Wednesday, 9 November 2011

You Shouldn't Over-Think These Things

The picture below has been appearing in Reader’s Digest magazine for some months now. It’s a advertisement for Silvikrin hairspray - For Life's Little Surprises

I have no particular feelings, good or ill, about Silvikrin as a product, I’m sure it’s a perfectly good one if you happen to like hairspray. It’s been around for as long as I can remember, so I guess it must be reasonably popular.

If, however, I were basing my hairspray choice solely on this picture, I would never in a million years buy this product.

So what do we have here that is apparently such a turn-off for me?

I’m guessing we’re meant to imagine that this little scene takes place at blonde lady’s (let’s call her Patricia) workplace. Her colleagues have organised a little surprise for her birthday and there she is, with token black lady (I’m going to call her Marcie) and some chap from Accounts (arbitrarily designated by me as Tony), exhibiting excited surprise at their thoughtfulness.

“For me? Wow! Thanks, you guys!” we almost imagine her crying excitedly.

Marcie is so excited herself that she is squealing too. “I know!” she cries, “I know!”

Tony looks on in wry amusement at the ladies’ hysteria. Aaah, those crazy ladies, he thinks. You wouldn’t catch a manly bloke like me carrying on like that.

All harmless enough, of course, but look at the picture some more.

Why has Patricia only got two workmates? Are the others all shyly hiding out of shot?  Maybe nobody likes her very much.  More importantly, who’s going to eat all that cake?

Why is Tony so creepy-looking?  Look at him, peering over the top of the partition, he looks like some kind of horrible office chad (if anybody remembers chads?).  Does he secretly have the hots for Patricia – or maybe Marcie? Either way, he looks like a stalker to me.

Look at what Patricia has got pinned to the partition under the Happy Birthday banner…

- A picture of the queen (possibly a calendar)
- A postcard or something with what looks like a crown on it
- A photo, possibly of her and some kids (where’s hubby, I wonder?)

Look also on her desk. There’s a mug and calendar bearing a union jack. Patricia is clearly VERY patriotic. Yes, I do realise that the idea of the ad is that Silvikrin is a British product, but so far all we’re seeing is a middle-aged woman who might for all we know be a member of the British National Party. Does she actually like Marcie or does she secretly wish she would ‘go back to where she came from’ (I’m going to say Marcie was born in Tunbridge Wells, so Patricia is bang out of order here).

And am I the only person in the world who thinks Patricia is slightly over-reacting to the cake and rather small birthday card? Come on Pat! It’s not that great – there aren’t even any presents, for goodness sake! Maybe she’s trying to impress creepy Tony. Now that hubby’s out of the way, she might well be on the prowl, the voracious old Cougar.

The tag-line for the advertisement is Set for the day. All day. Yes, because you clearly do need a superior hair product to keep your unruly locks in check in case you encounter a mildly surprising situation and have to pretend to be so excited you can barely breathe.

So I guess I’m only meant to be buying Silvikrin if I’m a middle-aged racist cougar with hardly any friends who has an orgasm any time somebody presents her with cake.

No thanks, Silvikrin.

I do like cake though.


  1. Me, I prefer Elnett...LOL ♥

  2. Here I thought the advertising in the U.S. was asinine!

    I'm okay with the fact that there are only three people present. I like to think that the others are perhaps behind the photographer -- or maybe off trying to throw a chair through a window in an attempt to escape. Either way.

    What gets MY goat (and once again, I must consider hiding my goat better) are the expressions of mouth-breathing, panties-in-a-bunch hysteria on the faces of the women. CAKE!! On a BIRTHDAY! Made all the more special by the fact that her hair is still in place, despite the outrageous conditions present in the office...

    Oooh. And the flag. Let's not forget the flag.

    Whew! Glad I could get all that crabbiness out in one comment. :-)


  3. Wow! You read all of that in that picture! what a mind! lol

  4. she does seem a mite over surprised - its more the expression you might expect her to have if someone had given her a Rampant Rabbit

    Personally the adverts that really bug me are the poorly dubbed ones from other countries - if you actually want my money then at least have the decency to make an advert aimed at my market.

    And anything for perfume - why there isn't a perfume called Pretentious i'll never know

  5. And only 17 candles (by my count)?

  6. Personally, I feel it odd that she is surprised at the cake and not by Tony's decapitated head perching on her cubicle wall.

  7. I'm entirely too distracted by the cake to make an intelligent comment (except that Patricia looks like a refugee from the 70s to me for some reason). But man that cake is a whopper! We don't have such giant round cakes here. Can I come for a visit?

  8. oh yeah - and the current thing where the phone rings and you pick up the phone and its a recorded message trying to sell you something - that REALLY annoys me. If you're going to waste my time trying to sell me things i don't want at least have the decency to talk to me in person

  9. As a general rule of thumb, if the people advertising a product are laughing, screaming, or crying with joy while using it, I refuse to use that product. Because right off the bat we've got false advertising. Seriously, is anyone EVER that happy over something? I wasn't even that happy at my wedding (sorry honey, I was really happy, but not 'smile until my face breaks off' happy).

  10. Jinksy - Elnett! Haven't heard that name for a while!

    Pearl - You need to hire security for your goat. I agree, though, massive over-reaction to cake.

    Eva - My mind has too much time on its hands sometimes.

    DFTP - L'Egoist!!! Rampant Rabbit? Is that code for something? Also, those phone calls are intensely annoying to me too.

    Dominic - So she lies about her age when not at BNP rallies.

    Peter - Creepy Tony is even more creepy as a floating head.

  11. Bug - You're welcome to come over for cake any time. That woman does look a bit 70s, I agree. Another slightly 'off' aspect of the ad.

    Beer for the Shower - That is a good rule of thumb for informing your buying choices - unless the entire purpose of the product is to induce an orgasmic level of excitement, in which case, I'd ONLY buy it if people in the ad were screaming with ecstasy. I'm sure Mrs BftS doesn't read my blog, so your secret is safe with me.


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