Real life? Real life? Don’t talk to me about real life. If I hear
’real life’ preceding the word ’advertising’ again I’m going to cancel
my subscription to the John Webster Ad of the Month club. Most agency
people haven’t seen a part of ’real life’ since they left school and
even then just how close does your average Charterhouse numpty get to
riding on a public bus, eating fish and chips, queuing in the Post
The members of the real life brigade who invented the genre fall into
three camps. First, there are those creatives who use the title of real
life simply to depict drugged-out teenagers and pretend that all 14- to
20-year-olds are like that. Second, some people attempt to depict UK
lifestyles juxtaposed to a completely alien product to imply that real
Brits use the stuff just by pure psychological osmosis.
Finally, and perhaps most pathetic, several well-known top agency folk
use it to cover up their yawning inadequacies in an inadmissible
struggle to find even a single semi-decent idea.
Every one of us has been there: ’What do you mean, you’ve never seen a
performing seal open a current account before? It’s real life, for
And if I see another ad where a family of cheesy children gambol happily
beside their lovey-dovey mum and dad, I will go completely mad. Whenever
I see that family in the NatWest commercial, I want to kick the
That’s about as real life as 22-year-olds earning 25 grand, flying first
class, owning their own Primrose Hill maisonette and having a whole
crowd of older, wiser and more rational people treating them with even a
grain of respect just because they’ve identified the fact that real
people do, on occasion, prefer not to be patronised.
Send your rants (around 400 words, please) to Diary Editor, Campaign,
174 Hammersmith Road, London W6 7JP.