24/09/2018

Ad Break #6 Confused? Why the Bear? Who is Kate?


Confused.com- “Don’t get confused”
Over the years adverts for confused.com have evolved becoming gradually less chirpy and artier. The last set of ads featuring James Corden and the slogan “that’s a driver win” seemed like an attempt to combine the two but now that has gone and is replaced by something altogether more brooding. A driver navigates the confused.com Mercedes through what could be a post- apocalyptic cityscape as the voiceover complains about having too much choice. We see such modern signatures as fake news, “experts with no expertise” and a supermarket with rows of identical products while dust blows around the vehicle.  His slow journey is accompanied by the “Forever Dolphin Love” by Connan Mockasin. Eventually our driver steers the car out onto the open road and towards the Sun heralding the slogan “Don’t be confused. Be confused.com” over the opening notes of Link Wray’s `Rumble`.


It’s a sombre affair with the palette of a latter day Western and an actor – Timothy Murphy from Sons of Anarchy- whose resemblance to several gritty American actors of yore is surely no coincidence. The ad is apparently a deliberate attempt to move away from the lighter comparison website ads elsewhere (think chatty meerkats and dancing Action Man!) though might be too self- consciously grim to grab people’s attention. Say what you will about the Corden ads (and I never understood what “driver win” occurred at the petrol station!) at least they were noticeable. Directed by Aoife McArdle for Karmarama the new campaign is one of those that looks great but runs the risk of slipping under the radar of attention as people chat or make coffee in the ad breaks or skip online.
Suzuki- “Enjoy the ride”
There’s something odd about this ad for three Suzuki cars. We see a number of them on a fairground dodgem car layout zooming about accompanied by music that harks back to early 1990s rave era. The implication is that driving this car is as fun as driving a dodgem car though hopefully not driven in the same manner! And just like that era it’s not long before a surreal element intervenes with one car going past in slow motion containing a giant teddy bear in the passenger seat that turns to look at us. Another curious happening occurs when someone blows a whistle and stops one of the cars and its just not clear what is going on. Unless of course it’s a nod to the hallucinogenic aspect of rave? Would an advertiser be so cheeky?
Launched back in January but still very much showing across commercial channels the ad was created by Red Brick Road and directed by Noah Harris. It was filmed in Slovenia with ten stunt drivers using a real dodgem car enclosure. The music does indeed originate from the dance era being the 1991 track `Far Out` by Loop da Loop Era, a UK drum and bass producer/ DJ.
The ad was the subject of 35 complaints to the Advertising Standards Agency earlier this year claiming it was irresponsible as it “condoned or encouraged dangerous or irresponsible driving”. In response Suzuki said they had created “a surreal and fantastical ad which took place in a dreamlike world” and used the bear as an example of how that was the case. They said they didn’t believe the average viewer would think it was a real life situation and ultimately none of the complaints were upheld. Perhaps to underline the `dreamlike world` Suzuki could have had the teddy bear actually driving!
Wayfair- “Ooh I like Wayfair”
Well I don’t like them based on this ad. Surely the most annoying one currently in rotation features Lorraine Kelly visiting her mate Kate who has seemingly done out her whole house with new stuff since the last time Lorraine called. And apparently they do “high end” stuff as well. “Ooh I like Wayfair” declares Lorraine before she is seen grooving in the hallway. There was an earlier ad in which she gives the impression that all you have to is click on the website and a new mat appears out of thin air. Actually she only buys it because her dog had caused something to spill on the carpet. Hasn’t she heard of carpet cleaner? The ways in which this ad irritates are legion but the first hurdle is for people who have absolutely no clue who Lorraine Kelly is. She’s one of that army of morning tv presenters I never see and all of whom ultimately end up either on Strictly Come Dancing or Dancing on Ice. And who the caboodle is Kate? The poor girl seems to be trying to occupy herself as much as to say “Get out of my house Lorraine Kelly”. 
Lorraine Kelly- "I think I'd better dance now..."
Both the presenter and company were effusive about the collab when it was announced. Wayfair were “thrilled” while Lorraine Kelly was “delighted”. Whether you’re looking for budget friendly or high end stuff “Wayfair’s got it covered” she added spontaneously. The results are some of the most middle class adverts appearing in many a year and Lorraine’s over enthusiastic endorsement of the site may yet backfire. Unless it starts everyone doing that dance…
And finally….
Kelloggs – “You can eat corn flakes at any time!”
In the latest Kelloggs corn flakes advert various people – all members of the public rather than actors- discuss when the best time to eat them is. Then in my favourite bit one man simply declares “you can eat cornflakes at any time!” as if pushing aside all the previous suggestions for the nonsense they are! I have this idea he can actually solve any issue in the world in one sentence. Send him to the Brexit negotiations now!!

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