Friday, February 22, 2008

Die, Die, Die annoying pop-up ad for Gillette

There's something inherently daft about advertisements for male shaving products. It's not just the profusion of extra blades on safety razors, although that's getting pretty silly. I could understand when going from one blade to two was considered a revolutionary act in that product field, but now some brands are up to five blades. Better than ever, the closest shave you ever had scream the hype-merchants. How many more blades can they fit on a safety razor? If five blades are so much better than four [or three, or two, or one], why not have 100 blades? A thousand?

Then there's the slogans and TV ads that accompany these breakthroughs in shaving technology. [Shaving technology? Give me a break. You're scraping whiskers of hair off a face, not solving cancer. Get over yourselves.] It's not enough for a safety razor to go a good job. No, now it has to be THE BEST A MAN CAN GET. See this square-jawed, bronzed Adonis of a man scraping whiskers off his face? You can be like this if you use our product. Be buff! Be tuff! Make bad guys yell enough!

Cue the inspirational music, so bombastic and over the top you'd think they were announcing applications had opened to become a freaking astronaut. Conquer space! Get any woman [or man] you want! Have facial so soft and smooth no sane human can resist your sheer animal magnetism! Conquer worlds! Achieve greatness! Obviously, they can't go with the truth: be less hairy after using our product. Try not to cut yourself. Use this and don't give your loved one stubble burn so much.

If you're wondering what's set off this diatribe, it's the world's most annoying pop-up add. Some genius at Microsoft redesigned Hotmail and, try as I might, I almost always have to get past an introductory screen to reach the contents of my inbox. That was vexing enough, but now this stupid arse drop-down ad for Gillette featuring Thierry Henry, Tiger Woods and Roger Federer appears from nowhere to cover the inbox button. Making it impossible to read my emails.

If I ever contemplated buying a Gillette product, this vexation has put me off the company's products FOR LIFE. Burn in hell, Gillette, and take you pissy ad with you. Thierry Henry I like, but Tiger Woods always looks like he's about to burst into tears [it's that weak chin and child from a velvet painting eyes], while Roger Federer I find slightly less appealing than a green potato. Sorry, ranting now. Time for my morning coffee. Will try to calm down before blogging again.


Dylan said...

You should get messenger, one click of a button and you're staright through to your inbox, also tells you when you get hotmail messages. I think shaving ads are on a par with tothbrush ads with all the "technical innovations" they claim. They must have been jumping for joy the day someone said " hey we could put a tongue scraper on the back of this".

John Soanes said...

I like the way Gillette have taken to sticking together random words to name their products - 'Gillette Fusion Power Stealth' and the like.

Though the one they advertise in an inept way with the sportsmen is brilliant as it has 'the power of five blades AND the precision of one blade', thus suggesting that the more blades you get the less accurate it is. Basically, admitting that 5/6 of the product is not much cop.

Still, as a male, I'm obviously distracted by the power chords and the sight of some people who play sports, so I'll be buying eight of them this weekend.


bodnotbod said...

I don't underestimate the pain and anxiety of changing email address but, seriously, drop Hotmail.

I had a Hotmail account for years and people pestered me to change to Gmail. I resisted for ages: it's inconvenient to change email address. But eventually Hotmail was functioning so slowly I was going out of my mind. So finally I jumped. And I then cursed myself for having left it so long to make the move.

Why not try setting up an account for yourself and sending yourself a few emails to test it out? It's free and you can always abandon it.

Alternatively, assuming you're using Internet Explorer, if you started using Firefox you could install the add-on "Adblock Plus" which may well strip out any ads you're seeing in Hotmail.

Oli said...

Toothbrush adverts are worse, all CGI bacteria and models in lab coats. The ad for the toothbrush I use makes me wish I hadn't bought it, which probably isn't the desired effect.

Jon Peacey said...

Have you noticed how shaver ads seem to have got stuck in a combination of Iron Eagle and Top Gun? With a smattering of Top Gear flung into the mix.

I've been with Hotmail since I had to get internet access a whole three years ago and I've not had problems. I don't get pop-ups or drop-downs on the revamped version. I also don't have to go through any ads to get to account: I just type in and get automatically redirected to the sign-in page. That's not meant to sound anywhere near as smug as it probably does. In fact, not at all smug.

Worst, most horrible ad on TV: Otex ear-drops... it actually makes me feel physically sick.

Paul Neal said...

That gillette add is pretty loathsome, but worse still is the latest Nurofen add.

The one with the woman that works for the race team. (Fast cars=fast pain relief. Very original.)

They're all a bit like the old tampax adds stand up comedians you'd to take the piss out of.

Is there a shortage of good ad men these days?

Lucy said...

One of my many sisters spent the summer working for a razor company, I think it was Gillette. You would not BELIEVE the industrial espionage that goes on in that industry! Though not as good as the toy industry - I worked for one place that discovered its secretary was actually a spy from a rival company working undercover! It was like James Bond... With teddies and little ducks.

Jon Peacey said... Cold War movie analogies aren't so ludicrous!

"Is there a shortage of good ad men these days?"

I'm suspecting they may all be on something... I give you Exhibit A: Gorilla as Phil Collins playing drums... to advertize chocolate!?!?!