The weak and the chaff

The weak and the chaff

February 28th, 2011 // 4:15 pm @ // One Comment

Hello there. God, it’s been ages hasn’t it? Are you ok? You look well. No, really you do. Have you done something to your hair? No? Well maybe you should. There, I’ve said it.

So, where were we? Oh yes, hello there. Sorry it’s been so long but I’ve been all busy lately. Work to do, a new phone to figure out, new pc to struggle with. It’s been all go. Anyway, what shall we talk about today? I know. Crap ads. There are loads of them about at the moment. Some on the telly, some in the press and some even being trotted out in the name of so-called excellence for the bloody Chip Shop awards. I’ll get to them later though.

First on the list are these bleeding Quaker Oats ‘Thank you’ things. You must have seen them. It’s where a bunch of unbearably twee, caring, parka’d up middle-class knobs decide to reward those selfless members of the community who apparently ‘make more of their mornings’ via the complimenary mediums of generally sticking their big fat noses in and Quaker Oats. Here’s one to have a look at.

Bloody awful that, isn’t it? Where did this crack Quaker Oats Strike Force come from anyway? What compelled them to gather together in some aircraft hangar somewhere weighing up who to storm off and patronise in their fleet of bloody Land Rovers, trailers and pop-up Quaker cabins? I’m not so sure they really contributed much to the play in any case. I quite liked the minimalist set they had going on. Those skeletal trees looked pretty good in my opinion, whereas that great big huge massive oak, complete with foilage and fairy lights dominates the stage potentially to the detriment of the performances. Still, it’s good to see Sean Bean taking time out of his busy schedule to support community theatre isn’t it? I suspect he needed a good lie-down after that series of Sharpe and prolonged domestic abuse. Shame Danny Dyer wasn’t available though. There’s another one, where they man the Land Rovers and go do a bit of unnecessary tarting up of a boxing club too but you get the point don’t you? It’s people who make more of their mornings. And, presumably that’s what they have in common with Quaker Oats. Or something.

Next on the list is the new ‘webuyanycardotcom’ ad. Now there’s been an exciting new development with ‘webuyanycardotcom’. They now have a new advertising agency and, naturally that new agency made the bold step of moving on from ‘webuyanycardotcom’s massively irritating TV ads to produce this. An even more massively irritating TV ad.

Spectacularly awful, I’m sure you’ll agree. And, credit where it’s due, it’s a rare talent that can take an irredeemably dire ad campaign and make it even worse. A bad jingle, bad casting, bad production and the old jingle nailed on to the end in such a way that it makes you nostalgic for the old ads where the salesman started breakdancing or that saleslady played a bit of footy. Grim.

This, of course brings me neatly to The Chip Shop Awards, ( told you I’d get to them didn’t I? I’m nothing if not a man of my word, me. ) Now here’s the thing with The Chip Shop Awards. It proclaims itself to be an awards event for ‘creativity with no limits’ or some such advertising self-aggrandising puffery, yet every year it just seems to get worse and worse.

Last year’s winners were largely pitiful and, from the examples ‘The Drum’ are releasing weekly on the net, this year looks set to continue the downward spiral. Now I know that could sound like sour grapes from a Manchester copywriter who’s never won one but, as I’ve never felt inclined to enter The Chip Shops, that isn’t really a point is it?

Here’s how The Chip Shop Awards work. Take any client, any product, any service and make up an ad or campaign for it. Any media you like, any budget and no concerns about whether the ad could ever run. In fact, the more outrageous the better, ( there’s a bad taste category and everything ). Then send that ad, together with £100 per entry to the judges, ( any clues there as to why I’ve never entered? ), and await advertising glory.

Great eh? Well no. Have a look at what’s being entered and what’s won in previous years and you’ll see the same themes revisited time and time again. Viagra and impotence cures are usually a great opportunity for the boys in creative to pull off, ( ooer missus ), some student knob gags, sanitary towel ads are normally inserted somewhere and this week’s celebrity scandal can normally be relied upon for a really blistering ‘Should’ve Gone To Specsavers’, ‘I’ll Bet He Drinks Carling Black Label’, or suchlike campaign. All really rather depressing.

So, sorry everyone for what I suppose is slightly negative post. Maybe I’m feeling particularly jaundiced this week but it seems that once again, the ads I’ve seen lately have been mediocre at best, gut-wrenchingly dreadful at worst.

If you work in advertising though, or even if you don’t for that matter, how about taking that ‘Creativity With No Limits’ line and having a think about what it really suggests?

Maybe between us we could scrape together £100 and enter something into The Chip Shops that’s actually worth an award.

Please, no knob gags though.


2 people like this post.

Category : Advertising &Blog &humour &Uncategorized

One Comment → “The weak and the chaff”

  1. John

    11 years ago


    I’d like to enter the Chip Shop Awards with a knife. Somewhere around the gizzard or (on a bad day) the bot-bot.

Leave a Reply


"I was just saying how good it was to work with someone who I knew would nail it. Thanks, Andy"

Steve Byrne, MD, The Gate Films

Subscribe Now