The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]


Superlative Stupidity …
February 28, 2022, 8:00 am
Filed under: Apathy, Attitude & Aptitude, Context, Crap Campaigns In History, Marketing Fail

I get that in life, people find different things exciting.

Some think train spotting is a thrill, for example.

I also understand that people like to think the job or industry they work in is exciting. It lets them feel they have value … importance … a purpose of repute.

But things go wrong when you try to convince others that what you do is exciting when the context they have for it, is the absolute opposite.

Which is my long-winded way of saying why this ad is basically insane.

Bringing the excitement back to dentistry???

What the hell?

And if that wasn’t bad enough, their explanation of what that means is even more delusional.

+ A general check up.
+ Two X-Rays.
+ Scale and clean.
+ All for the low price of 25 quid.

OK, £25 does seem cheap – in fact, it seems TOO cheap – but I have to say, I doubt anyone outside of dentistry would find this news ‘exciting’.

Christ, the British have terrible teeth so they’re definitely not going to buy into this bullshit. In fact, I’d go as far to say that I doubt even dentist-loving American’s would find this news ‘exciting’ … and they go hyper over teeth.

I am sure they are a good company. In fact I know they are. And anyone who goes into dentistry is worthy of extra praise because I can’t imagine what it’s like staring into people’s mouths each day.

But according to whoever wrote this – or thought this – it seems they believe a visit to the dentist can rival a night out to a concert or a theatre or even a night in front of the telly.

To which I want to tell them this.

It doesn’t and it can’t.

So stop making ads that are as painful as a visit to the dentist.

Thank you.



With Friends Like These, Who Needs Enemies …

Way back in 2007, I wrote a post called, Should Ink Stink?

It was how Mont Blanc had gone into fragrance and I found the whole thing a bit bizarre.

Then in 2008 I wrote about how Ferrari had licensed their name to a bloody memory card … in some very loose nod to how fast the 4gb SD card could save and upload files.

You’d think things couldn’t get worse, but over the years we’ve seen more than a few candidates for the title of ‘what the fuck were they thinking’ but in 2021, we finally got a winner.

To be fair, the brand in question is old, so you could imagine the license owner thought they may as well say yes to anything if it will make them a few extra bob.

But – and it’s a big but – late last year they released a special edition ‘reunion’ of the brand, and the clamor to get access to it from people and press all around the world was immense … which makes the decision to lend their name to this product ‘extension’ even stranger.

What am I talking about?

This.

Yes, that is a Friends manicure set and carry case.

Why???

WHY???

Yes, the cast of Friends were young and beautiful … but I don’t know if anyone in the history of the show ever commented on their nails.

And why a carry case?

How many people use their manicure set so often, they need a case to transport it?

Hell, how many people need a new set of nail scissors and nail file anyway?

Hell, they even had to say ‘The Television Series’ on the package, because they knew no one would naturally associate the TELEVISION COMEDY WITH A MOBILE MANICURE SET.

Does it even have the Friends logo on the actual manicure case?

What if it doesn’t? What is the fucking point of it then?

Actually, what is the point of it whether it’s on or off.

Frankly, if someone pulled out a manicure suitcase I’d already be concerned.

If that suitcase then had the Friends logo on it, I’d be bloody petrified.

How much did this license cost?

How many products did they end up actually selling?

Who was behind this utter insanity?

The only good thing about it is that when I saw this product, I laughed more than I laughed at any episode of the last 2 seasons of the show.

The theme song sings the words, “I’ll be there for you”.

Well, if it means they’re there with a Friends manicure set in its own case, I’d rather you didn’t thank you very much.



When You Create Ads With Your Head In The Underground …

OK, I’m ‘proper back’ now and look at that – we’re in February!!!

Maybe I should just write a blog post on the last or first of every month and make life easier for all of us?

Nahhhhhhhh … where’s the enjoyment in that when there’s so much stuff out there to comment on, like this monstrosity of an ad that I saw recently …

Putting aside the fact anyone who wants to be ‘the most interesting person in the room’ is basically admitting they have an ego the size of Bono … or the average person working in adland, the choice of image for this ad is the most stupid I’ve seen in a very, very long time.

Since when were escalators at tube stations a room?

And I’m guessing the people behind it either don’t live in London because if they did, they’d know the first – and biggest – social cardinal sin in that city is speaking to anyone anywhere in the vicinity of the tube.

When I lived in London, I was told in no uncertain terms of this fact within days of being there by a bloke I was squashed next to, as we were on our way to Heathrow Airport.

He also had some luggage with him so I asked, “where are you off to?” and the look he gave me was as if I’d asked him to tell me his families home address and what times are they out.

He literally said, “don’t you know you’re not supposed to talk to people on the tube?”

Hahahahahahahaha.

So with that in mind … and the fact the image they’ve chosen shows people all in a row, all facing the back of the person in-front’s head – which makes having any conversation a bit difficult – maybe Curio should just change the headline of their ad to ‘be the most annoying person in the room’ and be done with it.

Let’s face it, it would probably be more a appropriate explanation of what the app supposedly helps you become, whether they use a visual of the London Underground or not.



Desperate For Friends …

A while back, Mark Zuckerberg announced to the world he was creating a holding company – that would house Facebook and Instagram etc – called Meta.

He launched it with this piece of underwhelming fanfare …

There are so many questions about this …

Why did Zuck make his avatar leaner than the real him? Why did he think showing a virtual room with some boring mates playing cards would excite the world? Why the fuck is his wife & dog making an appearance & why would his dad give a shit about receiving a clip of the pooch? Why was the “awesome virtual room” like a Sega Megadrive game background? Why are Facebook/Meta employees so cowardly they can’t tell their boss his acting is worse than people who appeared on that short lived BBC soap, Eldorado? Why did they think it would be trippy to show a flying fish to a generation who make TikTok videos far weirder, fancier and more interesting? Why did I watch the whole thing. Twice? Why did they make their logo a shot Zorro mask? Why does android Zuck still pretend he’s human?

It was, in no uncertain terms, fucking terrible.

But to show that Facebook have no shame taste, they then went on a social media tirade in a bid to drum up support and interest from brands.

Not people. Brands.

Asking them what they’ll be doing in the metaverse.

And while the social media account of a brand talking to another brand may be cool for the people working at the brand, 99.9% of the time it’s an act that shows a complete lack of self awareness.

Look at this …

It’s the equivalent of 2 old white dudes – wearing Yeezy’s & Supreme tees – thinking they’re the hippest, hottest dudes on an empty petrol station forecourt in Basingstoke on a wet Tuesday night.

Seriously, I detest this sort of thing.

I certainly detest every bit about this echo chamber, jock-banter, industry ‘in joke’, interaction.

I know some people will claim it is ‘hijacking culture’, but there’s 2 key issues with this.

1. How can it be ‘hijacking’, when this approach is so common, people literally expect it.

2. There’s a major difference between hijacking and boring them.

Putting aside the danger of letting a man like Zuckerberg have even more knowledge about our lives so he can profit from it … putting aside his track record of saying his company does good things then is found to be doing bad … putting aside Facebook ‘borrowed’ their Meta logo from another company … what Zuckerberg is showing is he doesn’t care about the people who use his products, just the advertisers who keep throwing money at him so they can find more and more ways to sell stuff to them, before launching ad campaigns saying they care about the environment and everyone should act.

Or some other blame throwing tactic.

Zuckerberg isn’t going anywhere.

And what makes it worse is that technology … specifically the metaverse and mixed reality … has the potential to do incredible good for humanity. However when governments allow this space to be ‘owned’ by egotistical billionaires, then the only ‘incredible good’ we can look forward to, is more blatant exploitation with no legal implication whatsoever.

Thanks Zuck.

Thanks for robbing us of the future we could have, but you want to dictate.



Why Being Starstruck Stops You Seeing What You’re Saying …

The celebrity endorsement.

Favoured by brands who have nothing interesting to say.

Or by companies who want to look more important than they are.

Of course they’re exceptions.

NIKE for example … because at least their choices are directly connected to the category they operate in, which is more than can be said for Clooney and Nespresso. Or the new entrant. Another handsome, old, white male actor – who, according to his ex-wife – may have domestic abuse issues to answer for.

Maybe that’s why Brad Pitt agreed to do one of the worst ads I’ve seen in a long time. To pay for any legal trial … whereas at least Clooney does it to raise the money for the films he personally wants to make.

In the old days, celebs went to Japan to top up their pension – safe in the knowledge that no one would see their stuff. Then the internet happened and not only could everyone see the rubbish they’d do for a big pay day, they realised they could do it now in their home country given everyone had seen their willingness to sell their credibility for cash.

Which leads to this …

Neymar.

For a financial investment firm.

If that isn’t weird enough, they’ve weirdly made Neymar look like he’s the financial advisor.

What the fuck?

Are they suggesting he is so rich he can give people expert financial advice?

If they are, is his advice, “become a professional footballer for PSG”.

Or is something else …

Is he paid so badly he’s had to get a second job selling financial advice?

That would at least make some sense as Neymar HAS BEEN FOUND GUILTY OF TAX AVOIDANCE!!!

Yeah, this financial company decided that the best celebratory endorser they could use to promote their company internationally was a convicted tax dodger.

Did no one think about that?

Did no one question what that would say about them?

Did they think that because Qatar – where QNB is based – don’t charge personal tax, it means Neymar’s crime basically doesn’t exist?

Did no one ask why were they photographing the football star as if he was a financial advisor?

Nope.

And was that because they were starstruck?

Or was it because they didn’t think about it?

Or care?

Or think anyone else would care?

Or was it all of the above … because let’s face it, there’s enough examples to show many investment firms don’t give a damn about rules, customers or tax obligations … so maybe using Neymar was the most truthful and inspired choice they could make.

How nice of QNB to make it so much easier for the authorities to find people exploiting the financial rules for personal gain, because now all they have to do is ask one question:

“Do you use QNB?”