by SUSAN FOGARTY
Instead of looking at a programme, this week Monitor’s going to look at what goes, sometimes annoyingly, frustratingly, around the shows we love.
pop up endlessly, right when a show is getting to the crux of the matter, and seem to increase in number during shows we love the most.
Readers will know adverts are big bucks. Just to give readers a little idea of how it works, a 30 second ad run during the American Superbowl costs around US$4 million. About 36 different companies
run adverts during the Superbowl, so I think you can do the maths around how much money is involved.
Suffice to say, adverts are big business.
So why are Kiwi ads so bad and why are they filled with middle-class, middle-aged women desperately trying to sell us products we already know how to use and probably don’t need?
One thing about Superbowl ads is you get something for your money — maybe not $4 million worth, but a story, excitement, humour, originality.
Meanwhile, in Godzone, we’re stuck with Better Living, a dreadful series of adverts from Glad, telling viewers, in case they hadn’t picked it up, that plastic bags are handy for putting things in.
For years everyone’s been sealing those bags by running their fingers along the top zip so both sides come together. But
perhaps there’s a large number of people who don’t get it, now Glad have coloured one side yellow and the other blue, so
when they meet it turns green. Now we really know it’s sealed! And they made an entire advert on how to do it. Are we taking dumb-dumb pills?
Then out of the blue the woman from Lighting Direct is telling us about light switches and lights. She’s unnaturally happy about it; lights just simply aren’t that exciting.
But what advert line up would be complete without Jude Dobson and “The Briscoe’s Lady” (TBL)?
What I love about TBL is that right around the country people are
in common agreement that she no longer needs a propername (not that we ever knew it).
She’s an institution. She’s TBL. There’s even a Tumblr blog site dedicated to her. She’s been TBL since 1989. That’s right —
25 years of amazing discounts!
Many readers will be familiar with the slightly manic woman who fronts the Big Save Furniture adverts. Her excuse is her
family owns the company and, like many before her — Michael
Hill, Jeweller, and L. V. Martin and Son (“It’s the putting right that counts”) — she’s getting on telly through the back door, because no one would let her in the front.
I’m sure places like Saatchi & Saatchi think these sort of women will appeal to women like me. Mid-40s, kids, partner, working
both at home and in the office. Surely, they think, “These women are just like you”!
Indeed they are. But what advertisers are missing is that although life is good and I’m happy, I want my adverts to be aspirational, I want to see more than how to cut Glad Wrap with the cutty thing on
the box. I don’t want to be told at midnight that a department store will sell sheets with 50 per cent off.
Give us George Clooney! Give as something to dream about, wish for, hope for.
If you have to sell us arthritis pills, do it from Fiji with Brad Pitt rubbing oil on our backs. Give us hope! Make ads that
let us dream.
Don’t imagine that we want our own middle class lives reflected back in mindless adverts.
by SUSAN FOGARTY