Friday, June 7, 2013

Adspeak blow-off

There was an item on CapeTalk the other day, about how ghastly it would be if travellers on the Mango airline were forced to listen to ads on the aeroplane’s loudspeaker system. The talkshow host pointed out that you can mute your radio, but you can’t shut up the loudspeakers on a plane.
However, he then presented the usual limp-wristed response to listeners’ complaints about the truly idiotic ads carried by his station:
1. You can go listen to another station [what kind of argument is that, if you have a real interest in the stuff on his station?];
or 2. It’s our living, it’s what keeps the station going [which if you think about it is something of a contradiction of 1.].
What this man and his colleagues cannot, apparently, understand is how insulting it is to have to listen to the same crap ever half-hour for five years or more. There’s an ad for Timbercaw [that’s ‘caw’ with a ‘a’, gushes the half-witted lady who has apparently been desperately seeking T-caw all her life]. Can’t you persuade the cheapskates at Timbercaw to commission a new ad, CapeTalk?
But that’s not all. Lately there has been a rush of ads that are either so untrue or scripted in such bad English that they – and the station that carries them – deserve high censure.
First, their own ad. They recently ran one trying to persuade us to rush to False Bay to photograph killer whales [I kid you not – no, I don’t know what the hell for either!]. This ad carries the line “killer whales ... members of the orca family”. CapeTalk, killer whales are orcas. Your line means the same as saying [idiotically], “men ... members of the human family.”
Recently there was an ad for some snake-oil called Bimbosym D, or somesuch. “Our modern lifestyles are killing us,” pronounces a man who with demonstrable lack of candour claims to be a medical doctor. Of course they are, fool – everyone’s lifestyle is killing them. However, our modern lifestyles have ensured that we live one hell of a lot longer than we used to!
Then there is an ad for endangered ghost frogs [I think ... but who cares?]. It contains the winning injunction, “Animate life!” 
   CapeTalk, please. How do you animate the animate? And we thought your English was so good.
There is another that claims that “used printer cartridges are destroying our planet!” Have you ever heard such utter sh*te? If that is not an insult to our collective intelligence, then what is.
There is one for envelopes [envelopes? Why?] that contains the line, “So much for those  ‘Think before you print’ messages.” I challenge anyone in the entire media industry to explain what the hell that line has to do with the advertised product! It’s just pure idiocy!
Talk about dumbing down the population with verbal rubbish. Whatever happened to ‘Lead SA’?

– Grumpy Old Kaartman, June 2013

1 comment:

  1. Hi Peter

    Love your stuff! :)

    Re 'Timbercaw' advert - I think you meant 'Timbacore'? (see )

    Thanks for all the effort you put into Cederberg Names - thuroughly enjoying it.

    All the best.