This blog is a kind of panegyric to crappy ads – ones that make the kind of claims a less generous person might call lies. There’s so many to choose from, but here are a few of my all-time favourites:
Oil of Olay can STOP AGING. You can’t make this up.
Most skincare companies fall into the pants on fire category, but the gold medal has to go to “Oil of Olay” (nee Oil of Ulan) which aims to conjure up an ancient civilization of mystics just outside what was formerly West Bengal. I must give them credit here, because I can’t hear the title without envisaging a cobra rising slowly out of a reed basket or the feeling that the fountain of youth lies somewhere near the Olay town hall.
Unfortunately they’ve chosen Rebecca Gibney as their spokesperson which pretty much ends any oriental authenticity. Whenever she comes on the telly and says “do you know you can stop aging?” I say two no’s out loud. The first is because I didn’t know that you could stop aging and the second is the realisation that you can’t. By extension, they are claiming to stop time which is a pretty bold statement considering Stephen Hawking hasn’t heard anything about it. (My condolences to the people that thought they’d found a creamy time machine – your twenty years of hard work was just that.)
On a more generic level, skincare companies are notorious for throwing around names of dubious sounding minerals/proteins/microscopic stuff with titles such as phytoneuroketics, which is really impressive until you realise that it sounds like a degenerative disease and may, in fact, not exist. Although these were more popular in the 80’s, (before cynicism was invented), you can still catch the occasional ad featuring dermatologists operating out of what looks like NASA’s ex home base, wearing very serious expressions and equally serious uniforms peering through microscopes trying to locate those damn phytoneuroketic molecules.
Mascara Companies can make lashes 300% longer and healthier.
Rimmel recently got a rap on the knuckles for lying about “false lash effect” mascara which was, quite literally, a bogus lash effect because the model was wearing false eyelashes. Let’s humour them though: if there really is 300% maximisation, they might as well call the mascara drag queen or lady boy, because that’s the kind of look you’d end up with. (On the plus side you’d be exerting calories blinking.)
The second half of this claim is mildly feasible but equally ludicrous. The mascara in question may – and I highly doubt it – truly condition your lashes, but you’ve got to ask yourself the hard question: When is the last time you heard someone say “have you seen her eyelashes – she’s really let herself go.” For me, as long as they stay attached to my face I couldn’t care less about the state of their liver.
Supermarkets are nothing more than a small family business.
These guys are the worst. They don’t claim, they just infer, which is far more insidious. If you’ve missed this ad’s relentless plugging, count yourself lucky and get a bucket at the ready: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEhFZzAGU7g
I sincerely hope that no one is conned by this whimsical sepia-hued 60s clip with happy (albeit unhinged) farmers, fresh cauliflowers and excited Woolworths employees. I certainly never hark back to a happier time when I enter Woolies: the employees look about as excited as POW’s and the only thing retro about the place is the apples that have been in cold storage for the last ten years. (Also, as far as I know, people don’t bootscoot on their driveways for no reason. Even in the country.)
So thank goodness for Coles. Where else can one be reassured that the price is “down down down and staying down.” In some cases, as I discovered yesterday, Coles milk is, and always will be, down by 17 cents, which means that if I buy the stuff exclusively for the next six months I might have enough to buy a bottle of good milk at the end. An alternative “real” commercial would be brilliant, and they might gain props for their honesty, if nothing else. It goes something like this: Slow pan of country property to close up on farmer driving a “for sale” sign into the ground outside his house, a shot of a 15 year old spending her paycheck on a pack of tictacs and a final shot of (Coles brand) chickens being injected with hormones while someone says, “our poultry helps you go up up up a cup size.”
Mormons love biscuits and d&m’s.
This one isn’t necessarily incorrect, it’s just mental. I saw this years ago at 3am (during my insomnia phase.) First I laughed for five minutes straight, and then I slept like a baby; perhaps because I realised that some people have a lot more to deal with than sleep deprivation. One dad, one precocious kid, some bribery and a motherload of choc chip cookies. Buckle up for the weirdest (and frostiest) ad. Ever. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMfmZrtBBcA
My guess is that she was in her room sulking because she:
A. Didn’t get any biscuits
B. Is trapped in a cult
C. Has to share a room with that freaky ass younger sister
As a side note, founder Joseph Smith was a stone cold fox. Google image that gear – you won’t regret it.