Top 5 Television Adverts of 2012

So last year I spent some time going through all the adverts I could remember from 2011 and shared my top 5 selections with you. Hmmmm, well I think I started something that would just be totally uncool not to continue, and see how things develop over time. Don’t you think?

As always, 2012 was filled with a mind bogglingly huge selection of commercials to choose from. There was really great ones, okiesh ones, and of course the epic fails that continue to plague us through the year. The Go Compare team still fail to understand the concept of great advertising, and for yet another year we’ve been subjected to hours of some operatic twits warbles in a vain effort to convince us to partake of the offerings from Go Compare.

Compare the Market have milked Aleksander for as much as they can get out of him for a while I think, and while I loved the concept at first, their range and ideas have become rather stale and bland through 2012 in my opinion.

Cilit band continues to torture us with Barry Scott and his ludicrous claims that Cilit Bang is so powerful that it even has a turbo boost , which it advertiseses by parking a jet in a hanger with a couple of shelves of Cilit Bang around it. Turbo Power? I didn’t know jets had turbo’s!!

Of course the list of painful, dull and lifeless adverts is endless. As I have said before, I like to be wowed by a commercial. Made to think or made to chuckle. Keep it fresh, keep it relevant and entertain me. In this way, maybe I am really actually interested in checking out your product or service.

There are some companies that you expect to produce a great advert. Places like British Airways, or John Lewis. Marks and Sparks and some of the big name Corporate Brands. I think John Lewis totally missed the mark with their Christmas advert this year, which was a disappointment, and in a year when so much was going on in the UK, BA really missed an opportunity too. But even though some of the big boys on the block didn’t feature, there are some pure beauties still.

So for this year, these are a selection of the five best adverts in my opinion. I am not sure which one is the best, so there is no specific order to them.

1. E.ON Best Deal Advert

2. Pedigree Denta Stix Advert. This makes me chuckle every time.

3. The BBC 2012 Olympic Coverage Advert

4. Cartier Long Form Advert

5. Matalan Christmas Advert

Compared with last year, it was not easy to choose my top five this year, and that was not because there were too many too choose from. I guess that the lack of money is even hitting advertising budgets ey? So of the five presented, which is the best in your opinion then?


You Get Out Of It What You Bother To Put In

It is a basic principle of life really. Whatever effort you put into something is what you reap in reward. There are a million different sayings that reflect it, its something we are taught to understand from a young age, and it is a lesson in life that we put into practice every single day we wake up.

Yet we never seem to do it quite well enough!

How often do we put everything we have into everything that we do? If we did, we’d be physically exhausted by the end of the day, but then again I can’t help but wonder if this lack of enthusiasm is part of our downfall as a race. See I reckon that man can evolve in reverse as well as evolve for the better. It would only stand to reason that we could devolve as a result of some of the advancements that mankind have made in our lives.

I mean think about the car. It is a magnificent marvel of engineering yes, and god there are some amazingly beautiful models of car out there (personally I am rather fixated with the new, BMW 2012 Alpina B7. OMG sex on wheels!!!) but while it is a marvel of human ingenuity it stopped us from walking. When I moved to the UK I didn’t have enough money to have a car for the first two years. I learnt to rely on public transport and my two pins. I don’t think I’d ever walked so much in my life, but I was fit, healthy and loved it. Now I got a car, I’ve been able to travel to some amazing places, see some wonderful things, have the freedom to do what I want when I want, but I don’t walk anymore. :(

It’s the same with food. KFC. Jeesh I got a massive soft spot of the Colonel’s Chicken. But what with microwave meals, tinned food, pre cooked this, and ready made that, that fine tradition of growing what we eat, eating what we need, and enjoying all of it has kind of withered away. Fresh fruit salad! When was the last time I had a proper real fresh fruit salad. Yeah, I might have one now that has one or two fresh fruits in it, but so much of it is tinned. The last time I personally prepared a fully fresh fruit salad if I am totally honest was over 13 years ago in Africa, and that reality is pretty damn sad! :/

Once upon a time we built pyramids to honour our royalty. Now we build fountains that don’t work properly and are shrouded in controversy. The amazing thing was we built them without cranes and massive earth moving machinery. You gotta ask yourself, could we do the same thing today? Maybe if we had all those slaves and people to work on it ey! The sad reality lies I believe in that building a pyramid would be seen as far too much effort for securing the after life of some king or queen.

From the top going down, society has changed. Of course there is nothing wrong with that, and it is only fair to expect people to change as things have gotten easier, as man kind have made discovery after discovery to improve our lives and our understanding of the world we live in, but I cannot help but ponder if all this development is in man’s best interest.

Our planet has just gone over the 7 billion people mark. Over 100 thousand people will die in the world today, but over 300 thousand will be born. This year already we’ve lost 2,7 million hectares of green forest world wide, and we have 15,122 days left until the world runs out of oil. (source Worldometers) Is all the knowledge we gain the knowledge we really need? Does the interest of our planet really lie at the heart of our hunger for knowledge?

It is a humbling thought. When I look at the Worldometers page, it brings home in very real terms how little we have, and how foolishly we squander it. Maybe our greed or selfishness outstrips our design for life. We love our lives of luxury, don’t get me wrong, I am just as guilty of this as anyone else. I love my computers, and my electric fan, the car in my drive, and a mircowave meal when I’m too lazy too cook. I read about a community over the weekend who have decided to forsake the comforts of the world, and live what they describe as an organic lifestyle, surviving off the land in every way possible. I was kind of jealous of them in a way, but I don’t think i’d survive without my internet connection or laptop.

There is a movie out at the moment called 7 Days in Havana. Josh Hutcherson stars in it. I was trying to find out a bit about the movie, and watched an interview he did about the movie. In the interview he says that while he was on location in Havana he met with people who had so little in life, were so poor compared with standards he was accustomed too, and yet were so alive, vibrant and happy. It kind of struck me. We have all these things in our lives, yet are not content. If I asked myself, “Are You Happy”, I’d have to say no.

Maybe we’ve lost touch with reality. No, maybe I’ve lost touch with reality. Which brings me back to my original thought. We get out of life what we put into it. Maybe I’m putting emphasis on things that are not important, giving attention to stuff that could be put on the back burner, and not really putting enough into the things that bring happiness, contentment and fulfilment.

For the last few days I’ve struggled with paying attention to stuff. I’ve been mad at life and mad at the world. For various reasons, and stuff going on in my own mind, and its affected me, but I’ve come to the conclusion that you can either sit down and let life whip you, or you can get back up and give it everything and try make it. After all, like I said, you only get out of it what you put in.

Thought for today – “A man sooner or later discovers that he is the master gardener of his soul, the director of his life.” – James Allen

Song for today – I Won’t Give Up by Jason Mraz  

Perfection Is Overated

Our very cosmopolitan world is so driven by consumer focus and the image of perfection, that in many ways it is almost as if we have lost sight of our humanity. We want to be seen in the best, by the best, with the best. It is all about perception and what we can or can’t portray of ourselves to the world we live in.

Be it trends on the catwalk, labels in the stores, the very latest tech gadgets, the most bling, the best car….
From our homes to the nails we have glued to our hands, it is all done in a quest to beautify ourselves, better our persona and come off as something more than what we really are? I can’t help but wonder a little how our value system has skewed so much.

Take any individual person and give him or her the time to show themselves for who they really are. I am sure that in the majority of the instances you’ll find that the person is a decent guy or girl. We all are made up of the same stuff. Emotions, insecurities, values, desires, passions, weaknesses, vulnerabilities. Hell the list is endless really. Every single one of us have these. We all fear rejection, whether you want to admit it or not. We all hate disappointment. Heck if we really want to be completely honest we are all horny buggers out to get as much out of life as we can, and truth be told more often than not we are pretty damn selfish about it too.

Yeah we fall in love, and share and reach out and touch others. Yes there are people that are better at it than others, but it is pretty simple when you consider the basics. We all want to be happy, accepted and cherished at some level in our lives.

So if it boils down to these simple truths then why the hell do we go and complicate it with all the extra baggage we add to our lives?

I mean I sat a couple of days ago and looked at over 5000 people wonder past me as I relaxed on the grass verge. I was struck by the efforts we make as humans to wear the best clothes, have the best gadgets, be seen in the best seats in the house or hanging with the right people, and I was struck by the lengths that we go to, to be a part of this wave of trendiness.

Does any of it make us a better person? Is the London Docklands worker in his smart suit and latest iPod any better than the Port Talbot Steel worker, or the Yorkshire Coal Miner or the Liverpool ship builder who is in a T shirt and Jeans with a cheap MP3 player if anything at all?

The reality…. take the time to get to know each one of them, not just the image they want the world to see, but the real person within, and they will all be the same. Good, genuine, decent people with huge things that they are covering up with this plastic screen of perfection that we hide behind.

I guess what I am learning at this point in my life is those Gucci designer glass you wear really aren’t all that important. That fab hair cut you needed a small mortgage to get, really wasn’t critical. The swanky car you drive or the million dollar home you live in, really doesn’t set you aside from the guy living on the street or the poor lady who walks ten miles to work because she can’t afford a bus ticket.

Looking like the best thing in the world does not make you the best thing in the world. It is who you are, your character, your compassion, your humanity that make you important. It is the small things that you can do to bring a smile to the face of a friend, or the words you can share with someone close when they need an ear to hear. It is the hugs you can give when the world needs a pick me up, or the smile you share that lets them know you are proud of them.

A parent understands this a little more than most. In most instances they have first hand experience of wanting more for someone else than themselves. They learn to be sensitive towards a child’s feelings, think first for their safety, plan for their success, take joy in their happiness and are the first to step up to comfort when the chips are down.

Is there not a lesson that we as a wider society can learn from this example? We see it going on around us all day every day. Love, unconditional, unselfish and genuine. It is a fine standard to cherish and to seek. It is an example we would to well to heed, and learn much from if we followed it more in our every day lives.

I owned a Jaguar once. Now I drive a little VW Golf. I prefer the golf, at least the top goes down. I guess what I am saying is that in life I am learning that having everything does not bring joy. Being in with the “in crowd” does not make you better. Being popular, recognised or special is not a sure route to happiness. You don’t have to be perfect to be great, you just have to be genuine.

Thought for today – “When a friend is in trouble, don’t annoy him by asking if there is anything you can do. Think up something appropriate and do it.” – Edgar Watson Howe

Song for today – Wings of a Butterfly by H.I.M.

At least have an Opinion!!!

I don’t get the time to sit and write as often as I did these days, and while I miss putting thoughts to paper, I also find that taking the time to sit and think about things over a longer period of time before I write gives me the ability to give a more balanced and thought out spin on the stuff I write, the reason for writing it and I allow myself to give consideration to both sides of the story.

While it is easy to sit and criticise, I have learnt that it is just as easy to take no interest at all, and I find that it is more productive and beneficial to pay attention and have an opinion than to bury one’s head in the sand and pretend that nothing is happening at all. Our world is a large, complex place with many intricate and deeply involved issues going on. Many of these are interwoven into complexity through politics or religion or in many cases both. Many are caused by a complete ignorance on behalf of mankind, and a failure to give adequate respect and acknowledgement to each others traditions, culture and lifestyles.

I am often mystified at how the world has changed so in the history of time. I often chuckle to think that at one time it was the African Nations that were the leaders of the First World. Their abilities and technological knowhow to this day still baffles scholars and educated men alike. The Aztec’s possibly knew more about building the perfect structure than modern day architects and engineers with all their computing power and fancy education learnt after many years with heads buried in books as thick as my arm. So has mankind really advanced?

The power of nations and the ability to use fear as a method of control and enslavement is possibly the true reality of mans progress in later centuries. It was the nation that could control the scholars to work for them, and forced whole communities to work under their demand that has lead to great wealth and ability. I don’t really think that mankind on his own has really progressed that much. Civilisations that have been literally irradiated from the face of our planet knew more about the balance of nature, and ecology than we do now. The Indian and the Aborigines’ understood that to hurt the planet was counter productive and hurt us as mankind in the long run. They knew this fact as long back as the discovery of the West and the colonisation of Australia. So how is it that this fact has slipped from the forefront of our mind?

Greed! Modern powers ignore proven fact, founded knowledge, and literal understanding in an insane craving for power at any cost. From the likes of Alexander the Great to modern day dictator’s human nature has trained itself to become selfish and crave recognition. The whole idea of celebrity and the people worship that we pander to in our modern society is something that I really don’t understand.

Granted it would seem that through out history mankind has always put people on a pedestal and given them an unadulterated level of attention in some form of warped hero worship, but more often than not in historical times this was a great leader, a leader who forced themselves on society or someone who truly was heroic in some way or other. Today it is wealth and style, arrogance and class, or some other worldly possession that elevates someone to iconic celebrity status.

Our epic desire to “Keep up with the Jones” see’s many of us wrapped up and absorbed in fantasy worlds of celebrity gossip, all of which is untrue on some level. Pearce Morgan the once Editor in Chief of the Mirror Rag now sitting across from many of the world’s celebrities of which I am talking admits that much of what is reported is not true. News is hyped up to sell papers, and exaggeration, tweaking and manipulation of the truth is encouraged rather than frowned on in this industry. Cheryl Cole possibly highlights this more than anyone at this point in time in Celebrity Status Worship. According to Peace Morgan’s Life Stories, Cheryl has to endure in excess of 25 different stories in the press about her life every single day. It would be impossible for anyone, no matter how interesting their lifestyle to create enough news worthy information to warrant that number of stories across the media, regardless of how accurate they were.

The general public lap it up though in a surprising desperation for what we digest as written truth. It is impossible to have a true understanding, image or impression of a person based on a multitude of contradictions, many of which I truly believe are the cause and element that leads to the ultimate result which makes such sensational headlines. I can equate this over and over with a multitude of examples. Wayne Rooney is a perfect example, as the press love to break stories that must make the football players life a misery. Yes granted he wishes to live the lifestyle of a celebrity and therefore has to accept that his life will be played out in a public arena, and I accept this point acutely. However, I also realise the man is a human being, and must hurt over the stories that question his morality, and sensibility.

How many people have been made and then broken by the power of the media. Jade Goodie is another quick example. Even our own Royal Family are constantly fall prey to the power of the media. Brands are made and trashed over night by the words of peers. Yes think about it, it is not a mighty conglomeration that puts pen to paper in its attack on an individual. It’s a simple man or woman like you or me, who uses the mighty sword of the written word to cut limbs from their prey as they hack and slash mercilessly at their victim.

It is as if we are sitting in the Coliseum of the early Roman Empire, watching a poor helpless man try to take on a pride of lions, starved and experts in the art of killing. This is our modern version of the Bull Fight, where a single person hiding behind the might of a skilfully operated blind manages to snipe at the bull, slowly wearing him down, till he is foolish enough to expose himself to the full impact of a skilfully delivered killing blow that brings the beast to its knees, and we all lap it up in our endless need for pain and suffering, so we can forget our own dismal lifestyles and hide behind the pretence that as long as others have it worse than us, we can survive.

It is important to have an opinion, but it is even more important to be able to read between the lines and not be brain washed. We are not sheep. We are educated people who have responsibilities, we are humans with the ability to consider, ponder and digest a statement. We can empathise, we can emote, we can engage and communicate, we can show compassion, and we can draw a conclusion. Being led as a sheep to the slaughter, is as productive as allowing mankind to convince us we have no worth or use on this earth. Don’t let the press manipulate you into thinking the way the want to modulate you into thinking. You are individual and have the ability to read, digest and interpret what they tell you.