Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Adventures in Advertising

April 30th.

I'm having a joyless lunch at Subway. The sullen teenager behind the counter has built the sandwich according to my precise specifications, but I know from experience that no matter the combination of bread, filling and condiments, the end result always tastes like a bland Subway sandwich. So I've not come for the sandwich but for the Superhero toy that goes with it. Yesterday my 7-year-old son cried hot, ang‎ry tears for the lack of this toy; his best friend has lots of them because the lucky boy eats at Subway everyday, or so I understand through sobs. 

Later after work I arrive at his school with a smile and present my son with the Avengers puzzle. Of course ‎it's the wrong toy. There are more hot, angry tears while I contemplate another Subway lunch.  Consuming processed meats is a factor in high cholesterol and colon cancer but perhaps that's a small price to pay for a 7-year-old's smile and a big hug. Thanks Subway!

May 2nd

My 14-year-old son's soccer team has been invited to play a pre-season game against a strong girls' team: 14-year-old boys against 16-year-old girls.  The game is sponsored by Coca Cola, "a celebration of the upcoming women's world cup in Canada". It quickly becomes apparent that a Coca Cola celebration means making a commercial. The boys stand around while the girls repeat their entrance on to the pitch at least three times (I lose count) until it is done to the satisfaction of the director. When the game finally kicks off, play is somewhat disrupted by the film crew camped out in the centre circle. At 2-0 to the boys, the action is suspended to stage a goal by the girls - boys and girls are visibly embarrassed.

At the end of the "game" the players are given soccer kits, iTunes vouchers and a meal at a local restaurant. 

"Ils ont profité de nous" says my son when we get home. Yes they did, but I think he learned something too. Thanks Coca Cola!

June 22nd

OMG it's even worse than I feared, “even better than the real thing” as Bono warned - the Coke advertisement shows an event the occurred in the mind of the director only and certainly not on the soccer pitch. It's actually pretty impressive, in a dishonest manipulative way. 

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