When adverts get moralistic

Nothing worse than when adverts try to get spiritual, shortly before stuffing their product in your face. This advert for Hiscox insurance really goes for the holier-than-thou tone – the voiceover (by Benedict Cumberbatch) tells us the world is ‘somehow broken…institutions have let us down…a person’s word has lost its worth…but we still admire honesty, fairness, honour…At Hiscox, we give our word we will be there when you need us’. It practically got booed when it was shown at the cinema last night. Do they think we’re idiots?

This is why I hate some adverts. We are so saturated in them, all of them trying to be sincere, trying to be authentic, trying to connect with us, trying to read our feelings and values and reflect them back to us. All of them fumbling for our emotional ‘hot buttons’. And all of them, naturally, trying to sell something, trying to manipulate us into feeling and spending.

Eventually, when we feel really sick of the whole over-commercialised environment, the advertisers try to tap into that feeling too, and use it to sell us yet more products.

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