Commercial Breakdown.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but a wave of evil is currently plaguing our cinemas. And I’m not referring to Marmaduke.

I first encountered it a few weeks back, upon seeing Inception for a second time. To my chagrin, we crossed paths once more ahead of Piranha 3D. Somewhere amidst the 30 minutes of adverising prior to both films, this monstrosity was given an airing.

It begins at a Spanish port, where two local girls deposit our travelling protagonist, whom we shall refer to as Rupert. He resembles a Rupert, in that it’s hard to look at his face without wanting to punch it.

Rupert walks up the ramp to a boat, before turning around and taking in one last view of Formentera, a place he as grown to love, and a swig of beer. But this tiny swig causes him to relive his entire trip, quickly descending into a portrait of a gap year student. And guess what? You’re going to relive it with him, and see EVERY. FUCKING. SECOND.

Over the course of four minutes that never seem to end, the viewer learns all about his holiday, the friends he’s made and the experiences they’ve shared. As with most advertising, it’s supposed to be aspirational. As the consumer, you are supposed to want to be the irritating little twunt. It’s hard enough watching it on a computer screen without self harming. But the sheer hideousness of it all is compounded by the fact that, in the cinema, you can’t turn the bloody thing off.

Unfortunately, my unrelenting anger towards this particular commercial only affirms that it has achieved it’s objective. The primary function of an advert by definition is to provoke an emotional response in the consumer, but in this case it’s one where you look at the screen and can’t help but want to end it all.

And then, there’s that ending. Having made it through almost five minutes of misery, there’s a brief moment of panic as it fires up again in what appears to be some sort of cruel time loop. It’s like a misjudged episode of Doctor Who, only the wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff has been replaced by a prat in a sombrero.

The truth is that, yes, life would be wonderful if it was all like this. But have you ever had a holiday remotely like the one portrayed in this advert?

No. No, you haven’t. And anyone who tells you they have is lying. This makes Estrella Damm guilty of the most heinous of advertising crimes; attempting to make you aspire to something that doesn’t exist.

It’s message, in a nutshell, is this: Do you want to be the irritating OxBridge sod amongst your social circle, who only ever talks about what he did on his sodding gap year, funded by his rich parents? Then drink Estrella Damm. You’ll be in good company.

But the chances are that you’re probably more interesting than that. You might even be doing something meaningful with your alloted time on this planet. So no, your life might not be one long party. You might not share a hammock with a gorgeous girl, or have adventures on the Spanish plains.

But hey, at least you don’t drink their shit beer.


~ by chrispresswell on September 2, 2010.

2 Responses to “Commercial Breakdown.”

  1. dont agree with you…I saw it last night and i think is the greatest ever

    • Perhaps you’d like to shed some light on what I’m missing? I maintain that it’s about as likable as an aneurism.

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