DIARY: I’m only a punter but...

‘Ssh. Hold on a minute. I love this ad - well, I know it’s only for a building society, but I just love the music. It’s sort of pop, you know, ambient handbag techno or whatever it’s called, with that eerie ‘world music’ singing on it. Babba-babba doo-wey aaa ya-ya, yayaoow. It makes me feel like I’m in a pygmy village sacrificing a British Airways traveller. Is it by Enya? No, perhaps it’s Enigma. Babba-yadda buu- wayeee...’

‘Ssh. Hold on a minute. I love this ad - well, I know it’s only for a

building society, but I just love the music. It’s sort of pop, you know,

ambient handbag techno or whatever it’s called, with that eerie ‘world

music’ singing on it. Babba-babba doo-wey aaa ya-ya, yayaoow. It makes

me feel like I’m in a pygmy village sacrificing a British Airways

traveller. Is it by Enya? No, perhaps it’s Enigma. Babba-yadda buu-

wayeee...’



What is the logic behind this tosh? It seems that any ad for a company

that wants to promote its ‘you’re safe with us’ or ‘aren’t we greener

than our competitors?’ attributes uses this method. An international

identity is more difficult to engineer, I feel, than commissioning a

soundtrack.



Where does the mid-90s craze for sticking a faux-tribal track over wide-

angle shots of azure skies and shoals of fish come from? And to promote

what? Flipping pensions! By giving an ‘ethnic’ feel to an ad’s music,

agencies expect a green credibility for their client - well, they’re

falling rather short of bearable, let alone credible. Don’t just make

another tune like Soul II Soul crossed with a New Age relaxation tape,

credit the unwashed with a little more sophistication.



So, if you think swing is a 40s jazz-dance trend, or Nicolette is that

nice girl who does your service wash, don’t expect young(ish) people to

relate to your campaign. As for that chanting rubbish, anyone who makes

it, or even likes it, ought to be strung to a pole and left in some very

deep forest or other.



Send your rants to Belinda Archer, Campaign, 174 Hammersmith Road,

London W6 7JP



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