Stupid UK Movie Ads
Written By: Joe

Hey, remember when you went to the theater and you only saw like fifteen minutes of previews instead of fifty-million minutes of advertisements and then fifteen minutes of previews? No, me neither. Brain-raping media has removed most of my childhood recollections so I can only assume I've invented such a utopia as I have just described. Well, at least I can criticize the ads anyway. So let's do that.

Basically, theater ads have a shelf life, just like other ads, but they tend to be slightly more epic and lengthier (or sometimes they're just the extended director's cut versions of ads you see on television) in, I suppose, an attempt to fit the cinema format in some sort of manner. Because of this, if you visit the theater more than once within a relatively short span of time, you'll probably catch almost all of the same exact commercials each time, thus solidifying themselves in your memory permanently and assuring that, in your final moments, you'll have thoughts of family interspersed with an aching desire for Fiery Habanero Doritos and a Toyota Highlander. I've seen all these commercials about five times now, so I decided to get out the demons by writing this. I currently live in the UK, but the ads are just as irritatingly, mind-crushingly shitty as what I'm used to from their US equivalents so this oughta work just fine.

I've lopsidedly chosen eight ads to discuss. I'm going to put them in order from annoying to fucking annoying:

8

If You Hit Me, It's No Big Thing, Really

This ad isn't particularly long so it also shows on television (or telly, if you will) and, apparently, the radio too, which is the sort of thing that maybe might be a bit unnecessarily unnerving to hear while you're driving. This commercial is actually something you likely wouldn't see in the US because, although we've got an insane bloodlust, we don't really care for violence if it's in reference to a real life problem.

Basically, some little dead girl explains to you how you shouldn't drive at 40 mph because she will die...scientifically! Like a lot of public service announcements (this one sponsored by the driving campaign, THINK!), it somehow manages to have been dreamed up by people who can't even seem to accurately get across a straightforward message, possibly because they think they're helping the world and we all know humanitarians don't get paid the big bucks, so where's the real motivation?

The problem is that it's unclear in what way this is supposed to make me feel bad. I get to watch the little girl come back to life in a gross way which makes me feel kind of off, but I don't particularly understand what I'm to glean from this reverse cracking of her limbs. I mean, why make me find her coming back to life nasty? Shouldn't I be glad that's happening? If you wanted to shock me appropriately, just show the broad getting pinballed off of a fender, no?

Secondly, why is she sliding back into the middle of the street? I guess maybe it's supposed to be like the accident is happening in reverse, but she obviously didn't slide like that on her way out, so it's just odd. It left one of my friends asking, "Did the driver move her to the tree and then drive away?" so it's clearly just a confusing thing to do. Plus, she really shouldn't be back in the street again! This does not inspire confidence!!!

I put this on the bottom of the list because it's short and it's sort of always amusing because of the glaringly obvious fact that the overall message here is that it's okay to run over children, just so long as you do it at a reasonable speed.

I also feel I should mention that somebody far more qualified than I discussed this commercial quite some time ago.

7

He's Yelling Because He's Evil

Hey, guess what! The British have dense military recruitment commercials too!! This one is one of the more offensive ones here, but it's low on the list because I also find it amusing. It's vaguely racist because the enemy is depicted as some kind of screaming, gun-firing lunatic, but they sort of get away with it because I can't tell what race the guy is supposed to be. He looks like he might be Latin, I think. Be careful, all Latinos in general!! Britain's got its eye on you!!!

I have further issues here, such as the fact that we're sort of led to believe that the voice over at the beginning is a translation of what the crazy foreigner is shouting about, but then we find out it's just some pansy Limeys hiding in a bush. This gives us a wacky feeling of changeover because, what was initially supposed to sound like insane rambling is actually the words of a wise, charismatic marine. So, what are we really saying here? HMM??? HUH??!? Think about it.

I'd also like to note that the marines apparently need an entire squadron to take down one shouty person. Really now, how much of a threat can this guy be? He doesn't even have the sense to not stand out in the open and scream his head off. And his actions are particularly strange. What prompted them? Did he just figure this was a good place to start screaming? And then he just walks off for some reason. I guess, since we never hear what he's actually talking about it's probably something to the effect of "I'VE BEEN HAVING PROBLEMS AT HOME!! MY WIFE DOESN'T APPRECIATE WHAT I DO!!! OH! FUCK'S SAKE!! I'VE LEFT THE OVEN ON!!! BE BACK IN A TICK!!!"

6

Pure Imagination Ghetto

This one gets on here just because it's weird. Okay, so the idea is they're showing you a bunch of empty billboard stands, but how come they picked so many places that look all poverty-stricken and whatnot? When the ad started, I initially assumed it was another public service announcement asking me to give money to people who live in shit cities surrounded by depressing, empty billboards and that the use of "Pure Imagination" from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was meant to be sarcastic. But, no, it's just about some free movie channel. I do like the song a lot, incidentally, but more when it's in Willy Wonka.

This ad just goes on leaving me thinking for too long, "So, what, I should help those dirty little street urchins?" until the end. I don't know what sort of movies they think I watch that look like this...Boyz n the Hood? Whatever, I seen that already.

Oh, we also have the irony that this was an advert delaying my ability to watch a film. Thanks, Skymovies!!!

5

Get Outta Dat House, You Silly Teens!

This one is advertising the forthcoming new series of Skins, which is the UK version of every US drama we have starring uncommonly attractive teenagers getting into ridiculously over the top situations. I think they only have one show like this, as opposed to our thirty-thousand, because they couldn't find enough attractive British kids to fill a whole other series. Wahaha, England.

This commercial isn't so much a depiction of actual events from the series as it is what a film student who's sold out her dreams came up with when executives told her "Try to encapsulate the basic idea of Skins in a minute and a half and make it, you know, modern." So what's going on here exactly? The children are having a near-naked party in what appears to be a house in need of a severe Bob Vilazation. A number of them seem quite upset; that one boy was distraught enough to retreat to the bathtub and have a lie-down! Overreacting, really. I'm sure they've just not gotten around to calling the landlord yet. Anyway, the other kids seem okay with it and are dancing about and making out hardcore (ooh! lesbians spotted!). I don't know what that girl outside is so upset about as the house is clearly going to fall down anyway.

I'd like to make fun of Skins more, but I just can't, really, because, I mean, I was a teenager once and we've all been there, right? You know, practicing ballet shirtless in a dilapidated sex house? Honestly, it's almost a cliche at this point.

4

Shhh....Use a Condom

Another public service announcement, another bunch of bizarre decisions that make things less educational and more just weird. Yeah, well, I guess, as a young adult, I'll make a point of not having so much sex on the street and in alleyways and such, although that kind of is my thing. Also, I suppose you're right that you can't always tell what disease a person might have, but those clothes they all wear from their various STD-named universities provide a decent hint. Anybody notice that gonorrhoea is easily the most popular one here? I'm totally buying a family size pack tomorrow.

The most pressing question here is why is this young lady whispering to me? This is important information and she should really speak up if she wants me to get something out of it. It sounds a bit like she's coming on to me too, which is somewhat counterintuitive, in my opinion. But I give the ladies what they want so I've sent my phone number to the ad agency and expect to hear back shortly.

I think it'd be funny if they took the voice over from this one and put it over the Skins ad. Actually, I'm not sure I'd notice the difference.

3

Donkeys and Humans - Together At Last

Click here for crap!

I unfortunately couldn't find this Volvo ad on YouTube so you have to go to the link if'n you wanna see it. Basically, it's some white people out on a leisurely drive with shit music telling us not to work this morning and go out and have a perfect afternoon (which is supposed to be a lot less depressing than a perfect day with Lou Reed). Yeah, I guess it's fine if you're a bunch of rich yuppies with no other obligations, but that old guy working that stand doesn't seem like he's in such a good mood. Also, I had no idea the Volvo logo now incorporated the universal symbol for masculinity. It sort of changes the entire ad. I mean, it's not exactly being presented as the most manly car, but then you get that thing right at the end and you don't know what to think.

I just find this so phenomenally stupid. I mean, what's the message here: This car will not only make you not kill donkeys, you'll become friends with them? Whatever, I don't need any fancy brakes. If I hit the donkey at 30 mph, there's an 80% chance he'll live anyhow.

2

YOU'RE FAT, UGLY, AND DISGUSTING!! Enjoy!

Evidently, this is an old Superbowl ad from the nineties (and, supposedly, it's won advertising awards for being so fucking awesome), but, they get everything in the UK late, so this is only showing in the cinemas now. It's only thirty seconds but it feels a lot longer, probably because you're watching (and listening to!) close-ups of a fat, sweaty, ugly guy eating pizza the whole time. The main issue here is that I can't imagine why the Tabasco people would think I'd like to aspire to be the man in this ad. Not only is he rather repulsive, he's also clearly eating pizza all by his lonesome in the dark and has, judging by all the empty bottles, been at it for quite some time now.

I'm going to admit that this commercial got me to try Tabasco sauce on my pizza, but that's because I already had a bottle and I like Tabasco sauce. I just never would've thought of putting it on my pizza of my own volition. I suppose it also succeeded in making me question whether there's a chance my use of Tabasco has anything to do with my being single.

1

Chocolate Shouldn't Make Me Retch


(This is some Spanish version of the commercial as I could not find a full-length English one.)

This is maybe the worst thing I've ever seen in my life and I've watched Meet the Feebles. It's for one of those manly body sprays that, if you use it, any vaginas within a ten-mile radius will instantly explode. In this case, that old belief that women find chocolate irresistable is being put into play as a man using Axe Lynx Body Spray is instantly transformed into a horrifying chocolate monster that ladies cannot help putting their mouths on.

It's disturbing from beginning to end; his awful constantly smiling face with those dead eyes, the tearing off of body parts, and the oddly skin-crawling concept of being penetrated through one's belly-button. Then we have the borderline pornographic aspects of the commercial: a threesome in the middle of a movie theater, the part in the hospital (wait, so I'm supposed to use this body spray to pick up bed-ridden chicks?) that seems to be sort of playing on the concept of the dick in a box, and, most notably, the woman ducking behind the gent's BACKSIDE and EMERGING WITH HER LIPS COVERED WITH BROWN STUFF. I don't think I have to spell this out for you, do I?

I have no idea who this commercial appeals to as I've spoken to women and men alike who seem to find it either creepy, disgusting, or a combination of those things. I guess it managed to get me to talk about it with people, but I also didn't catch on as to what it was even about until maybe the third viewing as I was too busy VOMITING IN MY MOUTH.

See you next time!!!


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