from the likes of BT and Tesco.

It speaks volumes of how spin doctoring of what is trending is used to further dilute the end of year seasonal holidays by playing on retail outlets selling Christmas themed products from as early as October or to tell us just how nice banks and utility companies are. Tesco, a prime culprit in this spending focused approach, thus make a Christmas advert showing two, demographically chosen, popular celebrities (who sadly diminish their artistic credibility in one fell swoop), saying how annoying it is to have Christmas themes so early in retail outlets.

“Ah but they’re being ironic.” How? They are advertising Tesco’s Christmas range. This is one of the firms complicit in creating a multi-tiered social structure by not closing during public holidays to allow their low-paid employees a real holiday with their families. So we should laugh at their continuing to emphasise that human society is not as important as keeping money moving from business to business?

BT go way further in their ‘satirical’ take on advertising which seems to have garnered much media support, if the insipid/sycophantic articles discussing it are anything to go by. Paying ludicrously overvalued celebrities undisclosed sums to appear in adverts that supposedly take a tongue-in-cheek look at making a TV advert. Quite a kick in the teeth from an ex-public company which was privatised just as the entire network had finished being paid for BY THE UK PUBLIC. They continue to run a near monopoly that includes buying some of their ‘competitors’ created by the UK government during the deregulation of the industry. Nice to know what should be public money is making its way into very few pockets for adverts telling us how great what should be a free service, is. Of course if one has any experience with BT service quality either in business or personally, one would be forgiven for asking why there hasn’t been any improvement since it had been a public company.

Spin, spin, spin until nobody knows what’s going on… Isn’t that what ‘post-truth’ means?

But it is OK. Ewan McGregor helps us understand it is all just a bit of fun. He’s that fine, self-satisfied “I’m just an ordinary guy” who does an advert for charity ‘helping’ refugee children stating he “can’t imagine my children ever suffering like this”. Of course we already know that his children never will suffer, by merit of his movie and advertising fees, so this makes him perfect to be emphasising how little companies have to care a damn about customers in this modern world, whilst giving a nod to his charitable efforts very publicly. Funny how the people who do good without seeking publicity don’t get such favourable treatment from the media isn’t it?

Be it pushing those working into retail further and further towards poverty and indenturing or laughing at how utility companies are protected by the UK Government in price fixing way beyond cost justification, advertising today demonstrates how brazenly these organisations can be in telling the general public just how much they have screwed them out of. “Not only that, we can make them laugh when telling them what we’re doing to them” Whosa nice adult consumer? Wanna Oleg dolly anyone? Ahhh.

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