And Now a Few Words From Me : Advertising's Leading Critic by Bob Garfield

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By Bob Garfield

"If you crave perception into the wacky, zany, madcap--albeit very serious--business of ads, it is a great spot to begin."--Miami bring in A witty and frank examine the advert biz from one among its most beneficial voices advertisements has turn into an unending movement of clich?s, tacky productions, miscast celebrities, and gratuitous sex--and take-no-prisoners ads Age columnist Bob Garfield has had adequate. within the usually hilarious, consistently dead-on And Now a number of phrases from Me, Garfield appears on the top and the worst in contemporary advertisements as he tells advertisements execs that it is time to swallow their very own egos, go back consumers' rights to the leading edge, and--once and for all--eliminate undesirable advertisements from the face of the earth.

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I mean, for the most part, God was probably right. You shouldn’t kill, except under the most dire circumstances, such as someone in the supermarket express aisle with sixteen items and a checkbook. You should not worship false idols, not even Springsteen. And you should certainly honor your father and mother, because without them you would have none of the neuroses that make you so special. But with this “Thou shalt not steal” thing . . well, uh, dear Lord, just do me a little favor. Please check out a 1996 spot from Bartle Bogle Hegarty, London, for Faberge’s Lynx cologne and then define steal.

Obviously, Microsoft is Big Brother. But back in 1984 the landscape was a little different, and this commercial was an emotionladen masterpiece. It was also—by any ordinary measure of linear, logical, leftbrained, informative communication—one of the most irrational acts in advertising history. Think about it. The personal-computing world at that time was a DOS world. Not a Windows-overlaying-DOS world. Just plain ugly, unadorned, C-prompt-intensive DOS. So here comes this revolutionary, user-friendly new technology that introduces the idea of icons and a handheld mouse with which to navigate around applications.

I’m not certain, but I’m pretty sure this was the first time I gave a television commercial a standing ovation. Yes, me, in my underwear, standing on my bed—my taut sinews rippling, excessive hotel-room ventilation blowing heroically through my hair, my $17 room-service pizza bobbing on the mattress like a speedboat in light chop— applauding and hooting with approval. Because it was brilliant. Because it was unexpected. Because I, Mr. Pundit, had been so terrifically taken in. Bravo! The admiration was short-lived, as the world of advertising mediocrity took me immediately from the sublime to the ridiculous.

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