Tesco Feel The Power ad: All Out Of Bubblegum
Tesco's nightmarish Clubcard advert under the microscope, plus Mariah Carey gingerly tonguing crisps – and do you like hot fudge sundaes?
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Tesco Clubcard - Feel The Power
Is it Halloween? I ask because that’s the only explanation I can come up with for this profoundly disturbing advert for Tesco’s Clubcard, which shows a lady so astonished her trimmed green beans are 25p cheaper than usual, she turns into something from a Gotham City nightmare.
As has been pointed out, it bear an eerie similarity to the intentionally disturbing video for Black Hole Sun, some 30 years ago, although the SFX in the Tesco ad are much more ropy. So annoyed by this advert was
Karen Essie Harvey that she’s reported it to the Advertising Standards Authority. Well, that’s well-and-truly one-upped my newsletter.
Most people who dislike this advert suggest it’s because it’s genuinely unsettling. The ad inhabits not just an uncanny valley, but an uncanny island, steppe, forest, coastline, mountain region – possibly a whole uncanny country of a country the size of Belgium.
Presumably created using one of the cheaper TikTok filters, this Tesco ad mines the same ‘they walk among us’ tropes as the sort of films that make it clear that people who look like this are probably capitalist aliens intent on enslaving us with promises of a better life, if only we just keep buying.
Let’s just hope that, as with tomatoes and peppers, Tesco isn’t all out of bubblegum.
From the Vault - Mariah Carey advertises Walkers Crisps
Sometimes you can almost imagine how it happens: there’s a list, somewhere, of all the celebrities available to advertise, well, anything. It doesn’t matter if it’s quite clear the celebrities haven’t heard of your product, or whether they’re as relevant to your brand as, say, the Icelandic sagas. They’re available, they’re famous and, well, that’s enough. Hence Mariah Carey advertising Walkers Crisps: the ubiquitous Tesco of crisps; the vanilla DVD of secondary meal deal items; the Claudia Winkleman of fried potato slices.
It’s now illegal to not like All I Want For Christmas Is You, a song by Mariah that represents the quintessence of her soulless brand of R’n’B and has now found its way into the Carols From Kings service. Mariah herself, of course, died sometime in the Noughties and now runs on cosmetic surgery, Evian and regular infusions of blood from Motown orphans. But she can still be sufficiently programmed to move her arms a little and raise a crisp to her mouth in a pretence of eating.
Here she’s wheeled out to pretend she’s actually a nice person and would deign to dirty her fingers with something as vile as a Pigs-In-Blankets-flavoured Walkers crisps. To watch her gingerly retrieving one of the snacks is like watching someone trying to defuse a nuclear bomb, on which several people accidentally ejaculated.
At least you can imagine Gary Lineker actually eating crisps or Suella Braverman actually feasting on the life-force of homeless immigrants, but the notion of Carey eating mass-market British crisps is so fundamentally dishonest it’s like Greta Thunberg advertising Rustlers Double Decker Cheese Burgers.
Do you like hot fudge sundaes?
My new micro-obsession is this very funny mash-up of various bits of a vintage Old Country Buffet training video, where new carvery folk (carvaristas?) are told how to look after their station, slice overcooked meats and
recite homosexual pick-up lines make friends.
Is it the terrifyingly green-grey slab of whatever meat that is, looking like something that the Time Team dug out of a peat bog that make the edit so amusing? Is it the casual ignorance of ‘give me that’? Or the bizarrely oblivious conveyor belt of non sequiturs.
And where else could he be going with this line of questioning?
Ever drink Baileys from a shoe?
Ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?
Have you ever been in a Turkish prison?
Innovation means bad AR
News from No 10, who are experimenting with a crazy, brand new concept called Augmented Reality, using this squiggly box thing and pointing your smartphones and clicking some buttons, or something.
This kind of augmented reality has been available, by my reckoning, for at least 15 years. I remember being sent links that would allow you to use your smartphone to project cars onto your surroundings at least 12 years ago. QR codes were invented nearly 30 years ago. And what’s up with the fonts? They look like something from Encarta.
Sunak’s tweet doesn’t so much evoke the white heat of technology as a bunch of Millennials puzzling over a fax machine they’re trying to connect to Bluetooth. Still, coming from the same political party that came up with the vision of the future below (still, astonishingly, on the Conservative Home website), maybe it’s not so surprising after all.
Things I discovered this week
💩 Nutrition-for-psychopaths company Huel was told off for a series of misleading claims about its food-replacement gruel, which the Advertising Standards authority pointed out wasn’t especially cheap, nor was it a meaningful replacement for food, nor was it clear it is especially healthy. TV presenter and social media grifter Laura Whitmore also had her knuckles rapped over claims about her Muff.
🥛 A former child actor who appeared in the ‘Accrington Stanley; who are they they?!’ advert for British milk in the 1980s has been given a life sentence for murder.
🥬 Just a very funny pun in an ad that Simon Manchipp spotted referring to our current salad shortage, which is caused by
Brexit weather conditions on the continent that somehow mean that while they have all the fresh tomatoes and greens they want, we don’t, okay?! Click for the full ad.
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