Home > cultural commentary > What you can learn from adverts

What you can learn from adverts

I know, I’ve been quiet on here for a long time. That happens when I’m busy, and I’ve been busy in a bunch of different ways. Some of them have been to do with looking at theories of customer service (yes, they exist) and others have revolved around me expecting that every time the phone rings or I get a text, it will be a message that X (a family member) has been self-harming again, and we have to go round the cycle of getting them stable one more time.

But in between the professional and personal stuff, I’ve lately been bemused by the morality and values projected by adverts. I always have, really, but there are a few recent ones that stick in my mind. For example, I’ve learned that:

– it’s considered acceptable in crowded urban environments to drive fast and perform stunts in your car while waving a coloured smoke flare out of your window. Fortunately I live near a chandlers so I can probably just get some marine flares for the purpose.

– if you don’t want to go home after a holiday, the travel company won’t mind if you sabotage the coach (I don’t know if their tolerance extends to sabotaging their aircraft, but you can always argue they’ve established the principle with the coach and you’re just being creative about applying it).

– if you buy a packet of crisps (potato chips, if you’re reading this in the US) the crisps will love you forever. Even if you eat them.

– otherwise, if you need to buy love it’s available in all good department stores at around £58 for a small bottle.

And apart from that, in relation to the ongoing horsemeat (and donkey meat) scandal it occurs to me that this is far from the first time companies have, let’s say, allowed their sources of meat products to be compromised. It happened  with some regularity in Victorian times and was epitomised by Dickens in the character of a pieman who used cats “for beefsteak, veal and kidney, ‘cording to the demand” (in Pickwick Papers), and also of course in the story of Sweeney Todd, whose customers ended up in Mrs Lovett’s pies.

OK, I’m off to have an emotional relationship with a small packet of low-calorie potato snacks. If it’s as exciting as I expect, I may be some time…

  1. Author
    March 4, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    “I’m off to have an emotional relationship with a small packet of low-calorie potato snacks. If it’s as exciting as I expect…”

    For a really good time, I’d suggest a package of Tyrrell’s Sweet Chilli & Red Pepper. It’s perfect for any eccentric.


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