I was struck today by the front cover of one of those colour supplements that they squeeze into your paper on a Sunday. I think it was one inside The Independent but after searching a little on the Internet it looks like it might have been from yesterday's Guardian. The feature which caught my eye was on what appeared to be the front cover, it was a big wrap around thing saying "Are record labels crushing real music?".
"How droll," my mind sighed as I pulled open the magazine "these feature writers really need more imagination". Then, as I revealed the actual cover underneath, I realised I'd been tricked and felt a bit stupid. "How odd," my mind tugged when I realised I'd been made a fool by a fake front cover with: "THIS IS AN ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE" written on it.
Me and the advert therefore started off on bad terms and my brian started choking out things like; "what sort of an advert is this?". It wasn't really advertising anything, just calling for a debate (which has of course already been had a million times) on the internet. It was branded "Volvo". There were two opposing viewpoints being expressed on the cover; one twerp was banging on about one side of the story and some other pillock was putting forward the other. Then the bit of the page which has inspired me to write this entry caught my eye, it said something like: "THESE OPINIONS ARE THOSE OF TWERP AND PILLOCK, NOT THOSE OF VOLVO".
I couldn't help but laugh. It reminded me of the current set which Stewart Lee is touring where he pokes fun at equally laughable attempts by big business to engage with debate. Previously I would have found such disclaimers depressing. This is of course proof that Stewart Lee is brilliant and that I was right all those years ago.
"THESE OPINIONS ARE THOSE OF TWERP AND PILLOCK, NOT THOSE OF VOLVO"
I wonder what exactly the opinions of Volvo are on this 'vital and exciting debate'*? Does the fact no one really gives a f#ck what Volvo thinks about music industry politics make the disclaimer better or worse? I'd argue the latter.
I couldn't help but imagine some middle management chump getting all het up at the idea that people may be put off "brand Volvo" were it to have an opinion for or against record labels. Their market research couldn't give them a position to take so they'd had to make it absolutely clear that they were firmly sat on the fence.
"Speak out" - urged the advert. And yet, contrary to their own advice, there was this big fat sweaty bulbous company suddenly going all diddums on us. How disappointing.
"True communication is only possible between equals"** and that's why so many adverts fail. I wonder how successful this campaign will be?
I also read a very interesting article in one of the papers which was about the contempt which most people in the media reserve for their audiences. I couldn't have agreed with the article more. It has always disturbed me that lots of media people consider themselves in some way above those who they serve. The article in question was about the BBC but it could quite easily have been about the commercial sector. It's for this reason that I'm excited about tomorrow. I'm off on a big bus with 68 listeners from The Bay to a family fun day at The Sandcastle in Blackpool. That is going to be fun.
I just hope some marketing d#ckweed reads this blog after doing a websearch for Volvo. I've got money, I'd like to buy a new car, I'm not interested in buying something off a c#nt.
*'Vital and exciting debate': I can without any justification other than my own cynicism picture some jumped up pr#ck using these words in a presentation as part of the pitch for this campaign. 'All the idiots can then debate and do whatever it is they do while signing up for a test drive' I picture one of them saying while another sits and fumes in the corner because his idea about debating the Iraq war has been so mercilessly laughed down.
**The Principa Discordia.