Daft Advertising


This season, from the people who brought you ‘The Early Bird Get’s the Right Size‘ (catapostrophe intended) we are treated to an exciting new adventure in language mangling with their wholesale invention of the word ‘giftorium’. So confused and befuddled by this word was I, that I had to look it up just to make sure there was no obscure Latin usage with which I was not familiar. This is typical of about the first hundred Google hits:(i)

Oh my fucking absinthe-addled maiden aunt. This should be a crime against humanity. Think of the poor children.
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Footnotes:

  1. There’s nothing quite like seeing all these search results in one long stream to help you understand how marketing press releases get used in the wild… []

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Queen Willy has been recently doing a bit of work for a company that provides balloons with slogans printed on them. After seeing some examples, it occurred to me that there really is no circumstance that can’t be improved with a festive slogan-bedecked balloon. I hereby offer a selection of examples as substantiation of my claim.

I mean, look at that! A scary sinister situation instantly transformed into a party atmosphere! And likewise:

Hahaha. Hello Kitty takes the curse off anything, right?!

Riffing on the most recent Cow post, something that other rubber vendor might consider:

And if it’s a merry brightening of a religious event that you’re after, well then the local church fete really can’t go past this kind of thing:

Any kid would be happy to go home with a balloon like that! Thinking on it, religion is just so damn gloomy all the time. It needs LOTS more balloons.

Criminy, it’s addictive. Once you get started…

UPDATE!

Loyal Swedish Acowlyte Magnus sends in this excellent cheering-up.

Thanks Magnus! Cowpokes: send in your effort too, and I’ll stick it here in the main post!

Now that I live some distance south of the place where I spent most of my life, I find myself travelling a lot to visit friends & family and keep up with colleagues and contacts in the north. I sometimes fly, but if I have the time I like to take the drive. Driving is very relaxing for me – I get to chill out a bit, ruminate on the world and listen to all those podcasts for which I never seem to be able to find the time in my regular life.

Plus, I get to stop at truckstops for a bacon & egg roll and a chance to view the appalling, yet somehow grimly fascinating phenomenon which I call ‘Condom Art’

I don’t know if you ever see them anywhere other than truckstops (I never have) but the bathrooms always come equipped with a dispensing machine for condoms, and those machines are decorated with the most hideous advertising artwork known to humankind (and truly, that’s saying something).

Ah, the sexual vistas promised by those images: the Evening Magic of a desert island tryst or wild Rugged ‘n Ready adventures with a windblown gun-totin’ bikini clad cowgirl. I can’t help but envy the dashing lives of the truckers that buy these colourful super-studded latex wonders.

But brace yourselves! I’ve started off tame, dear friends, because the night is young.

Maybe a dusky native seductress peering from the pandanus is more your style? Or perhaps a rough ridin’ tousled biker chick with thigh boots? Whatever the choice, make sure you throw some ‘texture’ in there!

One thing I hadn’t known until I started paying attention to these artworks, is just how considerate truckers and travellers evidently are to their lady friends! It’s not just the ribbed condoms that your $2 will tempt from the machine: ‘Arouse her inner fire’ with ‘a ring of stimulating fingers’ promises Passion Plus! And prepare to be arrested for disturbing the peace if you use the Screamer (earplugs not included!). My goodness. I might have to sit down for a minute.

But my favourite by far has to be this:

No aspirational promises there – just a formidable medieval-looking device on a strident bilious yellow field. In yer face truckers! Ah, I am joyful with glee at all the wonderful things in this ad. First of all it’s called The Tingler, which immediately conjures up all kinds of confronting images.(i) Then it has the advantage of being able to glow in the dark because… well then you won’t lose your way, right? And I don’t need to tell you that ‘Boldy glow where no man has glowed before’ is the very pinnacle of advertising slogan achievement, second only to ‘In space EVERYONE can hear a Screamer!’ (I seriously don’t know how they missed that one).

I am humbled in the face of genius.

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Footnotes:

  1. Good advice from William Castle there: “Don’t be alarmed – you can protect yourself!” []

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Those who know me in real life will tell you how fond I am of my barbecuing. I really love to get out there and throw a few prawns on the barbie. Problem is that as the year heads into winter, venturing out to the barbecue to cook an evening meal becomes a little more perilous as the days get shorter and the darkness comes on earlier.

Usually I fend off the shadows with a small torch clenched in my teeth, but as you can probably imagine this is not a convenient way to get a steak cooked properly. Imagine my delight, then, when I discovered today the Gasmate BBQ Grill Light – an LED lamp that conveniently attaches to my barbecue with a clamp or strong magnets.

But what’s this on the packaging? The light, they tell me, is, apparently, ‘all purpose’.

Faithful Cowpokes. The instrument has – surely – only one purpose and one purpose alone: to shed light on the barbecue area. Are you with me on this? I suppose that I could, in desperation, use it as a blunt weapon or an art installation, but even then, it’s not all purpose.

Oh, the mangling of the language. It burns.

Jaffa cake
Pronunciation: /ˈʤafəkeɪk/

Definition of Jaffa cake:

noun
British

a sponge biscuit with an orange-flavoured jelly and chocolate topping.

I think I may have to invent a new Cow category: Completely Useless Objects Created By Advertisers For No Real Purposes Other Than to Increase the Material Amount of STUPID in the World. Yes, a bit cumbersome, I agree, but how else to best classify the ridiculous object pictured above, which was given to Vermilion and her friend on a recent shopping expedition?

Let me detail its physical description for you: it’s a flat round disc, about six inches across and printed on that pliable magnetized plastic which has no practical reason for existence other than for sticking on fridges. The centre black-coloured circle rotates and has a little triangular window cut in it to allow you to ‘reveal’ portions of the text.

So, by rotating to the ‘Orange’ category we see that the Club Orange chocolate is ‘Made with delicious orange pieces covered in smooth bittersweet Club® dark chocolate’:

Rotating to the left of the orange coloured segment we reveal the helpful advice that you can ‘Unwind with this perfect combo: Delicious Club® Orange complemented with a cup of tea’:

But why? WHYYYYYYYY?

You see how I wrote those identical words down and they gave you exactly the same information? Why do you need a little magnetic wheel with the suggestions hidden away out of sight until you turn it to the right position? Does someone, somewhere, actually think that I’m going to stick this to my fridge in case of frightening emergencies?

My God! I have a bar of Club® Peppermint and I’ve completely blanked on how I should enjoy it. Quick – THE WHEEL!!! (Phew, and can I say how glad I am that this ingeniuous rotation mechanism has cunningly hidden the information from the sight of a casual passer-by! Wouldn’t want the wheel-skillz-challenged knowing how to get the best out of their Club®! Am I right?)

All I can think of when I see ridiculous tsotchkes such as this is that, should I ever be inclined to actually buy Club® chocolate, part of whatever they charge me for a chocolate bar is serving to offset the cost of a useless piece of crap that nobody wants, and the wages of the advertising idiots who came up with it.

And just in case anyone from Club® chocolate should ever read this post, I’ve prepared a wheel of my own – with no unnecessary moving parts – to explain how this all works, and what your advertising agency won’t ever reveal to you:

If you like, I can print it on a magnet so you can stick it on your fridge.

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