You gotta love them Yanks. Some 88 per cent of them have never
applied for a passport, 8 per cent of them don’t have running water, but
a solid 97 per cent have a TV, and boy do they live by those tubes.
What’s more, they don’t have that terrible cynical streak that so ails
(or should that be aids) the British public, so the commercials are as
much a part of the entertainment as the programming (from what I’ve seen
of the programming, the ads were, in fact, better).
It is no wonder then that Adcritic.com, which is brimming with videos of
wondrous US TV ads, has gained quite an online following in the
The site takes a record store-style approach with a ’Top Ten Ads’
chart - as voted for by the site users - and another section listing all
that week’s new releases. You can watch the ads in full, with attendant
jingle, provided you have downloaded Quick Time.
Current chart toppers include a gem from Allbusiness.com, which shows a
man going to a sperm bank, being handed a copy of Playpen and a jam jar,
but then furtively replacing the porn mag with a copy of Business Age
before retiring to his cubicle. The tag line is: ’We’re very, very
dedicated to business.’
The site also has a news section, which carries stories from CNN, Cnet,
MacNN and InfoBeat. The stories do not have the gravitas of a report in
Campaign, but they are pretty darn funny. Only in America could you read
this: ’Pets.com says the friendly reputation of its spokespuppet was
defamed by a foul-mouthed dog-puppet on NBC’s Late Night with Conan
The site also carries news on political advertising, an alphabetical
database and a music-for-ads section - when you click on a particular
tune you are miraculously transported to the Amazon page where you can
buy the song.
For the ad fan, or any student of American culture, this is a
fascinating site. There doesn’t seem to be anything quite the same in
the UK - although bognor.force9.-co.uk/adverts/ has a good database of
ads - but Campaign Screen Online must be only months away.
This article was first published on Campaign