Advert Schmadvert (1)

August 13, 2009

Sometimes an advertisement appears on TV for the first time and you find yourself shouting out loud, “What the hell was that?” This was my response the first time I saw the advert for Swiftcover, a car insurance company featuring, of all people, Iggy Pop.

I don’t know his full back catalogue, but what I have heard I like. His music has great energy. My admiration grew after watching him on The Southbank Show a few years ago. Watching him on TV performing at the Glastonbury Festival, I marvelled at how his vigour and stamina at 60 when it was shown in 2007, put the young ‘uns to shame. But then I saw this advert while I was recovering from a major operation in January and I nearly fell out of the bed. Iggy, man, what happened? Mortgage? Ex-wife? What? The adverts have been showing again recently and I’m still asking. Could you imagine Lemmy from Motorhead advertising Lenor fabric softener? Maybe Dame Kiri Te Kanawa in oily overalls could urge us to use QuickFit when the car is in trouble. It’s just plain wrong. The follow up story that made me laugh like a drain was the discovery that Swiftcover would cover a driver of any profession except… musicians. Iggy Pop is… a musician. The advert was then banned because it was found to be misleading for the reasons stated above. Since then, Swiftcover has allowed musicians into its insurance brotherhood, so Iggy can once again jump around on your screen in black and white against a eye bleeding purple background. Other drivers in the entertainment business however, need not apply.

If you have your own instances of this kind of advertising where someone you consider edgy has advertised mainstream and vice versa, please make your comment here. I’m waiting to be amused and appalled in equal measure.


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