So i’m having a mooch around my local Tesco, inwardly smirking at the Carry On-ish euphemism of an announcement that I often hear in there ‘There is a caller at the back gate, please attend’. Childish of me, I know, but then my mood takes a sharp turn for the irksome when, on the – Items Reduced To Clear- shelf, I see a sorry looking piece of broccolli, browning at the edges, down from £1.38 to £1.06. Nice. A staggering 32p off! Another announcement that I sometimes hear in here is ‘Will a member of the Price Discretion Team please report to Customer Services’? Yes, please do and explain to this customer why a vegetable that looks like it may well self-compost in the next five minutes is not being given away for 5p. Reduced my arse.
But my general antsiness toward my local supermarket this evening is down to something much worse than mere old greens. The other day, whilst watching the telly, I was shook out of my languor by an advert. Or to be more precise, the new Tesco Christmas Campaign. Not being one to get into the Xmas mindset too early, well not until after Bonfire night, at least, I wasn’t relishing the arrival of this, first out of the traps, in this year’s big store xmas ad wars. Let’s face it, they are usually fairly bleeding annoying. But Christ in a pay-trolley, this really is fucking dreadful. I mean, so awful as to make those fucking dreadful Halifax Building Society ads seem like Oscar- winning shorts..
What is wrong with Tesco? All it’s adverts over the last few years have been as rotten as their reduced broccolli. Remember those clunky, cringey vignettes with Jane Horrocks and Prunella Scales as mother and daughter? I mean. two actresses who, were they playing such roles on stage or in a film, you’d put money on it being half-way decent. But the Madmen just fucked them up, time and again.
And now it’s Fay Ripley and Mark Addy’s turn. Two more actors, who, given decent scripts, you would expect to be right on the money. But again it appears that in the hands of the ‘creatives’ at The Red Brick advertising agency, they have managed to make them look egregiously unfunny. The whole affair is unappetising, patronising and all round, gold standard tosh. And this latest,Christmas offering is like bad Rep theatre, only worse. If you haven’t seen it, it’s supposed to be about how Tesco products are for everyone, rich or poor. It goes something like this:
The Tesco couple are walking around the store discussing what to get Fay’s posh sister and her kids for Christmas. So, in a razor sharp and cunningly conceived concept by the, let’s call them, for want of a better word, scriptwriters, she calls her sister and says ‘Just wondering what you and the kids want for Christmas’. Brilliant. Genius. What creative dreck-peddling twat-in-a-suit, came up with that idea then? But it gets worse. Cos the posh sister is played by none other than Amanda ‘Britain’s Got To Put Up With Her At Christmas Now As Well As On That Talent Show’ Holden. Yes, I know, there’s nothing more guaranteed to take the shine off your seasonal festivities than bloody ‘shinehead’ Holden popping up on your screen ever other ad break. Well anyway, there’s then some poxy leaden joke about how the sister pronounces her surname in French to make herself sound more grand and posh. That’s quickly followed by some hilarious references to her kid’s posh names which are – wait for it, Tarquin and Felicity! Oh come on! What was the last sit-com these idiots ever saw? To The Manor Fucking Born? I ask you. Anyway, it’s a risible peice of crap and I fear that there will be more to come in this godforsaken series of shitverts.
So, you may ask, what would I have replace it? Okay, i’ll tell you. How about, Tesco Mary from The X Factor in a Santa costume with Louis Walsh in an elf suit, at her feet. As customers line up, Mary and Louis consult with each other then Mary reaches into her Sack For Life and gives each customer a suitable gift. But then a pensioner appears (maybe played by Wagner) who refuses the Tin of Tesco Finest Shortbread or whatever, being thrust at him. ‘Well what would you like instead then? Asks Mary. ‘Would you like me to sing you a song’? ‘Fuck, no’ says the pensioner. I’d just like the Price Discretion Team to stop being cunts and reduce that festering bit of fucking broccolli to a fair trade of 5p and to stop trying to squeeze every last penny out of their regular, hard up customers when we’re in the middle of the worst recession the country’s seen for decades, the miserable, profiteering, scrooged up, jizz-juggling, wank-bandits’.
But that’s not going to happen so we’ll just have to put up with Ho Ho fucking Holden for the rest of the year. Meanwhile, i’ll be over there on the ‘Reduced To Tears’ shelf..