Rants, Uncategorized

Rant #4


Is it just me that’s fed up with all the ridiculous pseudo-science that has crept into modern advertising? I don’t want to put any L.casei Imunitass® in my gut, whether it’s friendly or not! And do I really need Innovative Molecular Precision Technology® in my shampoo? Why are all these women sitting around in coffe bars discussing their ‘bloating’ and constipation? I guess I’m just getting old.

It reminds me of all those old remedies that old people suggest when young people get poorly; ” You want to disolve some Smeckler’s powder with a tincture of vinegar and bicarbonate of soda and spread it on that bruise – I were always coated in the stuff as a lad and it din’t do me no ‘arm.”

I was listening to Small Change by Tom Waits today on the way home from work and the lyrics to ‘Step Right Up’ ring ever more true…

Step right up, step right up, step right up,
Everyone’s a winner, bargains galore
That’s right, you too can be the proud owner
Of the quality goes in before the name goes on
One-tenth of a dollar, one-tenth of a dollar, we got service after sales
You need perfume? we got perfume, how ’bout an engagement ring?
Something for the little lady, something for the little lady,
Something for the little lady, hmm
Three for a dollar
We got a year-end clearance, we got a white sale
And a smoke-damaged furniture, you can drive it away today
Act now, act now, and receive as our gift, our gift to you
They come in all colors, one size fits all
No muss, no fuss, no spills, you’re tired of kitchen drudgery
Everything must go, going out of business, going out of business
Going out of business sale
Fifty percent off original retail price, skip the middle man
Don’t settle for less
How do we do it? how do we do it? volume, volume, turn up the volume
Now you’ve heard it advertised, don’t hesitate
Don’t be caught with your drawers down,
Don’t be caught with your drawers down
You can step right up, step right up
That’s right, it filets, it chops, it dices, slices,
Never stops, lasts a lifetime, mows your lawn
And it mows your lawn and it picks up the kids from school
It gets rid of unwanted facial hair, it gets rid of embarrassing age spots,
It delivers a pizza, and it lengthens, and it strengthens
And it finds that slipper that’s been at large
under the chaise lounge for several weeks
And it plays a mean Rhythm Master,
It makes excuses for unwanted lipstick on your collar
And it’s only a dollar, step right up, it’s only a dollar, step right up
‘Cause it forges your signature
If not completely satisfied, mail back unused portion of product
For complete refund of price of purchase
Step right up
Please allow thirty days for delivery, don’t be fooled by cheap imitations
You can live in it, live in it, laugh in it, love in it
Swim in it, sleep in it,
Live in it, swim in it, laugh in it, love in it
Removes embarrassing stains from contour sheets, that’s right
And it entertains visiting relatives, it turns a sandwich into a banquet
Tired of being the life of the party?
Change your shorts, change your life, change your life
Change into a nine-year-old Hindu boy, get rid of your wife,
And it walks your dog, and it doubles on sax
Doubles on sax, you can jump back Jack, see you later alligator
See you later alligator
And it steals your car
It gets rid of your gambling debts, it quits smoking
It’s a friend, and it’s a companion,
And it’s the only product you will ever need
Follow these easy assembly instructions it never needs ironing
Well it takes weights off hips, bust, thighs, chin, midriff,
Gives you dandruff, and it finds you a job, it is a job
And it strips the phone company free take ten for five exchange,
And it gives you denture breath
And you know it’s a friend, and it’s a companion
And it gets rid of your traveler’s checks
It’s new, it’s improved, it’s old-fashioned
Well it takes care of business, never needs winding,
Never needs winding, never needs winding
Gets rid of blackheads, the heartbreak of psoriasis,
Christ, you don’t know the meaning of heartbreak, buddy,
C’mon, c’mon, c’mon, c’mon
‘Cause it’s effective, it’s defective, it creates household odors,
It disinfects, it sanitizes for your protection
It gives you an erection, it wins the election
Why put up with painful corns any longer?
It’s a redeemable coupon, no obligation, no salesman will visit your home
We got a jackpot, jackpot, jackpot, prizes, prizes, prizes, all work guaranteed
How do we do it, how do we do it, how do we do it, how do we do it
We need your business, we’re going out of business
We’ll give you the business
Get on the business end of our going-out-of-business sale
Receive our free brochure, free brochure
Read the easy-to-follow assembly instructions, batteries not included
Send before midnight tomorrow, terms available,
Step right up, step right up, step right up
You got it buddy: the large print giveth, and the small print taketh away
Step right up, you can step right up, you can step right up
C’mon step right up
(Get away from me kid, you bother me…)
Step right up, step right up, step right up, c’mon, c’mon, c’mon, c’mon, c’mon
Step right up, you can step right up, c’mon and step right up,
C’mon and step right up 

 from www.lyricsmania.com

There’s no real point to this. I’m not building up to anything, I just wanted to get things off my chest is all…


4 thoughts on “Rant #4

  1. I’d like to add a note to your rant that its ‘bad advertising’ which creates false product benefits and science mumbo jumbo. ‘Good advertising’ magnifies truths, and makes them memorable. But what would I know, I’m in branding…

  2. Ha! Yes indeed. But it is also about blurring the distinction between truth and lies.

    I believe the real problem lies with our society, rather than advertisers – they can only capitalise on what we are willing to tolerate. Most people will buy branded goods because of their perceived value over any real financial or physical values – and as a result we are more open to abuse. Take TV; Saturday night telly was always pretty poor stuff. Game shows, variety shows, 10 year old films (with a break for the news!) and the occasional seasonal specials; all pretty mediocre stuff, but stuff that people had written, planned and produced.

    Now the biggest draws are reality shows like the x-factor – cheap telly that relies on the premise that at least 40 deluded halfwits and chronically misguided morons will show up and give those of us who can’t be arsed to queue for 36 hours something to poke fun at. With the reality being that the majority of the thousands who actually audition are not even bad enough to show on TV! The x-factor itself is not to blame for this – ten million people tuned in for the final last year. Of their own free will! I’m sure the will be some correlation between these people and those who actively purchase and consume products on the sole premise that it contains Biffidus Acti-Regularis® but I can’t be arsed to find out – I’m doing something much more intellectually stimulating…

  3. Haha. Great retort. I absolutely agree.

    Something I’ve noticed recently, is that a lot of strong design / advertising / products which are truly original, well thought through, honest and relevant ignore market norms or consumer trends.

    Currently, in FMCG, new products seem reactionary, where companies see an opportunity or trend in the market and cash in, where the product offer no real new benefit, or simply copies another. It is hard for people to see the benefit of trailblazing in a very unsettled economy. So laziness ensues, creating more boring irrelevant products, which sell by the millions!

    What I find satisfying is stumbling across something unique, which doesn’t shout for attention, but stands on its own merits. Perhaps we can all put up with shite TV reruns and and Biffidus Acti-Regularis® to let the good stuff shine brighter.

  4. You are right Chris, as the saying goes “if you want to see the rainbow, you have to put up with the rain”.

    Doesn’t stop an old windbag like me moaning about it though!!!!

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