The appeal of the Jeep Renegade TV advertisement in Australia

I have always been fascinated by advertising and marketing because it reflects society.  By trying to capture our attention advertising informs us about ourselves in the hope that it will appeal to our wallet.

Advertising is a gamble even if it’s well researched beforehand.  It’s no secret that I like the Specsavers ad when the hunky myopic guy rescues a seal believing it to be a young child. The ad is amusing, pleasant to watch and sends the right message.  “Go to Specsavers if you’re having a problem with your sight.”  Simple, amusing and effective.

On the contrary,  the Ford ad with that prissy little bitchy lady in the blue dress has a counterproductive effect and I have not been an admirer of that ad.

I do like the Jeep Renegade commercial, however, because of its catchy music and great masculine visuals.  I’ve even found the ad on You Tube and am enjoying listening to the band, the X  Ambassadors who perform in the ad.  It’s message is simple.   The Jeep Renegade is Now.  It is  adventurous, sexy,  and promises real excitement.  Music and product go well together and make their point.

Contrast that with that stupid Ford commercial whose message is lost by poor casting and visuals and you’ll understand why some ads work while others fail.


It’s a Mitsi ! What is the real message here?

Picture this:-

A man and his wife are shopping somewhere in a cheap, crowded market.  The woman picks up a garment that she wants to try on so she hands her bag to the man so that he will look after it.

Suddenly, out of the blue, he hears a racket.

Apparently, a group of his mates have shown up in a Mitsubishi and are calling him to join them.

Like the numbskull that he is,  the man drops his wife’s bag on the dirt ground and runs off to join his pals in the “Mitsi”.

Message?  The Mitsi (as the car manufacturer is trying to label it) is so tempting that he abandons his wife, loses the bag with all their possessions in it,  including cash and passports,  and goes off for a drive with a bunch of loonies.

So what is the real message here?

This car, which is not particularly enticing in any way,  is meant to appeal to irresponsible idiots with only half a brain.

I strongly suspect that Mitsubishi has latched onto a goldmine with this commercial since there would be no shortage of potential customers in our “brilliant” world.

Latest Ford advertising on Australian TV is annoying

There are some TV commercials that are so annoying  they become a cult thing.  We can’t stand them because the actors in them are irritating, dumb or just plain unappealing. But they work on a subconscious level because the people in them strike a chord with the viewers as does the iSelect commercial,  for example.

Take the Trivago advertisement for hotel bookings, as another example.  An attractive man meets a rather long-nosed plain woman in a hotel and they get together. Every girl’s fantasy, you might say. The message is that even a rather ordinary woman can find love in one of the hotels that Trivago lists on its site.

It’s not an original concept but it works because  it promises romance.

In the same vein the Crown Casino ad promoting a fun weekend for an ordinary couple will work as well because it’s the average Aussies who will  find something beguiling about romping around in such an environment.

In my opinion, however,  the TV commercial for Ford vehicles does not resonate with anyone.  Yes, it’s annoying because the woman in the ad looks unfriendly as she hops around the set like some sort of manic rabbit.  So it’s memorable, but for all the wrong reasons.

Does she have any plausible connection with the product,  Ford trucks?

No way.

Doesn’t a tradie just want a truck that works well, is reliable and has some oomph, some vroom  and gets the job done?  He doesn’t really want some prissy female telling him what he should do.

Why does she bounce around so much?  Why does she look so harsh and bitchy?  Would you visit a Ford showroom or lot or whatever after watching her prance around looking so off-putting?

Granted that these Ford commercials are not directed at me and are not meant to suck me in,  I wonder if they have attracted any tradesmen at all.


p.s  added on the 24th May

Ford Australia has just announced it will shed about  440 jobs because their cars are not selling. Now I’m not saying it is the fault of the latest Ford ad but it certainly didn’t help, did it?



Million Dollar Listings TV shows treat viewers as fools

They call themselves “Hot Listings” or” Million Dollar Listings” but these American TV shows make me squirm. While British TV shows about real estate treat the audience with respect, the American ones are embarrassingly phoney.

Why? Well, it’s because they follow a formula of females in very high heels and strident voices dragging some individual around a mansion worth several million with 6 bedrooms and 8 bathrooms which cater for the most incontinent of residents.

And, of course, there’s the kitchen which will never be used but which has to contain every appliance that has ever been invented. It’s to die for don’t ya know with the marble on the bench top which comes from the underbelly of a crag in Africa and costs an arm and a leg. It was shipped in bits and pieces and then stuck together in situ because of its Gargantuan weight.

Are you impressed yet?

Mustn’t forget the cellar filled with wine that’s too good to drink. And so we exit this stately pleasure dome in Xanadu and admire the infinity pool filled with mineral water from Evian.

Okay, so you’re impressed by now. And that would be perfectly understandable, but apparently, according to the producers, it wasn’t enough for the viewers. The producers wanted to add some spice, some tension, some “human interest”. So they concocted pseudo rivalries between the realtors.

They hate each other. They are bitchy, they gossip, they compete.

And then one of them experiences a major personal catastrophe. His dog dies and his friends attend a canine wake. Will the rival realtor turn up or will he really behave badly? Ho hum…

As if that’s not enough drama we have to endure the private musings of another realtor. He is gay and his partner wants to adopt a baby. Alas, he is not sure whether he is ready for such a commitment.

Is this silly soap really necessary?

Quite frankly, I love looking at real estate. I love interior design ideas. I love interesting architecture. That is why I used to enjoy such programmes when they first appeared on TV.

But no longer…

I have been totally turned off by the stupid scripts which pad the shows with personal issues about dead dogs and jealousies and relationships and who cares?

What should have been an interesting insight into the property market in the U.S has turned into a collection of puerile and petulant rivalries along the lines of “Toddlers and Tiaras.”

Thank goodness for the British and Australian versions of real estate shows. May they never emulate their ridiculous American counterparts.

A Word of Warning about Actimist by Optrex

You couldn’t help but notice that the promoters of Actimist had decided on a bltiz campaign on TV and in the print media. They were going to push Optrex Actimist eye spray constantly until they saturated the market with this product. They even displayed piles of it in a container in Woolworths.

So how was it different from other eye sprays? Well, you could spray it on your closed eyelids. You could spray it on eyes that had make-up.

And it was perfectly harmless.

What they didn’t tell you is that it can cause the eyes to sting quite painfully. It also ran down your face and would streak your eye make-up.

This is what happened to me.

Worse still, after removing all make-up and spraying my eyelids in the evening I would wake up with gunk on my eyelids and have trouble focussing for a few hours.

To prove my point, I stopped using Actimist and had no trouble seeing clearly the next morning.

Of course, it could have been be the case that I was the only person on this planet who experienced problems with Actimist, but somehow I don’t believe that I’m so unique. In fact, I came across a review on the internet from a person who had a similar reaction to mine.

That makes two of us, at least.

My advice is when there is a huge marketing programme of a product be wary. You are playing around with your eyesight and that is very risky.

“Final Answer?” How Eddie McGuire prompts contestants in “Hot Seat”

It’s so blatant that I wonder how Eddie McGuire can look himself in the mirror. His quiz show, “Hot Seat,” (Channel 9 at 5.30pm weekdays) consists of a set of four possible answers, A,B,C and D. The contestant has to pick the correct answer and then be allowed to move on to the next level.

What Eddie does is to prompt the contestant to make another choice by asking “Final Answer?”. This actually means, “pick another answer because this one is wrong.”

I know he does this because I have recorded the programme after I became suspicious about the possible manipulation of answers.

There is definitely a discernible pattern in Eddie’s responses to the answers. The only exception to this pattern occurs where there is insufficient time to ask “Final Answer?”

It’s possible that Mr McGuire is not aware of his habit, but one has to remember that this show is first and foremost “Entertainment” and sometimes its producers just want to keep the ball rolling instead of having a series of drop-outs.

After all, too many losers could mean a fall in ratings.

Why you cannot trust Calypso mangoes

I have to speak out about the disgusting TV ad promoting Calypso mangoes. Picture this…

A little old lady is shopping in a supermarket. She pretends to try to reach an item on a high shelf but can’t manage it. Why? Because she wants to distract a fellow shopper, an obliging tall man who has Calypso mangoes in his trolley. Why? Because she wants to steal from him.

I kid you not.

So when he turns his back on her to reach her item on the top shelf she steals four Calypso mangoes from his trolley and chuckles. To make matters worse, she tells him he is a nice man. So much for the storyline of this TV ad.


Well, I’m pretty turned off by the unethical behaviour of the old woman. She has stolen from the Good Samaritan. She depicts old people as being dishonest. She is certainly giving the wrong message to any child who watches this ad. And in my opinion, she makes me wonder about the ethics of a product that promotes such despicable behaviour.

Are the growers of Calypso mangoes to be trusted when their ad is based on theft? Who approved of this ad? Was it One Harvest itself which is showing it on its web site. Who has the final say as to what is acceptable to be aired on TV?

Or don’t they give a damn?

I, for one, do give a damn and will never buy a Calypso mango. It would go against my moral code.

Pay up for your own funeral or else!

You can’t switch on the television nowadays without being bombarded by ads telling you that you should take out a funeral policy. Either you sign up for payments until you die or else you can pay for a funeral today so that your heirs don’t have to fork out some money to bury you.

The message here is that you don’t want to be a burden to your children after death. So not only do you have to support them while they are growing up and often when they are all grown, but if you love the poor dears, then you will save them the expense of paying for your departure. In other words, the responsibility is all on your side.

Apparently, it is not enough that they will inherit the family estate, meaning your money. You have to facilitate everything for them by depriving yourself of money while you are still alive so that they can inherit absolutely everything.

These ads must be working or those companies would not continue advertising all the time.

So what does this say about today’s society?

Well, it says several things. First of all, that parents do not actually trust that the children will provide a decent burial for them. Secondly, that older people have been subjected to guilt trips about being a burden on society. The ads concentrate on guilt and even parental love when it’s really all about Money.

Thirdly, that there is a feeling of entitlement among the younger generation. They want it all, they want it now and they don’t want to share. The least we can do is to get out of their way and we should pay for the fare out of this world ourselves.

Seems to me that there is something very satisfying about reverse mortgages. Perhaps the crocodile tears would turn into genuine ones when the will is read.

The experts on nuclear dangers are crawling out of the woodwork.

As if reports about the potential threat of a nuclear meltdown in Japan aren’t enough to drive me to despair, enter The Experts.

Every news bulletin unearths its own expert on the situation at Fukushima. He is usually from some obscure university such as the School of Miscellaneous Panic Studies in Antarctica. The interviewer asks him for his considered opinion based on his considerable knowledge of nuclear power only to hear:- “Well, it’s too soon to tell.”

The desperate interviewer prods Dr Mumbles for an atom of information, a sound byte perhaps? but no, the expert pleads ambivalence. “We don’t have enough information as yet,” he explains. “I would be loathe to predict the outcome of this situation.”

“But the situation looks pretty grim, doesn’t it, Dr Mumbles?” prods the interviewer.

“Well, yes… and no, although it’s too soon to tell,” Dr Mumbles responds. “It all depends on…”

“Thank you, Dr Mumbles,” interrupts the interviewer before going back to shots of the steaming nuclear reactor.

“That was Dr Mortimer Mumbles from the University of Antarctica expressing concern over the extremely grim situation at Fukushima.”

What was all that about? I ask myself. They could have interviewed me, and I would have said “Dunno, but it ain’t lookin’ good.” But I wasn’t asked because I don’t have the cachet, the info, the insight, the expertise. My dunno would lack credibility, I guess. However, it is comforting to know that I’m not alone.

“Foyles War”. Series 6 fails to impress

To say that I looked forward to the latest series of “Foyle’s War” the way a child looks forward to his birthday party would be an understatement. I absolutely loved the first five series of this television drama and I waxed lyrical about it in a previous blog.

So imagine my disappointment when Series 6 came on the screen a month ago and left the impression of a tired school reunion with all the alumni pretending that they’ve still got it. When they obviously haven’t…

There were only three episodes in this latest series. I wasn’t sorry to see it end. That was a strange reaction for me since I really, really admired the first five series. I even bought the boxed set.

But I won’t be buying this latest series, unless Series 7 renews my faith in the whole thing.

I must admit that I was stunned by the lacklustre acting of Honeysuckle Weeks as Sam Stewart who had been such an asset in the previous series. Even Michael Kitchen in his reprise as Foyle seems to be weary too. The verve is gone. The plots are convoluted and there is something definitely missing.

I suspect that the missing factor is the war itself. This series covers the period after the Second World War and the sense of patriotism and urgency are missing. There’s little excitement and hardly any suspense. Sam Stewart, DCS Foyle and Detective Sergeant Paul Milner look lost and disenchanted as if they are going through the motions because all their fans demanded more of “Foyle’s War.”

What a shame that they could not recapture the brilliance of the past series! I remember that John Cleese explained that he only made 12 episodes of “Fawlty Towers” because he had done what he wanted to. And he did not want to spoil the effect by dragging out the comedy.

It’s possible, therefore, that in bowing to the pressure of their fans such as yours truly, Anthony Horowitz who created the series which was produced by his partner, Jill Green, tried too hard but unfortunately failed to reproduce that enchantment that we had come to expect.

Perhaps Series 7 will be better.