TV adverts as an art form

September 13, 2016 OPINION/NEWS


Hazel Speed

Most of us admire various television commercials and then again, there are some that drive everyone mad for one reason or another.

Given the cost involved in commissioning the best production companies to come up with a concise and punchy storyline to promote a product or service, then develop and create it visually to facilitate only a minute or so duration for broadcast purposes, it is quite a task if successful from the viewers’ perspective.

Added to the considerable financial commitment outlined above, there is also the cost of paying for air time to enable the TV ad to be broadcast (after the content has received official certification first), and each network has a varying payment scale within one allotted time frame or another.

Then again, if an ad is to appear at peak time before, during or after a popular programme the price increases, as does the competition for the same TV ad slot.

Christmas day is often booked way ahead of time, even perhaps a year ahead or more, and a commercial company would need deep pockets to facilitate their ad being broadcast on such a day.

Therefore, not only are TV adverts a specialised art form but they must promote their remit in a succinct, poignant way – often with humour and pathos.

Some links of the most memorable UK ads are herein.  Although they were broadcast years ago they are considered as classics in their own right.

The Volkswagen advert did more for the hymn ‘what a friend we have in Jesus’ and promoting positive attitude in emotional adversity than it probably did anything else, but because it was wonderfully thought out, produced and executed then no doubt sales of Volkswagens increased. People remember it, and rightly so.

Maureen Lipman’s classic line “you’ve got an ‘ology‘” said on the phone to encourage her grandson who did well in a sociology exam, when all other results were poor, also proved successful for BT and the famous expression was quoted for years and no doubt it encouraged more phone calls between BT customers who had grandchildren – especially around examination time. A good ‘hook’ as the term infers, as to broadcast dates and times.

Accrington Stanley‘, The Milk Marketing Board TV ad was a lovely and poignant one and if some of you reading this are saying ‘Accrington Stanley – who are they?” Then it not only proves its point but is self-perpetuating relating, as it does, to football and a discussion between two young boys as they searched for a drink from the fridge which would be healthy and make them strong so that one day they could play for a great football team. This advert had the “oh, how sweet” factor. Another classic.

It did a lot for both milk and Accrington Stanley’s historic standing within the world of football. Very clever in a gentle, subtle but memorable way.

However there is some concern regarding the latest Money Supermarket dot com advert.

A lot of people loved the character builder called ‘Colin’ as the initial advert featuring him at work very cleverly ‘spoofed’ the Coca Cola ad. How Colin did that body crawl on the floor is quite amazing.

However, when the Colin advert was combined in a confrontation with the other character called Dave (whose street walking was ridiculous), there began a worrying change.

The latest advert has caused comments but for the wrong reason. It is a ‘face off’ between the two characters and their inferred ‘gangs’.

Dave’s gang, as usual with Dave himself, are in business jackets, shirt and tie, red braces, and they are wearing shorts. Then we see they are all in high heels.

Apart from the visual impact (the only people finding this image funny are those making comments privately which are not PC and probably not legal to say in public either), I am concerned about the tone of the message being conveyed, especially the rather odd spanking scene.

We live in an age where historic sexual abuse is high profile and therefore this commercial is worrying on so many levels.

It is quite surprising, therefore that this advert passed the censors.

There is a thin line between something being funny and that of condoning, albeit tacitly, any copying of the actions depicted.

There is then the aspect of taunting, be it in the school playground, work or home environment.

This advert is sending out a dubious message of diverse overtones and not only is it unfunny it could be irresponsible in the worst possible way.



(Caveat – the above comments are not aimed against Money Supermarket dot com as a Company but rather their apparent lack of judgment concerning this particular TV ad).






Hazel Speed

Photo (c) Hazel Speed – used by kind permision to Tuck Magazine

Hazel Speed is a Philosopher, Writer, and Artist with various creative projects at differing states of development. Her flaship project is an animation which has produced a film short:

Art sites:


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