The Broken Tellies 2007: Europe's Bloodiest Cockfights and America's Crashiest Car Crashes

  • 12/23/2007 10:49:00 pm
  • By Mark Gibbings-Jones
  • 2 Comments



Yes!It's time again for our annual festival of brickbats and bouquets. First up - the inaugural brickbat...

MOST ANNOYING SPONSORSHIP BUMPER OF 2007

Ah, programme sponsors. Those cheeky little advertising blighters. All but immune to the growing threat of the PVR menace, they top and tail each part of prime time programming on most commercial stations. Done correctly, they're out of the way in just a few seconds, almost apologetic about the way they're intruding into your evening's viewing.

"Look, sorry about this. It's just... hey, is that a new shirt? Like it. Looks niiice. It's just that, if you happen to be in the supermarket over the next couple of days, and you're thinking of buying some gin, we'd be thrilled if you decided to purchase the brand of gin that we manufacture. It's very nice. Of course, if you don't, that's your decision, and we respect that. Oh, how rude of me. You were waiting for that nice Mister Ramsay, the catering trade's answer to Billy Connolly. Sorry. Here he is. See you in seventeen minutes!"

Done correctly, they're perfectly unobtrusive and peachy. We end up watching about eighteen instances of CompareTheMarket.com's bumpers in one sitting during our regular Friday afternoon mammoth get-around-to-watching-More4's-daily-showings-of-The-Sopranos sessions, and remarkably they don't get on our nerves. Similarly, the Gordon's Gin bumpers during Kitchen Nightmares on C4, or the Hyundai ones during Dexter on FX are politely out of the way soon enough.

However, there's another side to sponsorship bumpers. A darker, smellier side. A growing number of them have taken advantage of Ofcom's newly relaxed code on such adverts, and now they want to be your 'friend'. They'll try to get you on side by being 'a bit chummy'. Unfortunately, that's 'chummy' purely in the sense of the Annoying Bloke From Work Who'll Cheerily Make Shit Jokes About Recently Murdered Children Or National Disasters That Have Been In The News. They'll use every last one of the ten seconds allowed for their mid-show pieces, but they'll try their damnedest to make it feel like a whole annoying minute.

So, what are the worst offenders? We've whittled it down to three. Remarkably, the 118 gimps who pop up during Lost on Sky One aren't included.

The Nominees

RUBBISH ONLINE POKER COMPANY BEGINNING WITH THE LETTERS 'V' AND 'C' (Bravo)

That's right, we're not going to give any of these BASTARDS the oxygen of publicity, with their tawdry "aah, but everyone notices deliberately rubbish ad campaigns, so we win after all, bwa ha ha" attitudes. These bumpers (we keep accidentally typing the word 'dumpers', which seems more appropriate) saw a bunch of comedy all-American - in the sense of British actors pretending to be American - cops making bad cop-slash-poker-related-punning quips.

As one might assume, with there only being a limited range of bad cop-slash-poker-related-punnery out there, they were only able to come up with about four different ones. Sadly, they were run before, during and after pretty much every single programme on Bravo. We wouldn't mind if this was restricted to their normal output of Europe's Bloodiest Cockfights and America's Crashiest Car Crashes, but it was also in every single ad break for Adult Swim. And if you get between us and our fix of Sealab 2021, you're walking a thin line, mister.

HIGH-STREET COMPUTER SUPERSTORE WHOSE LATEST SCAM IS OVERCHARGING FOR FITTING ROUTINE PC UPGRADES, FIFTEEN QUID TO SLOT IN A MEMORY STICK? CHRIST! (Virgin 1)

Barging it's unwelcome way into the middle of the magnificent The Riches, these mini-sketches see a bunch of - and we hate to use this phrase, we really do - office-bound twats making a series of crunchingly PC-related gags. Quite often in an ad-break that appears before we've even seen the sodding title sequence to that week's episode of The Riches, although we can't really blame HIGH-STREET COMPUTER SUPERSTORE WHOSE LATEST SCAM IS OVERCHARGING FOR FITTING ROUTINE PC UPGRADES, FIFTEEN QUID TO SLOT IN A MEMORY STICK? CHRIST! for that.

MARKET-LEADING VIDEOGAME COMPANY THAT WE REALLY LIKE, AND HAVE HAPPILY GIVEN LOTS OF MONEY TO IN THE PAST, BAH (Channel Four)




Oh, alright then. It's Nintendo. More specifically, The Nintendo Family. Making lots and lots of almost-but-not-quite-risque jokes that pop up before 8 Out Of 10 Cats. Seemingly, they're on a mission to slow the demand for the Wii and DS, so that the shops have time to build up some stock. Hopefully, once that's been done, they can start to run the 'good' adverts. We're tempted to link to Deal Extreme's website, so that everyone can buy an R4 cart for their DS, just to make some sort of point, here. Oh, go on then.

AND THE WINNER IS...

HIGH-STREET COMPUTER SUPERSTORE WHOSE LATEST SCAM IS OVERCHARGING FOR FITTING ROUTINE PC UPGRADES, FIFTEEN QUID TO SLOT IN A MEMORY STICK? CHRIST! (Virgin 1)



Well, hoo-rup-de-do. Despite some pretty stiff competition, the PC upgrade racketeers walk off with the first prize of our 2007 awards 'do'. The panel were swayed heavily by the sheer awfulness of hoping a smug berk answering the question "what are you up to tonight?" with "well, tonight I'm going to save the world, and then maybe win the Indianapolis 500" will actually 'shift' some major 'product'. The rest of their spots weren't a lot better. If you haven't seen them on Virgin 1, we'll put it this way: you know how the 'proper' adverts for This Company are really, really shit? Well, these bumpers are easily eight times as bad.

It's probably on all Virgin 1's other drama shows, too. But we never watch any of them, so we can't be sure.

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