Ad Nauseam: De DAA Made Me Do It

Sometimes advertising can elevate itself to the realms of artistry. It can lift your spirits. It can raise the hairs on the back of your neck, make you drop your forkful of pasta with stir-in sauce and pause for a few seconds to contemplate the bigger things in life. Sometimes it tries to do this and it fails: God help them really, the DAA. They’re trying to create a Riverdance moment but it’s hard to conjure up that kind of magic when the general mood of the populace is in such tatters. They’re just not going to win us over by telling us how marvelous we are as we wheel our luggage trolleys towards Departures. The construction of Terminal 2 has been mired in controversy since day one with overspending and airline in-fighting played out in the public eye. The project got the go-ahead in 2005 at a time when … There’s more

Ad Nauseam: Terrible Song (for a mobile phone ad)

You know when you really like a band and then one of their songs gets used in an ad and you feel kinda cheated? Well that’s how I felt when I saw the new Vodafone ad which uses the song Terrible Love by The National. It’s partially (okay well, mostly) the music snob inside of me rearing her ugly head. “How dare they…” she humourlessly pontificates “…use a song with such depth of meaning to soundtrack an ad for a mobile phone company”. What Little Miss Music Snob actually means is “Oh no, this vaguely non-mainstream band which I have loved for years will now become known by lots of people with generally worse taste in music than me and they’ll refer to them as ‘that band who had that song on the Vodafone ad’ and my previous love of them will somehow become diluted by this bigger audience of … There’s more

Ad Nauseam: Just Do It

Okay, so I’ve been a bit of a grouch over the past few weeks, railing against ads for biscuits and telephone companies and the like, so this week I want to dust off all that negativity and start off with an ad that is so brilliant it quite literally gave me goosebumps. Yes dear readers this week we shall be mostly looking at ads for sports brands. Of course it’s no wonder that these companies can produce amazing ads; they have deep pockets from which to stump up for hotshot directors, music rights and celebrity endorsements. Pity the poor local advertiser who has their meagrely-financed ad placed beside the celeb-packed roller-coaster ride that is this Adidas commercial. I saw it in the cinema last week in its full two-minute-long glory and it was a spine tingling experience alone worth the movie entrance fee (though I recommend the film I saw … There’s more

Ad Nauseam: Out of Character

Has anyone else noticed the rash of brand ‘characters’ in Irish ads recently? I’m not talking epic storylines acted out by characters like Papa and Nicole or those two heavily airbrushed ones in the naff Nescafe ’80s ads. I’m talking about actors playing employees of the company and becoming the face of the brand. There’s been a few and in this post we’re going to take a look at the good, the bad and the just plain annoying. Jim in Eircom support Jim has been around for a year or so now. He’s managed to hold on to his cushy job in Eircom customer support which sees him wandering about his fancy glass-walled office, nonchalantly tossing the odd screwed up ball of paper into a wastebasket and adjusting the tightness of his hands-free headset. Jim is a lucky man. He answers the phone to the right type of customer; some … There’s more

Ad Nauseam – Never a copycat be

The thing about great work in any sphere is that it inevitably inspires a slew of poor imitators. Having not so long ago praised Jacob’s for good advertising work for their Christmas campaign I’m sorry to say they haven’t kept the standards up with their most recent one. Take a look yourself, though be warned; you may have to watch it from behind a cushion: I can imagine what the client / agency meetings were like in the run up to this ads creation. I’m sure they were peppered with phrases like ‘a viral sensation’, ‘modernising the brand’, ‘advertising made for social media’, ‘creating a music video, not just an advertisement’ and the like. In short, Jacob’s are trying to pull off what Cadbury’s did with Glass & a Half Productions; create branded content that is enjoyed outside of its role as an advertisement. I’ll bet a few of the … There’s more

Ad Nauseam: What the F**k?

I saw this bus poster (a T-side to be precise for y’all poster pedants)  for the first time this evening. Now I’m no prude (having a preponderance to sprinkle my conversation with that most controversial of cusses, the ‘C’ word), but it was still a bit of a surprise to see the polite, Irish version of fuck on the side of a bus. The poster is for Just Mobile a new prepaid-only mobile phone company. New mobile phone companies are all the rage these days, what with e! Mobile‘s recent entry into the market. A cursory look at Just Mobile‘s 40-shades-of-green website reveals a brand squarely focussed at the young mobile phone user with a tongue-in-cheek begorrah, begosh, diddley-i tone of voice. ‘Pog mo Phone’ indeed. Actually, I quite like the branding (though I do wonder whether the shamrocks might get a little limp after a while). In any case, … There’s more

Ad Nauseam: Charity begins on Daytime TV

Being self employed affords me the luxury of making the last minute decision to work from home in my pyjamas, on the sofa with my laptop on my lap and the TV on in the background. Yesterday was such a day. Apart from my mid-morning hit of The Gilmore Girls, I normally avoid anything broadcast pre 6pm though. It’s usually such a pile of mind-numbing poop as to warrant avoidance. Unless it’s a repeat of Project Runway that is. Oh, I’m such a girl! Not watching daytime TV, however, means not seeing all the ground breaking advertising targeted at pensioners, stay-at-home parents and the unemployed. I miss out on all those ads for Vanish Oxy Action, denture adhesive, chair lifts and cash-for-gold rip off merchants businesses. And I also miss the majority of the ads for charities because for financial reasons charities mostly buy the cheapest airtime available (the ‘direct … There’s more

Ad Nauseam: Toothy Smiles All Round

Greetings readers. I hope you are all shiny happy people this Wednesday. I hope you have big toothy grins on your faces and I especially hope that there aren’t any rotten teeth in our midst. That’s because this weeks post is all about advertising in the exciting area of dental hygiene! I know, you just can’t contain yourself, can you? I’m not sure why, but I have a bit of a thing about dental ads. It’s probably because they are on telly all the time. No matter what the economic climate, people still have to brush their teeth (unless they’re Shane McGowan who by all appearances has never knowingly walked past a toothbrush), so advertisers have to keep on convincing us there’s a reason to buy Colgate over Aquafresh. Toothpaste manufacturing is a pretty recession proof business come to think of it. Let’s put it on that list alongside fast … There’s more

Ad Nauseam: Poll – Your Favourite Guinness ad here

It struck me today that I let Arthur’s Day pass by last week without theming Ad Nauseam accordingly. How remiss of me, dear readers. Let me make amends by dedicating this weeks post to the black stuff. Now, everyone knows that Guinness have been producing advertising par excellence for the best part of 80 years, ever since the days of the iconic posters created by John Gilroy featuring steel-beam carrying workmen, toucans, seals and of course, the proclamation that “Guinness is Good for You”. I know that my favourite part of the Guinness Storehouse is the section dedicated to their advertising (coming in a close second is the cooperage exhibition which is strangely hypnotic) and I’ve spent hours trawling through the brilliantly archived displays there. The brand are famous for making epic, big budget, “big idea” TV ads and boy do they win awards for it. In fact, their 1999 … There’s more

Ad Nauseam: Mad for Mad Men

Mad Men is one of those TV shows that are adored by critics but generally ignored by the masses. Kinda like The Wire or Freaks and Geeks. People who love these kind of series will generally bend your ear endlessly about how amazing they are and how watching them will literally change your life (I’ve seen David O’Doherty add this to his Beef 2010 song once to great effect). I know, because I am one of those annoying people. I love, love, love Mad Men and have been watching it since it started about 3 years ago, when it was scheduled at some godawful hour on a Sunday night on BBC3. I did wonder if that was why the show has never garnered a mainstream audience, because it has always been banished to the farthest fringes of late prime time. But then I asked someone who works in TV about … There’s more

Ad Nauseam: Konnichiwa Celebrities!

The new Alfa Romeo ad for their Giulietta model, starring the ever-fabulous Uma Thurman brought this to mind: In the film Lost in Translation Bill Murray is an ever-so-slightly-washed-up actor visiting Japan, a country in which his stock is still high, to make a commercial for the premium whiskey brand Suntory. I thought this was a made-up product until I discovered a certain ever-so-slightly-washed-up actor who has been stumbling around in Suntory ads, crystal tumbler in hand, for quite a while.

Ad Nauseam: Warning, this post features a Naked Picture of Craig Doyle

Just when you thought it was safe to turn on your tellies, when you felt sure UPC had emptied their marketing coffers for the year and you would be free of the gelled-hair, Gant-jumpered one, Craig Doyle comes back at you in not one, but TWO ads. The man must have the best agent around. Or else he’s selling himself cheap. Either way, he’s managed to sidestep the exclusivity clause in his endorsement contracts and can currently be seen lending his inoffensive, Southside-boy charm to a window manufacturing firm and a mail-order company.

Ad Nauseam: Is that a Yorkie in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me?

Hurrah, a new Cadburys Dairy Milk, Glass and a Half Full Productions ad is here! And it’s better than the last one Chocolate Charmer. This one is called Spots vs Stripes and it’s set in a magical (and notably biologically diverse) underwater habitat where the striped fishies and critters gear up against the spotted fishies and critters in what seems to be a bizzare Dodgeball / Red Rover hybrid game, only for both teams to be usurped in victory by a cheeky diving duck from above. I really like this ad, not least because of the slightly manic Russian gypsy folk music soundtrack but also because in a way it’s reminiscent of the best kind of old-school Disney animation; an enjoyable diversion for an enjoyable diversions sake. There’s method to its madness of course; the crazy game the underwater animals are playing ties in with Cadbury’s sponsorship of the 2012 London … There’s more

Ad Nauseam: McDonalds, please don’t SuperSnooze me

So I was watching a TV commercial which I was sure was for Budweiser when at about the 5-seconds-to-go point I realised, no this is actually an ad for McDonalds. The ad has a lo-fi acoustic soundtrack, the main character is a hipster-ish type in his late twenties and the whole atmosphere is one of lazy summer fun. The only inkling it might be an ad for Maccers before the 20 second mark is the odd flash of faded red (certainly not McD’s bright brand colours) in a t-shirt or a haphazardly thrown frisbee. It reminded me of the ad Budweiser brought out a few years back where the guy is going to meet his mates at a party but gets entangled with objects and drags them all along with him (I can’t find it on YouTube but I’m sure you’ll remember the one). Make the Most of Sum..

Ad Nauseam: Thank You Cows

Is this the best new ad on telly at the moment? Yes, I do believe it is. Like Bounty’s Juan Sheet commercial, it’s the type of ad you want to watch over and over again. It’s a perfect anthropomorphical package of the ridiculous and the sublime. The whole notion of doing a Jim’ll Fix It for Mary the cow, so that she can realise her dream of running on a beach like a stallion is pretty amazing. The power ballad soundtrack is perfect and the addition of the au natural Muller chick ups the hilarity factor by having an ever-so-slightly bestial quality about it (while also allowing ample time to show the product being consumed – and the brand manager goes TICK!).