In-shop advertising is doing my head in
A recent piece of local graffiti proclaimed, ‘My Aunty is a Vandal’. Shortly after, this was vandalised to “My Aunty does anal” - I laughed. I’m not aware of either artist or if they knew each other or were collaborating on public confessions of familial destruction or sexual finger-pointing … perhaps both.
None of my Aunties (Bet, Ivy, Mary, Phil, Ruth) are/were vandals, I’m fairly sure of it, and I haven’t polled any on appetites for strolling down Cadbury Avenue; it didn’t crop up over strawberry Nesquik or Golden Wonder cheese & onion, aged ten.
The most destructive act I can claim authorship of (other than entering a number of excellent love affairs that always go well with absolutely no hitches), is the demolition of the wall of an abandoned building at fourteen years of age.
It was derelict, we-were-young-we-were-crazy-we-had-three-sledge-hammers-between-us. This was the early 1980s in the West Country and common round my way.
Halcyon days of youthful summer, the waft of Turkish cigarettes smoked by Charles and Sebastian, pikelets and punting, languorous in repose amidst the green lawns of the 1930s. The guns of war a distant boom, softer than Nanny’s Celtic brogue, etc.
I was once shot in the low cheeks with an air pistol by a “mate” then grassed up to police by a neighbour and I got the police caution! Larks descending.
However, whilst I can’t name the supermarket chain (let’s just say it rhymes with ScotBid or Mazda) their in-your-ears shop advertising (it’s not a store) is getting right on my tits. Making me want to smash something.
Advertising so loud and close to your head, you can’t escape. Like Orwell’s droning apparatchik or his acolytes. Unless you boycott the shop, you are mired in it (and I need fish fingers, cheddar and cheap red) so what to do?
You’ve probably noticed the odd mask - not sure what that’s about - perhaps people are doing DIY in a dusty environment or have got mixed up over Halloween or want to rob a petrol station with a replica firearm. That’s fine.
What isn’t is every shop (it’s not a store) nagging you every fifteen seconds to conform thus: To check out ‘The three-for-two meal deals”, the “Buy one, steal two free” (I made that up), or ginger cake-botherer Jane Asher in Poundland entreating us to ‘…check out my range of affordable cookware because quality doesn’t have to cost a packet’. Yes, it does Jane - that’s what quality means. I note you’re not with Paul McCartney anymore. Coincidence?
So, to vandalism (got a bit distracted there), I’ve had enough of marketing so, direct action being better than moaning, I got busy. Ads get beamed to the supermarket via satellite and get fed to the shop’s amp and pumped from the speakers.
I’m recommending you get drunk, take a stepladder and some pliers and cut off your local supermarket’s satellite feed to head office. Hey presto! No more in-shop (it’s not a store) marketing. I think if you give it a try, you’ll feel a lot better, and the rest of us won’t fall foul of tinnitus.
Ignore the fact that when I did it, I cut off an innocent citizen’s Sky Sports by accident, chipped my anklebone, was housebound for two weeks and destroyed a pair of pliers. You might research it better, but the point stands.
As Bruce Robinson’s Bagley says in “The world’s a shop and if it hasn’t got a price tag it’s not worth having.” I think that’s pony and while the likelihood of me being seduced into buying puff pastry, CBeebies magazine or beef jerky remains remote, the satisfaction of trying to gag the advertising albeit incompetently with almost zero effect - was worth it.
The biggest consumer boycott in history (the use of adblockers online) is a double-edged sword but nevertheless a tiny revolution.
Creatives however do need feeding, and though I offer choice words to you, the bovine public, you couldn’t possibly draw them into being on your own. I do so only for joy, and my affection for you alone dear reader – as well as free advertising for my tech-support business (10% discount for OAPs).
The greatest of these though is obviously free advertising.
Hypocrisy corner: “But Mark, you tout your affordable, high quality computer and home cinema support business with an additional ten percent off for repeat custom and two week’s remote support. Are you not being a massive turncoat?”
Yes Muriel … I am. But unlike a corporate shop - it’s still not a store - I have no shareholders, don’t whisper into stranger’s ears compelling incessant consumption, and pander gently to the libertarian sensibilities of the readership of this proud, upstanding, organ. Phnar-Phnar.
Plus, I’m not getting voiceover work after 337 auditions. I’m very, very, jealous.
“Six frozen items for five pounds. Now that’s value.” Where are my bloody hedge trimmers?