THIS WEEK? Do you ever get the feeling that you’re just being ad?
I’M old enough to remember when “angry birds” meant the people you and your mates in the pub were terrified of going home to after staying out too late on the lash.
Now of course it means hours on the iPad desperately trying to beat people you hardly know at a sort of aviary pitch and putt.
Half of those hours, though, are not even playing the game itself. Instead, you watch entirely unwanted adverts just in order to get to the next level.
Completed section two? Here, watch this shite about a game you’re never going to buy. Sector 14? Watch that shite again. And again.
It doesn’t make a difference if you’re one of the mindless fools like me who occasionally fork out for extra lives or power-ups, either. There’s no let up. Still, the adverts come. They’re relentless and they’re everywhere and they’re getting louder and louder. I learned this week that in some parts of the country, something as innocuous as the placing of a bus stop is down more to how much advertising it can sell than it is as a public facility.
There’s one bus stop on my home manor where no buses IF the “high speed” rail link ever gets built – funded by ALL UK taxpayers – it’ll shave a miraculous 15 minutes or so off the journey between Birmingham and London.
Can’t imagine the Japanese bullet train operators feeling too threatened by that, can you?
Now us serfs living in the grim north learn that, if we were to extend the service to Liverpool, the only way to pay for it would be to put up local taxes and hike up the Mersey actually stop at all – but the shelter is kept there anyway because it’s on a decent route for catching the eye of drivers.
In fact, it turns out almost all of the bus stops aren’t owned by the local municipal transport authority, as you Tunnel tolls.
As ever, when it comes to north and south, the south gets it all on a plate while the north has it dangled over them like a carrot – and always comes with an extra price ticket attached. might expect. Oh no – they’re all owned and built by bloody advertising firms.
As a newspaper man I’ve often been reminded by mates in the sales department that advertising helps to pay mine and my colleagues’ wages, which is quite true. But there is a huge difference to that and this 24-hour barrage of screaming crap.
Traditional advertising doesn’t slam your newspaper shut and insist you watch a 90-second film about exciting new bank accounts before you can continue the crossword.
And it doesn’t take over Coronation Street (yet) and force you to endure a rollerskating feminine hygiene product commercial – which rather proves this “smart” advertising has quite some way to go…