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Ad Fool

Moving on

I was going to write about the new Richard Simmons Telus spot. You must have seen it - it’s hilarious - , guy complains about annoying activation fees, and suggests they’re even worse than his new roommate. He then opens his apartment door only to see Richard Simmons in full dance party mode, ironing a pair of his famously indecent short-shorts amidst criss-crossing clotheslines swamping the shared unit. Richard loudly exclaims diva-style “Hello Roomy! You’re out of detergent!!!! Perfect.

Or maybe I could have touched on the fairly recent storefront marriage of Orange Julius and Dairy Queen. Apparently Warren Buffet and Co. concluded that the smoothie crowd needs to sit down with the burger/ice cream gang and really get to know each other. Personally, I’m all in favor of seeing Orange Julius show up somewhere with a drive-thru ‘cause I was never able to convince my mom to spring for one back when I was being dragged around the mall. I’m betting I can snow the wife into thinking they’re actually “good” for me, alongside a giant heat-rolled, foot-long, hot dog to boot.

Lastly, I was really tempted to go off on a couple of American political ads that hit my radar. One featured a dangerously young looking gal explaining how voting for Obama was like having sex for the first time while the other was a typically crude Michael Moore and Moveon.org ad showcasing a group of rowdy seniors waxing profane about all-things Romney and then threatening to c#@k punch him (very NSFW, btw). For the record, it seems c#@k-punching is now “a thing.” Now I didn’t realize c#@k punching was a thing, but thanks to Moore et al I have now exponentially expanded my knowledge. Thank you cool kids! But in the end I didn’t choose either of those ones either.

Back in 2004, when AdFool first started up I never actually thought I’d make it last eight years and 400 plus columns. That seems (and, well, kinda is…) crazy. So with more than 350,000 or so words spent thus far I think it’s high time to call it. But before I do, I did want to quickly revisit why I even started this in the first place.

I never got a degree in marketing and I certainly didn’t work for any ad agency. I was never an ad professional of any kind. Then, just as now, my only claim to this mantle of AdFool was my own personal acceptance of an earthly station in life that tagged me a life-long target for all things commercial. Basically, I’m a person who buys stuff, just like you.

I have always been that target (and always will be) but I’ve never been pissed off about it like some folks are. I think that’s because in my heart of hearts I sincerely appreciate all the good things commerce and capitalism has sent my way. Consider. There is no logical reason for Batman, ketchup chips, consumer-grade pressure washers or even the Star Wars movies to exist, but they do. They exist because someone wanted to sell something – nay, HAD to sell something to feed his kids, or heat his pool, or buy a car or feed a drug habit or whatever. And thanks to that, these insane little bits of manna fluttered down onto everyone’s larger world. Some of them suck, and lots may be a waste of time but TADAHHHH, they keep coming up with all new stuff just in case. No centralized, nanny-stated, government-directed economy is ever going to do that for you. It’s like having the best girlfriend ever! She just keeps trying to please you anyway she possibly can.

Now, let’s be clear. I like businesses and the entrepreneurs that build them. I won’t carry a cup of water for any slick CEO that views his or her business as little more than a series of statements and balance sheets. Those neck-tied, seat fillers spend far too little time actually running their businesses and way too much effort negotiating no-lose stock options, swish exit packages (for when they’ve plundered the place) and messing around with whatever trendy method of social engineering is currently hot at the country club. These mooks are basically bureaucrats masquerading as entrepreneurs, and they can kiss it, in my not so humble opinion.

Advertising itself though has always been communication, and communication is a good thing. People communicate, that’s how we interact. Is all communication good, or well-rendered, or even always that well-intentioned? Obviously not, but should we crimp, stifle or ever seek to make such things harder or more difficult to do? Never.

I simply could not live in a world of one, overriding monolithic message declaring what I needed to think, eat, say and do. That’s a government that has leapt the rails of its mandate and headed off into quasi-dictator-land, usually at its peoples own sad and lazy-ass request. I want capitalism (which I will admit is still messy as hell) but even at its worst still offers the sort of freedom in which I prefer to live. And I think you do too.

Anyway, I’m done with AdFool for now but I will still be writing. More pieces, more subjects, more fun stuff. I just don’t know what or where exactly yet. If you care to, drop me an email or visit www.littlebluetruck.com from time to time and I’ll try to keep you in the loop. Buy a book and I’ll even feel obligated far beyond what I probably should. If not, then rejoice. Your internet page just became a whole lot less cluttered. So, thanks to one and all for the attention and whatnot thus far but as things currently stand I’ve gotta be moving on.

Editor's Note:  All of us here at Castanet are sad to see our AdFool moving on.  We are grateful for the many funny, enlightening articles submitted over the years.  We sincerely wish Jarrod the very best in his future endeavours!

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About the author...

My qualifications? Who am I to critique commercial advertisement? I have no degree in marketing. I don't work for an ad agency. I'm not an advertising professional. I am barely qualified to judge an Oreo stacking contest. Who do I think I am?

I am a target and I have been shot at by advertisers every single day of my entire life. Sales pitches are a part of living, and as a raging consumer taught to accumulate stuff and needing only a semi-good reason to do so means I'm more than qualified.

When Heinz introduced colored ketchups I bought purple and green. When Coke added vanilla I got a case. Crest puts whitening in the toothpaste and I'm brushing my teeth. Create a new package and I jump up and down. I can't help it. I'm an AdFool.

Jarrod Thalheimer is a freelance writer living in Kelowna who spends far too much time watching television and movies. He can be reached at [email protected]

Visit Jarrod's website at www.adfool.com

 

 



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet presents its columns "as is" and does not warrant the contents.


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