The all singing, all dancing blog of Alex Guite

Sunday, March 18, 2007


I rate myself as a pretty logical kinda guy and try not to let adverts or celebrity endorsements influence my purchasing decisions. Even if an advert could somehow construct a link in my mind between drinking cranberry juice and romantic success, I'd like to think I'd be able to see through this and reach for the trusted orange juice.

On Sunday evening I was just going about my normal business, watching Channel 4's 100 Greatest Stand Up Comedians, so I ended up seeing a lot of adverts. A compelling case was presented in favour of buying Lynx body spray but I resisted it and despite captivating cinematography wasn't moved to order a Jaguar S-type. Then somewhere in the commercial break between Bill Hicks and Robin Williams, an advert for fruit pastels came on. It wasn't about how fruity they are or how, er, pastely they are, but that apparently it's impossible to put one in your mouth without chewing it.

Clearly this needed to be tested. Immediatley. My housemate Iain quite literally put his running shoes on and returned five minutes later with three packets from the corner shop.

And it turned out that it is exceptionally, almost indescribably, difficult not to chew them: many attemps failed after even the most momentary of concentration lapses. Eventually, with concerted efforts we eventually achieved the impossible and sucked through entire pastels. So as good scientists we concluded that it is almost impossible not to chew them and thus settled the matter to everyone's satisfaction.

Then I realised what had happened: we had just spent money on a product we didn't need. More than that: the advert didn't just make us buy it, it made us want it as soon as possible and feel like it was our own decision. It wasn't as if the advert had made us switch pastel brands, we just didn't need pastels in the first place!

So because of a simple advert we'd spent the evening sucking fruit pastels we didn't need like, well, suckers.


At Thursday, March 29, 2007 6:44:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This isn't about getting the minibus stuck.


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