Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Halifax ISA ISA Woman, How Do I Hate You? Let Me Count The Ways...

Unlike most of the human race, I love a good advert. I'm not a psychopath, I don't like bad adverts, but when an ad is executed perfectly, I really enjoy watching them. I could talk all day about my favourite adverts, and I really do think that although I buy what is advertised like a total sucker, I'm being made happy by this fact. After all, I enjoyed the advert so much that I remembered it, therefore they deserve to win my custom. A shallow way to live, yes, but I'm 100% consumer, so there's not much I can do about that I'm afraid.

It upsets me then, that some companies feel they can invade my comfortable living room with their badly-constructed, cliché (be it visual or sentence-based) ridden market cries. How dare they demand my attention for thirty whole seconds, when what they have to offer is a disturbing mish-mash of unfinished ideas and annoying jingles. "Washing machines live longer with Calgon". Could they not have tried a little harder? I suppose you've got to give them credit for their down-to-the-facts no-nonsense approach, but to get me to buy their product they're going to need to add some cinematics to the equation.

Some companies, however, abandon all attempts to just get their message across, and apparently go completely bananas in search of the perfect way to flog their merch. They suddenly become aware, for no reason, that the Public (capital P to denote a non-existent mass of similarity) are complete idiots who need to be pandered to and entertained in their own moronic way. The best example of this type of cultural holocaust are the Halifax adverts.

For the best part of a decade, Halifax adverts have been wholly unbearable, mainly due to Howard and his singing and jigging about like a pillock. Some people liked them though. These people were those older women in your office, who giggled as they repeated choice lines from them. The people who send FW: emails with "THIS IS TRUE, TRY IT FOR URSELV" in the subject line. People who actually buy ringtones. People who think the Compare the Meercat website is "genius". They were wrong, but they liked them. The newish (well, a year or-so old) adverts however, defy convention, belief and the rules of common decency.

Set in an impossibly clean and naturally-lit Radio Station, the Halifax crew are for some reason broadcasting their interest rates to the nation via vaguely tongue-in-cheek ad-breaks.

I hate these adverts more than third world injustice.

I'm not sure if it's the incessant chirpiness of the characters that so offends me, or whether I'm still smarting from a succession of unfair bank charges they laid upon my name several years ago, but what I am sure of is that I hate one of the gang more than the others by a long long way.

ISA ISA Baby woman. I hate you. I shouldn't care so much about a character in an advert, but I do. You make me clench my fists in anger when I see your face. Your head movements make me want to throw babies down the stairs. The way you treat your pretend co-workers is horrendous, hen-pecking the girls and flirting aggressively with the guys - it's not obvious, but evident that behind the scenes your character bitches like Gok Wan three days after new year when he's given up fags and booze. I feel sorry for the brown-haired lass you co-starred with in an earlier advert; it was clear you threatened to steal her boyfriend if she upstaged you.

Your joke isn't funny! ISA ISA baby. ISA ISA baby. No matter how many times I think about it, I still can't understand why it is on my TV so frequently. She is the type of person who looks around the room for acknowledgement when she says a joke. In the radio station staffroom, she is the person who despite the air of exhaustion laughs loudly at her phone, and when nobody asks what she's laughing at, exclaims anyway that her friend just sent her "a REALLY funny message!" but does not tell you what it says. Her car has stickers on it that say "Mad Bitch on board!" or "Powered by chocolate". 

ISA ISA woman, should you really be so fervent in your advances towards fellow colleagues? Making an ironic nod towards shit 90s nostalgia (Thanks @mattmaloney) is not a brilliant way to make a good first impression, especially if that person has more than half a brain-stem and is one of your colleagues. He's seen you at the office Christmas party, smashed on vodka and cranberry, trying to snog Barry from reprographics and wearing a cat-ears headband which you have declared as "totally random!" to everybody in the room. You spilled rose wine on his shirt at Barbara's leaving do in your haste to leave the table for karaoke. Despite your boasts, you did not sound like Mariah Carey, and had to be put in a taxi early after you began sobbing in the bathroom for an indeterminate reason. He looks interested out of common decency, please leave the poor man alone.

How one misjudged idea has managed to go so wrong is beyond me, but by spending so much money on an advert that makes me want to hang myself they have achieved one thing - I will never be using or buying any of their products. I have strong principles. Despite their high overdraft rate for students I didn't open an account with them because I hated Howard so much (and also because of the Charges Grudge).

Fuck you, Halifax advertisements. Fuck you.


matt said...

They are fucking awful.

Jamrock said...

"I hate these adverts more than third world injustice."

That's the money-shot right there. Epic rant, Biscuit.

Pinklilycat said...

I've just laughed so much that tea came down my nose. You're so absolutely bang on it's clear you must be my sista from another mista! I closed all my accounts with them (I had 3 - no idea why) because of the Howard ads and this new low makes me want to smash the windows in whenever I pass a branch. HALIFAX, FUCK YOU. FUCK RIGHT OFF.

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