Thursday, 24 November 2011

Variety is the spice of adverts


Long ago, the internet spread an infinite buffet of video before my starving attention span. I gorged myself. My neurons grew fat and rich and, in their own way, also delicious. Like tasty brain-spaghetti.You’re probably pretty similar. At the very least, you’ve spent hours mindlessly clicking from one kitten-sneezing video to another, right?

Then you’ll also have seen the adverts. It’s to be expected – after all, we must at some point pay for the buffet. A tap on our hunched shoulders and we look up startled, gravy and salad dressing dripping from our eyebrows. The waiter daintily places a slip of paper on what used to be a plate of sliced mutton gizzards stuffed with boiled jellyfish. Everyone groans miserably, clutching at their stretched, expanded bellies in sadness.

With some video sites you can skip the advert, scrunching up the bill and throwing it back into the waiter’s face. With some adverts on Youtube, for example, you can currently skip the advert after five seconds. On Blip.tv, host of hundreds of popular webshows, you must sit through them for the first thirty seconds to a minute – or mute them, for the sake of your sanity.

I don’t know why but for a very long time, the only advert I saw on Blip.tv was this:


If you’ve never seen it, it’s an Olympic-themed variation of the notorious UPS Logistics advert. A montage of UPS workers, Olympic athletes and London landmarks is set to a simple, relaxed tune. The ‘UPS tune’ is potentially quite pleasant at first even if it doesn’t capture your attention. But I love Blip.tv, which means I’ve now seen that advert over three hundred and nineteen million times (roughly). You thought you hated the Go Compare singer? You don’t know what hate is. I used to know, but it was overwritten by the advert’s lyrics. My identity is now bound to the advert. When I look at the clear blue sky, a flower or the face of a smiling baby, I see the nothing but the UPS logo. I don’t remember the words to ‘Happy Birthday To You’, or the date of Christmas. Only the UPS tune remains. I sing the song while I mow the lawn, while I shower, even while I have sex – at thirty seconds, it’s the perfect length.

Then I guess my cookies suddenly changed or I got rid of some malware or something, I'm not sure. Whatever quirk making this the only advert in my internet might have just fixed itself. The dam broke, and other adverts came pouring through. I'd forgotten that when they’re not for UPS, adverts can be fun. I enjoyed them! I’ve welcomed the cars, cookbooks, Christmas sales, anti-smoking ads and even the adverts for insurance. The nature of the tasty internet buffet changed when I realised the bill itself is also edible, and delicious.

Below is my current favourite: Generation Awake. I hope you enjoy it. It’s a positive message of consumer awareness, it’s quirky and sweet, and it has an enjoyable tune. It must be destroyed immediately and never listened to again, so it can stay that way.

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