One of my favorite moments in Mad Men comes in season four when feminist icon and advertising badass Peggy Olson starts dating an awful waste-of-space bohemian photographer named Abe. Abe is the worst, and before they are even dating, he delivers a short story he’s written called “Nuremberg on Madison Avenue” to her office, which portrays her as a victim of the corporate greed that surrounds her. She’s rightly angry, and when he claims, “Advertising doesn’t work on me!” like the real grade-a level jabroni he is, she counters that the best kind of advertising works when you don’t think it’s working.
I thought of that line a lot when I was living in the U.K. and baffled by all of their advertisements. Was it some kind of national subconscious I didn’t get, or was it working on me on a deep level I didn’t understand?
So now that I am home and homesick in reverse, I find myself on tumblr reblogging photos of the British countryside, and I saw a post that said:
And I was like, “Done. I’m watching it.”
Since then, I have not been able to stop.
To me, it is the perfect British ad. It is completely nonsensical. I mean, what are they saying here? If you order your Indian food from Just Eat, you will feel . . . very horny?
And then there’s the fact that none of this actually sexy at all, but is some weird parody of sexuality from, I don’t know, the 70s? I get that it’s supposed to be funny, but whose sense of humor are we pandering to here? The criminally insane?
If you don’t believe me, I put the phrase “chicken madras” into Facebook search, and got this lovely commentary:
Yes, Kieran. Squirell cage fir me as well.