Are you a Masochist? Yes if you watch cable news and then order a Pad Thai


Living on a small island with a terrible choice of cable channels have I developed a masochistic streak that compels me to watch mind numbingly bad commercials on International news networks like CNN? These travesties to the creative advertising community are throwbacks to the 1950's. But instead of Mom in an A-line skirt trying to persuade me to invest in some Tupperware, an earnest voice asks me to move my entire business to some unstable country or my money into a Bank I have never heard of. I can only assume the rates for the commercials are payable via Groupon as the scripts make a Hallmark Card a Pulitzer contender and the acting is as wooden as Elvis' heart. The real mystery is who on earth do they think are actually watching these? (Apart from knobby-no-mates like me who just howl with laughter.) Does someone really believe a Captain of Industry or a Titan from Wall Street is going to take a break from his next mega-billion deal to watch Focus Africa at 3 in the afternoon about a co-op making sweaters out of Matabele gumbo beads or a mime troupe re-imagining Hamlet out on the Serengeti? Worthy and important as these things may be they are not going to hold the attention of Gordon Gekko or Ritchie Rich. "Quick get me the Financial Director. We need to put all our money in this Bank of Lilliput. This commercial has won me over." Or "Let's move out of Silicon Valley and take a seaview building in Atlantis. Who cares there are land mines scattered around like confetti from the previous civil war, the locals are not even on nodding terms with the English language and the airport safety record is on a par with a Samsung Note 7."  Whilst I admit a well-crafted ad might make me think twice about which supermarket to visit or perhaps try a new shampoo, major corporate decisions are not made because of these pitches.

...and another thing

Next up on the cable networks are country generic travel adverts. These are equally toe-curling.

“Come to Transylvania and watch the famous ladies open tractor pulling contest….” as we are treated to a scene straight out of a Hammer House of Horror Movie.

“Visit history in our sands,” is another stereotipical commercial. With a music soundtrack that is a manic mix of bagpipes and cymbals we cut from endless sand dunes to some idiot on a horse or waterskiing then to a huge traffic jam in a city that makes Myrtle Beach look classy. The last shot is at sundown with a handsome couple eating in a restaurant; note the water or juice on the table as any alcohol consumption will lead to a brisk flogging.

Even well-known companies cannot seem to resist these cliché infested ad spots on cable. Have you seen DHL’s Earth is getting better ad? A commercial so smug you want to smack it. What they are saying is “Well Earth is getting better because of…actually…”. More cheek than an elephant’s backside!

...and another thing

The Pad Thai and masochism? When I fancy some Thai food why does the charming waitress insist that I slap to my face a towel that is hotter than a thermonuclear warhead. The idea of a soothing cool face towel in a restaurant in a humid night in Bangkok appeals. But why on a wet Wednesday in Wigan would I possibly want to smother my face with a nappy that could poach an egg? Yet look around next time and watch people gingerly lift up these boiling cotton rolls, blowing to cool their fingertips as they then drop the damn thing onto their face. The only thing more masochistic than a Thai diner is a donkey that wants to be a Piñata.

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One Comment

  1. George . says:

    Glad to hear you are still alive!!

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