I find myself increasingly confused as to the point of TV commercials nowadays or even what the actual product is.
Back in the old days, we were shown a triangle of Dairylea and a child eating a triangle of processed cheese, the ad was for Dairylea.
A man would drink beer in a bar with a group of laughing friends drinking that same beer, there was a close up of the bottle, it was beer.
We knew where we were, we either bought the Dairylea or the beer or we didn’t, that was it. Sometimes we bought both, even eating the Dairylea accompanied by the beer on occasion, but obviously never dunking, we were still a sophisticated society back then.
Just a gentle reminder of the product and a name check, you might recognise the brand next time you are out shopping and buy it in preference to a competitor’s product, that is all advertising should aim to achieve, show the product, show it in use and show the name, job done.
Then those clever little advertising boys with their trendy, little blue rimmed Lagerfeld glasses and their shiny, sharp Armani suits convinced the corporate buffoons to part with billions. Billions to finance the production of the vaguest, most pointless 30 or 60 seconds of balderdash you will ever witness, they got away with it and continue to do so today.
I was forced to endure one such commercial the other night and I swear it almost broke me, I’ve lost weight and sometimes find myself just rocking back and forth in a chair for absolutely no reason. I often now spend time just staring out of the window, sometimes for hours.
In an extended 60 seconds production a sultry, barely dressed girl runs barefoot and alone on a beach at twilight. She glistens with sweat.
Then an oily Lothario stands alone on a balcony, he slowly opens his white muslin shirt to reveal an equally oily and hairless torso. He slowly licks his vulpine lower lip. I’ve got this one, it’s perfume isn’t it?
Just then a sleek, red phallic sports car drives through a city street full of skyscrapers, the buildings are illuminated in the evening gloom and overhead a lightning storm flashes across the city sky. Of course, it’s a car, I should have guessed, it’s a car.
Yet now two small boys are playing hopscotch, one is an afro haired lad of mixed race, his friend is a little Asian boy, a kindly grey haired old West Indian man watches them play and his face creases into the biggest smile, showing his perfect white teeth.
I’m now thinking this is a bank, this must be a bank, it could be some new software though, bank or software definitely.
Throughout all this a girl sings in the background, an Astrud Gilberto soft, wispy song, a gentle Bossa Nova with just a mellow guitar accompaniment. She’s no Astrud Gilberto though, it’s a thin reedy voice, like someone in an iron lung has won a competition to complete her bucket list. ‘I wanna sing in like an advert’ was her winning entry, imagine the ones that lost.
“The times we had together just laughing in the rain” she wheezes. That’s probably why she’s in the iron lung now I thought to myself, all that laughing in the rain. Laughing in the rain is a serious business and you really need to dress properly for inclement weather.
It’s not really a bank or software soundtrack though is it, I wait for the dénouement, the acronym URASAP comes up on screen and then, ‘For the time you always promised yourself.’
60 seconds of my life just vanished, puff like that, 60 seconds had flashed by, gone in 60 seconds, this must have cost millions but I don’t know what it was for, what do I have to buy, I surely can’t be the only one?
I glance out of the window to see if my neighbour is home, he’s a pretty hip young guy, plays in a rock band, he’ll know about URASAP, he’s bound to know. Youngsters all know this stuff.
No lights are on, I consider banging on his door but at that time of night, roused from slumber, he might think I was having a seizure and phone for medical assistance, I reconsider and decide to analyse this thing myself.
For the time you always promised yourself, there has to be a clue in that phrase surely. Was it even grammatically correct, maybe that’s part of the message?
Time, was someone wearing a watch, did the West Indian guy wear a watch?
I’m angry with myself now, I really should have paid more attention. Pretty sure he didn’t have a watch, there would have been an obvious shot of a watch somewhere.
Always, they are lady things, ladies pour blue water into a minituarised nappy for some reason, this was not lady things, definitely.
Is it a holiday company? Could be, that would make some sense, but there is an internationally accepted code for holiday adverts. This, as we all know, is the long iced drinks glass with some fruit garnish and a colourful umbrella topper. Was there one of those, no siree Bob, there was not. I cross holidays off my list.
I realise I have now spent almost 40 minutes in this quandary, I go into the kitchen and pour myself a large Jim Beam. I start to wonder if I still have that packet of Marlboro I stashed, just in case, that absolutely final time I quit smoking. I notice my hands are shaking.
There and then I resolved that in the morning I would pawn and sell all I have and I would raise sufficient funds for a humble, tiny office, I would start my very own advertising company.
All clients will receive the same commercial, I will show the product, the voiceover will say, “Buy this now, buy it and you will get twice the amount of sex that Frank Sinatra actually managed in his entire lascivious life, buy this now and you will have so much sex all your freckles will fall off. BUY THIS NOW!
This would work, with a minor tweak here and there, for virtually anything anyone would want to buy or sell, ever.
I would be so successful that I estimated within around two years I could afford to buy Hefner’s old palace, recall all his concubines, with some fresh additions possibly, and indeed all my freckles would fall off too shortly after.
As I relaxed slightly in this reverie the voice of my inner Watson piped up, “They have this facility on the internet now Holmes, Google I believe.”
“Of course, I’ve been so intent on looking for one single clue, I should have realised the clue is that deliberately there isn’t one. Thank you my dear Watson.”
URASAP would surely be clearly defined on the internet, its product range, local distributors and even possibly the option of a pamphlet by post. My laptop was on, trembling fingers typed URASAP into the search bar.
My breathing was in short bursts now, URASAP Wiki page, this article is a stub, damn it, it just said URASAP is a division of Anodyne Concepts.
Anodyne Concepts home page, nothing much here, ah mission statement, yes I’ve got it. This will explain everything.
“Anodyne Concepts and its sister company URASAP believe that in this increasingly complex world the need for clarity is now paramount. We strive to achieve lucidity, coherence and definition, this is our goal, our ambition, our passion.”
That was it, nothing else, no testimonials, no other explanation, I felt my eyes welling up. URASAP, indeed I am a sap.
I rose unsteadily from the futon and went outside through the kitchen door. Stepping onto the terrace I inhaled the cold night air, it hurt my lungs but it felt good, I was aware tears were running down my cheeks as I looked up at the clear, starry night sky. I caught sight of the waxing gibbous moon, it wasn’t a full moon but it would have to do.
Throwing my head back I howled, I howled for a very long time.
© Viciousbutfair 2018