Archive for the ‘Commercial Break’ Category

The 10 best Christmas TV adverts

Monday, November 19th, 2012

‘It’s the most wonderful time of the year’ sang Andy Williams sang of Xmas. It’s certainly the best time of the year for TV ads. Traditionally, the big firms pull out all the stops in an attempt to grab attention in the build up to the festive period. Big budgets, big stars and big piles of fake snow are the order of the day when it comes to creating convincing the public to open their wallets.

Here are 10 of the best:

Coca Cola ‘Holiday’s are coming’

While Coca Cola isn’t Christmassy per se, we should remember that we have them to thank for Santa Claus being red and white. Per Noel had, in fact, generally been pictured in green or brown before Coke’s ad men got hold of him. This ad ran for quite a few years, mainly thanks to its horribly addictive tune.

Toys R Us ‘Magical Place’

Another one with a diabolically memorable earworm of a tune. Maybe music is the key to a great Xmas ad?

John Lewis Xmas 2011

John Lewis have now created a tradition of making mini-features for their Xmas ads, emotion-filled short films with a touching message. This year it’s a glove-buying snowman, last year it was this blub-causer.

Irn Bru Snowman Ad

Funny, clever and affectionate – If only all Xmas ads were as fantastic as this one.

Ferrero Rocher ‘The Ambassador’s Reception’

Yeah, we know, we didn’t realise this was a Christmas ad either. But not only is it a Christmas ad it’s probably the only one on the list that was shown outside of the festive period and that has become a cultural touchstone. That big pile of foil-covered sweets has been seen in everything from Father Ted to Little Britain and the line ‘with these Ferrero Rocher you are really spoiling us’ has entered the language.

Marks & Spencer ‘Xmas wouldn’t be Xmas without…’

M& S must have spent a small fortune on this campaign featuring numerous expensive-looking celebs expounding its virtues.

John Lewis 2007 ‘Shadows’

This very clever ad could have worked at any time of year but there was just something Christmassy about the concept.

Yellow Pages ‘Mistletoe’

Super-cute, super-schmaltzy, super-Christmassy.

Woolworths ‘Cracking Christmas’
Back when Woollies was still a thing they used to corral the big TV stars of the day and film then merrily gambolling around that year’s hot gifts while a terrible tune played in the background. It was the beginning of the end, probably.

Boots 1981

No stars, no big budget, just a decent song and a Christmassy feel. Warms the cockles, dunnit?

Commercial Break: Halifax heap on fun-shaped misery

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

halifax hate.jpgI understand completely why some companies make annoying commercials for television. Ads that bug you stick in your head a lot longer than others, thereby, keeping the advertised product in your head longer. However, what about those that transcend annoyance and wander into plain ol’ hatred?


Commercial Break: Funny new ads for Old Spice

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

new old spice.jpgRemember the Old Spice commercials? Man surfs in huge tube to Carmina Burana and… well… not much else. They were seen as brilliant adverts and became rather iconic. Now, Old Spice is back and they’ve only gone and made commercials that are even better than the old ones.


Commercial Break: BT – Reservoir Dogs with WiFi

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

new BT ad.jpgThe BT commercials are depressing and awful. The only good thing you can say about them is that they’re persistent. What kind of dribbling nincompoop sits down, watches this dithering shitfests and then gets back to BT to say how much they enjoy them… to keep up the good work? Are these people pining for a return of the Gold Blend ads? Am I inventing these people just to entertain my own bile duct?


Commercial Break: Nike World Cup 2010 advert – ‘Write The Future’

Monday, May 24th, 2010

nike rooney world cup advert.jpgOH MY GOD! The World Cup is nearly upon us! Of course, it’ll play havoc with my trying to review TV shows – but I don’t care! And this new Nike advert has whetted my appetite no end!


A sneak peak of the Jedward Shake ‘n’ Vac commercial

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

jedward shake n vac.jpgIiiiiiitssalllyouhavetodo. Yep, the Shake ‘n’ Vac commercial is heading our way again, after the carpet talc (or whatever it is) got rehashed and rebranded (starring the original woman who did it, yadda yadda) and, well, left everyone cold. Now, it has a new face. Or should I say faces? Yep, the mind-curling Jedward are bouncing around and rapping and looking for all the world like they’re permanently falling down a mine shaft to promote this junk.


Abortion to be advertised on UK television

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

pro-life-cartoon.gifIt is ironic that I’m already walking on egg-shells about this topic (what with everyone’s fave fry-up accompaniment being a chicken’s period)… but here goes. Basically, for the first time in British televisual history, we’ll be getting to see commercials about abortions. Yessir, a commercial will air to offer advice on abortion services and it will transmit next week.


Commercial Break: Vodafone Crybaby Idiot

Monday, May 17th, 2010

vodafone network ad.jpgMost adverts are shit. Even the ones that are good are still shit because they’re trying to sell you stuff. The ones that really get me riled are the ones that try and move you emotionally and the biggest source of my continual anger is the pathetic, mealy-mouthed dribblings from Vodafone.


Commercial Break: Benicio Del Toro in a Magnum ad

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

del toro magnum.jpgYou may know Benicio del Toro as the award winning actor from such films as The Usual Suspects, Sin City, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Che. Well, he’s nearly undone all that good work with one appearance in a Magnum Gold ice-cream commercial.


Commercial Break: Peter Kay to return to John Smiths

Monday, April 12th, 2010

John Smith.jpgThere’s not many adverts in TV history that could be regarded as particularly funny or memorable. However, when there is, it tends to be those that focus on beer and fags. The Hamlet ads, the Guinness commercials and Carling Black label spots of the ’80s are all fondly remembered. More recently, it was the Peter Kay fronted John Smiths adverts… and they’re coming back.


Commercial Break: Knight Rider meets Kwik Fit

Friday, April 9th, 2010

kitt karr.jpgKITT from Knight Rider is one of, if not THE most iconic cars in television history. Not the new one though – no-one remembers what that looks like. And so, it (he?) is about to appear appear on our screens once more. Sadly, KITT doesn’t have a new sitcom coming out (that would be an ‘odd-couple’ house share of some kind, no doubt) but rather, it will star in a new commercial by Kwik Fit and we’ve got the video of it.

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Commercial Break: Funny tampon ad

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

funny tampon commercial.jpgGo on. Say it. Tampon. See? Wasn’t that bad was it? It’s just an anagram of Top Man. Just a bunch of letters jumbled up. Yet, people get a bit eeehhhh about it. And so, over the jump is a funny little commercial for Kotex dealing with exactly those things. Tampons.


Commercial Break: The hateful ‘accidental duet’

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

match duet.jpgRomance in commercials should be banned. Banned or shot at. Then bricked. The whatever is left should be burned. Shoot the embers for good measure. Y’see, ‘love’, budding or otherwise, is the trickiest thing to pin down. Musicians have been trying to catch it in a jar and sell it for years. Mostly failing too.


John Lennon’s son defends commercial appearance

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

john_lennon-.jpgDid you see that Citroen commercial featuring John Lennon and think “What the bloody hell’s going on here then? I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t have wanted that!” Well, it seems that there’s been a fair few of you who have been rather peeved about the whole thing, prompting Lennon’s son, Sean, into defending the whole thing.


Commercial Break: WeBuyAnyCarDotComAAARGH

Friday, February 12th, 2010

webuyanycar.jpgAdverts. They’re horrible things. They try and sell you stuff when you were minding your own business. However, some are far more teeth grinding than others. Take, for example, the woeful TV commercial.


Commercial Break: ‘Can I borrow your lipstick?’ Clearasil go pervy

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

clearasil lipstick ad.jpgYou know how Clearasil commercials go. Primary colours and a bubblegum soundtrack feature people grinning into a mirror with porcelain skin and given the confidence to go out and be themselves, right? Well, the admen have decided on a different tactic this time round, deciding that, the best way to sell spot cream is to turn young twinks into lecherous, grabby types in their chilling new commercial that sees a whippersnapper croaking “Hey Kim! Can I borrow your lipstick?”

Related: More commercial breaks


Commercial break: fancy a North Korean beer?

Friday, July 3rd, 2009

article-1197309-05958F8B000005DC-40_468x286.jpgAs oddities go, this one is a pretty good one. It seems that over in North Korea – a country which you generally only hear about on the news if they’re testing missiles or ‘waging war’ against the Western World – they’re getting in a lather about a new ad for lager. Over here of course this would be no big deal, but in a country like North Korea, where advertising, never mind TV advertising, is rare, this is really something to get excited about. If you’re not planning a trip to Pyongyang any time soon however, you can see the ad on the BBC News website – and ti certainly makes for intriguing viewing. I’ve always had a soft spot for the sheer lunacy and energy of Japanese advertising, but this is something else entirely.


Commercial Break: The Evian babies are back… and this time they’re on skates

Friday, July 3rd, 2009

evian babies.jpgI hate animators. They’re obsessed with making hair look realistic and buying enough Apple products to own an orchard. When they’re not doing realistic hair, they’re piddling about with their other obsession – making babies talk and dance. One of the most famous CGI creches was for Evian’s last commercial which saw synchronised swimming from a bunch of sucklings. Now they’re back and the babies are rollerskating, doing grinds and gripping to wire fences like dead-eyed murderers in a maximum security prison. Still, they wear nappies, showing that they haven’t mastered their own bowels yet. Suckers. Anyway, to watch the new Evian commercial with all-action babies, click over the jump.


Small Screen Icon: Victor Kiam

Monday, June 29th, 2009

victor kiam.jpgThis weekend, for absolutely no reason at all, I started daydreaming about Victor Kiam. Kiam is one of a kind. He’s just about the only American entrepreneur… scratch that… he was the ONLY entrepreneur I’d heard of for a huge chunk of my life. Businessmen, y’see, switch me right off. They talk in garbled tongues about things that make my brain sink. They look constantly crabby and like they weigh everything up in terms of value. However, Kiam was different. When he appeared in those iconic adverts for Remington and uttered those immortal lines… “I liked it so much, I bought the company!” and “…or your money back!”, he seemed like a really cool, nice old guy. Where Barry Scott was a hired monkey, paid to shout Cilit Bang! as loudly as he could and Alan Sugar lurched creepily around that spot for Premium Bonds, Victor appeared in your set like he just happened to be passing. With that, I thought I’d do a little reading on him… and it turns out he was pretty unique!

Related: More Small Screen Icons | Commercial Break


Why was Lenny Henry’s slashing Premier Inn advert shown in the middle of a programme about murder?

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009


Every now and then something so staggeringly, jaw-droppingly idiotic happens on TV. These instances that beggar belief sometimes happen within TV programmes but more often than not happen during ad breaks or during live TV broadcasts, when the capacity for mistakes, strange quirks and genuine cock ups are much greater. Something like this happened during the other night’s Rachel Nickell – Case Closed: Real Crime on ITV1. It was a powerful, moving account of an horrific murder and the subsequent investigation. Pretty grim stuff all-round, but what on earth was going on with the ads during the show?

Related: TV Review: Rachel Nickell – Case Closed: Real Crime