Advert-sion therapy

We’d like to welcome guest columnist and TC-icon Lino to the editorial chair for this edition, his own special blend of understated social observation bringing a much-needed dose of sophisticated wit to this poor site. So, without further ado, heeeeeeeeeeeeere’s Lino!


You know, I thought I’d made my point quite clear last year when we talked about the whole Opal Fruit/Starburst thing, but no, some people didn’t get it. This has been gnawing away at my brain for quite some time now. I’ve let it pass as I’ve had better things to do, but we’re terribly quiet at work just now, and if I don’t do something I’ll just end up ripping someone a new “asshole”. (Or arsehole for people who haven’t quite forgotten how to spell properly… Shut UP, I know that I don’t spell properly, but if I wanted a session of introspection I’d shell out 50 quid for an hour with a “councillor”). Right, where was I.. Ohhhhhhhh, yes.

Sugar Puffs, you know, the great old breakfast cereal that tastes of honey and if you eat too much of it, makes your urine smell of the cereal you’ve just eaten. No problem with that over here at Raffa Towers at all, no Sir. For years now, it’s various cheerful television advertising campaigns all had the same loveable big old yellow “Honey Monster” fronting them. For a while there, it all got a bit silly (big breasted Australian ex-soap opera “stars” appearing as love interest, rapping, playing “football” etc), but I stuck with them (even though I don’t eat the ruddy cereal). All this changed a few months ago when I happened to see a commercial for a great new breakfast product called “Cocopuffs”, and who was the spokesperson for this fabulous chocolatey tasting cereal feast? The Chocobunny? The Cocoshunter? No, they used the Honey Monster….

Does that make any sense to you??!!

Because it ruddy well doesn’t to me, he likes honey, he’s not ever mentioned his liking for anything even slightly chocolatey… The bastard.

Of course, since I saw that commercial, I saw the Ford commercial featuring the moose having his life flash before his eyes, and the Penguin biscuit commercial featuring the giant penguin trying to get into the aquarium (two quid, mate? Is that per fish?), so I’m feeling a lot happier.

OK, off you go….

I feel his pain. My personal bugbear is companies who rebrand their products, usually in a desperate attempt to make them seem less crap. Pepsi spent 330 million pounds on relaunching their cola in (gasp!) a blue can, and sales still went down 15% because, guess what? It was still more fizzy dreck than fizzy drink. And now Marks and Spencers are up to the same sort of thing, to try and shore up their plummeting sales.

I have never had any sympathy for them, ever since I went in and tried to buy a suit. After fending off M&S card sales people, I discovered that the only credit card they accepted was their own one. I strongly suspect the decline of the company is connected less to the colour of its carrier bags (something they are apparently changing), and more to this selfish disregard for customer preference.

However, they do have one genius-level product: non-polish shoes, which form my entire work footwear wardrobe. I’ve no idea how it’s done (and why it wasn’t done before) but months after buying them, they still have that just-polished look. Well, at least I assume that’s what “just-polished” looks like, I think my last pair went their entire lives without feeling the caress of bristle… More of that kind of thing, and fewer prawn-and-avocado sandwiches, will soon see the company back on its (just-polished…) feet.